If you're outside of Japan there is a good chance you've never heard of Rei Nakajima (2-0) [中島玲] but he's someone who is touted highly in the Kansai region and his team have a lot of faith in him becoming a notable local fighter.
The belief in the youngster is so much that he attended a special event with a local mayor in Toyonaka City Osaka, after just 1 professional bout.
Today Nakajima had his next bout confirmed, and for a 2-0 fighter the bout a huge step up in class as he takes on 36 year old Thai veteran Patomsuk Pathompothong (39-11-1, 25), aka Komsan Polsan, on December 8th in Osaka.
The Thai may not be a world beater but compared to Nakajima's first 2 bouts this is a huge leap in the right direction, and he takes on a man who fought for a regional title just a few months ago, when he lost to Takeshi Inoue in a bout for the WBO Asia Pacific Light Middleweight title. Whilst Inoue stopped Patomsuk in just 2 rounds it's fair to say that there is a gulf in difference between the novice and Inoue, who fought for a world title back in January.
Although not very well known at the moment Nakajima is likely to be moved quickly in the coming years under the guidance of fighter-turn-promoter, Nobuhiro Ishida. He's one of a number of exciting hopefuls having their career's guided by Ishida and the ambition Ishida has with his fighters has to be applauded, even at this early stage in his promotional career. What he's down with Aso Ishiwaki has been impressive and we suspect Nakajima will be mixing at a similar level to Ishiwaki next year.
Patomsuk has mixed not only with Inoue but has really faced a regional who's whjo with losses to Hironobu Matsunaga, Akihiro Kondo, Kuok Kun Ng, Ik Yang and Takayuki Hosokawa. He does tend to lose when he steps up, but for a fighter as early in his career as Nakajima this is an excellent test.
Today has been a hectic day already in Asian boxing, with shows in the Philippines, Thailand and Kazakhstan all worthy not note. For it was the Thai card that seemed to be the most surprising as a number of notable names were added to it at short notice. Given the short notice none of them were really tested, but there was a few results worthy of note, mostly by fighters looking to bounce back from losses.
The most interesting of the results from the card regarded unbeaten teenager puncher Thanongsak Simsri (12-0, 11), who was fighting for the 7th time this year. The 19 year old went into the ring having stopped everyone he had faced, but that run came to an end today thanks to the under-rated Lerdchai Chaiyawed (2-4, 1) who survived the 6 round distance. The hard hitting Thanongsak took a comfortable decision but couldn't see off Lerdchai, who has gone the distance with the likes of Ryoki Hirai, Seita Ogido and the hotly tipped Issei Ochiai and holds a vert good win over Samartlek Kokietgym.
Aged 24 we do wonder what Lerdchai could accomplish if a good trainer gets behind him. He's naturally talented, but needs someone to help develop that of his. Whilst it's a shame to see "Srisaket II" go the distance the bout will serve Thanongsak well in terms of his development, and this was clearly a bout where he will have learned a lot about himself.
The most well known fighter on the under-card was former world title challenger Teeraphong Utaida (39-7-1, 21), aka Fahlan Sakkreerin, Jr, who was fighting for the first time since a loss in the Philippines to Jayson Mama in March. He went the 4 round scheduled with Nirun Baonok (5-18, 4), aka Rungniran Korat Sport School, in what is a very disappointing result. Niron has lost 7 in a row now, and was stopped in 3 of hose 7 bouts, so to see him hear the final bell against Fahlan is disappointing.
Thankfully Thanongsak wasn't the only prospect on the card picking up a win, as 28 year old Aran Dipaen (7-2, 6) bounced back from his September loss to Tommy Frank in the UK by stopping Wisitsak Saiwaew (6-9, 5) in the opening round. This isn't an amazing win on paper, but Dipaen did stop Wisitsak quicker than Sho Kimura and Songsaeng Phoyaem. Dipaen is expected to now fight for a regional title in November after getting the confidence building, bounce back win here.
Veteran Komsan Polsan (39-11-1, 25), aka Patomsuk Pathompothong, was previously seen in the ring being stopped in 2 rounds by Takeshi Inoue and he today bounced by beating the debuting Witaya Dechkrong (0-1) in 2 rounds, in what was a bit of a farce.
Another fighting rebuilding after a loss was Sitthidet Banti (12-5, 6), aka Denchana Sakkreerin, bounced back from a loss in Japan to Takuma Takahashi by stopping novice Decha Takote (0-3) in the second round. Last time out, just back in August, Sitthidet suffered his first stoppage loss and this was clearly made a confidence builder against a teenager who has been taken out early in all 3 losses now.
Earlier this year we saw Takeshi Inoue (14-1-1, 8) [井上 岳志] challenge WBO Light Middleweight champion Jamie Munguia, and put up a very credible effort against the unbeaten Mexican world champion.
