Exactly 1 week after the East Japan Rookie of the Year finals we got the West Japan finals, which set up the second half the all-Japan finals in December.
The Minimumweight bout saw unbeaten men collide, in a very hotly contested 4 rounder. In the end it was the hard hitting Takumi Chono (5-0, 3) [丁野拓海] who took the win though, as he narrowly defeated Sho Hatsuda (2-1) [初田翔] in a majority decision.
The Light Flyweight bout saw Sho Omote (7-1, 3) [表祥] take a razor thin win over Renshi Tanaka (3-2-1, 2) [田中蓮志] in a very exciting bout. The judges all turned in scores of 38-37 for Omote, who essentially won the bout on the basis of a knockdown he scored in round 2.
The second battle of unbeaten fighters came at Flyweight, where 19 year olds Atsuki Nakamura (4-0-1, 3) [中村淳希] and Yasuhiro Kanzaki (3-1, 1) [神崎靖浩] clashed, and like the first 2 bouts on the show this was hotly contested. There was next to nothing separating these two men over 4 rounds, with the scorecards all being very close, though Nakamura managed to do enough to get the split decision.
We had another split decision at Super Flyweight, where 24 year old Keisuke Iwasaki (4-1, 1) [岩﨑圭祐] eked out the win over the hard hitting Ryuku Nagamine (5-1, 5) [長嶺竜久]. Iwasaki got off to a great start but was dropped in the final round as Nagamine's power finally had the effect it had had earlier in his career. In the end though Iwasaki did enough to earn the win.
We had unbeaten 18 year old fighters clashing at Bantamweight, where Kantaro Nakanishi (2-0-1) [中西寛多朗] took a majority decision win over Shodai Morita (2-1, 2) [森田翔大] This one started hot and never really slowed down, though it was Nakanishi who always looked to have that little bit more to his work than Morita.
Amazingly we didn't get a single stoppage win until the Super Bantamweight bout, where the 19 year old Ryuya Tsugawa (6-1, 3) [津川龍也] took out Yutaka Asakura (5-2-1, 3) [朝倉豊]. A left hook from Tsugawa shook Asakura to his knees and the referee jumped in as Tsugawa rushed in for the finish. Due to this win Tsugawa won the MVP for the event.
The first truly clear decision of the show came in the Featherweight final, where Jinki Maeda (3-0, 2) [前田稔輝] shut out Hikaru Fukunaga (4-1, 4) [福永輝], in what we had anticipated being a genuine shoot out. Fukunaga looked to be the man pressing the action but he was easily outboxed, out jabbed and out moved by Maeda, who showed a lot more to his boxing than just his power. As a result of this win Maeda took the Skills award.
At Super Featherweight we surprisingly ended up with a draw between Seira Kishida (3-1-2, 1) [岸田聖羅] and Atsushi Iwasaki (5-3-3, 1) [岩崎淳史]. The scorecards for this were really all over a the place, with a score of 40-36 one way and 39-37 the opposite way, with the third judge having it even. Whilst the result stands as a draw Iwasaki get the win using the tie breaker rules and will enter the all Japan final in December.
At Lightweight we had a walk over for Kensuke Fujita (4-3-3) [藤田健介], who advanced at the expense of Ryosei Niguma (5-2-1, 3) [二熊亮成].
In the Light Welterweight bout we saw the hard hitting Yasutaka Fujita (5-0, 5) [藤田裕崇] continue his run of destruction as he stopped win-less southpaw Takuya Takahashi (0-3) [高橋拓也] in the second round. This mismatch was stopped in round 2, when Takahashi was dropped for the second time and the towel came in to save him. Despite the mismatch Fujita picked up the Fighting Spirit award.
Another hard hitter picking up a win was Homare Yasui (4-1-2, 4) [安井誉], who took an opening round win over Hiroya Nojima (3-1, 2) [能嶋宏弥] in the Welterweight bout. Yasui rocked Nojima and a follow up forced the referee to jump in and halt the contest.
The final bout on the show was at Middleweight, and saw the unbeaten Yasuyuki Kunimoto (3-0, 1) [国本泰幸] take a wide decision win over Toshi Shinyama (1-5) [新山俊克] to book his place in the All Japan final.
For fans wanting to watch these bouts they will be aired on G+ on November 26th
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
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