Next weekend we'll see former Japanese Heavyweight champion Kyotaro Fujimoto take part in a career defining bout, as he takes on Daniel Dubois in the UK. Although the under dog that is still a huge fight for Kyotaro.
Earlier this year Kyotaro ended his domestic reign, vacating the Japanese title to focus on bigger challenges, such as Dubois, and today we saw the vacancy Kyotaro left, being filled as Ryu Ueda (9-1-1, 5) [上田龍] and Kotatsu Takehara (15-13-3, 8) [竹原真敬] battled for the vacant title.
This wasn't the first time Ueda and Takehara had fought. They had faced off in May 2016, when Takehara stopped Ueda, but at 41 years old Takehara was up against it, especially given that Ueda was now in is physical prime at 27 years old.
Despite losing the first time they fought Ueda showed no fear here and was letting combinations go as Takehara brought the pressure. The older man was slow, he has been for years, but was coming forward with intent and showed little respect of Ueda's output. Takehara's his saw him walking into shots as a result and taking damage, with his both of his eyes being cut early on, but he was getting off the bigger shots, and took many of the early rounds.
After 5 rounds Takehara was up on two of the score-cards 49-46 and 48-47, with the other judge having Ueda up 48-47.
Ueda would be cut himself as he looked to try and turn the scores around, throwing more shots, standing his ground more and increasing his work rate notably. By round 8 both men were looking tired, but digging deep.
In round 8 Ueda was cut from a headclash, but dug deep and in round 10 the two men engaged in a toe-to-toe war as they gave it their all in the final round of a very competitive bout.
The final round proved significant on the cards, with all 3 judges giving it to Ueda, who won 96-94.
Following the bout Takehara announced that he was retiring, after what has been a remarkably notable career as one of the leading figures of the Japanese Heavyweight scene over almost 20 years.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Tomorrow in Japan fans will get an interesting card, albeit a small one.
The main event of the card will see Kotatsu Takehara (15-12-3, 8) [竹原真敬] battle against Ryu Ueda (8-1-1, 5) [上田龍], with the two men looking to claim the Japanese Heavyweight title, which was vacated earlier this year by Kyotaro Fujimoto.
Ahead of the their bout, which is actually a rematch, the two big men weighed in.
On the scales Takehara was the much heavier man. He came in at 111.2KG's, which is just over 245lbs. This is one of the heaviest weights of his career and more than 14lbs heavier than he was in 2016 when he stopped Ueda in the first men between the two men.
Ueda on the other hand was 103.3KG's, or 227.7lbs, the second heaviest of his career and more than 16lbs heavier than he was in the first bout with Takehara.
Another notable bout on this card will see former world title challenger Tomomi Takano (11-5, 8) [高野人母美] fight in Japan for the first time in over 2 years, as she takes on Sachiko Kondo (2-4-2) [近藤佐知子].
Takano, who recently revealed that was an ambassador for UK sporting wear company Lonsdale, weighed in at around 111.3lbs, the same weight as Kondo.
Related - Takehara and Ueda rematch for Japanese Heavyweight title!
Earlier today the Boxing Raise service announced their line up for December, and sadly it has no live show available this month. Thankfully however the service is still set to get a lot of action during the month, ranging from some great fights at domestic level, to a world title eliminator, and various things in between.
Firstly they will get the On Demand rights of the November 17th Sanei Pro Fight Boxing, which will be uploaded on December 5th.
The next show they have is the December 8th Real Spirits card, headlined by a brilliant WBO Asia Pacific Featherweight title bout, pitting champion Musashi Mori (10-0, 6) [森 武蔵] against once beaten challenger Takuya Mizuno (17-1-1, 14) [水野拓哉]. The card after that will be the Green Dream show on December 15th, headlined by a bout between Kotatsu Takehara (15-12-3, 8) [竹原真敬] and Ryu Ueda (8-1-1, 5) [上田龍], who battle for the Japanese Heavyweight title.
The next card they will have will be the Kadoebi card from December 16th, headlined by OPBF Light Middleweight champion Akinori Watanabe (38-7-1, 32) [渡部あきのり] defending his title against Thai challenger Sitthidet Banti (12-5, 6).
Unsurprisingly the December 22nd Muto card will also be available on tape delay, with the card actually clashing with the Rookie of the Year final. This show is headlined by WBO Asia Pacific Bantamweight champion Yuki Strong Kobayashi (15-8, 9) [小林佑樹]defending his title against South Korean challenger Ki Chang Go (8-3, 4).
After Christmas we'll see a late present with the service bringing up the IBF Super Flyweight world title eliminator between Sho Ishida (28-1, 15) [石田 匠] and Israel Gonzalez (24-3, 11).
While it's disappointing to not have a live card this month, the quality of shows, overall, is solid and with all the other shows on television in December we are set to have a great run in to the end of the year!
Earlier today Green released the poster for their next show, set for December 15th and whilst it's not a huge show, by any stretch, it's a show worthy of attention, and a lot of it!
The main event will see a new Japanese Heavyweight champion being crowned, only the third in history! The title bout will see veteran Kotatsu Takehara (15-12-3, 8) [竹原真敬] battle against Ryu Ueda (8-1-1, 5) [上田龍]. The bout is to crown a new champion Kyotaro Fujimoto vacated the belt earlier this year.
The bout which seems the likely to steal the show is a Japanese Light Flyweight eliminator, as Japanese Youth champion Rikito Shiba (4-0, 2) [芝力人] takes on the heavy handed Masamichi Yabuki (9-3, 9) [佐藤政道]. The winner of this will be the mandatory for newly crowned champion Yuto Takahashi, who won the title last week, at next year's Champion Carnival.
Despite those two match ups the real talking point is the ring return of former female star Tomomi Takano (11-5, 8) [高野人母美], who has been in the relative boxing wilderness in recent years following a big falling out with her former promoter in Japan. This bout will actually be her second fight this year, but her first in Japan for more than 2 years! Her opponent is yet to be announced, but we're glad to see her returning to a Japanese ring and hopefully she'll manage to make up for lost time, having suffered 3 losses in her last 4 bouts. She will almost certainly be the fighter getting attention in Japan and despite recent inactivity she is still very popular with fans, especially the male ones.
Tomorrow fight fans Qinzhou Sports Center Gymnasium will be able to see a pretty notable card, featuring two title bouts.
One of those is a WBC Asian Boxing Council Continental Heavyweight title bout, pitting China's Zhiyu Wu (8-2-1, 2) against Japan's Kotatsu Takehara (15-11-3, 8).
The fighters involved in that bout took part in their weigh in for the contest, and both men came in at a near identical weight.
The 35 year old Chinese fighter, who is 5'11" and has faced the likes of Ian Lewison and Razvan Cojanu, came in at 242lbs and looked rather tubby. Takehara on the other hand, who is 40 years old and stands at 6'1", was only a smidge heavier at 242½lbs.
Both men know there is the potential to claim a top 40 WBC ranking with a win here and although neither man is close to a world title fight, it was still be a huge achievement for fighters at this level to claim a regional title. It's a bout that means a lot to both men, and from what we under-stand Takehara is not wanting to leave it up to the judges, as a result it could be a rather fun yet limited Heavyweight contest.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
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