Earlier today at Korakuen Hall Dangan put on their latest show, which was part of an A and B Class tournament. Although the card certainly wasn't a huge one it did have several noteworthy bouts on it.
One of the notable bouts on the card saw JBC ranked female fighters face off, in what turned out to be a bit of an upset. Former notable female amateur Sayo Segawa (1-1, 1) [瀬川 紗代] was expected to claim her second professional win as she took on 29 year old Natsuki Tarui (4-6-2) [樽井 捺月]. Instead however the experience of Tarui played dividends as she narrowly took a 6 round split decision. By the end of this one both women looked absolutely shattered following what had been a very high octane and draining bout. Credit to Tarui however for digging that little bit deeper and taking the narrow win.
In a B Class tournament qualifying bout at Bantamweight Koki Mioya (8-1-2, 2) [三尾谷 昂希] took a clear decision win over Daiju Hamaguchi (4-5, 2) [濱口 大樹]. Hamaguchi looked to try and make this a fight, using his physicality, but Mioya was good through out and there was no real arguing with the decision. After 6 rounds the scores were 58-56, 59-55 and 60-54 all to Mioya, who was well worth the win.
In a 5 round Prize Fight, where a bonus is given for scoring a stoppage, Ryo Nakai (2-0-1, 1) [中井 龍] took a decision win over Mirai Naito (8-2, 3) [内藤 未来]. This was a fairly entertaining and well fought bout, but in the end Nakai's amateur pedigree, ring craft and more polished body punching proved to be the difference maker. Despite the loss for Naito we really wouldn't write him off and he certainly has the ability to make a mark on the domestic scene over the coming years.
In the main event, an A Class tournament qualifying bout, fans saw the big punching Shu Utsuki (7-0, 6) [宇津木秀] showcase what he could do as he took the fight to Takayuki Sakai (9-3-2, 6) [酒井 孝之], and took his man out in round 2. Utsuki looked like the boss from the opening seconds and pressed and pressured Sakai around the ring as and when he pleased. In round 2 Utsuki put his foot on the gas and dropped Sakai with a gorgeous short right hand. The referee instantly stopped this one.
Following today's wins Mioya and Sakai will both be in action in January in the their relevant tournament finals.
Earlier today Boxing Raise updated their website to show their line up for the rest of October, with the plan now being to have 6 shows on their service this month. Sadly none will be live, but 6 shows in a month is solid regardless.
The first show will be the Kaneko Boxing card, which will take place on October 9th. This will be headlined by a brilliant match up between Rei Nakajima (3-0) [中島玲] and former OPBF and WBO Asia Pacific Middleweight champion Shinobu Charlie Hosokawa (12-5-1, 11) [細川チャーリー忍]. The next show to be added will be the Kadoebi show from October 14th, which will feature the likes of Kazuki Saito (7-2, 5) [斎藤一貴] and Takuya Kogawa (30-6-1, 13) [粉川拓也].
The next show will be from October 18th and will be headlined by Japanese Flyweight champion Seigo Yuri Akui (14-2-1, 10) [阿久井政悟] will be facing mandatory challenger Seiya Fujikita (13-4, 6) [藤北誠也] as part of the Champion Carnival.
After those 3 shows we then get a pair of DANGAN cards, including a 4 round show from October 22nd and the October 30th A and B class tournament show, featuring the likes of Shu Utsuki (6-0, 5) [宇津木秀].
The final show from October that Boxing Raise will get is the East Japan Rookie of the Year show from October 31st.
Although not a great month in terms of quality for Boxing Raise the depth of the shows, ranging from Japanese title level to Rookie of the Year, is solid and the cards are full of good looking bouts and hopefuls. It's not an amazing month, but it's certainly not a bad one.
The ever useful Watanabe Gym fight scheduled has been a valuable source of information regarding future bouts in recent weeks. One of the more notable recent additions is the next bout of talented Shu Utsuki (6-0, 5) [宇津木秀] and female hopeful Kanako Taniyama (2-1-1, 1) [谷山佳菜子], who are now both pencilled in for a Korakuen Hall show on October 30th.
Utsuki's opponent is set to be Takayuki Sakai (9-2-2, 6) [酒井 孝之], in what looks a pretty decent bout given that Utsuki will have been out of the ring for exactly 12 months, the long period of in activity in his career. The hope had been for him to fight for a title in 2020, though that's now clearly looking like an impossibility.
Utsuki is very highly touted, and is seen as one of the many promising prospects at the Watanabe gym. He's shown himself to be very heavy handed, technically solid and has scored 4 stoppages in a row, including wins over Da Xu, Jerry Castroverde and Omrri Bolivar.
Sakai on the other hand has been a professional since 2015 and had been riding an 8 fight unbeaten streak until being stopped in 4 rounds by Yuichiro Kasuya last August. Although not tipped as a star he's certainly a capable fighter and scored a good win over Pharanpetch Tor Buamas in December 2018.
As for Taniyama her opponent will be Rena Koizumi (3-2, 2) [小泉 礼奈].
Taniyama turned professional in 2018 with some expectations on her shoulders after a success amateur career. After winning her first two professional bouts she has failed to win either of her last two, having a controversial and a razor thin technical decision loss, both to Tomoko Okuda.
Koizumi on the other hand is riding a 2 fight winning streak at the moment, but will be regarded as the under-dog here.
As with all bouts right now, things are subject to change, and these may end up being cancelled, but it is something to look forward to, with Utsuki in particular being one to watch.
Earlier today at Korakuen Hall fight fan were given another stellar performance from former Japanese amateur stand out Shu Utsuki (6-0, 5) [宇津木秀], who made light work of Thai foe Somphot Seesa (4-3, 4).
From the opening seconds it was clear Utsuki was in business mode, pressing the action from the off with aggressive footwork and smart pressure. Utsuki used his jab to set the table and unloaded big shots on Somphot when the Thai was in range, landing some very solid body shots and right hands over the top.
Somphot, to his credit, tried to walk off, create space and catch his breathe, but Utsuki never gave him the time or space to recover, and kept the pressure going in the second round, whilst upping the power shots. Somphot's toughness kept him upright, but it was only a matter off time before the hard blows were going to get too much. A combination midway through the round forced Somphot to take refuge by taking a knee. He got to his feet but was under pressure again soon afterwards. A second knockdown followed and then a third, from an excellent uppercut
Somphot was too tough for his own good, getting to his feet again before the referee waved off the fight.
After the fight Utsuki stated he wanted to fight for a title next year. Whilst kicking off the year with a title fight would be too much too soon, he has the talent to win a belt, but does need a couple of bouts against top domestic level fighters first.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Tomorrow at Korakuen Hall former Japanese amateur stand out Shu Utsuki (5-0, 4) [宇津木秀] will take on Thai foe Somphot Seesa (4-2, 4), in what will likely be Utsuki's final bout of 2019.
Today the two men took part in their weigh in for that bout, and both men made the contracted 62KG weight limit.
The weight limit, around 136.7lbs, was exactly what Utsuki hit the scales at whilst Somphot came in slightly lighter, at around 136.5lbs.
Whilst this is viewed as little more than a stay busy bout for Utsuki it is his third bout this year and comes after solid wins against Jerry Castroverde and Omrri Bolivar. It's assumed that 2020 will be the year that he makes a big splash and we're expecting him to get his first title fight next year.
For fans wanting to watch this it will be shown, on delay, on Boxing Raise.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
News! We try and give you the most interesting news stories from the Asian boxing world!