Earlier today Japanese fight fans at the Korakuen Hall, and subscribers to the excellent Boxingraise subscription service, had the chance to watch a trio of B class tournaments, all of which were excellent bouts and incredibly competitive bouts.
The first of the three tournament bouts was at Flyweight, as Yasuhiro Tanaka (5-3-2) [田中 康寛] out pointed Satoshi Tanaka (4-5, 1) [田中公士]. The bout was hotly contested, but Yasuhiro Tanaka was just that touch better than his namesake, and got the well deserved win, though did have to work incredibly hard for it. Notably this was Yasuhiro Tanaka's first bout since September 2015, when he was beaten by Tatsuji Kakumoto. With this win Yasuhiro Tanaka has sealed a place in the tournament final against former amateur stand out Rikito Shiba (1-0) [芝力人], in what should be an amazing bout.
The second of the 5 round tournament bouts saw Featherweights trade blows, with 22 year old Kanehiro Nakagawa (5-5, 3) [中川兼玄] claiming a split decision over Tasuku Nakagawa (7-4-1, 3) [中川祐]. This was more hotly contested than the Flyweight bout, and there was very little to seperate the two men who seemed to have been amazingly well matched and we'd love to see these two go at it again, especially given the exciting way the contest finished with the two men trading hard blows. Sadly for Kanehiro Nakagawa he's now got a very tough final against Ren Sasaki (7-0, 5) [佐々木蓮].
On paper it was the third bout that really had us excited as touted teenager Junpei Inamoto (2-0, 1) [稲元 純平] battled against the under-rated Taiga Higashi (5-3, 2) [東大河], and Inamoto was given a real scare when a solid right hook from Higashi landed clean and dropped Inamoto in round 2. The knockdown left Inamoto in trouble through out the round, but he would regroup and use his skills to take the win, and learn some valuable lessons along the way. Whilst this was an excellent win for Inamoto, it does lead him to another tricky fight, as he takes on Seiya Tsutsumi (1-0, 1) [堤聖也] in his final, in what is a truly mouth watering novice match up.
For those wonfering, all the final bouts will take place on September 4th and will, like today's show, be promoted by the Dangan team.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
We all know it can be easy to get over-excited about a young novice in their boxing infancy but was have rarely been truly blown away by a debutant. One of the very few who did make us instantly sit up and take note was youngster Junpei Inamoto (1-0, 1) [稲元 純平], who looked like in the making in his debut last December.
Although Inamoto was matched against a very weak Thai foe there was still something about the performance from the Japanese teenager that made us sit up and take note. It wasn't so much that he did what was expected of him, but more how he did it, and how he looked doing it.
Since his debut we have been waiting on news of his future and now we know that he will be back in action on June 7th when he takes on fellow youngster Taiga Higashi (5-2, 2) [東大河] in a B class tournament bout at the Korakuen Hall, in what is a consierable test for Inamoto.
The 22 year old Higashi has only lost competitive decisions to Matcha Nakagawa, who would go on to win the 2015 Rookie of the Year 1t Bantamweight, and Kazuki Nakajima, a touted former amateur standout who is currently fighting for the Ohashi gym. Knowing that it's clear he should give Inamoto a serious test, and a win for the younger man really would be a huge one in just his second bout.
Interesting the winner of the Inamoto Vs Higashi bout will then be matched with Seiya Tsutsumi (1-0, 1) [堤聖也] in the B class tournament final, leaving us with another excellent match up, regardless of whether Inamoto or Huigashi come out on top in June.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
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