Due to the fact some fans will not be wanting to know the result of today's Japanese Featherweight title bout between Ryo Sagawa [佐川遼] and Yuri Takemoto [竹本雄利] we will begin this with a paragraph of text to act as a spoiler warning. Please be aware this is a 1-off paragraph designed to not ruin the bout for those who have accidentally stumbled on this page ahead of the TV broadcast of the bout this coming weekend on Fuji TV. This is something we are only going to be doing when we know that a bout will be televised on delay and will only ever be a 1 paragraph thing, with the idea of allowing fans to watch events as live. With that in mind we'd just like to remind everyone this bout will be aired on Sunday night/Monday morning in Japan and can be watched as live as part of the Diamond Glove event.
With that now said we'll now bring you the result for the main event of today's show at Korakuen Hall.
For the first time since February fans were able to attend a boxing show at Korakuen Hall. Fans have been back, in various capacities, around Japan but this was the first time the legendary Korakuen Hall had hosted fans, and they did so for a small, but notable Misako promoted card headlined by Japanese Featherweight champion Ryo Sagawa (10-1, 5) [佐川遼]. The champion, defending the belt for the second time, managed to show what he could do as he stopped the 2018 Rookie of the Year winner Yuri Takemoto (8-2-1, 4) [竹本雄利] at the very end of round 6.
The challenger started well, and had success in the first two rounds, before Sagawa began to get going in round 3. The start from the challenger was better than many had expected, and he showed he was up for this opportunity, despite lacking the natural ability of the champion. Sagawa was left with a bloodied nose, but be was calm, collected, and began landing with both hands in round 3. The success of Sagawa began to grow and in round 4 he landed a big right hand on the challenger, who seemed to starting to run out of ideas as we entered round 5 and Sagawa began to show the skills, and fluid punching that has seen him winning the title.
After 5 rounds the good start of Takemoto was forgotten. The scorecards were all in favour of Sagawa, though two judges did have the bout very close.
Sadly for Takemoto things were set to get worse and very late in the round he took a big body shot that sent him to the canvas. Takemoto tried to beat the count but stumbled as the bout was officially called at an official time of 3:09 of round 6.
With the win Sagawa retains his title and moves one step closer to a world title bout. Before that happens we expect we'll see him take on mandatory challenger Hinata Maruta (10-1-1, 8) [丸田陽七太], who was originally supposed to faced Sagawa earlier this year. Issues relating to the on going global situation prevented that bout from taking place and Takemoto got the call for this contest. As a result Maruta is still the mandatory, though may end up waiting until 2021 for his shot at the now very truncated Champion Carnival.
As for Takemoto the loss showed the level he was competing at. He was game, he came to win, but there is still a lot of work that the youngster needs to do if he's to ever become a champion, even at national level. He was gutsy but outclassed, and was totally unable to compete when Sagawa went through the gears.
Tomorrow at Korakuen Hall Japanese Featherweight champion Ryo Sagawa (9-1, 4) [佐川遼] will be in the ring looking to make his second defense, as he takes on 2018 Rookie of the Year winner Yuri Takemoto (8-1-1, 4) [竹本雄利]. The bout has been put together after issues relating to the on going global situation prevented Sagawa from taking on mandatory challenger Hinata Maruta (10-1-1, 8) [丸田陽七太] in what looked like an amazing match up.
Sadly for those expecting this to be a competitive match up the Polish betting website STS Bet don't agree, and they have Sagawa priced at an almost unbackable 1.02, which is the same as 1/50 in the UK and -5000 for those in the US, to win.
The unheralded Takemoto is a huge 10.00, which is the same as 9/1 or +900, to score the upset and become the new champion.
For those interested in the method of victory market Sagawa is 1.25, 1/4 or -400, to win by stoppage. That's the result we're expecting but the value is perhaps not there for some. On the other hand a decision win for the defending champion has been priced at 4.0, which is the equivalent of 3/1 or +300.
Takemoto is a huge 18.0, the same as 17/1 or +1700, to win by stoppage and a massive 22.0, which is 21/1 or +2100, to win a decision. Those looking at Takemoto and considering a win for him, we genuinely see his only chance of winning coming by stoppage.
The bookies have also put an length of bout market on the bout, putting the over/under marker at 6. rounds. The under is 1.57, which is 57/100 or -175, whilst the over is 2.22, which is the same as 61/50 or +122.
Sadly the bout won't be shown live, but will be available on delay with Fuji TV showing the contest over the weekend.
Related - Japanese champion Sagawa faces off with Takemoto!
