Just moments ago the under-card for today's Kadoebi show at Korakuen Hall concluded. It wasn't the best of under-cards but was certainly worthy of some attention, with some notable names involved on it, in some pretty good looking match ups.
The show opened with a very one sided novice bout, as Kosuke Sato (1-1, 1) [佐藤 洸輔] made short work of Ryuki Taira (0-1) [平良 龍輝]. Taira looked totally out of his depth from the opening seconds and was dropped very early on. He got back to his feet but never seemed to regain his composure or balance, and was dropped again forcing the referee to wave off the bout very late in round 1. Sadly Taira didn't look like he belonged in the ring whilst Sato will be happy to have picked up his first career win.
In the second bout on the show Mikio Sakai (3-0) [酒井 幹生] took a clear decision over veteran Toshihiro Kai (6-12-3, 2) [甲斐 斗志広]. Earlier on Sakai looked too quick and too sharp for Kai and it looked like he was set for an early win. Sadly though Sakai's lack of power showed and Kai managed to grit out round after round, taking punishment but never looking hurt from Sakai's shots. Knowing he could take Sakai's power, Kai tried to fight back more in the second half, as Sakai slowed down slightly. The ambition however was slowly taken from Kai, as Sakai continued to out box him and out speed him.
Sadly for Kai he never looked competitive, though did show some real toughness, even late in the bout when the result seemed a foregone conclusion. That was seen in round 7, when he was hurt by body shots, and in round 8 when he ate a big right hand and recovered very quickly. After 8 rounds there was no questions as to who won, with Sakai winning by a clear margin, though questions will persist about his power, especially given that Kai had been stopped 6 times prior to this bout. The judges cards for this were 79-73, twice, and 78-74. Although it was disappointing to see Kai last the distance, it has ticked a box for Sakai, who showed he can do 8 rounds at a very decent pace, which is probably better for his career than an early blow out.
In the third bout on the show JBC ranked Super Bantamweight Matcha Nakagawa (14-2-1, 5) [中川 抹茶] battled against the struggling Ryo Suwa (11-4, 2) [諏訪 亮]. From the off Nakagawa, fighting out of the southpaw stance, looked a level or two above Suwa, who seemed to struggle with the speed and and accuracy of Nakagawa's shots from mid-range. Despite that Suwa wasn't there to just pick up a third straight loss and did fight back, though was regularly coming off second best.
After 8 rounds the three judges had the bout a shut out to Nakagawa, who takes a good step towards a future title fight, and bounces back well from a 2019 loss to Kai Chiba. There is however, a lot of areas for the 26 year old to work on before getting a shot at a belt holder. As for Suwa this was a third successive loss, and it's clear he needs real work to rebuild his faltering career.
Highly regarded Light Welterweight Masahiro Suzuki (5-0, 3) [鈴木 雅弘] was next up as he took on former OPBF title challenger Takahiro Oda (10-6, 8) [小田 貴博], who was returning to the ring for the first time in well over 3 years. Sadly for Oda, who had previously fought as Jumbo Oda Nobunaga Shoten Petagine, the lay off showed and Suzuki landed some real solid blows in the opening round. The power shots from Suzuki rocked Oda in the opening round, but the veteran saw out the round with out too many troubles. In round 2 however the power of Suzuki showed as he hurt, and then dropped Oda. Oda recovered and saw out the rest of the round but was in trouble again in round 3 when suffered another knockdown, pulling Suzuki down with him. This was a heavy knockdown and the referee quickly waved the bout off.
For Suzuki this was an ideal performance, coming in to the bout on the back of a 13 month lay off, of a less than convincing technical decision win last year against Hokuto Matsumoto. As for Oda, well, it does seem like maybe he will be heading back into retirement after this performance, and result.
The penultimate bout, and the main support bout, on the show saw former Japanese 140lb champion Hiroki Okada (20-2, 13) [岡田 博喜] return for his first bout at home in well over 2 years as he took on Izuki Tomioka (7-4-1, 2) [富岡 樹]. On paper this was an interesting bout and it proved to be a solid one overall, with a high level of skill, and a good overall meshing of styles.
The opening round saw Tomioka looking to use his speed and movement to great effect to take the early control. His jab, one of the most under-rated in the sport, was being used as an excellent weapon, landing regularly and upsetting the rhythm of Okada, who looked the bigger, stronger man but struggled to enforce his will. As well as the jab Tomioka landed good single shots with his right hand a very nice body shot. In round 2 we began to see Okada try and press the action more, using his size and strength to walk down Tomioka, who had to rely on his sharp footwork more to create space, in what was a very competitive round.
In round 3 we saw more success from Okada, who seemed to be finding his groove and realising that Tomioka's shots didn't have a lot on them, Tomioka still had moments, and landed some really eye catching stuff, but Okada was beginning to just walk through it with little respect given to Tomioka. That was the case again in round 4 as Tomioka was forced to trade blows and seemed to be rocked from an Okada right hand late in the round. It was then beginning to look like the pressure and power of Okada was going to break down Tomioka, who was having to work hard against a naturally stronger man.
The breaking down process continued from Okada in round 5 and 6, as Tomioka's face became a bloodied mess, and his output began to drop noticeably. The facial damage of Tomioka saw him have an inspection from the doctor early in round 7 and it seemed to be clear that time was running out for him. That lead to him being more aggressive and to Okada responding, which didn't work out well for Tomioka. Despite blood pouring out of his nose for much of the second half of the fight, Tomioka gritted it out and saw out the final bell. Sadly for him after 8 rounds his good start and toughness was for nought, as the scorecards all read 77-75 to Okada.
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