Masayuki Kuroda retires
Earlier this week it was revealed that former 2-time world title challenger Masayuki Kuroda (30-9-3, 16) [黒田雅之] had decided on his future, and unfortunately for his fans that future was not going to be fighting in the ring, as he had decided to retire form the sport.
The 35 year old decided to retire from the sport recently and made his announcement on Thursday to hang up the gloves, and end a long and notable career.
Kuroda, who debuted in 2005, managed to make a mark on the domestic scene in 2011, when he won the Japanese Light Flyweight title, which he defended 4 times including a notable split decision dray against Ryoichi Taguchi. Sadly for him however he was the victim of Naoya Inoue around this time, with Inoue getting the better of Kuroda in what was the Monster's "pro-test" bout. Soon after his the 4th defense of the Japanese title he challenged WBA Light Flyweight champion Juan Carlos Reveco losing a competitive decision to the Argentinian.
That loss to Reveco saw Kuroda come up short in a world title bout but saw him begin to establish himself as a Flyweight, and despite losses to Suguru Muranaka and Takuya Kogawa in Japanese title we did see Kuroda finally win a Japanese Flyweight title before facing Moruti Mthalane in an IBF Flyweight title fight. Sadly for Kuroda he would lose to Kuroda in 2019, and injuries from that bout, and others suffered in training, kept him out of the ring for the better part of 3 years. Sadly when he returned to action, earlier this year, the 35 year old came off second best against professional novice Kantari Juri.
We want to wish Kuroda all the best in his post boxing career, and genuine do wish him all the best going forward. He was an amazing servant for Japanese boxing and someone who fell short at the highest level, but proved himself capable of competing at world title level.
Results from Korakuen Hall
Earlier today fight fans at Koraskuen Hall got a treat as they got a thrilling card headlined by a Japanese Super Bantamweight title bout, and also featuring several other bouts of note. The card wasn't a massive one, not by any stretch, but was a very good domestic level show.
The first bout of note saw former 2-time world title challenger Masayuki Kuroda (30-9-3, 16) [黒田雅之] return to the ring for the first time since May 2019, when he lost to Moruti Mthalane. Sadly for him however it wasn't a happy return as he was out boxed by unbeaten youngster Kantaro Juri (4-0, 2) [重里侃太朗] in an 8 rounder at Super Flyweight. Throughout the fight Juri proved to be too big, too quick, too sharp and too accurate, especially with his jab. Kuroda had moments, here and there, but they were few and far between and after 8 rounds there no questioning the decision. The judges all sided with Juri, with scores of 79-73, 78-74 and 77-75.
The second bout of note on this card ended with a genuine upset as the unheralded Taison Mukaiyama (7-2, 4) [向山太尊] scored a stoppage win over the ranked Toru Kiyota (11-5, 8) [清田亨], who entered with top 10 rankings with the JBC, OPBF and WBO Asia Pacific. Mukaiyama looked crude at times, being made to miss and losing balance early on, but in round 2 a left straight left hand stopped Kiyota. Kiyota recovered to his feet but was instantly under pressure and the referee was forced to save him just moments later. Notably Kiyota was ranked #4 in the WBO Asia Pacific rankings and this win will put Mukaiyama on the verge of a title fight of some kind.
On the subject of title fights the main event of the show as a Japanese Super Bantamweight title bout, as defending champion Gakuya Furuhashi (28-8-2, 16) [古橋大輔] faced off with Yusaku Kuga (20-5-2, 13) [久我勇作], the man he beat for the title last year. From the off this was a great fight, living up to the high expectations fans had of it. Kuga got the better of the early going, jabbing well and moving well, but Furuhashi, like he did in their first bout, kept coming forward and showed little respect to Kuga's much touted power. This lead to Furuhashi forcing Kuga to fight at a high pace, somethign that was expected to take the gas out of Kuga's tank.
In round 4 Furuhashi was left with a cut eye, from an uppercut, and after 5 rounds Kuga was leading on all 3 cards, 48-47, twice, and 49-46.
It was there that Furuhashi began to make the most of his aggression, his pressure and his work rate, as he started to get up close and get to the body of Kuga. He forced Luga to clinch, spoil and try to slow the tempo of the bout, but Furuhashi was incredibly determined to turn the bout his way, and he really got his way back in to the bout in the middle rounds, taking the lead on two of the scorecards as we went into round round 10. It was there that Kuga dug incredibly deeply and managed to narrowly out work and out battle Furuhashi. Sadly for him however it wasn't enough to take home the win.
