Earlier today Shinsei Gym put on their latest show, at the Central Gym in Kobe. The card wasn't the biggest Japanese show of the day, but was still a very interesting one, with several note worthy bouts on it as Japanese fighters faced off with Filipino visitors.
The first of the notable bouts on the card saw Shunpei Odagiri (1-0, 1) [小田切駿平] score a 6th round TKO win over Filipino visitor Jonathan Almacen (7-6-3, 2), to kick off his career with a good win. The talented Odagiri, who went 28-9 (5) in the amateurs, found his range in the opening round, with good 1-2's, and as the rounds went on he progressively broke down his man, whilst showing good maturity and being cautious, despite being in control. Almacen did well in surviving, looking for opening, but in round 6 a nasty cut over Almacen's left eye forced the referee to stop the bout.
In the second bout of note Kazuki Anaguchi (3-0, 2) [穴口一輝] stepped up and showed what he could do with an impressive victory over Filipino visitor Ranelio Quizo (10-3, 3). The bout started quietly, but in round 2 Anaguchi began to take control, dropping Quizo and cutting his right eye. Quizo then never really managed to get back into the bout afterwards, despite showing his toughness. Round by round Anaguchi tagged Quizo, seeking a finish, but he couldn't find it, with Quizo seeing out the 8 rounds, but losing a very wide decision. After 8 rounds the cards were 80-71, 79-72 and 78-73, all to Anaguchi.
The chief support bout saw Takahiro Tai (4-1, 4) [田井宜広] get back to winning ways as he stopped Jun Blazo (16-7-3, 12) in 3 rounds.Blazo came out swinging, and looked like a man who had momentum and self belief following 8 straight wins. Sadly for him however he struggled to connect on Tai, who show some under-rated defense and composure to blunt Blazo's attacks. That was until Tai turned things around with a left hand to the body that sent Blazo down for the count, in agony.
To complete a Japanese sweep over Filipino foes former WBO Minimumweight world champion Ryuya Yamanaka (17-3, 5) [山中 竜也] took a wide decision over the dangerous, but now something of a faded, Jonathan Taconing (29-5-1, 22). From the opening round Yamanaka looked to use his speed and foot work to keep the dangerous Taconing at safe range, and being well aware of Taconings' power and heavy hands. Yamanaka managed to get his shots off well, but most notably he was countering well, drawing errors from Taconing and landing solid right hand counters, to go with his crisp jabs, and clean right hands to the body. Round by round Yamanaka picked up points, and did really well to neutralise the power and threat of Taconing. After 8 rounds Yamanaka swept the score cards with 80-72, to record a huge wiun, and potentially earn himself a world ranking.
Back in March we saw former WBO Minimumweight world champion Ryuya Yamanaka (16-3, 5) [山中 竜也] return to the ring after more than 3 years out, due to a brain bleed, and score a 5th round TKO win over Daisuke Sudo. The win was an impressive performance from the former champion, and it seemed likely he would slowly build on that win, with progressively tougher opponents.
Today we saw Yamanaka's next bout being announced, and instead of a slightly better domestic opponent in a 6 or 8 rounder, the 27 year old will instead be returning against a former multi-time world title challenger, in the form of Filipino banger Jonathan Taconing (29-4-1, 22), who is currently world ranked by the WBC, on August 14th in Kobe ins a scheduled 10 rounds.
At his best Yamanaka was a slippery boxer, with a high boxing IQ and smart skills, with under-rated power. He scores notable wins over Merlito Sabillo, to win the OPBF Minimumweight title, Tatsuya Fukuhara, to win the WBO world title, and Moises Calleros, to defend the WBO title, all in in the space of a year and a half, before his loss to Saludar in 2018. That loss looked likely to permanently end his career, though a change in Japanese rules, and an ambition to return lead to Yamanaka being back against Sudo in March.
As for Taconing, the heavy handed Filipino is a 3 time world title challenger, with his most recently world title shot coming in July 2019 when he lost to Kenshiro Teraji. The hard hitting Filipino is now 35, and has slowed down from his prime, which included wins over Ramon Garcia, Vergilio Silvano, Warlito Parrenas and a hugely controversial technical decision loss to Kompayak Porpramook. Despite that he will be the bigger, stronger and more powerful man against Yamanaka, in what could be a battle between skills and power.
The fight, which will will headline Real Spirits Vol 81, is one of a number of Japan Vs Philippines bouts on the card. Another will see the fun to watch Takahiro Tai (3-1, 3) [田井宜広] battle the hard hitting Jun Blazo (16-6-3, 12) in an 8 rounder that should provide some serious fireworks. One of the others will see 22 year old prospect Kazuki Anaguchi (2-0, 2) [穴口一輝] take a huge step up in class to face Ranelio Quizo (10-2, 3), also in an 8 rounder. Another will be a 6 rounder between the debuting Shunpei Odagiri (0-0) [小田切駿平] and Jonathan Almacen (7-5-3, 2), with Odagiri looking to build on a 28-9 amateur record here.
