Earlier today at Korakuen Hall we got the latest show from the Ohashi Gym and it's was a much anticipated one with several notable bouts on the show including a Japanese Youth Super Flyweight title bout, a bout between two Rookie of the Year winners, a bout with a destructive Japanese ranked Featherweight and a Japanese Youth champion in action.
The card began with two low key 4 round bouts. The first of those saw Fubuki Sakata (1-0) [酒田 風吹] take a 4 round decision win over Hideaki Kobayashi (0-3-1) [小林 英明], and the bout was a pretty one sided one with Sakata pretty much winning every minute, of every round, of the 4 rounder.
The second 4 rounder almost went the distance, but ended when Rei Atsuchi (1-0, 1) [厚地 嶺] poured on the pressure late in round 4, forcing the referee to save Yuki Kajitani (2-3, 2) [梶谷 有樹], with just over 30 seconds of the bout left.
The first of the really interesting match ups pit the 2019 All Japan Minimumweight Rookie of the year against the 2020 winner as Katsuki Mori (9-0, 2) [森 且貴] clashed with Ren Kojima (6-2-2) [小島 蓮]. Through the early stages the men were relatively even, but that changed when Mori began to find a home for his left hand to the body of Kojima late in round 2. From there on Mori really did a number of Kojima's body, which weakened Kojima for head shots later in the bout. In round 5 Kojima was being used for target practice, with Mori not closing the show until the final minute of the bout. The polished performance from Mori was very good and this is the first time he's stopped someone since scoring a stoppage in his debut.
In another notable bout Japanese Youth Welterweight champion Takeru Kobata (10-5-1, 4) [小畑 武尊] defeated Tetsuya Kondo (6-3, 4) [近藤 哲哉] in a very competitive 8 rounder. Kobata, who wasn't defending his title here, seemed to settle into the bout well, but Kondo managed to get his man's attention towards the end of round 1, and again in round 3, leaving Kobata feeling a bit worse for wear. From there on it was a battle of attrition, with Kondo running out of stamina down the stretch. To his credit Kondo gave everything he had left in the final round, but it wasn't enough and Kobata took the 8 round decision.
In the chief support bout the huge punching Tsuyoshi Tameda (22-6-2, 20) [溜田 剛士] got back to winning ways as he destroyed Soreike Taichi (7-5, 5) [それいけ太一] in the second round. The first round was a good one for Tameda, who dropped his man, who recovered to his feet. In round 2 however a huge counter right hand from Tameda absolutely detonated on Taichi, send him down hard and forcing the referee to wave the bout off.
We then get on to the main event, which was a Japanese Youth Super Flyweight title bout between former amateur standout Ryutaro Nakagaki (2-0-1, 2) [中垣龍汰朗] and hard hitting teenager Ayumu Hanada (6-0-1, 4) [花田 歩夢]. This bout had massive expectations on it going in, but exceeded those expectations in what was a brilliant 8 rounder that saw both men showing what was in their arsenal.
The first round was a scouting mission for both, but from then on the bout picked up, with Nakagaki finding his range in round 2 and Hanada finding room for his right hand in round 3. They they began to showcase sensational boxing skills, with quick sharp jabs, excellent defensive skills and counter boxing. Then we got to the middle of the fight and the pace from both began to increase, and increase giving us a brilliant final couple of rounds the moment shifted back and forth. Hanada managed to land several big right hands up top and lefts to the body, slowing Nakagaki down, before Nakagaki ended up getting a second wind in the final round.
After 8 rounds this was scored 78-74, Nakagaki, and 76-76, twice, resulting in a majority draw. A draw that leaves the title vacant and leaves both men unbeaten and both men seemed to be aware that they had areas to work on. Fingers crossed that down the line we'll get a second chapter in this rivalry between two of the brightest hopefuls in Japanese boxing.
Earlier tpoday Ohashi Gym announced their next Phoenix Battle show, Phoenix Battle 78, which will take place on July 8th at Korakuen Hall and it's a brilliant card with two Japanese Youth title bouts, as well as several other notable fighters on the lower end of the show.
The main event of the card will be a Japanese Youth Super Flyweight bout pitting two of the hottest young talented in Japan against each other, with former amateur standout Ryutaro Nakagaki (2-0, 2) [中垣龍汰朗] taking on explosive teenager Ayumu Hanada (6-0, 4) [花田 歩夢] for the vacant title, in what should be a genuinely spectacular contest.
For those who haven't seen these two Nakagaki is a brilliant pure boxer, who had issues with power in the amateurs but appears to have adapted to the professional ranks really well and is looking like a solid puncher, and a very special boxer. He was a stellar amateur and appears to be set for the hyper fast track to the top, and with his ability few can blame him for wanting to win titles as early as possible. Hanada on the other hand began his career in Mexico, where he looked exciting and talented, but incredibly young. He returned to Japan in 2019 and made his JBC debut in 2020, with an excellent performance against Ryukyu Nagamine. Hanada returned to the ring this past April, and although he wasn't punch perfect he over-came the very dangerous Mammoth Kazunori.
Whilst the men might only have 8 bouts between them this is a genuinely brilliant match up and he sort of thing that the Japanese Youth title has been giving us over the last few years.
The other Japanese Youth title bout will see Takeru Kobata (9-5-1, 4) [小畑武尊] make his first defense of the Japanese Youth Welterweight title, as he takes on Tetsuya Kondo (6-2, 4) in what should be an explosive enounter.
