Earlier today the Ohashi gym announced some more details for their October 25th show, "NTT Phoenix Battle 93", which will take place at Korakuen Hall.
The card, which be headlined by former world IBF Super Bantamweight world champion Ryosuke Iwasa (27-4, 17) [岩佐亮佑] facing Genesis Servania (34-3, 16), had previously some bouts announced for it. The aforementioned Iwasa Vs Servania bout, which will headline, and an OPBF Flyweight title bout between current champion Giemel Magramo (26-2, 21) defending his title, for the first time, as he takes on once beaten Japanese fighter Taku Kuwahara (10-1, 6) [桑原拓].
Today we saw Kazuki Nakajima (12-1-1, 10) [嶋 一輝] being added to the show, with Nakajima scheduled to face Thai visitor Chaiwat Buatkrathok (38-6, 25), in what looks like a good bout on paper but ignores the fact the Thai's record is one of the most padded in the entire sport. We also saw former OPBF Minimumweight champion Tsubasa Koura (15-2, 10) [小浦 翼] being added to the show, though at the time of writing his opponents is yet to be confirmed for the show.
Earlier this week it was announced that the planned August 31st bout between WBC Minimumweight champion Panya Pradabsri (38-1, 23), aka Petchmanee Kokietgym, and former OPBF Minimumweight champion Tsubasa Koura (15-2, 10) [小浦 翼] had been cancelled.
Although that specific bout has been cancelled it has also been confirmed that Panya will still be defending his title at the end of August, however he will now be defending against Norihito Tanaka (20-8, 10) [田中教仁], instead of Koura.
The bout was announced in Japan earlier yesterday by Misako Gym, the gym that manages Tanaka, who held a press conference to announce the bout, and explained that Tanaka had gotten the call for the contest about a month ago.
For Panya the bout will serve as his third defense of the WBC title, which he famously won in November 2020 when he defeated Wanheng Menayothin, and he will be looking to further strengthen his claim as one of the divisional elite. As for Tanaka this will be his second shot at a world title, following a loss in 2020 when he lost to Knockout CP Freshmart.
Notably Japanese fighters are 0-25-1 in world title bouts in Thailand, and history is certainly not on Tanaka's side going into this bout.
Knockout Vs Wanheng announced! Petchmanee to defend WBC title against Tsubasa Koura!
Earlier this week Petchyindee Gym announced the next defenses for their two Minimumweight world champions, and both bouts are genuinely excellent ones.
The bigger of the two bouts will see WBA "super" champion Knockout CP Freshmart (23-0, 9) defending his title against former long term WBC champion Wanheng Menayothin (55-2-0-1, 19), with the bout set for July 20th in Chonburi.
This is a bout many called for when both fighters were unbeaten world champions, and although it's now come when Wanheng has lost the WBC title, it's fair to say that many who have seen his two losses, both to Panya Pradabsri, will feel he should still be unbeaten, with both of those losses being close, controversial and somewhat harsh on Wanheng.
For Wanheng the bout will be his first since a strange no contest back in May against Jinnawat Rienpit, and he will be looking for his first win since last November, when he stopped Rienpit in 3 rounds. As for Knockout the bout will be his first since stopping Robert Paradrro last December, in what was a very fun 5 round shoot out.
The other bout announced will see the aforementioned Panya Pradabsri (38-1, 23), aka Petchmanee Kokietgym, defending his WBC title against former OPBF Minimumweight champion Tsubasa Koura (15-2, 10) [小浦 翼], who is looking to bounce back from a recent loss to Yudai Shigeoka. This bout will take place on August 31st , and will be Panya's third defense of the title whilst Koura will be getting his first world title bout.
Earlier today at Korakuen Hall fight fans had the chance to see a new WBO Asia Pacific champion being crowned as unbeaten youngster Yudai Shigeoka (4-0, 2) [重岡優大] faced off with former OPBF Minimumweight champion Tsubasa Koura (15-2, 10) [小浦 翼] in a mouth watering match up.
On paper it was a massive leap up in class for Shigeoka, in his first 12 rounder, and it was a chance for the once touted Koura to get his career back on track following a shock 2019 loss to Lito Dante and 21 months of inactivity due to the pandemic. For both men it was expected to be a bout where they each had to prove themselves and show what they were capable of, answer some serious questions and move their career onwards and upwards towards a potential world title fight.
Whilst it was interesting on paper, it proved to be even more interesting in the ring.
