Earlier today Ohashi gym put on their latest show, with a notable low level card at Korakuen Hall. The card wasn't a huge one, but it was an interesting one, with a number of very interesting match ups.
The first of the notable bouts saw the unbeaten Honoka Kano (4-0-2, 2) [狩野ほのか] score her 4th win, as she defeated Megumi Hosoda (3-4, 1) [細田めぐみ] in a clash between two JBC ranked female fighters. These two had clashed last year, fighting to a draw, but this time around Kano was in control, being too accurate, too sharp, and too quick. She fought well, and was well deserving of her clear decision victory.
Another notable bout saw youngster Kosuke Tomioka (5-2, 4) [富岡 浩介] end a 2-fight losing run as he over-came the debuting Kotoji Irita (0-1) [入田 琴司] in the 6th round of their clash. This was high level stuff from two talented southpaws, started off cagey but picked up the face as the fight went on. By round 5 Tomioka seemed to be landing the better shots and seemed to be breaking Irita down, and early in round 6 Tomioka managed to back Irita into the corner, letting shots go before the referee stepped in to save Irita.
In a very notable supporting bout Ryo Nakai (4-1-1, 2) [中井 龍] scored the biggest win of his career, as he stopped veteran Ribo Takahata (17-10-1, 7) [高畑 里望] in 5 rounds. Nakai was sharp from the off, going to the body of his older, taller foe, whilst Takahata tried to fight back from the inside. In round 2 Nakai began to get in and out of range, as he went through the gears. From there Takahata never managed to get back into the fight and was slowly broken down by Nakai, who closed the show in round 5 when he unleashed on Takahata, who was stuck on the ropes. This was the break out performance that Nakai's career needed and will see him break into the Japanese rankings.
In the chief support bout of the show the unbeaten Narumi Yukawa (5-0, 4) [湯川 成美] scored his latest win, as he stopped Takaki Sakurai (8-9-1, 3) [櫻井 孝樹] in 6 rounds. Yukawa was in charge through out the bout, and bossed his more experienced foe around before finally forcing the referee to stop the bout early in round 6.
The main event of the show saw Katsuki Mori (10-1, 2) [森 且貴] claim the Japanese Youth Minimumweight title, as he over-came Shunsuke Isa (9-4-1, 1) [伊佐 春輔] in a super close and hotly contested 8 round, fought at break neck pace. Both men impressed with their movement, and hand speed, in what was a genuinely thrilling back and forth. Isa tried to control the distance, using his 1-2's and movement well, whilst Mori looked to bring the fight forward, attack the body and take Isa's legs away. It was tough to score, but thrilling action, with both men showing some eye catching offense and defensive skills. What Mori did really was up to the tempo in the second round, and that proved to be the difference, with Mori winning 4 of the last 5 rounds on two of the cards to secure a razor thin split decision. Scores from all 3 judges were 77-75.
Interestingly after the bout both men stated the other was better than expected, and both also seemed encouraged to build on the back of this bout.
tomorrow fight fans at Korakuen Hall will get the chance to see Japanese Youth Minimumweight champion Shunsuke Isa (9-3-1, 1) [伊佐 春輔] make his first defense, as he takes on the once beaten Katsuki Mori (9-1, 2) [森 且貴] in a brilliant match up, between two youngsters with big ambitions.
Today, ahead of their bout, the two men took part in their weigh in, and both men made the 105lb limit with no issues at all.
On the scales a confident Isa was bang on the limit, and explained that he was in the best shape of his career. He explained that his jab was the key to the bout, and he gave off an aura of genuine confidence.
As for Mori, who also came bang on the weight limit, he spoke like a man who wanted to make a statement after losing to Kai Ishizawa in a Japanese title fight earlier this year. He seemed like he wanted to prove what he could do, and bounce back from that loss, without focusing on the defeat. He also seemed to suggest that he wanted to win this Youth title, before winning more titles, and has his eyes on winning a world title, one day.
Our in depth preview of this bout can be read here: Japanese youth champion Isa takes on Mori!
Yesterday Ohashi Gym announced some details of May's Phoenix Battle card, which is set to take place at Korakuen Hall on May 10th.
The details which were announced were not just the venue and the date, but also one of the major bouts for the show, which will see Japanese Youth Minimumweight champion Shunsuke Isa (9-3-1, 1) [伊佐 春輔] making his first defense of the title he won last year. The talented Isa will be defending his belt against Ohashi's very own Katsuki Mori (9-1, 2) [森 且貴], who looks to bounce back from his first loss earlier this year against Kai Ishizawa.
