Earlier today Ohashi put on their latest show under the Phoenix Battle banner. The card was their third in the space of about 8 weeks and was very much a developmental card, featuring 3 of their promising and unbeaten prospects. Although not a huge event it was a notable one, and it will have the fights aired this coming weekend on Fuji TV.
With that out of the way we will get on to the result, so if you wish to watch the broadcast on Saturday night/Sunday morning, local time, without having the bouts ruined please stop reading now. Otherwise we'll get on to the results.
The first of the notable prospects in action was 20 year old Katsuki Mori (7-0, 1) [森且貴], who successfully stepped up to the 6 round limit with a comfortable win over the much more experienced Yuki Uchida (7-8, 1) [内田 勇気]. The bout was Mori's first since winning the Rookie of the Year last year and he looked the boss through out, but was forced to work and cedit goes to Uchida for being the type of test Mori needed.
Although wonderfully talented Mori certainly needs time to mature and grow into his man strength. He's skilled but his lack of power may be an issue when he steps up, but he has looked incredibly good since he turned professional and took another good step forward here.
The second bout saw Lightweight hopeful Katsuya Yasuda (7-0, 4) [保田 克也] extend his unbeaten record with a clear 8 round decision win over Japanese based Venezuelan Omrri Bolivar (8-4, 3). Yasuda managed to control the distance well here, despite Bolivar trying to get inside, and was mostly fighting to a defensive gameplan based around counters. It was a gameplan that worked well for Yasuda who looked in control through out.
After the first two prospects went the distance it was the turn of the big punching Kazuki Nakajima (9-0-1, 8) [中嶋一輝], who managed to make a statement in blowing away Kenta Nomura (7-4, 3) [野村健太] in the third round. Nakajima looked like he had a point to make, and found his rhythm quickly before going through the gears. In round 3 he dropped Nomura twice, forcing the referee to stop the bout after the second knockdown, which was a brutal one.
After the bout it was suggested that Nakajima would challenge for either the JBC or OPBF Bantamweight title in 2021, which would be a good step up. It's unclear if that title fight will be at Bantamweight, where he has fought in the past, or Super Bantamweight, where he fought today.
Whilst most Japan TV channels have been quiet since boxing returned to the country following it's hiatus Fuji TV have been regularly broadcasting tape delay coverage of shows, under both the Diamond Glove banner and the Phoenix Battle banner.
Over the last day or so the channel has confirmed that they will be showing tomorrow's Phoenix Battle show from Korakuen Hall, broadcasting all 3 noteworthy bouts, as well as talking about the recent retirement of former 3-weight world champion Akira Yaegashi (28-7, 16) [八重樫 東] and the upcoming bout featuring WBA and IBF Bantamweight champion Naoya Inoue (19-0, 16) [井上 尚弥].
The broadcast will be on Saturday night/Sunday morning, with the broadcast running from 26:45 Saturday night local time, though to 27:50.
For those who don't understand the Japanese TV times this means 2:45 on Sunday morning to 3:50 Sunday morning.
The bouts set to be aired here are the 6 rounder between Katsuki Mori (6-0, 1) [森且貴] and Yuki Uchida (7-7, 1) [内田 勇気]; the 8 rounder between Katsuya Yasuda (6-0, 4) [保田 克也] and Omrri Bolivar (8-3, 3) and the 8 round bout between Kazuki Nakajima (8-0-1, 7) [中嶋一輝] and Kenta Nomura (7-3, 3) [野村健太].
Whilst the show might not be huge a huge one, it is a great chance to see some of the more under-rated prospects in Japan and it's great to see Fuji giving Mori a platform to shine as he really does look like a future star in the making.
One of the more active promoters since being restarted in Japan has been the Ohashi Gym, who put on their next show tomorrow at Korakuen Hall. The card isn't a big one, but does feature a number of notable hopefuls, including the unbeaten and heavy handed Kazuki Nakajima (8-0-1, 7) [中嶋一輝].