The scores, after 10 rounds, were 95-95, twice, and 96-94 to Kuga, resulting in a majority draw, and leaving the door open to a third bout between two two men, who have know given us two amazing bouts around a year apart.
Earlier this year fight fans who follow the Japanese scene got a genuine treat as Gakuya Furuhashi (28-8-1, 16) [古橋大輔] claimed the Japanese Super Bantamweight title, and stopped Yusaku Kuga (20-5-1, 13) [久我勇作] in a genuine fight of the year contender.
That bout saw Furuhashi break down Kuga and stop him in 9 rounds, of a scintillating, back and forth war that saw both men take a lot of punishment, but in the end Kuga ran out of gas whilst Furuhashi was like a man possessed, and put in the performance of his career.
Since then both men have picked up a single win, with Furushashi defending his title in a thrilling bout in August against Seigo Hanamori [花森 成吾] and Kuga beating former Japanese champion Ryoichi Tamura [田村亮一], in what was the third bout between the two men. Those win have ended up working out nicely for fans wanting to see Furuhashi and Kuga go again.
Over the weekend it was announced we would see a rematch between the two men on January 25th 2022 on a Phoenix Battle show, promoted by Hideyuki Ohashi, at Korakuen Hall. With the bout serving as Furuhashi's second defense of the title.
Given the punishment both men have taken over their careers, including their war against each other, it's hard to see where the loser would go, but the winner would potentially move towards a regional title fight later in the year.
The card, which will be shown in Hikari TV, will also feature touted prospect Junki Shirasaki (1-0) [白崎隼樹], the long awaited debut of Kotoji Irita (0-0) [入田 琴司], and the return of former 2-time world title challenger Masayuki Kuroda (30-8-3, 16) [黒田雅之], who hasn't fought in over 2 years due to recurring injury woes.
Last year we were expecting to see former 2-time world title challenger Masayuki Kuroda (30-8-3, 16) [黒田雅之] compete in a November clash with unbeaten prospect Ayato Hiromoto [廣本彩刀]. Sadly that bout had been postponed, and then cancelled completely due to Kuroda suffering a nasty injury in training to his left arm. And when we mean nasty injury, we really mean nasty, with a tendon in his upper left arm rupturing in sparring.
Following the injury the fighter himself required surgery and then lengthy rehabilitation before getting back in the gym.
Today the excellent team at Boxmob.jp spoke to Kuroda, who explained he was now back in the gym and resuming gym work for the first time since his injury.
Despite being back in the gym the actual gym work of Kuroda has been limited. He described, in his comments to Boxmob, that his training is currently "light" and stated that he hadn't yet hit the punching bags. It seems that whilst he is in the gym, his return to the ring will not be a quick one, and he stated "I want to return by the end of the year."
For fans of Kuroda this is obviously mixed news. It's great that he's back in training, but at 34 years old he probably only has one or two fights left in his body, and it really does seem like injuries and age will force him to retire sooner rather than later.
Back in September it was announced that former 2-time world title challenger Masayuki Kuroda (30-8-3, 16) [黒田雅之] would clash with unbeaten prospect Ayato Hiromoto (2-0, 1) [廣本彩刀] in November. That bout was the postponed, and then cancelled, with Kuroda suffering an injury that then worsened.
Today we have good news in regards to Kuroda, who had surgery just over a week ago, and was discharged from Hospital on October 16th, with his left arm in a sling.
The injury has seemingly been a lot worse than first expected. He damaged his arm, sparred with it anyway and has been left with a ruptured tendon in his upper left arm. As a result surgery has seen him have a bolt inserted into the bone, holding the tendon into place to help it recover. There is also going to be weekly rehab in hospital.
The plan now is for Kuroda to rest, recover, and potentially return to the ring next year. At the age of 34 however an injury like this can take a while longer to recover from than when a fighter is young, and there isn't really a time being mode public for when he'll be back in action.
We want to wish Kuroda all the best in his recover, as the injury sounds like a legitimately nasty one that could, potentially, end his career. If, and we are assuming, it's around the elbow it can take more than 2 years for the arm to fully recover, which would mean Kuroda would be 36 by the time he's 100%, which is ancient for a Flyweight.
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