Late on Saturday night we had a Top Rank card, in Las Vegas, that had our attention with a trio of Asian fighters featuring on it.
The first of the Asian fighters on the show was former Japanese amateur standout Subaru Murata (1-0, 1) [村田昴] who faced off with American fighter Keven Monroy (1-2, 1) in a 4 rounder at 122lbs. From the opening moments it was clear that Murata was the quicker, sharper boxer and through out the first round Murata landed some sensational combinations on to Monroy, who showed plenty of fire as he tried to fight back through the round. It looked like the two men were fighting at totally different speeds, but Monroy refused to go away and it was clear he wasn't intimidated by Murata's reputation or speed.
Through the second round Murata continued to punish the gutsy and brave Monroy, who was dropped hard from a big left hand. Sadly referee Russell Mora stopped the bout before giving Monroy a fair chance to get his feet, a decision that clearly angered Monroy who was coherent moments later and disputing the stoppage with the referee. Sadly this was an horrific call ending, what had been a very impressive performance from Murata who looks every bit a star in the making.
In a career best win we saw unbeaten Kazakh hopeful Janibek Alimkhanuly (10-0, 6) [Жанибек Алимханулы] dominate former WBA "regular" Middleweight champion Rob Brant (26-3, 18), who barely turned up.
The first started with Alimkhanuly dictating the action from the center of the ring, finding his southpaw jab and solid straight left hands from very early. Brant, who has typically been a solid and capable fighter, looked shocked by the crisp punching of Alimkhanuly, and that worry never changed as the Kazakh broke him down round by round, and never seemed to get out of first gear whilst doing so.
In round 6 Brant, who was already 5-0 down and looking like a man who didn't want to be there, was hurt and took a knee early in the round. Despite taking a knee, and being hurt, Brant got back to his feet and the slow, gradual, beating of Brant continued, with Brant offering so little it was almost embarassing as Alimkhanuly patiently broke him down. Thankfully between rounds 9 and 10 Brant was stopped by his corner, ending what was a truly terrible night for him.
The win, for Alimkhanuly, almost certainly sets him up for a world title fight and in reality, he never really had to break a sweat. This was a controlled, comfortable, easy win for the Kazakh who is seems like he has a lot more to offer than he showed here.
Sadly it wasn't to be a third win on the show for an Asian fighter as the main event saw Japan's Masayoshi Nakatani (19-2, 13) [中谷正義] suffer a 9th round TKO loss to Ukrainian Vasyl Lomachenko (15-2, 11).
The open round was, almost certainly, the best for Nakatani as very little was landed by either man, and the one moment of drama was a headclash that left Lomachenko cut on the head, and saw blood trickle down his face. Sadly from there on the bout was one-sided as Nakatani struggled with the speed, timing, and footwork of Lomachenko, who landed clean with alarming regularity.
Lomachenko's left hand was the key, and he found the head of Nakatani pretty much at with, with both hard single shots and with combinations that took a toll on the Japan fighter both mentally and physically. Sadly or Nakatani the only thing he had any real success with was the occassional right hand to the body, and he had to take risks to land them, risks that he was punished for.
In round 3 the clean punches of Lomachenko clearly hurt Nakatani, who went to the canvas, though it did seem to be a push from Lomachenko that sent the Japanese fighter down. An opinion that seemed to be shared by the referee. Sadly for Nakatani however he was legitimately knocked down just 2 rounds later as Lomachenko began to go through the gears. Fortunately for Nakatani it was at the end of the round but he was given a real beating in round 6 as Lomachenko looked to close the show early.
Although he was getting beaten up and broken down Nakatani's toughness was keeping him in the fight. Some how. That was despite the knockdown, being hurt numerous times, and his right eye near enough swelling shut in round 7. Sadly though there was a limit to Nakatani's toughness and in round 9 he was dropped a second time as Celestino Ruiz finally waved off the bout. That round 9, prior to the stoppage, had however been an absolute beat down, and it was clear that Lomachenko was beginning to go through the gears and look to make a point.
