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.
Over the weekend two notable Japanese amateur fighters each took part in their B license protests, and today it was confirmed that both men had passed the test and would be granted B class licenses.
The fighters in question were 22 year old Kaito Yamazaki [山﨑海斗] and 21 year old Kazuki Anaguchi [と穴口一輝].
Yamazaki, who began to make a name for himself in High School, was highly regarded in his university team, Osaka University of Commerce, and came third in a national competition in 2019. Although not a standout amateur, running up a rather pedestrian 24-15 record, he was very solid and showed the traits to make a name for himself in the professional raks. He'll be promoted by the Mutoh Gym and is training under the guidance of former world title challenger Hirofumi Mukai.
Yamazaki's debut is expected to be in July at Super Bantamweight, though no opponent or set date has been announced.
Anaguchi on the other hand was first making his name in the under junior tournaments, which is very real young kids. He then went on to win two high school titles and looked sensational int eh Kansai student league, going 5-0 in his bouts there in his first first year. He impressed so much he won the an award at Bantamweight an was quickly tipped to become something of a special fighter. In total his amateur record was a brilliant 68-8 and he will be fightign out of the Shinsei Gym.
Notably no details iof Anaguchi's debut have been revealed.
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