Earlier today Korakuen Hall played host to an interesting Dangan card, that wouldn't have got much international attention, but did have a trio of noteworthy Japanese domestic clashes.
The first of the three bouts of note saw OPBF female Flyweight champion Chaoz Minowa (7-3, 6) [チャオズ箕輪] record her first defense, as she stopped Yumemi Ikemoto (7-2) [池本 夢実] in 2 rounds. Minowa, who won the title in 2016, was aggressive from the off, and dropped Imemoto early in round 2 with a left hook. Ikemoto, to her credit, beat the count, but was under intense pressure and dropped a second time soon afterwards. This time the referee waved off the bout with Ikemoto trying to get to her feet.
Minowa was once tipped to be a star, and whilst she has failed to live up to expectations, there is no denying she's a fun fighter to watch and that was shown here. Sadly for Ikemoto she had nothing to challenge Minowa with, and her lack of power was a major issue against someone like Minowa.
The second notable bout was much more competitive and compelling and saw former Japanese Featherweight champion Taiki Minamoto (17-7-1, 13) [源大輝] score a split decision win over Shingo Kusano (13-10-1, 5) [草野慎悟] in a thrilling 8 rounder. Kusano started the bout really well, and controlled the range behind his 1-2's and movement. It was the style and relaxed nature of Kusano that controlled the early portion of the bout, and saw him do what he could to neutralise Minamoto's power.
Sadly for Kusano he couldn't avoid the heavy hands of Minamoto forever and as the bout went on Minamoto gradually got success, rocking Kusano several times in the second half of the bout. Kusano took it well, and managed to continue having moments, but the pressure of Minamoto began to catch the eye and he began to wear down Kusano, who was dropped in round 7, and put into survival mode late in the round.
Despite being dropped Kusano responded well, and fought hard in round 8, and saw out the final bell, but it wasn't enough for him to impress the judges. After 8 rounds Minamoto was favoured 77-74, twice, whilst the third judge went to Kusano, with a score of 76-75.
The final bout of note, and the show's main event, saw the unbeaten Hironori Mishiro (11-0-1, 4) [三代大訓] put in, arguably, the best performance of his career, as he stopped Kazuhiro Nishitani (21-6-1, 12) [西谷和宏] in 6 rounds. This was anticipated to be a really good technical match up between two men who are skilled and intelligent fighters. Instead however Mishiro looked a class or two better than Nishitani.
The bout started with both men battling at mid range, trying to use their jabs to set more up and get a feel of their opponents. It was really good stuff from both men who showed what they could do in the ring. Sadly for Nishitani it wasn't long until Mishiro began to move through the gears, and he bagn to land good body shots with his long right hand. Mishiro would then force Nishitani to pick up the pace and although we were getting technical action it was exciting and at a good tempo.
At the end of round 5 Mishiro managed to drop Nishitani with a gorgeous series of clean shots. Sadly for Mishiro it was too late in the round to jump on Nishitani, but Nishitani hadn't recovered as we went into round 6, and Mishiro went for the kill to start the round, dropping his man with a hard counter right hand. The referee then waved off the bout, without issuing a count whilst Nishitani was flat on his back.
According to Japanese sources we'll see Japanese female Flyweight champion Yumemi Ikemoto (6-1) [池本夢実] return to the ring on February 10th in Shizuoka, in what is being sold as a warm up bout for a world title contest.
The once beaten 22 year old will be up against Filipino foe Gretel de Paz (5-4-1, 2) in the bout, which is scheduled for 8 rounds. A win is expected from Ikemoto who is then going to be fighting for a world title later in the year, though they've not disclosed which world title that will be.
Ikemoto won the Japanese female Flyweight title last March, out pointing Yuki Koseki over 6 rounds. She followed that up with a decision win over Carleans Rivas last July and will be expected to breeze past de Paz here.
As for the Filipino she has a 2018 which saw her going 1-1-1, with a loss to Miyo Yoshida in Japan and a draw with the aforementioned Carleans Rivas.
Sadly aside from the Ikemoto Vs Rivas bout there is little of note on this Shizuoka card.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
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