Earlier today we had the latest show in the Fighter Spirit Series of shows. The card wasn't a stacked one, but the show, from Hachioji Nakaya Promotions, did several notable bouts on it.
The first of 3 noteworthy bouts was the rubber bout between Yuni Takada (9-8-3, 3) [高田 勇仁] and Shunsuke Isa (9-4-1, 1) [伊佐 春輔]. The first two bouts between the men were razor thin and we were expecting a similarly competitive contest this time around. Instead Takada landed the punch of the rivalry, detonating a huge left hook on Isa which dropped him hard. The referee waved off the bout after just 41 seconds, giving Takada the last laugh in a the rivalry and his most impressive win to date.
The second bout of note was a Japanese Youth Super Featherweight title bout, which saw Hyoga Taniguchi (6-3-2, 1) [谷口 彪賀] claim the title and put a beating on Seika Fukuda (6-4, 1) [福田 星河]. Taniguchi took control almost immediately, and took the fight to Fukuda, neutralising his jab with pressure and accuracy. Taniguchi would drop Fukuda early on, and then simply out work him, out land him, and out fight him, despite Fukuda doing his best to try and turn things around. After 8 rounds it was hard to give Fukuda anything, with the judges scoring this 80-70, 80-70 and 79-71.
The main event was much, much more competitive with the heavy handed Jin Sasaki (12-1-1, 11) [佐々木 尽] being held to a draw by Kotaro Sekine (3-0-1, 3) [関根 幸太朗]. The bout had real tension at it from before the bell, with the two men trying to stare daggers into each other. Sekine started well, and looked relaxed through the opening round, fighting relaxed and out boxing Sasaki until the final seconds of the round, when he was dropped hard, securing Sasaki a 10-8 round. Had the shot come 30 seconds earlier there's a chance Sasaki would have forced a stoppage here. He was made to pay in round 3 for not being able to finish off as Sekine battled his way back in to the bout, and he dropped Sasaku in round 5, with a left hook. The second knockdown left the bout finely poised going into the final round, which was hotly contested, and saw the judges being split.
After 6 rounds the scores for this were 56-56, twice, and 57-55 to Sasaki, leading to a majority draw.
Earlier this week it was announced that we would get the chance to see a new Japanese Youth Super Featherweight champion being crowned on July 9th at the Esforta Arena Hachioji, in city Hachioji. The bout, which has come about after Seira Kishida (6-1-2, 2) [岸田聖羅] vacated the title, will see 2019 All Japan Rookie of the Year winner Hyoga Taniguchi (5-3-2, 1) [谷口彪賀] take on Seika Fukuda (6-3, 1), who reached the 2020 All Japan Rookie of the Year final before losing to Tsubasa Narai.
For Taniguchi this will be his first shot at a title and comes almost a year to the day that he suffered his most recent loss, losing via 4th round TKO to Hiro Ichimichi. He was last seen in the ring beating Caliente Koyasu and has long promises to build on his Rookie of the Year success, but has year to really manage that, due in part to the Pandemic which really slowed his ascent. He's a technical yet aggressive young fighter, who makes for fan friendly bouts, but his lack of power is likely to be a major issue when he steps up against more physically mature and powerful men.
As for Fukuda this will actually be his second shot at the title, having lost to Kishida in May for the very title he's getting another shot at here. Sadly for him he comes in with no momentum at all, having lost his last 2 and 3 of his last 4, but he has mixed at a good level with losses to Narai, Kishida and Yuna Hara. He'll also go in to the bout as the "away" fighter, travelling from Takatsuki City to Hachioji, so will know the pressure is on Taniguchi to perform in front of his friends and family
Earlier today the Shinjuku FACE played host to the latest show under the A-Sign Boxing banner, thanks to Hachioji Nakaya gym and Ichitaro Ishii, from Yokohama Hikari, who streamed the bout on the A-Sign Boxing YouTube channel.
Originally planned as a small, 4 bout, card the show was down a bout before it even began. That was due to 2019 Rookie of the Year winner Hyoga Taniguchi (4-2-2, 1) [谷口彪賀] being forced out of his scheduled bout with Hiro Ichimichi (4-0-1, 3) [一道宏] due to motor vehicle accident. Sadly that left us with just 3 bouts on the show, though credit to everyone involved in going ahead with the show and delivering us a memorable card.
The show began with a genuine upset, as Ryugo Ushijima (4-2-2, 2) [牛島龍吾] suffered a surprise defeat at the hands of the experienced Hyuma Fujioka (11-10-1, 1) [藤岡飛雄馬]. Sadly for Ushijima he never got a handle on Fujioka at all, with the veteran being too crafty, too smart, too quick and too experienced. After 6 rounds there was only one winner, and it wasn't Ushijima. To his credit Ushijima never stopped trying, but he had very little success, and one judge managed to give all 6 rounds to Fujioka. That seemed harsh, but there no doubt about the rightful victor.
