Takada blows out Isa, Taniguchi claims youth title, Sasaki trades knockdowns in draw with Sekine
Earlier today we had the latest show in the Fighter Spirit Series of shows. The card wasn't a stacked one, but the show, from Hachioji Nakaya Promotions, did several notable bouts on it.
The first of 3 noteworthy bouts was the rubber bout between Yuni Takada (9-8-3, 3) [高田 勇仁] and Shunsuke Isa (9-4-1, 1) [伊佐 春輔]. The first two bouts between the men were razor thin and we were expecting a similarly competitive contest this time around. Instead Takada landed the punch of the rivalry, detonating a huge left hook on Isa which dropped him hard. The referee waved off the bout after just 41 seconds, giving Takada the last laugh in a the rivalry and his most impressive win to date.
The second bout of note was a Japanese Youth Super Featherweight title bout, which saw Hyoga Taniguchi (6-3-2, 1) [谷口 彪賀] claim the title and put a beating on Seika Fukuda (6-4, 1) [福田 星河]. Taniguchi took control almost immediately, and took the fight to Fukuda, neutralising his jab with pressure and accuracy. Taniguchi would drop Fukuda early on, and then simply out work him, out land him, and out fight him, despite Fukuda doing his best to try and turn things around. After 8 rounds it was hard to give Fukuda anything, with the judges scoring this 80-70, 80-70 and 79-71.
The main event was much, much more competitive with the heavy handed Jin Sasaki (12-1-1, 11) [佐々木 尽] being held to a draw by Kotaro Sekine (3-0-1, 3) [関根 幸太朗]. The bout had real tension at it from before the bell, with the two men trying to stare daggers into each other. Sekine started well, and looked relaxed through the opening round, fighting relaxed and out boxing Sasaki until the final seconds of the round, when he was dropped hard, securing Sasaki a 10-8 round. Had the shot come 30 seconds earlier there's a chance Sasaki would have forced a stoppage here. He was made to pay in round 3 for not being able to finish off as Sekine battled his way back in to the bout, and he dropped Sasaku in round 5, with a left hook. The second knockdown left the bout finely poised going into the final round, which was hotly contested, and saw the judges being split.
After 6 rounds the scores for this were 56-56, twice, and 57-55 to Sasaki, leading to a majority draw.
Earlier today at Korakuen Hall fight fan got a very entertaining show thanks to the Kawasaki Nitta Gym, with two title fights taking place on the show.
In the main event fight fans saw a genuinely thrilling bout as the always fun to watch Gakuya Furuhashi (28-8-1, 16) [古橋大輔] retained the Japanese Super Bantamweight title with a 3rd round TKO win against gutsy challenger Seigo Hanamori (7-4, 5) [花森 成吾].
From the opening bell Hanamori, who was stepping up massive, looked to take center ring and press Furuhashi, who started the bout trying to box, move and show some movement. Within a minute however the champion seemed to change tactics, and seemed to make it clear that he was willing to engage in the fight Hanamori wanted and the two just went to war on the inside, unloading shots up close. These show Hanamori getting dropped, and instead of backing off he took the fight back to Furuhashi as the action continued to be up close and brutal, making for a brilliant opening round, with intense action a lot of leather being thrown.
Having had an amazing opening 3 minutes we wouldn't have been surprised by the action slowing down in round 2. Instead however the second round was just as action packed and brutal as the first as Hanamori landed great shots at mid range and Furuhashi tried to barrel through it and turn it into an inside war. This made for 3 minutes for none stop action, fought at an incredible tempo, with huge shots from both men. Sadly for Hanamori his moments of success were never enough to see him hurt Furuhashi, who seemed to be enjoying having such a willing opponent.
In round 3 we again saw Furuhashi looking to get inside and Hanamori being happy enough to trade shots up close. Sadly for Hanamori he couldn't withstand the the incessant Furuhashi pressure, wobbling several times, backing him on to the ropes and forced the referee to step in and save Hanamori who was eating a lot of leather at that point.
The other title bout was a Japanese Youth title fight at Minimumweight, and this one was much, much more competitive as Shunsuke Isa (9-3-1, 1) [伊佐 春輔] took a razor thin split decision over Yuni Takada (8-8-2, 3) [高田 勇仁], avenging a 2019 loss in the process.
