Earlier today we had a notable card at Korakuen Hall, featuring the debut of a touted youngster, along with 3 interesting international bouts and a regional title bout in the main event.
The first of the noteworthy bouts was the debut of Toshihiro Suzuki (1-0, 1) [鈴木 稔弘], who was a stellar amateur and is expected to go on to big things over the coming years. Here he made a cameo appearance in his debut, as he stopped Thai visitor Pornthep Wadngam (4-3, 3) in just 25 seconds. The Thai was dropped after 8 seconds and whilst he beat the count he didn't last much longer, being dropped on to the canvas for a second time before the referee waved off the bout.
Another Japanese local who stopped a Thai visitor was 19 year old Kai Watanabe (8-0-1, 4) who stopped fellow teenager Atipbodee Srikao (4-2, 2) in 4 rounds. This was really competitive early on, and the Thai came to fight, having success in rounds 1 and two, but in round 4 a huge uppercut dropped Srikao with the bout being stopped just moments later.
Another bout with an international vibe saw the criminally under-rated Ryo Nakai (5-1-1, 2) [中井 龍] continue his climb up the ranks as he defeated Filipino visitor Jess Rhey Waminal (14-6-1, 8), with an 8 round shut out decision. The talented, and often over-looked Nakai, controlled the action through out with his busy jab, good footwork and sharp combinations. Waminal was never discouraged, and looked to land big shots through out, but was made to look second best for pretty much every minute of every round here as Nakai took a huge step towards getting his maiden title fight.
The co-feature was another Japan Vs Philippines bout, as 24 year old Japanese hopeful Ryuto Owan (9-1, 6) [大湾 硫斗]defeated Filipino veteran Mark Anthony Geraldo (38-11-3, 19). Owan controlled much of the bout, but did face some of Geraldo's veteran tactics, with the Filipino being deducted a point for fouls in round 6. In the later stages of the bout Owan slowed down and Geraldo did enough to take a round in the later stages, but it wasn't enough with all 3 judges scoring the bout 79-72 to Owan.
In the main event we saw criminally over-looked Yoshimitsu Kimura (14-2-1, 9) [木村吉光] claim the WBO Asia Pacific Super Featherweight title with a TKO win over Kanehiro Nakagawa (11-7, 5) [中川兼玄], who was stopped with just 31 seconds of the bout remaining. Though out the bout it was clear that Kimura was a little bit too good for his man in every area, but Nakagawa had the drive, the fire and the heart to to try and make Kimura work hard. Nakagawa was never there to just make up the numbers, but as the rounds went on Kimura began to open up a big gap on the back of his clean punching, and consistent success going forward. In round 5 Nakagawa was dropped for the first time, though bounced back well in round 6, one of his best rounds. Nakagawa was down again in round 9, and once again bounced back determined. Sadly though for Nakagawa his effort came at an expense to his stamina and he was dropped a third time, in round 12, in part due to exhaustion, with the referee immediately stopping the bout. Despite a great effort Nakagawa was down 107-100, 106-101 and 108-99 prior to the stoppage.
Earlier today Ohashi gym put on their latest show, with a notable low level card at Korakuen Hall. The card wasn't a huge one, but it was an interesting one, with a number of very interesting match ups.
The first of the notable bouts saw the unbeaten Honoka Kano (4-0-2, 2) [狩野ほのか] score her 4th win, as she defeated Megumi Hosoda (3-4, 1) [細田めぐみ] in a clash between two JBC ranked female fighters. These two had clashed last year, fighting to a draw, but this time around Kano was in control, being too accurate, too sharp, and too quick. She fought well, and was well deserving of her clear decision victory.
Another notable bout saw youngster Kosuke Tomioka (5-2, 4) [富岡 浩介] end a 2-fight losing run as he over-came the debuting Kotoji Irita (0-1) [入田 琴司] in the 6th round of their clash. This was high level stuff from two talented southpaws, started off cagey but picked up the face as the fight went on. By round 5 Tomioka seemed to be landing the better shots and seemed to be breaking Irita down, and early in round 6 Tomioka managed to back Irita into the corner, letting shots go before the referee stepped in to save Irita.
