Earlier today fight fans in Japan had a pretty notable show, featuring the debut of a rare Japanese Heavyweight hopeful, and a bout featuring a former world champion.
The first of the two notable bouts saw former WBA Minimumweight champion Ryo Miyazaki (26-2-3, 16) [宮崎 亮] take an 8n round unanimous decision win over Takumi Sakae (22-5-1, 16) [榮拓海], in a bout where the sponsors of the event put up a KO bonus of 1,000,000 yen, if Miyazaki could stop his foe. A Unfortunately for Miyazaki, the sponsor got to keep his money, though Miyazaki did get a much needed work out.
From the off Miyazaki looked the bigger, stronger better fighter, and used good pessure and good single shots, though Sakae certainly came to win, and had success with body shots through the bout. Although Sakae had moments he was out boxed, and unable to force Miyazaki to respect him, especially in the later stages. Despite that Miyazaki never came close to the stoppage. Instead he had to accept the decision on the cards with scores of 77-75, twice, and 78-74.
Notably after the bout Miyazaki explained he was not in great shape, and had struggled to make weight. Interestingly it's not the first weight has been an issue for Miyazaki, who really does need to take that part of his career more seriously, especially given we now know he will be back in the ring on August 14th.
The other notable bout was the, brief, debut of Brandon Mitsuro Tajima (1-0, 1) [但馬ブランドン ミツロ] who needed just 56 seconds to stop Korean visitor Sang Ho Kim (8-4-1, 2). Tajima really was just the boss from the off, hurting Kim with a body shot and forcing the referee to step in very, very early in the bout, whilst fulfilling his promise that he would need less than 3 minutes to score the finish. Notably Kim did suggest the stoppage was early, whilst speaking to the press after the fight, but in reality he never got going, and had been hurt prior to the stoppage.
Tajima is now expected to return on August 14th on a staked card from Koki Kameda, and is expected to compete in a title fight. If he was to win he would set a Japanese record for the fewest fights to a title, with talk being it could be a Japanese title fight against an foreign, but eligible, fighter, something that's allowed as long as the fighter competes within the OPBF region. Fingers crossed that is a more meaningful bout than this one was.
Earlier today there was a press conference to announce the next fight of former WBA Minimumweight champion Ryo Miyazaki (25-2-3, 16) [宮崎 亮], and it's a genuinely interesting one as he is set to take on Takumi Sakae (22-4-1, 16) [榮拓海] with the men set to clash in an 8 round Flyweight bout in April.
The preference conference saw Miyazaki, along with Daiki Kameda and and Yasuaki Takahashi, who is the CEO of the company sponsoring the event, talk about the show and a few interesting tidbits came from the event.
Firstly Miyazaki will be paid 600,000 yen for the bout, but there is a 1,000,000 yen bonus up for grabs if he can win by stoppage. That money will be given by Mr Takahashi, the show sponsor.
Secondly Sakae was one of 5 names that one of 5 names that were in the running for the fight, but was picked, in part, due to being a former world ranked fighter. That's important here as Miyazaki is looking to become a 2-weight world champion and have a serious run at another world title, as a result it's a good idea to face a former world ranked fighter, even one he will be strongly favoured to beat.
Notably the specific date, and venue, of this bout weren't confirmed today, but they are expected to be confirmed in the very near fuutre.
Earlier today on TV Osaka we got the chance to see a title double header from the EDION Arena Osaka, for free and right around the world.
The first of two title title bouts saw veteran WBO Asia Pacific Middleweight champion Yuki Nonaka (34-11-3, 10) [野中 悠樹] score his second defense, as he easily over-came former Japanese domestic amateur standout Koki Koshikawa (9-3, 6) [越川孝紀], who was fighting as a Middleweight for the first time.
From the off the 43 year old Nonaka looked the more relaxed and the more comfortable in the ring and was pretty much in control through out the bout. Koishikawa, to his credit, came to fight but he lacked the accuracy and tenacity needed to even test Nonaka.
