Earlier today at the EDION Arena Osaka we got the latest show from Green Tsuda and surprisingly it was a card packed with upsets and surprises. In fact the 3 main bouts all went against the favourites, giving the show a genuine surprise feel.
The show kicked off with a opening round TKO win by Ryuichi Kitazono (1-0, 1) [北園 龍一] who stopped the limited Hummer Taku (1-3, 1) [ハンマータク] with 2:36 of round 1 gone. Kitazono dropped Taku with a 1-2 and although Taku got to his feet the bout was stopped.
The second bout on the show as also a short one, as Sho Hatsuda (3-1, 1) [初田 翔] scored a 2nd round TKO win over Ryusuke Harada (1-2-1) [原田 竜輔]. This started calmly but quickly caught fire and the two men were trading solid shots in round 2, before an uppercut from Hatsuda shook Harada, and a stoppage came soon afterwards. This was a good bounce back for Hatsuda who hadn't been seen in the rung since a November 2019 loss to Takumi Chono.
Another 2nd round TKO saw the brilliantly talented and fast rising Jinki Maeda (6-0, 4) [前田 稔輝] continue to impress, as he took out Kaito Okubo (5-2, 2) [大久保 海都]. This was really competitive in the opening round, but a straight left hand from Maeda in round 2 landed perfectly, dropping Okubo who's corner had seen enough. This was a second solid win for Maeda since winning the 2019 All Japan Rookie of the Year and we expect to see big things from him next year.
The first of the upsets saw Katsunari Takayama (32-8-0-1, 12) [高山 勝成] return to the ring after more than 4 years away and defeat 2-time world title challenger Reiya Konishi (17-3, 7) [小西伶弥]. Takayama started brightly, and fulkl of energy, despite his 37 year old legs. He boxed well at range, looked sharp through out the opening round, and looked quick, using his legs brilliantly. In round 4 he began to slow his footwork and increase his output, which should have suited Konishi, but still it was Takayama out working the younger man, winning round after round.
After 6 rounds Takayama had impressed all 3 judges, winning with scores of 60-54, 60-55 and 59-55, to take the decision and move towards another potential world title fight. After the bout he spoke to fans and stated "I enjoyed the fight. I want to show a better move in the next one. First of all, my goal was to enter the world ranking, so I want to aim for even higher next year." [Translated]
The second upset saw former Japanese Super Flyweight champion Takayuki Okumoto (23-10-4, 11) [奥本貴之] come up short against big under-dog Akio Furutani (9-4, 3) [古谷昭男]. The inform Furutani looked to take the fight to Okumoto, getting on the front foot and causing Okumoto problems almost from the off. Okumoto, to his credit, tried to fight back and had success in rounds 2 and 3, but Furutani wasn't to be denied and he began to move through the gears, despite suffering a cut from a clash of heads. In the later rounds Furutani again showed his aggression, and it forced Okumoto into a fire fight in the final rounds, by then however it was too little too late for Okumoto.
After 8 rounds the judges turned in scores of 76-76, even, and 77-75, twice, to give Furutani the upset decision win. It's worth noting he was a 9/2 under-dog yesterday with some betting companies in Europe!
The main was also a major upset, in fact this was the biggest upset of the day, by far.
This one saw "Naniwa Terminator" Ryota Yada (20-7, 17) [矢田良太] lose a shock decision to veteran Yuichi Ideta (14-15-1, 7) [出田裕一]. In fact this should go down as one of the biggest upsets of the year, though we didn't see odds of it.
Coming in this was expected to be a blow out for Yada, a former Japanese national champion, after all the 36 year old Ideta hadn't scored a win since February 2011. Instead of rolling over and suffering another loss Ideta fought like a man with a point to prove, with the two men trading straight shots in the first round. A big right hand from Yada connected in round 2 but Ideta took it well and began to try and break Yada mentally, something he continued to try in round 3, as he slowly crushed the distance and landed some solid right hands of his own, despite suffering a cut from a clash of heads.
In round 4 Yada landed another big right, but he failed to dissuade Ideta who was coming forward with a persistent mindset and forcing his fight. He backed up Yada, got him on the ropes and out worked him, something he did again in round 8.
After 8 rounds the scores came in, once again we had a 76-76 card, but that was over-ruled by scores of 77-75 and 78-74 to Ideta who scored one of the biggest show wins of 2020 in one of the final shows of the year.
This past Monday we saw a scheduled Light Flyweight bout between Katsunari Takayama (31-8-0-1, 12) [高山 勝成] and Reiya Konishi (17-2, 7) [小西伶弥] cancelled at the 11th hour after Konishi had a positive result from a PCR test, suggesting he had Covid19. Over the days that followed Konishi had a number of other tests, all come back negative, suggesting that his original test was a false positive.
Following the negative tests Konishi stated that he wanted to get the bout with Takayama re-organsied for as soon as possible, something Takayama also seemed very open to. What we didn't expect was for the bout to be given a new date just days after the cancellation. However that's exactly what has happened today with a new date being announced just moments ago.
The bout, which was originally scheduled for November 23nd, will now take place on December 27th at the Green Tsuda promoted "CRASH BOXING vol.21 in Hirakata" event.
Following the new date being confirmed Takayama has thanked people for their support and admitted that he was grateful to fight this year, rather than needing to waiting any longer to return to the ring. His trainer, Hiroake Nakade, has also given quotes to the media explaining that for the next month he Takayama will continue to train and will enter the ring in perfect condition.
