On December 7th we'll see an IBF "interim" Super Bantamweight title bout between Marlon Tapales (33-2, 16) and Ryosuke Iwasa (26-3, 16) [岩佐 亮佑].
Today, ahead of that bout, Iwasa was out in front of the media in Japan taking part in a public work out with promoter, and former world champion, Celes Kobayashi.
Prior to the physical work out the two men spoke to the media, explaining their training and the the plans they have as they finish preparing for the fight.
At today's event Iwasa stated that he was able to finish hard sparring with no injuries and revealed that they would be leaving Japan shortly,with the plan being to arrive on December and put finishing touches to things like weight whilst in the US.
To prepare for the bout it was revealed that Iwasa has been sparring with stiff competition, including Michael Dasmarinas, Mark Anthony Gerraldo and Reiya Abe, who have been selected to help Iwasa prepare form the southpaw stance of Tapales. That is something that is very significant here, as all 3 of Iwasa's professional losses have come to southpaws,
The southpaw preparations continued today when Iwasa sparred 2 rounds with Japanese ranked Bantamweight Ikuro Sadatsune (10-4-3, 3) [定常育郎], before he worked the mitts with Mr Kobayashi.
Iwasa also spoke about Luis Nery, and and revealed that he is hoping Tapales won't copy what Nery did last weekend and miss weight, something Tapales actually did when fought in Japan back in 2017. In that bout Tapales was stripped of the WBO Bantamweight title, for weighing in at 120lbs ahead of facing Shohei Omori in what was the second bout between the two men.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Earlier today fight fans at Korakuen Hall had an interesting card with several notable names involved. Sadly however the show won't be televised until this coming Tuesday, when G+ air it on delay. For those wanting to watch as live this warning is for you, however, if you're not interested in watching as live the result, and spoilers will be below.
The main event of the card saw former Japanese Flyweight champion Junto Nakatani (20-0, 15) [中谷 潤人] score his biggest win to date as he stopped former Light Flyweight world champion Milan Melindo (37-5, 13) in the 6th round of their contest.
The bout, set for 10 rounds at 114lbs, was regarded as a big step up for Nakatani, but it seemed like he was getting to Melindo at the right time. The Filipino visitor was the older, smaller man who had had 3 very tough bouts in recent times, and had been damaged in all 3. That damage was expected to be a major issue here, though we ended up seeing the size and physical attributes of Nakatani being a bigger issue. Early on Nakatani established his jab, and used his reach, before pressing the bout closer and beating up on the smaller Filipino, who was stopped in the 6th round when the referee needed to come in and save him.
The win for Nakatani is likely to see him moving towards a world title fight in the near future, whilst the end must surely be nigh for the talented, but shop worn, Filipino.
Another 6 round stoppage saw former world title challenger Ryo Akaho (35-2-2, 23) [赤穂亮] defeat Korean visitor Kyung Min Kwon (7-6, 3) [권경민]. Kwon had come to win, and credit to him, but he was unable to match the skills of Akaho, who's jab landed controlled the early part of the fight. As the fight went on Akaho began to land more telling power shots, and in round 6 he hurt Kwon, who was saved by the referee soon afterwards when Akaho went for the finish.
It was an easy day for the often under-rated Ikuro Sadatsune (10-4-3, 4) [定常 育郎], who ended a 2 fight losing streak by beating Filipino Robin Langres (10-4, 4). Langres was coming off second best through the first 2 rounds before a left eye injury caused the doctor to pull him out at the start of round 3.
Former amateur standout Shigetoshi Kotari (1-0, 1) [神足 茂利] made a successful debut stopping Lasben Sinaba (3-3, 3) in round 2. The promising Kotari dropped his man with a right hand and looked really promising, but Sinaba really wasn't up to much and we wouldn't be surprised to see him getting his name added to the JBC's invitation prohibited boxer's list.
At the end of July Shigetoshi Kotari (0-0) [神足 茂利] took part in his pro-test bout, sparring with Japanese Flyweight champion Junto Nakatani (19-0, 14) [中谷 潤人]. Since then he has had his debut bout announced, and it's been added to a big card at Korakuen Hall.
The card in question is the October Dynamic Glove card, which will take place on October 5th and will be headlined by Nakatani, who takes on former world champion Milan Melindo (37-4, 13) in a big step up.
At the moment Kotari's opponent hasn't been named, but the bout will be a 6 round bout at Featherweight, and is likely to come against an international opponent.
