Earlier today at Korakuen Hall fight fans had the latest Kadoebi promoted "Slugfest" card.
The under-card was, on paper, one of the most interest under-card we've seen in Japan this year with two very notable bouts on it.
One of those bouts saw the world ranked Japanese Flyweight Ryota Yamauchi (6-1, 5) [山内涼太] bounce back from the disappointment of missing out on a Japanese title eliminator last year, when he was injured. The talented Yamauchi was up against Filipino visitor MJ Bo (8-4-2, 4) and managed to stop the Filipino in 2 rounds.
Yamauchi looked really good for most of the first round, but was tagged by a hard right late in the round as Bo showed some life, and showed that was dangerous. The two each unloaded heavier shots in the second round, but a right up top and a left to the body dropped Bo for the 10 count, at an official time of 1:27 in round 2. Big things are expected from Yamauchi, but it was clear, again, that he had defensive flaws that needed to be sorted before he steps up again, and he is still susceptible to straight right hands, something we saw him getting caught by numerous times by Wulan Tuolehazi last year.
On paper an even better match up saw youngsters Yuki Nakajima (4-1, 4) [中嶋憂輝] and Shisui Kawabata (2-2, 2) [川畑嗣穂] clash in a mouth watering match up.
From the off this was high skilled stuff, with both both looking to measure the opponents for straight shots in the first couple of rounds. It was clear both men believed they had the power to hurt the other. Nakajima changed the bout up in round 3, when he began to press more, and this is where he really began to build some momentum, attacking the body up close and roughing up Kawabata, with the 4th round being a particularly exciting one. The rough house tactics from Nakajima saw him hitting Kawabata with an illegal shot in round 5, and the referee gave Kawabata time to recover. Despite Kawabata still having moments during rounds 4 and 5, this wasn't the type of fight he was wanting and he was being ground down by the heavy hands and physicality of Nakajima.
In round 6 a Nakajima uppercut dropped Kawabata, who went down hard. The referee started a count, but waved the bout off part way through.
(Photo by A.McGovern)
Earlier today online subscription service Boxing Raise revealed their schedule for February and sadly it's rather lacking with only 3 shows in total, and only 1 live one. That is however a sign of a quiet February in Japan more than anything, with only 7 shows scheduled for the entire month, including the February 1st card which was shown on G+.
The first of the Boxing Raise cards is actually available already and took place today at Korakuen Hall. The card was a rather small and low key one, featuring only 4 round bouts. Whilst the show didn't get much attention it is good to see the service uploading the bouts on the same day which hasn't always been the case.
The next show to be including on the service this month is the February 14th Kadoebi card. This will be headlined by Froilan Saludar (31-3-1, 22) defending the WBO Asia Pacific Super Flyweight title against Ryoji Fukunaga (11-4, 11) [福永亮次] in what looks likely to be an explosive match up. Other bouts of note on this card will include Ryota Yamauchi (5-1, 4) [山内涼太] facing off with Filipino MJ Bo (8-3-2, 4) and a brilliant match up between Yuki Nakajima (3-1, 3) [中嶋憂輝] and Shisui Kawabata (2-1, 2) [川畑嗣穂].
The only live card for the month will take place on February 27th and is an excellent looking card, headlined by an OPBF Welterweight title bout between Riku Nagahama (11-2-1, 4) [長濱 陸] and Kudura Kaneko (11-0, 8) [クドゥラ 金子] and also featuring the Hajime No Ippo 30th anniversary tournament semi finals. Those semi-finals will see Jae Woo Lee (7-2, 6) [이재우] taking on Shingo Kusano (12-8-1, 5) [草野慎悟] and Richard Pumicpic (21-10-2, 6) clashing with Daisuke Watanabe (9-4-2, 6) [渡部大介].
Whilst it's a shame there's so little content this month, it is impressive that Boxing Raise do have 3 of the 7 Japanese cards from the entire month.
Earlier today Japanese fight fans at the Korakuen Hall got a stacked card featuring some really interesting match ups.
