Earlier this month we reported that former world title challenger Shohei Omori (21-4, 16) [大森 将平] has announced he was retiring from the sport, following his December loss to Ryosuke Nishida (4-0, 1) [西田凌佑]. Today that retirement become a true reality as Omori took part in a retirement ceremony in Kyoto City, climbing into the ring for the final time.
The 28 year old, who was born in Kyoto and made his name fighting out of the Woz Gym in the local area, spoke about how he had turned professional at the age of 18 and fought for a decade as a professional. He explained how he had worked hard to be a professional fighter, but decided to call time on his career as he could no longer get up for the sport, and it seemed very much like his motivation to compete was just gone.
Despite retiring Omori thanked those who had supported him, and stated that he wanted to give back in his future career, though didn't explain what he was planning to do in the next chapter of his life.
We would love to wish Omori all the best in his exploit away from boxing, and at the age of 28 he certainly has a lot of time to do what he wants with life.
Last in December we saw a then unheralded Ryosuke Nishida (4-0, 1) [西田凌佑] score his then career best win, as he defeated former world title challenger Shohei Omori (21-4, 16) [大森 将平], and has since bettered that win by beating former world champion Daigo Higa. That bout was as much an impressive performance by Nishida, fighting for just the third time as a professional, as it was an underwhelming one from Omori, who looked very much a shadow of the fighter he had been a few years earlier.
Following the loss Omori made it clear he was considering his future in the sport. Today that he finally announced what is next for him in regards to boxing, and sadly that's for him to hang up the gloves and call time on his career, that once promised so much.
Omori made his debut in 2011, following an amateur career that saw him have mixed results, and in 2012 he went on to win the All Japan Rookie of the Year. That saw him getting a lot of attention and in 2014 he would on to beat former world title challenger Christian Esquivel, who had faced Shinsuke Yamanaka, before smashing Kentaro Masuda for the Japanese title in 2015. By that point there was a lot of excitement in Japan about the heavy handed southpaw, who was being dubbed "The Demon Left", and being viewed as the Japanese successor to the aforementioned Yamanaka.
Sadly that was about as good as things ever got for Omori who would suffer his first professional loss in December 2015, losing in 2 rounds to Marlon Tapales. He would lose a rematch to Tapales in 2017, for the WBO Bantamweight title, and suffer significant facial injuries in that loss that kept him out of the ring for over a year. Sadly he never really looked the same after that defeat, and suffered subsequent losses to Hiroaki Teshigawara and the aforementioned Nisida. Those 4 losses saw him fall from 14-0 (9) to 21-4 (16) and it was very much clear that he wasn't able to reach the heights expected of him.
As big fans of Omori coming through we are sad to see his career ending like this, though in all honest the loss to Nishida, and his 2020 bout against Danny Tampipi, did seem to suggest that he wasn't the fighter he had looked prior to the two bouts with Tapales.
We want to wish Omori all the best in his post-boxing career, and at 28 he is getting out of the sports with some youth still on his side.
To kick off a complete brilliant Saturday of boxing our attention was focused on the EDION Arena Osaka, as Shinsei gym put on their latest show, with just 5 bouts on it. Despite it being a small card, it was certainly one worth watching, with two brutal knockouts, a sensational coming out performance a very solid main event bout.
Not only was the show a good one for fans in attendance but also globally, with the whole show being streamed live on the excellent Boxing Real YouTube channel.
The show kicked off with a real fun battle between the debuting Towa Tsuji (1-0, 1) [辻 永遠] and the win-less Kairi Suetsugu (0-2-1) [末継 海里]. The opening round saw Tuji getting rocked early on, and he seemed in quit a bit of trouble before creating space and getting a moment to clear his head. In round 2 Tsuji turned the tables, rocking Suetsugu with right hands and bursting his his nose, in what was a really fun 3 minutes of action. With Suetsugu taking punishment in round 2 he came out aggressively in the third and rocked Tsuji, who recovered well. Just moments later the two men were trading in center ring when Tsuji landed a perfect left hook, sending Suetsugu down hard. He wasn't beating the count and the referee quickly waved it off, giving Tsuji a highlight reel KO to begin his career.
The second bout didn't last long at all as Kohei Miyamoto (4-1-1, 4) [宮本 康平] came out with a point to prove. Within in the opening seconds he rocked Tetsuya Kawabata (5-13-1, 1) [川端 哲也] and he kept the pressure on through the round. He rocked him again with a right hand, and piled on the punches until Kawabata hit the canvas. The fighting spirit of Kawabata saw him try to beat the count, but he stumbled back down mid count forcing the referee to wave off the bout.
The third bout on the show was the most interesting on paper and saw rising prospect Ryosuke Nishida (3-0, 1) [西田凌佑] take on former world title challenger Shohei Omori (21-4, 16) [大森 将平] in an intriguing 8 rounder. On paper this looked a rash decision for the novice to step up so much so quickly, but he impressed through out.
The opening round saw Nishida starting fast and look to get inside Omori's head almost immediately. That saw him using his speed well, making the most of his jab and his right hook, and landing several solid left hands. Omori, to his credit, looked calm and composed, and had moments himself, but seemed to clearly lose the round. In round 2 however Omori began to press more, and had more moments of success, despite taking some solid right hooks from Nishida, who also landed some nice flurries. Omori got his own moments in, particularly with some body shots, but came off second best.
In rounds 3, and more so 4, Omori began to have some sustained success. He still took some good right hooks and jabs from Nishida, but landed some eye catching left hands of his own, especially late in round 4 as he seemed to, for the first time, really get to Nishida. It seemed the momentum was shifting in favour of the veteran, who also had some moments in round 5, including a good right hook of his own.