From the opening round we saw both men showing technical skills and patience, as they looked to figure each other out. Koura's jab seemed to be the key punch through the opening round, but Shigeoka got through with the odd solid shot himself, including a very good body shot. It wasn't the most action packed of opening rounds, but it was a tense one, with both men showing a lot of respect to the other. Despite the tempo being slow in the opening round things began to step up in round 2 as both men began to feel more comfortable and let their shots go. It was Shigeoka who seemed to land the better shots during rounds 2, 3 and 4. Despite Shigeoka landing the better shots, Koura was always in the bout, landing his share of right hands through the round. Sadly for him however he looked rusty and like a man who probably needed a tune up bout before this one.
After 4 rounds Shigeoka was leading 39-36 on two of the cards, whilst the third judge had it 39-36 in favour of Koura.
In the middle rounds Koura's experience began to show as the two men spent more time fighting close up, with Koura holding, fighting on the inside and trying to rough up Shigeoka, with some good success. Shigeoka looked the heavier handed fighter, and the one landing the better quality blows for the most part, but Koura was backing him up, and getting to him more and more success. It seemed as if the bout was turning, and by the end of round 8 there was very, very little in it. Koura had closed the gap on to of the score cards, which were now 76-76, and was leading on the third card. It looked like his experience was going to be the difference maker.
Going into the final 4 rounds it seemed the momentum was with Koura and that looked even more like the case when Koura took round 9. Amazingly however Shigeoka gritted his teeth and knowing he was behind he began to do what fighters do, and made it his fight. He changed things up, upped the tempo in the final quarter of the fight and fought like a man desperate to prove himself. Sadly round 10 was marred by some ugly action, headclashes and general stop-start fighting, but the quality shots almost all came from Shigeoka, who was bullying Koura at times. It was messy, but it had moments, including a gorgeous left hand from Shigeoka that seemed to buckle the legs of Koura. Koura tried to make things dirty late in round 11, but he seemed desperately was was struggling to actually land anything of note during the round, instead he looked wild, tired and like a man who had given his all to fight his way back into the bout, but had little left to offer against the more physical Shigeoka. That showed to be the case again in rounds 12 as Shigeoka again landed the few telling blows, and pushed Koura around in the many clinches.
This was interesting, it was competitive, and at times it was incredibly ugly. It lacked quality in the later stages, it showed that both men were still very flawed, and that while talented both have a lot of work to do. It showed that Shigeoka's lack of experience, especially in terms of rounds, was a major issue whilst Koura's lack of stamina and recent activity was also a problem.
After 12 rounds we went to the scorecards, and the judges turned in scores of 115-113, twice, in favour of Shigeoka whilst the third judge had the bout even, giving Shigeoka the majority decision win, the WBO Asia Pacific title, and a really hard fought, character experience.
After the bout Koura stated he wanted a rematch, and we suspect that could happen down the line.
As for Shigeoka he seemed a little bit frustrated at his performance, but he seemed to take a lot of positives from the victory as well, and it does need to be said that he had never gone beyond 6 rounds prior to this bout, showing just how much of a step up in class this was for him.
Shigeoka and Koura make weight for regional title bout; Sadatsune Vs Sawada II - OFF!
Tomorrow at Korakuen Hall we'll see a new WBO Asia Pacific Minimumweight champion being crowned as Yudai Shigeoka (3-0, 2) [重岡優大] takes on former OPBF Minimumweight champion Tsubasa Koura (15-1, 10) [小浦 翼] for the vacant title. Today, ahead of their bout, the two men took part in their weigh, and both fighters made the 105lb limit for the bout with no issues,
On the scales Shigeoka was the heavier man, weighing in bang on the limit. He looked in amazing shape for the bout, and explained that he had sparred more than usual for this contest, adding that it is an important bout and will to a boxing life for him. For Shigeoka this will be the first time he has been scheduled for 12 rounds, and he seemed very confident that it wouldn't be an issue, explaining that he wants to fight for 12 rounds, and suggested he'd take a decision win
Koura, the more experienced of the two men, was around 104.5lbs on the scales, and he seemed in just as good condition and shape as Shigeoka. To prepare for the bout he has done around 90 rounds of sparring, though this will be his first bout since February 2020, and it's hard to know what such a long lay off will do to him. Notably he has been busy out of the ring, and he had his first child back in July, thoufgh whether being a dad changes Koura as a fighter is yet to be seen. For him the bout is about stepping towards a world title fight, and that appears to be a driving force for victory, along with his newly born son.
Sadly a second scheduled title bout for this show, a rematch between Kyosuke Sawada (14-2-2, 6) [澤田京介] and Ikuro Sadatsune (11-4-4, 4) [定常 育郎] for the Japanese Bantamweight title, has been cancelled after Sadatsune was unable to make it to the weigh in. He was, reportedly taken to hospital and was obviously unfit to fight tomorrow.
For fans wanting to watch Koura Vs Shigeoka, it will be shown live on subscription service Boxing Raise.
Related - Tsubasa Koura and Yudai Shigeoka clash for WBO Asia Pacific title!
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