Earlier today the Shinjuku FACE played host to the latest show under the A-Sign Boxing banner, thanks to Hachioji Nakaya gym and Ichitaro Ishii, from Yokohama Hikari, who streamed the bout on the A-Sign Boxing YouTube channel.
Originally planned as a small, 4 bout, card the show was down a bout before it even began. That was due to 2019 Rookie of the Year winner Hyoga Taniguchi (4-2-2, 1) [谷口彪賀] being forced out of his scheduled bout with Hiro Ichimichi (4-0-1, 3) [一道宏] due to motor vehicle accident. Sadly that left us with just 3 bouts on the show, though credit to everyone involved in going ahead with the show and delivering us a memorable card.
The show began with a genuine upset, as Ryugo Ushijima (4-2-2, 2) [牛島龍吾] suffered a surprise defeat at the hands of the experienced Hyuma Fujioka (11-10-1, 1) [藤岡飛雄馬]. Sadly for Ushijima he never got a handle on Fujioka at all, with the veteran being too crafty, too smart, too quick and too experienced. After 6 rounds there was only one winner, and it wasn't Ushijima. To his credit Ushijima never stopped trying, but he had very little success, and one judge managed to give all 6 rounds to Fujioka. That seemed harsh, but there no doubt about the rightful victor.
The second bout on the show saw Tetsuya Kondo (5-2, 3) [近藤 哲哉] take a majority decision win over Ken Koibuchi (6-5, 5) [鯉渕 健] in a bout that started slowly, but ended up getting super exciting in the middle stages. The first two rounds were some what quiet, with Kondo taking the first and Koibuchi taking the second. Then the touch paper was lit in round 3 and Koibuchi dropped Kondo. He then went all out looking for the finish, unloading everything he had as Kondo did everything he could to survive. Somehow Kondo saw off the storm, and sadly for Koibuchi he pretty much went all in, failing to follow up in round 4. The exhaustion of Koibuchi allowed Kondo back into the bout and in the final 2 rounds. Going to the bell this was a hard one to call, with Kondo getting the nod on the cards. We feel it went the wrong way, but wouldn't argue too much here, very close and well matched bout.
There was no need for judges in the main event as rising star Jin Sasaki (9-0, 8) [佐々木尽] scored his latest win, stopping Tatsuya Miyazaki (9-14-1, 9) [宮崎辰也] in the opening round. Miyazaki went out looking for the upset before being dropped mid-way through the round. Despite the knockdown he got back to his feet, and pressed forward before being knocked loopy in the final seconds of the round, and dangling over the ropes before the referee jumped in.
Following his win it was announced that Sasaki would clash with Aso Ishiwaki (8-2-1, 6) [石脇麻生] on December 26th. The bout is expected to be a JBC Youth title bout at 140lbs. Given the styles of the two men this has the hall marks of a brutal and thrilling bout, and a potential late contender for Fight of the Year. The styles and mentalities of the two should gel and we can't help but think this has the ingredients to be something very special.
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