Way back in early May 2019 we covered the then unbeaten Tetsuro Ohashi (7-1-1, 2) as part of our "Introducing" series. At the time Ohashi was 6-0-1 (1) and the 20 year old was showing real potential whilst preparing to take on Thai visitor Kathawut Saikaew Boxing Camp.
When we "Introduced" Ohashi he had won the 2018 Rookie of the Year, at Super Flyweight, with a decision win over Shinobu Wakagi in the final. He had shown a lack of power, but some lovely skills and it was clear he had the potential to go far, but still had work to do. What he had was skills, speed, timing, footwork and size. He is also a southpaw, giving him yet another thing to like. For a Super Flyweight he was a long, tall, rangy guy, and fought to his physical strengths.
Whilst Ohashi is a big guy at Super Flyweight he is still very young, lacking physical maturity. That lack of maturity was obvious in 2019, he still looked like a kid, a scrawny looking kid. Questions were always going to be asked when a fighter could get past his jab, cut the ring, and begin to physically bully him. It wasn't going to be an easy task for opponents, but was a clear area where Ohashi was probably going to struggle.
Following our introduction of Ohashi he blew out Kathawut Saikaew Boxing Camp inside a round as part of the Reiya Konishi Vs Felix Alvarado under-card. The win was Ohashi's first stoppage since he defeated Akihiro Imai back in June 2017 in Ohashi's debut, almost 2 years earlier. The bout said more about the totally hapless Thai than Ohashi, though the Japanese youngster did show some nice touches and his left hands to the body were particularly potent against the Thai.
After stopping Kathawut Saikaew Boxing Camp we then saw Ohashi move into his first title bout. That came in October 2019 when he took on fellow Japanese youngster Suzumi Takayama in a bout for the Japanese Youth Super Flyweight title. This was one of those bouts that is rather unique to the Japanese scene, with two talented young prospects both facing in their first 10 bouts. It was a notable amateur in Takayama taking on a Rookie of the Year winner, in Ohashi.
The bout between Ohashi and Takayama turned out to be a genuine hidden gem. Ohashi was dropped in the first round but then got revenge in round 2 when he dropped Takayama, and managed to build a lead through the first half of the fight. Going into the final round Ohashi was in a lead on all 3 cards, albeit a narrow one. With the bout slipping away from Takayama dropped a tired Ohashi twice in round 8, with Ohashi's team throwing in the towel to save their man.
The loss is a clear set back for Ohashi, a stoppage loss can certainly be hard to bounce back from. However this is not a loss that Ohashi should feel ashamed by. In fact if anything it showed he could fight through adversity, getting up in the first round. He could recompose himself when hurt, and he belonged at that level. The loss also showed that he needed time, he needed a chance to develop and mature physically and get used to the 8 round distance.
Whilst Ohashi hasn't fought since October 2019 in part due to the global situation, we're really looking forward to seeing more of him. Unlike many fighters the lengthy break from the ring may serve him well. It's allowed him a lengthy break after a stoppage loss, and it's given him plenty of time to naturally mature. Of course gym time would have helped, but we suspect the time out of the ring will be a blessing in disguise for the 21 year old from the Shinsei Gym.
(Please note - Ohashi may have had his next bout announced by the time this goes live, it was written in May)
Following a pretty interesting start to the month things get really intense in the days to come with a lot of notable action, in not a lot of time.
Shinobu Charlie Hosokawa (11-4-1, 10) Vs Koki Tyson (14-3-3, 12) II - Tokyo, Japan
In a rematch for the OPBF Middleweight title we'll see Shinobu Charlie Hosokawa take on Koki Tyson, with both men looking to take the currently vacant title. These two fighters fought to a draw earlier in the year and will be going in again to try and take the title that was vacated by Yuki Nonaka. Given that both Hosokawa and Tyson are aggressive, heavy handed but technically flawed fighters we are expecting a very exciting contest here, and hopefully it avoids some of the messy action that their first bout had.
