Earlier today at the Korakuen Hall fight fans got an absolute treat of a show thanks to several brilliant match ups. The card, shown on G+, won't get rave reviews in the West but we do tip our hats to the promoter for the quality of bouts and the excellent match making through the show.
The card had a number of excellent bouts on it, starting with a 6 round war between Rookie of the Year runner up Aso Ishiwaki (5-2-1, 3) [石脇麻生] and the hard hitting Yoji Saito (1-1-1, 1) [齊藤陽ニ]. On paper this wasn't going to be a bout that got many talking unless you followed the Japanese scene, but it was arguably the bout of the card, as both men gave their all. Saito started brilliantly, getting inside and working hard shots up close. It seemed like he would break Ishiwaki down, but instead he began to flag heavily in round 3 as Ishiwaki really began to take the fight to him, and it was Ishiwaki who seemed to do enough to deserve the win after out working Saito over the final 4 rounds. In the end however the judges had the bout a split draw, with scores of 58-56 to Iwshiwaki, 58-57 to Saito and 57-57. We really do need to wonder about the 58-57 card, which we can't come to any defense of, though 57-57 was fair enough, as Saito may have done just enough to edge round 5.
A second notable bout saw 2017 Rookie of the Year winner Hironori Shigeta (6-1-1, 3) [重田裕紀] take a clear decision win over the limited but game Mitsumasa Takahashi (9-6-1, 3) [高橋光政]. The once beaten Shigeta dropped his man in the opening round and put on a bit of a show case of ring control as he easily won the bout, though showed a few flaws that we expect fighters will take advantage of in the future. Although clearly too skilled, too fast and too smart for Takahashi, who constantly brought the pressure, Shigeta does seem like a very lead hand focused southpaw, and does waste movement. Though there is a real talent for his team mould. He won this one 60-54, 60-53 and 59-54.
In a Japanese youth Light Flyweight title eliminator, as Tsuyoshi Sato (9-1-1, 5) [佐藤剛] pressured and broke hard hitting Tetsuya Tomioka (5-4, 5) [富岡哲也]. Tomioka, who has never heard the final bell, was under pressure from the off and after being dropped in round 2 he really had no answer, and was saved by the referee as Sato went to work. Sato is an absolute nightmare to fight and looks like he will clearly be in the mix for titles well beyond youth level in the coming years. He will face the winner of the April 11th bout between Rikito Shiba (2-0, 1) [芝力人] and Hizuki Saso (10-5-1, 3) [佐宗緋月].
The only bout that was actually poor saw Cristiano Aoqui (14-7-2, 10) [アオキ クリスチャーノ] struggle to get going against Filipino Anthony Marcial (24-4-1, 22). This was a disappointing and messy affair, though it did end in very impressive fashion, with Aoqui landing a sensational left hand to knock out Marcial in round 5. It was a highlight to an other forgettable match up.
A second sensational finish came only a few minutes later when hard hitting Middleweight Koki Tyson (14-3-2, 12) [太尊 康輝] took out Thai visitor Chaiwat Mueanphong (4-4, 2) in the second round, with a brutal left hand. Tyson, who was fighting for the first time since joining the Kadoebi gym, impressed here and we're going to look forward to what he does next.
Earlier today saw the announcement of 3 Japanese Youth title eliminator bouts, as the JBC title pictures at Light Flyweight and Super Bantamweight get sorted out.
The Super Bantamweight division had one eliminator announced, a bout between Arashi Iimi (7-1, 7) [飯見嵐], the 2017 East Japan Rookie of the Year winner, and Kenta Nomura (5-2, 2) [野村健太]. These two youngsters will battle on April 1st at the Diamond Glove show. The winner of this match up will then face Toshiki Shimomachi (9-1-2, 5) [下町俊貴] for the vacant title later in the year.
The Light Flyweight division will have two bouts taking place, in what are essentially tournament semi-final bouts for the vacant title, with the winners fighting for the belt later in the year.
One of those bouts will take place on the April 11th Diamond glove card, and will see Rikito Shiba (2-0, 1) [芝力人] battle Hizuki Saso (10-5-1, 3) [佐宗緋月], in a really interesting contest. Shiba was a former amateur standout, who has really exciting since turning professional Saso is much more experienced, and comes into this bout on the back of solid wins over Jeffrey Galero and Desierto Nagaike.
