Yabuki stops Simsri in 7 rounds
Earlier today fight fans in Mie saw former WBC Light Flyweight champion Masamichi Yabuki (14-4, 13) [佐藤政道] get back to winning ways, as he stopped the previously unbeaten Thanongsak Simsri (23-1, 21) in 7 rounds, in the main event of a Midori promoted card.
On paper the bout was a wonderfully poised and well matched one. It was a bout pitting a former world champion who had been dominated in a recent title loss, a TKO3 loss to Kenshiro Teraji, and had spoken about retirement, against a rising contender who was widely regarded as one of the hottest young talents in Thailand. In the ring however things never seemed all that competitive, though their was always a sense of tension.
The opening round saw both men looking to find their angles for big shots, and the fans immediately got excited by the knowledge that this promises a lot. By the end of the first round both men had found the room for a some heavy leather, but it was limited, with Yabuki's right hand being the most notable. In the second round Yabuki's right hand landed again, this time dropping Simsri, just moments after Simsri landed a good left hook. Simsri beat the count, but never looked the same fighter afterwards, with Yabuki getting behind his jab and controlling much of round 3 without taking much in return.
Simsri, knowing he was behind, had good success in round 4, but struggled to get going in round 5, as Yabuki's jab landed regularly, and in round 6 Simsri was sent down for the second time, this time from a series of shots. Simsri was down again in round 7, from a brutal right hand, with the referee waving the bout off with Simsri on the canvas.
After the bout Yabuki explained that he had hurt his pelvis in round 3, and had then began to focus on boxing and moving, happy to go 10 rounds rather than risk himself up close. After dropping Simsri for the second time he changed his mind and realised he could finish his man off and not go through the schedule. He also, seemingly admitted, that if he lost, his career was likely over, whilst the win has kept his career alive and he;s looking to fight for another world title, either at 108lbs or 112lbs.
As for Simsri he admitted his plan changed after being dropped early on, an it seemed like the first knockdown really threw his confidence. He got a break, with Yabuki's pelvis injury, but it wasn't one that he could use to turn the bout around.
Yabuki and Simsri make weight
Tomorrow we'll see former WBC Light Flyweight champion Masamichi Yabuki (13-4, 12) [佐藤政道] look to bounce back from losing the WBC title to Kenshiro Teraji, as he takes on unbeaten Thai puncher Thanongsak Simsri (23-0, 21) in Mie Prefecture.
Today, ahead of that clash, the two men took part in their weigh in, and both men made the 110.23lb weight limit with no issues at all.
On the scale Yabuki was the heavier man, coming in bang on the limit, whilst Simsri was ever so slightly lighter, at 110lbs. Both men looked fantastic on the scales, with Ybauki revealing that he was spot on for the weight yesterday, so didn't need to drop anything this morning, and Simsri explaining that his weight loss went smoothly, and had no no issues at all.
Notably Yabuki oozed confidence, which was a mild surprise given his bout with Kenshiro earlier this year. He looked to be carrying no mental baggage at all from that loss, and stated that he wasn't overwhelmed by the situation, was going to enjoy the fight, and expected to win in 4 or 5 rounds, if Simsri is the type of fighter he thinks he is. Which makes it sound like he's expecting something of a fun, wild shoot out in the early going.
Back in May the Midori Gym announced that former WBC Light Flyweight champion Masamichi Yabuki (13-4, 12) [佐藤政道] would be returning in August, to take on Thanongsak Simsri (23-0, 21) in Kariya City. Today however we were informed that plans had changed, and that return for Yabuki would no longer be taking place in August or Kariya.
Instead the plan now is for Yabuki to face Simsri in Mie Prefecture on September 10th.
Whilst the bout has been delayed, and scheduled for a whole different city, it seems there is some logic to the madness, with the bout now set to be aired on local TV with, Mie Television now being set to carry the bout. Certainly an improvement from no TV airing it
Earlier today the Midori Gym in Nagoya announced the return of former WBC Light Flyweight champion Masamichi Yabuki (13-4, 12) [佐藤政道], for what will be his first bout since his March loss to Kenshiro Teraji (19-1, 11) [寺地 拳四朗]. Notably Yabuki isn't taking a confidence boosting easy bout for his return, but is instead being thrown in at the deep, as he takes on unbeaten world title contender Thanongsak Simsri (23-0, 21), from Thailand, in Kariya City, Japan, on August 11th.
The hard hitting Yabuki took part in a press conference to announce the bout earlier today.
At the press conference it was revealed that Yabuki was on the verge of retiring after his loss to Kenshiro, but decided about 2 weeks later that he wanted to continue his career. He had also revealed that he didn't want to fight someone limited, and where a win was taken for granted. Instead he was matched with the Thai youngster, and he revealed that he had scouted the Thai, stating "I saw him on YouTube, he's a good fighter with a good intuition". He also explained that he wanted to get back to his style of using his feet and countering, something he changed for the two Kenshiro bouts.
Notably the bigger plan seems to be for Yabuki to move back into world title action sooner rather than later, and his promoter explained that "depending on how he wins, we are thinking about the world title bout next."
A win however, is not a foregone conclusion and Simsri is no newbie to Japan. In fact the Thai has been co-promoted by Japanese outfit Green Tsuda, and he has fought three times in the country. He was also supposed to have fought there in late 2020, against WBA Light Flyweight "Super" champion Hiroto Kyoguchi [京口 紘人], with that bout being cancelled at the 11th hour when Kyoguchi tested positive for Covid. Since the he hasn't fought in Japan, but the Thai has been busy, running up 9 wins, all by stoppage, in Thailand. His recent wins have been at a low level, but wins over Ricardo Sueno and Christian Bacolod do show that he has got the potential to go on to big things, and a win against Yabuki would put him right in line for a shot at a world title later in the year.
Interestingly, despite both men being world ranked Light Flyweights, this bout is being fought at a contracted 50KG's, which is around 110.23lbs, and will be a scheduled 10 rounder.
Earlier today our good friend Julius Julianis reported that WBA Light Flyweight "super" champion Hiroto Kyoguchi (15-0, 10) [京口 紘人] had been ordered to defend his title against recently crowned "regular" champion Esteban Bermudez (14-3-2, 10), who shocked the boxing world in May with a huge upset against Carlos Canizales.
According to Jake Donovan, writing for Boxing Scene, the two teams have been told that they have until July 11th to reach a deal for the fight before it goes to purse bids. Sadly the bout is reported to be an over-due mandatory, meaning wiggle room for a potential unification bout between Kyoguchi and WBO champion Elwin Soto isn't really there in the way fans had hoped.
Kyoguchi has held the WBA title since the very end of 2018, when he stopped Hekkie Budlerand since winning the title he had made 3 defenses, including one previous mandatory, against fellow Japanese fighter Tetsuya Hisada [久田 哲也] in 2019. Since winning the title he has signed with Matchroom, made his US debut, beating Axel Aragon Vega back in March, and become one of the main faces in Japanese boxing.
Bermudez on the other hand was a complete unknown until he upset Canizales around 2 weeks ago. There was very, very little of note on his record, with his most noteworthy win, prior to the Canizales bout, being a KO over former WBC Minimumweight champion Oswaldo Novoa. Against Kyoguchi he will go in as a massive under-dog, but would get a very, very big opportunity, and a likely career high pay day.
Sadly for Thai youngster Thanongsak Simsri (15-0, 13), who was supposed to face Kyoguchi last year before the champion tested positive for Covid19, it appears that his wait for a shot at the Japanese champion will be extended again, and it may well be that we never actually end up seeing that fight.
News! We try and give you the most interesting news stories from the Asian boxing world!