Back in December we had expected to see the slippery and talented Toshiki Shimomachi (12-1-2, 8) [下町俊貴] defending the Japanese Youth Super Bantamweight title against exciting and aggressive Satoru Hoshiba (7-4, 2) [干場悟]. The bout was supposed to take place at the EDION Areana Osaka on December 27th but was sadly cancelled in the build up. That cancelation was due to Shimomachi suffering from influenza. After that it was unclear what was going to happen with the title and with the match up, especially given that Shimomachi was 24 and there is an age limit on the title.
On January 8th Shimomachi officially vacated the title and today, just one day later, we now know how the vacancy will be filled, and thankfully for Hoshiba he won't be missing out on a shot to win the belt.
The vacancy will be filled on March 14th when the 23 year old Hoshiba takes on 21 year old Tom Mizokoshi (7-2-1, 4) [溝越 斗夢], who is looking to bounce back from his own set back, a 3rd round TKO loss to Hiroyuki Takahara last August. In fact that loss was a particularly painful one with reports circulating that Mizokoshi had a broken or fractured jaw from that defeat, which ended up costing him another scheduled bout.
The two men will be clashing at the Aioi Hall in Kariya City, a venue that both men are familiar with and both men have already fought in 5 times, including a 2019 bout between the two men.
For those unaware of their first bout, their 2019 bout was a genuine hidden gem, tucked away on the Boxing Raise service. The bout saw Hoshiba pressing forward throughout, showing his aggressive mentality and exciting style. Sadly for Hoshiba though it was a style that cost him in round 2 when he tried to finish off a hurt Mizokoshi and paid the price, being countered, hurt himself and then stopped as Mizokoshi pulled the win out of the bag.
Given their history together and the Youth title being on the line, this should be one to genuinely look forward to for fans in Kariya and hopefully, like their first bout, this will be made available on Boxing Raise.
For us the most interesting bout in Japan today is not the main event, between Masayuki Ito (26-2-1, 14) [伊藤 雅雪] and Hironori Mishiro (9-0-1, 3) [三代大訓], but instead the Japanese youth title bout between Jin Sasaki (9-0, 8) [佐々木尽] and Aso Ishiwaki (8-2-1, 6) [石脇麻生].
The two youngsters, who clash for the JBC Youth title at 140lb, are regarded as two of the brighter hopes on the Japanese scene at Light Welterweight and together they should make for a very, very special fighter.
For our readers in most parts of the world there are, sadly, no odds available here, but for fans in Poland there is an exception, as STS.pl are carrying odds for the contest. In fact they carrying not just the "To win" market, but also some other prop markets too.
The slight favourite going in is the unbeaten Sasaki, who is priced at 1.7, or 7/10 for our British readers, whilst Ishiwaki is priced at 2.0, or evens. They are about what we would expect for a bout we see as pretty much a 50/50 type bout.
Interestingly the method of victory market, or rather a variation of it, is available here. Strangely the favoured results are a stoppage for Ishiawaki and a decision for Sasaki, both priced at 3.0, or 2/1 for those who prefer fractional odds. A stoppage for Sasaki is 4.0, or 3/1, whilst a decision for Ishiwaki is 4.5, or 7/2.
Despite the odds on either man to score a stoppage, it is worth noting this is next expected to go the distance, in fact the total rounds market has been set at 6.5 rounds. The under is 1.6, or 3/5, and the over is 2.2, the same as 6/5 in fractional odds.
For those interested in the predictions put forward by users on Japanese website Boxmob, Sasaki got 61% of the vote whilst Ishiwaki got 39%.
Sasaki's vote was broken up into 56% of fans expecting him to win by stoppage and 5% expecting him to take the decision. For Ishiwaki 33% expected him to get a stoppage, whilst only 6% expected him to take the decision.
For fans wanting to watch this bout, it will be included on the A-Sign Boxing YouTube channel, who's show begins at 2PM local time
Related - Sasaki and Ishiwaki clash for Youth Honours in potential Christmas Cracker!
Tomorrow in Tokyo fans will be given a late Christmas treat as the hard hitting Jin Sasaki (9-0, 8) [佐々木尽] takes on the always fun to watch Aso Ishiwaki (8-2-1, 6) [石脇麻生] in a bout for the JBC Youth 140lb title.
The bout, arguably the most over-looked bout yet to come in 2020, is one that promises real fire works and excitement with styles that should provide something very special.
Today the two men took part in their weigh in and both men made the 140lb limit with no issues at all.
On the scales Ishiwaki was the heavier man, coming in bang on the 140lbs limit and he looked in great condition. He looked and like he had been training hard for the bout. Interestingly he admitted he lost more weight than he expected, and is in a good state. He also spoke about being excited.
Having been fans of Iwshiwaki for a while we can't help but feel like this is a long over due chance to shine for the youngster who really did impress in his performances last year. Sadly however this will be his first bout of 2020.
Sasaki on the other hand came in well under the limit, at around 139.6lbs and we dare say he looked just a touchy fleshy around the mid-section and like he was in less impressive physical condition than Ishiwaki. Despite that the 19 year old is riding high with confidence and has scored 3 successive opening round T/KO wins.
The confidence seemed to be oozing out of Sasaki who seemed to have his eye on another KO, and taking a huge step towards a Japanese title fight.
For fans wanting to watch this it will show from 14:00 local time, in Japan, on the A-Sign Boxing YouTube channel.
Related - Sasaki and Ishiwaki clash for Youth Honours in potential Christmas Cracker!
(Image credit - Yokohama Hikari Gym)
Earlier this month we saw a mouth watering bout between Taku Kuwahara (7-0, 4) [桑原拓] and Yoshiki Minato (9-3, 4) [湊義生] being delayed from a scheduled January date to March 11th. At the time of that announcement the bout was the only one scheduled for the Phoenix Battle 76, the Ohashi scheduled show.
Today we saw news break that that show has now had a second bout confirmed for it, and it's a really interesting one as we see the Japanese Bantamweight Youth Champion defending his title for the first time, and takes on a credible challenger.
The champion in question is Toshiya Ishii (3-1, 2) [石井渡士也], who will look to bounce back from his recent loss to Sho Ishida in a non title fight. His challenger will be 22 year old Osakan fighter Kaito Takeshima (6-3-1, 1) [竹嶋海刀].
For Ishii this will be his first defense following an excellent title win in 2019 against Haruki Ishikawa, which we've included below, as for Takeshima this is very much a step up in class for him, despite the fact he has more experience than the talented Ishii.
Interestingly we expect to see highlights of this bout shown on Fuji TV in March, continuing the relationship between the TV channel and the Ohashi Gym, which has really strengthened this year despite the fact Fuji haven't had a live boxing broadcast all year.
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!
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