Earlier today Korakeun Hall played host to the latest Ohashi Promoted event, which featured a number of notable bouts, including two title bouts, the debut of a former amateur stand out and the latest bout of a highly touted young prospect.
The first of the notable bouts on the show saw talented former amateur standout Taiga Imanaga (1-0, 1) [今永 虎雅] make a successful debut, as he stopped Takahiro Hamazaki (4-9-3, 1) [浜崎 隆広] in 2 rounds. Imanaga, who won 10 amateur titles before making his debut, looked razor sharp in the opening round, setting a good pace in the opening round, before increasing the pressure in round 2 and scoring 2 knockdowns before Hamazaki's saved their man. It's early days for Imanaga, but on the back of this performance he is a special talent, who can go a very, very long way.
After the expected win from Imanaga we then got a notable upset as 36 year old Hisashi Kato (11-10-2, 7) [加藤 寿] scored a shock 2nd round TKO win over Rikuto Adachi (16-4, 12) [安達 陸虎]. Coming in Adachi was ranked #6 by the JB, but that ranking looked very over inflated early in round 2, when he was dropped from a straight left hand. He recovered to his feet, by was down again just moments later as with the bout being stopped. Notably this win will earn Kato a Japanese ranking, and allow him to continue his career past the typical Japanese retirement age of 37, with the win essentially saving his career.
After back to back blow outs there was hope we would see a bout go some rounds. No one 22 year old Keisuke Matsumoto (5-0, 5) [松本 圭佑], who took just 42 seconds to blast out Thai visitor Nakharin Hangyu (4-2, 2). The Thai was put in to the corner early in the round, and took a beating there until the referee finally stepped in and waved off the bout.
The first of the show's two title bouts saw Yasuhiro Kanzaki (8-2-1, 2) [神崎靖浩] scores his biggest win to date, as he took an 8 round decision over Yoshiki Minato (10-6, 5)[湊義生] to claim the Japanese Youth Super Flyweight title. The bout saw Minato start aggressively and try to pressure Kanzaki, who fought well as a counter puncher, putting together some really nice shots through the guard of Minato. Minato seemed to become more determined to press after that, but continued to be countered by the cleaner, more accurate and sharp shots of Kanzaki, who seemed the smarter more polished fighter through the bout. After 8 rounds we went to the scorecards, which were 78-74, 78-74 and 77-75 to Kanzaki, who claims his first professional title.
The main event saw former 3 weight world champion Kosei Tanaka (17-1, 10) [田中恒成] score an impressive win and claim the WBO Asia Pacific Super Flyweight title, as he stopped Masayoshi Hashizume (19-1-2, 11) [橋詰 将義] in 5 rounds. Hashizume has some success early on, whilst Tanaka looked to get a read on what was in front of him. After 2 rounds it seemed that Tanaka fully understood what he was up against, and in round 3 he began to press forward more, letting his lands go late in the round. The offensive work of Tanaka grew in round 4, as he intelligently pressed and pressured Hashizume, landing good body shots through the round. It was clear Tanaka was in control and Hashizume was levels below Tanaka, and in round started to really put it on his man, cutting him around the right eye, with a hard straight left hand, before pinning him on the ropes and unloading until the referee stepped in and waved off the bout.
After the contest Tanaka revealed that he is looking to target bouts for either the WBO or the IBF Super Flyweight titles, though his promoter admitted that such a bout might not happen until next year.
Tomorrow at Korakuen Hall we'll see former 3 weight world champion Kosei Tanaka (16-1, 9) [田中恒成] return to the ring as he challenges Masayoshi Hashizume (19-0-2, 11) [橋詰 将義], for the WBO Asia Pacific Super Flyweight title. Today, ahead of their bout the two men took part in their weigh in for the contest.
On the scales Tanaka was 114.8lbs and looked in great shape, in fact he said it was the best he'd been in, and explained that he wanted to show that people who are world champions have different abilities, as if he was going to completely dominate the defending regional champion. He also suggested that this will be his final bout before getting another world title fight, as he looks to become a 4-weight world champion later in the year.
As for Hashizume, he was bang on the 115lb weight limit, and he looked the bigger man, though that should be little surprise given he's a natural Super Flyweight whilst Tanaka is a former Light Flyweight. He spoke like a man determined to retain his title and move towards bigger and better bouts of his own in the future.
A second title bout on this card will see Yasuhiro Kanzaki (7-2-1, 2) [神崎靖浩] and Yoshiki Minato (10-5, 5)[湊義生] clash for the Japanese Youth Super Flyweight title. On the scales Minato came in at 114.8lbs, whilst Kanzaki was exactly 115lbs.
