Back on December 19th we saw 24 year old youngster Ryosuke Nishida (3-0, 1) take a huge step up in class and over-come former world title challenger Shohei Omori (21-4, 16), in what was a massive win for Nishida. The talented fighter from the Mutoh Gym really showed what he could do here as he took a very clear decision over Omori and it left people wondering what the future may bring for both men.
Rather than guessing on the future, we’re going to take a look back over that bout and share our take aways from the contest.
1-Boxing Real streams are brilliant
The service showing this bout was Boxing Real, the YouTube which is essentially connected to the Shinsei Gym. The stream for this was genuinely brilliant with a crystal clear image throughout, multiple-camera angles, clear on screen graphics, good replays, and a good solid layout. The service does have a few minor areas to improve on, but if we’re being honest the quality of this is on par with, if not better than, some of the TV cards we get. We’re not huge fans of one of the camera angles used, and one of the commentary team sounded like they were talking through a muffled phone or something, but other than that this was fantastic throughout and we really hope the Boxing Real team continue to deliver streams in 2021.
2-Nishida fought like a man with a point to prove
In the opening seconds Nishida came out like a bundle of energy, and to begin with we assumed it could have been nervous energy in what was a massive step up fight. Instead however it seemed like he was trying to make an instant impression, get his foot in front and make Omori chase the bout. This worked brilliantly as a tactic from the youngster who took the early initiative and had his nose well in front before Omori could settle. It wasn’t really until round 3 that Omori had any sustained success. Even then it wasn’t long before Nishida resumed control and late on he came close to stopping Omori, who was hurt in each of the final 3 rounds. This was a performance by a young man who didn’t just want to win, but wanted to leave an impression on fans, and we’d love to see more fighters follow through with that mentality.
3-Omori looks to be on the slide...big time
At his best Shohei Omori looked like a star. He was a good looking fighter, with an exciting style, solid power and speed and he seemed to tick a lot of boxes. His 2015 win over Kentaro Masuda, when Omori was just 22 years old, seemed set to be a launchpad for a future champion. Sadly however losses to Marlon Tapales in 2015 and 2017 both seemed to take a lot out of Omori. He did score good wins in 2018, against Brian Lobetania and Takahiro Yamamoto, but now looks about spent. A loss in 2019 to Hiroaki Teshigawara arguably took the best out of him and he looked really under-whelming in December 2020 when he beat Danny Tampipi. He looked even worse against Nishida. Whilst there were certainly some issues in camp, and the bout did need re-arranging after Nishida started suffering dehydration, he still looked really poor here. We do wonder if he’s perhaps heading towards retirement, at the age of 27, or maybe needs some massive shake up in camp. He didn’t look himself at all here, and he knew it, hinting that he may retire. Given how he looked a few years ago, this would be a really sad way for him to end his career.
4-Nishida looks very experienced
Despite this being only his third professional bout Nishida looked like an experienced fighter in there, controlling the pace when he wanted. He fought smartly on the inside, controlled the range for the most part, and even showed some old man tactics, walking around the ring and making Omori come to him. Despite only being 24 he fought really intelligently and obviously used a lot of the experience he had from the amateurs to neutralise Omori and dictate the action. Yes Omori didn’t look great, but we can’t overlook Nishida’s work whilst was really intelligent. When he was caught clean he knew to hold, and mess things up, knew what to throw and when, and he smartly reserved some energy for a big finish. This is a young fighter, who has old man tricks up sleeve, and who will only get better. Do not be surprised at all if he fights for a title before the end of 2021 following this excellent win.
5-The venue was seemed awkward
It’s unfair to criticise the venue and how it’s set up for fights during this current era of boxing, with fans in masks and everything, though it does need to be said that everything looked a little bit awkward. Sadly the Second Stadium at the EDION Arena Osaka, where this was held, doesn’t really have some of the features that other venues have. It’s got a large flat flood with seats that need bringing in, unlike the benches at the Korakuen Hall, and everything is done on one layer. It also doesn’t really have the ability to use the lighting to black out the crowd like some of the other venues. As a result it was a little bit of an awkward view with the crowd being just a touch distracting to watch, especially with the main camera that was used focusing on the side of the ring where there was a lot of the crowd. It’s one of those things that can’t be helped, and if cheering and chanting was allowed we wouldn’t be mentioning the venue. But sadly we are in the non-cheering era of Japanese boxing, and it did feel just a touch weird to watch this one, especially during the exciting moments which deserved a road from the crowd, but only got mild applause.
