Earlier today fight fans at the Korakuen Hall got the chance to see a number of B Class tournament final bouts.
The most interesting of those was the Bantamweight bout, which pitted unbeaten novices against each other, with Seiya Tsutsumi (3-0, 3) [堤聖也] battling against Junpei Inamoto (2-1, 1) [稲元 純平]. On paper the bout may not have seemed like much to those who don't follow the Japanese scene but both of these men were amateur standouts, tipped for big things and both had look fantastic in their each professional bouts.
Whilst we expected something special when Tsutsumi and Inamoto got in the ring together we didn't expect anything half as thrilling as what we got. From the opening seconds both men looked like they had a point to prove. Both circled at mid range, looking for opening before Tsutsumi began to the distance and land some thunderous hooks and powerful jabs. Inamoto looked to return fire and it wasn't long until the two men began to trade. Inamoto often looked like the one who wanted to back off, but kept getting dragged back in as the two found themselves up close and unloading on a regular basis.
In round 2 Inamoto was caught by a brutal right hand that sent him down. He got back to his feet, impressively, but began to fight more cautiously when he got back to his feet. He began to wrestling and attempted to clear his head for the remainder of the round. Tsutsumi however wasn't there to wrestler and he seemed to hurt Inamoto later in the round before Inamoto began to trade with him, seemingly realising that backing off was a terrible idea.
Inamoto did brilliantly to recover from the knockdown and fight back but was looking like a fighter who was fighting out of desperation as we finished the round and was badly swollen under the left eye. Tsutsumi on the other hand looked like a fighter who was enjoying himself in the ring, and went out for round 3 with a seek and destroy mindset. With destruction on his mind Tsutsumi managed to have some short aggressive bursts, which resulted in a cut around Inamoto's left eye. It was a bad one and as soon as the referee spotted it he took him to the referee who stopped the bout.
Given the performance Tsutsumi looks like he's on course to be a star. He's exciting, aggressive, and looks to be the sort of fighter than every fan can get behind. Inamoto looked like he simply came up against some one too. He's a talent himself, but he looked a level below Tsutsumi who looks like he's going to be a major star for the Watanabe over the coming years.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Earlier today Japanese fight fans at the Korakuen Hall, and subscribers to the excellent Boxingraise subscription service, had the chance to watch a trio of B class tournaments, all of which were excellent bouts and incredibly competitive bouts.
The first of the three tournament bouts was at Flyweight, as Yasuhiro Tanaka (5-3-2) [田中 康寛] out pointed Satoshi Tanaka (4-5, 1) [田中公士]. The bout was hotly contested, but Yasuhiro Tanaka was just that touch better than his namesake, and got the well deserved win, though did have to work incredibly hard for it. Notably this was Yasuhiro Tanaka's first bout since September 2015, when he was beaten by Tatsuji Kakumoto. With this win Yasuhiro Tanaka has sealed a place in the tournament final against former amateur stand out Rikito Shiba (1-0) [芝力人], in what should be an amazing bout.
The second of the 5 round tournament bouts saw Featherweights trade blows, with 22 year old Kanehiro Nakagawa (5-5, 3) [中川兼玄] claiming a split decision over Tasuku Nakagawa (7-4-1, 3) [中川祐]. This was more hotly contested than the Flyweight bout, and there was very little to seperate the two men who seemed to have been amazingly well matched and we'd love to see these two go at it again, especially given the exciting way the contest finished with the two men trading hard blows. Sadly for Kanehiro Nakagawa he's now got a very tough final against Ren Sasaki (7-0, 5) [佐々木蓮].
On paper it was the third bout that really had us excited as touted teenager Junpei Inamoto (2-0, 1) [稲元 純平] battled against the under-rated Taiga Higashi (5-3, 2) [東大河], and Inamoto was given a real scare when a solid right hook from Higashi landed clean and dropped Inamoto in round 2. The knockdown left Inamoto in trouble through out the round, but he would regroup and use his skills to take the win, and learn some valuable lessons along the way. Whilst this was an excellent win for Inamoto, it does lead him to another tricky fight, as he takes on Seiya Tsutsumi (1-0, 1) [堤聖也] in his final, in what is a truly mouth watering novice match up.
For those wonfering, all the final bouts will take place on September 4th and will, like today's show, be promoted by the Dangan team.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
We all know it can be easy to get over-excited about a young novice in their boxing infancy but was have rarely been truly blown away by a debutant. One of the very few who did make us instantly sit up and take note was youngster Junpei Inamoto (1-0, 1) [稲元 純平], who looked like in the making in his debut last December.
Although Inamoto was matched against a very weak Thai foe there was still something about the performance from the Japanese teenager that made us sit up and take note. It wasn't so much that he did what was expected of him, but more how he did it, and how he looked doing it.
Since his debut we have been waiting on news of his future and now we know that he will be back in action on June 7th when he takes on fellow youngster Taiga Higashi (5-2, 2) [東大河] in a B class tournament bout at the Korakuen Hall, in what is a consierable test for Inamoto.
The 22 year old Higashi has only lost competitive decisions to Matcha Nakagawa, who would go on to win the 2015 Rookie of the Year 1t Bantamweight, and Kazuki Nakajima, a touted former amateur standout who is currently fighting for the Ohashi gym. Knowing that it's clear he should give Inamoto a serious test, and a win for the younger man really would be a huge one in just his second bout.
Interesting the winner of the Inamoto Vs Higashi bout will then be matched with Seiya Tsutsumi (1-0, 1) [堤聖也] in the B class tournament final, leaving us with another excellent match up, regardless of whether Inamoto or Huigashi come out on top in June.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Earlier today Japanese fight fans got a short cameo from the debuting 19 year old of Junpei Inamoto (1-0, 1) [稲元 純平], who looked like an instant "one to watch" and a real star of the future.
The Kumagaya Kosaka Boxing Gym fighter, who first made his make in the U15 tournaments a few years ago, was up against a Thai foe at the Korakuen Hall and wasted no time in introducing the fans to what he has to offer.
From his announcement in the ring Inamoto showed a brash and confident swagger, it wasn't like a teenager making his debut, but like a young star telling the audience that they were about to see something worth watching. Within seconds Inamoto was puting pressure on the Thai and landed a solid jab. From then on it was all intelligent, exciting and aggressive pressure from the younster, which quickly dropped the Thai with a rigth hand.
The visitor got back up, and didn't look hurt, but Inamoto kept on the pressure and scored a second knockdown soon afterwards. This time the Thai failed to beat the count.
Whilst the opponent was really poor there looked to be something really exciting about the teenager who had that swagger of of a top prospect, the accuracy of someone a bit special, the combinations of a pure talent and the aura of a future champion.
Although likely some years from a major bout we suggest everyone keep an eye out for this youngster who will almost certainly make a mark on the sport in the coming years.
(Image courtesy of boxmob)
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