Earlier today Japanese fight fans in Shizuoka got the latest show from Suruga Danji and his promotional stable. The event wasn't a huge one, but it was certainly a very interesting one with a lot of notable Japanese prospects on the card, including some who are tipped as future stars and world champions.
With that show now over, we're going to look over the show and cover the results from the event.
The show kicked off with an 8 round bout between the talented, but often over-looked, Tentaro Kimura (7-0-2) [木村 天汰郎] and the "better than his record suggests" Satoru Hoshiba (7-6, 2) [干場悟]. Kimura made this look easy as he controlled the distance and tempo, making the most of his left hook at range and right uppercuts up close. Hoshiba tried to turn things around, coming forward and pressing, but his tactics really were well neutralised by the movement of Kimura who was a ver clear winner, though did seem exhausted in round 8, when he held on a little bit too much for our liking.
After 8 rounds the scores here were 80-72, 79-73 and 77-75.
The second bout on the show saw Narumi Yukawa (3-0, 2) [湯川 成美] score his biggest win since turning professional as he stopped the experienced Yuji Awata (12-9-1, 5) [粟田 祐之] in 4 rounds. Yukawa pressed from the off, and constantly looked to close the distance. The pressure from Yukawa came at a cost early on, as he was dropped from a counter in the opening round, and took a lot of shots as a result of his desire to come forward, but he kept pressing and managed to get a real break through in round 3, when he got inside and started to work the body of Awata. The pressure of Yukawa worked again in round 4, as he hurt his man, backing him up and dropping him with a big left hook.
Whilst it's a worry to see Yukawa being dropped, and we do wonder whether his style is going to be suited to a successful and long career, it's great to see him rebound from a knockdown, stick to his game plan and stopping his man. He needs to tighten up defensively going forward, but there is no doubting how fun he's going to be to watch over the coming years.
The shows first real surprise came in it's third bout as JBC #5 ranked Super Flyweight Tsubasa Murachi (7-1-1, 3) [村地 翼] struggled to a draw against Yuto Nakamura (11-6-2, 8) [中村 祐斗], who had no momentum coming in to the bout. Murachi made a good start, boxing well behind his jab and landing some good right hands to control the first 4 rounds. Despite being out boxed early on Nakamura showed no fear and looked to apply pressure through the bout, pressing and pressuring the touted Murachi, and looking to cut the ring off. In the second half of the fight that pressure began to tell as Nakamura racked up the later rounds, making up for losing the earlier ones. After 8 rounds this was a hard one to call, and it showed on the scorecards which were 78-74, Murachi, 77-75 Nakamura, and 76-76, resulting in a split decision draw.
The chief support bout saw second generation fighter Kento Hatanaka (12-0, 9) [畑中 建人] score his latest win as he took an 8 round decision over the tough Daisuke Sudo (7-8-3) [須藤大介]. Hatanaka, who hadn't fought since February 2020, looked to land crisp left uppercuts up close. Sudo, who likely knew he wouldn't be able to compete with Hatanaka in a boxing contest, looked to make this a war, getting inside when he could and attacking the body in the pocket. That style made this an exciting bout, but Hatanaka's uppercutts up close, and good combinations caught the eye, even if the fight was fought where Sudo wanted it. After 8 rounds Sudo had done enough to take a few rounds, but not make it competitive, and the scorecards were 79-73, twice, and 78-74 all to Hatanaka, who we suspect will be looking to land a Japanese title fight in 2022.
The main event saw the talented Rentaro Kimura (5-0, 3) [木村蓮太朗] get the biggest test of his career, and narrowly come away with a win as he over-came the huge punching Yoji Saito (3-2-2, 3) [齊藤陽ニ] in a hotly contested 8 rounder.
In the opening round Saito's power was the telling fact as he landed a huge right hook, dropping Kimura for the first time in his career. The knockdown was the perfect start for Saito, and a wake up call to Kimura, who realised that he couldn't take risks with someone as heavy handed as Saito. In rounds 2 and 3 Kimura battled back well, winning both rounds with his boxing, speed and skills, to essentially undo the 10-8 opening round. Sadly for Kimura he was dropped again towards the end of round 4, as he found himself in a hole for the second time in the fight.
In round 5 Kimura, who knew he couldn't afford any more slip ups, changed tactics, and rather than boxing, he took the fight to Saito, neutralising the power but smothering the heavy handed Saito. Saito had some success up close, but it was Kimura was regularly getting the better of things, whilst also preventing Saito from getting full purchase on his shots. The final 4 rounds were brilliant, and showed that there was a real fighter in Kimura, who did just enough to earn the decision, with scores of 76-74, twice, and 75-75, to get the majority decision.
The plan for Kimura is to get a title fight next year, and this was the perfect gut check for him before a title bout. He needs to tighten up his defense, he needs to appreciate opponents, like Saito, who are dangerous, but there is no doubting his heart, determination and skills. As for Saito he's one of those fighters with a very misleading record, and he is a devastating puncher, who is a threat to anyone at 130 or 135 in Japan.
Earlier today Japanese fight fans at the legendary Korakuen Hall saw once beaten hopeful Tsubasa Murachi (6-1, 3) [村地翼] take one of the most notable wins of his young career, as he over-came Isao Aoyama (12-8-1, 3) [青山功] in their scheduled 8 rounder.
