Earlier today Korakuen Hall played host to the latest show from the Ohashi Gym.
The show featured a host of notable bouts on it including notable debutants, several bouts with prospects and a Japanese title fight.
The show started with one of the debutants, as Kenta Yamakawa (1-0) [山川 健太] took a 4 round shut out over Zapp Morimoto (1-2, 1) [ザップ森本] in the opening bout of the show. The bout saw Yamakawa show his jab, his movement, and his variation though out the contest, with Morimoto playing the role of the ideal foil for Yamakawa who looked like a very promising young prospect.
Another debutant on this card was 23 year old Yuya Tanaka (1-0) [田中 湧也], who had to work for a win over 5'11" southpaw Fuya Tomita (7-5, 2) [冨田 風弥]. Tanaka struggled early on with the saw of Tomita and was dropped in round 2 from a right hook of Tomita's. He did however show good composure and rebuilt from the knockdown to control much of the fight on route to taking a decision. It was however a hard earned victory and one that saw a good test for Tanaka, following a 53 amateur career. He learned plenty here, over-came a tough foe and did well against someone who isn't easy to look good against.
Another promising prospect on this card was Ryutaro Nakagaki (2-0-2, 2) [中垣 龍汰朗], who was surprisingly held to a draw by Toma Kondo (8-7-2, 1) [近藤 冬真]. From the off Kondo tried to press the action, and by doing saw he really limited the success Nakagaki could get. Nakagaki looked the better boxer through out, but the pressure and relentlessness of Kondo really stopped the younger man from controlling the action behind his jab, and forced him to fight Kondo's fight. After 8 rounds this was a tough one to score, and that was shown on the scorecards with a card of 78-74 to Nakagaki, a score of 77-75 to Kondo and a 76-76, resulting in a split decision draw.
The first of 3 Japan Vs Thailand bouts saw the once beaten Katsuya Yasuda (9-1, 5) [保田 克也] score a 6th round TKO win over Thai veteran Krai Setthaphon (29-9, 19). The bout was a tough one for Yasuda, who was dropped in the first round, and really struggled to get going early on. Thankfully for him however things did get better for him, and in round 5 he dropped his foe with a right hook. He then closed the show at the start or round 6 with a straight left hand that dropped Krai for a second time and forced the referee to wave the bout off.
The second Japan Vs Thailand bout was more straight forward for the local, as Taku Kuwahara (10-1, 6) [桑原 拓] blasted out Parinya Khaikanha (4-1, 4) in 2 rounds. From the off Kuwahara was quicker, sharper and more accurate, and looked to make the most of his speed. The Thai came to fight however and looked to press the action a lot more in round 2, whilst let him open to a brutal uppercut that dropped him hard, with the referee immediately waving this one off. After the bout Parinya was take out of the ring on a stretcher, whilst Kuwahara revealed he was wanting to fight for a title next, and potentially rematch Japanese champion Seigo Yuri Akui (17-2-1, 11) [阿久井政悟].
The third and final bout in the Japan Vs Thailand match ups saw Japan go 3-0, with Kazuki Nakajima (12-1-1, 10) [嶋 一輝] scoring a 5th round TKO win over former world title challenger Karoon Jarupianlerd (49-12, 23), aka Petchbarngborn Kokietgym. From the opening round Nakajima seemed in control, but took his time, trying to get a read on what the visitor had to offer. In round 5 Nakajima opened up with a series of clean punches, including some big uppercuts, which forced the referee to step in and save the Thai, who has now been stopped 3 times in his career, all in Japan.
In the main event we saw Japanese Light Middleweight champion Makoto Kawasaki (13-8-2, 2) [川崎真琴] retain his title, and record his first defense, as he fought to a draw with Ryosuke Maruki (18-7-2, 13) [丸木凌介]. This really was a bout of two halves, with Kawasaki dominating the early going, using his jab to control the action and the tempo, whilst Maruki had a horribly slow start. This lead to Kawasaki leading the bout 49-46, twice, and 48-47 when the scores were announced after round 5. From round 6 however things really flipped and Maruki pressed the action more, forcing the fight and clawing his way back into the bout, though he did too little to take the win, with all 3 judges scoring this 95-95.
Following the bout Kawasaki revealed he had felt under pressure for his first defense and had potentially over-trained for the bout, whilst Maruki seemed to admit that he wishes he could have started fighting the way he'd finished the bout much earlier.
