Earlier today at Korakuen Hall fight fans got a really competitive OPBF Super Featherweight title fight, as unbeaten champion Hironori Mishiro (9-0-1, 3) [三代大訓] narrowly retained his title, just sneaking a win over Yoshimitsu Kimura (12-2, 7) [木村吉光].
The bout had been highly anticipated by those in Japan and even had a special poster being created for it, with a similar design to the one used for the brilliant fight between Takanori Hatakeyama v Koji Arisawa. The high level of expectancy wasn't just met here, but was well and truly exceeded with a fantastic bout.
From the opening round it was clear that Kimura was there to win, though he was dropped in the opening round from a hard right hand from Mishiro. The knockdown secure Mishiro a 10-8 opening round, but seemed to make Kimura more determined, and he was on the front foot afterwards, getting inside and working up close on the champion. Kimura's ambition and drive was really impressive and saw him doing enough the make the score cards very interesting after 4 rounds, when the open scoring kicked in. When those scores were announced they were all close, with all 3 judges putting out scores of 38-37, two of which were in favour of Mishiro and the other favouring Kimura.
From there on the bout was really nip and tuck. Every time one fighter build some momentum, the other charged back, with neither man able to really establish much of a lead.
After 8 rounds, when the scores were again announced, they were again razor thin, but this time Mishiro lead on all 3 cards, 76-75. Mishiro had impressed with his uppercuts, lefts to the body and rights up top, but Kimura had had repeatedly been the one coming forward and drilled Mishiro with numerous solid body shots. It was the eye catching blows of Mishiro that had impressed the judges, but Kimura's body shots showed that he was playing to a smart gameplan.
With Kimura down he tried to turn things around, and made a real good effort, though couldn't do enough to over-turn the opening round knock down, losing a split decision 114-113, 113-114 and 114-113.
The win was a real test for Mishiro, who had looked good in his previous two defenses, and it's fair to say he was lucky to get the first round knockdown. Without that there's a very good argument to suggest he would have lost. As for Kimura this was a great performance and it's clear he will bounce back and make himself a serious player on regional title scene, if not world scene, before his career comes to an end.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Tomorrow at Korakuen Hall fight fans will get the chance to see Hironori Mishiro (8-0-1, 3) [三代大訓] defending the OPBF Super Featherweight title as he takes on fellow Japanese fighter Yoshimitsu Kimura (12-1, 7) [木村吉光], in a very good looking bout that serves as the main event of a Dangan and Guts Fighting card.
Today the two men took part in their weigh in for their bout, and both men made the 130lb limit with no issues, in fact both men looked in tremendous shape for the bout.
Mishiro, defending his title for the fourth time, weigh in first and came in at around 129.7lbs, with Kimura hitting the weight moments later.
At the weigh in Mishiro stated that he has improved over his last few bouts, and sounded confident that he could rely in his boxing skills to take the win here. He was however really honest and praised Kimura, describing him as a talented fighter. Kimura on the other hand came across as hungry, and obviously has dreams of going much further than winning the OPBF title. He was however made to look much smaller than the champion at the weigh in
For fans wanting to watch this it will be aired on tape delay on TBS later in the week
Related - Mishiro clashes with Kimura in next OPBF title defense
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Back in November we reported that Ryoichi Taguchi (27-4-2, 12) [田口良一] would be taking part in his retirement ceremony on December 10th as part of the Dangan and Guts Fighting card. Today we learned that part of that ceremony will see Taguchi take part in an exhibition with former WBA Super Featherweight champion Takashi Uchiyama [内山 高志].
The two men were the two previous faces of the Watanabe gym, and Uchiyama was often seen as an older brother type to Taguchi, so to see the two taking part in this sparring event is rather symbolic, as the end of era for the gym, which is now bringing through a new generation of fighter, thanks to success of Taguchi and Uchiyama.
The exhibition will come before the show's main event, which will see OPBF Super Featherweight champion Hironori Mishiro (8-0-1, 3) [三代大訓] defending his title against Yoshimitsu Kimura (12-1, 7) [木村吉光].
Earlier today in Singapore local fans saw Hamzah Farouk (10-0, 7) score the most notable win of his career, stopping Indonesian teenager Reynold Kundimang (8-2-3, 2) to claim the OPBF "silver" Super Featherweight title.
The bout was relatively competitive through the first 3 rounds, with a good back and forth, and was genuinely a lot more even than many would have expected given how often Indonesian look out of their depth on the road.
Sadly though for the teenage visitor his resistance came undone in round 4 as Farouk began to find Kundimang's chin with regularity, dropping the aggressive youngster with a series of big right hands. Kundimang was unable to avoid the shots and was dropped from a series of head shots, before being counted out.
Despite the loss we were really impressed by the youngster and would love to see more of him. As for Farouk he now, in theory, sets up a fight against the winner of next week's fight between current OPBF Super Featherweight champion Hironori Mishiro (8-0-1, 3) [三代大訓] and Yoshimitsu Kimura (12-1, 7) [木村吉光]
On December 10th OPBF Super Featherweight champion Hironori Mishiro (8-0-1, 3) [三代大訓] will make his next defense, as he takes on 23 year old challenger Yoshimitsu Kimura (12-1, 7) [木村吉光]. Today we can confirm that that bout is set to be shown on TV, albeit on tape delay, as part of TBS's "Guts Fighting" series of shows.
For Mishiro the bout will be his 4th defense and promotional company Watanabe Gym seem to view his rise as something worthy of serious attention. They have already pushed him on to the fast track to the top, and he won the title in just his 6th professional bout, taking a decision over Carlo Magali. Although he failed to unify the title with the Japanese belt, fighting to a draw in 2018 with Masaru Sueyoshi, it's clear that his team have big plans for him, and likely see him as their successor to former WBA world champion Takashi Uchiyama. Since winning the belt not only has Mishiro retained it, with the draw, against Sueyoshi but also scored notable wins over Takuya Watanabe and Ryo Takenaka.
As for Kimura this will be a second shot a belt for him, following a competitive loss to Richard Pumicpic for the WBO Asia Pacific Featherweight title. Since that loss Kimura has moved up in weight and has built some momentum coming in to this bout.
The bout will be aired aired just days later, with the broadcast also expected to help promote the New Year's Eve card which TBS will be showing live.
At the moment it's unclear whether TBS will also air some form of footage of the very interesting chief support bout between Yudai Shigeoka (1-0, 1) [重岡優大] and OPBF Minimumweight champion Lito Dante (16-10-4, 8).
(Image - TBS)
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