Earlier today we got a show from Okayama, and whilst it wasn't the the best show there was two talking points from the show.
The first of them was the "blink and you miss it" debut of 35 year old Yuya Igi (1-0, 1) [猪木 雄也], who took on fellow debutant Yuki Nakahara (0-1) [中原 裕貴] in a West Japan Rookie of the year bout at 140. This really was over before it ever got started.
The bout with Nakahara trying to box behind his jab, but within seconds Igi landed a right hand, then let his shots fly, landing shot after shot clean to the head of Nakahara. Nakahara stumbled into the corner and the bout was waved off, after just 11 seconds! He was done, the stoppage was fine, and Igi had made an immediate impact on the sport. A very impressive and quick win here by the newbie.
The other major talking point was the "main event" of the show, a 4 round public spar between Japanese Flyweight champion Seigo Yuri Akui (15-2-1, 10) [阿久井政悟] and Japanese Light Flyweight champion Masamichi Yabuki (12-3, 11) [佐藤政道].
The spar was put together on super short notice after Akui had a planned bout with Yuto Nakamura (11-6-1, 8) [中村 祐斗] fall through yesterday, when Nakamura was said to be ill, and in poor physical condition.
Despite the issues leading to what was essentially an exhibition, the two men did put on a show for the fans in attendance, mixing up high level boxing, early on, with some more explosive stuff later on. Through out the exhibition Akui looked the bigger, stronger, more powerful man but to his credit Yabuki was there putting his skills to the test in what was a very good spar.
After the two men traded shows Akui thanks Yabuki for taking the call on such short notice, made it clear that he was unhappy at the situation but had switched to a positive mindset, and was targeting a world ranking. He then added some interesting comments, to suggest that rules need changing to prevent such late pull outs, with the suggesting from some quarters being that Nakamura has messed up his weight and pulled out as a result.
As for Yabuki the plan is to attend the up coming WBC Light Flyweight world title bout between Kenshiro Teraji (17-0, 10) [寺地 拳四朗] and Tetsuya Hisada (34-10-2, 20) [久田 哲也], and it seems like he will want to challenge the winner of that bout.
There has also been quotes from Tatsuya Moriyasu, the promoter of the event, who also expressed frustration at the late cancellation, but seemed happy about Yabuki helping to save the show. His plan is to hold his next show, which will almost certainly feature Akui, at some point in the fall.
For fans wanting to watch the spar, and the 11 second bout, along with other action from the show, the entire show will be made available via the Boxing Raise service
Earlier today it was reported the the bout between Japanese Flyweight champion Seigo Yuri Akui (15-2-1, 10) [阿久井政悟] and former Japanese Youth Super Flyweight champion Yuto Nakamura (11-6-1, 8) [中村 祐斗], set to take place tomorrow in Okyama, has been cancelled.
The bout was supposed to headline "Momotaro Fight Boxing 40", and supposed to be shown on the Boxing Raise service, on delay, but has sadly been scrapped 1 day before the contest as Nakamura has had to pull out.
The 24 year old Nakamura has fallen ill, with no details on his illness being revealed.
Whilst the bout is cancelled local fans wanting to see the hard hitting Akui will still get the chance, with the promoter putting together a 3 round exhibition with Japanese Light Flyweight champion Masamichi Yabuki (12-3, 11) [佐藤政道]. Not a terrible replacement, though obviously not as good as a bout with Nakamura would have been.
Akui spoke to Boxmob.jp regarding the situation and seemed understanding of Nakamura's situation, whilst also talking up the exhibition with Yabuki, which genuinely should be an entertaining event in it's self. Especially given their history, with Akui stopping Yabuki in an actual fight in 2018.
Earlier today subscription service Boxing Raise released their line up for the month of April and it's a bit of a mixed bag. There are 5 shows, but none of them are live and none of them are particularly big. Notably two of them are also from deep within the Dangan series archive.
The most notable of 3 new shows will be the upcoming Green Tsuda promoted "Crash Boxing Vol 22", a really solid looking show with two touted prospects on it. The show will be headlined by former Japanese Youth Super Bantamweight champion Toshiki Shimomachi (12-1-2, 8) [下町俊貴] who takes on Thunder Teruya (7-8-1, 4) [サンダー照屋]. As well as the main event we are also looking forward to seeing the talented Jinki Maeda (6-0, 4) [前田稔輝] take on Yushi Fujita (9-8-4, 2) [藤田 裕史]. This show takes place tomorrow and will be added to the service at some point over the coming days.
Another show, also taking place on Sunday, will be a Rookie of the Year card. We love Rookie of the Year, and it's nice to see some of the Early Rookie of the Year bouts being made available for fans.
The third of the newer shows will be the April 18th card from Okayama, and will be headlined by Japanese Flyweight champion Seigo Yuri Akui (15-2-1, 10) [阿久井政悟] taking on former Japanese Youth Super Flyweight champion Yuto Nakamura (11-6-1, 8) [中村 祐斗]. There's no title on the line here, but it should serve as an interesting test for the explosive Akui, who has earned a reputation for blowing opponents out very early on.
