Yesterday at Korakuen Hall fight fans got the latest Ohashi promoted event under their long established "Phoenix Battle" series. The card, which was gutted by injuries, ended up up just featuring 3 professional bouts and a public exhibition, as Ohashi looked to add value to had been a show that had promises a lot but ended up looking quite bare.
The main event of that card was a WBO Asia Pacific Featherweight title bout between champion Musashi Mori [森 武蔵] and hard hitting challenger Tsuyoshi Tameda [溜田剛士], with the main support bout being a clash between former Japanese Super Featherweight champion Seiichi Okada [岡田誠一] and Hiromu Murota [室田拡夢].
Today it was confirmed both of those bouts, along with the exhibition between former 3-weight world champion Akira Yaegashi (28-7, 16) [八重樫 東] and Taku Kuwahara (7-0, 4) [桑原拓] would be shown, in some form, on Fuji TV in early December.
The Fuji TV website lists the broadcast as being set for a 26:55 to 28:00 time slot on December 5th, which is 1:55am to 3am on December 6th for those not familiar with Japanese TV scheduling. Obviously this will be a tape delay broadcast and will be edited, but we're still glad to be getting this own aired in some form as there was worries it would slip by the TV cameras and not be aired at all.
Note - Due to the broadcast we've removed all records apart from those of Yaegashi and Kuwahara, from this article rather than potentially ruining the results for those who aren't aware of the outcomes.
In a surprisingly early show at Korakuen Hall today, starting at 11AM local time, fight fans were able to attend a short but notable card with 3 professional bouts and an exhibition.
The exhibition saw former 3-weight world champion Akira Yaegashi (28-7, 16) [八重樫 東] spar with rising contender Taku Kuwahara (7-0, 4) [桑原拓], in a 2 round spar featuring rounds of 2 minutes. This was a bit of fun between two members of the Ohashi gym, which was very much fan service.
With big gloves on the two men let shots fly in an entertaining affair before Yaegashi spoke to the fans. He spoke about his retirement in September, how he was out of breath and had a laugh with Kuwahara before speaking highly about the youngster and explaining that he sees him as a future world champion.
Kuwahara was also respectful of Yaegashi and it seemed clear this was focused on him getting some ring time after a lengthy inactive period. Thankfully Kuwahara will be back in the ring for an actual fight on January 14th, and the hope is that he will have a much better 2021 than his 2020. His eyes seem to be on titles for the new year, and it's going to be interesting to see which belt he ends up aiming for.
The first official bout on the card saw Japanese #1 ranked Lightweight contender Seiryu Toshikawa (13-5, 8) [利川聖隆] test the waters at 140lbs and stop Takahiko Kobayashi (9-4, 7) [小林孝彦] in the 5th round. Kobyashi showed ambition early on, landing some good body shots and a solid jab, he also cut Toshikawa in round 3. It wasn't until round 4 that Toshikawa finally came alive, putting the pressure on and forcing the fight. This pressure began to turn the tide and Kobayashi was dropped in round 4, and then needed to be saved by the bell late on. Although the bell came to Kobayashi's aid in the 4th round he was still there for the taking in round 5, and Toshikawa managed to close the show in the opening minute of the round.
The second bout saw former Japanese Super Featherweight champion Seiichi Okada (22-7-2, 13) [岡田誠一] fight to a draw with Hiromu Murota (6-4-3, 4) [室田拡夢]. Although not the best bout fans in the venue will see this was a pretty technical and solid contender between someone in good form, Murota, and someone who has seen much better days, but continues to be a capable fighter. The now 38 year old Okada is winless since December 2018, but still showing that he's a capable fighter and still putting on decent performances like this, but we wonder just how much longer he'll continue. Interesting Akira Yaegashi was as Murota's chief second here, making it the first time Yaegashi has worked the role, though he has worked as a second in the past.
We then got the main event, and boy was this an interesting on. In one corner was WBO Asia Pacific Featherweight champion Musashi Mori (12-0, 7) [森 武蔵] ,who was seeking his third defense of the title. His challenger today was the heavy handed Tsuyoshi Tameda (21-6-2, 19) [溜田剛士]. On paper this looked like a true test for Mori, who is ranked #4 by the WBO, and it proved to be the test he needed to really prove what eh could do.
From the off Tameda looked dangerous and hungry. There was pressure and desire from Tameda who took the first round and establish a clear lead on 2 of the 3 scorecards in the first 4 rounds. His pressure, power, tenacity and work rate. This was a sensational start to the bout for Tameda who got off to the dream start.
Mori began to find his groove in round 5, using his jab and footwork establish some control on the action, and then began to turn the screw, pressing forward on a tiring Tameda with straight shots, uppercuts, and short, crisp, clean work. Tameda was still in there, but he was no on the receiving end of damaging shots, and had to dig deep to try and stop the champion's momentum. He did that in round 8, but it was merely a temporary break.