The bout started with both men being aggressive and both looking like they had a point to prove. Aoyama used his jab well, whilst Murachi looked to work the body. Sadly the opening round saw a clash of heads that left Aoyama cut over the right eye, and marred the bout very early on. Despite the cut though he fought on.
In round 2 the men traded punches at mid-range in an exciting back and forth, though it really seemed like Murachi was heavier handed, stronger, quicker and the cleaner puncher. Aoyama was very much in the round, but seemed to be taking more than he was giving. That seemed to be the case through rounds 3 and 4, with Murachi establishing an early lead.
In round 5 Aoyama picked up his pace, in a notably tactical change, but it was one that Murachi dealt with well, tightening his guard and hammering Aoyama's body with some big shots, whilst also worsening the cut of Aoyama's which was starting to get nasty, That cut would go on to force the end of the bout early in round 7 and take up to the scorecards.
Unsurprisingly, given he had looked the boss for much of the bout, Murachi got the win, with scores of 68-65, 69-65 and 70-64, and we should see him get a solid boost up the Japanese rankings in the new year.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
Tomorrow fight fans at Korakuen Hall get an intriguing show, with one of the under-card bouts being an excellent match up between the once beaten Tsubasa Murachi (5-1, 3) [村地翼] and the under-rated Isao Aoyama (12-7-1, 3) [青山功], in what will be a clash between two JBC ranked fighters.
Coming in to this one Murachi, ranked #19 by the JBC at Bantamweight, will be looking to score his second win since a losing to Froilan Saludar in a WBO Asia Pacific title bout in 2019. On the scales he weighed in at 116.6lbs, coming in .2lbs under the contracted weight for the bout.
Despite being knocked out by Saludar the 23 year old Murachi bounced back well in September, when he comfortably out pointed Ryotaro Kawabata over 8 rounds, in a very polished 8 round performance. He'll be looking for something similar here.
Aoyama, who is ranked #11 by the JBC at Super Flyweight hit the scales at the same weight, coming in at one of his heavier weights. He is lighter than he was in his most recent loss, a TKO3 defeat to Ikuro Sadatsune in October 2018, but heavier than he was in his January win over Marzon Cabilla.
Whilst the winner of this isn't expected to be moved directly into a title fight, the winner will be just a few wins away from a potential domestic fight and on paper this could end up being the show stealing bout. Both men have a point to prove, and both will be coming into this looking to move their career's forward towards a big and exciting 2021.
The bout will be part of tomorrow's Diamond Glove show and may see highlights shown on Tape delay over the weekend on Fuji TV.
(Image credit - Suruga Danji)
Back in September we reported that Tsubasa Murachi (5-1, 3) [村地翼] and stablemate Rentaro Kimura (2-0, 2) [木村蓮太朗], who both notched wins on September 27th, would be back in action on December 10th at Korakuen Hall.
Earlier this week we broke the news that Kimura's opponent for that show would be Thunder Teruya (7-7-1, 4) [照屋雄太], who has really turned his career around after a 2-6-1 start, with the two men set to fight in an 8 round bout.
Now we can also reveal that Murachi has seemingly had his opponent named!
From what we understand Murachi will take on Isao Aoyama (12-7-1, 3) [青山功] in an 8 round bout at 53KG's, which is a contracted weight just under 117lbs.
For Murachi the bout will be his second since losing to Froilan Saludar in a WBO Asia Pacific Super Flyweight title bout, which really came too soon in his career. For Aoyama the bout will see him getting a chance to build on a January win over Marzon Cabilla. On paper Aoyama will be the under-dog, but he is 3-1 in his last 4 and is no push over, giving the likes of Akinori Hoshino and Keisuke Nakayama really good, close, and competitive bouts.
Murachi's bout with Aoyama and Kimura's bout with Teruya, will be part of a show that will be headlined by Japanese Light Welterweight champion Daishi Nagata (15-2-1, 6) [永田大士] defending his title against Akihiro Kondo (32-9-1, 18) [近藤 明広]. The show will take place under the Diamond Glove banner, with bouts shown on tape delay on Fuji TV.
Earlier today we saw a a live show being streamed from Shizuoka in which a number of talented youngsters were given a chance to shine. Following the card the promoter held a press conference revealed that two of the men on the show have already got the date for their next bouts set.
One of those men is Tsubasa Murachi (5-1, 3) [村地翼], who took an 8 round decision win over the tough and rugged Ryotaro Kawabata (12-4-2, 6) [川端遼太郎].
The talented Murachi, who was last seen in the ring around a year ago when he was stopped by Froilan Saludar, looked really great here as he pretty much won every round. The talented youngster looked sharp, quick and like the confident fighter who had impressed fans in his first 4 bouts and didn't look like he had any mental damage from the loss to Saludar.
Whilst Murachi was in the main event of the show the real high light was seeing the insanely talented Rentaro Kimura (2-0, 2) [木村蓮太朗] put on a genius level performance as he took apart the ridiculously tough Takafumi Iwaya (4-4) [岩屋卓史]. The iron chinned Iwaya took a pounding from round 1 to late in round 5, when Iwaya's team finally threw in the towel saving their man.
At the post fight press conference it was revealed that both men will be back in the ring on December 10th on a show at Korakuen Hall.
For Murachi there was no other details other than the when and where, but in regards to Kimura we did learn that the contest will be his first 8 rounder as he looks to move towards his first title fights.
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