Way back in July 2019 we saw Japanese Bantamweight Yusuke Suzuki (11-3, 7) [鈴木悠介] go through an hellacious war with Yuta Saito (12-10-3, 9) [齊藤裕太] to take the Japanese Bantamweight title from Saito in a bloody, brutal, hard, tough fight.
Following that loss Saito retired from the sport, choosing to do so very soon after the bout.
Suzuki however had ended 2019 as the Japanese champion and was entering 2020 with the view to defend the belt against mandatory challenger Kyosuke Sawada (14-2-1, 6) [澤田京介], with that bout originally scheduled for April 9th 2020. Sadly though that date was derailed completely by the Covid19 pandemic which put the ice on boxing in Japanese a good chunk of 2020.
No it’s been confirmed that Suzuki Vs Sawada will never happen, with Suzuki announcing his retirement from the sport due to a detached retina, ending his career as the reigning champion.
Suzuki revealed that he had wanted to defend the title but that he had been having problems with his right eye for a while, and they got worse recently in training. Rather than risk his sight he has made the wise decision to hang them up and walk away from in ring competition.
Prior to turning professional Suzuki had been a solid amateur, running up a 54-24 (25) record. He turned professional in 2012 and climbed into the Japanese rankings very early in his career, following a win over Takaaki Ishikawa in early 2014. Sadly however he had to wait until 2019 for a show at the title, and made the most of his chance, dethroning Saito in a genuine brutal bout.
Although best known for his title win Suzuki didn’t have it easy. In his 14 bout professional career he beat solid domestic and regional fighters, like Kyosuke Sawada, Takaaki Ishikawa, Monico Laurente, Akinori Hoshino, Eita Kikuchi and Saito. Whilst coming up short against Yusaku Kuga, Ryoichi Tamura and Jeffrey Francisco.
When asked by Boxmob about his best performance Suzuki stated his title win was his best, and that he was glad to be able to show the title to those who had supported him through his career.
He is now going to set up a company and hopes to be able to use the company to help support fighters in the future.
With Suzuki retiring the title situation does become a little bit of a mess, though the assumption is that Sawada will fight for the vacant title against the next highest available contender. That would, potentially, be either Ikuro Sadatsune (11-4-3, 4) [定常 育郎], who is ranked #2 in the latest rankings, or Kenshin Oshima (7-1-1, 3) [大嶋剣心], who is ranked #3.
Sadly the retirement of Suzuki does bring back the curse of the JBC Bantamweight title, which scuppered a host of events in 2018. This ended up seeing Ryo Akaho [赤穂 亮], vacating due to injury, Suzuki himself being injured, Suguru Muranaka [村中 優] missing weight, Saito being ill after winning the title. Strangely we’ve seen almost everyone who has been linked to the title since Akaho vacated retiring. Maybe the curse lives on after all.
We would like to wish Suzuki all the best in his post boxing life.
For those who missed Suzuki's final bout we've included it below.
Earlier today at Korakuen Hall fight fans had the chance to attend a Teiken card, featuring a host of notable hopefuls. Among those were a trio who have shown promise, but left some question marks in recent bouts, with either poor performances of losses.
One of those was Masaya Tamayama (13-2, 7) [玉山将也], who had recently lost in a domestic clash against Riku Nagahama, and was in need of a win following that set back in July. Tamayama needed only 3 rounds to get back to winning ways with an easy win over limited Thai visitor Wachirasak Waiyawong (4-4, 3). Whilst the Thai had been stopped in 2 rounds by Koki Inoue last year he had also gone 6 rounds with Brandon Ogilvie, losing a split decision, last December, so Tamayama does deserve some credit for this win, which came following a big salvo of shots with Wachirasak Waiyawong on the ropes.
