Earlier today fight fans in Sakai City saw one of the biggest shocks on the Oriental scene this year, as defending WBO Asia Pacific Middleweight champion Yuki Nonaka (34-11-3, 10) [野中 悠樹] was shocking dethroned by the unheralded Hiroya Nojima (10-1, 5) [能嶋 宏弥], ending Nonaka's reign as the WBO regional champion, and potential his career.
Nonaka, who won the title in 2019 when he out-boxed the hard hitting Shinobu Hosokawa, was under pressure from the off as Nojima showed the 44 year old veteran no real respect. Nonaka tried to use his boxing skills and boxing brain to control the action, but Nojima fought like a man possessed and and refused to back off, using an ultra-aggressive style that saw him walk through counters when he had to,
The unexpected success of Nojima early on brought real excitement to the venue, who likely expected the challenger to look second rate, in fairness we did too. Nojima however had to prove it wasn't just nervous energy being and adrenaline being burned here. In round 4 he did slow down, and there was a chance he had potentially began to feel the tempo that he was setting.
In round 5 Nojima seemed to just prove that whilst his tempo was dropping a little bit, his success wasn's, and he landed some huge shots in round 5, that shook Nonaka up just before the bell. Had the round been just a few seconds longer there's a chance he could have gone down there and then. Sadly for Nonaka the minute between rounds 5 and 6 wasn't enough time for him, and in round 6 Nojima was again all over him, dropping him with a right hand. Nonaka got to his feet but was overwhelmed immediately with the referee forced to step in and save the veteran.
After the bout Nonaka stated that his future is unclear in the sport, and we wouldn't be surprised at all if he retires following this loss.
As for Nojima, his first defense has been pencilled in already, for November 20th in Aichi.
Tomorrow in Osaka we'll see WBO Asia Pacific Middleweight champion Yuki Nonaka (34-10-3, 10) [野中 悠樹] defending his title Rookie of the Year winner Hiroya Nojima (9-1, 4) [能嶋 宏弥].
Today, ahead of their bout, the two men took part in their weigh in for the bout.
Nonaka made the Middleweight limit of 160lbs dead on, and he looked in great shape for the bout, saying that all he has to do now is get a good result. Despite being in great condition himself, he did note that Nojima was taller than expected, and was feeling confident that Nojima might be the quicker man, given that he's a natural Welterweight who has moved up in weight.
As for Nojima he was well under the limit, weighing in at 156.1lbs, almost 4lbs under the limit. He explained that he is an aggressive, quick fighter, with good stamina and sounded confident, though he is a clear under-dog against the talented, and experienced champion.
Related - WBO Asia Pacific champion Nonaka takes on Nojima
Yesterday it was announced that WBO Asia Pacific Middleweight champion Yuki Nonaka (34-11-3, 10) [野中 悠樹] would be returning to action on July 24th, to defend his title against 2020 All Japan Rookie of the Year winner Hiroya Nojima (9-1, 4) [能嶋 宏弥].
The 44 year old Nonaka will be defending his title for the third time with this bout, which will take place at the Sakai City Industrial Promotion Center in Osaka, on July 24th. Interestingly the bout will see Nonaka fighting for the first time since last July, when he defeated Koki Koshikawa. Whilst he has been out of the ring for a prolonged period in many ways this wasn't really his fault, with his team seemingly securing a bout with a Russian fighter, but the bout failed to get approval after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and with injuries also keeping him out of the ring.
As for Nojima this will be his first title bout, and he looks to extend a 6 fight winning run, which included his All Japan Rookie of the Year win in 2020. It is however a massive step up for him, and comes only a few months after his first 8 rounder, which saw him beat Masateru Hatagami. The bout will also see him moving up in weight, and it's worth noting he has fought much of his career at Welterweight, though will be competing as a Middleweight here
Earlier today on TV Osaka we got the chance to see a title double header from the EDION Arena Osaka, for free and right around the world.
The first of two title title bouts saw veteran WBO Asia Pacific Middleweight champion Yuki Nonaka (34-11-3, 10) [野中 悠樹] score his second defense, as he easily over-came former Japanese domestic amateur standout Koki Koshikawa (9-3, 6) [越川孝紀], who was fighting as a Middleweight for the first time.
From the off the 43 year old Nonaka looked the more relaxed and the more comfortable in the ring and was pretty much in control through out the bout. Koishikawa, to his credit, came to fight but he lacked the accuracy and tenacity needed to even test Nonaka.
Through out the bout the calm, accurate, relaxed boxed of Nonaka saw him landing at will on Koshikawa, who was left cut, bruised and beaten up through the middle portion of the fight. In the later stages Koshikawa had to pass several doctor's inspections due to his cuts and, whilst they weren't bad cuts no one would have complained had the ringside doctor said enough was enough, especially as Nonaka began landing so devastating straight left hands, at will, on the head of Koshikawa.
After 12 rounds we went to the score cards with two judges having this 119-109 to Nonaka and the third having it an alarming close 115-113 to the champion for the unanimous decision.
For Koshikawa it's almost impossible to know where he goes from this loss, especially given the early expectation. As for Nonaka, the focus seems to be on landing a world title fight sooner rather than later, but with his 44th birthday come later this year it'd be a huge surprise to see him land a major fight before his career comes to an end.
The second title fight on the show saw youngster Riku Kano (18-4-1, 9) [加納 陸] make his first defense of the WBO Asia Pacific Light Flyweight title as he stopped Takumi Sakae (22-4-1, 16) [榮拓海] in a really interesting bout.
Sakae got off to a good start, dropping Kano in round 2 of the bout, and again in round 4, as he seemed well on the way to scoring a notable upset. Sadly for the challenger however he couldn't finish off the champion and instead the body shots of Kano seemed to take the wind out of Sakae in rounds 6, 7 and 8.
Heading into round 9 it seemed the momentum was with Kano and he knew it as he continued to up his tempo against a tired and exhausted Sake, eventually forcing the referee to jump in and save the challenged, who seemed out on his feet.
Tomorrow at the EDION Arena Osaka fight fans will get a number of notable bouts. One of those will see WBO Asia Pacific Middleweight champion Yuki Nonaka (33-11-3, 10) [野中 悠樹] defending his title against Koki Koshikawa (9-2, 6) [越川孝紀] in a bout that really should be regarded as a must win for both men.
Today, ahead of their bout, the two men took part in their weigh in for the contest, with both men making the 160lb limit with no issues.
On the scales the 43 year old Nonaka came in bang on the 160lb limit and he looked in amazing shape. It was hard to believe that he was a 43 year old who had been out of the ring for around 2 years. At the weigh in he stated he was in perfect condition for this bout and would be showing what he's been training. Notably a win here is expected to see him begin knocking on a potential world title bout, even at the age of 43.
Koshikawa looked a lot less impressive on the scales, though came in at the same weight as Noanaka, 160lbs dead on. He looked fleshy, and like a man who is naturally a Welterweight fighting at Middleweight. He explained that weight loss was difficult, but after making weight he did seem relaxed and began to take on a lot of water.
For fans wanting to watch the bout it will be aired live on TV Osaka's YouTube channel tomorrow, and will be one of two title fights on the show, which will promoted by Taisei Gym.
Related - Veteran Nonaka takes on flawed Koshikawa!
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