In a very notable supporting bout Ryo Nakai (4-1-1, 2) [中井 龍] scored the biggest win of his career, as he stopped veteran Ribo Takahata (17-10-1, 7) [高畑 里望] in 5 rounds. Nakai was sharp from the off, going to the body of his older, taller foe, whilst Takahata tried to fight back from the inside. In round 2 Nakai began to get in and out of range, as he went through the gears. From there Takahata never managed to get back into the fight and was slowly broken down by Nakai, who closed the show in round 5 when he unleashed on Takahata, who was stuck on the ropes. This was the break out performance that Nakai's career needed and will see him break into the Japanese rankings.
In the chief support bout of the show the unbeaten Narumi Yukawa (5-0, 4) [湯川 成美] scored his latest win, as he stopped Takaki Sakurai (8-9-1, 3) [櫻井 孝樹] in 6 rounds. Yukawa was in charge through out the bout, and bossed his more experienced foe around before finally forcing the referee to stop the bout early in round 6.
The main event of the show saw Katsuki Mori (10-1, 2) [森 且貴] claim the Japanese Youth Minimumweight title, as he over-came Shunsuke Isa (9-4-1, 1) [伊佐 春輔] in a super close and hotly contested 8 round, fought at break neck pace. Both men impressed with their movement, and hand speed, in what was a genuinely thrilling back and forth. Isa tried to control the distance, using his 1-2's and movement well, whilst Mori looked to bring the fight forward, attack the body and take Isa's legs away. It was tough to score, but thrilling action, with both men showing some eye catching offense and defensive skills. What Mori did really was up to the tempo in the second round, and that proved to be the difference, with Mori winning 4 of the last 5 rounds on two of the cards to secure a razor thin split decision. Scores from all 3 judges were 77-75.
Interestingly after the bout both men stated the other was better than expected, and both also seemed encouraged to build on the back of this bout.
Earlier today at Korakuen Hall fight fans had the chance to enjoy the latest show under the Diamond Glove banner, and the show really was one worthy of attention thanks to three great bouts at the top of the card.
The first of the notable bouts was a clash between prospects as 23 year old Ryo Nakai (3-1-1, 1) [中井 龍] took on touted 25 year old Go Hosaka (5-1, 3) [保坂 剛] in an 8 rounder at Super Featherweight. On Hoaka was the favourite, entering the bout as an unbeaten fighter, though in many was Nakai was the more proven professional, having shown what he could do in a very competitive bout with Shu Utsuki not too long ago.
From the off the two men battled jabs, with little to separate them, though Nakai did seem to land one or two more eye catching shots, thanks to his left hand. Hosaka tried to change the tempo after the opening round, but that lead to Nakai landing some cracking uppercuts with his left hand, punishing Hosaka for his aggression.
In the later rounds Hosaka's pressure did manage to to have success, and he forced some brilliant exchanges in the final rounds as Nakai looked to get his respect. After 8, very competitive and well fought rounds, the judges all turned in cards of 77-75 in favour of Nakai. Nakai will obvious look to build on this win, and despite the loss we certainly wouldn't write Hosaka off.
The second of those three bouts was a Japanese title eliminator at 130lbs, as Kanehiro Nakagawa (11-6, 5) [中川 兼玄] clashed with Shinnosuke Hasegawa (13-3-1, 9) [長谷川 慎之介], and the two men put on a show!
Early on Hasegawa had real success, using his southpaw stance and making the most of Nakagawa's slow feet. It seemed, for the first round or two, that Hasegawa was simply going to be too good, and have a style that Nakagawa couldn't deal with. However as the rounds went on Nakagawa began to find his time, creating his own success, and in round 5 dropped Hasegawa, turning the bout around.
Following the knockdown we ended up with a war, as both men landed numerous big shots, trying to impress the judges and the crowd. It was a thrilling ending, and one that, thankfully for Nakagawa, was his style of fight, leading to him taking a razor thin split decision. With the win Nakagawa sets up a potential FOTY candidate in 2022 with Kosuke Saka, in one that is certainly worth getting very excited about.
