Earlier today the "BOXING REAL" YouTube channel streamed 3 bouts from the Green Tsuda promoted "Crash Boxing Vol 20 in Hirakata". Although those 3 bouts didn't last long they were all notable, and all allowed a different fighter to shine, and managed to all be rather entertaining bouts.
The first of the 3 bouts to be shown was a show between 2019 All Japan Rookie of the Year winner Jinki Maeda (5-0, 3) [前田稔輝] and the hard hitting Arashi Iimi (7-3, 7) [飯見嵐]. On paper this looked an excellent test for for Maeda, but in turned into a show case of his speed, movement and timing.
The unbeaten southpaw dropped Iimi in the first round with a gorgeous. short left hand, and showed the skills that had seen him shine in the Rookie of the Year last year. Iimi wasn't hurt by the knockdown, but it showed that Maeda had the tools to shine. Iimi got back to his feet and saw out the round with no issues. Unfortunately for him the same couldn't be said for round 2. He was dropped again by a left hand early in the round and then dropped a third time later in the round 2, before the referee decided enough was enough.
Given this looked like a genuine test for Maeda on paper this was a really impressive result, and it's maybe time to sit and take notice of a really promising young fighter from the Green Tsuda gym. He looked truly brilliant here.
Talking about looking brilliant we really doubt we have enough superlatives to explain how sensational Japanese Youth Super Bantamweight champion Toshiki Shimomachi (12-1-2, 8) [下町俊貴] looked. Shimomachi was making the first defense of his title and was supposed to be given pushed hard by the unbeaten Hiroki Hanabusa (8-1-3, 3) [英洸貴]. Instead the bout was a showcase for Shimomachi who dazzled with his movement, and looked as slippery as an oiled up eel swimming through KY Jelly.
The first round was a rather slow one, with both men showing off some great skills, but little of value being landed. From there on however it became Shimomachi's time to shine, with the 23 year old showing off what a brilliant, smart, educated defensive fighter he was. He was making Hanabusa miss time and time again, landing his own shots in response and showing a slick style we don't often see in Japan. This almost like he'd be spending time at a Cuban boxing school with some of the moves he was showcasing, and was totally befuddling Hanabusa with. To his credit Hanabusa was coming forward and applying pressure, but was left looking like an amateur at times due to the defense of Shimomachi.
By round 4 it was clear Shimomachi could toy with his challenger. That however would have gotten dull, and instead he stopped playing with his food in round 5. Part way through the round a brilliant body shot from Shimomachi dropped Hanabusa. The bout could probably have been waved off there, but Hanabusa's fighting heart saw him beat the count. Soon after the mandatory 8 counter Shimomachi jumped on his man and forced the finish.
We really can't explain how impressed we were by what we saw from Shimomachi here, and those who like slick, defensive fighters need to give him a watch. We knew he was good, but today he took it to a new level. Fingers crossed we see him take another step forward later in the year.
The final bout saw former Japanese Welterweight champion Ryota Yada (20-6, 17) [矢田良太] sending the local fans home happy with a win over Takuya Fujii (7-6, 3) [藤井 拓也].
Yada, who was born in Hirakata, started slowly, but rocked Fuji with pretty much every punch he landed. He threw very little in the first 3 rounds, with Fujii being allowed to come forward, but what he did throw landed and landed hard.
In round 4 we began to see the "Terminator of Naniwa", as Yada moved out of first gear and dropped Fuji hard towards the end of the round. Fujii got to his feet, but ended up bundled down moments fore the bell. It seemed like the bell hadn't so much saved him, was delaying the inevitable.
After the bell to start round 5 Fujii was inspected by the doctor, who ruled that Fujii wasn't fit to continue. The stoppage was down to an injury with Fujii's left leg, that had occurred when he he was knocked down. To his credit it seemed Fujii tried to hide it, but it was clear after the stoppage that the referee made the right call, and Fujii did have a very clear hobble in the moments that followed.
Whilst Yada's bout wasn't expected to be competitive it was great to see him shaking the demons of his 2019 loss to Yuki Beppu, in what was an instant classic. As for Maeda and Shimomachi, they looked brilliant and Green Tsuda have two potential stars of the future there, both of the youngsters looked tremendous and we are really looking forward to seeing them both back in the ring as soon as possible.