Tomorrow Korakuen Hall will play host to the next Ohashi Promoted card, which is headlined by a Japanese title fight at 154lbs as Makoto Kawasaki (13-8-1, 2) [川崎真琴] looks to defend his title against Ryosuke Maruki (18-7-1, 13) [丸木凌介].
Today, ahead of their bout, the two men took part in their weigh in.
On the scales the champion looked relaxed and calm whilst coming in well under the limit, weighing 153.5lbs for the bout. Aged 37 years and 11 months when he won the title in April, setting a new record for the oldest age anyone had won a Japanese title, he is now 38 and seems focused on extend his career, stating that he's only thinking about beating Maruki.
Having fought much of his career at 147lbs Kawasaki revealed that he has to be wary of fighters at 154lbs as their punches are dangerous, but seemed to feel that he had the tools to take home the win and retain his title, if he can focus and concentrate on his fight.
Maruki, who is significantly the younger man at the age of 31, came in bang on the limit and explained that he was going to fight in a style that Kawasaki wouldn't like, with a variation in his jab. Like the champion he seemed confident of winning, and explained that he wanted to take the title back to Nagoya and show it off to the locals there.
Related - Japanese champion Kawasaki takes on Maruki in first title defense
Earlier today the Ohashi Gym announced the main event of their July 12th Phoenix Battle show, "Phoenix Battle 90", as well some of the under-card fights on the show.
The main event will see Japanese 154lb champion Makoto Kawasaki (13-8-1, 2) [川崎真琴] make his first defense, after winning the title earlier this month. The 37 year old veteran will be facing off with Ryosuke Maruki (18-7-1, 13) [丸木凌介], who is set to get his second shot at the title.
Kawsaki's title win, which came on April 2nd when he beat Koki Koshikawa, saw the veteran score the biggest win of his career, by far though he certainly didn't look incredible in the win and the feeling is that his reign could be short one. As for Maruki, the exciting challenger has previously come up short in a great bout with Nobuyuki Shindo, and was also stopped in a bout for the interim title against Akinori Watanabe. Given the styles of the two men, and their man flaws, it's hard to not anticipate a thrilling action bout here.
Another bout that was announced for this card will see Ryutaro Nakagaki (2-0-1, 2) [中垣龍汰朗] take on Toma Kondo (8-7-1, 1) [近藤 冬真] in a scheduled 8 rounder.
Also on the card will be former OPBF Bantamweight champion Kazuki Nakajima (11-1-1, 9 ) [中嶋 一輝], talented Flyweight Taku Kuwahara (9-1, 5) [桑原 拓], promising Lightweight Katsuya Yasuda (8-1, 5) [保田克也] as well as the debut of promising former amateur standout Yuya Tanaka (0-0) [田中湧也]. At the time of writing, none of these three have had their opponents for their bouts named.
Earlier today in Aichi we had the latest show that was streamed live on the internet by the wonderful sakana 1976. Whilst it certainly wasn't a big show, by any stretch of the imagine, it was a notable show with several interesting bouts taking place on it.
One of those notable bouts was the final professional bout from 36 year old Kohei Oba (37-4-1, 14) [大場 浩平], who narrowly defeated 20 year old Ryumei Nakamura (3-2-2, 1) [中村 龍明] in a 6 rounder. The bout was confirmed before hand at the final bout for Oba, who was retiring regardless of the result, and he only just managed to scrape a split decision against Nakamura, who was fighting in his first 6 rounder.
The talented Oba, once dubbed the "Mayweather of Nagoya," is a former Japanese Bantamweight champion, but he looked a shadow, of a shadow of himself here as he struggled to land clean and was caught by plenty of shots from Nakamura. In fact it's fair to say that Oba was lucky here to get the win.
Following the win Oba took part in a retirement ceremony and his career now looks like it is over for good, after a bit of a comeback last year following a previous retirement.
Another notable bout was a quick win for recent All Japan Rookie of the Year winner Hiroya Nojima (7-1, 3) [能嶋 宏弥], who made light work of Shoma Okada (4-4, 2) [岡田 翔真]. In fact Nojima needed just over a minute to take out his man thanks to a series of huge right hands that dropped Okada hard. Okada got back to his feet, quickly, but his legs were all over the place, forcing the referee to stop the contest.
