Earlier today the EDION Arena in Osaka played host to an intriguing card form Koki Kameda, who put on a card with two title bouts, as well bouts featuring a former world champion, two former world title challengers and a 2008 Olympic gold medal winning Judoka.
The first of 6 notable bouts on this card saw the unbeaten Sora Fukunaga (11-0, 5) [福永宇宙] score his toughest win to date, as he narrowly over-came the hard hitting Kenya Yamashita (14-6, 11) [山下賢哉]. The talented Fukunaga started well, but was on the wrong end of Yamashita's power in round 3, as he was dropped late in the round. With Yamashita knowing he could hurt Fukunaga he tried to make the fight into a war and managed to drag Fukunaga into his type of fight as both traded bombs. Those bombs lead to Fukunaga having swelling around both eyes, and Yamashita having cuts around his left eye, whilst the crowd got lost in the thrilling violence. After 8 rounds this was a tough, close and competitive one, with Fukunaga taking a narrow decision, with scores of 76-75, twice, and 77-74.
In the second bout of note we saw former world title challengers face off, with 37 year old Japanese fighter Hiroshige Osawa (37-6-4, 21) [大沢宏晋] suffering a 5th round TKO loss to 26 year old Filipino Jeo Santisima (22-4, 19). Santisima's power showed through early on, dropping Osawa early in the bout, but dropping him again in round 5, with the bout being waved off. Sadly for Osawa he never really managed to rebuild his confidence after the first knockdown and always seemed to look worried about the power of Santisima. We suspect this will be the end of the road for Osawa, whilst Santisima's career should get a big boost on this much needed win.
Sadly for Japanese fan's, Osawa wasn't the only local to love to a visiting fighter, as former world champion Ryo Miyazaki (26-3-3, 16) [宮崎亮] suffered a shock opening round loss to world ranked Panamanian Azael Villar (19-1-3, 15), in what was Villar's biggest win, by far. Villar landed a good 1-2, then a body shot, which hurt Miyazaki. Villar then rushed in and unleashed a barrage of shots until the referee stepped in and saved the former WBA Minimumweight champion after just 163 seconds of the bout.
Before the two title bouts we had the professional debut of 2008 Olympic medal winner Judoka Satoshi Ishii (1-0) [サトシ イシイ], who kicked off his career at the age of 35 with a narrow decision win over Shuho Takayama (1-1, 1) [高山 秀峰]. This 4 rounder, which really was a "special attraction bout", wasn't a highly skilled bout, but it did see two big guys hitting each other. Though the bout it was obvious Takayama was the more polished boxer, but Ishii was the more physical man and he used that to his advantage, barging forward and forcing Takayama on the to the ropes, particularly in round 4. After 4 rounds Ishii claimed a majority decision, but it was clear neither man is going to go far in the sport.
The first of two title bouts on this card saw OPBF Super Featherweight champion Masanori Rikiishi (12-1, 7) [力石 政法] record his first defense, and do so in impressive fashion as he stopped Filipino challenger Tomjune Mangubat (15-4-1, 12) in 4 rounds. Mangubat took his time, but by round 2 seemed to have settled into the bout, pressing forward and trying to get the champion, who showed excellent movement, and clean accurate punching to try and slow Mangubat down. Sadly for Mangubat his charge was ended in brutal fashion in round 4, when a Rikiishi Uppercut caught him on the jaw and sent him down, with the referee instantly waving the bout off.
The main event saw a new Japanese Heavyweight champion being crowned, as Brandon Mitsuro Tajima (2-0, 2) [但馬ブランドン ミツロ] swiftly saw off Sung Min Lee (7-3-1, 2) [이성민]; in just 69 seconds. Tajima walked forward behind a tight guard, eventually closing the distance and letting shots go, with eye catching shots to head and body. The referee quickly jumped in with Lee under pressure and waved off the bout before it could really get going.
With the win Tajima become only the 4th Japanese Heavyweight champion in history, and also set a Japanese record for the fewest fights to win a Japanese title, just 2 fights. Amazingly he has fought only around 2 minutes as a professional, and likely now needs to look towards regional titles to get something representing an actual test.
Earlier today Koki Kameda and the fighters from the KWORLD3 Gym, which Kameda runs, held a press conference to announce the next show in the 3150 Fight series of events, which Kameda promotes.
The card was already, partially, known about with the main event taking place at the EDION Arena Osaka on August 14th with a main event between Brandon Mitsuro Tajima (1-0, 1) [但馬ブランドン ミツロ] and Sung Min Lee (7-2-1, 2) [이성민], who clash for the Japanese Heavyweight title. Outside of that bout however there was no other information on the show until today, when the full show was revealed. We won't go through the full card, but there was a number of notable supporting bouts announced for the card today.
We now know that the Tajima Vs Lee bout won't be the only title bout on the show, with Masanori Rikiishi (11-1, 6) [力石 政法] now confirmed to be making his first defense of the OPBF Super Featherweight, as the takes on Filipino challenger Tomjune Mangubat (15-3-1, 12), in a really solid looking fight, but one that Rikiishi should be favoured in, especially given Mangubat's recent loss to Charly Suarez.