Tomorrow we'll all be able to see Japanese Youth Super Bantamweight champion Toshiki Shimomachi (11-1-2, 7) [下町俊貴] make his first defense, as he takes on unbeaten challenger Hiroki Hanabusa (8-0-3, 3) [英洸貴] at the City Sogo Gym in Hirakata.
Today, ahead of their bout, the two men took part in their weigh in, and both men made weight, with no issue at all.
On the scales the champion, looking to defend the belt for the first time was 121.7lbs, comfortably under the 122lb Super Bantamweight limit. He looked in amazing condition and had clearly been working hard to get into the shape of his career ahead of his first defense. He sounded confident that he'd win the bout by fighting his fight and continue his 11 fight unbeaten run.
Despite being the shorter man Hanabusa was the heavier man, hitting the scales pretty much on the divisional limit. He stated he was in the best condition he's ever been in and that he was going to take the title home with him. He sounded confident, as we would expect of an unbeaten challenger, though this is a step up in class for him.
As mentioned will be able to watch, as the bout will be streamed on YouTube via the "Boxing Real" channel.
Related - Shimomachi takes on Hanabusa in Youth title defense!
With very few events in Japan hosting a crowd, and those that do only having limited crowds, one thing we've started to see is promoters beginning to have events streamed live on YouTube. We saw this twice in July and we're now set to get it this coming weekend with Green Tsuda today announcing some of their event "Crash Boxing Vol 20 in Hirakata" was being live streamed on August 9th.
The announcement revealed that the "BOXING REAL" channel on YouTube will show the 2 main bouts live, and one under-card bout, and will then host the under-card bouts the following day.
The bouts which will be streamed live will be the main event bout between Ryota Yada (19-6, 16) [矢田良太] and Takuya Fuji (7-5, 3) [藤井 拓也], the chief support bout, between Japanese Youth Super Bantamweight champion Toshiki Shimomachi (11-1-2, 7) [下町俊貴] and Hiroki Hanabusa (8-0-3, 3) [英洸貴] and a mouth watering match up between Jinki Maeda (4-0,2 ) [前田稔輝] and Arashi Iimi (7-2, 7) [飯見嵐],
For Yada the bout will be his first since his 2019 epic with Yuki Beppu, that saw both men being dropped, hurt, rocked and Yada being, eventually, stopped. On paper he will be the big favourite, but it's fair to say that the bout with Beppu is one that could leave him a damaged fighter. Fuji on the other hand is fighting for just the second time since 2015.
As for the title bout the contest will be Shimomachi's first defense of the title and will see Hanabusa looking to claim his first belt. We've previewed this bout in a lot more detail here "Shimomachi takes on Hanabusa in Youth title defense!"
The bout between Maeda and Iimi will see Maeda look to build on his 2019 Rookie of the Year triumph, in which he beat Kyonosuke Kameda, whilst Iimi will be hoping to bounce back from a loss last year to Kenta Nomura. For those wanting to know more about Maeda he was actually the focus of this week's "Introducing" article, which can be read here Introducing... Jinki Maeda
For those needing a link to the channel that's here, and they currently have videos from the "REAL Spirits Vol 67" show they streamed in July, for those wanting to know what the quality is going to be like.
One more thing to note bout this show is that the scheduled bout between Takayuki Okumoto (23-9-4, 11) [奥本貴之] and Tulio Kuwabata (3-1, 2) [桑畑凜生] will not be taking place, and was cancelled several weeks ago. This means the show will only have 4 under-card bouts, and not 5, as some sites list.
Earlier today fight fans around the globe had the chance to see rising youngster Hiroki Hanabusa (8-0-3, 3) [が英洸貴] score his latest win, as he took out Sorawit Bamrungrai (6-3, 3), in just over 70 seconds to kick off 2020 with a brilliant body shot KO.
As reported earlier in the year was essentially a tune up for Hanabusa, who's focus now shifts to his scheduled bout against Japanese Youth Super Bantamweight champion Toshiki Shimomachi (10-1-2, 6) [下町俊貴], which will take place on April 12th in Osaka.
