Earlier today at the Saitama Super Arena fans had the chance to see a couple of touted Japanese prospects in action, as part of the supporting card for the WBSS Bantamweight final.
The first of those prospects was Katsuya Fukui (2-0, 2) [福井勝也], who scored his second early win as he defeated Chakkit Ratchakhot (2-4, 2) in 2 rounds. The talented Fukui, who went 59-16 in the unpaid ranks, became the 4th man to stop the Thai, as he continued to put together the building blocks for his promising career.
The Thai was dropped twice during the bout, and was totally out of his depth here as Fukui showcased what he could do. Hopefully next time out Fukui will go up against someone a little bit more testing than another limited Thai import.
The other other prospect in action was the very highly regarded Shokichi Iwata (4-0, 3) [岩田翔吉], who stopped Mexican fighter Alejandro Cruz Valladares (5-2), in the 5th round. Valladares gave a good effort early on but rounds 4 and 5 saw Iwata stepping on the gas and forcing the referee in to save Valladares.
As an amateur was a bit of a star and holds amateur wins over both Takuma Inoue and Kosei Tanaka, so he is certainly one to keep an eye on and he looked very talented here, even if there are still areas for the JBC #15 ranked Light Flyweight to work on.
We've known for a while now that the WBSS Bantamweight final will take place on November 7th, with the highly anticipated clash between Naoya Inoue (18-0, 16) [井上 尚弥] and Nonito Donaire (40-5, 26) headlining the show.
Whilst we've long known about the main event and one of the support bouts, the WBC Bantamweight title bout between Takuma Inoue (13-0, 3) [井上 拓真] and current WBC Bantamweight champion Nordine Oubaali (16-0, 12), there was no other details of the match ups on the card. That was until today.
We now know that the under-card will feature two talented Teiken prospects.
One of those is 23 year old Bantamweight hopeful Katsuya Fukui (1-0, 1) [福井勝也], who will be in a 6 round contest against Chakkit Ratchakhot (2-3, 2), who has scored a couple of wins after beginning his career with 3 straight stoppage losses.
Although not a big name Fukui was a talented amateur, and went 59-16 in the unpaid ranks, and looked good on debut, back in September. His bout is unlikely to be televised but he is certainly one to make a mental note of.
The other Teiken fighter on this card is Shokichi Iwata (3-0, 2) [岩田翔吉], who will take on Mexico fighter Alejandro Cruz Valladares (5-1), in a 6 round Light Flyweight bout.
Iwata is tipped as a future star for Japan, he made his professional debut in the US last year and this will be his third bout this year. On the other hand Valladares will be fighting in his second bout of the year, as he looks to build on a July win over Carlos Brian Vado. Again this is unlikely to be aired on the live broadcast but Iwata is very highly regarded and is certainly deserving of some real attention going forward.
After months of having Dynamic Glove shows on tape delay today we got a live one and it was packed with hopefuls looking to make the most of being on a card featuring Jorge Linares' Japanese return.
The show began with the debuting Katsuya Fukui (1-, 1) [福井勝也] shining as he dismantled Korean visitor Sang Hoon Kim (4-2-2, 3) in 2 rounds. Fukui looked genuinely class against his Korean foe, and his amateur background was on show through out as he applied smart pressure, landed accurate clean shots with both hands and eventually wore down Kim. Kim was dropped from a body shot and was counted out whilst rising to his feet, with no complaints at all.
We've question Teiken and their lack of prospects in the past, but over the last 12 months or so they have snapped up bright hopefuls and Fukui should be regarded up there with Mikito Nakano, Lee Kuntae and Shokichi Iwata as a vert special young hopeful.
The second bout again saw Japan get a win over Korea as the hard hitting Kenta Endo (5-0-1, 4) [遠藤健太] showed off his destructive power with an opening round KO win over Gi Won Shin (3-3-3). Shin was in trouble from a combination and Endo kept the pressure on before closing the show with a brutal 1-2 that left Shin on his back and his team rushing around him. At 35 years old Endo's potential is limited by time, but he is certainly someone worth watching and could us give some very exciting fight in the future.
The third bout on the card as another early finish as 2018 Rookie of the Year runner up Hikari Mineta (7-1, 4) [峯田光] made light work of the hard hitting but chinny Yuji Oba (6-5, 4) [大場 雄二]. The fight had been relatively competitive through the first round, until Mineta landed a dynamite right hand that sent Oba down, flat on his back, for the 10 count.
A second all Japanese bout saw Ryota Toyoshima (12-2-1, 8) [豊嶋亮太] take on Masafumi Ando (6-9-2, 3) [安藤暢文]. On paper this had the markings of a mismatch though in reality it was always going to be much more competitive than it looked. The 23 year old Toyoshima was the clear favourite but Ando was coming in to this on the back of a huge win in May against former Japanese champion Toshio Arikawa and his confidence showed as tried to lure Toyoshima in to traps.
Toyoshima was the aggressor but Ando often responded, looking to land big single counters. Towards the end of round 4 however Toyoshima had began to figure out Ando and in round 5 he came close to stopping Ando, who's face had began to mark up.
Although Ando got through round 6 with no issues Toyoshima turned it on again in round 7. This time the aggression of Toyoshima had success and dropped Ando, twice, who fought much of the round in survival mode. Toyoshima had really tuned in his body attack in the round, switching from the headwork earlier on, and it paid off big time. Surprisingly however Ando's toughness kept him fighting on and how some how made it through a torrid 8th round as he lost a wide decision. The all favoured Toyoshima, with scores of 80-70, twice, and 80-69. Ando's toughness proved to be a test but a test that Toyoshima passed in style.
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