Tanaka challenges regional champion Hashizume!
Minato and Kanzaki battle for Japanese Youth title
Earlier today it was announced that we would see former 3 weight world champion Kosei Tanaka (16-1, 9) [田中恒成] return to the ring on June 29th, as he challenges OPBF and WBO Asia Pacific Super Flyweight champion Masayoshi Hashizume (19-0-2, 11) [橋詰 将義], with two men battling for the Hashizume's WBO Asia Pacific title.
The bout will take place at Korakuen Hall, as Tanaka returns to the hallowed venue for the first time since his 2014 win over Ryuji Hara, a win that saw him claim the OPBF Minimumweight title, and made fans really sit up and take note of him. That was just his third professional bout. Since then, he has gone on to win world titles at Minimumweight, Light Flyweight and Flyweight, and challenge for the WBO Super Flyweight title, losing to Kazuto Ioka in 2020.
Interesting this will also be the third successive bout that Ioka will have against either a current, or former, Ioka Gym fighter. Having lost to Ioka at the end of 2020, beaten Sho Ishida in 2021, and now facing Hashizume.
As for Hashizume this will be his first defense of the title he won earlier this year, when he beat Akio Furutani in a very competitive bout. A win for him here would open the door for him to potentially fight for a world title. This is, quite clearly, a huge step up in class for him, but a win would give his career a massive boost, and really push his career along. Interestingly his OPBF title isn't up for grabs here, though no reason was made clear in the announcement of the bout
Much like Tanaka's previous bout at Korakuen Hall, this will come on a Hideyuki Ohashi promoted card, with the show being held under the Phoenix Battle banner. The card will also feature a Japanese Youth Super Flyweight bout, as Yasuhiro Kanzaki (7-2-1, 2) [神崎靖浩] takes on Yoshiki Minato (10-5, 5)[湊義生] for the vacant title, in what should be a genuine barn burner.
Others scheduled for this card include former amateur standout Toramasa Imanaga (0-0) [今永虎雅] and teenage hopeful Kenta Yamakawa (0-0) [山川健太], who will both be debuting in scheduled 6 rounders.
For fans in Japan wanting to watch this show, it will be aired on Hikari TV in Japan.
Results from Ohashi show!
Yesterday at Korakuen Hall Japanese fight fans got the latest show in the Phoenix Battle series of events, from Hideyuki Ohashi and the Ohashi Gym. The card was certainly nothing massive, but it did feature a Japanese Youth title bout, as well as several touted Ohashi Gym fighters, who were looking to bounce back from recent losses.
The show kicked off with Yoshiki Minato ( 10-5, 5) [湊 義生] score a 2nd round TKO win over Yuji Okinori (10-8-2, 3) [興法 裕二]. Minato started the bout aggressively and got to work on Okinori's body early on. In round 2 his body shots took their toll, and he sent Okinori down. Okinori would show some fighting spirit by beating the count, but was down again soon afterwards, forcing the referee to wave off the bout.
The second bout saw once touted youngster Rikuto Adachi (16-3, 12) [安達 陸虎] score a 6th round TKO win over veteran Toshihiro Kai (6-14-3, 2) [甲斐 斗志広]. The younger, sharper Adachi got behind his jab well in the opening round, before crushing the distance in round 2 and getting to work on Kai, who had to battle back despite taking consistent punishment. In round 6 the pressure, combinations and connects of Adachi broke through, as he dropped Kai for the 10 count with a body shot.
In many ways the most interesting bout was right in the middle of the show, as Japanese Youth Super Bantamweight champion Haruki Ishikawa (9-4, 7) [石川 春樹] faced off with the unheralded Ryuya Tsugawa (9-1, 5) [津川 龍也]. On paper this bout was the best on the show, and it really delivered with both men having moments, and both fighting as if the title was the most important thing to them. Ishikawa looked confident in the early going, but it wasn't long until Tsugawa began to have breakthroughs with his body shots, and clean accurate shots began to catch Ishikawa with regularity. Round 4 saw Ishikawa have his best round, landing a great left hook, but it was short lived success for the champion, who was dragged into a war over the following two rounds, with 6 rounds being a thrilling 3 minutes of action. Sadly for Ishikawa round 6 seemed to take the fight out of him, and in round 7 he was looking like damaged goods as Tsugawa went hunting a finish, forcing Ishikawa's team to throw in the towel. The win is, by far, the biggest of Tsugawa's career, and sees him netting his first professional title.