Another of that trio was Hayate Kaji (14-0, 9) [梶颯], who had struggled past both Arnold Garde and Rey Orais, putting the breaks on what had looked like a really promising career. Sadly he failed to shine again today as took a close decision over Diomel Diocos (14-5-3, 4). Whilst Diocos isn't a bad fighter, at all, he is a natural Flyweight, who was stopped in 4 rounds by Daigo Higa back in 2017, and wasn't expected to give the hard hitting Kaji much of a test. Instead however Diocos proved to be tough and full of ambition, giving Kaji all he could handle early on, dropping Kaji in the early going. The fight did however turn when Diocos suffered cut and got the fight slowly beaten out of him in the later stages. After 8 rounds the judges had this 77-74, twice, and 76-75, though again we're left with more questions than answers about Kaji.
The third of this trio was Kenshin Oshima (7-1-1, 3) [大嶋剣心], who had drawn against Nobuaki Kanazawa last year and had struggled to over-come Joe Tanooka and Ikuro Sadatsune in recent bouts. He took another win today as he defeated Filipino fighter Eranio Semillano (17-11-3, 5) in a bout with some odd looking scorecards. Semillano looked quick and sharp early on, though was forced to take some solid counter shows from Oshima, who looked to be landing the better shots. Semillano's toughness show he come through the counters, though repeated head clashes saw Semillano dedicted a pount in round 4. The headclahses continued through the fight to the point where the referee took a second point from the Filipino in the final round. After 8 rounds the scorecards here were 80-70, 79-74 and 76-75, giving Oshima the unanimous decision win. Whilst this was exciting early on it certainly wasn't pretty as we got to the end of the contest.
Earlier today we were informed that Teiken would be holding a show on November 2nd featuring some of their brightest prospects, each taking their next step forward as they continue their march towards title glory.
The main event of the card will feature Shuya Masaki (13-1, 5) [正木脩也], though his opponent hasn't been announced at the time of writing. Masaki, ranked #3 by the JBC, will be featuring in an 8 round bout and the suspicion is that he will be taking on an international opponent but someone who isn't a significant step forward from his last bout, which saw him defeat Al Toyogon.
In the co-feature Kenshin Oshima (6-1-1, 3) [大嶋剣心], whilst other leading support bouts will feature Masaya Tamayama (12-2, 6) [玉山将也] and Hayate Kaji (13-0, 9) [梶颯]. Sadly not one of this trio have had their opponents named, however we're expected Oshima to face a decent test following a good win last time out, Tamayama to be in a confidence building performance after a loss and Kaji is likely to face an imported opponent to rebuild his aura after a poor performance in his last outing.
Strangely two most interesting, and the two least experienced, men on the card have both had their opponents named.
One of those is highly touted Kuntae Lee (2-0, 1) [李 健太] will be up against unbeaten Indonesian foe Rivo Kundimang (9-0-1, 5), in what is a really good fight. Lee is expected to be a major player on the regional scene, at the very least, at 140lbs and looks to have the skills to be a potential player at the world level. Kundimang on the other hand is an unbeaten youngster and is regarded as a legitimate prospect himself. Aged 22 Kundimang has won his last 9, and last time out he stopped Ryan Sermona, so should pose a genuine test for Lee. Notably this will be Lee's first 8 round bout.
The other is Mikito Nakano (3-0, 3) [中野幹士], who is set to face Filipino KJ Natuplag (8-1-2, 7), who was beaten last time out by Joe Tejones but should be regarded as a step up in class for Nakano. The unbeaten Japanese fighter was a former standout amateur who is tipped to be a major star of the future, and he has looked the business so far, but the Filipino has never been stopped and could well ask serious questions of Nakano. Then again if Nakano stops Natuplag here it will be very hard for Teiken to hold him back, and there could well be title fights in 2020 for Nakano.
At the moment there's an on going Japanese card at the Korakuen Hall. Due to whatever reasons G+ have it won't be televised for a few days, though the show is a fairly notable one, with a trio of local prospects as well as two title fights.
Rather than looking at the double main event we want to focus this results piece on just the prospect trio, who are all expected to go onto title action in the coming years.
