Earlier today at the Aioi Hall in Kariya fight fans had the latest show from Midori Promotions, and it was a pretty notable one, featuring several Japanese ranked fighters and the announcement of a highly anticipated debut.
The show began with the debut of Felipe Do Prado (0-1) [デビュー戦×ドプラド フェリペ], and sadly for the Japanese based Brazilian the bout didn't go his way. Do Prado showed balls and was brave, but was stopped in round 3 by Daichi Hirai (2-1, 1) [平井 乃智]. Prior to the stoppage the debutant had had a point taken for spitting out his gum shield and was then stopped standing with the referee saving him.
The second debutant on the show fared better, with Takuto Mino (1-0) [美濃 巧人] picking up a razor thin decision win over Yamato Watanabe (2-3) [渡辺 大和]. All 3 judges scored this 39-37, though one judge did favour Watanabe, whilst the other two went with Mino.
Fans were given a bit of a treat in an all debutant bout between Kenta Kamimura (1-0) [上村 健太] and Yuto Kagata (0-1) [加々田 優人]. The bout saw both men hitting the canvas, high intensity action and drama at every turn. This was a genuine treat for fans who really won't have been expecting two novices to put on a show like these two did. Whilst it was low level action, it was still thrilling stuff, with Kamimura taking the decision 37-36, on all 3 cards.
In a minor upset the hard hitting Mammoth Kazunori (6-3-1, 6) [マンモス和則] suffered a close decision loss to Keisuke Iwasaki (4-2-1, 1) [岩﨑 圭祐]. The fight started slowly, and took a while to get going, though it was always clear that Kazunori had the power to hurt Iwasaki, who was wobbled from a hand hand. Despite the power of Kazunori making the most impact the judges all went with Iwasaki, who took the decision 58-56 on all 3 cards. Notably some fans in the venue, who have posted on social media, felt this could, and perhaps should, have gone the other way.
The chief support bout saw Japanese ranked Flyweight Japanese ranked Katsuya Murakami (9-2-1, 2) [村上 勝也] pick up his latest win as he easily, confidently and calmly out boxed the more limited Kazunori Yorimasa (5-7-3, 2) [頼政 和法] over 8 rounds. Murakami was pretty much in control through out, using his jab, foot work, reach and speed to win a very comfortable decision. After 8 rounds two of the judges had this a shut out whilst the other found a pity round for Yorimasa.
In the main event Japanese ranked Lightweights faced off with #2 ranked contender Masanori Rikiishi (9-1, 5) [力石 政法] battling the #15 ranked Soreike Taichi (7-4, 5) [木村太一]. In the end this was one sided, with Rikiishi being far, far too good for his man and stopping him in round 3. Before the stoppage Taichi had been down twice, and he had very, very little to test Rikiishi with.
After the bout it was revealed that Rikiishi was planning to mount a challenge for the Japanese Super Featherweight title, dropping down in weight to chase a second bout with Kosuke Saka, the man who gave him his sole defeat.
As well as the fights there was also a cameo of sorts from Japanese-Brazilian Mitsuro Tajima [但馬ミツロ] , who was originally scheduled to make his professional debut this month. Instead of debuting Tajima took part in a public work out and announced some details of his now scheduled debut.
The 5-time Japanese amateur national champion will debut as a professional on March 7th 2021 in a bout at the Nagoya Congress Center. His opponent is set to be a Korean fighter, who is reportedly Jong Kook Kim (6-1, 3).
Tomorrow in Kariya City fight fans will get the chance to see Japanese ranked Lightweights clash as #2 ranked contender Masanori Rikiishi (8-1, 4) [力石 政法] takes on #15 ranked Soreike Taichi (7-3, 5) [木村太一].
Today, ahead of their bout, the two men took part in their weigh in and both fighters made the contracted weight for the bout, weighing in at 59.5KG's, or 131.2lbs.
Interestingly, given their rankings at Lightweight, this bout is being held closer to the Super Featherweight limit than the Lightweight limit. Despite that both men looked in great shape and it didn't seem like either man was particularly troubled by the weight. In fact Boxmob have reported that Rikiishi was able to eat with out problems on the day of the weigh in.
For those interested no one on the show had issues with the scales.
The chief support bout, a Super Flyweight contest between Kazunori Yorimasa (5-6-3, 2) [頼政 和法] and the Japanese ranked Katsuya Murakami (8-2-1, 2) [村上 勝也], saw Yorimasa hit the scales at 114.4lbs and Murakami come in slightly heavier, but still under the limit.
Another of the main support bouts, between the big punching Mammoth Kazunori (6-2-1, 6) [マンモス和則] and Keisuke Iwasaki (4-2-1, 1) [岩﨑 圭祐] will bee fought at 51.6KG's, which is around 113.75lbs. On the scales Iwasaki was the heavier man, at 113.3lbs whilst Kazunori was 112.6lbs.
One of the best things about the Japanese domestic scene is the fact that hungry youngsters get the chance to prove themselves early in their careers. Unlike some countries where an unbeaten record, and a long line of wins, is key Japan doesn't really punish fighters for losing.
Losing is part of a fighters development, and if fighters fight tough competition they expect losses to happen, with the key being what they do after a loss, how they bounce back, and how hungry they are to carve out their on careers.
Today in Kariya local fans saw two youngster have lost battle in a very interesting match up. Both knew they were risking another defeat, but both wanted to advance their career, and the risk was worth it.
The match up in question saw 20 year old Yuga Inoue (9-1-1, 1) [井上夕雅] take on Katsuya Murakami (8-2-1, 2) [村上勝也] in a brilliant little match up, that was easy to over-look if you didn't follow the Japanese domestic scene. Those who did follow it in detail however knew that this was one to care about.
Inoue had made his name in 2017, when he won the Rookie of the Year. Despite a loss in 2018, to Kai Ishizawa, there was still a lot of potential with the youngster, and that was shown in August this year when he defeated Daiki Kameyama. Murakami on the other hand had only been beaten in the 2016 West Japan Rookie of the Year final, losing to Kota Fujimoto in a Super Flyweight bout.
Although Murakami was fighting at home Inoue boxed wonderfully through out the 8 round bout, and in the later stages of the bout Inoue's clean accurate punching took it's toll on his foe. Murakami was hurt in round 7 and dropped in round 8, as Inoue put the decision beyond doubt, and took a comfortable win.
After 8 rounds it was Inoue who came out with the decision win and continued to build on the success from the win over Kameyama. As for Murakami he'll be back, and clearly has areas to work on from today's losses.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
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