Yesterday we, finally, saw the official announcement that unified Super Bantamweight champion Murodjon Akhmadaliev (8-0, 6) [Муроджон Ахмадалиев] would be facing off with mandatory challenger Ryosuke Iwasa (27-3, 17) [岩佐 亮佑] on April 3rd at the Humo Arena in Tashkent.
Today, following that announcement, Iwasa and promoter Celes Kobayashi held an online press conference to talk about the contest and their plans.
Iwasa explained that he managed to endure the wait, and made it clear that waiting well over a year to fight was frustrating and that he had lost motivation during some of the wait. That was notable when a scheduled date in November vanished. Since February however he has found his hunger and been sparring at the Teiken Gym against the likes of Yamato Hata (11-1, 10) [波田 大和], Mikito Nakano (5-0, 4) [中野幹士], Kenji Fujita [藤田健児] and Subaru Murata [村田昴]. He explained the reason for sparring those 3 in particular was their speed and their styles. When sparring stops he will be training alongside Celes gym stablemate Jin Minamide (4-1, 3) [南出仁], with the two focusing on weight loss and staying sharp.
Talking about the contest Iwasa openly stated "I have a special feeling. It will be the biggest match in my boxing life so far." He also explained that he has no anxiety about fighting away from home, something he's done several times now, with bouts in the UK and the US.
In regards to his approach to the bout, Iwasa stated "I won't let my opponent get into the rhythm." Kobayashi added that the key was to start fast and not lose the early rounds against Akhmadaliev, who they seem to see as a momentum fighter, and they need to stop the momentum from forming early on in the bout.
If he wins Iwasa has his "Eagle Eye" on one man, and that's a bout with WBC Super Bantamweight champion Luis Nery, who he wants to face due to Nery's two wins over Shinsuke Yamanaka. He added that Nery had to be "blown away".
Interesting more TV details regarding the fight became available. It was known that DAZN would be airing the bout, and will be in Japan as well, but for those in Japan without DAZN the bout will be shown on Tape Delay on BS NTV, though the date of that replaying airing wasn't announced.
Due to the fact some fans will not be wanting to know the result of today's from Korakuen Hall, as the bouts will be shown on Tape Delay on Monday on G+ we will begin this with a paragraph of text to act as a spoiler warning. Please be aware this is a 1-off paragraph designed to not ruin the bout for those who have accidentally stumbled on this page ahead of the TV broadcast of the bout on Monday. This is something we are only going to be doing when we know that a bout will be televised on delay and will only ever be a 1 paragraph thing, with the idea of allowing fans to watch events as live.
Please be wary spoilers will begin in the next few paragraphs as we go through the results of today's show starting at the opening and going through, bout by bout, to the main event, featuring Super Featherweights Kenichi Ogawa [尾川 堅一] and Kazuhiro Nishitani [西谷和宏].
Earlier today at Korakuen Hall Teiken put on their latest show, which was originally supposed to take place back in September, though was pushed back after Jorge Linares had a positive result in a PCR test. As a result the show was pushed back by around a month, and was removed from Live TV, getting a Tape Delay place on Japanese premium TV channel G+.
The show began with a 6 round Super Bantamweight bout as Satoru Hoshiba (7-4, 2) [干場 悟] scored a minor upset win over Takayoshi Suzuki (5-2-1, 1) [鈴木 敬祥]. The bout began with Suzuki looking to use his reach, but Hishiba cut the distance relatively early on and in round 4 a body shot from Hoshiba hurt his man, and he kept coming, out working Suzuki to earn a unanimous decision. The scores for this were 58-56 from all 3 judges.
In another minor upset Ryuya Tsugawa (8-1, 4) [津川 龍也] over-came Hikari Mineta (8-2, 5) [峯田 光], with Tsugawa scoring a 6th round TKO win over Mineta. To begin with both men struggled to connect anything cleanly but the pace began to get going in round 3 and then increased again in round 4, with Tsugawa getting the advantage. At least that was how it seemed until a counter from Mineta at the end of the round dropped Tsugawa. It was too late in the round for Mineta to jump on his man and by the start of round 5Tsugawa had recovered and started land clean shots, worsening facial damage on Mineta, who was stopped in round 6 by the ringside doctor.
One man who picked up an expected win was touted Light Flyweight prospect Shokichi Iwata (5-0, 4) [岩田翔吉], who stopped Ryo Narizuka (9-10-1) [成塚亮] in the 7th round of their scheduled 8 rounder. Early on Narizuka used his reach to pose some questions to Iwata but the talented Iwata managed to neutralise the advantage with his speed and skills. By round 2 it was starting to seem like Iwata was, soon or later, going to break down his man as he began to landing solid shots. Credit however went to Narizuka who regrouped well and gritted out some tough moments. That was until round 7 when Iwata began to get inside and land big hooks, with both hands, and forced the referee to jump in and save Narizuka.
