Over the last few weeks technical issues has prevented us from reporting as much news as we usually. Despite that there is obvious still a lot going on in the world of Asian boxing. With that in mind we've decided to put a few stories together here rather than battling too much with the technological issues thwarting us.
The first two small stories concern heavy handed youngster Jin Sasaki (11-1, 10) [佐々木尽], who failed to make weight for his recent bout with Andy Hiraoka (18-0, 13) [平岡アンディ]. Firstly Sasaki has vacated the Japanese Youth title at 140lbs, something he did following his loss to Hiraoka, and second he has been handed a 6 month suspension, for failing to make weight for his bout with Hiraoka, which he lost in 11 rounds. As a result he will be out of the ring until Spring 2022.
Former Japanese title challenger Satoru Sugita (15-6-2, 10) [杉田聖] has announced his retirement, and has handed in his retirement notice to the JBC, with that retirement dated October 20th. His retirement is not a huge surprise, given he hasn't fought since December 2019, but it was interesting to learn that he has also had a problem with his leg and began to start a family. We want to wish Sugita all the best in his post boxing career.
The final snippet of news for this report concerns two of the biggest names in Japanese boxing, with WBA and IBF Bantamweight champion Naoya Inoue (21-0, 18) [井上 尚弥] and former 3 weight world champion Kosei Tanaka (15-1, 9) [田中恒成] both concerned. It was reported today that the two men have been sparring with each other at the Ohashi gym in Yokohama, ahead of big December bouts for both men.
Regarding that spar Inoue was very impressed by the speed of Tanaka, suggesting that Tanaka is the fastest fighter he has ever shared the ring with. He even went on to explain that Tanaka's speed has limited his own success in their sparring. Tanaka, likewise, was impressed and explained that Inoue's technical ability was amazing, and he seemed impressed by the ring craft and distance control of "The Monster".
This was, reportedly, the first time the two men have sparred together.
Earlier today Japanese boxing service Boxing Raise released their line up for the month of May and unsurprisingly it's a packed month with an impressive 3 live cards, though one of them was earlier today along with 4 more shows available on demand.
As mentioned one of the three live shows was today. The was the Dangan card from Korakuen Hall, headlined by a brilliant Japanese Featherweight title bout between Taiki Minamoto [源大輝] and Reiya Abe [阿部 麗也]. If you missed this one live it is now available on demand, in fact the entire card is now available.
The next live card will be the next Dangan card, which takes place on May 18th, and will be headlined by a Japanese Super Bantamweight title bout, pitting champion Ryoichi Tamura (12-3-1, 6) [田村 亮一] against former champion Yusaku Kuga (17-3-1, 11) [久我勇作]. This will then be followed a day later by live coverage of Desafio vol 8, which isn't a big card but does feature notable fighters like Satoru Sugita (14-6-1, 9) [杉田聖], Gakuya Furuhashi (24-8-1, 12) [古橋大輔] and Tsubasa Murachi (3-0, 3) [村地翼].
As well as the live cards the service will pick up the next Hiroki Ioka show on May 3rd, the Kadoebi show on May 8th, as well as the WBO Asia Pacific double title show on May 26th from Mutoh gym. Sadly whilst these will be added on tape delay it's unclear when these shows will be added. Sometimes it's the same day, and other times it can be a week after a show takes place.
Earlier today Japanese fight fans at the Korakuen Hall saw Ken Osato (15-2-1, 4) [大里拳] take on Satoru Sugita (14-6-1, 9) [杉田聖] in a Japanese title challenger decider bout.
This was the second time the two men had faced off, and they had actually clashed in a challenger deciding bout last year, with Osato taking a split decision last time. Once again it was Osato coming out on top, but this time he did so clearly.
The opening round was close, as the two fighters felt each other out. The competitiveness continued in round 2, as there was again little to split the men.
From round 3 on wards however Osato took control, complete control, sweeping the final 6 rounds on all 3 cards.
Osato controlled the bout with quick straight shots, smart footwork and great control of the ring, making Sugita miss regularly. Whilst Sugita was never really hurt he was rarely competitive and Osato impressed as he outboxed and cut his man, not only dominating much of the bout but also looking like the stronger man at the end.
When the score cards were announced Sugita looked exhausted and like he knew he had clearly been beaten. The judges also thought so, scoring the contest 79-74, twice, and 79-73 all in favour of Osato.