Isa won the title last August, when he narrowly defeated Yuni Takada in an 8 rounder. That win is, by far, the biggest of Isa's career and saw him avenge one of his 3 defeats. Although not a world champion in the making he's a very credible hopeful, and at just 24 years old he is still very young and very much an improving fighter, heading towards being a fixture on the domestic scene.
As for Mori the 22 year old looks like a genuinely bright hopeful for the Japanese boxing scene. He made his debut in 2018, won the All Japan Rookie of the Year in 2019 and went 9-0 before suffering an 8th round TKO loss in a Japanese title fight this past January to Kai Ishizawa, who will be fighting for a world title fight in April. The bout seemed to show that whilst very talented Mori lacked the physical maturity to go with his excellent boxing skills. He will go in to this bout as the favourite, but we do wonder what the loss to Ishizawa will have done to him. It could have damaged his confidence, or could have made him a more determined fighter and shown he belongs in and around the national title scene.
At the moment no other bouts for this show have been officially announced.
Yesterday the East Japan Boxing Association announced the award winners for the month of August, a month that really didn't have the quantity of fights we usually see during a summer month in Japan.
The MVP for the month was Lightweight triple crown champion Shuichiro Yoshino (14-0, 11) [吉野 修一郎] who scored his latest defense of the Japanese national title, when he stopped Shuma Nakazato (10-2-3, 7) [仲里周磨] on August 12th. Whilst the performance wasn't one of Yoshino's best, and it did show he still has work to do before fighting for a world title, it was clearly one of the most important wins for a Japanese fighter during the month.
The Fighting Spirit award was won by Gakuya Furuhashi (28-8-1, 16) [古橋大輔], who won the award for his Japanese Super Bantamweight title defense against Seigo Hanamori (7-4, 5) [花森 成吾] on August 2nd, in what was a brilliantly entertaining war. Hanamori, to his credit, played his role in the fight, but was no real challenge for Furuhashi, who ground him down in a spectacularly entertaining, though short, bout.
The Newcomer award was won by the newly crowned Japanese Youth Minimumweight champion Shunsuke Isa (9-3-1, 1) [伊佐 春輔] took a razor thin split decision over Yuni Takada (8-8-2, 3) [高田 勇仁] early in the month.
Earlier today at Korakuen Hall fight fan got a very entertaining show thanks to the Kawasaki Nitta Gym, with two title fights taking place on the show.
In the main event fight fans saw a genuinely thrilling bout as the always fun to watch Gakuya Furuhashi (28-8-1, 16) [古橋大輔] retained the Japanese Super Bantamweight title with a 3rd round TKO win against gutsy challenger Seigo Hanamori (7-4, 5) [花森 成吾].
From the opening bell Hanamori, who was stepping up massive, looked to take center ring and press Furuhashi, who started the bout trying to box, move and show some movement. Within a minute however the champion seemed to change tactics, and seemed to make it clear that he was willing to engage in the fight Hanamori wanted and the two just went to war on the inside, unloading shots up close. These show Hanamori getting dropped, and instead of backing off he took the fight back to Furuhashi as the action continued to be up close and brutal, making for a brilliant opening round, with intense action a lot of leather being thrown.
Having had an amazing opening 3 minutes we wouldn't have been surprised by the action slowing down in round 2. Instead however the second round was just as action packed and brutal as the first as Hanamori landed great shots at mid range and Furuhashi tried to barrel through it and turn it into an inside war. This made for 3 minutes for none stop action, fought at an incredible tempo, with huge shots from both men. Sadly for Hanamori his moments of success were never enough to see him hurt Furuhashi, who seemed to be enjoying having such a willing opponent.
In round 3 we again saw Furuhashi looking to get inside and Hanamori being happy enough to trade shots up close. Sadly for Hanamori he couldn't withstand the the incessant Furuhashi pressure, wobbling several times, backing him on to the ropes and forced the referee to step in and save Hanamori who was eating a lot of leather at that point.
The other title bout was a Japanese Youth title fight at Minimumweight, and this one was much, much more competitive as Shunsuke Isa (9-3-1, 1) [伊佐 春輔] took a razor thin split decision over Yuni Takada (8-8-2, 3) [高田 勇仁], avenging a 2019 loss in the process.
This was close and competitive from the off, with both men having arguments in every round. Takada was looking to close the distance, make the most of his toughness and aggression, with Isa was happy to use his speed and movement. This made for a compelling back and forth. As the bout went on Isa's movement became less of a factor, as he began to hold his feet and let his hands go more, and the final round 3 rounds were sense, punch for punch action, with neither man managing to hurt the other.
After 8 rounds the judges all turned in 77-75 cards, though thankfully for Isa two of the 3 cards went his way, enough for him to take the split decision.
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