This coming weekend in Las Vegas we'll get the chance to see the debut of Subaru Murata (0-0) [村田昴] and the next bout of Masayoshi Nakatani (19-1, 13) [中谷正義], who takes on Ukrainian sensation Vasyl Lomachenko (14-2, 10).
Today it was reported by the Japanese press that both Nakatani and Murata had had their medical check yesterday and both fighters came through the checks with no issues at all, including clean PCR tests.
The two men also spoke to the press, with Nakatani revealing he had shaken the jet lag and that he was feeling really good. He explained he wasn't tired, and that things were different in regards to the media media to how things are in Japan.
Murata on the other hand spoke about how he was relieved his tests came back normal and also spoke about how he was getting used to the heat in Las Vegas., though did state it was still really hot.
(Image credit - Teiken)
Earlier today Japanese pairing Subaru Murata (0-0) [村田昴] and Masayoshi Nakatani (19-1, 13) [中谷正義] departed from Japan for their bouts next weekend.
Before leaving the two men spoke to the Japanese media.
Nakatani, who will be battling Vasyl Lomachenko (14-2, 10), stated that the preparation he's had for the bout, at Teiken, has been perfect and that he's expecting a good fight when he steps in with the highly talented Ukrainian standout.
As for Murata, who will be taking on Keven Monroy (1-1, 1), he explain that he's departing ahead of his debut and that he was looking to produce the result that he and his team had been training for, before thanking everyone for their support.
The main bout, with Nakatani and Lomachenko, will be aired next weekend on ESPN+ in the US, WOWOW in Japan and Sky Sports.
(Image credit -Teiken)
Earlier today Teiken announced that former Japanese amateur standout Subaru Murata (0-0) [村田昴] was set to make his professional boxing debut on June 26th as part of a Top Rank promoted card headlined by his stablemate Masayoshi Nakatani (19-1, 13) [中谷正義] battling Vasyl Lomachenko (14-2, 10).
Sadly the bout it's self isn't a particularly tough looking one for Murata, who went a very solid 68-12 in the unpaid ranks, but it's going to be nice to see what he can do as he takes on Keven Monroy (1-1, 1) in a scheduled 4 rounder at Super Bantamweight.
As an amateur Murata was a real standout. He competed for the Nihon University team, won the 2018 All Japan Championships, won the "Excellent Fighter" award in the annual awards, and also competed in the Youth World championships.
Monroy on the other hand is a 21 year old who debuted in March of this year, winning his debut at the legendary Big Punch Arena, before losing his second bout, this past June. It is, by far, the biggest bout of his professional career, and one that he'll enter as a very, very clear under-dog in.
Last week All Star Boxing announced that they had signed a co-promotional deal with Teiken to promote Mikito Nakano (5-0, 4) [中野幹士], Kenji Fujita (1-0, 1) [藤田健児] and Subaru Murata (0-0) [村田昴], with the hope being for the trio to be in action in the near fuutre.
Now it's been reported that the trio will be fighting on May 21st on an All Star Boxing show set to take place on May 21st, as part of the "Boxeo Telemundo" series.
At the moment none of the trio have got opponents confirmed for the show, though the event it set to be staged at the Bryan Glazer Family JCC Auditorium, in Tampa, Florida.
For Murata this will be his professional debut, following a long and successful amateur career, whilst Fujita will be looking to build on an impressive performance back in his debut, which took place in March, whilst Fujita will be looking to move his career forward with his 6th professional bout.
Whilst none of the Japanese trio have had their opponents announced the main event of the card is known, and that will see former world title challenger Jonathan Gonzalez takes on Mexican veteran Armando Torres. Incidentally both of these man are known in Japan. Gonzalez famously challenged Kosei Tanaka, who was the WBO Flyweight champion at the time, whilst Torres fought his first 13 bouts in Japan, and later returned to the country for a one off bout in 2009.
News! We try and give you the most interesting news stories from the Asian boxing world!