NOTE THIS WILL FEATURE SPOILERS FOR A BOUT WHICH HAS NOT YET BEEN AIRED IN THE UK, LATIN AMERICA OR AUSTRALIA. IT HAS JUST BEEN AIRED IN JAPAN AT THE TIME OF WRITING. IF YOU DO NOT WISH TO KNOW THE RESULT CLOSE THE PAGE AND DO NOT READ BEYOND THIS PARAGRAPH. THIS IS ALL ABOUT THE WBO ASIA PACIFIC BANTAMWEIGHT TITLE BOUT BETWEEN YUKI STRONG KOBAYASHI AND DAIGO HIGA.
Later today we'll see WBO Super Flyweight champion Kazuto Ioka (25-2, 14) [井岡一翔] defending his belt against Kosei Tanaka (15-0, 9) [田中恒成] in the highly anticipated year ending Japanese super fighter. Before that bout however there were several under-card bouts taking place at Ota-City General Gymnasium.
The bout that opened the show was an 8 round Super Flyweight bout which saw Yuki Nakajima (4-1-1, 4) [中嶋 憂輝] fight to a majority decision draw again Toma Kondo (8-6-1, 1) [近藤 冬真]. The opening round saw Nakajima using his feet whilst Kondo looked to get inside. Kondo managed to gain some early momentum in rounds 2 and 3 before Nakajima finally began to settle down, and go to the body in round 4, with with some real success. The body work seemed to see Nakajima take control through the middle rounds, but in round 7 Kondo began to find his second wind as he dug deep. With the fine finely poised they went to war in round 8, fighting tooth and nail with each other.
After 8 rounds the judges couldn't split them, with two judges having the bout even, at 76-76, and the third having the contest 77-75 to Kondo.
The second bout was the WBO Asia Pacific Bantamweight title bout, which saw the title change hands as Yuki Strong Kobayashi (16-9, 9) [ストロング小林佑樹] was destroyed by former WBC Flyweight champion Daigo Higa (17-1-1, 17) [比嘉 大吾].
Higa, who had looked less than stellar in his two previous Bantamweight bouts, including his October draw with Seiya Tsutsumi, found a home for his uppercut almost immediately, and he couldn't miss with it. Round after round his uppercuts connected cleanly, to both head and body. This looked more like the Higa we had all fallen in love with when he was a Flyweight, and not the man who had been forced up to Bantamweight. Kobayashi seemed to feel that the smartest gameplan was to try and get in close to Higa, which just played into Higa's strengths, and short concise combination punching and stiff shots on the inside. It was, potentially, the right game plan, but the gulf in speed, power and the crispness of the shots from the two men, saw Kobayashi punished round after round.
In round 5 Higa landed 2 brilliant right uppercuts, sending Kobayashi down for the count at the 45 second mark of round 5.
For those unsure whether Higa can cut it at Bantamweight, this bout suggests he might be able to, at least against the right fighters.
Following Higa's win Japanese fans in the venue were treat to what was described as a spectacular bout, as Ryohei Arakawa (7-4-1, 4) [荒川 竜平] out pointed 36 year old Wolf Nakano (6-8-4, 2) [中野ウルフ]. The bout was exciting from the off, with Arakawa setting a high tempo and Nakano trying to to respond. Nakano was dropped twice early on, but refused to quit, and came back strong as he looked to avenge the knockdowns. This caused an already exciting fight to feel even more dramatic, especially at the end of round 5, when Arakawa was in all sorts of trouble and seemed to be saved by the bell. Arakawa was hurt again in round 6, but survived the scare and survived to the final bell.
Despite Nakano's late fight back all 3 judges had the bout scored 57-55 to Arakawa, who takes an excellent win over the #15 ranked Japanese Flyweight.
Earlier today Kadoebi revealed that two bouts scheduled for their October 14th show at Korakuen Hall have had to be cancelled due to injuries, though the show will still go ahead.
Kadoebi first announced that scheduled 8 round bout between Yuki Nakajima (4-1, 4) [中嶋憂輝] and Toma Kondo (8-6, 1) [近藤冬真] had been cancelled. The cancellation here was down to Kondo suffering an injury in training forcing him to be pulled from the show. It's an unfortunate injury, though Kadoebi did state that this bout was "postponed", rather than out right cancelled, so there is hope that the bout could be back on later in the year. Of course that depends on the severity of Kondo's injury and how long he'll be away from the gym for.
The other was a scheduled 4 rounder between Tsuyoshi Kato (1-2) [加藤剛] and Yuto Sasaki (2-6-1, 1) [佐々木悠登], this was supposed to be the second bout on the event and appears more likely to be outright cancelled than just postponed.