One of those match ups pitted young and unbeaten fighters against each other with Rikito Shiba (4-0, 2) [芝力人] and Shisui Kawabata (2-1, 2) [川端嗣穂] facing off for the Japanese youth Light Flyweight title.
It wasn't a bout that was going to get a lot of international attention, but it certainly looked like an excellent match up between two brilliant young prospects, and it delivered!
Shiba got off to the perfect start, dropping Kawabata in the opening round with a counter shot. Kawabata wasn't badly hurt but the knockdown secured Shiba a 10-8 round, despite a great fight back from Kawabata.
Kawabata's fight back saw him take round 2, as he upped his work rate, but then he struggled to really build on that momentum with Shiba taking the play away in round 3 as he picked up his own pace and forced Kawabata on to the back foot. Rounds 4 and 5 were both close but Shiba's power began to shine in round 6, as he landed clean hurtful shots on Kawabata and built further on his lead in round 7. To his credit Kawabata came back hard in the 8th round, but it was too little too late to over-come Shiba and his lead, with all 3 judges scoring the bout 77-74 to Shiba.
Despite suffering a small nick over his left eye Shiba is pencilled in to return to the ring in December, in a Japanese Light Flyweight title eliminator, as he looks to move from the Youth title to the senior title. In his eliminator he will face off against Masamichi Yabuki (9-3, 9) [佐藤政道].
As for Kawabata his career is certainly not over with this loss, and the 23 year old is likely to get another shot at the belt in the near future. A loss of this kind, this early in his career, will certainly do more good than harm and Kawabata will have learned more from this loss than he would from a string of easy wins.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Tomorrow fans at Korakuen Hall will see a Japanese youth Light Flyweight title bout, with Rikito Shiba (3-0, 2) [芝力人] battling against Shisui Kawabata (2-0, 2) [川端嗣穂] in a mouth watering clash.
Today the two youngsters weighed in for the their bout, and both men made the 108lb limit with no issues.
On the scales Shiba was bang on the Light Flyweight limit, whilst the taller Kawabata was slightly lighter at 107.37lbs.
At the weight in Shiba seemed incredibly confident and had belief in his power. He has already got his next bout arranged, a Japanese title eliminator later in the year against Masamichi Yabuki (9-3, 9) [佐藤政道] and admitted that it would be embarrassing to lose tomorrow and still enter the eliminator for the senior Japanese title.
Kawabata on the other hand seemed comfortable with the weight loss and stated that Shiba was smaller than he'd expected. He revealed his game plan was to box, and be wary of Shiba's power.
Related - Shiba and Kawabata face off for Japanese youth title!
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
We've known for a little over a month that former WBO Super Featherweight champion Masayuki Ito (25-2-1, 13) [伊藤 雅雪] would be returning to the ring on September 13th. Sadly what we didn't know was who he would be fighting.
Today we finally saw his opponent for the being announced, and unfortunately it's not someone worth getting excited about.
The bout, which is a home coming for Ito following his title loss to Jamel Herring, will see the Japanese fighter take on Indonesian foe Ruben Manakane (25-18-1, 14).
The 26 year old Manakane turned professional in 2011 and has been a regional journeyman, padding his record in Indonesia and losing on the road to the likes of Billy Dib, Luke Jackson, Marlon Tapales and AJ Banal. It's almost a given he will pick up another loss here to the world class Ito.
Whilst the main event is disappointing the rest of the card is worth getting excited about, with a great Japanese Featherweight title bout between Reiya Abe (19-2-1, 9) [阿部 麗也] and Ryo Sagawa (7-1, 4) [佐川遼], a Japanese Super Bantamweight title eliminator between Ryoichi Tamura (12-4-1, 6) [田村 亮一] and Gakuya Furuhashi (25-8-1, 14) [古橋大輔] and a Japanese youth Light Flyweight title bout, as Rikito Shiba (3-0, 2) [芝力人] faces Shisui Kawabata (2-0, 2) [川端嗣穂].
News! We try and give you the most interesting news stories from the Asian boxing world!