Ozaki shines on debut, Ishida picks up win over stubborn Medura, Kano and Inoue give us 12 round thriller
Earlier today fights fans in Osaka has a really interesting card show casing a debutant, who took part in a cameo of sorts, along with a former world title challenger getting in some solid rounds and a brilliant bout for a regional title.
The first of those 3 notable bouts saw 19 year old former amateur standout Yuga Ozaki (1-0, 1) [尾崎 優日] quickly destroy Narathip Sungsut (5-9, 2), with devastating body work. The Thai was down twice in just over a minute as Ozaki kicked his career off in perfect fashion. Tougher tests will come for him, but the youngster looked like he had the "IT" factor here, and we expect to see him going a very long way over the next 10 or so years.
In the chief support bout we saw former world title challenger Sho Ishida (31-3, 16) [石田匠] go 8 rounds with Filipino tough guy Alvin Medura (10-7, 7). Medura was dropped in round 2, from some vicious body shots, and it seemed like Ishida was going to get him out of these in the following rounds. Instead Medura showed his toughness, and recovered really well, though never managed to really be competitive, losing every round of the bout to the more skilled Ishida. After 8 rounds all 3 judges had this 80-71 and there was no real argument about those scores, with Medura's toughness and heart being his most notable asset in a bout that saw him come off second best throughout.
The main event made up for the uncompetitive action with Ozaki and Ishida, and gave us what may well be one of the best bouts of the weekend, as Riku Kano (20-4-1, 10) [加納 陸] narrowly over-came Yuga Inoue (13-3-1, 2) [井上夕雅] in a sensational high tempo 12 round war for the WBO Asia Pacific Flyweight title. The men regularly found themselves trading blows, with Inoue's jab being his key weapon, and being a solid jab, whilst Kano picked spots for short counters, lovely body shots and flashy combinations. The bout was a back and forth thriller, and whilst neither fight ever looked badly hurt, both landed a lot of leather in a bout that really could have gone either way. After 12 rounds Kano took the decision 115-113, twice, and 116-112, though Inoue certainly made a case for deserving the bout himself. This really was a fantastic contest, that saw both men putting in arguably their best performances so far. The loss for Inoue isn't the end of the world, and we expect to see him bouncing back better, whilst Kano has proven himself as a solid Flyweight, and it's going to be very fun to see where these two go from this bout.
Taisei announces Riku Kano Vs Yuga Inoue, Ishida Vs Baldonado and Ozaki's debut
Earlier today Taisei Marumoto, the head of the Taesei Gym, announced his next show, which is set for September 3rd at the EDION Arena Osaka, in Osaka City. The card, From Mita to the World 19, is an interesting one, set to be streamed on Youtube and feature a number of notable Japanese fighters, including a great looking all Japanese main event for a regional title.
The headline bout, the aforementioned title bout, will see world ranked Flyweight contender Riku Kano (19-4-1, 10) [加納 陸] battle against Yuga Inoue (13-2-1, 2) [井上夕雅], with the WBO Asia Pacific Flyweight title up for grabs.
The bout will be the first serious test for Kano at 112lbs, after having fought for a world title at Minimumweight and winning a regional title at Light Flyweight, and a win here would likely help him move towards a WBO world title fight. As for Inoue the bout is a chance for him to add to his title collection, which includes the Japanese Youth Flyweight title, which he won last November, and for him to claim a world ranking.
As well as the interesting main event we also see several notable names on the show,. In the chief support bout we'll see former world title challenger Sho Ishida (30-3, 16) [石田 匠] take on Filipino visitor Ronnie Baldonado (15-3-1, 9), who looks to avoid a third straight loss.
The card will also feature the debut of 19 year old Yuga Ozaki (0-0) [尾崎 優日], who begins his professional campaign after going 32-8 in the amateur ranks and winning a silver medal at the Asian Junior Championships. In the opposite corner to Ozaki will be will be Thailand's Narathip Sungsut (5-8, 2), with the men clashing in a scheduled 6 rounder.
Earlier today the EDION Arena Osaka saw two former world title challengers in action as they looked to continue to move towards another major bout.
The first of the two former world title challengers in action was Super Flyweight-come-Bantamweight Sho Ishida (30-3, 16) [石田 匠], who faced off with Filipino visitor Carlo Demecillo (15-6-1, 8). This bout was expected to be a complete mismatch, but surprisingly turned out to be a fairly interesting bout. From the opening round Demecillo looked surprisingly strong, tough and determined, putting Ishida under pressure through out the bout.
For the first 4 or 5 rounds the high guard, and crisp jab of Demecillo, gave Ishida real problems. He wasn't doing enough to win rounds consistently, but he was putting up a much, much better effort than anyone had expected. Sadly though Demecillo was using up a lot of energy and as the rounds went on he began to slow, allowing Ishida tom tag him consistently and begin to break him down. In round 8 Ishida finally put his foot on the gas when Demecillo was in the corner, and ended up forcing Demecillo to the canvas as some body shots. Demecillo got to his feet but was hurt again by body shots before the referee jumped in and saved the Filipino.
