Earlier today at Korakuen Hall fight fans were given an interesting card, with a very notable under-card, featuring a former world title challenger and two talented youngsters expected to make a lot of noise in 2020.
One of the youngsters was Japanese ranked Flyweight Taku Kuwahara (7-0, 4) [桑原拓], who impressed once again. The unbeaten fighter, dubbed "Ioka II" in some circles of the Japanese press, did everything but stop Filipino visitor Ricardo Sueno (10-4-4, 3), in a very 1 sided contest.
From the opening bell Kuwahara was too sharp, too crisp and too skilled for the visitor, who struggled to ever get going. Kuwahara fought like a man who wanted a KO win, and wanted to earn it with his boxing, however Sueno's toughness kept him fighting back, even after being dropped. This wasn't competitive, and was a 1-sided beating, but credit to Sueno for lasting the 8 rounds en route to a very clear loss.
Another bout on the card saw former world title challenger Ryo Matsumoto (23-3, 21) [松本亮] get the stoppage against the game, but out matched, Jinya Ito (8-6-1, 3) [伊藤 仁也]. This was a a lot more entertaining than the records would suggest and Ito came for the upset, fighting tooth and nail with Matsumoto at times. Sadly for Ito he was unable to hurt Matsumoto who's power, and crisper punching proved to be the difference, and in round 4 the referee saved a bloodied and shaken Ito from further punishment.
In a much less competitive bout, the well touted Katsuya Yasuda (6-0, 4) [保田 克也] battered Indonesian visitor Rengga Rengga (8-5, 2) in 2 rounds. This was a mismatch from the moment it was signed and Rengga was downed twice as the local picked up his latest win.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
In 2013 Sho Nakazawa (12-4, 6) [中澤奨] made his professional debut, and the expectation was that he would go a long way. He had been a successful amateur, he was well schooled and looked like he had talent to go well beyond domestic title level. Sadly however he has failed to make the most of the talent he had, and now his career looks like it's close to over.
The touted Nakazawa had stumbled from 8-0 to 12-3 in the last 3 years. The hopes of his career was hanging on by a thread. Today that thread got snipped, big time.
Nakazawa was up against the unheralded Jinya Ito (8-5-1, 3) [伊藤仁也] in what looked like a straight forward, confidence boosting bout for Nakazawa. Instead however he was blitzed by Ito.
Ito looked to fight behind his jab from the opening seconds. Ito would be caught by a solid left hook from Nakazawa but fired back, landing a right hand that dropped Nakazawa. Nakazawa would beat the count but would be unable to defend himself and was dropped for a second time. Again he would rise to feet but was saved by the referee soon afterwards.
This is the third time Nakazawa has been stopped and it really is hard to see him bouncing back from this defeat. As for Ito it seems a permanent move up to Featherweight, following some faltering form at Super Bantamweight, could be something that saves his career, and this win is massive for him, giving him a huge shot in the arm after back to back losses.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
Earlier today at the EDION Arena Osaka fans saw former Japanese title challenger Ryo Kosaka (17-4-1, 8) [小坂遼] record a decision win over domestic foe Jinya Ito (7-5-1, 2).
Kosaka, who is ranked by the JBC and OPBF, started the year in terrible fashion, being blasted out inside a round by the then Japanese Super Bantamweight champion Yusaku Kuga in 133 seconds. That bout was way back in March and he remained out of the ring until today. With around 9 months out of the ring, and just 2 rounds in almost 18 months, he didn't look as sharp as he had done in the past and it was clear there was ring rust on him during the performance.
Ito, who was last seen being stopped inside a round by Takuya Mizuno in July, started well, taking advantages of Kosaka's rustiness and and took the fight to his more accomplished foe to begin with. As the fight went on however Ito began to slow and Kosaka found his timing, range and smoothness, landing some very solid body shots whilst starting to press the action.
Ito knew his good start wasn't enough as the two men went into the 8th round, and Ito picked up the tempo, looking to drop his foe, and turn the bout around. It was however too little too late, with Kosaka taking the unanimous decision, with scores of 78-75 from all 3 judges
Given the early rust it's clear that Kosaka needs to be busier in 2019. For Ito this was a second straight loss, and a 5th loss in 8 which is worrying for his career, though at 23 years old he does have time to rebuild. This performance was promising for Ito, but there is a lot of work to do if he's ever going to make an actual mark on the domestic scene.
It's fair to say tomorrow will be a hectic day for Japanese fight fans with 5 different, yet notable, cards taking place across the country. One of those takes place in Kariya where Japanese Youth Super Bantamweight champion Takuya Mizuno (14-1-1, 12) [水野拓哉] will defend his title against Jinya Ito (7-3-1, 2) [伊藤仁也].
Today the two fighters took part in their weigh in for that bout and both fighters made weight.
The defending champion, hunting his third defense of the title, 121.75lbs, the same as he was in his title winning performance against Ryota Ishida last August and his second defense, a stoppage win against Daiki Maniwa this past March. He looked strong at the weight and in good shape, but was the naturally small looking fighter.
Ito also came in at 121.75lbs though looked bigger, having several inches of height over the champion. Despite looking bigger it does need noting that Ito has fought as low as Super Flyweight, weighing in at 114.25lbs back in July 2015, though has settled as a Bantamweight or Super Bantamweight in recent years as his body has filled out it's frame.
At the weigh in today both men seemed very confident and it sounded like both men promises to stop the other, which should lead to an exciting fighter, even if that does favour Mizuno.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Earlier today Japanese Youth Super Bantamweight champion Takuya Mizuno (14-1-1, 12) [水野拓哉] revealed that he would be making his third defense of the title on July 29th, at "Super Fight 57". In the opposite corner to the champion will be Jinya Ito (7-3-1, 2) [伊藤仁也], in his first title fight of any kind. Interesting this bout will not just be for a youth title, but also for local bragging rights as both men are from Aichi, with Mizuno from Nagaoya and Ito from Gamagori.
The champion won the title last year, when he over-came Ryota Ishida to become the inaugural champion. Since then he has defended the belt against Yuki Iriguchi and Daiki Maniwa. He looked destructive early in his career but the wins over Ishida and Iriguchi were both split decisions and he certainly hasn't looked explosive as he did earlier in his career, but is still a heavy handed youngster and not many will slug it out with the 22 year old.
Ito on the other hand debuted in 2015 and has struggled to score a win of any note, drawing in his third professional bout and having a 3 fight losing run in 2016/2017. That losing run ended last year and he's now riding a 3 fight winning run, but this is a big step up in class for Ito and hee will clearly be the under-dog for this contest, though an under-dog who will know that a win would help give his career a shot in the arm.
It's worth noting that this card will also feature the debut of Konshin Takeshima (0-0) [竹嶋宏心], who will take on an Indonesian foe. The novice is expected to carve out an excellent career in the years to come and is worth following as he kicks off a very promising professional career.
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