Earlier today at Korakuen Hall fight fans had the latest Kadoebi promoted "Slugfest" card.
The under-card was, on paper, one of the most interest under-card we've seen in Japan this year with two very notable bouts on it.
One of those bouts saw the world ranked Japanese Flyweight Ryota Yamauchi (6-1, 5) [山内涼太] bounce back from the disappointment of missing out on a Japanese title eliminator last year, when he was injured. The talented Yamauchi was up against Filipino visitor MJ Bo (8-4-2, 4) and managed to stop the Filipino in 2 rounds.
Yamauchi looked really good for most of the first round, but was tagged by a hard right late in the round as Bo showed some life, and showed that was dangerous. The two each unloaded heavier shots in the second round, but a right up top and a left to the body dropped Bo for the 10 count, at an official time of 1:27 in round 2. Big things are expected from Yamauchi, but it was clear, again, that he had defensive flaws that needed to be sorted before he steps up again, and he is still susceptible to straight right hands, something we saw him getting caught by numerous times by Wulan Tuolehazi last year.
On paper an even better match up saw youngsters Yuki Nakajima (4-1, 4) [中嶋憂輝] and Shisui Kawabata (2-2, 2) [川畑嗣穂] clash in a mouth watering match up.
From the off this was high skilled stuff, with both both looking to measure the opponents for straight shots in the first couple of rounds. It was clear both men believed they had the power to hurt the other. Nakajima changed the bout up in round 3, when he began to press more, and this is where he really began to build some momentum, attacking the body up close and roughing up Kawabata, with the 4th round being a particularly exciting one. The rough house tactics from Nakajima saw him hitting Kawabata with an illegal shot in round 5, and the referee gave Kawabata time to recover. Despite Kawabata still having moments during rounds 4 and 5, this wasn't the type of fight he was wanting and he was being ground down by the heavy hands and physicality of Nakajima.
In round 6 a Nakajima uppercut dropped Kawabata, who went down hard. The referee started a count, but waved the bout off part way through.
(Photo by A.McGovern)
Earlier today online subscription service Boxing Raise revealed their schedule for February and sadly it's rather lacking with only 3 shows in total, and only 1 live one. That is however a sign of a quiet February in Japan more than anything, with only 7 shows scheduled for the entire month, including the February 1st card which was shown on G+.
The first of the Boxing Raise cards is actually available already and took place today at Korakuen Hall. The card was a rather small and low key one, featuring only 4 round bouts. Whilst the show didn't get much attention it is good to see the service uploading the bouts on the same day which hasn't always been the case.
The next show to be including on the service this month is the February 14th Kadoebi card. This will be headlined by Froilan Saludar (31-3-1, 22) defending the WBO Asia Pacific Super Flyweight title against Ryoji Fukunaga (11-4, 11) [福永亮次] in what looks likely to be an explosive match up. Other bouts of note on this card will include Ryota Yamauchi (5-1, 4) [山内涼太] facing off with Filipino MJ Bo (8-3-2, 4) and a brilliant match up between Yuki Nakajima (3-1, 3) [中嶋憂輝] and Shisui Kawabata (2-1, 2) [川畑嗣穂].
The only live card for the month will take place on February 27th and is an excellent looking card, headlined by an OPBF Welterweight title bout between Riku Nagahama (11-2-1, 4) [長濱 陸] and Kudura Kaneko (11-0, 8) [クドゥラ 金子] and also featuring the Hajime No Ippo 30th anniversary tournament semi finals. Those semi-finals will see Jae Woo Lee (7-2, 6) [이재우] taking on Shingo Kusano (12-8-1, 5) [草野慎悟] and Richard Pumicpic (21-10-2, 6) clashing with Daisuke Watanabe (9-4-2, 6) [渡部大介].
Whilst it's a shame there's so little content this month, it is impressive that Boxing Raise do have 3 of the 7 Japanese cards from the entire month.
Earlier today at Korakuen Hall Japanese fight fans got the latest show from Kadoebi.
Whilst not a bumper show, it was a card with several notable fights on it, with a particularly interesting trio of under-card bouts.
