Earlier today at Korakuen Hall we saw the latest show from Hideyuki Ohashi.
The early part of the card was really interesting, with 3 successive draws on the card, from the first 4 bouts. The first of those saw Keigo Nakayama (4-2-1, 3) [中山 慶伍] fight to a majority draw with Hisaya Kishibe (5-3-2, 3) [岸部 久也], over 6 rounds. The second saw Tairan Yokote (7-4-1, 3) [横手 太嵐] fight to a draw with Kei Fujita (6-2-1, 4) [藤田 圭], also over 6 rounds. The third draw, this time over 8 rounds, saw Kantaro Juri (4-0-1, 2) [重里 侃太朗] being held by Filipino visitor Danrick Sumabong (12-2-1, 9), in what was a split decision.
We almost for a 4th straight draw but Ryutaro Nakagaki (3-0-2, 2) [中垣龍汰朗] managed to do just enough to edge past Kyotaro Yoshida (2-1) [吉田京太郎], with Nakagaki taking a majority decision win here. This was high level stuff from both early on, with both showing off some excellent boxing as their amateur backgrounds shined through. In the later stages however Nakagaki began to find his range and his tempo and came on strong as Yoshida began to tire. It was the strong finish from Nakagaki that proved to be the difference maker, but this was razor close with scores of 78-74, 77-75 and 76-76 coming in from the judge.
The chief support bout saw the highly touted Keisuke Matsumoto (6-0, 6) [松本圭佑] continue his destructive run as he stopped Ryota Ishida (11-4, 6) [石田凌太] in the second round of their bout. The first round saw Matsumoto land a few solid shots, but he bided his time before landing a brutal counter left hook in round 2. The shot seemed to turn Ishida's lights off and Matsumoto followed up, sending Ishida to the canvas, with the referee waving the bout off swiftly.
In the main event we saw WBO Asian Pacific Light Welterweight champion Andy Hiraoka (21-0, 16) [平岡アンディ] easily retain his title, as he stopped Filipino puncher Alvin Lagumbay (13-6-1, 11), to score his third defense of the title. In the opening round Hiraoka looked to fight safely, using his jab to control the distance, and also managed to land a solid right hook. In the second round Lagumbay got tagged by a hard straight left hand, and a follow up attack forced Lagumbay to stagger into the ropes, leaving the referee with no option other than to stop the bout aft 2 minutes 27 seconds of the round.
After the win it was revealed that promoter Hideyuki Ohashi has plans to have Hiroka out once more this year, with Hiraoka pencilled into defend his WBO Asia Pacific and Japanese titles. Although there was no details when that defense will come, it does seem likely that the bout will take place on the under-card of the planned Bantamweight unification bout between Naoya Inoue (23-0, 20) [井上 尚弥] and Paul Butler (34-2, 15), which is rumoured for December 13th,
Earlier today Ohashi Gym announced that unbeaten Japanese and WBO Asian Pacific Light Welterweight champion Andy Hiraoka (20-0, 15) [平岡アンディ] would be returning to the ring on September 13th to defend his WBO Asia Pacific title for the third time.
The unbeaten champion, who won the title late last year when he stopped Jin Sasaki, has had a good year so far, stopping both Cristiano Aoqui and Shun Akaiwa, and in September will be looking to add Filipino slugger Alvin Lagumbay (13-5-1, 11) to his resume, with the "Time Bomb" being Hiraoka's next challenger.
The bout, which headlines a Phoenix Battle card at Korakuen Hall, is a dangerous one for the champion. Hiraoka will, understandably, enter as the favourite but Japanese fans will remember Lagumbay's previous bouts in Japan, which included a loss to Kazuki Saito, who he dropped before losing to, and Keita Obara, who he stopped in dramatic fashion in April 2018 before losing a rematch 4 months later. Although not a great boxer Lagumbay is a proven power puncher and Hiraoka will know he can't take too many risks here.
