At the Korakuen Hall in Tokyo and live on Fuji TV boxing fans in Japan were treat to some memorable action as 2 future stars of professional boxing impressed despite the pressure on their shoulders.
As well as the 2 televised bouts (which we'll get on to a little bit later) the card featured 7 none-televised bouts. These were highlighted by victories for two highly regarded prospects with Ryo Matsumoto (7-0, 7) stopping Yoshinori Koto (6-8-2, 1) in 5 rounds and Yohei Tobe (5-1-1, 3) stopping Chatchai Or Benjamad (1-7) in 3 rounds. Whilst this was the first victory in 3 bouts for Tobe it's impossible to write the youngster off considering what he's already accomplished, including a victory over current world champion Kohei Kono.
In a minor upset the hard hitting Yuta Saito (7-4-1, 6) was defeated via majority decision by the more experienced Shuji Hamada (11-5-3, 2) who scored only his 2nd win in 5 bouts. Although their records may have painted an impression that Hamada was the favourite Saito had been on an excellent run of 6 bouts unbeaten including 5 wins and was seen as a fighter who had turned his career around after a bad start of 3 losses in his first 5 contests.
Low on the card there was victories for the unbeaten pair of Yoshimichi Matsumoto (2-0, 2) and Kenichi Miyazaki (3-0-1). For Matsumoto the job was easy as he took out the previously unbeaten Naoki Oura (2-1, 2) though Miyazaki had to settle for a split decision over Kenta Kosuge (1-5, 1).
In a battle between fighters with out a win Akira Naganuma (1-2) broke his duck claiming a decision over Daiki Mori (0-4).
Of course none of those bouts got the attention of the two main televised bouts which kicked off with an exhibition by Olympic gold medal winner Ryōta Murata. Murata, who recently announced his intentions to turn professional looked sensational in the 3 round bout as he showed off his skills in what will likely be his final bout before his professional debut. Although Murata had an opponent who was under-sized and there to make him look good the Olympian was still a classy fighter who looked eager to get the headgear off and get to work for pay.
After Murata made his "debut" we saw the very highly touted Naoya Inoue (3-0, 3) put on an exhibition of his own as he totally out classed former Japanese national title title contender Yuki Sano (17-3-4, 12) and forced a 10th round stoppage.
Inoue, described by some as "the best prospect in world boxing" thoroughly dominated his more experienced opponent and landed numerous hooks, jabs, straight rights and uppercuts as he showed off just how classy he is. Inoue wasn't just quicker than Sano but he was a more skilled, and had much better ring IQ than the more experienced man who was dropped twice and left with a badly cut eye.
The class of Inoue is really beyond description. It's not often we see a novice put in a 10 round contest but it's even rarer to see a novice dominate a much more experienced rival over 10 rounds and become the first man to stop the veteran. It's almost unheard of however to see a novice land an 8 punch combination but that's just what Inoue did in one of the later rounds as he put on the sort of performance that gives great credence to Hideyuki Ohashi saying that they'll try and get Inoue to a world title within 7 fights.
We try and give you the latest results on all the fights from Asia.