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 Hideyuki Ohashi took to social media to announce the full line up for the next "Phoenix Battle" card, which will take place on November 28th at Korakuen Hall.
The main event of the card will see WBO Asia Pacific Featherweight champion Musashi Mori (11-0, 6) [森 武蔵] defending his regional title against hard hitting challenger Tsuyoshi Tameda (21-5-2, 19) [溜田剛士]. This will be Mori's third defense of the title, that he won in 2018 and will be his first contest since December 2018, when he beat Takuya Mizuno. The talented youngster is tipped for big things, and had been expected to end the year on the verge of a world title fight, but 2020 hasn't exactly gone to plan. As for Tameda the bout will see him looking to bounce back from a TKO loss to Jae Woo Lee, with that defeat occurring at the Hajime No Ippo 30th Anniversary tournament last November.
The main event will see Mori enter as a clear favourite, though Tameda certainly has the power to make life difficult for the champion.
The chief support bout will be the previously reported 8 round clash between former 2-time world title challenger Masayuki Kuroda (30-8-3, 16) [黒田雅之] and unbeaten prospect Ayato Hiromoto (2-0, 1) [廣本彩刀]. This will be Kuroda's first bout in well over a year, following his defeat to Moruti Mthalane, whilst Hiromoto will be taking a massive step up in class, in what should amount to a genuine test of the talented youngster. It's worth noting that Kuroda has recently changed full time jobs and will be entertaing this bout with a new found hunger, but will also be moving up in weight for the contest. As for Hiromoto he has the natural size advantage, but obviously doesn't have anything like the experience of Kuroda.
Notable Kuroda Vs Hiromoto was originally announced for November 12th but has been pushed back by just over 2 weeks for this new date.
In an 8 round Welterweight bout Rikuto Adachi (14-2, 11) [安達陸仁] will clash with Hisashi Kato (9-9-2, 5) [加藤寿]. This will be Adachi's first bout since transferring to the Ohashi Gym in the summer and will see him looking to build on back to back wins over Change Hamashima and Masafumi Ando. The 35 year old Kato doesn't have the greatest of record but isn't a push over and his last 3 losses have all come to very solid domestic level fighters. He actually took a 3 and a half year break from the ring after his last loss, in December 2015, and has scored two wins since returning to the ring in May 2019.
One final 8 rounder announced for the card will see Seiryu Toshikawa (12-5, 7) [利川聖隆] take on Takahiko Kobayashi (9-3, 7) [小林孝彦], in a bout at 140lbs. On paper this is the least interesting bout on the show, but does promise fireworks and should be a really interesting domestic bout, with both men hungry to make an impression.
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Just moments today Japanese fight fans at the Korakuen Hall saw a new Japanese Youth Lightweight champion being crowned as Shawn Oda (10-0, 8) [小田翔夢] narrowly over-came Seiryu Toshikawa (10-5, 6) [利川聖隆] in a really fantastic contest.
There was high anticipation for this bout, with both stating they respected the other man but would be wanting to get a KO when they took part in their weigh in. The respect showed through the contest in what was an amazingly competitive and well matched bout that moved from technical action to all out war.
The opening round began like a typical feeling out round, before Oda began to circle and found the home for some solid body shots. The body shots aside both men seemed to have equal success with jabs up top in what had gone from a feeling out round to a high intensity game of chess. The technical skills on show continued in through the fight with both men landing solid, clean shots through out, though neither managed to have much sustained success before the other man fired back.
Through the first 4 rounds there really was little to split them. Oda looked the more athletic fighter, boxing better on the outside, but Toshikawa refused to let Oda take breaks between attacks, closing the distance when Oda wanted to catch his breath and forced him to work. This resulted in an almost none stop action, with both taking a lot of shots, though never seeming buzzed by the other mans power.