In a very notable domestic win fans saw Japanese Youth Super Featherweight champion Yamato Hata (11-1, 10) [波田 大和] take a decision win over former amateur standout Koshin Takeshima (4-1-1, 3) [竹嶋宏心]. This one started at a high tempo from the off, and was a thrilling contest with both men looking to establish themselves before the other. The tempo slowed down slightly in the middle rounds, but the action didn't really relent and in round 6 Hata dropped Takeshima. The knockdown seemed to force Takeshima to change tactics somewhat and began to press forward looking for a mistake to counter, sadly for Takeshima he was unable to land a decisive blow, and found himself forced to cover up under the pressure of Hata's offensive output. In the end it seemed, perhaps, that the natural size and power advantage of Hata played a part in the result, and all 3 judges had the bout scored 78-73 in favour of the hard hitting Hata. Incidentally this is Hata's first bout to go the distance and only his second to go beyond 5 rounds.
The co-feature proved to be a mismatch as Hayate Kaji (15-0, 9) [梶颯] easily over-came Hiroki Yajima (9-9-3, 4) [矢島大樹]. Credit however goes to Yajima, who survived 8 torrid rounds despite being down twice. Yajima was down in the opening round, from a short right hand and Yajima was down again in round 7 and deducted a point for holding. Those knockdowns and the deduction helped Kaji take a very, very comfortable win, with scores of 78-70, twice, and 79-69. Sadly aside from the knockdowns the bout did lack clean action. Despite the win it's still hard to know whether or not Kaji has what it takes to progress onto a Japanese title, or higher, and it will take a much stiff test than this to see where Kaji is at, and where he can go.
The main event saw world ranked Super Featherweights facing off with Kenichi Ogawa (25-1-1-1, 18) [尾川 堅一] taking on Kazuhiro Nishitani (21-5-1, 12) [西谷和宏] in what was a legitimately great match up. The bout began cautiously from both men, with Nishitani trying to get his shots off at range and Ogawa not giving his foe many opportunities to counter. By round 3 there was a feeling of tension and the pace began to increase, with the most notable moment being a left from Nishitani that dropped Ogawa for the bouts first knockdown.
With Ogawa being down he needed revenge and in round 4 he got that revenge, dropping Nishitani with a straight right hand. That neutralised the early 10-8 and left the bout very finely balanced. In round 5 Nsihitani seemed to swing the balance in his favour, with some good 1-2's from range, from there on however Ogawa took control, boxing well and landing his right hands at will to take the rounds and secure the win.
After 10 rounds the judges all had the bout 97-91 in favour of Ogawa, who takes a huge step towards a second world title fight.
Earlier today at Korakuen Hall we had the second Dynamic Glove show of the year and it was an event with very mixed fortunes for Teiken fighters, as fans at the Hall and on G+ found out.
The show began with Shinta Aihara (3-5) [藍原 伸太], one of the 7 Teiken fighters on the card, losing a clear decision to KC Prachanda (4-2-1, 3) [KC プラチャンダ]. Prachanda won every round and dropped Aihara at the very end of the 4th round to secure the win.
Things did improve for the world famous Teiken gym as two of their big hopefuls picker up wins. The first of those was Hiroto Yashiro (2-0, 2) [矢代 博斗], who took out Indonesian visitor Abdul Rauf (1-3) in round 3. Credit goes to Rauf for seeing out a massive attack in round 2, when Yashiro really went for the finish, but the pressure, and intense body work, got too much for him and he was dropped in round 3. Although Rauf beat the count the referee had seen enough and waved off the bout.
The other big hoping picking up a win was the highly regarded Kenshi Noda (2-0, 2) [野田 賢史], who took out Thomas Tope Hurek (2-5-1, 1) in the opening round. Noda, who was making his TV debut, took his chance to shine and he looked very sharp against Hurek. Hurek tried to make things ugly but took a combination, finished by a brutal shot that left him in agony for the 10 count.
Given the recent JBC rule change in regards to Indonesian fighters, these were perfect examples of why the rule is coming in. Rauf was tough but lacked skills whilst Hurek was terrible.
After back to back wins for Teiken fighters things then went down hill for Teiken fighters with back to back losses.
