Earlier today Japanese fight fans in Shizuoka got the latest show from Suruga Danji and his promotional stable. The event wasn't a huge one, but it was certainly a very interesting one with a lot of notable Japanese prospects on the card, including some who are tipped as future stars and world champions.
With that show now over, we're going to look over the show and cover the results from the event.
The show kicked off with an 8 round bout between the talented, but often over-looked, Tentaro Kimura (7-0-2) [木村 天汰郎] and the "better than his record suggests" Satoru Hoshiba (7-6, 2) [干場悟]. Kimura made this look easy as he controlled the distance and tempo, making the most of his left hook at range and right uppercuts up close. Hoshiba tried to turn things around, coming forward and pressing, but his tactics really were well neutralised by the movement of Kimura who was a ver clear winner, though did seem exhausted in round 8, when he held on a little bit too much for our liking.
After 8 rounds the scores here were 80-72, 79-73 and 77-75.
The second bout on the show saw Narumi Yukawa (3-0, 2) [湯川 成美] score his biggest win since turning professional as he stopped the experienced Yuji Awata (12-9-1, 5) [粟田 祐之] in 4 rounds. Yukawa pressed from the off, and constantly looked to close the distance. The pressure from Yukawa came at a cost early on, as he was dropped from a counter in the opening round, and took a lot of shots as a result of his desire to come forward, but he kept pressing and managed to get a real break through in round 3, when he got inside and started to work the body of Awata. The pressure of Yukawa worked again in round 4, as he hurt his man, backing him up and dropping him with a big left hook.
Whilst it's a worry to see Yukawa being dropped, and we do wonder whether his style is going to be suited to a successful and long career, it's great to see him rebound from a knockdown, stick to his game plan and stopping his man. He needs to tighten up defensively going forward, but there is no doubting how fun he's going to be to watch over the coming years.
The shows first real surprise came in it's third bout as JBC #5 ranked Super Flyweight Tsubasa Murachi (7-1-1, 3) [村地 翼] struggled to a draw against Yuto Nakamura (11-6-2, 8) [中村 祐斗], who had no momentum coming in to the bout. Murachi made a good start, boxing well behind his jab and landing some good right hands to control the first 4 rounds. Despite being out boxed early on Nakamura showed no fear and looked to apply pressure through the bout, pressing and pressuring the touted Murachi, and looking to cut the ring off. In the second half of the fight that pressure began to tell as Nakamura racked up the later rounds, making up for losing the earlier ones. After 8 rounds this was a hard one to call, and it showed on the scorecards which were 78-74, Murachi, 77-75 Nakamura, and 76-76, resulting in a split decision draw.
The chief support bout saw second generation fighter Kento Hatanaka (12-0, 9) [畑中 建人] score his latest win as he took an 8 round decision over the tough Daisuke Sudo (7-8-3) [須藤大介]. Hatanaka, who hadn't fought since February 2020, looked to land crisp left uppercuts up close. Sudo, who likely knew he wouldn't be able to compete with Hatanaka in a boxing contest, looked to make this a war, getting inside when he could and attacking the body in the pocket. That style made this an exciting bout, but Hatanaka's uppercutts up close, and good combinations caught the eye, even if the fight was fought where Sudo wanted it. After 8 rounds Sudo had done enough to take a few rounds, but not make it competitive, and the scorecards were 79-73, twice, and 78-74 all to Hatanaka, who we suspect will be looking to land a Japanese title fight in 2022.
The main event saw the talented Rentaro Kimura (5-0, 3) [木村蓮太朗] get the biggest test of his career, and narrowly come away with a win as he over-came the huge punching Yoji Saito (3-2-2, 3) [齊藤陽ニ] in a hotly contested 8 rounder.
In the opening round Saito's power was the telling fact as he landed a huge right hook, dropping Kimura for the first time in his career. The knockdown was the perfect start for Saito, and a wake up call to Kimura, who realised that he couldn't take risks with someone as heavy handed as Saito. In rounds 2 and 3 Kimura battled back well, winning both rounds with his boxing, speed and skills, to essentially undo the 10-8 opening round. Sadly for Kimura he was dropped again towards the end of round 4, as he found himself in a hole for the second time in the fight.
