Earlier today at Korakuen Hall Japanese fight fans for the chance to see a relatively interesting card with two notable bouts on it.
The first of those bouts saw talented youngster Ryuto Owan (6-1, 4) [大湾硫斗] end a 2 year break from the ring, and pick up a very important win as he stopped Tomoya Kishine (6-4-1, 2) [岸根知也]. The talented Owan looked like the boss through out the contest, before forcing a stoppage in the 5th round.
For Owan this was an ideal result, very much what he needed after such a lengthy break. He got rounds, he got a win and he got the stoppage.
The main event was a much, much more interesting match up and saw former WBC Flyweight champion Daigo Higa (16-1-1, 16) [比嘉 大吾] battle the unbeaten Seiya Tsutsumi (5-0-2, 4) [堤聖也].
On paper this looked like a bout where Higa would be strongly favoured. Though paper doesn't tell us the entire story, and Tsutsumi had twice beaten Higa in the amateurs and was the naturally bigger man, the natural Bantamweight. Given those two things we had expected something very special here, and boy do they seem to have delivered!
From the off Tsutsumi was busy, looking to set the pace, though Higa's tight guard and stiff jab were playing their part. In round 2 headclashes left Tsutsumi cut, and in round 3 Higa was cut. From there on it seemed unlikely the bout would last long, with both men bleeding and headclashes marring the action up close.
Both men seemed to recover well from the headclashes, but Higa struggled to impose his will as Tsutsumi battled hard, using his foot work and aggression to force Higa to think twice about charging in. This lead Higa to needing to turn things around, which he did in round 8, but his momentum was short lived as Tsutsumi backed him up in round 9.
By the final round it was clear that it was a close one, and men tried to do enough in the final 3 minutes to secure victory. Sadly however neither man could drop the other, and in the end we ended up with a majority decision draw, with scores of 95-95, twice, and 96-94 to Higa.
It had been a war, a real testament to both men's desire, toughness and work rate. Sadly however it had been a war without a winner, and was a clear set back for Higa, who perhaps doesn't have what it takes to make a mark on the world stage at Bantamweight. On the other hand it was a great sign that Tsutsumi really is as good as some suggested, and there's a chance that both men may well move forward with this draw, and potentially give us chapter 2 one day in future.
For fans wanting to watch this it will be televised in mid November on TBS, on what has been regarded a stupidly long tape delay. A really disappointing delay in the broadcast for what had been a very, very good fight.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
Earlier today news broke from Japan that former WBC Flyweight champion Daigo Higa (16-1, 16) [比嘉 大吾] has now had his next bout set, with opponent, date and venue all officially announced.
The former champion, who transferred to the AMBITION gym earlier this year, will be returning to action on October 26th at Korakuen Hall where he will face the unbeaten Seiya Tsutsumi (5-0-1, 4) [堤聖也] in a scheduled 10 round bout at Bantamweight.
For Higa the bout will be his second since returning to the ring in February and stopping Jason Buenaobra in 6 rounds. That bout followed a lengthy suspension by the JBC for missing weight in his 2018 world title defense against Cristofer Rosales, and saw him being forced to move up in weight to avoid a similar issue in the future.
It's assumed that if Higa wins, without too many problems, he could be back in the ring in December in a high profile bout as part of a big card. The assumption is that that card will be headlined by WBO Super Flyweight champion Kazuto Ioka (25-2, 14) [井岡一翔] defending his title against Kosei Tanaka (15-0, 9) [田中恒成].
For Tsutsumi the bout is his first since a very controversial, and unfortunate, draw against Kazuki Nakajima (8-0-1, 7) [中嶋一輝] in the God's Left Bantamweight tournament in January. He will clearly be the under-dog, but he's a very talented fighter himself and this is a huge opportunity for him to make a mark on the sport and give his career the big boost it needs. Coming in to this he is ranked by the JBC and is a step up from Higa's last opponent.
In regards to TV it's yet to be confirmed what will be happening with this bout, though the assumption is that TBS will be airing on tape delay it as they begin their relationship with the AMBITION Gym, and with Higa. It's expected that the announcement regarding TV will be made in the coming weeks.
