Earlier today the East Japan Boxing Association announced their award winners for the month of August. This month we have winners for all 3 awards, the MVP, Fighting Spirit and Newcomer.
The MVP for the month is Japanese Featherweight champion Ryo Sagawa (10-1, 5) [佐川遼], who stopped the gutsy and brave Yuri Takemoto (8-2-1, 4) [竹本雄利] on august 13th to retain his title. The bout, Sagawa's second defense, saw the two fighters put on a real show for the fans, before Sagawa's accuracy and hard body shots took the wind out of Takemoto's sails, and finished him off right at the end of round 6.
The Fight Spirit award was won by the world ranked Ryota Yamauchi (7-1, 6) [山内涼太]. The talented and exciting Yamauchi won the award as he beat down Satoru Todaka (10-4-4, 3) [戸髙達] to claim the WBO Asia Pacific Flyweight title. The power and aggression saw Todaka take a pounding in round 3 before he was stopped in the corner between rounds. With the win Yamauchi is expected to take a huge step towards a potential world title fight in the next year or so.
The Newcomer award was won by sensationally talented former amateur stand out Ryutaro Nakagaki (1-0, 1) [中垣 龍汰朗], who stopped Shohei Horii (3-6-2, 2) [堀井翔平] in 2 rounds back on August 24th. That win was a sign that Nakagaki has transitioned from the amateurs to the professionals perfectly, and he looks like a real star of the future.
Earlier today it was revealed that WBO Asia Pacific Featherweight champion Musashi Mori (11-0, 6) [森 武蔵] had been part-taking in a training camp in Yamaga Citya, Kumamoto. The camp was only a short one, running from August 16th to August 18th, with the focus being on strength and conditioning for the 20 year old regional champion.
Speaking to Boxmob after the camp completed Mori revealed
"I'm tired right now, but I think I can feel the effect (of running) when sparring begins" [Translated]
and added "I don't practice interpersonal training right now, but I'm building a body that allows me to move as I want when I start sparring," [Translated]
In total Mori did 120KM of running, with 40KM a day, with the focus of the camp being on his stamina and physicality. Interestingly he was training from 6am to 4pm to try and avoid the heat.
Back in July talk had been raised about a potential regional title unification bout between Mori and OPBF champion Satoshi Shimizu (9-1, 9) [清水 聡]. Although that bout hasn't been ruled outit now seems like Mori is open to a bout with JBC champion Ryo Sagawa (10-1, 5) [佐川遼], explaining to Boxmob:
"(Sagawa) has a champion carnival, but after that, I would like to try a unified battle with the Japanese throne eventually." [Translated]
Regarding that Champion Carnival situation Sagawa is mandated to defend the Japanese Featherweight title against Hinata Maruta (10-1-1, 8) [丸田陽七太], though at the moment it's unclear when that bout will be taking place.
Due to the fact some fans will not be wanting to know the result of today's Japanese Featherweight title bout between Ryo Sagawa [佐川遼] and Yuri Takemoto [竹本雄利] we will begin this with a paragraph of text to act as a spoiler warning. Please be aware this is a 1-off paragraph designed to not ruin the bout for those who have accidentally stumbled on this page ahead of the TV broadcast of the bout this coming weekend on Fuji TV. This is something we are only going to be doing when we know that a bout will be televised on delay and will only ever be a 1 paragraph thing, with the idea of allowing fans to watch events as live. With that in mind we'd just like to remind everyone this bout will be aired on Sunday night/Monday morning in Japan and can be watched as live as part of the Diamond Glove event.
With that now said we'll now bring you the result for the main event of today's show at Korakuen Hall.
For the first time since February fans were able to attend a boxing show at Korakuen Hall. Fans have been back, in various capacities, around Japan but this was the first time the legendary Korakuen Hall had hosted fans, and they did so for a small, but notable Misako promoted card headlined by Japanese Featherweight champion Ryo Sagawa (10-1, 5) [佐川遼]. The champion, defending the belt for the second time, managed to show what he could do as he stopped the 2018 Rookie of the Year winner Yuri Takemoto (8-2-1, 4) [竹本雄利] at the very end of round 6.
The challenger started well, and had success in the first two rounds, before Sagawa began to get going in round 3. The start from the challenger was better than many had expected, and he showed he was up for this opportunity, despite lacking the natural ability of the champion. Sagawa was left with a bloodied nose, but be was calm, collected, and began landing with both hands in round 3. The success of Sagawa began to grow and in round 4 he landed a big right hand on the challenger, who seemed to starting to run out of ideas as we entered round 5 and Sagawa began to show the skills, and fluid punching that has seen him winning the title.