In round 5 Kimura, who knew he couldn't afford any more slip ups, changed tactics, and rather than boxing, he took the fight to Saito, neutralising the power but smothering the heavy handed Saito. Saito had some success up close, but it was Kimura was regularly getting the better of things, whilst also preventing Saito from getting full purchase on his shots. The final 4 rounds were brilliant, and showed that there was a real fighter in Kimura, who did just enough to earn the decision, with scores of 76-74, twice, and 75-75, to get the majority decision.
The plan for Kimura is to get a title fight next year, and this was the perfect gut check for him before a title bout. He needs to tighten up his defense, he needs to appreciate opponents, like Saito, who are dangerous, but there is no doubting his heart, determination and skills. As for Saito he's one of those fighters with a very misleading record, and he is a devastating puncher, who is a threat to anyone at 130 or 135 in Japan.
The usually brilliant Boxing Raise has had a notable downturn this year, with no new shows at all in February and until today they also had nothing official on their schedule for March.
Thankfully that changed today when they revealed their schedule for the month, and it's a mix bag.
Firstly it appears they won't have any live streams this month, which is a massive shame and a real negative for the service. Second they only have 3 shows the entire month. Thankfully however they are all good shows, and the first of those is already available for fans.
The first of those shows, the one now online, was Green Dream Vol 14, headlined by a Japanese Super Bantamweight youth title fight between Satoru Hoshiba [干場悟] and Tom Mizokoshi [溝越 斗夢]. This was a genuine great fight and for those with the service this is well worth watching.
The second show will be Victoriva 6, which takes place on March 18th. This card will be headlined by the much anticipated IBF Atomweight title bout, pitting champion Saemi Hanagata (16-7-4, 7) [田中冴美] against the skilled Eri Matsuda (4-0, 1) [松田恵里] and will also feature the long awaited debut of Narumi Yukawa (0-0) [湯川成美].
The final show on the service this month will be Slugfest 18 from Kadoebi Gym. This will be headlined by a contest between Seiya Tsutsumi (5-0-2, 4) [堤聖也] and Tulio Kuwabata (3-1-1, 2) [桑畑凜生] and will feature a genuine who's who of the Kadoebi Gym, including Yuichiro Kasuya (13-3-2, 4) [粕谷 雄一郎], Takuya Kogawa (30-5-1, 13) [粉川拓也], Yoji Saito (2-1-2, 2) [齊藤陽ニ] and Jukiya Iimura (1-0, 1) [飯村 樹輝弥].
For subscribers it's a decent line up, though it's a huge shame that nothing is being shown live.
Outside of Boxing Raise Japanese fan will have plenty to watch over the remained of the month with the Splendid Boxing show on March 21st being shown live on YouTube via Sakana and Seki Chan, with a live feed here, the March 25th Dynamic Glove card will be live on premium Japanese TV channel G+ and the March 28th "Real Spirits 71" from Shinsei Gym being shown live on YouTube channel BOXING REAL.
(Image credit - Boxing Raise)
Earlier today at the Aioi Hall in Kariya fight fans got the latest Japanese Youth title bout, as Tom Mizokoshi (8-2-1, 4) [溝越 斗夢] and Satoru Hoshiba (7-5, 2) [干場悟] clashed for the vacant Japanese Youth Super Bantamweight title.
The two men were meeting for the second time, after previously fighting in 2019 with Mizokoshi taking a 2nrd round TKO, and this one was far less conclusive than their first bout.
From the off the styles of the men were clear. Hoshiba was the pressure fighter, looking to close the distance and take the fight to Mizokoshi, who was the smoother, faster fighter. The uppercuts, jab and footwork of Mizokoshi were eye catching and helped him take the early rounds, whilst neutralising the pressure of Hoshiba.