Shingo Wake (26-5-2, 18) Vs Jhunriel Ramonal (15-8-6, 8) II - Tokyo, Japan
Former world title challenger Shingo Wake is pursuing a second world title fight, and to tick over he will eb facing former foe Jhunriel Ramonal. These two fought back in in 2013, when Wake stopped Ramonal in 3 rounds, and it's hard to imagine anything other than a repeat here. Wake should be far too good for the Filipino visitor, but it's still a botu worthy of noting given that Wake is likely to fight for a world title sooner rather than later.
Dmitry Bivol (16-0, 11) Vs Lenin Castillo (20-2-1, 15) - Illinois, USA
Unbeaten WBA Light Heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol was hoping for a big fight but will likely close out his 2019 with a bout against Dominican challenger Lenin Castillo. The champion has improved his resume with solid wins in recent years, but hasn't looked the dynamic and exciting fighter he once was, instead looking to win rather than to dazzle. He should have too much in the locker for Castillo, but the challenger is no "bum" and could give Bivol a genuine test herein he's being over-looked.
Wulan Tuolehazi (12-3-1, 5) vs Satoshi Tanaka (7-5, 1) - Shanghai, China
China's Wulan Tuolehazi has been carving out a solid resume in recent years, with wins over the likes of Jayr Raquinel, Kwanthai Sithmoseng, Ardin Diale and Ryota Yamauchi. He's now looking likely to get a world title shot sooner rather than later and will be defending his WBA International Flyweight title here against Satoshi Tanaka, a relatively weak Japanese challenger. This should be a show case for the champion if we're being honest.
Xiang Li (7-2-1, 2) vs Ryu Horikawa (2-0, 1) - Shanghai, China
We love seeing youngsters face off, with questions being asked of fighters when they are young, rather than seeing records padded before a fighter steps up. With that in mind we love the WBO Youth Light Flyweight title match between China's crafty Xiang Li and Japanese skillster Ryu Horikawa. This should be a real test for both, and despite the risk of some monkey business with the scorecards we're really excited by the contest, which should be a genuinely intriguing one from the first bell to the final bell.
Kudratillo Abdukakhorov (16-0, 9) vs Luis Collazo (39-7, 20) - Pennsylvania, USA
Unbeaten Uzbek Welterweight contender Kudratillo Abdukakhorov looks to continue his drive towards a world title fight as he takes on former world champion Luis Collazo. The unbeaten Abdukakhorov has shown a lot of promise, but has also shown flaws, and issues, and his lack of power is something has left some questioning whether or not he can make it at the top. At his best Collazo was world class, but at the age of 38 there are question marks about just what he has left in his legs. Collazo is a very skilled fighter, and should test the Uzbek in what is a very interesting match up.
Tetsuro Ohashi (7-0-1, 2) Vs Suzumi Takayama (2-0, 2) - Hyogo, Japan
The Japanese Youth title scene continues to give us great fights, and here we'll see the unbeaten pairing of Tetsuro Ohashi and Suzumi Takayama clash for the Youth Super Flyweight title. The 20 year old Ohashi won the Rookie of the Year back in December and this will be his second bout since that win, as he looks to build on his growing reputation. Takayama on the other hand lacks the experience of Ohashi in the pro ranks, but was a solid amateur and has looked very impressive since making his debut this past February. This will be Ohashi's boxing against Takayama's aggression in what should be an excellent match up.
Yusuke Sakashita (18-8-3, 13) vs Naoki Mochizuki (16-4, 8) II - Tokyo, Japan
In a really interesting rematch we'll see Yusuke Sakashita make his first defense of the WBO Asia Pacific Flyweight title as he takes on Naoko Mochizuki. These two fought back in December 2016, when Mochizuki took a clear win over Sakashita, but since then the two men have had contrasting careers. Mochizuki has gone 5-3, struggling for momentum and was stopped in February by Junto Nakatani. Sakashita however has gone 4-0-1 and claimed his title last time out in May, stopping Masahiro Sakamoto. This could be one of the real hidden gems of the month.