Also set for this card is 23 year old prospect Keisuke Matsumoto (5-0, 5) [松本圭佑], who takes on domestic foe Ryota Ishida (11-3, 6) [石田凌太], in what is a solid looking 8 rounder at Featherweight. Another notable Ohashi prospect on the show will be Ryutaro Nakagaki (2-0-2, 2) [中垣龍汰朗], who faces unbeaten Watanabe Gym hopeful Kyotaro Yoshida (2-0) [吉田京太郎] in a mouth watering clash of unbeatens.
Earlier today Watanabe Gym announced a Shigeoka double header for July 6th at the Kumamoto Prefectural Gymnasium, with both of the talented Shgeioka brothers defending their titles on the show.
the first of the two Shigeoka's in action will be Japanese Minimumweight champion Ginjiro Shigeoka (7-0, 5) [重岡銀次朗], who will be making his first defense of the title as he takes on Naoya Haruguchi (18-12, 7) [春口直也].
The hard hitting Shigeoka won the title in March, when he took a wide decision win over Tatsuro Nakashima, and will be looking to really boost his profile after that win, which was a disappointing performance. The talented Shigeoka is widely regarded as one of the elite prospects at 105lbs, and the 22 year old is widely expected to be fighting for a world title in the very near future. As for Haruguchi he's the #1 ranked contender to the Japanese title and the 32 year old veteran will be getting his second Japanese title fight, following a loss in 2019 to Norihito Tanaka.
The other Shigeoka in action on this card will be Ginjiro's older brother Yudai Shigeoka (4-0, 2) [重岡優大] , who defends the WBO Asia Pacific Minimumweight title, which he won back in November when he defeated Tsubasa Koura in a hard fought majority decision. The 25 year old Shigeoka will be taking on Filipino foe Cris Ganoza (19-3, 9), who enters as the #10 ranked challenger for the title.
The older Shigeoka brother, who is ranked in the top 15 by the WBO and WBC, will know that he's heading towards a world title fight of his own, and a good win here over Ganoza will open doors for him at world level.
Also on this card will be the unbeaten Kyotaro Yoshida (2-0) [吉田京太郎], who competes in his first 8 rounder, though his opponents wasn't announced earlier today.
Earlier today the Korakuen Hall played host to a joint promoted Watanabe and Dangan card that was short in terms of bouts, with just 5, though did have a number of very interesting match ups on it including the debut of a promising youngster, a very interesting looking regional title bout, a compelling 8 round chief support between unbeaten hopefuls, and a bout between two Hamaguchi's.
The show began with a 6 rounder at Bantamweight, with 24 year old debutant Kyotaro Yoshida (1-0) [吉田 京太郎] taking a unanimous decision win against the hard hitting, but limited, Hiroki Kinjo (5-2, 4) [金城 寛季]. Yoshida started well but got better as the bout went on, taking the power of Kinjo and firing back with better shots of his own, forcing Kinjo to respect him, and later give ground before being dropped in round 6. Credit to Kinjo for always trying to fight back, but he really was second best through out much of this bout. After 6 rounds the judges turned in scores of 59-54, and 58-55, twice, to give Yoshida the unanimous decision win.
In the second bout on the show we saw the battle of Hamaguchi's with Daiju Hamaguchi (5-5, 3) [濱口 大樹] coming out on top against Ryosei Hamaguchi (6-8, 2) [濱口 稜生]. Daiju started well, pressing the action and managed to drop his man with a big right hand. Ryosei beat the 10 count, but was left cut later in the round and his corner withdrew him before the start of second round, giving Daiju an opening round TKO win.
The third bout on the show was a very interesting match up between talented southpaws, as Fumiya Fuse (10-1, 1) [富施 郁哉] took a decision over JBC ranked foe Fuya Tomita (6-3, 2) [冨田 風弥]. On paper this was a really interesting match up as the men were 2017 and 2020 All Japan Rookie of the Year winners, and both were regarded as genuinely bright prospects heading into the bout. In the end however Fuse's ring IQ and higher level experience played a decisive role, as he out boxed, out pointed and out landed the less polished Tomita. After 6 rounds Fuse was a clear winner, taking a wide decision, though we suspect Tomita will actually improve on the back of this defeat.
