Earlier today we got a show from Okayama, and whilst it wasn't the the best show there was two talking points from the show.
The first of them was the "blink and you miss it" debut of 35 year old Yuya Igi (1-0, 1) [猪木 雄也], who took on fellow debutant Yuki Nakahara (0-1) [中原 裕貴] in a West Japan Rookie of the year bout at 140. This really was over before it ever got started.
The bout with Nakahara trying to box behind his jab, but within seconds Igi landed a right hand, then let his shots fly, landing shot after shot clean to the head of Nakahara. Nakahara stumbled into the corner and the bout was waved off, after just 11 seconds! He was done, the stoppage was fine, and Igi had made an immediate impact on the sport. A very impressive and quick win here by the newbie.
The other major talking point was the "main event" of the show, a 4 round public spar between Japanese Flyweight champion Seigo Yuri Akui (15-2-1, 10) [阿久井政悟] and Japanese Light Flyweight champion Masamichi Yabuki (12-3, 11) [佐藤政道].
The spar was put together on super short notice after Akui had a planned bout with Yuto Nakamura (11-6-1, 8) [中村 祐斗] fall through yesterday, when Nakamura was said to be ill, and in poor physical condition.
Despite the issues leading to what was essentially an exhibition, the two men did put on a show for the fans in attendance, mixing up high level boxing, early on, with some more explosive stuff later on. Through out the exhibition Akui looked the bigger, stronger, more powerful man but to his credit Yabuki was there putting his skills to the test in what was a very good spar.
After the two men traded shows Akui thanks Yabuki for taking the call on such short notice, made it clear that he was unhappy at the situation but had switched to a positive mindset, and was targeting a world ranking. He then added some interesting comments, to suggest that rules need changing to prevent such late pull outs, with the suggesting from some quarters being that Nakamura has messed up his weight and pulled out as a result.
As for Yabuki the plan is to attend the up coming WBC Light Flyweight world title bout between Kenshiro Teraji (17-0, 10) [寺地 拳四朗] and Tetsuya Hisada (34-10-2, 20) [久田 哲也], and it seems like he will want to challenge the winner of that bout.
There has also been quotes from Tatsuya Moriyasu, the promoter of the event, who also expressed frustration at the late cancellation, but seemed happy about Yabuki helping to save the show. His plan is to hold his next show, which will almost certainly feature Akui, at some point in the fall.
For fans wanting to watch the spar, and the 11 second bout, along with other action from the show, the entire show will be made available via the Boxing Raise service
Earlier today it was reported the the bout between Japanese Flyweight champion Seigo Yuri Akui (15-2-1, 10) [阿久井政悟] and former Japanese Youth Super Flyweight champion Yuto Nakamura (11-6-1, 8) [中村 祐斗], set to take place tomorrow in Okyama, has been cancelled.
The bout was supposed to headline "Momotaro Fight Boxing 40", and supposed to be shown on the Boxing Raise service, on delay, but has sadly been scrapped 1 day before the contest as Nakamura has had to pull out.
The 24 year old Nakamura has fallen ill, with no details on his illness being revealed.
Whilst the bout is cancelled local fans wanting to see the hard hitting Akui will still get the chance, with the promoter putting together a 3 round exhibition with Japanese Light Flyweight champion Masamichi Yabuki (12-3, 11) [佐藤政道]. Not a terrible replacement, though obviously not as good as a bout with Nakamura would have been.
Akui spoke to Boxmob.jp regarding the situation and seemed understanding of Nakamura's situation, whilst also talking up the exhibition with Yabuki, which genuinely should be an entertaining event in it's self. Especially given their history, with Akui stopping Yabuki in an actual fight in 2018.
Earlier today the nominations for the JBC and Tokyo Athletic Press Club Boxing Subcommittee annual awards were announced, with the media being able to vote on the winners, who will be announced later this month. Unlike usual there will not be a big event ceremony, due to the ongoing Covid19 situation.
Sadly Covid19 really did destroy the boxing calendar in Japan and only a handful of top Japanese fighters managed to squeeze a fight into the year. In fact only 3 of the 7 current male world champions managed to fight, and that include a man who won his world title late year.
The fighters nominated for the "Best Fighter" award were those 3 champions that manage to fight last year:
They were WBO Super Flyweight champion Kazuto Ioka (25-2, 14) [井岡一翔]
WBO Flyweight champion Junto Nakatani (21-0, 16) [中谷 潤人]
And unified WBA "super" and IBF Bantamweight champion Naoya Inoue (20-0, 17) [井上 尚弥]
Those 3 champions are also up in the running for the "Skill Award".