Despite the novice in his first 8 rounder it was really the final 3 rounds where Nishida looked a class above hurting Omori badly in rounds 6, 7 and 8. In round 6 it was a huge counter left hook that rocked Omori early in the round, before a right hook, followed by a straight left did the job towards the end of the round. In round 7 it was a left hand that wobbled Omori early in the round, and a follow up had the veteran in round, whilst in round 8 Omori was in trouble through out the round after a body shot left him in agony and Nishida tagged him to gut regularly as the round went on.
Despite some trouble in the middle of the bout, there was no doubting the winner after 8 rounds, with Nishida taking the unanimous decision with scores of 79-73 and 78-74, twice. The 79-73 seems very harsh on Omori, who did have plenty of success in the middle rounds, but no one would despite the fact Nishida deserved the win, and potentially moves onto the verge of a title fight of some kind in 2021.
The penultimate bout on the card saw Kimihiro Nakagawa (7-5-2, 3) [中川 公弘] suffer a decision loss to recent OPBF title challenger Kyohei Tonomoto (10-3-1, 4) [殿本 恭平].
Sadly this felt like a massive come down from the bout that came before it, despite actually being a very competitive bout, between two well matched fighters. Both matched each other a little too well at times, and with neither man having the power to hurt the other there bout really lacked drama. There was some solid back and forth, and some nice trading sequences but by round 4 it it was feeling very much like a bout that was struggling to remain interesting.
It wasn't a bad fight, but it's place on the card, after the very solid bout between Nishida and Omori, it felt underwhelming, and even seemed to suck the life out of the fans and the show as a whole. Despite that Tonomoto's more sustained attacks, more accurate punching and more consistent success was enough for him to take the decision on all 3 scorecards, with scores of 78-74, twice, and 79-73.
The final bout on the show saw veteran Hiroyuki Kudaka (27-18-4, 11) [久高 寛之] secure a win in his 49th bout as he out-pointed youngster Tetsuro Ohashi (7-2-1, 1) [大橋 哲朗] in an 8 round bout at Bantamweight, taking a razor thin split decision.
From the off Ohashi looked the quicker man, but that wasn't an issue for Kudaka who times counters well and looked the strong, more powerful fighter. The power and timing of Kudaka pay dividends in round 2 when he dropped Ohashi with a great counter right hand. Ohashi beat the count but was still hurt as Kudaka piled on the pressure in the last minute of the round. Ohashi managed a valiant comeback in round 3, though still took the heavier blows as Kudaka tried to walk him down and use his physicality against the younger, naturally smaller, man.
Despite taking the early lead Kudaka struggled to keep up the pace, and despite Ohashi not hitting hard, he was landing regularly, regularly enough in fact that he visibly stunned Kudaka in round 6, and went out for the finish, though was unable to put his man down. Kudaka was also stunned in round 8, as Ohashi tried to drop the veteran, knowing he likely needed a knockdown to have any chance at taking the win. Kudaka was in real trouble, though he gritty determination and veteran known how saw him ride out the storm, before firing back as we went to the final bell.
After 8 rounds the judges turned in scores of 76-75, 75-76 and 76-75, giving the split decision win to Kudaka, who may well have done enough for one more title fight in 2021. As for Ohashi, this will be a hard defeat for him, especially given that he was stopped Suzumi Takayama last time out.
On Saturday fight fans will get the chance to see the much anticipated showdown between touted prospect Ryosuke Nishida (2-0, 1) [西田凌佑] and former world title challenger Shohei Omori (21-3, 16) [大森 将平], which will finally take place at the the third time of asking.
Today the two men took part in their weigh in for the bout and both fighters made weight for the contest with no issues.
On the scales Omori was the lighter man, weighing in at 123lbs, around 0.5lbs underneath the contracted limit for the bout. At the weigh in he looked in good shape, and suggested that he was in perfect condition for the bout.
Nishida was slightly heavier, at around 123.25lbs, and like Omori he looked in real good shape for a bout that he has been focused on for months. He know this is a step up, but seemed full of belief, and will know a win here will see him immediately in the mix for a domestic title bout.
The bout, which will be at the EDION Arena Osaka and will be streaming on the Boxing Real YouTube channel, was originally scheduled to take place back in August, before being cancelled due to issues at the Mutoh Gym, and was then cancelled again in November, due to medical issues. For those wanting to watch the stream will be available from this YouTube channel.
Earlier today it was confirmed that the December 19th "Real Spirits Vol 70" show from the EDION Arena Osaka, would be live streamed from the venue for free over YouTube, as the Boxing Real channel continues to build on their early success.
The show, which will begin on Saturday at 12:30 local today, isn't the biggest card, with just 5 bouts on it, but it one with several bouts of real intrigue.
One of those is the third bout on the card, the twice re-arranged showdown between touted prospect Ryosuke Nishida (2-0, 1) [西田凌佑] and former world title challenger Shohei Omori (21-3, 16) [大森 将平]. This bout was supposed to take place in August and then in November, but issues affecting Nishida caused the first cancellation and issues with Omori forced the second. Despite the issues it now seems we're all able to watch the bout for free!
The other is a potential tear up between 4-time world title challenger Hiroyuki Kudaka (26-18-4, 11) [久高 寛之] and former Rookie of the Year winner Tetsuro Ohashi (7-1-1, 2) [大橋 哲朗]. Given the styles and mentalities of the two men in the ring this one will be something to remember, and could end up being the sleeper classic for the weekend.
For fans wanting to tune in here, the live feed will be available on the Boxing Real YouTube channel.
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