After 8 rounds the scorecard, although not announced, were finely balanced. One judge had it 77-75 to Mori, and had it even at 76-76 and the third judge had Tameda in the lead 78-74. The momentum however was now well and truly on Mori's side, and had been through the middle portion of the fight.
In round 9 Mori got on his toes, boxed, moved and used the ring, then managed to cut Tameda around the right eye with a straight left hand. The cut was a bad one and the doctor took a look, before allowing the bout to continue. After the restart Mori jumped on his man, letting shots go until the referee waved off the bout 1:39 into round 11.
(Image courtesy of Boxmob.jp)
Earlier today at Korakuen Hall fight fans saw former Japanese Super Featherweight champion Seiichi Okada (22-7-1, 13) [岡田誠一] suffer a surprise loss.
The former champion was expected to over-come Kanehiro Nakagawa (7-6, 4) [中川兼玄], however the youngster put in a career best performance and took a shock unanimous decision over the experienced veteran.
Nakagawa, who had lost 4 of his previous 6, fought like a man with a point to prove, and got his jab into to play early on, using it a lot to keep the older, slower, Okada from controlling the tempo. Nakagawa would began to land right hands as well as jabs in round 2, to strengthen his control on the early stages.
Despite the poor start Okada would begin to get close in the middle rounds, and certainly have some success of his own in the middle section of the fight, before both men began to look exhausted, and the tempo slowed. As it slowed Okada seemed to get some heavy shots in, but he was forced to take some big shots back and couldn't stamp his authority on the bout.
After 8 rounds Nakagawa had done enough, taking the decision with scores of 78-74 and 77-75, twice.
At the age of 37 this could well be the end for Okada, whilst the 23 year old Nakagawa has potentially moved himself into the Japanese rankings with this huge upset win.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
Earlier today we were informed that Ohashi would be putting on their next show on April 8th at the Korakuen Hall. The full hasn't been announced, but plenty of details from the show have been revealed, including the names of many fighters from the card.
The headline attraction is former 3 weight world champion Akira Yaegashi (27-6, 15) [八重樫 東], who will be fighting for the first time since his 2018 war with Hirofumi Mukai. At the moment Yaegashi's opponent hasn't been announced for the contest, though it's not expected to be anyone too testing for the hugely popular warrior.
The most exciting bout that has been confirmed for the show will see Andy Hiraoka (13-0, 9) [平岡アンディ] take on unbeaten Thai Atchariya Wirojanasunobol (12-0, 5), in a really fantastic bout. It's rare we see two unbeaten fighters fighting at this point in their careers, with both heading towards bigger fights, so to see both taking this type of risk is fantastic, and something to get really excited about.
Another bout confirmed for the show will see former Japanese Super Featherweight champion Seiichi Okada (22-6-1, 13) [岡田誠一] take on Nakagawa Kanehiro (6-6, 4) [中川兼玄]. Okada has won his last 4 bouts coming into this, and will be looking to continue his good run of form.
Looking to bounce back from recent defeats will be former world title challenger Ryo Matsumoto (21-3, 19) [松本亮] and the once touted Sho Nakazawa (11-3, 5) [中澤奨], who both suffered stoppage losses late last year. Neither man has had their opponent named, but neither is expected to be up against anyone too testing, given their recent stoppage losses.
One other fighter on this card is fast tracked prospect Taku Kuwahara (3-0, 2) [桑原拓], who will be in his second 8 round bout. He also lacks an opponent, though could end up against someone of some note given how Ohashi seem to view him as a very special talent.
Full bouts are expected to be announced by the middle of March, though it's nice to see that the card already has some notable names on it, and the excellent Hiraoka Vs Atchariya bout.
Earlier today at the Korakuen Hall fight fans saw former Japanese Super Featherweight champion Seiichi Okada (22-6-1, 13) [岡田誠一] secure his 4th straight victory, as he stopped Takahiro Araki (12-8, 4) [荒木貴裕] in 6 rounds.
The 36 Okada, who is currently going through a career resurgence, struggled when Araki managed to fight at range, and use his jab, but in round 4 he managed get inside and land short shots. Those short shots took a toll on Araki who slowed down, and began to fall apart. As Araki's movement slowed it made things much easier for Okada who turned the screw and forced the referee to save the 31 year old Araki.
Although it's unclear what Okada has left the fact he won his last 4 is a big change to how he was a few years ago, when he went 2-5-1 and his career seemed like it was going to end on a low. He has been matched easily in recent bouts, but it's hard to not see his determination and drive as an inspiration. For Araki this was a 4th career stoppage loss.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
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