The "Special Merit" award sees Junto Nakatani in the running alongside:
Masayoshi Nakatani (19-1, 13) [中谷正義]
and Hironori Mishiro (10-0-1, 3) [三代大訓]
The Effort/Fighting Award short list is
Ryoji Fukunaga (13-4, 13) [福永亮次]
and Kenichi Horikawa (41-16-1, 14) [堀川 謙一]
The KO award has 4 nominees, with Inoue, Ioka, and both Junto and Masayoshi Nakatani.
The newcomer award sees Mishiro up against:
Daishi Nagata (15-2-2, 6) [永田大士]
and Masamichi Yabuki (12-3, 11) [佐藤政道]
The best bout of the year has been split into two categories, as it has been for a while.
The world title bouts up for the award are:
Kazuto Ioka Vs Kosei Tanaka (15-1, 9) [田中恒成]
Naoya Inoue Vs Jason Moloney
Junto Nakatani Vs Giemel Magramo
As for the none world title bouts, the fights nominated here are:
Riku Nagahama [長濱 陸] Vs Kudura Kaneko [クドゥラ 金子]- For the OPBF Welterweight title
Kenichi Ogawa [尾川 堅一] Vs Kazuhiro Nishitani [西谷和宏] - Non title bout
Masayoshi Nakatani Vs Felix Verdejo - WBO Intercontinental Lightweight title
Ryoji Fukunaga Vs Kenta Nakagawa [中川 健太] - WBO Asia Pacific, JBC and OPBF triple title bout
and Hironori Mishiro Vs Masayuki Ito [伊藤 雅雪] - Non title bout
As for the female awards, the MVP nominess are:
WBO Atomweight champion Mika Iwakawa (10-5-1, 3) [岩川 美花]
WBO female Minimumweight champion Etsuko Tada (20-3-3, 7) [多田悦子]
and WBO female Super Flyweight champion Tomoko Okuda (7-2-2, 1) [奥田朋子]
The best bouts for female boxing are:
Mika Iwakawa Vs Nanae Suzuki [鈴木菜々江]
Etsuko Tada Vs Ayaka Miyao [宮尾 綾香]
and Tomoko Okuda Vs Miyo Yoshida [吉田 実代]
Whilst most fight fans who follow the Japanese domestic scene were focused on the action at the Sumida City Gymnasium today there was a second card taking place, over the Aioi Hall in Kariya. It was a less notable show, but still one with a very notable main event.
The main event saw Japanese Light Flyweight champion Masamichi Yabuki (12-3, 11) [佐藤政道] successfully defending his title for the first time, as he out pointed Toshimasa Ouchi (22-10-3, 8) [大内 淳雅] over 10 rounds. The win not only securing his first defense, but also his first decision win.
In the first round the challenger looked to get his jab to the body going, in an attempt to take some steam out of Yabuki's work. Sadly for him however the challenger couldn't unsettle the champion who began to find his groove in round 2, poking away with a crisp, clean left jab from range. From there on Yabuki took control, using his reach, speed and crispness to out box Ouchi with ease.
After 5 rounds we got the open scoring kick in and Yabuki was winning a shut out, 50-45 from all 3 judges.
It ended up taking until round 9 for Ouchi to really have any moments of success, as he began to try and take out Yabuki, with some big left hands. He was however struggling to land and had to take more risks in round 10, where he landed some of his best shots, not enough to have Yabuki in any real danager.
After 10 rounds we went to the judges who turned in scores of 100-90, and 99-91, twice, to give Yabuki the decision win, the first decision win of his career, and his first defense.
Interestingly there was only 1 other bout on this card and that was a 6 round Super Bantamweight bout between Teru Nobita (6-3-1, 3) [テルのび太] score a last moment KO win over John Yano (5-7, 2) [ヤノ・ ジョン]. In fact the KO here came at the 3:01 mark of round 6!
The fight had been a solid action fight, with Nobita generally getting the better of things until he landed a right hook in the final moments. Nobita bout the count but was out on his feet when the referee waved off the bout, just after the final bell.
One of the many bouts taking place today in Japan will be the Japanese Light Flyweight title bout, pitting hard hitting champion Masamichi Yabuki (11-3, 11) [佐藤政道] against veteran Toshimasa Ouchi (22-9-3, 8) [大内 淳雅] on a Midori promoted show in Kariya.
The bout, which serves as Yabuki's first defense, has interestingly been priced up by STS Bet who see the bout as a complete and utter mismatch.
The Polish based betting company had the champion priced at 1/20 to come out victorious and retain his title whilst the challenger is a massive under-dog at 13/2.
Interestingly we do love to look at the Boxmob polls when it comes to bouts like this, and interestingly they have given Ouchi a 27% chance of winning, whilst the bookies have given him an implied probability of 13.3%. Maybe, just maybe, the bookies are being harsh on the veteran here.
For fans wanting to watch this it will be made available on demand on Boxing Raise.
Related - Japanese champion Yabuki faces first challenger as he takes on Ouchi
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