To kick off a complete brilliant Saturday of boxing our attention was focused on the EDION Arena Osaka, as Shinsei gym put on their latest show, with just 5 bouts on it. Despite it being a small card, it was certainly one worth watching, with two brutal knockouts, a sensational coming out performance a very solid main event bout.
Not only was the show a good one for fans in attendance but also globally, with the whole show being streamed live on the excellent Boxing Real YouTube channel.
The show kicked off with a real fun battle between the debuting Towa Tsuji (1-0, 1) [辻 永遠] and the win-less Kairi Suetsugu (0-2-1) [末継 海里]. The opening round saw Tuji getting rocked early on, and he seemed in quit a bit of trouble before creating space and getting a moment to clear his head. In round 2 Tsuji turned the tables, rocking Suetsugu with right hands and bursting his his nose, in what was a really fun 3 minutes of action. With Suetsugu taking punishment in round 2 he came out aggressively in the third and rocked Tsuji, who recovered well. Just moments later the two men were trading in center ring when Tsuji landed a perfect left hook, sending Suetsugu down hard. He wasn't beating the count and the referee quickly waved it off, giving Tsuji a highlight reel KO to begin his career.
The second bout didn't last long at all as Kohei Miyamoto (4-1-1, 4) [宮本 康平] came out with a point to prove. Within in the opening seconds he rocked Tetsuya Kawabata (5-13-1, 1) [川端 哲也] and he kept the pressure on through the round. He rocked him again with a right hand, and piled on the punches until Kawabata hit the canvas. The fighting spirit of Kawabata saw him try to beat the count, but he stumbled back down mid count forcing the referee to wave off the bout.
The third bout on the show was the most interesting on paper and saw rising prospect Ryosuke Nishida (3-0, 1) [西田凌佑] take on former world title challenger Shohei Omori (21-4, 16) [大森 将平] in an intriguing 8 rounder. On paper this looked a rash decision for the novice to step up so much so quickly, but he impressed through out.
The opening round saw Nishida starting fast and look to get inside Omori's head almost immediately. That saw him using his speed well, making the most of his jab and his right hook, and landing several solid left hands. Omori, to his credit, looked calm and composed, and had moments himself, but seemed to clearly lose the round. In round 2 however Omori began to press more, and had more moments of success, despite taking some solid right hooks from Nishida, who also landed some nice flurries. Omori got his own moments in, particularly with some body shots, but came off second best.
In rounds 3, and more so 4, Omori began to have some sustained success. He still took some good right hooks and jabs from Nishida, but landed some eye catching left hands of his own, especially late in round 4 as he seemed to, for the first time, really get to Nishida. It seemed the momentum was shifting in favour of the veteran, who also had some moments in round 5, including a good right hook of his own.
Despite the novice in his first 8 rounder it was really the final 3 rounds where Nishida looked a class above hurting Omori badly in rounds 6, 7 and 8. In round 6 it was a huge counter left hook that rocked Omori early in the round, before a right hook, followed by a straight left did the job towards the end of the round. In round 7 it was a left hand that wobbled Omori early in the round, and a follow up had the veteran in round, whilst in round 8 Omori was in trouble through out the round after a body shot left him in agony and Nishida tagged him to gut regularly as the round went on.
Despite some trouble in the middle of the bout, there was no doubting the winner after 8 rounds, with Nishida taking the unanimous decision with scores of 79-73 and 78-74, twice. The 79-73 seems very harsh on Omori, who did have plenty of success in the middle rounds, but no one would despite the fact Nishida deserved the win, and potentially moves onto the verge of a title fight of some kind in 2021.
The penultimate bout on the card saw Kimihiro Nakagawa (7-5-2, 3) [中川 公弘] suffer a decision loss to recent OPBF title challenger Kyohei Tonomoto (10-3-1, 4) [殿本 恭平].