The scorecards, for those interested, were 58-56, 59-57 and 60-54, all for Fuse.
The chief support bout was a fantastic match up between Shu Utsuki (9-0, 7) [宇津木 秀] and Ryo Nakai (2-1-1, 1) [中井 龍], and this one lived up to all expectations. From the off these two showed some nice boxing skills, before a Nakai dropped Utsuki in the opening round. Utsuki managed to recover, though was in a hole, and had to take risks, pressing more in round 2 and 3, with some fantastic body shots, trying to take the legs from Nakai. Nakai however wasn't there to be outdone and and fought back, picking up his own pace in rounds 4 and 5 as he looked to sniff out the Utsuki comeback.
Just as Nakai seemed to be getting on top of things Utsuki then changed things up, pressing more, getting inside and working the left side of Nakai's body, whilst also thudding home some great 1-2's. Nakai wasn't to be out done and got boxing on the move in round 7 before both men unloaded bombs on each other in the final round, sending the crowd into an eruption of applause.
Despite scoring the knockdown it wasn't enough for Nakai to get the decision, instead Utsuki took the win with scores of 76-75, twice, and 77-74. For Utsuki the future seems to be for him to move onto title bouts, though we dare say that this isn't a major set back for Nakai, who can certainly come again.
Then we got to much anticipated main event between WBO Asia Pacific Minimumweight champion Ginjiro Shigeoka (6-0, 5) [重岡銀次朗] and the hungry challenger Toshiki Kawamitsu (6-1, 3) [川満俊輝. On paper this looked like a brilliant match up, made even more compelling by the fact Shigeoka had been out of the ring for well over a year, and Kawamitsu had looked really good in his most recent bouts. Sadly however this was not the compelling test for Shigeoka we had expected.
From the opening moments Shigeoka closed the distance and began to hammer Kawamitsu, who tried to stand his ground and fire back. The entire first round was exhilarating toe to toe action, but it was not the style of fight that was going to favour Kawamitsu. In round 2 Shigeoka's power broke through, as he dropped Kawamitsu with a right hook. Kawamitsu beat the count but he was a wounded animal and Shigeoka smelled blood, going after him, claming picking his spots and then forcing the referee to save Kawamitsu after a straight left and a rook hook left Kawamitsu in no fit state to continue.
Earlier today at the Watanabe Gym Ring Magazine and WBA Light Flyweight "Super" champion Hiroto Kyoguchi (14-0, 9) [京口 紘人] took part in a public work out, ahead of his November 3rd clash with unbeaten Thai challenger Thanongsak Simsri (14-0, 12).
The session has had footage put online by Boxing Beatm and it's clear that Kyoguchi is in great shape and condition, is razor sharp and has prepared well for the bout. For a man who hasn't been in a fight since last year, when he beat Tetsuya Hisada, he didn't seem to have much ring rust at all during today's session.
During the session we saw 2 rounds of Kyoguchi sparring with Kyotaro Yoshida [吉田京太郎], who will be taking part in his B-License test on November 3rd. During the spar Kyoguchi looked strong, aggressive, exciting and like a man who really is in great shape.
It should be noted that Simsri has been in Japan for a while now and he is finishing his quarantine in the near future. His Japanese manager, Green Tsuda's Masaya Motoishi, was today's event. He revealed the Thai was training for around 3 hours a day, and that they had good counter measures in place for Kyoguchi's, though did admit that Kyoguchi looked strong.
For fans wanting to watch Kyoguchi's bout with Simsri it will be shown live on Kyoguchi's own YouTube channel, which is available here 京口紘人 Hiroto Kyoguchi【WBA世界王者】. Some reports in Japan state it will be the first world title bout in Japan to be shown live on YouTube, that's not actually true, but it will be the first time a Japanese fighter will be streaming a world title fight on their own channel.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
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