In round 5 Toshikawa seemed to have a break through, looking like he may have buzzed Oda the following round however it was Oda who seemed to buzz Toshikawa late in the round. It was Toshikawa who started round 7 well, rocking Oda, but Oda recovered well and fought back, forcing Toshikawa to respond back. By now both were beginning to look tired and being forced to dig deep, with mistakes becoming more and more regular. The gum shield of one man came out as round 7 became a crazy, wild, rough war, both men taking a hammering, and at one point it seemed like Toshikawa was out cold on his feet before respond. Despite being still conscious he did take a number of hard shots in the moments that followed.
Amazingly Toshikawa looked revived at the start of round 8 as he took the fight to Oda once again. How he managed to recover was a mystery and his intensity through the final round looked to have come from a man who knew he needed the round to have any chance of winning, Oda still had energy in his legs to move, but he couldn't slow Toshikawa's forward march down. Toshikawa came forward like a man possessed in an amazing final round to what had been a bout that gone from technical skills to an all out war by the end of contest.
Having somehow gone the distance we went to the judges, with neither man having a clear claim to victory in such a thrilling and hotly contested bout. In the end however it was Oda who got the nod with a split decision, in a bout that could easily have gone the other way. The official cards read 77-75 Ishikawa, 77-75 Oda and 77-76 to Oda.
We would love to see these to go in against each other again and are looking forward to seeing how both men go forward with their careers following this nail biting thriller.
Tomorrow we'll see a new Japanese Youth Lightweight champion being crowned, as the unbeaten Shawn Oda (9-0, 8) [小田翔夢] battles against Seiryu Toshikawa (10-4, 6) [利川聖隆] for the vacant title.
Today the two men took part in their weigh in for the contest, which will take place at the Korakuen Hall and be shown live on Boxingraise. Not only did they take part in the weigh in, but both men managed to make the 135lb limit with no issues, and both looked in great shape.
On the scales Toshikawa was bang on the 135lb limit, and he was very confident of picking up the win here. He spoke about crushing Oda's heart and scoring a stoppage. If he does that he would not only lift the title, but also score his biggest win to date.
The muscular Oda, who is a former Rookie of the Year winner, was 134.5lbs and spoke very confidently of winning, but also made it clear that he was aware of how good Toshikawa was and accepted that this wouldn't be an easy bout, but like Toshikawa he was also predicting a stoppage win.
Related-Oda and Toshikawa battle for Lightweight youth crown!
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Earlier today the brilliant Boxingraise revealed their scheduled for November, which will include 7 shows in total, one of which will be live.
The live show will be on November 10th and is a really good show headlined by Ryuichi Funai (30-7, 21) [船井 龍一] fighting in an IBF Super Flyweight world title eliminator against Mexican fighter Victor Olivo (15-2-1, 7). As well as that bout the card will also feature a strong support including Shuya Masaki (10-1, 5) [正木脩也] against Izuki Tomioka (5-1-1, 1) [富岡樹], a Japanese Youth Lightweight title bout between Shawn Oda (9-0, 8) [小田翔夢] would face off with Seiryu Toshikawa (10-4, 6) [利川聖隆] and a Japanese Youth Minimumweight title bout between Yuga Inoue (7-0-1, 1) [井上夕雅] and Kai Ishizawa (4-0, 4) [石澤開].
The tape delay cards, which are usually put up 1 to 7 days after they take place, will include the November 16th card headlined by Japanese Light Flyweight champion Tetsuya Hisada (32-9-2, 19) [久田 哲也], defending against Akihiro Toya(8-4, 1) [戸谷彰宏]. The November 20th card "Victoriva Vol 3", which is headlined by Ayaka Miyao (22-7-1, 6) [宮尾 綾香] having her third bout with Nao Ikeyama (18-4-3, 5) [森脇恵子], for the WBA "interim" Atomweight title, and the November 25th show, headlined by Richard Pumicpic (21-8-2, 6) defending the WBO Asia Pacific Featherweight against unbeaten teenager Musashi Mori (7-0, 5) [森 武蔵].
Whilst none of these shows are the jaw dropping things that the end of year cards are set to be, they are solid shows for what is a genuinely busy month in Japan!
(Image courtesy of boxingreaise.com)
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