Tomorrow in Tokyo Japanese Featherweight champion Ryo Sagawa (9-1, 4) [佐川遼] will be making his next defense of the title, as he looks to move towards bigger and better fights down the line. The once beaten champion will be seeking his second defense of the title as he takes on 2018 Rookie of the Year winner Yuri Takemoto (8-1-1, 4) [竹本雄利] at Korakuen Hall.
Today, ahead of their bout, the two men took part in their weigh in and both men made weight for the contest with no issues, coming in pretty much on the 126lb Featherweight limit.
Following the weigh in Sagawa spoke highly of Takemoto, stating that he has the impression that Takemoto is a strong fighter. He did however appear very confident, despite being respectful, and stated that he would fight his way and take the win.
Sagawa, who actually works for a confectionery company outside of boxing, has said he is trying to help, as their sales have been hit badly by the on going global situation.
Takemoto stated that when he got the offer for the title he jumped at it, stating he wanted the shot immediately. He has trained hard and done around 100 rounds of sparring to prepare for this bout, though is still clearly the under-dog against the excellent Sagawa.
For those interested Takemoto is actually a plumber outside of boxing
Originally Sagawa was scheduled to defend his title against mandatory challenger Hinata Maruta (10-1-1, 8) [丸田陽七太], though that had to change due to the on going situation, delaying Maruta's chance until 2021. As a result Maruta will be expected to face the winner of this bout in their next defense.
For fans wanting to watch the bout on TV the contest will sadly not be shown until the weekend, with Fuji TV airing it on delay on Sunday night, at 25:55 local time, or 1:55AM Monday morning.
Related - Japanese champion Sagawa faces off with Takemoto!
(Image credit - Misako Gym)
Just over 10 days ago we reported that we would see Japanese Featherweight champion Ryo Sagawa (9-1, 4) [佐川遼] defending his title against 2018 Rookie of the Year winner Yuri Takemoto (8-1-1, 4) [竹本雄利], with tickets for the bouts being on sale through Pia.
Now we can confirm that that bout has officially been announced, for August 13th, and that the number of tickets available has been confirmed. What has also been confirmed is that the event will be the first fan attend boxing show in Tokyo.
Although fans have been in some boxing events in Japan already they have been a long way from the capital, with a small fan attended show in Okinawa and one in Aichi. This however will be the first in the capital, and will have just 700 fans in attendance, just a fraction of what the venue can hold.
For those unable to make it to the venue the bout is now confirmed to be the headlined contest of a Diamond Glove show, meaning it will be aired, on delay, on Fuji TV.
Sadly for those wanting to see Sagawa defending against Hinata Maruta (10-1-1, 8) [丸田陽七太], like we were, that's now provisionally pushed back to 2021. Say that though it may still fall off the radar if one of the two men chooses to take a different path, for example if Sagawa gets a world title fight.
Whilst it's a huge shame that we aren't going to be getting Sagawa Vs Maruta in 2020 it's great too see fans returning to Tokyo, and hopefully this will open the door to more fan attended events in the "Holy Land" of Japanese boxing.
It's fair to say that 2020 has been a very, very strange year. Whilst we're not going to go through what's happened outside of boxing, the issues going on has forced a lot of changes to the boxing calendar.
The changes have really messed up the annual Champion Carnival, which would have been completed by now and would have seen all the Japanese champions making a mandatory defense of their titles.
With all that is going on we've seen some bouts totally cancelled, some posted and some are still up in their air as to what will happen to them.
One bout that now appears to be, at the very least, getting pushed back to late in the year, if not being cancelled all together, is the Japanese Featherweight title bout between defending champion Ryo Sagawa (9-1, 4) [佐川遼] and Hinata Maruta (10-1-1, 8) [丸田陽七太].
Originally the bout was set for April 9th, as part of a double header, though it now seems the men are going in a different direction.
At the moment ticketing website t.pia.jp are selling tickets for a bout between Sagawa and 2018 Rookie of the Year winner Yuri Takemoto (8-1-1, 4) [竹本雄利], rather than Sagawa and Maruta. The show is the only boxing event Pia are currently selling tickets for, with the event set for August 13th, at Korakuen Hall as part of the Diamond Glove series, which get broadcast on delay on Fuji TV.
Whilst we do understand changes being made it does seem this is a bit of a strange one, and a rather underwhelming one. Sagawa is a fantastic fighter, who surely has eyes set on bigger things in the future, and to have seen him clash with Maruta would have been one of the highest of the Champion Carnival. Takemoto on the other hand has done little since winning the Rookie of the Year in December 2018 and appears to be leaping up in levels.
We're not massively annoyed at the bout, but it does seem an underwhelming replacement bout for what we had been looking forward to.
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