After a great title bout, we then had a total mismatch, as Taku Kuwahara (9-1, 5) [桑原 拓] bounced back from his 2021 loss to Seigo Yuri Akui, and demolished the horribly over-matched Takashi Hisano (6-6-1, 3) [久野 喬] in just 32 seconds. Kuahara came out aggressively, hurting Hisano with a left hook and unleashed shots until Hisano hit the canvas, with the referee waving the bout out.
The main event was also a mismatch as former OPBF Bantamweight champion Kazuki Nakajima (11-1-1, 9 ) [中嶋 一輝] score a quick win over Shohei Kawashima (18-7-2, 4) [川島 翔平]. Nakajima came out looking to close the gap and although Kawashima tried to fight back he was unable to cope with the power of Nakajima, who dropped him hard at the end of the round, with the referee issuing the 10 count and giving the finish at an official time of 3:00 of round 1.
Earlier today at Korakuen Hall Japanese fight fans got a stacked card from the Ohashi Gym with 4 notables on it, including a Japanese title bout, and several bouts involving promising prospects.
The first of the 4 notable bouts saw Suzumi Takayama (4-0, 4) [高山 涼深] score an opening round win over touted teenager Kosuke Tomioka (4-2, 3) [富岡 浩介]. On paper this one looked like a really interesting bout between two southpaws, but sadly for Tomioka he never even got a chance to get into the bout. After less than a minute a straight left hand from Takayama put Tomioka down. To his credit Tomioka got up, but Takayama smelled blood and jumped on his man, sending him down again. Tomioka showed how bravery by getting up again but was dropped a third time with the referee then halting the bout after just 107 seconds.
Sadly it's hard to see where Tomioka goes here, especially given his loss in the 2020 East Japan Rookie of the Year final to Shunpei Kubo.
The second bout of note saw OPBF ranked Super Flyweight Masayoshi Hashizume (18-0-2, 11) [橋詰 将義] score an 8th round TKO win over Yoshiki Minato (9-5, 4) [湊 義生]. For Hashizume this was his first bout in over 2 years and despite that he looked sharp from the off, with nice jabs, and good speed. Minato tried to fight back was cut in round around the right eye.
As the rounds went on Hashizume's natural size, strength and power played more and more of a factor, as he let his shots go more willingness and in round 8 he ended up forcing the referee in to save Minato in the first minute of round 8.
The third bout of note saw Japanese Youth Bantamweight champion Toshiya Ishii (4-1, 3) [石井渡士也] score a 5th round TKO against the heavy handed Jin Minamide (4-2, 3) [南出仁]. This was exciting from the off, with both letting heavy leather go in the first round. The power of Ishii told first as he dropped Minamide in the first round.
To his credit Minamide not only got to his feet but battled on, though was dropped again in round 3, as Ishii's power, accuracy and speed showed it's self again. Minamide again beat the count, but having been dropped twice in the first 3 rounds he was in a hole. and desperate to try and turn things around. Sadly for Minamide his aggression and hunger came back to bite him, and in round 5 a serious of big shots from Ishii forced the referee to come in and save Minamide.
The main event was a much anticipated Japanese title bout at 112ls as Japanese Flyweight champion Seigo Yuri Akui (16-2-1, 11) [阿久井政悟] made his second defense of the title, and stopped the previously unbeaten Taku Kuwahara (8-1, 4) [桑原拓] in a brilliant 10 round war.
The bout started almost perfectly for Akui who's early power saw him dropping Kuwahara with a counter right hand in the first round. It was a perfect shot and seemed to show that Akui's power could be too much for Kuwahara. That was until the challenger began to show what he could do and finding his groove through the rest of the first half of the bout. The fight back from Kuwahara was impressive, showing his guts, determination and skills as he managed to close the gap on the scorecards.
After 5 rounds we had the open scoring with scores of 47-47 on one card and 48-46 on two others, both to Akui.
Kuwahara had bounced back really well from the bad start, landing good body shots, using his amateur skills well, and showed that he belonged at this level. Akui then began to pick things up himself, applying more constant and intense pressure, trying to take the play away from Kuwahara, who continued to box and move, using his speed and accuracy to try and out work Akui and get his respect.
Going into round 10 it seemed to close to call, and then the judges cards were essentially ripped up as a huge right hand from Akui dropped Kuwahara for the second time in the bout, with just over 10 seconds of the bout left. The referee immediately waved off the bout.
After the contest Akui and his team seemed to suggest that they would be hunting a world title fight in 2022, after the Champion Carnival. That could well mean a rematch with WBO champion Junto Nakatani, who stopped Akui back in 2017.
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