The first of that trio saw talented youngster Yuki Nakajima (3-1, 3) [中嶋憂輝] bounce back from his August loss to Ryu Horikawa by destroying the brave, but out-gunned Yasuhiro Tanaka (6-5-2) [田中康寛]. Nakajima really did as he wished he, and although he was caught quite a few times by Tanaka it really seemed like Tanaka was fighting a tank with a pea shooter. Tanaka never got Nakahjima's respect and instead took a bit of a shellacking from Nakajima, who stopped his man in round 3. Tanaka was dropped by a beauty of a left hook, and although he got back to his feet a follow up forced the referee to jump in.
The second of the bouts saw touted novices clash, with Mikio Sakai (2-0) [酒井幹生] doing enough to take a narrow decision over Ran Tomomatsu (1-1) [友松藍]. These two were incredibly well matched, despite having very different styles. Of the two Tomomatsu always appeared the stronger man, and was the one marching forward, but Sakai's more polished boxing, and smart ring craft was certainly able to neutralise a lot of Tomomatsu's pressure. The boxing of Sakai seemed to be more impressive to the judges who had him edging out a majority decision. Given the lack of professional experience these two had this was a fantastic bout, and is well worth checking out if you have a Boxing Raise subscription.
The third of the notable under-card bouts saw Yuichiro Kasuya (13-2-2, 4) [粕谷雄一郎] and Satoru Sugita (15-6-2, 10) [杉田聖] battle to an 8 round draw. Despite the two men having different strengths and styles, they actually matched up perfectly and made for a very entertaining fight, with Kasuya being the quicker fighter and Sugita having that bit more power on everything he landed. We didn't expect much here but the two men really delivered a very good and engaging 8 round battle which ended in split decision draw.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
Earlier today fight fans at Korakuen Hall saw an excellent match up in a B class tournament final bout as standout amateurs faced off in a 6 rounder.
On paper the bout won't have attracted too much attention, but to hardcore fans of the Japanese scene the match up betwee Ryu Horikawa (2-0, 1) [堀川龍] and Yuki Nakajima (2-1, 2) [中嶋憂輝] had the hall marks of something very, very special. Both were legitimately well regarded prospects, following their days in the unpaid ranks and both had shown a lot of promise in their short professional careers so far.
Horikawa started the bout fighting well behind the jab, it was crisp and sharp and allowed him to open up his arsenal, landing some good body shots including a solid left hook. Despite being on the back foot Nakajima wasn't overwhelmed by the pressure and landed a really good rigfht uppercut on the inside as Horikawa took the first round. The second round saw Nakajima having success with his own left hook, but again the jab, and speed, of Horikawa caught the eye.
Horikawa continued to shine through rounds 3 and 4 as he moved even well ahead on the score cards, before Nakajima moved through the gears in an attempt to turn things his way from round 5. By then it was too little too late and Horikawa managed to avoid a tear up, whilst still having some notable moments of success. Horikawa's movement again kept him safe in the final round as he took the decision, with scores of 58-56 from all 3 judges to progress to the next round of the tournament.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
The Japanese scene has a lot of brothers involved, some of them are well known like the Inoue brothers, Naoya and Takuma, and some of them are less well known, like the 3 boxing Tomioka brothers. What the country didn't have, until, was a brother-sister partnership in the professional ranks. That changed today when Ayato Hiromoto [廣本 彩刀] took part in his B license test, signifying that he was joining his sister Eruka Hiromoto (5-0) [廣本江留香], the current OPBF female Minimumweight champion.
Not only is Ayato the brother of a talented female fighter but he is, himself, a former solid amateur. He went 31-17 in the unpaid ranks and fought for his university team. Whilst that record isn't a mind blowing one the University league in Japan is an incredibly tough one and losses are to be expected there, with youngsters getting serious experience at a young age.
The 22 year old Super Flyweight hopeful spared 3 rounds with Yuki Nakajima (2-0, 2) [中嶋憂輝], who himself has a boxing brother, as part of his B license test today and looked very talented through out the spar. Notably he has signed his professional papers with the same gym as Nakajima, the Kadoebi Gym in Tokyo. Given Kadoebi's willingness to match their prospects aggressively this should mean we see him in meaningful fights sooner rather than later.
Although he will technically have to wait until tomorrow to be a licensed fighter Ayato has got his first two bouts pencilled in. The first of those will take place on September 20th with his second bout scheduled for November. Sadly though opponents for neither bout have been announced for the youngster.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
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