In a major supporting bout former world champion Ryo Miyazaki (26-2-3, 16) [宮崎亮] will be up against world ranked Panamanian Azael Villar (18-1-3, 14), who has won his last 4 including a notable win over Leroy Estrada in 2019. For Miyazaki the bout is a good step towards another potential world title fight, whilst Villar will be fighting outside of Panama for the first time, and that is always a worry for Panamanian fighters who don't regularly have much success on the road.
In another major supporting bout we'll see two former world title challengers battle as 37 year old Japanese fighter Hiroshige Osawa (37-5-4, 21) [大沢宏晋] takes on 26 year old Filipino Jeo Santisima (21-4, 18). For Osawa the end of his career isn't far off, and a loss here would likely end his days as a professional fighter. As for Santisima he has not looked good recently, and has been stopped in 2 of his last 4, and is now essentially fighting for his career.
Another notable bout on the card will see the unbeaten Sora Fukunaga (10-0, 5) [福永 宇宙] take on the exciting but flawed Kenya Yamashita (14-5, 11), in a bout that has been re-arranged from a date in May. This bout should be regarded as a good step up in class for Fukunaga, and although he should be too big and too strong for Yamashita, it does need to be noted that Yamashita is always fun to watch and always comes to fight, even when he is the clear under-dog.
Earlier today fight fans in Tokyo, as well as subscribers to the Boxing Raise service, got the chance see the lone semi-final for the God's Left Bantamweight tournament, and learn about who the second finalist would be.
We were left with one semi-final, after Seiya Tsutsumi (5-0, 4) [堤聖也] was given a bye. That happened because Kenya Yamashita (14-5, 11) [山下賢哉] was forced to abstain from the bout and was taken to hospital due to poor health, likely related to trying to make weight.
Although Tsutsumi was given a bye he was still on the show, taking part in a 3 round spar with OPBF Super Bantamweight champion Hiroaki Teshigawara (20-2-2, 13) [勅使河原 弘晶], who really dwarfed Tsutsumi.
After the public spar we then got the semi-final bout between unbeaten punchers Kazuki Nakajima (8-0, 7) [中嶋一輝] and Jin Minamide (4-1, 3) [南出仁]. This had the recipe to be something special, with both able to land dynamite blows, and both being confident and aggressive fighters.
The bout started slowly, with both looking for position, but then it ramped up from neutral to 5th gear and saw both men trading bombs. Unfortunately for Minamide it was his big shots that were his own downfall as Nakajima began to land big counters, dropping Minamide hard with one of those counters. To his credit Minamide got back to his feet and continued on but was dropped again only moments later, forcing Biney Martin, the referee, to step in and call off the bout.
We now know that Tsutsumi and Nakajima will meet in the final next year. In total the two men have fought just 2 rounds to reach the final, with Tsutsumi having byes at both the quarter-final and semi-final stages and whilst Nakajima has blitzed both of his opponents.
Tomorrow at Korakuen Hall, and live on Boxing Raise, fans will get the chance to see the next round of the God's Left Bantamweight tournament.
Today, ahead of the tournament action, we saw Kazuki Nakajima (7-0, 6) [中嶋一輝] and Jin Minamide (4-0, 3) [南出仁] take part in their weigh in, with the two men facing off in a semi-final as they look to book their place in January's final.
Both men made weight at their first attempt with out any issue.
On the scales Minamide was the slightly lighter man, coming in at 117.5lbs for the contest, whilst Nakajima was bang on the Bantamweight limit.
The winner of this bout now knows that their opponent in the final will be Seiya Tsutsumi (5-0, 4) [堤聖也], after Kenya Yamashita (14-5, 11) [山下賢哉] was forced to withdraw from their semi-final due to health issues.
For fans wanting to watch this it will be live on Boxing Raise and then left on demand some time after the event.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Tomorrow's show at the Korakuen Hall, which will be streamed live on Boxing Raise, was supposed to feature two semi-finals for the God's Left Bantamweight tournament. Sadly however one of those bouts has now been cancelled.
That was the excellent match up between Seiya Tsutsumi (5-0, 4) [堤聖也] and Kenya Yamashita (14-5, 11) [山下賢哉], which had the recipe to be a genuine shoot out.
Although we've not been told the specifics we have been informed that Yamashita has had to pull out of the bout due to medical issue. He was, from what we've been told, taken to hospital last night due to his health, which suggests issues making weight.
Sadly this is disappointing news all round. For fans it denies them what should have been an instant classic, for Yamashita it denies him a chance to move his career forward and it also denies Tsutsumi a chance to get back in action, having been inactive since April.
Thankfully for Tsutsumi he will take part in a public spar tomorrow, an given his style we still expect the spar to be an enjoyable and fun watch.
Today Tsutsumi still went through a weigh in process, ans stated "I would like to see tomorrow ’s bout between Minamide vs. Nakajima and concentrate on the final match in January next year" [Translated]
Thankfully there has been issues with the other semi final, between Kazuki Nakajima (7-0, 6) [中嶋一輝] against Jin Minamide (4-0, 3) [南出仁].
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
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