As an amateur Kotari went 50-23 and competed in the final stages of numerous national tournaments, though did tend to fall short in the later stages of major competitions.
The card will also feature a string of other noteworthy fighters. These include former world title challenger Ryo Akaho (34-2-2, 22) [赤穂亮], who faces off with Korean foe Kyung Min Kwon (7-5, 3), who returns to Japan for the first time since his 8th round TKO loss to Satoshi Shimizu, back in a 2018 OPBF title fight. This bout will be fought over 10 rounds and is the show's main support bout.
Another notable fighter on this card is the under-rated Ikuro Sadatsune (9-4-3, 3) [定常 育郎], who looks to bounce back from a loss to former world title challenger Sho Ishida. Sadatsune will be up against Filipino Robin Langres (10-3, 4), in an a very good looking 8 round match up at Bantamweight.
In Osaka earlier today fight fans had a chance to see the latest Ioka promoted card, and although it wasn't a high profile show, by any stretch of the imagination, it was an interesting card, with several notable names on it.
The most notable of those names was former world title challenger Sho Ishida (28-1, 15) [石田 匠] who battled under-rated youngster Ikuro Sadatsune (9-4-3, 3) [定常 育郎] in an 8 round bout at Bantamweight. On paper this looked like a mismatch in favour of Ishida however Sadatsune approached the bout with the feeling that he could win, and he certainly showed no respect to Ishida, in fact the youngster responded pretty much evenly with Ishida through the fight. When Ishida picked up the pace Sadatsune went with him, forcing Ishida to to stay sharp. It was technical from both, with jabs being the order of the day, but it was very hotly contested with a brilliant back and forth.
A late point deduction for a clash of heads turned out to be meaningless to the scores, with all 3 judges having Ishida the winner, 76-75, 77-75 and 77-74, though it was clear that he got a much bigger test than he, or anyone in his team, were expecting. Sadly for Sadatsune this is a second straight close loss, but the 21 year old again showed that he belongs in the ring with this level of fighter and we're really looking forward to seeing him again shortly. He is an incredibly talented young man who will go far if he doesn't let these close losses kill his desire to fight.
Also on this card was 2014 Rookie of the Year Masayoshi Hashizume (17-0-2, 10) [橋詰将義], who was also given a surprisingly tough test as Japanese based Filipino Jayar Estremos (11-15-1, 4) put in a solid effort. Hashizume, a real talent but someone who has come across as a touch inconsistent, was always being forced to fight hard against Estremos, who was targeting the body. Hashizume proved to be too sharp and too quick, but never looked relaxed en route to a unanimous decision, with scores of 77-75, 79-75 and 79-75.
The one man from the Ioka gym who did shine was the unbeaten 22 year old Joe Shiraishi (8-0-1, 4). The 2017 Rookie of the Year winner defeated Filipino Prince Andrew Laurio (10-2-1, 7) with a 5th round KO, coming from a big straight right hand. The shot sent the Filipino visitor down for the 10 count, giving him his second straigth loss. Shiraishi looked good won he won the Flyweight Rookie crown but with only 1 fight in 2018 his rise had slowed massively, so today's win will certainly give his career a good shot in the arm.
We've known for a while that Ioka boxing gym would be promoting a card on April 21st in Osaka, though we weren't given the names of the main fighters from that card until earlier today.
Today we were informed that the chief support bout of the card would feature former Japanese title challenger and 2014 Rookie of the Year Masayoshi Hashizume (16-0-2, 10) [橋詰将義], who battles against Filipino Jayar Estremos (11-14-1, 4) in an 8 round Super Flyweight bout. This looks like a bit of a straight forward win for Hashizume, though should be a good bounce back after a draw with Takayuki Okumoto (21-8-4, 10) [奥本 貴之] last December. Given that Estremos is 1-9-1 in his last 11 it's hard to see this being competitive at all.
In the main event of this show former world title challenger Sho Ishida (27-1, 15) [石田 匠] will face off with talented youngster Ikuro Sadatsune (9-3-3, 3) [定常 育郎] in an 8 round Bantamweight. This is a huge step up in class for Sadatsune, but he's the type of fighter who seems to love being in with more proven and notable fighters. In some ways this is actually a no-win for Ishida, but we are glad to see him back in the ring.
News! We try and give you the most interesting news stories from the Asian boxing world!