After 5 rounds the good start of Takemoto was forgotten. The scorecards were all in favour of Sagawa, though two judges did have the bout very close.
Sadly for Takemoto things were set to get worse and very late in the round he took a big body shot that sent him to the canvas. Takemoto tried to beat the count but stumbled as the bout was officially called at an official time of 3:09 of round 6.
With the win Sagawa retains his title and moves one step closer to a world title bout. Before that happens we expect we'll see him take on mandatory challenger Hinata Maruta (10-1-1, 8) [丸田陽七太], who was originally supposed to faced Sagawa earlier this year. Issues relating to the on going global situation prevented that bout from taking place and Takemoto got the call for this contest. As a result Maruta is still the mandatory, though may end up waiting until 2021 for his shot at the now very truncated Champion Carnival.
As for Takemoto the loss showed the level he was competing at. He was game, he came to win, but there is still a lot of work that the youngster needs to do if he's to ever become a champion, even at national level. He was gutsy but outclassed, and was totally unable to compete when Sagawa went through the gears.
Tomorrow at Korakuen Hall Japanese Featherweight champion Ryo Sagawa (9-1, 4) [佐川遼] will be in the ring looking to make his second defense, as he takes on 2018 Rookie of the Year winner Yuri Takemoto (8-1-1, 4) [竹本雄利]. The bout has been put together after issues relating to the on going global situation prevented Sagawa from taking on mandatory challenger Hinata Maruta (10-1-1, 8) [丸田陽七太] in what looked like an amazing match up.
Sadly for those expecting this to be a competitive match up the Polish betting website STS Bet don't agree, and they have Sagawa priced at an almost unbackable 1.02, which is the same as 1/50 in the UK and -5000 for those in the US, to win.
The unheralded Takemoto is a huge 10.00, which is the same as 9/1 or +900, to score the upset and become the new champion.
For those interested in the method of victory market Sagawa is 1.25, 1/4 or -400, to win by stoppage. That's the result we're expecting but the value is perhaps not there for some. On the other hand a decision win for the defending champion has been priced at 4.0, which is the equivalent of 3/1 or +300.
Takemoto is a huge 18.0, the same as 17/1 or +1700, to win by stoppage and a massive 22.0, which is 21/1 or +2100, to win a decision. Those looking at Takemoto and considering a win for him, we genuinely see his only chance of winning coming by stoppage.
The bookies have also put an length of bout market on the bout, putting the over/under marker at 6. rounds. The under is 1.57, which is 57/100 or -175, whilst the over is 2.22, which is the same as 61/50 or +122.
Sadly the bout won't be shown live, but will be available on delay with Fuji TV showing the contest over the weekend.
Related - Japanese champion Sagawa faces off with Takemoto!
Tomorrow in Tokyo Japanese Featherweight champion Ryo Sagawa (9-1, 4) [佐川遼] will be making his next defense of the title, as he looks to move towards bigger and better fights down the line. The once beaten champion will be seeking his second defense of the title as he takes on 2018 Rookie of the Year winner Yuri Takemoto (8-1-1, 4) [竹本雄利] at Korakuen Hall.
Today, ahead of their bout, the two men took part in their weigh in and both men made weight for the contest with no issues, coming in pretty much on the 126lb Featherweight limit.
Following the weigh in Sagawa spoke highly of Takemoto, stating that he has the impression that Takemoto is a strong fighter. He did however appear very confident, despite being respectful, and stated that he would fight his way and take the win.
Sagawa, who actually works for a confectionery company outside of boxing, has said he is trying to help, as their sales have been hit badly by the on going global situation.
Takemoto stated that when he got the offer for the title he jumped at it, stating he wanted the shot immediately. He has trained hard and done around 100 rounds of sparring to prepare for this bout, though is still clearly the under-dog against the excellent Sagawa.
For those interested Takemoto is actually a plumber outside of boxing
Originally Sagawa was scheduled to defend his title against mandatory challenger Hinata Maruta (10-1-1, 8) [丸田陽七太], though that had to change due to the on going situation, delaying Maruta's chance until 2021. As a result Maruta will be expected to face the winner of this bout in their next defense.
For fans wanting to watch the bout on TV the contest will sadly not be shown until the weekend, with Fuji TV airing it on delay on Sunday night, at 25:55 local time, or 1:55AM Monday morning.
Related - Japanese champion Sagawa faces off with Takemoto!
(Image credit - Misako Gym)
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