As for the other two shows, they are both shows from around a decade ago. The first of those is Dangan 27, also known as Dangan Battler, from November 2010. The show is certainly not one of the best from the Dangan series, but it has 8 bouts on it, including 5 bouts scheduled for 8 rounds, and hasn't been available to watch on demand before. The other will be Dangan 32, from May 2011, and features several bouts of note, including a very solid bout between Kentaro Masuda [益田健太郎] and Yosuke Fujihara [藤原陽介].
If we're being honest the service, which we are massive fans of, has been poor so far in 2021, and April is a little bit of a stinger as they had lined up another card that had to be scrapped due to an injury suffered by former IBF Super Bantamweight champion Yukinori Oguni (21-2-1, 8) [小國以載]. Thankfully however May looks set to be a very, very special month with some huge shows expected to take place.
If we're being totally truthful, 2021 has been a quiet year in general for Japanese boxing, as the pandemic has limited shows in the wider Tokyo region. Things now, however, seem like they will begin getting back to normal, and the service should be getting back to it's best sooner rather than later.
Earlier today the Kurashiki Moriyasu gym, which is in charge of Japanese Flyweight champion Seigo Yuri Akui (15-2-1, 10) [阿久井政悟] announced the next bout for the hard hitting champion, and surprisingly it will not be his second defense of the Japanese title. Instead it will be a non-title fight as he tests the water at Super Flyweight, and takes on former Japanese Youth champion Yuto Nakamura (11-6-1, 8) [中村 祐斗], in what should be an explosive clash.
The hard hitting Akui, who won the belt in 2019, when he blasted out Shun Kosaka, defended the Japanese title for the first time last October against mandatory challenger Seiya Fujikita. It was assumed that his next bout would be another defense as he moves onwards upwards, towards potentially bigger bouts and more notable titles. Instead he's taking an interesting choice to see whether he can make a mark 3lbs heavier, and whether his power, which has been destructive at Flyweight, can carry up.
As for Nakamura he was last seen in the ring in December, when he was stopped in 2 rounds by Ryo Akaho in a Super Bantamweight contest, in what was a massive mismatch and really didn't do either man any favours. Here however he will be fighting at his natural weight, and that should give him a chance against Akui.
The bout is scheduled to take place on April 18th at the Amakusa Park Gymnasium in Asakuchi, the same venue that has hosted Akui's last 2 bouts, and will be the headline contest on "Momotaro Fight Boxing 40". At the moment no other bouts have been announced for the show, which we suspect will be made available, on demand, on streaming service Boxing Raise.
Earlier today at the Amakusa Park Gymnasium in Okayama fans had the chance to see local star Seigo Yuri Akui (15-2-1, 10) [阿久井政悟] make his first defense of the Japanese Flyweight title, as he defeated mandatory challenger Seiya Fujikita (13-5, 6) [藤北誠也].
The bout, which was staged as part of this year's Champion Carnival, had originally been scheduled for March though was delaye for obvious reasons. Despite the delay fans in Okayama got a treat as the bout had some good back and forth at times, but resulted in a win for the star that fans had waited months to see.
Despite Akui's well known fast starts and danger in the opening round, where he has secured 9 stoppages, we actually got Fujikita coming forward early on and looking to crush the distance, preventing Akui from getting full extension on his shots. Despite some success from the challenger it was a round that went to champion.
Akui then found his real groove and seemed to make a strong claim to winning round 2 and again in round 3. He was proving to be up for this and willing to walk into the fire to get to Akui. By then it was clear Akui was going to have to go rounds, something we've not become accustomed to seeing from him. He seemed to realise it was well and began boxing more, using his heavy shots to dictate the range and tempo.
After 5 rounds the scorecards were all over the place. One judge had it a shut out for Akui, 50-45, another had it a little closer, at 49-46 whilst the third had Fujikita leading, 48-47.
Sadly for Fujikita he was unable to keep it up. He continued his toughness and tenacity, but was unable to match the power, boxing, movement and output of Akui, who began to really turn the screw behind his jab, and bust out a few combinations in round 8 as he looked to break down the desire of the challenger, who continued to bustle forward. To his credit Fujiikita wasn't going to fold, but couldn't do enough to turn things around, often landing on the arms of Akui with his shots, and taking counter shots pretty clean. Then fans got an explosive end as round 10 saw both men landing plenty of leather, looking to leave their mark, though both men took the other had to offer.
After the 10th round there was no real debating the decision, with scores of 98-92, 97-93 and 99-91, which was really harsh but had the right winner.
Fujikita admitted that Akui was better, though did mention his gameplan was the right one or pressing but he did expect Akui to be dragged into a war easier than he did, with that not happening until it was too late. Despite the loss he seemed to take positive from the loss and said that he hadn't trained enough yet.
As for Akui he spoke about wanting to progress to a world title fight one day, and it seems clear he has his hopes on becoming Okayama's first world champion.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
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