Over the weekend former Super Featherweight champion Masaru Sueyoshi (19-2-1, 11) [末吉 大] announced that he was retiring from the sport of boxing, have been thinking about hanging them up following his loss in December to Kosuke Saka (20-5, 17) [坂晃典].
The talented Sueyoshi revealed he was hanging them up in a blog post on Sunday.
Sueyoshi had been a professional since 2011 and had a solid career that saw him beat the likes of Kazuma Sanpei, Roman Canto, Shingo Eta, Allan Vallespin and Nelson Tinampay before winning the Japanese title in 2017. Sueyoshi beat veteran Ribo Takahata to claim the belt, after Kenichi Ogawa had vacated it, and Sueyoshi would record 4 defenses of the belt before losing to Saka late last year.
Not did Sueyoshi have a good, solid, 2 year reign with the national title, but he also ran Hironori Mishiro close in an Japanese and OPBF title unification bout in 2018.
At the moment it's unclear what Sueyoshi's future will bring, but the 29 year old has his life in front of him and has almost certainly made his decision based on the loss to Saka. Whilst it's clear he could have offered the sport more, it's also great to see he's hung up the gloves without taking life changing punishment.
We'd like to wish Sueyoshi all the best in whatever his future ventures are.
Today's Dynamic Glove might be the final one of 2019 but it certainly wasn't a dull old show with nothing happening. In fact the first of two title fights on the show saw a genuine surprise as defending Japanese Super Featherweight champion Masaru Sueyoshi (19-2-1, 11) [末吉 大] was battered by former Japanese Featherweight champion Kosuke Saka (20-5, 17) [坂晃典], who became a 2-weight Japanese champion.
Saka, who was less than 8 months removed from a stoppage loss to Joe Noynay in a WBO Asia Pacific title bout, was expected to be the next fighter tortured by Sueyoshi's frustrating, yet effective style. He was supposed to be the man that Sueyoshi made his 5th defense against. Instead Saka turned out to have the Kryptonite to Sueyoshi's back foot style.
From the opening moments Saka applied intense pressure, cramping Sueyoshi for space, landing his jab to get inside and prevented Sueyoshi from ever getting comfortable. The pressure continued to come, and Sueyoshi looked like a man who was lost by the end of round 2, as Saka refused to slow down.
It wasn't until round 4 that Sueyoshi managed to create any workable space of note, and even then he didn't do enough to win the round. It was a better round for him, but not a round that he won. Similarly the 5th round, had competitive moments, with Sueyoshi ending the round well, but taking a lot before hand.
After 5 rounds the open scoring kicked in, with Saka leading 50-45, twice, and 49-46. The big question was whether he was going to be able to keep it up.
Whether Saka could do it for 10 rounds or not hardly mattered. In round 6 he managed to shake up Sueyoshi, who never got chance to recover, being knockdown hard mid way through the round. Referee Biney Martin, had taken a close look at Sueyoshi earlier on, knew it was pointless in administering a count, and waved off the bout.
For Saka this is arguably the biggest win of his career, at worth it's on par with his win over Shota Hayashi for the Japanese Featherweight title. As for Sueyoshi this was a painful defeat, and one that could be very hard to bounce back from. He was bullied, he was battered and he was exposed as someone who cannot handle intense pressure. Few at Japanese level could do what Saka did, but the issue is that many above Japanese level can.
With this result we now know that Saka will defend the belt in the 2020 Champion Carnival against Takuya Watanabe, in what looks like an amazing fight on paper.
Tomorrow at Korakuen Hall, and live on G+, we'll see Japanese Super Featherweight champion Masaru Sueyoshi (19-1-1, 11) [末吉 大] defending his title against former Japanese Featherweight champion Kosuke Saka (19-5, 16) [坂晃典].
The bout, originally arranged for September, was cancelled and re-arranged after Sueyoshi suffered an injury to his foot, though with time to rest he now looks to be in great condition and Saka seemed to still have some burning hunger, whilst looking to make up for the lost time.
Today the two fighters took part in their weigh in and both fighters made the 130lb Super Featherweight limit, hitting the limit dead on.