The second bout on the show saw Tetsuya Kondo (5-2, 3) [近藤 哲哉] take a majority decision win over Ken Koibuchi (6-5, 5) [鯉渕 健] in a bout that started slowly, but ended up getting super exciting in the middle stages. The first two rounds were some what quiet, with Kondo taking the first and Koibuchi taking the second. Then the touch paper was lit in round 3 and Koibuchi dropped Kondo. He then went all out looking for the finish, unloading everything he had as Kondo did everything he could to survive. Somehow Kondo saw off the storm, and sadly for Koibuchi he pretty much went all in, failing to follow up in round 4. The exhaustion of Koibuchi allowed Kondo back into the bout and in the final 2 rounds. Going to the bell this was a hard one to call, with Kondo getting the nod on the cards. We feel it went the wrong way, but wouldn't argue too much here, very close and well matched bout.
There was no need for judges in the main event as rising star Jin Sasaki (9-0, 8) [佐々木尽] scored his latest win, stopping Tatsuya Miyazaki (9-14-1, 9) [宮崎辰也] in the opening round. Miyazaki went out looking for the upset before being dropped mid-way through the round. Despite the knockdown he got back to his feet, and pressed forward before being knocked loopy in the final seconds of the round, and dangling over the ropes before the referee jumped in.
Following his win it was announced that Sasaki would clash with Aso Ishiwaki (8-2-1, 6) [石脇麻生] on December 26th. The bout is expected to be a JBC Youth title bout at 140lbs. Given the styles of the two men this has the hall marks of a brutal and thrilling bout, and a potential late contender for Fight of the Year. The styles and mentalities of the two should gel and we can't help but think this has the ingredients to be something very special.
Yesterday the brilliant A-Sign Boxing confirmed news that we had been expecting for a while. That was that their November 23rd card from the Shinjuku FACE in Tokyo would be streamed live, and for free, on YouTube! With the show set to begin it's broadcast from 18:30 local time.
The show isn't as big as some of the other A-Sign cards that have been made available but is still an interesting one, and we all love free boxing right?
The main event of the card will see fast rising Japanese Light Welterweight - come - Welterweight Jin Sasaki (8-0, 7) [佐々木尽] take on fellow puncher Tatsuya Miyazaki (9-13-1, 9) [宮崎辰也], in what we expect will be a short but explosive fight. The card will also feature 2019 Rookie of the Year winner Hyoga Taniguchi (4-2-2, 1) [谷口彪賀] battling with the unbeaten Hiro Ichimichi (4-0-1, 3) [一道宏], in what looks like a really solid test for the talented Taniguchi. We'll also see exciting teenager Ryugo Ushijima (4-1-2, 2) [牛島龍吾] clash with the experienced and tough Hyuma Fujioka (10-10-1, 1) [藤岡飛雄馬].
Previous streams form A-Sign have all been fantastic quality, very clear and smooth and we do advise fans wanting to follow Japanese boxing to give them a shot. Sadly however it does seem likely this will clash, at least partially, with another free stream, from TV Osaka featuring a number of bigger name fighters. However getting the chance to watch two different shows gives us choices, and that's never a bad thing!
For those who need the link for the A-Sign boxing YouTube channel, that's available here.
On August 31st we saw a brilliant A-Sign show that not only featured live fights, but also the announcement of a match up between Masayuki Ito (26-2-1, 14) [伊藤 雅雪] and Hironori Mishiro (9-0-1, 3) [三代大訓], who will fight on November 5th in the main event of an A-Sign boxing show at the Sumida City Gymnasium.
Interestingly that fight between Ito, a former WBO Super Featherweight world champion, and Mishiro, the current OPBF Super Featherweight champion, will be a 10 round bout at Lightweight, with both men looking to score a huge domestic win before potentially moving on to bigger and better things in 2021.
Today we saw one more fighter being confirmed for that show, with 2-time world title challenger Ryo Akaho (35-2-2, 23) [赤穂亮] being confirmed for the event, though his opponent his yet to be named.
The 34 year old Akaho will be hoping to secure a third world title fight before his career comes to an end, but unfortunately it's looking less and less likely. A win on this show would, however, be his 10th straight since losing to Pungluang Sor Singyu in a WBO Bantamweight title fight in 2015.
Also confirmed for this show now are hard hitting Light Welterweight prospect Jin Sasaki (8-0, 7) [佐々木 尽] and the talented Hyoga Taniguchi (4-2-2, 1) [谷口 彪賀]. Like Akaho these two men have not yet had their opponents for the show named.
At the moment it's unclear whether this event will be given a live stream, like the latest A-Sign boxing show,though what we do know is that that last show was a great watch and was regarded as a success by A-Sign Boxing. The show hit almost 5,000 simultaneous live viewers and went over 27,000 viewers in the days that the show was live. The show was also a success in regards to crowd funding, online salons, introduction videos and other related content. Fingers crossed there is something similar for the November show.
News! We try and give you the most interesting news stories from the Asian boxing world!