In Osaka earlier today fight fans had a chance to see the latest Ioka promoted card, and although it wasn't a high profile show, by any stretch of the imagination, it was an interesting card, with several notable names on it.
The most notable of those names was former world title challenger Sho Ishida (28-1, 15) [石田 匠] who battled under-rated youngster Ikuro Sadatsune (9-4-3, 3) [定常 育郎] in an 8 round bout at Bantamweight. On paper this looked like a mismatch in favour of Ishida however Sadatsune approached the bout with the feeling that he could win, and he certainly showed no respect to Ishida, in fact the youngster responded pretty much evenly with Ishida through the fight. When Ishida picked up the pace Sadatsune went with him, forcing Ishida to to stay sharp. It was technical from both, with jabs being the order of the day, but it was very hotly contested with a brilliant back and forth.
A late point deduction for a clash of heads turned out to be meaningless to the scores, with all 3 judges having Ishida the winner, 76-75, 77-75 and 77-74, though it was clear that he got a much bigger test than he, or anyone in his team, were expecting. Sadly for Sadatsune this is a second straight close loss, but the 21 year old again showed that he belongs in the ring with this level of fighter and we're really looking forward to seeing him again shortly. He is an incredibly talented young man who will go far if he doesn't let these close losses kill his desire to fight.
Also on this card was 2014 Rookie of the Year Masayoshi Hashizume (17-0-2, 10) [橋詰将義], who was also given a surprisingly tough test as Japanese based Filipino Jayar Estremos (11-15-1, 4) put in a solid effort. Hashizume, a real talent but someone who has come across as a touch inconsistent, was always being forced to fight hard against Estremos, who was targeting the body. Hashizume proved to be too sharp and too quick, but never looked relaxed en route to a unanimous decision, with scores of 77-75, 79-75 and 79-75.
The one man from the Ioka gym who did shine was the unbeaten 22 year old Joe Shiraishi (8-0-1, 4). The 2017 Rookie of the Year winner defeated Filipino Prince Andrew Laurio (10-2-1, 7) with a 5th round KO, coming from a big straight right hand. The shot sent the Filipino visitor down for the 10 count, giving him his second straigth loss. Shiraishi looked good won he won the Flyweight Rookie crown but with only 1 fight in 2018 his rise had slowed massively, so today's win will certainly give his career a good shot in the arm.
We've known for a while that Ioka boxing gym would be promoting a card on April 21st in Osaka, though we weren't given the names of the main fighters from that card until earlier today.
Today we were informed that the chief support bout of the card would feature former Japanese title challenger and 2014 Rookie of the Year Masayoshi Hashizume (16-0-2, 10) [橋詰将義], who battles against Filipino Jayar Estremos (11-14-1, 4) in an 8 round Super Flyweight bout. This looks like a bit of a straight forward win for Hashizume, though should be a good bounce back after a draw with Takayuki Okumoto (21-8-4, 10) [奥本 貴之] last December. Given that Estremos is 1-9-1 in his last 11 it's hard to see this being competitive at all.
In the main event of this show former world title challenger Sho Ishida (27-1, 15) [石田 匠] will face off with talented youngster Ikuro Sadatsune (9-3-3, 3) [定常 育郎] in an 8 round Bantamweight. This is a huge step up in class for Sadatsune, but he's the type of fighter who seems to love being in with more proven and notable fighters. In some ways this is actually a no-win for Ishida, but we are glad to see him back in the ring.
Earlier today at the EDION Arena Osaka fight fans got the chance to see a Japanese Super Flyweight title bout. the bout saw defending champion Takayuki Okumoto (21-8-4, 10) [奥本 貴之] taking on the unbeaten Masayoshi Hashizume (16-0-1, 10) [橋詰将義], in what was Okumoto's first defense and Hashizume's first title bout.
The two men had sparred a lot on their familiarity showed as they looked to win the battle of jabs early on. Hashizume was the first to break away from that and began to up the pace. Okumoto went with the challenger, and started to show his better control of distance, though he was the slower man.