After the bout Sugita revealed he couldn't remember much of the contest, and although it's unclear at the moment we do wonder about his long term health as he has taken a lot of shots in recent bouts. Osato on the other hand heads into his second title bout, likely a second meeting with Masaru Sueyoshi.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp
One of two rematches at the Korakuen Hall tomorrow, in Japanese title challenger decider bouts, will see Ken Osato (14-2-1, 4) [大里拳] face off with Satoru Sugita (14-5-1, 9) [杉田聖], with the winner getting a Japanese Super Featherweight title bout next year.
The two men fought last year, in what was also a bout to decide a Japanese title challenger, with Osato coming out on top by a narrow margin. This time Sugita will be looking for revenge as well as his as his third title shot, whilst Osato will be wanting his second fight for a title.
Today the two men took part in their weigh in and both men came in under the 130lb limit.
Osato was the heavier man, coming in around 129.6lbs and looking in great shape. Sugita looked even better at the weigh in and was slightly lighter at 129.4lbs.
The two fighters sounded like they had prepared hard, though Sugita sounded particularly confident, saying he was aiming for the KO.
Related - Osato and Sugita go again, in title eliminator!
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
An important part of the Japanese boxing calendar is the Champion Carnival, which takes place in the first half of the year. The fighters who compete in the Champion Carnival are the national champions and the leading domestic contenders.
In August we a number of bouts to decide the top contenders being announced, with 6 such bouts being set for October 12, on a stacked card at the Korakuen Hall.
For those missed that report those bouts on October 12th will be:
Light Flyweight - Kenichi Horikawa (37-15-1, 11) [堀川 謙一] Vs Koji Itagaki (18-12-3, 7) [板垣幸司]
The Super Flyweight - Yuta Matsuo (14-3-1, 7) [松尾雄太] Vs Rey Orais (20-17-2, 5)
Super Bantamweight - Mugicha Nakagawa (23-5-1, 14) [武田勇太] Vs Naoya Okamoto (13-6-1, 6) [岡本直也].
Super Featherweight - Ken Osato (14-2-1, 4) [大里拳] Vs Satoru Sugita (14-5-1, 9) [杉田聖]
Light Welterweight - Koki Inoue (11-0, 10) [浩樹井上] Vs Marcus Smith (6-0-1, 6)
Light Middleweight Koshinmaru Saito (24-9-2, 13) [斉藤伸介] vs Hironobu Matsunaga (13-1, 7) [松永 宏信]
As well as the October 12th card we also, recently, saw the confirmation that the Flyweight bout would see Junto Nakatani (16-0, 12) [中谷 潤人] battle against Shun Kosaka (15-4, 4) [小坂駿], which that bout now set for October 6th as part of notable Japanese domestic card which is set to be televised on G+.
Today saw the rest of the bouts being announced.
On October 21st we'll have two of them take place in Fukuoka. One of those is the Minimumweight bout, which will see Takumi Sakae (19-2-1, 13) [榮拓海] take on Norihito Tanaka (16-7, 9) [田中教仁], in what could end up being one of the surprise contests from these eliminator style contests. On the same card will be the Welterweight clash between Yuki Beppu (18-0-1, 18) [別府優樹] and Yuki Nagano (14-2, 11) [永野祐樹], in what we are expecting to be a very explosive and exciting encounter between two fighters with very solid power at this level.
A week later, October 28th, we'll get the Lightweight bout, which will see Accel Sumiyoshi (11-4-2, 3) [アクセル住吉] face off with Tatsuya Yanagi (15-5-1, 6) [柳達也]. This bout will take place in Shimonoseki, Yamaguchi prefecture, which should favour Sumiyoshi but given the styles of the two men this has the potential to be very exciting.
On November 7th we'll get the Middleweight bout as former champion Hikaru Nishida (17-9-1, 8) [西田光] takes on Shuji Kato (9-1-1, 6) [加藤収二], with this bout taking place at the Korakuen Hall.
The only bout with out a set date so far is the Bantamweight bout. Despite no set date we do know that Hayato Kimura (27-10, 18) [木村隼人] facing off with Seizo Kono (19-10-1, 12) [高野誠三], in what is a bit of an under-whelming contest given some of the Japanese domestic talent in the division. This bout is expected to have it's date and venue announced in the coming weeks.
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