Earlier today at Korakuen Hall, and live on Boxing Raise, we saw a new Japanese Youth Lightweight champion being crowned as the unbeaten Kaiki Yuba (7-0-2, 5) [湯場海樹] stopped Kanta Takenaka (7-5-1, 2) [竹中関汰] for the previously vacant title.
The fight began quite slowly, with both men looking to measure their range. The southpaw Vs orthodox dynamic saw both men essentially ignore their jabs and instead look to line up their straights. This saw Yuba end the opening round in control of center ring. The second round saw Yuba build on his success, and land a number of booming right hands, really giving Takenaka a chin checking.
It seemed like the power of Yuba would eventually be the difference however Takenaka looked to change gameplans, and began to vary his work more, mixing up his shots as he tried to change the pattern of the fight in round 3.
The changes Takenaka began to make left him more open to shots being fired back, and in round the power of Yuba began to take it's toll, dropping Takenaka early in the round. Takenaka tried to make up for the knockdown but was again open to big shots, and was rocked to his core soon afterwards. With Yuba knowing his man was hurt he unloaded and scored a second knockdown. This time the referee had seen enough and waved the bout off with Takenaka on the canvas.
Yuba, who's father Tadashi was a 5 weight Japanese champion, claims his first title with this win, which was scored 1:51 into round 4. As for Takenaka this was the third time he's been stopped in 13 professional bouts.
Tomorrow at Korakuen Hall we get a stacked card with a lot of action. One of the interesting under-card bouts will be a Japanese Youth Lightweight title fight as the unbeaten, second generation, Kaiki Yuba (6-0-2, 4) [湯場海樹] takes on the unheralded Kanta Takenaka (7-4-1, 2) [竹中関汰] for the vacant title.
Today the two fighters took part in their weigh in and both men came in with room to spare.
On the scales Yuba, the slightly taller fighter, was around 134.5lbs whilst Takenaka was 134.75lbs.
At the weigh in both men spoke to the media, with Yuba explaining that he had honed his tactics to deal with Takenaka's style and that he would remain calm and use his boxing brain. Takenaka on the other hand spoke about desire to win a title, and make fans aware of his name.
For fans who aren't able to get over to Japan and attend the event, which is an excellent one on paper, the full show is set to be streamed for subscribers of the Boxing Raise service.
Related - Yuba and Takenaka clash for Japanese youth title!
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Despite the fact we've still got more than 3 weeks of the year left we're already seeing more and more bouts being put on the schedule for 2020. The latest of those to be confirmed is a Japanese Youth Lightweight title bout, set to take place on January 28th at Korakuen Hall.
Overall the details of the show are scarce, though what we do know is that second generation fighter Kaiki Yuba (6-0-2, 4) [湯場海樹] will be facing off with Kanta Takenaka (7-4-1, 2) [竹中関汰] for the belt.
This bout shouldn't come as much of a shock given that Yuba's win in October against Mikado Konishi had essentially set the bout up, with that Yuba bout acting as an eliminator of sorts to face Takenaka for the vacant title.
Yuba is a highly touted member of the Watanabe Gym and despite having his record marred by two draws both were technical draws and he has, generally, been very impressive since his debut in 2017. On the other hand Takenaka has had an up and down career, but has managed to win 4 of his last 5 after a 3-3-1 start to his career, including a very notable win over a then debuting Aso Ishiwaki in 2017.
We expect full details of the card this is on to be revealed in the next week or two, with at least 1 other notable bout being put along side this one, which we expect to be the event's chief support bout.
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