The first of those saw Kenta Endo (5-1-1, 4) [遠藤 健太] lose his unbeaten record to the unheralded Shun Akaiwa (5-1-1, 3) [赤岩 俊]. Heading in the hard hitting Endo was ranked by the JBC and he looked like he was heading upwards. The first round was a good one for Endo, though he did get caught by the younger, fresh Akaiwa a few times. The pace increased in round 2 as Endo tried to take the fight to Akaiwa more often, and let his powerful shots go in combinations. It made for exciting action but left Endo open as he launched some very wide looping hooks. At the very end of the round, with Akaiwa on the ropes and under pressure, a short counter left dropped Endo. Discussions about it being after the bell or on the bell were there to be had, but Endo himself was unloading when he got caught, taking away any argument he may had to being hit after the bell. Endo would beat the count but never seemed to recover and was stopped the following round in what was a genuinely fantastic little under-card bout.
Another loss for Teiken saw Junpei Tsujimoto (6-2-3, 4) [辻本 純兵] suffer a second round TKO to 22 year old Nath Nwachukwu (6-0-2, 3) [ワチュク・ナァツ], in what was surprisingly a clash of 2018 Rookie of the Year winners. Coming in both fighters had JBC rankings, with Tsujimoto being a ranked Welterweight and Nwachukwu being ranked at Middleweight, though the two men fought at Light Middleweight. After a competitive opening round Nwachukwu forced a fight and broke down Tsujimoto, who was hammered to the body early in the round and dropped from a huge right part way through the round. Tsujimoto beat the count but was still hurt and Nwachukwu went all out until the referee jumped in and saved Tsujimoto.
The hard hitting Yamato Hata (10-1, 10) [波田 大和] got Teiken's third win for the show as he stopped the game but over-powered Ryusei Ishii (8-6-1, 5) [石井龍誠] in 5 rounds to claim the Japanese Youth Super Featherweight title. This was Hata in control from early on with Ishii unable to cope with the power of Hata, and doing more to survive than try to win.
Having won a Youth title the gym had little time to celebrate and before we saw a Japanese Welterweight title fight. This fight saw defending champion Yuki Nagano (17-3, 13) [永野祐樹], himself a Teiken fighter, losing the title to former world title challenger Keita Obara (23-4-1, 21) [小原 佳太]. Nagano pressed the action but was up against a better fighter and Obara simply broke him down over 7 rounds, dropping him in round 2 and slowly breaking him down with big shots.
After the 7 bouts Teiken went 3-4, on a show they'll want to forget.
The first of two title bouts at Korakuen Hall today saw a new Japanese Youth Super Featherweight champion being crowned, as the vacancy was filled by the heavy handed Yamato Hata (10-1, 10) [波田 大和], who stopped the game but over-powered Ryusei Ishii (8-6-1, 5) [石井龍誠] in the 5th round.
The fight started pretty well for Ishii who got behind his jab and found a way to control the pace and tempo of the early going. Sadly for him however it didn't take long for Hata's power to kick in and towards the end of the opening round Ishii had been shaken, twice, by Hata's heavy hands.
Hata's power shots would come in to play again in round 2, when he dropped Ishii early in the round. Ishii got back to his feet, and put on a brave effort, but was hurt again moments before the bell.
It was clear, there and then, that Ishii was going to need to find a way to neutralise Hata's power, and keep it neutralised. He had had success, at times, but it seemed all Hata had to do was touch him clean and Ishii would in trouble. That proved to be the case again in round, as Ishii was once again rocked, and left with a bloodied nose. It seemed like the referee had began keeping a close eye on Ishii by the end of the round.
To his credit Ishii wasn't going to just give in and he tried through round 4, but it was rather futile and in round 5 a big assault by Hata left the referee with little option than to step in and wave the contest off, just past the 2 minute mark.
It was a brave effort from Ishii, but the power, and aggression of Hata proved to be the difference maker, and net the 23 year old Teiken fighter his first professional title.
Tomorrow at Korakuen Hall we'll see a new Japanese Youth Super Featherweight champion being crowned, as Ryusei Ishii (8-5-1, 5) [石井龍誠] and Yamato Hata (9-1, 9) [波田 大和] battle for the vacant title.
Today the two men took part in their weigh in for for the bout and both men made the 130lb limit dead on, with no issues at all.
Ishii, who is getting his second shot at a Japanese Youth title, explained that he's just going to rely on his own boxing ability and skills to take the win here.
Hata on the other hand explained that he will do his best. He's nervous, as usual, but suggested that his power was going to be the difference.
For fans wanting to watch this the bout will be aired live on G+ as part of their Dynamic Glove series.
Related - Hard hitting Hata takes on Ishii for Japanese Youth title
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
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