After making weight Sueyoshi stated that he has sparred with various fighters for this and suggested that he has improved thanks to that sparring. It seems that in some ways the injury had a positive effect on his his development. He also made it clear that he wants bigger and better fights in the future and wants to move on, beyond Japanese title level in the near future.
Saka on the other hand had confident in his power, and real self belief that he hit hard enough to stop Sueyoshi.
Related - Sueyoshi takes on Saka in next Japanese title defense
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
The main event of today's Dangan card at Korakuen Hall was a Japanese Super Featherweight title eliminator between former Japanese Featherweight champion Taiki Minamoto (16-6-1, 13) [源大輝] and the teak tough Takuya Watanabe (37-9-1, 21) [渡邉卓也]. The two men looked well matched on paper and it seemed almost a given that we would be getting a special bout as the styles looked almost certain to gel. We assumed it would be Minamoto's power against Watanabe's toughness, and that we would get a thriller.
We assumed right!
In the opening round it looked like Minamoto's power was not actually his key to victory, instead it was his speed, and he looked much quicker than Watanabe. Watanabe however was pressuring, landing the effective shots and forcing Minamoto to give ground.
From then touch paper was lit and rounds 2,3 and 4 were incredibly wars, each progressively more exciting than the previous. Two them men seemed to try out man each other on the inside, firing off bombs, and mixing shots between head and body at close range. For 3 straight rounds we saw Minamoto fight Watanabe's fight, and although he held his own, he did lose all 3 rounds, and was left with a bloodied nose and the need to reassess his tactics.
Having fought the wrong fight for 3 rounds Minamoto changed up what he did in rounds 5 and 6 as he looked to get some control in the bout. Rather than warring on the inside he boxed on the outside, using his speed and movement to jab and move against the slower Watanabe. The tactic worked really well, and he seemed to actually hurt Watanabe a couple of times in round 5.
The movement was a good change from Minamoto, but not something he could keep up and by round 7 we were back on the inside, and back to trading back and forth. Sadly for Minamoto this round killed any momentum he had, and he was rocked hard late in the round as Watanabe began to land clean shots that stiffened the legs the legs of Minamoto.
Going into the final round it seemed like Watanabe had done enough to avoid defeat, but a win wasn't in the bag for him. Regardless he came out swinging, and gave Minamoto a real beating in the final 3 minutes. It seemed like Watanabe was determined to stop his man, though some how Minamoto remained on his feet, despite being legitimately battered through the round.
At the end of 8 rounds we though Watanabe had done enough, and so did the judges, scoring the bout 77-75, 78-76 and 79-73 in favour of Watanabe. The 79-73 card seemed unfair but the other two were a pretty accurate reflection on what had been an 8 round war.
With the win Watanabe secures a title shut during the 2020 Champion Carnival, and will face either Masaru Sueyoshi (19-1-1, 11) [末吉 大] or Kosuke Saka (19-5, 16) [坂晃典], who face off in early December.
For those who don't subscribe to Boxing Raise this is the quality of bout you're missing out on, for those who do subscriber this was another instant classic on the service which is quickly becoming a must have for fight fans.
Earlier this year the plan was for Japanese Super Featherweight champion Masaru Sueyoshi (19-1-1, 11) [末吉 大] was to defend his belt against Kosuke Saka (19-5, 16) [坂晃典] in September. Sadly however Sueyoshi was injured before that bout could take place cancelling the originally planned date.
Today we have been informed that the bout now has a rescheduled date, and that will be December 7th at Korakuen Hall, as part of the previously announced Dynamic Glove card.
For Sueyoshi this will be his 5th defense of the title he won back in October 2017, when he stopped Ribo Takahata. Whilst Sakla will be looking to become a 2-weight Japanese champion, following a short reign as the Japanese Featherweight champion.
The bout will join another Super Featherweight title bout on the same show, as WBO Asia Pacific Super Featherweight champion Joe Noynay (18-2-1, 7) defends his belt against Kenichi Ogawa (24-1-0-1, 18) [尾川 堅一], making this a genuinely brilliant double header, especially for fans of the 130lb weight class.
Given the double header status of the card it's now assumed that the show will be aired live on G+, unlike recent shows which have been tape delay.
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