Right now there's a big card taking place in Chiba, Japan. The card is a very good one, with 3 world title bouts, but before those the fans in attendance have had the chance to see two notable Japanese prospects in action.
The first of those prospects was Shisui Kawabata (2-0, 2) [川畑嗣穂], who faltered on debut but shined today as he stopped Mongkol Kamsommat (5-5, 4). The talented Kawabata, who has sparred with a number of top Japaneses professionals, was dropped back in his debut, by Natchaphon Wichaita at the end of March, but had no such troubles here.
The youngster from the Watanabe gym found the range for his straight shots, whilst making the Thai visitor miss with his wild, yet heavy looking blows. In the second round uppercuts from Kawabata cut the eye of the Thai. The cut was a bad one and despite passing one doctors inspection he was stopped by the doctor on a second inspection.
The other was the very highly touted Shu Utsuki (5-0, 4) [宇津木秀], another rising hopeful of the Watanabe gym. Utsuki was stepping up to take on his first Japanese ranked opponent, Japanese based Venezuelan Omrri Bolivar (8-2, 3), and stopped him in 3 rounds.
Bolivar started well, having a good opening round but Utsuki began to turn it on from the second round, cutting the distance and working the body really well. By the end of the second round Bolivar looked like a beaten man, with the bell seemingly saving him. Sadly for Bolivar the bell didn't so much save him, as just delayed the inevitable, and he was down very early in round 3, taking the 10 count afterwards.
With the win Utsuki is expected to get a JBC and OPBF ranking, and be put on the road to his first title bout. Sadly for Bolivar second stoppage loss in 5 fights.
Today has been a busy day for fight fans in Osaka with two notable shows taking place at the Sumiyoshi Ward Center. Whilst the first was headlined by the brilliant Hianta Maruta the second was a deeper card with several bouts of note.
The first of those saw OPBF and Japanese ranked Flyweight Masahiro Sakamoto (8-0, 4) [坂本 真宏] take a clear 8 round decision win over Il Che (7-12-5, 1) [諸 一宇]. From the opening round Sakamoto settled behind his jab and soon started to work the straight right hand off it as he showed off the skills that have the Mutoh gym very excited about his potential. As the bout went on Sakamoto begin to look more and more for a knockout but Che, a survivor who has only been stopped by top Japanese level fighters like Masayuki Kuroda, Kenichi Horikawa and Tetsuya Hisada, used his movement to see out the schedule.
Although Che survived 8 rounds the judges scored the bout 80-71, 79-72 and 78-73 all in favour of Sakamoto
The second of the notable under-card bouts ended in disappointment all round as a headclash forced a third round technical draw between former world title challenger Hirofumi Mukai (12-4-3, 2) [向井 寛史] and Ryotaro Kawabata (11-2-2, 5) [川端 遼太郎]. Mukai had been downed in round 2 and had seemingly been saved by the bell but the headlcash in the opening moments of round 3 forced the bout to be stopped 73 seconds into the round.
In a third bout of note fight fans saw heavy handed slugger Koki Tyson (10-2-2, 10) [太尊 康輝] fight to a draw with Korean Joon Yong Lee (5-4-4, 3). The Korean, was fighting in Japan for the second time and showed little fear or respect for Tyson taking the fight to him and trying to close the distance at every opportunity. Lee's tenacity saw him being deducted a point for use of the head but he was worthy of the 8 round majority draw.
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