This was close and competitive from the off, with both men having arguments in every round. Takada was looking to close the distance, make the most of his toughness and aggression, with Isa was happy to use his speed and movement. This made for a compelling back and forth. As the bout went on Isa's movement became less of a factor, as he began to hold his feet and let his hands go more, and the final round 3 rounds were sense, punch for punch action, with neither man managing to hurt the other.
After 8 rounds the judges all turned in 77-75 cards, though thankfully for Isa two of the 3 cards went his way, enough for him to take the split decision.
Earlier today fight fans at Korakuen Hall had the latest show in the Dynamic Glove series of shows, with this show set to be aired in May on G+. The card featured several bouts of note, including a Japanese Light Middleweight title bout, between Hironobu Matsunaga and Rei Nakajima.
For those wanting to watch this, as live, when it's finally aired, we have included this spoiler warning introduction. Please note that spoilers will begin in the next paragraph, starting with the the first under-card bout, and then moving on through the other bouts on the show. If you wish to avoid those spoilers, please stop reading now.
The show began with a 4 round bout between unbeaten novices Taichi Mano (1-0-2) [真野 泰地] and Kanta Kawamura (1-0-1, 1) [川村 栞汰], who both managed to remain unbeaten as they fought to a 4 round split decision draw. This was a good back and forth to kick the show off, and neither man ever really seemed to take control. A good, solid, honest bout to kick off the event, and one that neither man deserved to lose.
The second bout saw teenage Kai Watanabe (1-0) [渡邉 海] kick off his professional career in successful manner, as he out pointed 33 year old Hikaro Sato (2-6-1) [佐藤 光] over 4 rounds. Watanabe was too good from the off. He backed well behind his long reach and whilst Sato tried to turn things around he just walked into shots, taking a lot of punishment, and being cut in round 2. This really was a one sided show case of Watanabe's ability, and a very solid performance from the teenager.
The final 4 rounder saw Teppei Saito (4-1, 2) [齋藤 哲平] take a majority decision against Ayumu Komoto (2-2-1, 2) [河本 歩夢]. Like the bout that opened the event this was really competitive, but it always seemed that Saito was just a touch more eye catching with his work in the first 3 rounds. Komoto was always in the bout, but didn't do quite enough to earn the draw.
The first of 3 notable bouts saw Reiya Abe (21-3-1, 9) [阿部麗也] take a technical decision win over Koshin Takeshima (4-2-1, 3) [竹嶋宏心]. Takeshima started well, and seemed to take the first round, but he was cut in round 2 from an accidental headclash and never seemed to settle after that. In fact Abe seemed to build from knowing Takeshima was a wounded fighter, and he dropped Takeshima in round 3. Takeshima would then suffer another cut, again from an accidental headclash, as his face became a genuine mess.
Knowing he was behind Takeshima tried to turn things around in round 4, and has some success, but Abe's clever boxing saw him take rounds 5 and 6. In round 7 Takeshimna was deducted a point for holding, and late saw the bout being stopped due to his cuts.
At an official time of 2:42 in round 7 the bout was stopped with Abe taking the decision thanks to scores of 67-64, 68-64 and 68-63.
In the second notably bout Japanese Youth Minimumweight champion Kai Ishizawa (8-1, 7) [石澤開] successfully defended his title with a majority decision win over Yuni Takada (8-7-2, 3) [高田勇仁]. This was surprisingly competitive, with Takada really performing much better than expected.
Early on Takada used his speed well and let his hands go whilst moving and stopped Ishizawa from setting his feet. It was the perfect game plan to neutralise Ishizawa's pressure. Sadly however that was an energy sapping gameplan from Takada and one that was not going to be easy to do for 8 rounds against someone as aggressive, strong and powerful as Ishizawa.
In the later rounds Ishizawa's pressure finally started to break through as he got cl0se and got his shots off, doing what he needed to win. After 8 rounds we went to the scorecards with scores of 76-76, 78-74 and 79-73, giving Ishizawa his first decision wins as a professional.
In the main event Japanese Light Middleweight champion Hironobu Matsunaga (18-1, 11) [松永 宏信] recorded his third defense, but really hard to work for it as he narrowly over-came Rei Nakajima (4-1) [中島玲].