The other Light Flyweight semi-final bout will see the exciting Tsuyoshi Sato (8-1-1, 4) [佐藤剛] take on the big punching Tetsuya Tomioka (5-3, 5) [富岡哲也] in what should be a real war. Sato has a really fun, aggressive style whilst Tomioka is a stop or be stopped fighter, who has only lost to highly regarded fighters in the form of Junto Nakatani, Katsunori Nagamine and Ryuto Oho. This bout will be held on April 6th.
Both of these bouts at 108lbs are really hard to call, though any combination in the final should give us something really special.
Earlier this month we reported that Koki Tyson (13-3-2, 11) [太尊 康輝] would be returning to the ring on April 6th at the next "Slugfest" card, and would be up against a Thai foe. We now know who that Thai will be, and if we're being honest we're actually expecting this to be a solid work out for the favoured Japanese puncher.
Tyson, who hasn't fought since a loss in December 2017 to Yasayuki Akiyama, will be up against the durable Chaiwat Mueanphong (4-3, 2). On paper it's a mismatch, but Chaiwat has given Japanese champion Kazuto Takesako [竹迫司登] his toughest bout, by far, and will be expected to give Tyson a genuine test here, given the long break Tyson's had.
Also confirmed for the card now is a Japanese youth Light Flyweight title eliminator, as Tsuyoshi Sato (8-1-1, 4) [佐藤剛] takes on the hard hitting Tetsuya Tomioka (5-3, 5) [富岡哲也] and the return to the ring of the exciting Cristiano Aoqui (13-7-2, 9) [アオキ クリスチャーノ], following a hand injury he suffered last year.
These bouts fill out a card that will be headlined by Japanese Light Welterweight champion Valentine Hosokawa (24-6-3, 11) [細川バレンタイン] defending his title against mandatory challenger Koki Inoue (12-0, 10) [浩樹井上] and will also feature an excellent contest between Aso Ishiwaki (5-2, 3) [石脇麻生] and Yoji Saito (1-1, 1) [齊藤陽ニ].
For fans wanting to watch this card but can't get to Tokyo, it will be aired live on G+.
Earlier today at the Korakuen Hall fight fans saw an all out war for the Japanese Youth Light Flyweight title, as Ryuto Oho (11-4-1, 3) [大保龍斗] battled against the hard hitting Tetsuya Tomioka (5-3, 5) [富岡哲也] for the vacant title.
The fight started at a brilliant pace with the two men trading blows almost from the off. Oho pressed the action, as if showing no fear of Tomioka's vaunted power, and put the hard hitting man on the back foot. The game plan seemed to be a great success for Oho who seemed to take Tomioka by surprise.
In the middle of the opening round Tomioka had his moments, but they were few and far between.
The second round again saw Oho press Tomioka and make him uncomfortable. Tomioka then began to show weakness, almost running away from the marauding Oho who seemed to smell blood. Tomioka began to hold his ground but was visibly wilting. A left hook followed by a right hand shook Tomioka hard. He then held his feet and took further punishment as Oho went for the kill. To his credit Tomioka stood his ground and fired back, but Oho wasn't to be denied and dropped Oho with a body shot late in the round. Tomioka tried to beat the count but was stopped as corner threw in the towel.
With the TKO scored Oho won his first title, and couldn't hide how much the victory had meant to him. For Tomioka the loss will be a hard one, but given his youth he will almost certainly be back in the near future.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
Tomorrow fight fans at the Korakuen Hall will get the chance to see a Japanese Youth Light Flyweight title fight, with Tetsuya Tomioka (5-2, 5) [富岡哲也] battling against Ryuto Oho (10-4-1, 2) [大保龍斗]. Today, ahead of their bout, the two men took part in their weigh in, and both managed to make the 108lb weight limit.
On the scales both men were bang on the limit of 108lbs and both looked in great shape.
For Oho this is actually a career lowest and he has really fought almost his entire career as a Flyweight, though has fought as high as Super Flyweight. Despite moving down in weight he looked in good shape and seemed confident of winning his first professional title.
As for Tomioka the weight is actually what he has been fighting, though he has dipped his toes at Flyweight a couple of times. Notably the heavy handed youngster will be fighting for the first time in almost a year, following his loss toi Katsunori Nagamine in an absolute barn burner last May.
For fans wanting to watch this bout it will be shown on boxingraise, though we suspect it will be shown on delay and not live, sadly.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
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