Results from Korakuen Hall!
Earlier today Korakuen Hall played host to the latest Diamond Glove show, which was shown live on Fuji's FOD service. The show wasn't a massive one, but was a notable one with two title bouts and two fighters featuring notable hopefuls.
The first of the notable bouts on the card saw something of an upset as former amateur standout Ryusei Baba (1-1) [馬場龍成] was stopped in 3 rounds by hard hitting 27 year old Shugo Namura (6-1, 6) [苗村修悟]. Baba looked good in the opening round, but in round 3 the power of Namura proved it's self as he rocked Baba with a right hand. A follow up saw Baba being wobbled hard from a brutal left hook with the referee stepping in to save the former amateur star.
The second notable bout on the show saw Go Hosaka (6-1, 3) [保坂 剛] defeat Japanese ranked Super Featherweight Kazuma Sanpei (20-8, 9) [三瓶 数馬], and record the biggest win of his career. The bout saw both men looking to control the action early on, but the crisp skills and more polished technical abilities saw Hosaka landing the more meaningful blows. Sanpei was looking to land his own shots in the first 3 rounds, but in round 4 a series of jabs and a solid right hook, left Sanpei looking hurt and forced the referee to jump in and save him.
The first of the two title bouts on the show saw Koichi Aso (25-10-1, 16) [麻生 興一] suffer a surprisingly early loss to Akihiro Kondo (33-11-2, 18) [近藤 明広], with Kondo claiming the OPBF title from Aso as a result. On paper this bout promised a lot, given the styles and mentalities of the two men, and it delivered, albeit in a very abridged fashion. From the off both men were looking to get close and go to work, though it was the cleaner, more accurate shots of Kondo that caught the eye, and in round 2 those clean shots sent Aso down. Aso got to his feet but never seemed to recover with Kondo stopping him just moments later to claim the OPBF title. Sadly for Aso this ends a very short reign that began when he upset Rikki Naito last year, and it's likely to be a reign that is quickly forgotten due to how easily he lost the belt here.
The other title bout saw Japanese Lightweight champion Shu Utsuki (11-0, 9) [宇津木秀] record his first defense, as he stopped the tricky and quick Izuki Tomioka (7-6-1, 2) [富岡 樹]. Tomioka, as expected, had success early in the bout using his footwork, sharp boxing skills and speed to take advantage of Utsuki's slow footwork. Utsuki looked to pressure his challenger, but early on he struggled with tying his man down, and after 5 rounds Tomioka was leading on all 3 cards. Sadly for Tomioka however as his feet slowed, notably in round 5, Utsuki began to get more and more success, attacking the body well and taking the legs away from Tomioka. In round 8 the power of Utsuki hurt Tomioka, who was forced to retreat to the corner, but he continued taking shots until the referee stepped in and save him from further punishment.
Earlier today triple crown Lightweight champion Shuichiro Yoshino (14-0, 11) [吉野 修一郎] scored his latest defense of the Japanese national title, as he stopped the gutsy Shuma Nakazato (10-2-3, 7) [仲里周磨] at Korakuen Hall. With the win Yoshino recorded his 7th defence, but he was unhappy at his performance and the manner of his victory.,
Early on the bout was very competitive as both men looked to win the battle of jabs. Surprisingly it was Nakazato who managed to move through the gears first, and landed a cracking right hand in the opening round. Yoshino had moments, especially with his counters in round 2, but the champion looked rushed, and over-eager to impress, as a result he really didn't put shots together, instead trying to just land big single shots.
Luckily for Yoshino the big shots did manage to have success in round 4, when one of his right hands sliced the left eye brow of Nakazato, leaving him with a gruesome cut. The challenger, fighting through the cut, managed to respond well however, and had a good 5th round, as he showed he wasn't there to roll over. After 5 rounds the judges had this super close, with scores of 48-47, from all 3, in favour of Yoshino.
Despite Nakazato's bravery and toughness he really struggled when Yoshino finally bagan to let shots fly in combinations, which he did in round 6, worsening the cut to the point where the doctor had to stop the bout and give Yoshino the TKO win.
Following the bout Yoshino suggested it was the worst performance of his career, and it seems plans for a major push towards a world title fight will be put on the back burner. However he is scheduled to fight once more in 2021, potentially against former WBO Super Featherweight champion Masayuki Ito (27-3-1, 15) [伊藤 雅雪] who was at ringside today.
Sadly the rest of this card was rather limited. A scheduled rematch between former Japanese Featherweight champion Ryo Sagawa (10-2, 5) [佐川遼] and Retsu Kosaka (10-6, 4) [小坂烈] was cancelled, and only really left one under-card bout worthy of attention. That was the debut of former amateur standout Ryusei Baba (1-0) [馬場 龍成], who took a 6 round shut out win over Kenya Okada (5-4-1, 3) [岡田 兼弥]. From the off Baba was too good, too quick, too skilled, too accurate and too experienced for Okada, who showed plenty of toughness but was second best for pretty much every second of the bout. Fingers crossed we see Baba in with a better test sooner rather than later.
News! We try and give you the most interesting news stories from the Asian boxing world!