Sadly this felt like a massive come down from the bout that came before it, despite actually being a very competitive bout, between two well matched fighters. Both matched each other a little too well at times, and with neither man having the power to hurt the other there bout really lacked drama. There was some solid back and forth, and some nice trading sequences but by round 4 it it was feeling very much like a bout that was struggling to remain interesting.
It wasn't a bad fight, but it's place on the card, after the very solid bout between Nishida and Omori, it felt underwhelming, and even seemed to suck the life out of the fans and the show as a whole. Despite that Tonomoto's more sustained attacks, more accurate punching and more consistent success was enough for him to take the decision on all 3 scorecards, with scores of 78-74, twice, and 79-73.
The final bout on the show saw veteran Hiroyuki Kudaka (27-18-4, 11) [久高 寛之] secure a win in his 49th bout as he out-pointed youngster Tetsuro Ohashi (7-2-1, 1) [大橋 哲朗] in an 8 round bout at Bantamweight, taking a razor thin split decision.
From the off Ohashi looked the quicker man, but that wasn't an issue for Kudaka who times counters well and looked the strong, more powerful fighter. The power and timing of Kudaka pay dividends in round 2 when he dropped Ohashi with a great counter right hand. Ohashi beat the count but was still hurt as Kudaka piled on the pressure in the last minute of the round. Ohashi managed a valiant comeback in round 3, though still took the heavier blows as Kudaka tried to walk him down and use his physicality against the younger, naturally smaller, man.
Despite taking the early lead Kudaka struggled to keep up the pace, and despite Ohashi not hitting hard, he was landing regularly, regularly enough in fact that he visibly stunned Kudaka in round 6, and went out for the finish, though was unable to put his man down. Kudaka was also stunned in round 8, as Ohashi tried to drop the veteran, knowing he likely needed a knockdown to have any chance at taking the win. Kudaka was in real trouble, though he gritty determination and veteran known how saw him ride out the storm, before firing back as we went to the final bell.
After 8 rounds the judges turned in scores of 76-75, 75-76 and 76-75, giving the split decision win to Kudaka, who may well have done enough for one more title fight in 2021. As for Ohashi, this will be a hard defeat for him, especially given that he was stopped Suzumi Takayama last time out.
In he third, of 4, Korea Vs Japan bouts today we saw Yeong Min Kim (4-2-1, 1) [김영민] battle against Kimihiro Nakagawa (6-4-2, 3) [中川公弘] in a Featherweight bout.
After two very match ups between the two countries this bout seemed to just take things down a notch or two, at least in the early stages. It was something that suited the local, with Kim looking like the man who landed the more notable shots in the first couple of rounds and allowed him to get off to a solid start.
In round 3 the bout began to change, with the tempo building. It seemed like Nakagawa knew he had to change things up a little and mad sure to let his hands go more than he had in the earlier rounds. Sadly for him however he was caught by the best punch of the round, and seemed to be buzzed late in the round, following a brilliant 1-2 up top from Kim. Nakagawa's desire to turn things around was seen again in round 4 as he applied relentless pressure to the Korean, pinning him against the ropes and unloading on his body.for much of the 3 minutes.
Nakagawa continued to pressure his man in round 5, and Kim was starting to look tired, ragged and the body shots seemed to be taking their toll on the local fighter. Despite being worn down Kim wasn't just going to roll over, and he managed to have a few moments of his own in the penultimate round, including a brilliant combination in the final minute.
The final round again saw Nakagawa as the aggressor, knowing the bout was close and that he was the away fighter. The aggression of the visitor saw him pinning Kim on the ropes again, though Kim responded, fighting back hard. It lead to some amazing back and forth, especially in the final minute, as both men tried to do enough to secure the win.
After the final bell we went to the bell with the judges deciding, for the second time on the card, that the men had earned a draw. The draw was a little harsh on the visitor, but there was no real complaint from either man, in what ended up being a genuinely enthralling contest.
(Image courtesy of boxingm)
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