Cristiano Aoqui (14-7-2, 10) vs Daishi Nagata (13-2-1, 5) -Tokyo, Japan
Every so often we see a fight that gets us really excited due to the style match up and the mentality of the two men involved. That is the case here as the exciting Cristiano Aoqui and the rugged Daishi Nagata battle in a Japanese Light Welterweight title eliminator, with the winner getting a shot at the belt in the 2020 Champion Carnival. This bout has two men involved who enjoy a tear up, through heavy leather and should gel stylistically.
The Shinsei Gym is one of the more established ones in Hyogo, and has shown an ability to not only promote level shows, but also bringing through talented youngsters. Fighters like Ryuya Yamanaka and Shun Kubo have both going all the way to the top in recent years, and Reiya Konishi is currently banging on the door for a world title as well.
Given the level of fighters at the gym it's little wonder that they have a number of prospects coming through the ranks, one of the most promising is Tetsuro Ohashi (6-0-1, 1), a talented, skilled Super Flyweight prospect who is just 20 years old and has a lot of promise.
Ohashi, from Hyogo, made his debut in June 2017 as an 18 year old. His debut had come following a short, 10 fight, amateur career. His 10 amateur fights saw him run up a 5-5 (3) record, though he was still, obviously, a kid when he took part in those bouts and hadn't become the fighter he now is, who is a really promising hopeful.
On debut Ohashi stopped Akihiro Imai in 4 rounds, that was followed up soon afterwards with decisions wins against Genki Tashima and Kazusa Arai, with Ohashi ending 2017 with a record of 3-0 (1). Whilst neither of those wins will stand out it is worth noting that Arai had managed to get a little bit of hype after debuting in Thailand as an extremely young 15 year in 2016, so a win over him, when both were 2-0, was a pretty notable result for the young Ohashi.
The early momentum for the young Ohashi continued beyond the spring of 2018, when he out pointed Hiroaki Satomura in a West Japan Rookie of the Year bout. That win, in Osaka, moved the youngster on to the West Japan Semi-finals, where he was held to a draw by Shuto Aritsu. Despite the draw it was Ohashi who progressed to the West Japan final by virtue of the tie breaker rules that are used in the Rookie of the Year competition.
In November of 2018 Ohashi took on Shunichi Okazaki in the West Japan Rookie of the Year final. The bout pitted unbeaten men against each other, in fact not only were both unbeaten but both had identical 4-0-1 (1) records, making the bout look wonderfully even on paper. In the end the bout wasn't competitive, in the slightest, with Ohashi being too sharp, too quick and too smart for Okazaki, who had no answer to Ohashi's speed, movement and jab. It wasn't a flawless performance by any stretch, but it was an dominant one by the then 19 year old.
Ohashi would turn 20 just days after he beat Okazaki and the following month he would take on Shinobu Wakagi in the All Japan Rookie of the Year final. Once again Ohashi showed off his speed, his ring craft and his sharp punching, controlling the fight with his jab, movement, straight left hands and slippery footwork. It was like watching a matador and a bull, with Wakagi swigning at the air over and over, whilst being tagged by clean, accurate shots.
Although not a power puncher Ohahsi is a wonderful little boxer, with fantastic control of the ring, brilliant footwork and so much promise. He's not a puncher, but at the age of 20 there is time to develop his man strength, and we actually saw Masayuki Ito struggle to develop his power early in his career and has a similar style to Ohashi.
The 20 year old Ohashi will return to action on May 19th. His opponent, at the time of writing, is unknown but it's expected that the youngster will be his first 6 round bout, and we're really looking forward to seeing how he matures and develops. There is real potential here with Ohashi, and we really hope he delivers in the years to come.
This is just an opinion, maaaan! It's easy to share our opinions, and that's what you'll find here, some random opinion pieces