Jun Blazo wins WBC Abco title!
In a WBC Asian Boxing Council Silver Bantamweight title fight fans in the Philippines saw the heavy handed Jun Blazo (12-6-3, 8) battle against experienced southpaw Benezer Alolod (19-12-5, 7).
The fight started relatively slowly, with Blazo pressing the fight but failing to land with much success in the first 2 rounds. That changed however in round 3, when he his power clearly hurt Alolod early in the round. Alolod would see out the storm, despite taking some heavy leather on the ropes, and manage to fight back in the middle portion of the round. Sadly as Alolod fought back the two men clashed heads, with Blazo suffering a cut. It wasn't a bad cut, or an intentionally inflicted one, but it did halt the action which had been warming up nicely. Although not intentional Alolod was deducted a point under the WBC's accidental foul rule.
With Alolod in a hole after 3 rounds he knew he had to change things and he upped the pace in round 4, to begin swinging momentum in his favour, before upping it again in round 5, arguably taking the round on work rate even if Blazo was continuing to land the better shots. Alolod had put a lot into his attempted fight back, but in round 6 he was again forced to take heavy shots.
In round 7 Blazo really hurt his man again, and went for the kill in in his own corner, unloading with a huge flurry. Alolod did well to survive the storm, but it was a huge round for Blazo who could clearly see Alolod fading.
After 8 rounds the scores were announced and Blazo, unsurprisingly, was in a clear lead on all 3 cards. He then changed his style somewhat, boxing on the back foot and using his jab and footwork, trying to lure Alolod into mistakes. Alolod managed to have some moments in round 9, when he managed to get inside but was struggling to get consistent success.
With time running out the bout became messy in the final round, with Alolod looking to try and turn things around. By then however it was far too little far too late, with Blazo clearing taking the decision after 10 rounds.
Back in January Japanese fighter Daisuke Sugita (1-0) [杉田ダイスケ] took part in his professional test bout, shining as he "faced" Hayato Kimura in a rare public pro-test. The "bout" saw Sugita do enough to gain a B class license and raise interest of domestic fans who may have been aware of his 110-31 (47) amateur record.
Today sugita took part in his first professional bout, and looked a class act as he out pointed the always dangerous Jun Blazo (7-7-3, 6).
Sugita, a police officer away from the ring, looked solid from the opening round and showed no fear of Blazo and his big punching reputation. Instead it was Sugita who looked the stronger fighter and even pushed Blazo down, as if to send a sign to the Filipino's desire and confidence never waned as he looked to land his powerful left hook, but Sugita's smart movement and counter shots proved to be too good for the visitor.
Although Blazo did have some moments they were few and far between, with Sugita securing a 6 round shut out. The win was a very impressive debut for the Japanese fighter who seemed to hint that he was now interested in furthering his dream as a professional boxer, and even go on to win some form of title down the line.
For Blazo the loss sees him fall to 0-5 in Japan, though those losses have come to very good fighters, in the form of Koki Eto, Daisuke Watanabe, Hayate Kaji, Ryuto Owan and, now, Sugita. His performances in all 5 losses hav been very credible and we'd expect to see him back in the country down the line to test other local prospects.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
Earlier today fight fans in Okinawa saw WBC Flyweight champion Daigo Higa (15-0, 15) [比嘉 大吾] record his second defense of the world title as he stopped Mexican challenger Moises Fuentes (25-5-1, 14) inside a round. The card did also feature a number of other Okinawan prospects, several of which are tipped for big things in the near future.
One of those rpsoects was Tatsuro Nakashima (7-0-1, 5) [仲島辰郎], wh retained his unbeaten record by blowing away Kittikon Oangkuradet (0-2) in the second round of their scheduled 6 rounder. The bout was a mismatch with Nakashima forcing the referee in after just over a minute of round 2.
Another prospect was the exceptionally talented Ryuto Owan (4-0, 2) [大湾硫斗], who stepped up massively and out pointed heavy handed Filipino puncher Jun Blazo (7-5-3, 6), with scores of 59-55 from all 3 judges. Owan managed to win by using his skills, though did admit he entered the bout with a fever and wasn't happy with his over-all performance. Given it was just his 4th professional boyut this was an impressive win and shows just how talented he is.
The other was Shawn Oda (7-0, 7), the 2016 Lightweight Rookie of the Year, who disposed of Filipino Warren Mambuanag (11-9-2, 3) inside a round. The heavy handed Oda broke down the Filipino with brutal body shots and the visitor was in agony on the canvas well after the 10 count.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
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