To kick off a complete brilliant Saturday of boxing our attention was focused on the EDION Arena Osaka, as Shinsei gym put on their latest show, with just 5 bouts on it. Despite it being a small card, it was certainly one worth watching, with two brutal knockouts, a sensational coming out performance a very solid main event bout.
Not only was the show a good one for fans in attendance but also globally, with the whole show being streamed live on the excellent Boxing Real YouTube channel.
The show kicked off with a real fun battle between the debuting Towa Tsuji (1-0, 1) [辻 永遠] and the win-less Kairi Suetsugu (0-2-1) [末継 海里]. The opening round saw Tuji getting rocked early on, and he seemed in quit a bit of trouble before creating space and getting a moment to clear his head. In round 2 Tsuji turned the tables, rocking Suetsugu with right hands and bursting his his nose, in what was a really fun 3 minutes of action. With Suetsugu taking punishment in round 2 he came out aggressively in the third and rocked Tsuji, who recovered well. Just moments later the two men were trading in center ring when Tsuji landed a perfect left hook, sending Suetsugu down hard. He wasn't beating the count and the referee quickly waved it off, giving Tsuji a highlight reel KO to begin his career.
The second bout didn't last long at all as Kohei Miyamoto (4-1-1, 4) [宮本 康平] came out with a point to prove. Within in the opening seconds he rocked Tetsuya Kawabata (5-13-1, 1) [川端 哲也] and he kept the pressure on through the round. He rocked him again with a right hand, and piled on the punches until Kawabata hit the canvas. The fighting spirit of Kawabata saw him try to beat the count, but he stumbled back down mid count forcing the referee to wave off the bout.
The third bout on the show was the most interesting on paper and saw rising prospect Ryosuke Nishida (3-0, 1) [西田凌佑] take on former world title challenger Shohei Omori (21-4, 16) [大森 将平] in an intriguing 8 rounder. On paper this looked a rash decision for the novice to step up so much so quickly, but he impressed through out.
The opening round saw Nishida starting fast and look to get inside Omori's head almost immediately. That saw him using his speed well, making the most of his jab and his right hook, and landing several solid left hands. Omori, to his credit, looked calm and composed, and had moments himself, but seemed to clearly lose the round. In round 2 however Omori began to press more, and had more moments of success, despite taking some solid right hooks from Nishida, who also landed some nice flurries. Omori got his own moments in, particularly with some body shots, but came off second best.
In rounds 3, and more so 4, Omori began to have some sustained success. He still took some good right hooks and jabs from Nishida, but landed some eye catching left hands of his own, especially late in round 4 as he seemed to, for the first time, really get to Nishida. It seemed the momentum was shifting in favour of the veteran, who also had some moments in round 5, including a good right hook of his own.
Despite the novice in his first 8 rounder it was really the final 3 rounds where Nishida looked a class above hurting Omori badly in rounds 6, 7 and 8. In round 6 it was a huge counter left hook that rocked Omori early in the round, before a right hook, followed by a straight left did the job towards the end of the round. In round 7 it was a left hand that wobbled Omori early in the round, and a follow up had the veteran in round, whilst in round 8 Omori was in trouble through out the round after a body shot left him in agony and Nishida tagged him to gut regularly as the round went on.
Despite some trouble in the middle of the bout, there was no doubting the winner after 8 rounds, with Nishida taking the unanimous decision with scores of 79-73 and 78-74, twice. The 79-73 seems very harsh on Omori, who did have plenty of success in the middle rounds, but no one would despite the fact Nishida deserved the win, and potentially moves onto the verge of a title fight of some kind in 2021.
The penultimate bout on the card saw Kimihiro Nakagawa (7-5-2, 3) [中川 公弘] suffer a decision loss to recent OPBF title challenger Kyohei Tonomoto (10-3-1, 4) [殿本 恭平].
Sadly this felt like a massive come down from the bout that came before it, despite actually being a very competitive bout, between two well matched fighters. Both matched each other a little too well at times, and with neither man having the power to hurt the other there bout really lacked drama. There was some solid back and forth, and some nice trading sequences but by round 4 it it was feeling very much like a bout that was struggling to remain interesting.
It wasn't a bad fight, but it's place on the card, after the very solid bout between Nishida and Omori, it felt underwhelming, and even seemed to suck the life out of the fans and the show as a whole. Despite that Tonomoto's more sustained attacks, more accurate punching and more consistent success was enough for him to take the decision on all 3 scorecards, with scores of 78-74, twice, and 79-73.
The final bout on the show saw veteran Hiroyuki Kudaka (27-18-4, 11) [久高 寛之] secure a win in his 49th bout as he out-pointed youngster Tetsuro Ohashi (7-2-1, 1) [大橋 哲朗] in an 8 round bout at Bantamweight, taking a razor thin split decision.
From the off Ohashi looked the quicker man, but that wasn't an issue for Kudaka who times counters well and looked the strong, more powerful fighter. The power and timing of Kudaka pay dividends in round 2 when he dropped Ohashi with a great counter right hand. Ohashi beat the count but was still hurt as Kudaka piled on the pressure in the last minute of the round. Ohashi managed a valiant comeback in round 3, though still took the heavier blows as Kudaka tried to walk him down and use his physicality against the younger, naturally smaller, man.