Through out the bout the calm, accurate, relaxed boxed of Nonaka saw him landing at will on Koshikawa, who was left cut, bruised and beaten up through the middle portion of the fight. In the later stages Koshikawa had to pass several doctor's inspections due to his cuts and, whilst they weren't bad cuts no one would have complained had the ringside doctor said enough was enough, especially as Nonaka began landing so devastating straight left hands, at will, on the head of Koshikawa.
After 12 rounds we went to the score cards with two judges having this 119-109 to Nonaka and the third having it an alarming close 115-113 to the champion for the unanimous decision.
For Koshikawa it's almost impossible to know where he goes from this loss, especially given the early expectation. As for Nonaka, the focus seems to be on landing a world title fight sooner rather than later, but with his 44th birthday come later this year it'd be a huge surprise to see him land a major fight before his career comes to an end.
The second title fight on the show saw youngster Riku Kano (18-4-1, 9) [加納 陸] make his first defense of the WBO Asia Pacific Light Flyweight title as he stopped Takumi Sakae (22-4-1, 16) [榮拓海] in a really interesting bout.
Sakae got off to a good start, dropping Kano in round 2 of the bout, and again in round 4, as he seemed well on the way to scoring a notable upset. Sadly for the challenger however he couldn't finish off the champion and instead the body shots of Kano seemed to take the wind out of Sakae in rounds 6, 7 and 8.
Heading into round 9 it seemed the momentum was with Kano and he knew it as he continued to up his tempo against a tired and exhausted Sake, eventually forcing the referee to jump in and save the challenged, who seemed out on his feet.
Tomorrow at the EDION Arena Osaka we'll see once touted youngster Riku Kano (17-4-1, 8) [加納 陸] defending his WBO Asia Pacific Light Flyweight title for the first time, as he takes on Takumi Sakae (22-3-1, 16) [榮拓海].
Today, ahead of their bout, the two men took part in their weigh in and both men made the 108lb limit with no issues at all.
On the scales the 23 year old champion was comfortably under the limit, coming in at around 107.8lb, and he looked in great shape. He explained that he lost weight more intelligently for this bout than he did for his previous bout, a win over Ryoki Hirai late last year, and that he was feeling better than he usually does at the weigh in. He seemed to be aware of Sakae's style, heart and determination and explained that he will focus on avoiding Sakae's style of fight.
Sakae on the other hand was even light on the scales, coming in at around 107l5lbs for the bout. Like Kano in looked in great shape, and really sounded up for this bout, explaining he was full of motivation. He went on to tell Boxmob.jp that he has done everything he need to to prepare, and it seemed clear that he was focusing on winning a decision to become the first title holder from the rather obscure Orio Boxing Gym.
For fans wanting to watch this one it will be streamed live on the TV Osaka Youtube channel.
Related - Kano takes on Sakae in first defense of WBO Asia Pacific title
Yesterday Taisei Gym announced that they had postponed their next show, which was originally planned for June 6th, and have pushed it back to July 23rd due to the issues that are still affecting Osaka in regards to the on going State of Emergency. As a result the show now falls on a holiday, but no changes, other than date, have been made to the event.
The card is a genuinely solid double header. One of the main bouts will see Riku Kano (17-4-1, 8) [加納 陸] defending the WBO Asia Pacific Light Flyweight title against the once touted Takumi Sakae (22-3-1, 16) [榮拓海], in a solid match up between two men tipped for big things, who haven't yet managed to deliver on early promise. The other will see WBO Asia Pacific Middleweight champion Yuki Nonaka (33-11-3, 10) [野中 悠樹] defending his title against Koki Koshikawa (9-2, 6) [越川孝紀], in what is a must win bout for both men.
As was originally planned, the show will take place at EDION Arena Osaka, and will be shown online via the TVOsaka YouTube channel.
Sadly this could be a sign of things to come and their may, still, be shows set for June in Osaka that could end up needing to be postponed due to the current situation in Japan.
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