The third bout of note saw former Japanese title challenger Ryosuke Maruki (18-7-1, 13) [丸木 凌介] score a brilliant 4th round KO win against the game and aggressive Masateru Hatagami (6-3-1, 2) [畑上 昌輝].
Hatagami came out with an ultra aggressive, come forward gameplan and regularly pressed Maruki on to the back foot, pushing him on to the ropes. It was a thrilling game plan from Hatagami, but one that left him open to counters and right at the end of round 4 a left hook from Maruki caught his man clean, dropping Hatagami on to his back. To his credit Hatagami, who should have been out cold from the shoot, tried to battle to his feet but his legs were gone and he was stumbling over himself as the referee called a halt to the fight.
Today has been a hectic day for fight fans across Asia with a whole host of shows taking place across the continent. Those weren't all huge, but they featured at least one bout of some note.
The main event of this card saw talented Filipino Mark Magsayo (20-0, 14) dominate former Thai world champion Pungluang Sor Singyu Onesong (53-7, 35). Magsayo never managed to hurt Pungluang, who is a tough old rugged lump, but thoroughly dominated him and landed some highlight reel combinations in the later stages. The win saw Magsayo claim the WBC Asian Boxin Council Featherweight title, and it's now time he got a big fight. As for Pungluang it's clear he's still a serviceable fighter at regional level, but this was a 4th loss in 5 for the former WBO Bantamweight champion.
In a hotly contested bout for the GAB Bantamweight title Giovanni Escaner (20-4, 12) narrowly over-came Renoel Pael (23-10-1, 12), with a 12 round split decision. On paper this didn't look like it'd be competitive, but the styles gelled well and in the end their was very little to split the men.
In a Featherweight bout Virgel Vitor (15-2, 9) impressively destroyed Alan Alberca (11-4, 6) in 4 rounds. Vitor's power was on show through out the bout and he really did look like a brutally spiteful puncher through out. Alberca gave a good effort but was no match for Vitor and his power.
Chinese fighter Ainiwaer Yilixiati (17-1, 11) claimed the WBC Asian Boxing Council and IBO Asia Middleweight titles, as he took a clear decision win over Japan's Ryosuke Maruki (16-7-1, 11). This was a 6th straight win for Yilixiati, following his 2017 loss to Jayde Mitchell whilst Maruki has now lost 3 of his last 4.
The main event here saw the talented Andika Sabu (17-0, 8) pull himself off the canvas to take a decision over Filipino Richard Rosales (14-10-2, 8). The 23 year old Sabu has got potential and time on his side, but he also has a lot of areas to work on. Sadly for Rosales he is now 2-6 in his last 8, dating back 2 years.
Unbeaten Indonesian Lightweight Hebi Marapu (15-0, 11) extended his winning run as he took a 6 round decision over veteran Isack Junior (26-12-3, 9). The powerfully built Marapu has shown promise, but at 30 years old it's now or never for that promise and we would be hugely disappointed if he fails to secure a big bout in 2020.
Bang Phli, Thailand
Hard hitting Thai youngster Thanongsak Simsri (11-0, 11) extended KO streak, and claimed his first title, as he stopped Nattee Thongsingcle (2-2, 2) in 3 rounds to claim the Thai Light Flyweight title. The 20 year old Thanongsak has been drubbed "Srisaket II" in the Thai press and whilst that is a big tag to live up to, he has now racked up 11 wins in just over 14 months.
On the same card veteran Mike Tawatchai (47-13-2, 30) scored a 3rd round KO win over 16 year old novice Keerati Rueangdet (0-2).
Macao S.A.R., China
Exciting young hopeful Lap Cheong Cheong (7-0, 4) shone in front of local fans as he took a dominant decision win over ShanTuo Lu (2-4). The 22 year old Cheong Cheong shut out Lu over 6 rounds, to take his second decision win of the year, following a wide decision win over Muhammad Wahid in May. Lu, who has still never been stopped, never looked competitive but did serve as good foil for the youngster to shine against.
Former world title challenger Ernesto Saulong (22-5-2, 9) came up short in a bout against the unbeaten Brock Jarvis (17-0, 15). The match up, for the WBA Oceania Super Bantamweight title, was a clear win for Jarvis, who had too much of everything for Saulong who has now won just 1 of his last 5.
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