The talented and explosive Nakajima will be dipping his toes at Super Bantamweight as he takes on Kenta Nomura (7-3, 3) [野村健太] in a 8 round bout, in what is the show's main event.
Today the two men took part in their weigh in for the bout and both men came in an an identical weight of 122lbs. Although both men looked in good shape for the bout it did seem like Nomura was the naturally much bigger man, and he seemed to toward over Nakajima, who is a relatively average sized Bantamweight, whilst Nomura is a rather big Super Bantamweight.
The bout will be Nakajima's first since the God's Left Bantamweight tournament final way back in January. That bout resulted in a draw, the first mark on Nakajima's record, but he was given the tournament win over Seiya Tsutsumi, in what was a genuine controversial decision. He'll be looking to avoid similar controversy here. He suggest that his speed and sharpness have improved with the move up in weight, and predicted a KO win.
As for Nomura the bout will see him looking to build on his 2019 upset wins over Arashi Iimi and Ryo Suwa. Although he will go into this bout as the under-dog he will be regarded as a live dog.
For those wanting to watch this bout it will be aired on tape delay by Fuji TV over the weekend.
(Image courtesy of Ohashi Gym)
Earlier today details were released recording an Ohashi promoted card set for September 16th at Korakuen Hall, in what will be the 74th show in the "Phoenix Battle" series. Whilst the full card hasn't yet been announced two bouts have been, and they both feature a notable Ohashi gym fighter in what should a good test for them.
One of the two Ohashi gym fighters is 2019 All Japan Rookie of the Year winner Katsuki Mori (6-0,1) [森且貴], who will take on Yuki Uchida (7-7, 1) [内田 勇気] in a 6 rounder. This is a great match up for Mori to get some experience and rounds against a limited but reliable domestic level fighter. Uchida is unlikely to push a fighter as a talented and skilled as Mori, but should manage to take Mori 6 rounds at a decent pace as the youngster continues to build on his very promising career.
The other Ohashi gym fighter confirmed for this event is Bantamweight hopeful Kazuki Nakajima (8-0-1, 7) [中嶋一輝], who will look to build on his controversial bout against Seiya Tsutsumi from back in January. The talented Nakajima will be up against Kenta Nomura (7-3, 3) [野村健太], who is looking to build on an upset win last January against Ryo Suwa, in an 8 round bout.
Although we expect to see more bouts added to this show closer to the date it's great to see Mori in action again, given how fantastic he looked in the Rookie of the Year last year, and hopefully we'll see a more polished Nakajima than the one who got the controversial decision of Tsutusmi.
Interestingly this will be the third "Phoenix Battle" card following the restart of boxing in Japan, following shows in July and August, with the promoter being one of the first to really pencil events in and get their fighters back in the ring.
Earlier today Japanese youngster Toshiki Shimomachi (10-1-2, 6) [下町俊貴] claimed his first professional title, as he stopped Kenta Nomura (6-3, 3) [野村健太] to become the new Japanese Youth Super Bantamweight champion.
Shimomachi got off to the perfect start, dropping Nomura in the opening round to secure a 10-8. Nomura managed to regroup, really well, and set the pace in round 2, using, using a good boxing brain to draw mistakes from Shimomachi.
Nomura's tricks didn't work quite as well in round 3, but from round 4 on wards they were really effective, and saw Nomura make up for the bad start, especially in round 6. It seemed that, despite being dropped early on, Nomura was in the ascendancy when it mattered and he looked to have figured out Shimomachi.
Sadly for Nomura he found out, in round 7, that Shimomachi had another trick up his sleeve, landing a dynamite left hook that dropped Nomura. Noimura's fighting heart saw him beat the count, but a follow up from Shimomachi forced the referee to step in and wave the bout off.
After the bout Shimomachi seemed unhappy with his performance, but relieved to have got the win and taken the title. On the other hand Nomura stated he couldn't remember anything from the bout.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
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