Despite taking the early lead Kudaka struggled to keep up the pace, and despite Ohashi not hitting hard, he was landing regularly, regularly enough in fact that he visibly stunned Kudaka in round 6, and went out for the finish, though was unable to put his man down. Kudaka was also stunned in round 8, as Ohashi tried to drop the veteran, knowing he likely needed a knockdown to have any chance at taking the win. Kudaka was in real trouble, though he gritty determination and veteran known how saw him ride out the storm, before firing back as we went to the final bell.
After 8 rounds the judges turned in scores of 76-75, 75-76 and 76-75, giving the split decision win to Kudaka, who may well have done enough for one more title fight in 2021. As for Ohashi, this will be a hard defeat for him, especially given that he was stopped Suzumi Takayama last time out.
Tomorrow we'll see 4-time world title challenger Hiroyuki Kudaka (26-18-4, 11) [久高 寛之] battle against former Rookie of the Year winner Tetsuro Ohashi (7-1-1, 2) [大橋 哲朗] in an interesting looking bout at the EDION Arena Osaka, a bout that will also be shown on the Boxing Real YouTube channel.
Today the two men took part in their weigh in for that bout and both men made the Bantamweight limit with no issues.
The 35 year old Kudaka, fighting in his 49th professional bout, was comfortably under the limit, coming in at 117.5lbs for the bout. He looked in fantastic shape and spoke highly of Ohashi, stating he was a youngster who would develop well in the future. Despite speaking highly of Ohashi he he spoke about how he was going to win, and that he wanted to improve his accuracy from usual to pick up the victory.
Ohashi on the other hand came in bang on the limit, at 118lbs. He knows that a win here will put him back in the Japanese rankings and move him towards a potential Japanese national title fight in 2021. His aim for the bout is to hit and not get hit, though he is certainly taking on one of his toughest opponents so far.
For those wanting to watch this bout it will be streamed live on this YouTube channel.
Earlier today it was confirmed that the December 19th "Real Spirits Vol 70" show from the EDION Arena Osaka, would be live streamed from the venue for free over YouTube, as the Boxing Real channel continues to build on their early success.
The show, which will begin on Saturday at 12:30 local today, isn't the biggest card, with just 5 bouts on it, but it one with several bouts of real intrigue.
One of those is the third bout on the card, the twice re-arranged showdown between touted prospect Ryosuke Nishida (2-0, 1) [西田凌佑] and former world title challenger Shohei Omori (21-3, 16) [大森 将平]. This bout was supposed to take place in August and then in November, but issues affecting Nishida caused the first cancellation and issues with Omori forced the second. Despite the issues it now seems we're all able to watch the bout for free!
The other is a potential tear up between 4-time world title challenger Hiroyuki Kudaka (26-18-4, 11) [久高 寛之] and former Rookie of the Year winner Tetsuro Ohashi (7-1-1, 2) [大橋 哲朗]. Given the styles and mentalities of the two men in the ring this one will be something to remember, and could end up being the sleeper classic for the weekend.
For fans wanting to tune in here, the live feed will be available on the Boxing Real YouTube channel.
Earlier today it was made official that the proposed December 19th bout between WBC Light Flyweight champion Kenshiro Teraji (17-0, 10) [寺地 拳四朗] and fellow Japanese fighter Tetsuya Hisada (34-10-2, 20) [久田 哲也] has been cancelled, and will not be going ahead as planned.
The bout has been cancelled due to the issues relating to Kenshiro's now well publicised drunken incident from the summer, where he damaged someone's vehicle. Despite a settlement now being in place with the victim it does seem like there will be subsequent issues with Kenshiro's standing in the sport and his license with the JBC may be suspended.
It seems that if the JBC don't hand down a lengthy suspension the bout could be re-organised for 2021, though it really does depend on how the JBC punish the champion.
As a result of Kenshiro Vs Hisada being cancelled the event, which was planned for the 1st stadium at the EDION Arena Osaka, has been moved to the much smaller second stadium. The show will now be headlined by a bout between Hiroyuki Kudaka (26-18-4, 11) [久高 寛之] and Tetsuro Ohashi (7-1-1, 2) [大橋 哲朗], who clash in an 8 rounder, with one of the other highlights for the show being the re-scheduled bout between Ryosuke Nishida (2-0, 1) [西田凌佑] and Shohei Omori (21-3, 16) [大森 将平].
Earlier today at the EDION Arena Osaka fans had the chance to see the final Japanese title eliminator of the year, to decide who would challenge for the Japanese Super Flyweight title at the 2020 Champion Carnival.
The bout matched veteran Hiroyuki Kudaka (26-18-3, 11) [久高寛之] against Yuta Matsuo (15-4-2, 8) [松尾雄太] in what looked like a compelling match up, even if the records didn't suggest either was any sort of special fighter. What fans ended up getting was compelling, competitive and evenly matched. A little too evenly matched.
The early stages saw the men trading body shots, and through the fight they seemed to trade rounds, with neither man able to get much of a foot hold in the contest. Every time one man had a round go their way, the other would come back and claw it back. It was close through out and the final round, which was a back and forth brawl, did little to make anything clear, and with the right judges could have been a 10-10 round in it's self.
After 8 rounds the scores came in, 77-75 to Kudaka, the same to Matsuo and then a 76-76 draw.
Due to the draw rules Matsuo will be treated as the winner and get the title shot at the newly crowned champion Kenta Nakagawa (18-3-1, 12) [中川 健太].
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