Earlier today at Korakuen Hall fight fans were able to see the latest event under the rather misleading "The Greatest Boxing" series of shows. The event wasn't a big one, by any stretch of the imagination, but it was a somewhat notable one with a very interesting main event between a former 2-time world title challenger and a 23 year old in real need of a notable win.
Surprisingly it was the 23 year old who picked up the victory with a shock unanimous decision.
The bout in question saw former 2-time Minimumweight world title challenger Shin Ono (24-11-3, 6) [小野心] come up short in an 8 round bout against Kento Yabusaki (8-4-1, 5) [薮﨑賢人], who had lost his last two and didn't appear to have any momentum coming in to this one.
The 37 year old Ono used the ring well early on, moving around a lot, and trying to control the distance. Despite the movement and experience of Ono it was the power of Yabusaki which told early on and he dropped Ono with a straight left hand. Ono recovered well, but was under pressure in round 3, and pretty much lost every exchange afterwards with Yabusaki being too big, too strong and too power for him. Ono tried, as a veteran would, to try and control the tempo and distance of the bout but Yabusaki kept coming forward, kept landing the heavier blows and refused to left Ono settle.
After 8 rounds the judges all had the bout to Yabusaki, with scores of 77-74, twice, and 78-73, who takes a huge win over Ono, a former OPBF and Japanese champion.
Right now it's really hard to see where Ono goes next. He's 38 later this month and unless he come more back down in weight, to Light Flyweight at the very least, he will struggle with these younger, hungrier, bigger fighters. It may well be that rather than continue he hangs them up, ending his lengthy career.
As for Yabusaki this win is a huge one for his career, and will certainly help him rebuild his career after back to back losses to Michael Mendoza and Mirai Imagawa in 2019.
Tomorrow fight fans at Korakuen Hall will get the chance to see former 2-time world title challenger Shin Ono (24-10-3, 6) [小野心] return to the ring for his first bout in over a year, as he takes on youngster Kento Yabusaki (7-4-1, 5) [薮﨑賢人].
The fight, which will headline Hideki Todaka's "The Greatest Boxing Vol 36", is an 8 round Flyweight bout and today, ahead of their bout, the two men took part in their weigh in.
On the scales the 37 year old Ono was the slightly heavier man, comin in at around 111.8lbs for the bout, comfortably under the limit. Notably this is one of the heaviest weights of his career, and he has really made his name at Minimumweight, where he has challenged Katsunari Takayama and Knockout CP Freshmart in world title bouts. Notably he turned 38 later this month and it's hard to see where he goes if he can't get past Yabusaki here. Despite his age he looked in fantastic shape at the weigh in and it's clear he doesn't want to end his career here.
Yabusaki, who is just 23 years old, came in at 111.6lbs, which is among the lighter weights of his career, and around 2lbs lighter than he was last time out, when he lost a close decision to Mirai Imagawa. Notably he has lost his last 2, but will know that a win here against Ono would help resurrect his faltering career.
Sadly we didn't get to see how Yabusaki looked on the scales.
Rather disappointingly it doesn't appear that there will be any way to watch this outside of the venue, and sites like Boxing Raise don't have it listed as being part of their service.
Earlier today we were informed that former world champion Hideki Todaka had organised the next in his series of shows under the "The Greatest Boxing" series, which will be the 36th show under that name.
The card, not a huge one, has been pencilled in for early December 8th and is set to feature 8 bouts. Not all the bouts are yet to be decided up on through we do know several of them.
The main event for the card will see former multi-time world title challenger Shin Ono (24-10-3, 6) [小野心] taking on Kento Yabusaki (7-4-1, 5) [薮﨑賢人] in an 8 round bout at Flyweight. On paper this doesn't look the most amazing of bouts, but for Ono it's a must win, with the Watanabe Gym veteran turning 38 just weeks after this fight. As for Yabusaki it gives him a huge chance to get a win over a former world title challenger.
In another 8 rounder set for this card Ohashi Gym's Toru Kiyota (9-4, 7) [清田亨] will take on Yuji Awata (12-7-1, 5) [栗田祐之], in an even looking match up.
