Earlier today in China fans were able to see former WBO Flyweight champion Sho Kimura (18-2-2, 11) [木村翔] return to the ring for the first time since losing the world title to Kosei Tanaka last year.
The exciting Japanese fighter was up against Thai veteran Pigmy Kokietgym (60-11-2, 24), aka Wicha Phulaikhao, and really did as he pleased from the opening round.
Kimura managed to show a crisp jab in the opening round, showing that he had worked on correcting some of the technical flaws that have held him back at times, before moving through the gears in rounds 2 and 3 to stop the Thai, who was dropped 3 times in round 3.
With the win Kimura becomes the new OPBF Flyweight Silver champion. Had the Thai won the title would have remained vacant following his failure to make weight yesterday.
Also on the card was was an exciting brawl between Fangyong Zhang (12-4-1, 3) and Ryuto Maekawa (11-2-1, 7), which saw the Chinese fighter taking a technical decision following a head clash. There was also an excellent performance by Shichao Gao (3-0-1, 1) who impressed and stopped Koji Igarashi (4-4, 3) in the second round.
Earlier today former WBO Flyweight champion Sho Kimura (17-2-2, 10) [木村翔] and Thai veteran Pigmy Kokietgym (60-10-2, 24), aka Wicha Phulaikhao, took part in in their weigh in for a bout that will take place tomorrow for the OPBF Silver Flyweight title.
On the scales Kimura had no problems making weight, coming in on the 112lbs limit and looking strong and powerful. Amazingly however the Thai veteran, who was dwarfed at the weigh in, came in at 114.6lbs, way over the limit. That was despite looking tiny at the weigh in.
After Pigmy failed to make weight there was an agreement that the Thai would have to weigh 56KG's or less tomorrow morning, or the bout would be cancelled. Kimura can still win the OPBF silver title however the Thai can't, regardless of his weight tomorrow.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Later this month we'll see former WBO Flyweight champion Sho Kimura (17-2-2, 10) [木村翔] battle against Thai veteran Pigmy Kokietgym (60-10-2, 24), aka Wicha Phulaikhao in China.
Today, ahead of that bout, Kimura took part in a public work out.
The work out saw saw Kimura hitting the mitts with his trainer and show a real heaviness to his punches. There seemed to be real spite in what Kimura threw and a new found compactness to his work, something that is different to what we have come to see from the popular fighter form the Aoki gym. Interestingly he will be wearing tailor made Adidas gloves for the bout.
Kimura sounded confident of stopping Pigmy, something we all seem to expect and after today's work out it seemed a case of "when" not "if" that stoppage would come.
Also, a rather interesting note for Japanese fans, Kimura will be commentating on the upcoming bout between Kosei Tanaka (12-0, 7) [田中恒成] and Ryoichi Taguchi (27-3-2, 12) [田口良一], though that will only be for Japanese fans watching the TV broadcast, not those watching on the international feed.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
Lats month we reported that former WBO Flyweight champion Sho Kimura (17-2-2, 10) [木村翔] was planning to return to the ring in Spring in China. We have bow seen the OPBF confirmed that news, and also confirm the opponent and title status of the bout.
The OPBF revealed that the exciting Japanese fighter, who is hugely popular in China following his 2017 upset win over Zou Shiming, will be battling for the OPBF Silver Flyweight on March 30th in Shanghai. His opponent will be Thai veteran Pigmy Kokietgym (60-10-2, 24), aka Wicha Phulaikhao, a 37 year old who has been around the block a few times.
For Kimura the bout will be his first since losing the WBO Flyweight title to Kosei Tanaka (12-0, 7) [田中恒成] in September. His career was in doubt following that loss, but recently announced that he would be returning, and if we're honest few will complain about him having an easier bout. It's also worth noting that this will be his third bout on the Chinese mainland, and he's also fought once in Hong Kong.
For Pigmy this will be his first contest in almost a year, last being seen losing in 6 rounds to Masahiro Sakamoto last April. He's been a professional since 1999 and has twice fought for world titles, losing in both of those world title bouts.
It's a disappointing bout if you're a Kimura fan, but an understandable one, an easy comeback contest for the former world champion.
Interestingly this bout will take place on the same show as a number of Japan Vs China bouts, including the very interesting Flyweight contest between Ryota Yamauchi (4-0, 4) [山内涼太] and Wulan Tuolehazi (10-3-1, 5)
Today at the Sumiyoshi Ward Center fight fans saw the promising Masahiro Sakamoto (12-1, 8) [坂本 真宏] record his first defense of the WBO Asia Pacific Flyweight title, with a 6th round win against Thai veteran Pigmy Kokietgym (60-10-2, 24).
The 27 year old Osakan champion found a home for his left hook and jab from the opening moments and by the end of the opening round he was down, giving the champion the huge boost of knowing he could hurt the veteran.
Pigmy was again hurt, badly, in round 3 from a body shot and it was clear he fet the effects of the shot, well after the original blow as he fought like a man in retreat from then on. The body become a target for Sakamoto who scored a second knockdown in round 6 with a body shot. That knockdown forced Pigmy's corner to throw in the towel and stop the bout with their man a beaten fighter.
With the win Sakamoto records not only his first defense but also takes a huge step toward getting a world title fight, and potential rematch with WBO Flyweight champion Sho Kimura, the only man to have beaten Sakamoto so far. As for Pigmy this loss, his 10th, could well be the end and it's hard to see what the 36 year old can do to stay relevant in the sport now.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
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