As for the under-card, the most interesting bout that has been confirmed so far is a match up between Ryuto Owan (5-1, 3) [大湾硫斗] and Tomoya Kishine (6-3-1, 2) [岸根知也]. This will be Owan's first bout since losing in a Japanese Youth title fight against taking on Tetsu Araki in 2018 whilst Kishine will be looking to build on a 2019 win against Masato Morisaki.
Earlier today at the Korakuen Hall fight fans saw a title triple header. One of those bouts was for the Japanese Youth Bantamweight title, with former amateur standout Ryuto Owan (5-1, 3) [大湾硫斗] taking on Tetsu Araki (12-1-1, 2) [荒木哲].
The bout looked really interesting on paper and proved to be just as good in the ring. To start with Araki attempted to set the pace early by using his jab but Owan landed the more eye catching shots and took early lead.
In round 4 Araki upped the pace and worked brilliantly in the pocket to out work and battle Owan, who was unable to match the tempo of his foe, who really dug in hard to the body further slowing Owan as he tried to respond.
The change in tempo from Araki and his high work rate proved to be the difference with Araki taking the unanimous decision with scores of 77-75, 78-75 and 78-74 to claim his first title. Sadly this is Owan's first loss, though we suspect he'll bounce back well and we wouldn't be surprised to see these two fighting again down the line.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
Tomorrow at the Korakuen Hall fans will be able to see a Japanese Youth Bantamweight title bout, as the unbeaten Ryuto Owan (5-0, 3) [大湾硫斗] and the once beaten Tetsu Araki (11-1-1, 2) [荒木哲] fight for the vacant title.
Today the two men took part in their weigh in for the bout and both of the youngsters made weight.
The weigh saw both men look confident and speak excitedly about the bout, which will the first title bout for both men.
Araki will be making his Korakuen Hall debut and he said he was more looking forward to that aspect of tomorrow's fight rather than the title aspect of the match up. He revealed he was confident and looking to control the bout.
Owan on the other hand will be fighting at the Korakuen Hall for the third time and spoke highly of his coming opponent, but seemed to say if he remained calm and didn't panic he should win, and continue the interesting rise of boxers from Okinawa, along with Shawn Oda and Yoshimitsu Kimura.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Back on August 10th we reported that OPBF Light Welterweight champion Rikki Naito (20-2, 7) [内藤 律樹] would be making his next defense on October 11th at the Korakuen Hall against Daishi Nagata (11-1-1, 5) [永田 大士] at a Diamond Glove card.
Following that we reported a second title bout had been a added the October 11th card, making the show a double header. That second title fight was a Japanese Youth Bantamweight title bout between the unbeaten Ryuto Owan (5-0, 3) [大湾硫斗] and the once beaten Tetsu Araki (11-1-1, 2) [荒木哲], in what looks like a great match up, and a chance for the two youngsters to get their first taste of gold.
Now we've been informed the show will actually be a triple header! The third title bout set for this show will see WBO Asia Pacific Bantamweight champion Hiroaki Teshigawara (17-2-2, 10) [勅使河原 弘晶] moving up in weight to face off with Filipino Glenn Suminguit (21-3, 11) for the OPBF Super Bantamweight title, which has been vacated by former champion Hidenori Otake.
For the 28 year old Teshigawara the bout will see him return to the Super Bantamweight division, a division that he has flirted with but never really committed to. Despite never being a fully fledged Super Bantamweight he has stated problems making 118lbs in the past and a move up may well bee the best idea for his career going forward.
As for the Filipino he has actually fought as high as Super Featherweight, but achieved his most notable results at Bantamweight, claiming the GAB Bantamweight title in 2016 and making a defense of the title last year. Notably he doesn't appear to have any problems making 118lbs, 130lbs or anything between them.
This is arguably the best of the bouts now set for the show, which will also feature the hard hitting Ryosuke Takami (12-2, 11) [高見 良祐] though his opponent is yet to be announced, and promises to be a thrilling contest.
At the moment it's unclear whether Teshigawara is looking to make the move up in weight permanent, but if he does there is a very possible rush for the WBO Asia Pacific Bantamweight title that he'll be leaving behind featuring the likes of Keita Kurihara (12-5, 11) [栗原 慶太], Yusuke Suzuki (9-3, 6) [鈴木悠介] and Kyosuke Sawada (12-2-1, 6) [澤田京介], who would all be very interested in claiming a notable title in the near future.
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