Earlier today at the Capio in Tsukuba we had the latest show from Yamamguchi Tsuchiura Promotions. The card wasn't a huge one but did feature several fighters of note on it, including a former Japanese title challenger, one of the best young prospects in the sport and a very entertaining, though much more limited fighter.
The first bout of note on thus show saw Ryu Horikawa (3-0-1, 1) [堀川 龍] take a unanimous decision win over Daiki Kameyama (7-5-1, 2) [亀山 大輝], in a competitive and solid test for the 20 year old Horikawa. The bout started with Kameyama coming forward and being aggressive, but it wasn't long until Horikawa began to control the distance, and land quick shots at range. Kameyama began to struggle with the movement and clean, effective, punching of Horikawa, who countered well when he needed to. Although always game Kameyama failed to turn things around in the later stages, with Horikawa taking the decision with scores of 59-56, 58-57 and 58-56.
Horikawa and Kameyama showing some good boxing skills we then got a bout featuring the limited but always entertaining Yuta Ashina (5-2) [足名 優太], who took a close decision over Yuya Nemoto (6-9-3, 1) [根本 裕也]. Unlike most Ashina bouts this one didn't really shine like his usual contests. Ashina, who reached the All Japan Rookie of the Year final last year, showed uncharacteristic calmness in the first round, and continually struggled to get going. What we saw was Nemoto using his experience to control portions of the action, despite being cut from a headclash early on, and what action we got was mostly slow paced, at mid range. A bit of a stinker, sadly, after a string of great bouts for Ashina. Despite the disappointing action Ashina took the win via majority decision with scores of 59-55, 58-56 and 57-57.
The main event saw the tough and rugged Tatsuya Takahashi (32-9-6, 21) [高橋 竜也] take a decision win over Hibiki Jogo (10-3, 5) [城後 響], with Takahashi moving one step close to another title fight. The bout saw Jogo look to use his speed advantage over the taller, longer Takahashi, but the clumsiness of both men saw heads come together, leaving Takahashi with a damaged eye. In round 2 Takahashi began to find his groove, using his 1-2's well at range and then began to work more on the inside in rounds 3 and 4. With the bout slipping away from him Jogo changed tactics and in round 5 he began to find the range for his straight shots and he started a fight back, the fight back was a relative short one though with Takahashi taking control back in round 7 before the two men went to an inside war in the final round.
After 8 rounds the scorecards came in, 78-74, 77-75 and 77-76 all in favour of Takahashi.
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Earlier this month we saw Korean teenager teenager Han Bin Suh (5-1-3, 4) [서한빈] suffer his first professional loss, as he was out pointed but Dong Myung Shin (3-0) [신동명]. The bout not only saw the teenager having his cherry popped but also losing the KBM Super Bantamweight title.
Rather than rebuilding with an easy fight Suh has had his next bout announced in Korea, and it's certainly not an easy one. In fact it's a marked step up in class and his first on foreign soil.
The Korean teenager will return to the ring on April 7th at Korakuen Hall as he takes on Japanese veteran Tatsuya Takahashi (31-9-6, 21) [高橋竜也] in an 8 round bout at a contracted weight of 120lbs.
As mentioned this will be Suh's first international bout, and by the time the fight comes around he will be 20 years old. The all action Korean is one of the most fun fighters to watch with his intense work rate and aggression. Sadly he is a bit raw around the edges and can be out boxed, as we saw against Shin, but he's a nightmare to fight and going toe to toe with him is usually a mistake.
Takahashi on the other hand is true veteran of the ring, with 46 bouts under his belt. Aged 30, though turning 31 come fight night, Takahashi has gained a reputation as a limited but exciting warrior. He's a bit unpredictable in terms of results, though is very tough and his 2014 bout with Kentaro Masuda saw Masuda describe him as being like a zombie in the ring, due to his toughness and work rate.
Given the styles of these two this should be an incredibly exciting war. It won't be top level action, but will be thrilling action.
Whilst much of the Japanese boxing attention on Saturday was on the action in Tokyo there was also also a show in Ibaragi, headlined by a contest between Tatsuya Takahashi (31-9-6, 21) [高橋竜也] and Renoel Pael (23-11-1, 12).
Although on paper this doesn't look like a bout to get too excited bout, it turned out to be an absolute humdinger of a back and forth war. Those who have seen Takahashi before won't be surprised to hear this was rough, tough, hard hitting and brutal. It wasn't pretty, but it was fantastically competitive and truly exciting.
From the opening round this was competitive, with both looking to get behind their jabs. As it went on though the pace increased and Pael managed to get some sustained success, leaving the local with bloodied face. Takahashi fought through the blood and managed to rack up rounds, but was never able to look comfortable.
The bout had massive drama in the final round as Takahashi was dropped and in all sorts of trouble before surviving to the bell.
The knockdown almost proved game changing on the scorecards, though Takahashi's overall work was just enough to earn a split decision, with scored of 77-75 and 76-75 in his favour, whilst the third judge gave it to Pael with a score of 75-76.
After the bout Takahashi stated he wanted to fight for a title next year. Sadly we don't think he'll to win a belt, even if he does get a title fight at some point during the year.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
This past Sunday golf fans saw the legendary Tiger Woods complete a remarkable career comeback, after having come through a variety of off the course issues. The win for Woods will go down as one of the best feel good sports stories of the year. He isn't alone however, in having had a huge comeback in the last few days.
Today at Korakuen Hall fans saw Masayasu Nakamura (7-3-1, 6) [中村 誠康] return to the ring after almost 3 years out, and and not only did he return but he also picked up a career best win, beating former Japanese title challenger Tatsuya Takahashi (30-9-5, 21) [高橋竜也], who entered the bout with a JBC ranking.
Nakamura was last seen losing a 5 round decision to Ken Kodama back in May 2016, that was his third loss in 6 fights. Today however he looked like a man who had never been out of the ring, pressing Takahashi from the opening round, putting him under intense pressure and taking the fight to him in a manner that showed real belief and fire. Takahahsi tried to respond, but was often the man forced to give ground, unable to keep with the energy and tempo set by the driven Nakamura.
The energy and drive saw Nakamura getting scors of 78-73 from one judge and 77-75 from another, whilst one judge, somehow, saw the bout for Takahashi, 76-75.
After the bout Nakamura spoke about wanting to win a title for the Team 10 Count gym and wanting to win for his child, who was born around the same time as his last fight.
Sadly for Takahashi, who has always been fun despite his limitations, this is a third loss in 7, following a loss in 2017 against Jetro Pabustan and in 2018 to Ikuro Sadatsune.
Recently we were informed of an interesting Japanese card set for April 15th with several notable names involved on it.
The main event of the card will see former Japanese title challenger Tatsuya Takahashi (30-8-5, 21) [高橋竜也] take on hard hitting domestic foe Masayasu Nakamura (6-3-1, 6) [中村 誠康]. On paper this is a bit of a mismatch, given Takahashi's experience, but the veteran hasn't looked great in recent bouts, taking a narrow win over Gaku Aikawa and losing last year to Ikuro Sadatsune and Nakamura will know a win here will put him on the map domestically.
Hard hitting Welterweight Yuki Beppu (18-1-1, 18) [別府優樹] will be in the co-feature, looking to bounce back from his 2018 defeat to Yuki Nagano. He will be up against Filipino foe Jason Egera (24-20-2, 11), and will be seeking to bounce back from that defeat here.
Also on this show will be Japanese ranked Minimumweight Desierto Nagaike (11-4-2, 2) [長池拓] and promising Super Bantamweight prospect Tetsuya Watanabe (4-1, 3) [渡部哲也].
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