Ater 5 rounds the judges scorecards were all over the place. One card backed the challenger, 49-46, whilst Okumoto lead on the other cards, 49-46 and 48-47.
Hashizume began to raise the tempo again in the second half of the fight, and seemed to hurt Okumoto with a body shot in round 7. Okumoto battled back though and used his jab excellently before being dragged into a war in rounds 8 and 9, with men really digging their feet into the canvas and going to work. Hashizume then mixed it up again by taking the final round by boxing smartly, and it was one of the very few rounds all 3 judges agreed on.
At the final bell it seemed like both men had a fair argument for the win, though the judges struggled to split them, scoring the bout 96-95, to Okumoto, 97-93, to Hashizume, and 95-95 leading us to a draw.
At the final bell it seemed like Hashizume had more reason to be annoyed, he had regularly unsettled Okumoto, landed the better blows and had dictated the tempo and distance better. With the draw he stays in the mix, but will have to wait for a second shot, as Okumoto will need to make a mandatory defense in the new year against Yuta Matsuo(15-3-1, 8) [松尾雄太].
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Tomorrow we'll see Japanese Super Flyweight champion Takayuki Okumoto (21-8-3, 10) [奥本 貴之] making his first defense of the title he won earlier this year. The champion will be up against the once touted, and still unbeaten, Masayoshi Hashizume (16-0-1, 10) [橋詰将義].
Today the two men weighed in for the contest and both managed to make the 115lb limit for the bout.
Both men made weight and it was made very clear that the two knew each other well, having sparred numerous times prior to agreeing to fight.
Okumoto stated it would be a tough game, but he seemed determined and spoke confidently, like a man who would go through anything to retain the title. Hashizume himself seemed even more confident, stating that he would become the champion tomorrow.
The bout won't be shown live any where, but it will be added to the Boxingraise service on demand after the contest takes places, giving their subscribers a chance to see this contest on a delay basis.
Related - Okumoto defends Japanese title against unbeaten Hashizume
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Earlier today Green Tsuda held a press conference to announce their next big show "Crash Boxing 19", and revealed that it would be a triple title show, with a very good non-title supporting bout as well.
The main event will see Japanese Welterweight champion Ryota Yada (17-4, 14) [矢田良太] make his second defense of the title, as he takes on Shusaku Fujinaka (16-9-2, 10) [藤中 周作]. This promises to be an explosive contest but one where the champion will be heavily favoured to retain his title.
A better looking national title fight will see Japanese Super Flyweight champion Takayuki Okumoto (21-8-3, 10) [奥本 貴之] defending his title against the unbeaten Masayoshi Hashizume (16-0-1, 10) [橋詰将義]. Okumoto won the title earlier this year, outpointing Hiroyuki Kudaka, and will be favoured here given his experience. Hashizume was highly touted a few years ago, following success in the Rookie of the Year, but hasn't really built on that early success, and this is a big step up for him.
A Japanese Youth Super Flyweight title bout will see Ryosuke Nasu (9-3-3, 2) [那須亮祐] take on Yuto Nakamura (8-5, 7) [中村祐斗]. This is a really interesting match up between talented youngsters. Nasu comes into the bout following a good decision win over Kenta Matsui, and he has been hard matched through his career with bouts against the likes of Masamichi Yabuki and Naoto Iwai. Nakamura on the other hand is 2-3 in his last 5, but did score a huge win last time out over Futa Akizuki and this could be a really exciting fight.
Another potentially thrilling match up will see Toshiki Shimomachi (9-1-1, 5) [下町俊貴] battle Daisuke Watanabe (7-4, 4) [渡部大介]. The once beaten Shimomachi is on an 8 fight unbeaten run with 7 straight wins. Those wins saw him claim the Rookie of the Year title in 2017 at Super Bantamweight and has scored a couple of wins already this year, including a good one over Renan Portes. On the other hand Watanabe has been matched incredibly hard, facing the likes of Sho Nakazawa, Gakuya Furuhashi and Reiya Abe in his short career.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
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