Earlier today Japanese fight fans at the Korakuen Hall saw Japanese Featherweight champion Ryo Sagawa (9-1, 4) [佐川遼] make his first defense, as he scored a clear decision win over mandatory challenger Ryo Hino (13-2-2, 8) [日野僚].
On paper this looked a really good match up, with both men having similar looking records and similar, technique based, styles. In the end though it was a pretty comfortable win for the talented champion, who has been in great form recently and extended his run here.
The early part of the bout was ultra-competitive, with both man looking to control the distance and make their most of their jabs. Through the first 5 rounds it was hard for the judges to split the two men, and when the scores were announced at the mid way point the judges were split. One judge had Hino leading 48-47, whilst the other judges had the bout 48-47 and 49-46 in favour of Sagawa.
From the mid way point however Sagawa took over. Hino tried to set the pace but it was Sagawa who rose above, increasing his work rate and landing the harder shots, particularly in round 8 when his straight right hand landed hard and forced Hino to rethink his tactics. Sadly for Hino his stamina then began to falter and rounds 9 and 10 allowed Sagawa to further increase his control of the bout.
After 10 rounds we went to the scorecards which were 97-93, twice, and 98-92, all in favour of Sagawa.
Sagawa will enter 2020 knowing that his next defense is another mandatory, as he is now set to battle Hinata Maruta (10-1-1, 8) [丸田陽七太] during the 2020 Champion Carnival, whilst Hino will go into the new year with knowledge that he has to improve significantly if he's to win a Japanese title any time soon.
(Image courtesy of A.McGovern)
Tomorrow fight fans at Korakuen Hall will get the chance to see Japanese Featherweight champion Ryo Sagawa (8-1, 4) [佐川遼] make his first defense, as he takes on Ryo Hino (13-1-2, 8) [日野僚] in the chief support bout of a Diamond Glove show. The bout will be Sagawa's first bout since beating Reiya Abe for the belt, and will see him looking to build on a great run that has seen him defeat Abe, Ryo Matsumoto, Al Toyogon, Shingo Kawamura and Junki Sasaki. As for Hino the bout sees him looking to extend his current unbeaten run to 10 bouts.
Today, ahead tomorrow's match up, the two men took part in their weigh in, and both fighters came in bang on the 126lb limit.
At the weigh in Sagawa stated that he usually struggles to make weight, but made it easily this time around, and he seemed very confident and relaxed. It was as if the title has solidified his self belief. That belief was also helped by the success of the Misako Gym, which boasts 5 champions and 3 fighters who will fight for titles in the new year.
Hino did state that Sagawa was good, but seemed like he felt he was better, and was talking like a man who was going to claim the title tomorrow.
Interestingly the winner of this will defend the Japanese title in 2020 against Hinata Maruta (10-1-1, 8) [丸田陽七太] during the Champion Carnival.
Related - Sagawa takes on Hino in first Japanese title defense
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
We've known for a while that the December 12th Diamond glove card was going to be a stacked card, with 2 title bouts having been confirmed for it a back in October.
Today we were actually informed there was a third title bout added to the show.
That bout will see Toshiya Ishii (2-0, 1) [石井渡士也] and Haruki Ishikawa (8-1, 6) [石川春樹] battle for the vacant Japanese Youth Bantamweight title, with both youngsters looking to claim their first professional titles.
The two men were part of a 4 man tournament to crown a champion, with Ishii beating Fumiya Fuse and Ishikawa stopping Atsushi Takada in what were essentially semi-final bouts.
The 18 year old Ishii is very highly regarded after a stellar amateur career that saw him going 30-14 (7) and his win over Fuse was a sensational victory for just a man in just his second professional bout. Ishikawa on the other hand went 2-3 (1) in the amateur ranks but has made his mark in the professional ranks, reaching the final of the 2018 Rookie of the Year and picking up 2 good wins already this year.
As well as this Youth title bout the card will be headlined with OPBF title action at 122lbs as Hiroaki Teshigawara (20-2-2, 13) [勅使河原 弘晶] defends his OPBF Super Bantamweight title against Shohei Kawashima (18-3-2, 4) [川島翔平] and a great supporting bout between Japanese Featherweight champion Ryo Sagawa (8-1, 4) [佐川遼] and Ryo Hino (13-1-2, 8) [日野僚].
Back in October we reported that OPBF Super Bantamweight champion Hiroaki Teshigawara (20-2-2, 13) [勅使河原 弘晶] would be defending his title on December 12th at the Korakuen Hall, as he looks to end the year on a high.
At the time of that report there was no opponent announced for Teshigawara, though we were expecting someone of some name value for the still often under-rated slugger.
Today we saw Teshigawara's opponent for that December 12th bout being announced as Shohei Kawashima (18-3-2, 4) [川島翔平], in what is a really good bout between the hard hitting and aggressive champion and skilled challenger.
For Teshigawara the bout will be his third defense, following wins earlier this year against Yuki Iriguchi and Shohei Omori, and he's likely to want to move towards a potential world title fight in 2020.
As for Kawashima the bout will be his third title bout, and comes after close decisions losses on the road to Cristian Mijares, in 2016, and Juan Miguel Elorde, in the Philippines in 2019. Although the under-dog, he is very much a live opponent here.
It's worth noting that this bout will be the headline bout of December's Diamond Glove show, which is a double header, with this OPBF title fight being doubled up with a Japanese Featherweight title bout between Ryo Sagawa (8-1, 4) [佐川遼] and Ryo Hino (13-1-2, 8) [日野僚]. The winner of this Japanese title fight will be mandate to defend the Japanese title in 2020 against Hinata Maruta (10-1-1, 8) [丸田陽七太] during the Champion Carnival.
Earlier today we were informed that Japanese Featherweight champion Ryo Sagawa (8-1, 4) [佐川遼] will make his first defense on December 12th, in what is expected to be the final Diamond Glove card of the year.
The champion, who won the title in September with an excellent win against Reiya Abe (19-3-1, 9) [阿部 麗也], will be taking on the once beaten Ryo Hino (13-1-2, 8) [日野僚].
For Sagawa this will be his first defense and his third bout this year, following wins over Al Toyogon and Abe. He has rebuilt his career excellently following a loss in his second pro-bout, back in May 2017, and looks to be in some of the best for of any fighter in Japan. His 7 fight winning run has included not only his wins from this year but also notable victories over Ryo Matsumoto, Junki Sasaki and Shingo Kawamura.
In the ring the champion is an excellent fighter, able to box or brawl and looks to have corrected the issues that lead to him getting stopped in his second bout, against Retsu Kosaka.
Hino is unbeaten since 2015, when he lost to Reiya Abe, and has reeled off 8 wins and a draw since then. Sadly his competition hasn't been great, with the most notable results during that 9 fight unbeaten run being a win over Sho Nakazawa and a draw with Coach Hiroto. On paper he's taking a huge step up but the 29 year old will like it's his time to shine.
The winner of this bout will be expected to defend the title next year at the Champion Carnival, against either former champion Takenori Ohashi (17-5-2, 11) [大橋健典] or the highly touted Hinata Maruta (9-1-1, 7) [丸田陽七太], who clash on October 26th in a title eliminator.
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