The main event saw former Japanese Featherweight champion Ryo Sagawa (11-2, 6) [佐川遼] take on Retsu Kosaka (10-7, 4) [小坂烈]. These two had met before, with Kosaka giving Sagawa his first professional loss back in 2017, and it was clear that Sagawa wanted to avenge that defeat.
From the early going Sagawa looked levels better than Kosaka, though he had in their first bout until Kosaka caught him with a bomb and forced a stoppage. Unlike their first bout however Sagawa managed to show improved defense, avoiding the power of Kosaka, and picking away at his man with straight shots whilst remaining composed when Kosaka did let his shots go. By the final round Kosaka had gotten into a hole and was desperate, trying to turn things around, that left him open at times, and mid way through round 8 Sagawa landed a great right hand before going to work and forcing the referee to save Kosaka with 97 seconds of the bout left.
Earlier today Dangan announed the new date for the WBO Asia Pacific Minimumweight title fight between Ginjiro Shigeoka (5-0, 4) [重岡銀次朗] and Toshiki Kawamitsu (6-0, 3) [川満俊輝], which was originally scheduled for May 23rd but will now take place on July 14th.
The bout was planned as part of a triple show weekend from Dangan over May 22nd and May 23rd, though those shows were cancelled when the Sumida City Gym was closed due to a state of emegency. Thankfully the wait for the bout is only another 2 months, but sadly that will mean Shigeoka has been out of the ring for close to 19 months by the time this fight comes around. As for Kawamitsu he fought once last year and once earlier this year.
Not only has the date for this bout been changed from May to July but it has also had it's venue changed, from the Sumida City to Korakuen Hall.
Other bouts set for the show include a brilliant lightweight match up between Shu Utsuki (8-0, 7) [宇津木 秀] and Ryo Nakai (3-0-1, 1) [中井 龍] and a good 6 rounder between Fumiya Fuse (9-1, 1) [富施郁哉] Fuya Tomita (6-2, 2) [冨田風弥].
Earlier today at Korakuen Hall Dangan put on their latest show, which was part of an A and B Class tournament. Although the card certainly wasn't a huge one it did have several noteworthy bouts on it.
One of the notable bouts on the card saw JBC ranked female fighters face off, in what turned out to be a bit of an upset. Former notable female amateur Sayo Segawa (1-1, 1) [瀬川 紗代] was expected to claim her second professional win as she took on 29 year old Natsuki Tarui (4-6-2) [樽井 捺月]. Instead however the experience of Tarui played dividends as she narrowly took a 6 round split decision. By the end of this one both women looked absolutely shattered following what had been a very high octane and draining bout. Credit to Tarui however for digging that little bit deeper and taking the narrow win.
In a B Class tournament qualifying bout at Bantamweight Koki Mioya (8-1-2, 2) [三尾谷 昂希] took a clear decision win over Daiju Hamaguchi (4-5, 2) [濱口 大樹]. Hamaguchi looked to try and make this a fight, using his physicality, but Mioya was good through out and there was no real arguing with the decision. After 6 rounds the scores were 58-56, 59-55 and 60-54 all to Mioya, who was well worth the win.
In a 5 round Prize Fight, where a bonus is given for scoring a stoppage, Ryo Nakai (2-0-1, 1) [中井 龍] took a decision win over Mirai Naito (8-2, 3) [内藤 未来]. This was a fairly entertaining and well fought bout, but in the end Nakai's amateur pedigree, ring craft and more polished body punching proved to be the difference maker. Despite the loss for Naito we really wouldn't write him off and he certainly has the ability to make a mark on the domestic scene over the coming years.
In the main event, an A Class tournament qualifying bout, fans saw the big punching Shu Utsuki (7-0, 6) [宇津木秀] showcase what he could do as he took the fight to Takayuki Sakai (9-3-2, 6) [酒井 孝之], and took his man out in round 2. Utsuki looked like the boss from the opening seconds and pressed and pressured Sakai around the ring as and when he pleased. In round 2 Utsuki put his foot on the gas and dropped Sakai with a gorgeous short right hand. The referee instantly stopped this one.
Following today's wins Mioya and Sakai will both be in action in January in the their relevant tournament finals.
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