The first of the prospects in action was Celes Gym's new signing Issei Ochiai (1-0) [落合 壱星] who began his career with a 6 round decision win against Thai foe Lerdchai Chaiyawed (1-3). On paper this looked straight forward, but Lerchai had twice been to Japan and given Ryoki Hirai and Seita Ogido good tests so for a debut opponent he was solid, and that was shown in the ring. Ochiai showed good patience early on, but slowly built momentum through the 6 round bout, avoiding the counters from the Thai, who looked dangerous with his wild shots. After 6 rounds there no doubting the winner, with Ochiai taking the win, 59-56, twice, and 59-55. A good debut, and a solid test for Celes Kobayashi's newest recruit.
The second of the prospects was the hard hitting, if somewhat technically flawed, Takuma Takahashi (4-0, 4) [高橋拓磨], who also faced a Thai foe. The unbeaten Takahashi was up against Sitthidet Banti (11-5, 5) in an 8 round Welterweight bout. Coming into the bout Takahashi had fought just 5 rounds and Banti had never been stopped, going rounds with the likes of Xiangxiang Sun in China and Atchariya Wirojanasunobol in Thailand. The bouts wasn't the tidiest, or the best, but in round 6 Takahashi finally got to his man, taking him down part-way through the round. The Thai would fail to beat the count, and be counted out at the 1:16 mark of round 6. This was the sort of test Takahashi needed, against an awkward foe who knew how to survive, and the fact he passed that test the way he did really is impressive. We feel Takahashi needs serious polishing, but this is still a very good win this early in his career.
The third of the prospects was Kenshin Oshima (6-1-1, 3) [大嶋剣心], who notched his third straight win with a decision over Filipino Wilbert Berondo (14-4-2, 6). Although not a big name Berondo is always a good test at this level and it showed as he pushed Oshima hard in the early going. Oshima ended up taking a decision, with scores of 78-74 across the cards, but had to work hard for the win and it's clear that he's got work to do to reach the top. There's a lot to like about him, but a lot of work is needed. However it's worth noting that Oshima is now expected to get a Japanese title eliminator later in the year and that could be too much too soon. For Berondo he again showed he was as good test at this level, and should certainly get more Japanese pay days, though surprisingly this was only his second bout in the country, his first being his loss to Hinata Maruta in 2016. That Maruta is still the only stoppage loss on his record.
We've known for a while that August's Diamond Glove card would take place on August 3rd and be headlined by the rematch between Japanese Middleweight champion Kazuto Takesako (10-0-1, 10) [竹迫司登] and Shuji Kato (10-1-2, 6) [加藤収二]. We also knew the show would feature world title challenger Takeshi Inoue (13-1-1, 7) [井上 岳志]. Sadly though we didn't really get any extra news about the card until earlier today.
Today we were given details of the under-card as well as more details about Inoue's bout.
One of the under-card bouts will see Celes gym's new prospect Issay Ochai (0-0) [落合 壱星] make his debut, as he goes up against Thai foe Lerdchai Chaiyawed (1-2). The unbeaten Japanese fighter is a touted 18 year old who is tipped for big things whilst the Thai is a really good test, who holds a win over Samartlek Kokietgym and pushed both Ryoki Hirai and Seita Ogido hard in Japan in his losses. This bout will be scheduled for 6 rounds.
Another prospect on the card will be Takuma Takahashi (3-0, 3) [高橋拓磨], who also takes on a Thai foe as he battles against Sitthidet Banti (11-4, 5) in an 8 round bout. Takahashi is tipped for big things, and despite technical flaws he does look like he can go a very long way, so we're not expecting too many issues for him here. The Thai does hold a notable win over Saddam Kietyongyuth, but has been beaten in 3 of his 4 bouts outside of Thailand.
Another promising fighter on this card will be Kenshin Oshima (5-1-1, 3) [大嶋剣心], though his opponent hasn't yet been announced.
So back to Inoue, his bout for the card has now been announced and he will take on Patomsuk Pathompothong (38-10-1, 24), also known as Komsan Polsan, in a bout for the WBO Asia Pacific Light Middleweight title. This really should be a straight forward win for Inoue, who shouldn't have any problems with the Thai, who has lost in all 3 of his previous visits to Japan.
At the moment it's unclear whether this card will be aired live on G+ or not, though given the quality of the show, and the double main event, we really are hoping G+ will get back to showing live boxing.
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