Earlier today Katsunari Takayama (31-8-0-1, 12) [高山 勝成] held a press conference, streamed over Zoom, to talk about his future and to spread awareness of the on going situation.
Takayama thanked the Japan Boxing Commission (JBC) and Japanese Professional Boxing Association (JPBA) after their announcement explaining that fighters who would be expected to retire, and refused licenses, on age grounds will have flexibility due to the on going situation and suspension of boxing in Japan. Essentially this means that Takayama no longer needs to fit in a fight before his 37th birthday, on May 12th.
Takayama, who is now a Neyagawa Ishida Boxing Club fighter, took part in a 1 round spar Takamori Kiyama (2-1, 2) [木山鷹守] as well as the press conference which saw him admit he wanted to return to the pro ranks from the end of 2019. He started back in the gym in February and appears to be in good shape and hungry for success, again, in the professional ranks.
Rather interestingly, given he hasn't fought as a professional in over 3 years, Takayama has got a #10 ranking by the WBA at Minimumweight, meaning he is, in theory, able to challenge WBA champion Knockout CP Freshmart (21-0, 7) [น็อคเอาท์ ซีพีเฟรชมาร์ท] when he returns to the ring.
. Today fight fans at the legendary Korakuen Hall had the chance to see two super-prospects face off, as Taku Kuwahara (3-0, 2) [桑原拓] and Takamori Kiyama (2-1, 2) risked their unbeaten records against each other in an 8 round bout.
The two youngsters, who are both tipped for major success in the future, showed their willing to face tests by going up against each other so early in their career's and showed off their well polished skills.
Kiyama started aggressively, boxing sharply behind his southpaw stance and landing his straight left and right hook. It wasn't long however until Kuwahara figured out how effective his uppercut was. The skills of both were excellent from the opening round, but it didn't take long until Kuwahara's boxing brain started to take over.
In the second half of the bout Kuwahara began to have more and more success, repeatedly landing his right hand over the guard of Kiyama. Despite being tagged Kiyama continued to be aggressive but was struggling to break through the defenses of Kuwahara, who had clearly taken the win by the final bell.
At the end we went to the scorecards, which favoured Kuwahara 79-74, 78-74 and 79-73. The win for Kuwahara will put him on the fast track and we'd be surprised if he doesn't fight for a title next year. Despite the loss Kiyama's aggression, style and toughness impressed, and we suspect he'll bounce back brilliantly from this loss, he's too skilled not to.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
Earlier today in Osaka City fight fans had the chance to see a short cameo from the touted Takamori Kiyama (2-0, 2) [木山鷹守].
The Japanese hopeful was taking on an Indonesian visitor and immediately backed up the visitor with his jab, which was followed up with a straight. Within just a few seconds the the visitor found himself in the corner and on the wrong end of some sickening body shots. Unsurprisingly those shots sent the visitor down, and he was counted out, after just 55 seconds.
Kiyama only made his debut in May and already looks like a class prospect. His bout today will, soon, be uploaded to boxingraise and although it was short it will give us a glimpse at one of the many under-rated and hidden prospects in Japan.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
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