As the rounds went on the pressure of Hoshiba managed to get the success he was after, and he was persistently pressing forward, getting to the body and trying to break down Mizokoshi, taking his legs away. The success of Hoshiba saw him shining in rounds 4 and 5, but he couldn't grind down Mizokoshi before the youngster changed tactics, and get back to using his feet.
With a change made Mizokoshi managed to re-establish some control of the bout in round 6, though Hoshiba refused to back off, and continued pressing, looking for the blows to take his man down. Sadly for Hoshiba however it wasn't enough to break down Mizokoshi, who went through some tricky moments in the final rounds but saw them out.
After 8 rounds we went to the scorecards, and all 3 judges had the bout 77-75, all 3 in favour of Mizokoshi. Oddly the judges rarely agreed on single rounds, though all came to the same scores. The three only agreed on rounds 1, 2 and 7, though it was one of those fights where, for the most part, the action was intense and the rounds were consistently close and competitive.
Tomorrow at the Aioi Hall in Kariya City we'll see a new Japanese Youth Super Bantamweight champion being crowned as Satoru Hoshiba (7-4, 2) [干場悟] and Tom Mizokoshi (7-2-1, 4) [溝越 斗夢] face off for the vacant title.
Today, ahead of their bout, the two men took part in their weigh in and both men came in bang on the 122lb limit and both of the youngsters looked in good shape for what promises to be an exciting bout.
The belt became vacant a few months ago, when it was vacated by the talented Toshiki Shimomachi (12-1-2, 8) [下町俊貴], allowing Hoshiba and Mizokoshi to battle for the belt.
Interestingly these two have fought before and did so in a short but thrilling 2 round bout in 2019, which Mizokoshi won by TKO. Prior to stopping Hoshiba he had been in trouble, and it seems clear that Hoshiba wants revenge for that loss.
In quotes given to Boxmob.jp, Hoshiba has stated that he isn't going to change his style, a style that got him stopped against Mizokoshi, for this bout. Mizokoshi on the other hand revealed that he has taken counter measures for the pressure and power of Hoshiba, and he also came across as confident that he had the tools to score a victory here.
Related - Mizokoshi and Hoshiba face off for Japanese Youth title!
Back in December we had expected to see the slippery and talented Toshiki Shimomachi (12-1-2, 8) [下町俊貴] defending the Japanese Youth Super Bantamweight title against exciting and aggressive Satoru Hoshiba (7-4, 2) [干場悟]. The bout was supposed to take place at the EDION Arena Osaka on December 27th but was sadly cancelled in the build up. That cancelation was due to Shimomachi suffering from influenza. After that it was unclear what was going to happen with the title and with the match up, especially given that Shimomachi was 24 and there is an age limit on the title.
On January 8th Shimomachi officially vacated the title and today, just one day later, we now know how the vacancy will be filled, and thankfully for Hoshiba he won't be missing out on a shot to win the belt.
The vacancy will be filled on March 14th when the 23 year old Hoshiba takes on 21 year old Tom Mizokoshi (7-2-1, 4) [溝越 斗夢], who is looking to bounce back from his own set back, a 3rd round TKO loss to Hiroyuki Takahara last August. In fact that loss was a particularly painful one with reports circulating that Mizokoshi had a broken or fractured jaw from that defeat, which ended up costing him another scheduled bout.
The two men will be clashing at the Aioi Hall in Kariya City, a venue that both men are familiar with and both men have already fought in 5 times, including a 2019 bout between the two men.
For those unaware of their first bout, their 2019 bout was a genuine hidden gem, tucked away on the Boxing Raise service. The bout saw Hoshiba pressing forward throughout, showing his aggressive mentality and exciting style. Sadly for Hoshiba though it was a style that cost him in round 2 when he tried to finish off a hurt Mizokoshi and paid the price, being countered, hurt himself and then stopped as Mizokoshi pulled the win out of the bag.
Given their history together and the Youth title being on the line, this should be one to genuinely look forward to for fans in Kariya and hopefully, like their first bout, this will be made available on Boxing Raise.
News! We try and give you the most interesting news stories from the Asian boxing world!