Even before this bout was added the card the show was already looking like a good one with several notable names on the show. They included "Naniwa Terminator" Ryota Yada (20-6, 17) [矢田良太], who will be in the main event against Yuichi Ideta (13-15-1, 7) [出田裕一], former Japanese champion Takayuki Okumoto (23-9-4, 11) [奥本貴之], Japanese Youth Super Bantamweight champion Toshiki Shimomachi (12-1-2, 8) [下町俊貴] and the highly regarded Jinki Maeda (5-0, 3) [前田稔輝]. With Takayama and Konishi the show now has added star power.
On paper a bout between Takayama, a multi-time world champion, and Konishi, a 2-time world title challenger, should provide a lot of fire works, and is up there for the bouts we are most excited about for what's left of the year. It might not have a title on the line but the styles of the two should give us a sensational barn burner.
Earlier today the Green Tsuda Gym announced their next card under the "Crash Boxing Banner" and it's set to be an interesting one on December 27th from the Hirakata City Gymnasium in Osaka, with 7 bouts announced for it. Notably several of the fighters set for the card had originally been pencilled in to fight on November 3rd, before that show was cancelled due to Hiroto Kyoguchi (14-0, 9) [京口 紘人] testing positive for Covid19.
Not only have all 7 bouts been announced but also a serious step up in how the show will be ran in regards to making the event more covid safe than any other in Japan.
The first will all be given PCR tests 4 weeks before the fight, and 10 days before the fight, as well following the usual rules of a PCR test on the day of the weigh in. The venue, which can be set up to take 3,5000 people in a normal event, is expected to have between 1,300 and 1,500 fans in attendance along with 30 guards and 10 medical staff.
The day before PCR tests will be carried out at a local hospital, with space being rented for the testing and weighing, and fighters will then be bussed to a hotel, with cafeteria's only available to those involved in bouts. A bus will also be prepared to take fighters from the hotel to the venue, with Masaya Motoishi, the promoter, clearly wanting to lead the way in how to have more covid safe events.
As for the bouts, the main event will see "Naniwa Terminator" Ryota Yada (20-6, 17) [矢田良太] battle against Yuichi Ideta (13-15-1, 7) [出田裕一] in an 8 round Welterweight bout, with the plan being for Yada to essentially tune up ahead of an OPBF title fight next year. On paper this really should be little more than a stay busy bout for the hard hitting Yada.
In the co-feature former Japanese Super Flyweight champion Takayuki Okumoto (23-9-4, 11) [奥本貴之] will take on Akio Furutani (8-4, 3) [古谷昭男], in an 8 round bout fought at a contracted 53KG's, which is around 116.9lbs. For Okumoto this will be his first bout since losing the Japanese title in December 2019 whilst Furutani will be looking to build on an October 2019 upset win over Keisuke Nakayama.
The only title bout on the show will see Japanese Youth Super Bantamweight champion Toshiki Shimomachi (12-1-2, 8) [下町俊貴] seek his second defense as he takes on Satoru Hoshiba (7-4, 2) [干場 悟]. The 24 year old Shimomachi will, if he wins, need to vacate the title due to his age, though given his recent performance we're really excited to see him moving into the main Japanese title mix. As for Hoshiba he'll be coming into this bon the back of successive victory and will be a live under-dog, albeit a very clear under-dog.
Staying with youngsters we'll also see the brilliant Jinki Maeda (5-0, 3) [前田稔輝] face off with Kaito Okubo (5-1, 2) [大久保海都], in a bout that has been rescheduled from November 3rd. Although relatively deep down the card this could end up being the show stealer. We've been really impressed by Maeda, who won Rookie of the Year in 2019, but Okubo is no push over and should pose a genuine test for Maeda.
The other 3 bouts on the card are all 4 rounders including the debut of Ryuicho Kitazono (0-0) [北園 龍一] and a bout featuring unbeaten 35 year old female fighter Rin Murai (1-0-2) [村井 理].
Earlier today it was announced that 2019 All Japan Rookie of the Year winner Jinki Maeda (5-0, 3) [前田稔輝] has been added to the November 3rd card in Osaka, headlined by Hiroto Kyoguchi (14-0, 9) [京口 紘人].
The promising Maeda hasn't just been added to the card but will be in the show's chief support bout, where he will take on Kaito Okubo (5-1, 2) [大久保 海都] in a 6 round Featherweight bout.
The 23 year old Maeda is regarded by many who follow the Japanese scene as one of the most promising Featherweights in the country. He made his debut in April 2019 and just 8 months later won the All Japan Rookie of the Year, beating Kyonosuke Kameda in the final. He has fought once since then, and looked sensational in stopping Arashi Iimi in August.
Although less well known Kubo is a 22 year old prospect who debuted in 2018 and won his first 3 bouts. He did lost in July 2019 but since then has bounced back and won his last 2 bouts, both by stoppage.
The bout will be one of a 3-fight under-card for the show which will be headlined by Kyoguchi defending his Ring magazine and WBA Light Flyweight "Super" titles against unbeaten Thai challenger Thanongsak Simsri (14-0, 12).
Another of the under-card bouts will see Sonin Nihei (9-5-2, 1) [仁平宗忍] battle against Shunji Nagata (12-18-2, 4) [長田 瞬志] in a 6 rounder Super Flyweight bout.
At the time of writing the remaining under-card bout hasn't been confirmed.
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.
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