With these cancellations the show will now only have 4 bouts on it, however the promoters have added a 2 round exhibition to the event, with Teruya Iimura [飯村 樹輝弥] and Jun Ikegawa [池側 純] set to partake in a special spar on the show.
Earlier today in Mie Japanese fight fans were given a small Japanese card.
The first notable bout on the card saw former OPBF Super Bantamweight champion Roli Gasca (25-8-1, 8) defeat Shuma Sugawara (6-2, 4) [菅原秀馬] in an 8 round contest. The bout, Gasca's first since November 2017, saw him starting quietly getting a read on Sugawara who tried to establish his distance. After a quiet opening round Gasca began to find his range, and landed several straights. That drew a response from Sugawara though it was Gasca who seemed to get the last work, with a good right hook landing cleanly. Sugawara tried to turn the fight around with, but his lack of a jab made life easy for the experienced and skilled Gasca, who landed straight shots as and when he wanted.
With Gasca well in the lead after Sugawara tried to turn things around in the final round, but he was unable to trap the smart Gasca, who used good footwork to see out Sugawara's offensive charge. After 8 rounds it was a clear win for Gasca, with scores of 80-73, 79-73 and 78-74.
The main event of the show saw Youth Super Flyweight champion Yuto Nakamura (10-5, 7) [中村祐斗] successfully defending his title against Toma Kondo (7-5, 1) [近藤冬真], in a nail biter.
The fight was a hard to one to split from the off, with two of the judges having the bout even after 4 rounds, The champion looked to establish control behind his jab but the challenger brought the action and had more than his share of success, responding to everything Nakamura did. The fight wasn't just competitive early on but also in the second half, with Nakamura tagging the body of Kondo whilst Kondo pressed, especially in round 8. It was a nip and tuck affair, and that showed on the scorecards with scores of 77-75 to Nakamura, 77-76 to Kondo and a deciding score of 78-75 to Nakamura, who retained his title with a split decision here.
Tomorrow is an insanely busy day for fight fans in Japan, with shows across a number of regions.
One of the easy-to-overlook shows takes place in Messe Mie, in Tsu. The main bout for that card is a Japanese Youth Super Flyweight title bout, featuring Yuto Nakamura (9-5, 7) [中村祐斗] defending his title against Toma Kondo (7-4, 1) [近藤冬真].
Earlier today both Nakamura and Kondo took part in their weigh in, and both made weight.
On the scales Nakamura, who is making his first defense, came in at at around 114.7lbs, whilst Kondo was the lighter man, at 114.4lbs.
For fans wanting to watch this it will be featured on demand on Boxing Raise.
Related-Nakamura seeks first defense of youth crown, faces Kondo
Image courtesy of boxmob)
Earlier today Boxing Raise updated the schedule of shows they will have for this month. Sadly there is only a single live card, though there is 4 different shows to be added on Video on Demand (VOD).
The first show which is set to be added is Gouken 15, which took place earlier today in Sakai city, the card features Daiki Tomita [冨田大樹], former world title challengers Jeffrey Galero and Hiroshige Osawa [大沢宏晋] and the hard matched Daisuke Watanabe [渡部大介].
The second show to be added will be the April 14th card from Mie, headlined by Japanese Youth Super Flyweight champion Yuto Nakamura (9-5, 7) [中村祐斗] defending his title against Toma Kondo (7-4, 1) [近藤冬真] and also featuring former OPBF Super Bantamweight champion Roli Gasca (24-8-1, 8) battling against once beaten Shuma Sugawara (6-1, 4) [菅原秀馬].
The live show comes on April 14th, when we get the long awaited Japanese Bantamweight title unification bout between Yuta Saito (11-9-3, 8) [齊藤裕太] and Hayato Kimura (28-10, 19) [木村隼人]. Although this is live, it will later become available on demand for those unable to watch the show live next Sunday.
On the 20th of April we'll see the Harada promoted card on demand. This card is headlined by an excellent match up between Kosuke Saka (18-4, 15) [坂晃典] and Japanese-Filipino Joe Noynay (16-2-1, 5) who will battle for the WBO Asia Pacific Super Featherweight title. Also on this card will be Tetsuya Hisada (33-9-2, 19) [久田 哲也].
The final card to be added to the service this month will be the April 28th card from Okayama, Japan. This card will be headlined by Seigo Yuri Akui (12-2-1, 8) [阿久井政悟] and Yoshiki Minato (8-1, 3) [湊義生] with a mouth watering support bout between Tetsu Araki (13-1-1, 2) [荒木哲] and Atsushi Takada (6-0-3, 3) [高田篤志], who battle for the Japanese Youth Bantamweight title.
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