Nakajima made the most of his speed advantage early on, and seemed to look confident in the early round, but Matsunaga did what he has been doing for years, and began to find his rhythm in round 2, coming forward behind his jab. In rounds 3 and 4 he began to force his fight, and Nakajima really was made to feel somewhat uncomfortable due to the aggression and pressure of Matsunaga.
After 5 rounds Matsunaga was leading on all 3 cards, 48-47, twice and 49-46.
Knowing he was behind Nakajima looked to change things around, but Matsunaga wasn't having it and looked to tighten his stranglehold on the action. That was despite some really good moments from Nakajima, who really tried to change the tide of the bout, especially in round 9.It was, however, too little too late.
After 10 rounds the two men seemed to have some real respect for each other, following what was a well contested bout. Sadly for Nakajima however he did come up short on all 3 cards, with scores of 97-93, twice and 96-94 all in favour of Nakajima.
Again for those wanting to watch, the show will be televised on G+ on May. A disappointingly long wait for a show that took place with more than a week of April still remaining.
Tomorrow at Korakuen Hall we'll see Japanese Youth Minimumweight champion Kai Ishizawa (7-1, 7) [石澤開] make his first defense, as he takes on Yuni Takada (8-6-2, 3) [高田勇仁]. The bout sees Ishizawa defending the title he's held since 2018, and defending it before he has to vacate it, which he has to do before he turns 25.
Today the two men took part in their weigh in for that bout earlier today and both men made the 105lbs weight limit.
On the scales Ishizawa was bang on the limit and looked in fantastic condition. He looked ripped and ready to go whilst Takada was well under the limit at 104.3lbs, and looked good but not as ripped as the champion.
At the weigh in Ishizawa made it clear that his days at 105lbs are numbered, explaining "It's not easy to lose weight, but I'm relieved that I was able to lose it firmly. I'm going to recover and prepare for tomorrow's game." He also promised a really exciting bout and stated "I want to show what is different from other minimum-class players. It's best to win, but if possible, I will win with an aesthetic KO."
Takada seemed to be aware he was the under-dog but also promised a good fight, stating "I'll just fight hard tomorrow. I want to show a game where the customers are excited. If there is a meeting, I want to face it head-on."
For fans hoping to watch this one, unfortunately we need to wait until May 10th when the event will be shown on tape delay on G+, unless you have a ticket to the venue for the bout tomorrow.
Related - Ishizawa takes on Takada in Japanese Youth title defense
(Image credit - Yokohama Hikari Gym)
Over the last 24 hours or so the schedule on the JOSC (JBC Official Supporters Club) website has revealed a new bout set for April 21st, as part of a Yokohama Hikari show at Korakuen Hall.
The bout in question will see Japanese Youth Minimumweight champion Kai Ishizawa (7-1, 7) [石澤開] defending his title, for the first time, as he takes on Yuni Takada (8-6-2, 3) [高田勇仁], in a bout scheduled for 8 rounds.
The talented and hard hitting Ishizawa won the belt back in 2018, when he stopped Yuga Inoue in a sensational bout. The following year the title seemed to be forgotten as Ishizawa focused on securing a Japanese title fight, losing in an eliminator against Masataka Taniguchi. Sadly 2020 was a bit of a write off for Ishizawa, who only squeezed one bout into the year, though did shake off some ring rust with a TKO in over Masashi Tada.
On paper Takada looks like a poor challenger, especially given that he's win-less in his last 3 and is 2-4-1 in his last 7, however he's not a push over. Last year he fought to a draw with Hizuki Saso and suffered a competitive loss to former Japanese champion Norihito Tanaka, and in 2019 he gave the exciting Toshiki Kawamitsu arguably his toughest bout to date.
Ishizawa should have too much for Takada, but we certainly won't be complain about seeing the heavy handed youngster back in action, with bigger and better things surely on the horizon for him.
The bout will be on a show, headlined by Japanese Light Middleweight champion Hironobu Matsunaga (17-1, 11) [松永 宏信] defending his title his title against Rei Nakajima (4-0) [中島玲] and will also feature Reiya Abe (20-3-1, 9) [阿部麗也] battling Koshin Takeshima (4-1-1, 3) [竹嶋宏心].
News! We try and give you the most interesting news stories from the Asian boxing world!