Today he returned to the ring, in Tokyo, to reclaim the WBO Asia Pacific Light Middleweight title, a title he gave up to challenge Munguia.
In the opposite corner to Inoue was limited, though experienced, Thai foe Patomsuk Pathompothong (38-11-1, 24). The Thai was looking to claim his first win on Japanese soil, and his first win outside of Thailand in over 8 years following a close decision win in 2011 against Heath Ellis.
Sadly for Patomsuk it wasn't to be, with Inoue being several levels above the Thai.
Inoue took control quickly using his jab and then began to focus on fighting at mid-range, not his typical close range. Inoue managed to find a home for his left hook to the body, and move in and out with his jab being the key, rather than boring straight forward as we've typically seen from him and working on the inside. In round 2 Patomsuk tried to change the tempo of the bout but had his wide hooks easily blocked by Inoue who landed a left hook to the body and dropped the Thai for the 10 count at the 2:24 mark of the round.
After the bout Inoue stated the he had been working on straight punches in training and that he had been focusing on adding more to his game, as if he realised from the Munguia loss that what he was doing needed to be built on. He also added, unsurprisingly, that he wanted to climb back into world contender and get more world title fights. Given his performance against Munguia he showed he wasn't out of his depth at that level, and we wouldn't be surprised if he did get a second world title fight in the next year or so.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
Tomorrow fight fans in Tokyo will get the chance to see former world title challenger Takeshi Inoue (13-1-1, 7) [井上 岳志] return to the ring for the first time since his loss to Jamie Munguia earlier in the year. The tough Inoue will be looking to get straight back into notable fights as he battles for the WBO Asia Pacific Light Middleweight title against Thai veteran Patomsuk Pathompothong (38-10-1, 24), also known as Komsan Polsan, at the Korakuen Hall.
Today the two men took part in their weight in for the 154lb bout and both men made weight.
On the scales Inoue was bang on the divisional limit, and looked in the amazing shape he has become well known for. As always he was ripped, confident looking and had a determined presence about him. He spoke about showing a different style to the one he has used in the past and will look to show more to his boxing, with more movement than we've seen in the past. If we're honest we're kind of hoping to see the Inoue we love seeing, the all action mauler.
The Thai on the other hand came in well under the limit at 152.8lbs. Even before the weigh in we knew he was the naturally smaller man, and has fought way down the weights before. He spoke confidently, and suggested that his heart was strong and that Inoue shouldn't over-look him, but he hasn't impressed in recent to Japan and is a massive under-dog against someone who didn't embarrass themselves when fighting at world level.
Related - Inoue returns to Japan to battle for regional title!
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
We've known for a while that August's Diamond Glove card would take place on August 3rd and be headlined by the rematch between Japanese Middleweight champion Kazuto Takesako (10-0-1, 10) [竹迫司登] and Shuji Kato (10-1-2, 6) [加藤収二]. We also knew the show would feature world title challenger Takeshi Inoue (13-1-1, 7) [井上 岳志]. Sadly though we didn't really get any extra news about the card until earlier today.
Today we were given details of the under-card as well as more details about Inoue's bout.
One of the under-card bouts will see Celes gym's new prospect Issay Ochai (0-0) [落合 壱星] make his debut, as he goes up against Thai foe Lerdchai Chaiyawed (1-2). The unbeaten Japanese fighter is a touted 18 year old who is tipped for big things whilst the Thai is a really good test, who holds a win over Samartlek Kokietgym and pushed both Ryoki Hirai and Seita Ogido hard in Japan in his losses. This bout will be scheduled for 6 rounds.
Another prospect on the card will be Takuma Takahashi (3-0, 3) [高橋拓磨], who also takes on a Thai foe as he battles against Sitthidet Banti (11-4, 5) in an 8 round bout. Takahashi is tipped for big things, and despite technical flaws he does look like he can go a very long way, so we're not expecting too many issues for him here. The Thai does hold a notable win over Saddam Kietyongyuth, but has been beaten in 3 of his 4 bouts outside of Thailand.
Another promising fighter on this card will be Kenshin Oshima (5-1-1, 3) [大嶋剣心], though his opponent hasn't yet been announced.
So back to Inoue, his bout for the card has now been announced and he will take on Patomsuk Pathompothong (38-10-1, 24), also known as Komsan Polsan, in a bout for the WBO Asia Pacific Light Middleweight title. This really should be a straight forward win for Inoue, who shouldn't have any problems with the Thai, who has lost in all 3 of his previous visits to Japan.
At the moment it's unclear whether this card will be aired live on G+ or not, though given the quality of the show, and the double main event, we really are hoping G+ will get back to showing live boxing.
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