After today's win Hanabusa spoke to some of the Japanese media and revealed that he's not going to take much of a break after today's win, and explained that he's going to resume training right away and will be working on counter measures for a tall southpaw, like Shimomachi.
For Hanabusa the bout with Shimomachi will be his first title bout, and will be biggest bout since the 2018 All Japan Rookie of the Year final whilst Shimomachi will be finally making his first defense of the belt, after winning the belt last August, against Kenta Nomura. He had been scheduled to defend the belt in December, but no available opponent was available at the time for the bout.
If we're being honest this ins't a huge by any stretch, but is one of the most intriguing match ups out there between two very talented young fighters, who are both going to have their eye on winning much bigger titles than the Japanese youth title before they finish their career. It's not a huge bout, but it is a compelling match up all the same.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
WBC Youth Flyweight champion Kento Hatanaka (11-0, 9) [畑中 建人] might have been the star of today's Soul Fighting card, which was streamed globally by CBC, but he also ended up having more questioned asked of him than anyone would have anticipated.
The exciting youngster, the son of former world champion Kiyoshi Hatanaka, was expected to have a relatively easy time with Filipino challenger Roland Jay Biendima (15-6-1, 8). He was supposed to shine after being given a real tough test by rugged veteran Jaysever Abcede last year. Instead of shining and dominating Hatanaka again found himself in a tough, testing, damaging war that was a lot more competitive than the score-cards suggested.
The first round went with the script, with Hatanaka looking too good, too crisp, too sharp and too busy for the Filipino. As it turned out however Biendima was merely playing possum and in round 2 he started to come alive, although he was only really winging in wild punches during the second round it was clear he wasn't there to just make up the numbers.
From round 3 the bout began to turn into a genuine war, with the two men trading blows on the inside and Hatanaka being left bloodied around the nose. The Japanese fighter was still doing enough to pick up the rounds, but he was suddenly needing to work hard for them, and that hard work just got harder, and harder as Biendima moved began to put his foot on the gas.
As is typical in Japan for WBC Youth title bouts the scores were announced after 4 rounds, and Hatanaka was in a comfortable lead, 40-36, twice, and 39-37. The action continued to be tough, gruelling stuff through the middle rounds, with Biendima's toughness shining through as he continued to try and force an inside fire fight. That inside battling ended up with Hatanaka suffering a nasty cut over his left eye, from an accidental headclash, which along with his nose was certainly more damage than he'd have anticipated when the bell went to start the bout.
After 8 rounds Hatanaka was in a very comfortable lead on the official cards, 79-72, twice, and 78-73, but was certainly under pressure from Biendima in round 9, as the Filipino got through Hatanaka's sloppy defense regularly. The challenger would have been aware that he was behind, and likely needed a KO, despite having had moments in every round apart from the first one. The effort from the challenger wasn't able to be replicated in the final round as both men looked tired, as we went to the final bell.
After 10 rounds, of almost constant head to head battling and teeing off with power shots, we went to the score cards which had Hatanaka comfortably in the lead with scores of 99-90, twice, and 98-91.
Despite the win Hatanaka had to work for this, and the scorecards really don't tell the full extent of how competitive this was. Hatanaka certainly deserved the win, but he had to work hard and fight through adversity in one of the best fights we've seen this year. Sadly for someone with his natural gifts he does seem too willing to give up his size, speed and reach, preferring to have a war, rather than use his boxing skills. Finger crossed, for his longevity in the sport, that he does begin to tweak his tactics, and begin boxing and move more, rather than having too many of these types of wars.
As for Biendima we suspect he did enough here to get invited back to Japan to take on some of the other rising prospects from the country. He acquitted himself well, and despite losing, wide, he showed a lot more than we'd expected of him.
As for the under-card the real standout was Hiroki Hanabusa (8-0-3, 3) [英洸貴], who blasted out Thai foe Sorawit Bamrungrai (6-3, 3) with a brutal left hook to the body, in one of the best body shots we've seen this year. The 2018 Rookie of the Year winner will be in tough bouts than this later in the year, but a shot like the one he landed would put anyone on their knees. An absolute beauty of a shot.
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