Following the bout Ishida spoke about how he couldn't end his career following his 2021 loss to Kosei Tanaka (16-1, 9) [田中恒成], and is instead pursuing another world title fight at either 115lbs or 118lbs and seems to be viewing a potential rematch with Tanaka as a real possibility in the future.
The second former world title challenger was Riku Kano (19-4-1, 10) [加納 陸], who headlined the show as he took on very limited Thai foe Sanchai Yotboon (7-5, 6) in a bout at Flyweight, as Kano tried out the new weight. Sadly the bout proved almost nothing at Kano battered the hapless Yotboon through out the first round, before stopping him in round 2. That round saw Kano battering Yotboon's body, dropping him twice and forcing the referee to stop the bout when Yotboon was taking shots without replying. By then the bout had already become ugly and horribly one sided.
After the bout Kano explained that he had been having a hard time making Light Flyweight and the move up in weight seems to be a smart one to get the best out of him. His team, including promoter Taisei Marumoto, are now expected to try and secure him a potential world title fight at 112lbs, perhaps even in an all Japanese bout against Junto Nakatani (23-0, 18) [中谷 潤人].
Also on this show as the B class protest of Yuga Ozaki [尾崎優日] who looked fantastic as he great great timing, speed and ring craft in a 3 round test. Although not a massive name, there is a lot of expectation on the 19 year old, and we expect to see him debut later this year on a Taisei promoted card.
Riku Kano vacates regional title
Earlier today it was announced that Japanese youngster Riku Kano (18-4-1, 9) [加納 陸] had officially vacated the WBO Asia Pacific Light Flyweight title, which he won in 2020 and successfully defended in 2021 with a TKO win over Takumi Sakae.
At the moment it's unclear what Kano's plan is, though it should be noted that he is the highest ranked contender by the WBO at 108lbs, and could find himself facing Jonathan Gonzalez for the WBO Light Flyweight title in the near future. He could, potentially, also move weight and interesting a move 3lbs south or 4lbs north could see him facing a Japanese fighter for a world title, with Masataka Taniguchi (15-3, 10) [谷口将隆] being the Minimumweight champion and Junto Nakatani (22-0, 17) [中谷 潤人] being the Flyweight champion. Given Japan's on going, and now very prolonged, fight with the pandemic, Kano may be offered either of those fights.
At the moments things aren't clear, but the 24 year old southpaw certainly has options and it'll be interesting to see what's next for the man who seemed to be groomed to be a star before several stumbles slowed his ascent. Despite his set backs he has bounced back well and now looks likely to get a second world title fight before the end of the year.
Earlier today on TV Osaka we got the chance to see a title double header from the EDION Arena Osaka, for free and right around the world.
The first of two title title bouts saw veteran WBO Asia Pacific Middleweight champion Yuki Nonaka (34-11-3, 10) [野中 悠樹] score his second defense, as he easily over-came former Japanese domestic amateur standout Koki Koshikawa (9-3, 6) [越川孝紀], who was fighting as a Middleweight for the first time.
From the off the 43 year old Nonaka looked the more relaxed and the more comfortable in the ring and was pretty much in control through out the bout. Koishikawa, to his credit, came to fight but he lacked the accuracy and tenacity needed to even test Nonaka.
Through out the bout the calm, accurate, relaxed boxed of Nonaka saw him landing at will on Koshikawa, who was left cut, bruised and beaten up through the middle portion of the fight. In the later stages Koshikawa had to pass several doctor's inspections due to his cuts and, whilst they weren't bad cuts no one would have complained had the ringside doctor said enough was enough, especially as Nonaka began landing so devastating straight left hands, at will, on the head of Koshikawa.
After 12 rounds we went to the score cards with two judges having this 119-109 to Nonaka and the third having it an alarming close 115-113 to the champion for the unanimous decision.
For Koshikawa it's almost impossible to know where he goes from this loss, especially given the early expectation. As for Nonaka, the focus seems to be on landing a world title fight sooner rather than later, but with his 44th birthday come later this year it'd be a huge surprise to see him land a major fight before his career comes to an end.
The second title fight on the show saw youngster Riku Kano (18-4-1, 9) [加納 陸] make his first defense of the WBO Asia Pacific Light Flyweight title as he stopped Takumi Sakae (22-4-1, 16) [榮拓海] in a really interesting bout.
Sakae got off to a good start, dropping Kano in round 2 of the bout, and again in round 4, as he seemed well on the way to scoring a notable upset. Sadly for the challenger however he couldn't finish off the champion and instead the body shots of Kano seemed to take the wind out of Sakae in rounds 6, 7 and 8.
Heading into round 9 it seemed the momentum was with Kano and he knew it as he continued to up his tempo against a tired and exhausted Sake, eventually forcing the referee to jump in and save the challenged, who seemed out on his feet.
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