Tickets for this event are now available on Pia for fans in Japan interested, with the prices ranging from ¥20,000, for VIP tickets, down to ¥ 6,000 for designated B seats.
(Image courtesy of Hideki Todaka Gym)
Over the last few weeks we have reported 2 bouts set for October 11th at the Korakuen Hall, as part of the next show under the Golden Child banner. Today we can confirm one more notable bout set for the show!
The first bout to be confirmed for the card was the rematch between Shinobu Charlie Hosokawa (11-4-1, 10) [細川チャーリー忍] and Koki Tyson (14-3-3, 12) [太尊 康輝], who will battle for the vacant OPBF Middleweight title following their draw earlier this year. The second bout to be announced for this card was also a rematch, with former world title challenger Shingo Wake (26-5-2, 18) [和氣 慎吾] taking on Jhunriel Ramonal (15-8-6, 8), in what is being sold as world title prelude for Wake.
Today saw the official confirmation that former multi-time world title challenger Shin Ono (23-11-3, 6) [小野 心] would also be on the card, in what will be his first bout since losing the Japanese title to Norihito Tanaka [田中教仁] in January.
Sadly Ono's bout isn't a hugely interesting one, with the Watanabe gym fighter going up against Akira Kokubo (8-8-3, 2) [小久保聡].
This bout will be an 8 rounder fought at a contracted 50KG's, and the loser will be in an awkward position. Coming in Ono is ranked by the OPBF and Japan at Minimumweight, whilst Okubo enters as a Japanese ranked Flyweight, following 4 straight wins.
One other bout confirmed for this show today will see Naoki Inaba (6-5-1, 3) [稲葉直樹] fight in a 6 rounder against Yuta Kono (4-5-1) [河野勇太], in what is likely to be the best of the rest from the under-card.
Last week we saw WBC Minimumweight champion Wanheng Menayothin (53-0, 18) [วันเฮง ไก่ย่างห้าดาวยิม] score his 11th defense, as he took a technical decision win over former WBO king Tatsuya Fukuhara (21-7-6, 7) [福原 辰弥].
That bout was supposed to be Wanheng's final defense before making a mandatory defense against South African challenger Simpiwe Konkco (19-5-0-1, 7), though Thai sources are now reporting that a deal may be in the works for the mandatory defense to be pushed back.
The sources, including SiamSport, have reported that a member of the Watanabe Gym was at ringside for the Menayothin Vs Fukuhara bout last week, and looking at getting Wanheng to fight in Japan in October in a voluntary defense, pushing back the mandatory. It also appears that Konkco's team are likely to allow the bout, for a step aside fee.
Whilst Wanehng fighting outside of Thailand would be big, it does leave to two different lines of thought. Firstly who would he be fighting? And secondly haven't we heard this before?
The Watanabe gym does have a number of Minimumweights, including world title challenger Masataka Taniguchi (11-3, 7) [谷口 将隆], former multi-time world title challenger Shin Ono (23-11-3, 6) [小野 心] and fast rising youngster Ginjiro Shigeoka (3-0, 2) [重岡銀次朗], none of whom would be suitable for an October bout with Wanheng. In theory the gym could be looking to work on behalf of another promoter, and perhaps looking to secure a shot for someone like Norihito Tanaka (18-7, 10) [田中教仁] or Tsubasa Koura (14-1, 9) [小浦 翼], but it would be a rather strange plan from the gym.
What needs to be remembered is that Wanheng was repeatedly linked to a fight in Japan last year, and nothing ever came of it. This could be the same as that, where plans don't come to fruition, or it could be a sign that Watanabe gym have some huge plans between now and October, and we may hear more about the in the coming weeks.
It should also be noted that Watanabe gym's Hiroto Kyoguchi (12-0, 9) [京口 紘人], the current WBA "super" Light Flyweight champion, will be defending his title against unbeaten Thai fighter Satanmuanglek CP Freshmart (11-0, 5), aka Tanawat Nakoon, on June 19th and we may hear more about these plans around there.
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