In a bout between Japanese ranked fighters earlier today fight fans saw Dai Iwai (23-5-1, 7) [岩井 大] battle against Spicy Matsushita (17-11-2, 2) [スパイシー松下]. The bout was a real must win for both, and looked like it could be something pretty interesting on paper, given their rankings and need for a win.
The bout began with Iwai coming forward and having the early success in what was a pretty messy round. Despite being messy the fight the fight was most clear early on. Sadly the clean action began to fade round by round as Matsushita began to fight back with more regularity, having pretty notable success with his uppercuts.
Although messy Iwai was consistently getting the better of the action in center ring, whilst Matsushita was really only having success when he pinned Iwai on the ropes.
The messy action became messier round by round, and saw both men landing low in round 5, though neither was given any warning by the referee who seemed to see them as being tit for tat, and incidental. It was however a pretty notable thing, even if accidental by both fighters.
Heading into round 6 it was clear that Iwai was in the lead and it seemed like Matsushita was sent out with instructions to turn things around. He began the round with more aggression and took the fight to Iwai, but couldn't discourage Iwai who ended the round well, and left Matsushita with a small cut under the left eye. It looked like Matsushita had given his all in the round and Iwai clearly won the 7th round.
The final round was arguably the round of the fight as Matsushita tried to turn things around again and Iwai stood firm, once more, firing back. Towards the end of the round Matsushita became wilder, with exhaustion and desperation clearly effecting him. The wilder shots of Matsushita made life easier for Iwai who merely had to see the final bell to get the decision, with scores of 79-73, 79-74 and 78-75.
Ealier this year Japanese Middleweight Kazuto Takesako (8-0, 8) [竹迫司登] blasted away the tough Hikaru Nishida (17-9-1, 8) [西田 光] to become the Japanese Middleweight champion. That bout was, sadly, only aired on an obscure regional channel in Japan, meanign that most fans in the country haven't seem Takesako since he stopped Shoma Fukumoto inside a round last year.
Thankfully fans in Japan will get the chance to see the exciting, and very heavy handed, Takesako in the ring in early June as he has been selected to headline the June version of Dynamic Glove on G+.
The hard hitting Takesako won't be defending his title however, instead he will be facing off with Filipino veteran Joel Dela Cruz (20-26-3, 8), who is fighting in his 50th professional bout.
On paper this is a huge mismatch in favour of the Japanese fighter, who has only fought for 3 minutes and 2 seconds, combined, in the last 12 months, but it's great to see that he will be kept active and will be returning to the ring less than 3 months after his title win.
Other fighters on this card include Seiya Tsutsumi (1-0, 1) [堤聖也], who will be up against Kenshin Oshima (3-1-1, 3) [大嶋剣心], the debuts of Jin Minamide (0-0) [南出仁] and Takuma Takahashi (0-0) [高橋拓磨], as well as bouts featuring Spicy Matsushita (17-10-1, 2) [スパイシー松下] and Junki Sasaki (19-3, 7) [佐々木洵樹] in decent domestic tests.
Earlier today Japanese fight fans at the Korakuen Hall saw a Japanese Lightweight title fight, as the unbeaten unbeaten Shuichiro Yoshino (6-0, 4) [吉野修一郎] battled against experienced veteran Spicy Matsushita (17-10-1, 2) [スパイシー松下] for the vacant title.
The bout started quite messily, with Yoshino looking unure of how to cope with the reach of Matsuhita. He did however begin to adapt in round 2 and started to find his rhythm, as soon as he did that it was the left to Matsushita to adapt, which he failed to do.
As Yoshino began to feel more and more relaxed in the ring his pressure started to intensify and he was having more and more success, with Matsushita struggling to really have much go his. The pressure had impressed the judges, who had Yoshino leading 48-47, twice, and 49-46.
Matsushita, knowing he was behind, had a solid round 6, but was unable to keep the momentum going and Yoshino dropped him in round 7, with Matsushita looking exhausted. Soon afterwards the bout had to be stopped, saving the veteran from further punishment.
With the win Yoshino claims his first professional title. His first defense is expected in February whilst Matsushita could now be looking at retirement.
(Image courteys of boxingnews.jp)
Tomorrow Japanese fight fans at the Korakuen Hall will get the chance to see a Japanese Lightweight title fight, asthe unbeaten Shuichiro Yoshino (5-0, 3) [吉野修一郎] faces veteran Spicy Matsushita (17-9-1, 2) [スパイシー松下] for the vacant title.
Today the two men took part in their weigh in for the contest, and both men made weight,as they look to fill the void left by former champion Kazuhiro Nishitani.
At the weigh in both men were under the limit, coming in at at around 134.65lbs, and both looked in good shape, despite neither being ripped to the gills.
The more experienced Matsushita has long fought as a Super Bantamweight, despite having had a stint early in his career at Lightweight. He looked a little undersized in comparison to Yoshino, but it was clear that he had put his all in to preparing for the bout, which could well be his final crack at a title following a loss to Can Xu in a WBA International title fight last year.
As for Yoshino he looked incredibly confident and relaxed. He may lack the professional experience of Matsushita but is a former amateur stand out and he clearly seems to feel he's ready for a title bout, in just his 6th professional contest. He looked in great form and has certainly worked into into good shape, physically and mentally, for this bout.
Sadly the bout doesn't appear to be set for any television coverage, a huge shape given the quality of the bout.
(Yoshino looks to become King as he faces Matsushita!)
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Back in July we saw the announcement of the Japanese Challenger Determination bouts. At Lightweight the bout announced was a contest between the fast rising Shuichiro Yoshino (5-0, 3) [吉野修一郎] and veteran Spicy Matsushita (17-9-1, 2) [スパイシー松下], with the bout to take place on October 21st. Today however we learned that that would no longer be a Japanese title eliminator but instead it would be a bout for the full title.
The bout was confirmed as a title bout after the news that Kazuhiro Nishitani (17-4-1, 9) [西谷 和宏] had officially vacated the title, and the winner of Yoshino Vs Matsushita will end 2017 as the Japanese Lightweight champion.
It's worth noting that Yoshino was in action today, and ticked over with a 2nd round stoppage of a horribly over-matched Thai foe in what really was a stay busy bout for the talented Misako gym prospect, ahead of the bout with Matsushita.
Nishitani vacates Japanese crown, looks to get world title shot!
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
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