Earlier todayKaneko Boxing announced their next show, set for October 20th at Korakuen Hall. Overall the card isn't anything too major, in fact it's quite rare for a Kaneko Boxing show to be stacked, but there was a very, very notable bout announced for the main event.
That main event bout is a Japanese Youth title bout between the unbeaten and enigmatic Takahiro Tai (3-0, 3) [田井宜広] and the talented, but light punching, Fumiya Fuse (10-1, 1) [富施郁哉] who will clash for the vacant Japanese Bantamweight title in a mouth watering match up.
Tai, who turned professional last year, is a heavy handed switch hitter, who oozes charisma and has a style that we suspect would appeal to a wider boxing audience, with flash, style and taunting all being key to his in ring style.
Fuse on the other hand has been a professional since 2017, the year he actually won the All Japan Rookie of the Year. He won his first 8 bouts before suffering a 2019 loss to Toshiya Ishii, but since then he has bounced back with two more wins and rebuilt some momentum coming in to this bout.
The title, for those interested, was made vacant earlier this year when the aforementioned Ishii vacated the bout to begin campaigning at 122lbs.
As well as this main event the card will also feature the second professional bout of Yuya Oku (1-0, 1) [大久祐哉], who debuted in July with a 50 second blow out win, as he faces Yuya Azuma (5-6-1, 1) [東祐也] and the professional debut of Yuri Kanaya (0-0) [金谷 勇利], who battles against Sora Takeda (6-2, 1) [竹田宙]. Both of these bouts are scheduled for 6 rounds whilst the main event will be an 8 rounder.
Japanese boxing is known for it's warriors and it's exciting fighters. Today fans at the Korakuen Hall saw two such warriors collide in what was yet another thrilling contest on the domestic scene, and further proof that the Japanese fans really are among the luckiest in all of boxing.
On paper the match up didn't look amazing, as Akihiro Kondo (29-6-1, 16) [近藤 明広] scored an expected win over Yuya Okazaki (12-10-2, 4) [岡崎 祐也], but how Kondo got to that win was nothing short of thrilling.
From the opening moments the two men found each other and although Kondo showed more defensive nous it was clear that near man was going to back off for long, and instead they traded blows up close. Okazaki brought much of the early pessure but that played into Kondo's hands, with the veteran landing counters on a regular basis.
In round 4 the accumulation of Kondo's shots took their toll on Okazaki who suffered a cut around the left eye. Okazaki wasn't going to give up just because of the cut and gritted his teeth the following round, taking the bout back to Kondo, but was eventually stopped in round 6 with Kondo picking up the pace and landing with a worrying success rate that forced the referee to stop the action.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Earlier today fight fans in Aichi had an interesting, but small, card promoted by Midori Promotions.
In the main event fight fans saw Yuya Okazaki (12-9-2, 4) [岡崎 祐也] take a narrow decision win over Daiki Koide (22-9-2, 9) [小出 大貴] to keep alive his hopes of getting another title fight. Coming into this Okazaki had gone 0-2-1 in his previous 3 bouts, and was win-less in almost 2 years. Whilst Okazaki's career has taken a huge boost here it does seem like Koide's career is now pretty much over, with this being his third loss in 4 bouts, and he is 0-2 since returning from a 19 month lay off.
As well as the main event the card had two other notable bouts on it. One of those saw recently Japanese Light Middleweight title challenger Ryosuke Maruki (13-4-1, 8) [丸木 凌介] score a 6th round TKO win over Elfelos Vega (6-5, 4) [エルフェロス・ベガ]. For Maruki the win was a good comeback victory following his controversial loss to Yuki Nonaka earlier this year, whilst Vega has now lost 4 of his last 5 bouts.
Despite the win for Ryosuke Maruki it was mixed fortunes for the Maruki family with Kazuya Maruki (19-5, 12) [丸木 和也] suffering a narrow loss to Dai Taoka (9-3, 5) [田岡 大]. For Maruki this was a second straight loss, and a major set back given that Taoka had lost his previous 2 bouts.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Earlier today Japanese fans in Tokyo had the chance to see former world title challenger Motoki Sasaki (41-10-1, 25) [佐々木基樹] battle against Japanese ranked Yuya Okazaki (11-9-2, 4) [岡崎 祐也]. On paper the bout might not make for interesting reading but Sasaki, a 40 year old fighting for just the second time in 3 years, was taking on a real challenge and a man who recently challenged for an OPBF title, and given that Sasaki is still a popular fighter the bout was a notable one in Japan.
Given that Okazaki was several inches taller and 11 years younger than Sasaki something this would be too much for the veteran. In the end however it was Sasaki's toughness that took him to a victory in an 8 round slugfest,
The fight started relatively controlled but round by round the action became hotter and more violent, with Sasaki cutting the distance and forcing the fight up close, whilst Okazaki responded with hooks and uppercuts. At the end however their was no doubting that Sasaki landed the better shots, forced the action and controlled the bout whilst Okazaki was being forced to respond to the aggression of Sasaki.
After 8 rounds all 3 judges scored the bout for the veteran with cards of 78-75, twice, and 78-74 who we suspect will be rewarded with a Japanese ranking when the rankings are next published, towards the end of this month. For Okzaki however this likely pushes him well away from a title fight, and leaves him 0-2-1 in his last 3 bouts.
For fans wishing to watch this bout, it will be on Boxingraise tomorrow.
Tomorrow Japanese fans will see popular 40 year old Motoki Sasaki (40-10-1, 25) [佐々木基樹] face off against Japanese ranked Yuya Okazaki (11-8-2, 4) [岡崎 祐也]. The two men, fighting at Light Welterweight, both made weight today for what is a genuinely intriguing bout.
On paper Sasaki should be the favourite, just from comparing records, however he is 40 years old and has only fought 6 professional rounds in the last 3 years, easily seeing off Tatsuya Miyazaki back in February. The veteran is also the naturally smaller man, as seen by the fact Okazaki towered over him at the weigh in.
Whilst Sasaki is an inactive old man he is a teak tough fighter who gives anyone problems and won't be coming in to the bout intimidated, in fact he seems to be viewing this bout as a potential stepping stone towards a title bout.
Okazaki amazingly began his career as a very tall Featherweight but quickly grew into his body and has fought as high as Welterweight. His crowning achievement so far is beating Daiki Koide and he has also fought for an OPBF title, losing to Keita Obara last year. Aged 29 he's much younger than Sasaki but given his his losses through his career he is limited and hasn't won a bout since November 2014.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
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