The under-rated Kobata won the title in March, with a big upset win against Rikuto Adachi, and will be looking to build on that win here as he returns to Korakuen Hall for just the third time in his career. A win for him would show that his victory over Adachi wasn't a fluke and was instead a sign that he's a legitimate prospect and someone to keep an eye on, despite his 5 losses. Kondo on the other hand will be getting his first title bout and continues to rebuil his career following an opening round TKO loss in 2019 to the destructive Jin Sasaki. That loss aside Kondo hasn't been stopped before but is expected to be giving natural size to Kobata.
Lower down the show we'll see hard hitting Japanese ranked Featherweight Tsuyoshi Tameda (21-6-2, 19) [溜田剛士].battle against Soreike Taichi (7-4, 5) [木村太一], as both men desperately look to bounce back from recent back to back stoppage defeats. We'll also see Japanese ranked Minimumweights collide as Katsuki Mori (8-0, 1) [森且貴] clashes with Ren Kojima (6-1-2) [小島 蓮], in a battle between two men who have won the All Japan Rookie of the Year, with Mori winning in 2019 and Kojima winning in the latest edition of the tournament.
Although not a monster card, set to get massive international attention this is an incredibly good domestic card, with a number of really good bouts and a chance for the young talent in Japan to shine. The main event is a genuinely amazing bout, the co-feature should be exciting, Tameda and Taichi should be explosive and it's always a job to see Mori and Kojima in action. This is a fantastic line up from Ohashi and we really hope nothing forces any changes to what looks set to be a strong domestic card.
Earlier today we reported that former K-1 champion Yoshiki Takei (0-0) [武居由樹] had secured himself a B-class licenses as a professional boxer, ahead of his debut, which is planned for March. We also reported that, as part of his license test, he sparred with Japanese ranked Featherweight Tsuyoshi Tameda (21-6-2, 19) [溜田剛士].
Since we reported Takei's sparring footage from the test has been posted online by the Ohashi Gym, giving us a great chance to see how Takei looked in the spar, and it's fair to say he looked legitimately good, with solid hand speed, good composure, solid foot work and nice variety to his shots. He wasn't flawless, but was still very impressive for someone who hasn't got a long and solid amateur career.
It should be noted that his opponent for his debut, which is scheduled for March 11th at Korakuen Hall, is yet to be named, though on the back of this showing they can certainly put him in with a capable fighter.
It's worth noting that unlike sparring clips released by some fighters, who often want to make themselves look better, this is filmed by the gym, and released with the knowledge from both fighters who are stablemates at the Ohashi Gym. This hasn't been released to make one man look super good or make the other look bad.
Earlier today former K-1 champion Yoshiki Takei (0-0) [武居由樹] took part in his pro-license test and passed, securing himself a B-class license, allowing him to compete in 6 round bouts when he finally debuts.
The test, which took place at the Ohashi Gym, saw Takei passing both the written test and the practical skills test, which included a 2 round spar with Japanese ranked Featherweight Tsuyoshi Tameda (21-6-2, 19) [溜田剛士], who challenged for a regional title late last year.
Following the test Takei spoke about the event, explaining "I was really grateful that I took the protest in such a state of emergency right after I retired from K-1. I thought that it would be postponed for a moment. Now I am on the start line as a boxer. I've set it up. I'd like to have the Yaegashi train me so that I can get as close as possible to the gym people who are all amazing fighters."
The state of emergency mentioned is one affect 3 prefectures in Japan as well as the Tokyo metropolitan area. It was also why his protest took place at the Ohashi Gym rather than the Korakuen Hall, which is usually the home for these types of tests.
When it came to discussing his debut he explain that he is just beginning as a professional, but that he would like to make his name as a boxer one fight at a time, and mark a mark on the sport like he did in K-1.
Of course Takei wasn't the only one to comment after the event with promoter Hideyuki Ohashi stating "When I saw sparring and saw Takei pushing the top players in the upper ranks with power, I felt the high potential again. Now that there are many dark topics, Takei is likely to become a bright topic with ability."
And trainer Akira Yaegashi, himself a former 3 weight world champion explaining they are working on his style as a boxer, and will focus on Takei, rather than his opponent. They want to improve everything by the time Takei debuts and are aiming to win a world title.
Yesterday at Korakuen Hall fight fans got the latest Ohashi promoted event under their long established "Phoenix Battle" series. The card, which was gutted by injuries, ended up up just featuring 3 professional bouts and a public exhibition, as Ohashi looked to add value to had been a show that had promises a lot but ended up looking quite bare.
The main event of that card was a WBO Asia Pacific Featherweight title bout between champion Musashi Mori [森 武蔵] and hard hitting challenger Tsuyoshi Tameda [溜田剛士], with the main support bout being a clash between former Japanese Super Featherweight champion Seiichi Okada [岡田誠一] and Hiromu Murota [室田拡夢].
Today it was confirmed both of those bouts, along with the exhibition between former 3-weight world champion Akira Yaegashi (28-7, 16) [八重樫 東] and Taku Kuwahara (7-0, 4) [桑原拓] would be shown, in some form, on Fuji TV in early December.
The Fuji TV website lists the broadcast as being set for a 26:55 to 28:00 time slot on December 5th, which is 1:55am to 3am on December 6th for those not familiar with Japanese TV scheduling. Obviously this will be a tape delay broadcast and will be edited, but we're still glad to be getting this own aired in some form as there was worries it would slip by the TV cameras and not be aired at all.
Note - Due to the broadcast we've removed all records apart from those of Yaegashi and Kuwahara, from this article rather than potentially ruining the results for those who aren't aware of the outcomes.
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