Yesterday in Japan fight fans saw former IBF Super Bantamweight champion Yukinori Oguni (21-2-2, 8) [小國以載] battle with OPBF Bantamweight champion Keita Kurihara (16-6-1, 14) [栗原慶太], in a bout that ended up being anti-climactic and under-whelming.
The bout started well, with Oguni using his clean accurate punches well, and going to the body of Kurihara, who looked to return fire with bigger, heavier shots. Through the first 3 rounds Oguni's skills and technical ability proved to be the difference between the two men, whilst Kurihara struggled to land much clean. It was a huge surprise given how Oguni had been out of the ring for more than 3 years and had suffered with a number of injuries during the later part of his career.
Sadly though in round 4 a headclash burst Oguni open, and the ringside doctor to stop the bout, resulting in a technical draw, despite the fact Oguni was up 30-27, twice, and 29-28 at the time of the stoppage
After the bout Oguni joked that this was just his luck, and even joked about having to retire if he'd lost, but was given the go-ahead to continue given the technical draw result.
As for Kurihara he seemed to feel he was going to come on strong in the second half of the fight, and was starting to read Oguni's movements better round by round. He did also admit that he'd learned from Oguni.
Tomorrow fight fans in Japan will be able to see former IBF Super Bantamweight champion Yukinori Oguni (21-2-1, 8) [小國以載] take on OPBF Bantamweight Keita Kurihara (16-6, 14) [栗原慶太], in a non-title bout. The bout, Oguni's first in over 3 years, is regarded as a major bout for both men, with Oguni knowing he needs a win to keep his career alive, and Kurihara knowing a win takes him to within touching distance of a world title bout.
Today, ahead of their clash, the two men took part in their weigh in with both men making the agreed Super Bantamweight limit with no issues at all. In fact both men came in at an identical 121.7lbs.
After making weight both men spoke to the Japanese press. During that Oguni spoke about the numerous injuries he's had in recent years, which played a major part in his inactivity with notably injuries to his right hand, which required an operation. His hand is said to be fully healed now, and he has worked on using his left hand in the build up to this fight. He also knows a win here would help him reclaim a world ranking, and potentially set up a chance to fight for another world title.
As for Kurihara, who is moving up in weight for this bout, he thanked his gym chairman for securing the bout, which he admitted was a surprise until he was told the bout had been made. He explained that he had scouted Oguni and was aware that Oguni was good at neutralising fighters, but he seemed confident that he would have too much for Oguni.
Interestingly, for those wanting to watch, the show will be aired on PPV through Zaiko, in what we believe will be their first boxing broadcast, costing 1,480 Yen.
Earlier today new broke from Japan of a very interesting bout set for May 20th at Korakuen Hall, as part of an A-Sign boxing card.
The bout in question will see former IBF Super Bantamweight champion Yukinori Oguni (21-2-1, 8) [小國以載] return to the ring, for the first time in over 3 years, as he takes on OPBF Bantamweight Keita Kurihara (16-6, 14) [栗原慶太], who moves up in weight for the bout.
The talented Oguni is best known for his huge 2016 upset win over Jonathan Guzman for the IBF Super Bantamweight title, in what was one of the very last bouts of the year. Sadly for him he lost the title in his first defense, losing Ryosuke Iwasa, before retiring. His retirement ended a year later, but he has only fought twice since that loss, and a scheduled bout with Shingo Wake fall through due to injury. That bout, had it taken place, would have given Oguni a chance to avenge one of his two losses.
Kurihara on the other hand will be getting his first bout against a former world champion, and see him look to build on his October 2021 win over Kazuki Nakajima, which saw him claim the OPBF Bantamweight title, for the second time. The hard hitting fighter will be moving up, from Bantamweight to Super Bantamweight, but will feel confident his power, youth and more recent activity will prove to be a difference making against the talented, but inactive, Oguni.
At the moment other bout for this show has been announced, though similar A-Sign shows have often had a solid co-feature, alongside a big main event, so fingers crossed this show follows what we've seen from the promoter in the past.
Back in January we saw an announcement regarding a rematch between former IBF Super Bantamweight champion Yukinori Oguni (21-2-1, 8) [小國以載] and former world title challenger Shingo Wake (27-6-2, 19) [和氣 慎吾]. The bout was announced on January 22nd, during a live stream on Boxing Raise, and was set for April 28th at Korakuen Hall.
It instantly seemed like a brilliant match up and something to look forward to in April, a month that had very little on the schedule.
Sadly however that bout has now been cancelled, with Oguni suffering an injury in training, and will not be available for the April date.
At the moment it's unclear what the plan is, though it seems like Wake will face a replacement opponent, or the bout will be pushed back, and rescheduled for a later date, with a different main event being planned for the show. One thing that does seem clear is that the show it's self will not be cancelled, just this match up.
The bout was an anticipated one, given their history. Around 8 years ago the then unheralded Wake upset Oguni, the then unbeaten OPBF Super Bantamweight champion, and began his rise towards an eventual world title fight. Sadly for Wake his world title fight saw him being battered by hard hitting Dominican Jonathan Guzman, in a bout for the IBF title.
Oguni rebuilt from his loss to Wake, ended up claiming the Japanese title then shocked us all by dethroning Guzman in his first defense, just months after Guzman had battered Wake and literally broken his face. Oguni's reign was, however, a short one losing to Ryosuke Iwasa in his first defense.
At the time of writing it's unclear how serious Oguni's injury is, though we want to wish him a speedy and full recovery.
Earlier today on the latest Dangan card, streamed live on Boxing Raise, we saw an announcement of a mouth watering bout set for April 28th.
The bout in question will be a rematch between former IBF Super Bantamweight champion Yukinori Oguni (21-2-1, 8) [小國以載] and former world title challenger Shingo Wake (27-6-2, 19) [和氣 慎吾], in what genuinely looks like a sensational bit of match making.
The two men first clashed way back in 2013, when Oguni was the unbeaten OPBF Super Bantamweight champion. Oguni entered the bout looking to make his 4th defense of the Oriental title but was dominated by Wake, who stopped him in 10 rounds, ending the unbeaten streak of Oguni.
After that there had been various discussion of the two men having a rematch one day, but they went in different directions.
Since his loss to Oguni went on to claim the Japanese Super Bantamweight title, winning that belt in 2014, and later scored a massive upset at the end of 2016 to dethrone Jonathan Guzman and claim the IBF Super Bantamweight title. Sadly though his reign was a short one, losing in his first defense, to Ryosuke Iwasa before retiring. Like many in boxing his retirement was a short lived on and just 15 months later he was back in the ring, and is now 2-0 (1) since the loss to Iwasa.
Following his win over Oguni popular Wake managed to score 5 defenses of the OPBF title before losing to the aforementioned Jonathan Guzman in a battle for the then vacant IBF Super Bantamweight, suffering numerous knockdowns and severe facial damage in that loss. He bounced back well from that loss, winning the Japanese Super Bantamweight title in 2018, when he stopped Yusaku Kuga. He vacated that title to focus on getting a second world title shot, but those hopes were dashed when he suffered a massive KO loss to Jhunriel Ramonal in 2019. Since then he has fought once, stopping Shohei Kawashima.
For both men a loss here would be very hard to bounce back from, but from a fan perspective we are really looking forward to this one and have very high expectations of the match up, which should be an exciting technical battle.
Whilst this bout has been announced none of the other bouts on the show have been confirmed as of yet. Those other bouts will be confirmed over the coming weeks, and for those wanting to watch the event, the show will be made available over the Boxing Raise service.
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