The month of December was an incredibly busy one, with things like the Rookie of the Year, the New Year's Eve show, the Fuji show on the 23rd, and a host of other cards giving us a truly crazy month.
It was also a month that Boxing Raise actually didn't shine, with just 6 tape delay cards, and nothing live. It did however have some interesting, intriguing and exciting bouts hidden away on the service. And now we'll have a look at some of the highlights the services provided during the month.
Before we start however we will just make everyone aware that we are totally ignoring the Kadebi promoted "Slugfest 12" card. The reason for this is that the content featured on that show isn't exclusive to Boxing Raise, it's been uploaded to youtube by Kadoebi themselves giving all fans a chance to see all the action from the card without the need of a Boxing Raise subscription.
As with our previous "Best of Boxing Raise" article all the fights featured here can be accessed by subscribers by logging into Boxing Raise and adding the "movie/####" to "https://boxingraise.com/".
Compelling more than excelling - Musashi Mori (10-0, 6) vs Takuya Mizuno (17-1-1, 14) [movie/7134/]
The WBO Asia Pacific Featherweight title bout between the unbeaten champion Musashi Mori and the heavy handed Takuya Mizuno never really caught fire in the way we had hoped, but in terms of being compelling this was always interesting. Just sadly lacking true drama. Mori, who is just 20, was fighting for the second time under Ismael Salas and it's clear he is developing with every fight, but sadly the styles never really worked here. Still if you want to see one of the brightest Japanese youngsters you could do a lot worse than giving this a watch and getting a head up on Mori before he lands a big international fight. The youngster, is talking about moving into world title level later this year and he's certainly one to be aware of.
Boom goes the Dynamite - Mammoth Kazunori (5-2-1, 5) vs Lerdchai Chaiyawed (2-4, 1) [/movie/7188/]
We had a lot of brilliant knockouts in 2019 and one of the final ones came in mid-December, tucked away on a Japanese under-card bout. The fight saw big punching Japanese hopeful Mammoth Kazunori take on Thai tough guy Lerdchai Chaiyawed and, well, lets just say this ended in spectacular fashion. The bout hadn't been the most thrilling, but the ending makes it worth a watch. A seriously eye-catching KO!
A prospect to watch - Ryosuke Nishida (1-0, 1) vs Pablito Canada (7-17-4, 1) [movie/7219/]
The December 22nd show from Muto gym was a bad idea from the off, putting it on the same day as the All Japan Rookie of the Year, and having one of their brightest beaten in a round. Thankfully though it wasn't all bad news and it was a good chance to see what the hype was regarding Ryosuke Nishida. And in fairness to the 23 year old, he looked damned good. He was the less hyped of 3 Muto prospect and yet was the only one who really shined. If you get the chance give this a watch and keep a close eye on Nishida
A change in tactic proves vital - Yusuke Mine (2-0, 1) vs Ardin Diale (35-15-4, 17) [/movie/7221/]
Whilst we seriously think Muto will want to forget about their December 22nd show we suspect they will also be proud of the promising Yusuke Mine who showed a lot, both good and bad, in his third professional bout. Taking on Filipino veteran Ardin Diale we saw Mine being dropped in rounds 1 and 3, raising real questions about his chin, balance and durability. Then he bit down on his gum shield and pressured, in an attempt to turn the bout around. His change of tactics, and desire are real positives, but being dropped twice will be a worry. A very interesting bout that had genuine drama.
A debut to view - Kantaro Juri (0-0) Vs Makruf Bambali (0-4-1) [/movie/7233/]
Although many debuts are a mismatch they do give us a chance to see what a fighter can do, and we were genuinely impressed by what Kantaro Juri shows in his debut, against the horribly over-matched Makruf Bambali of Indonesia. Juri, who is a bit of a hidden gem, looked a natural in the ring with a very sharp jab, some nice picking and very fast hands. It'll be an interesting journey to follow with him, but we liked him a lot and the Nakazato gym might have someone a little bit special on their hands here. Polish needs to be done, but they have a genuine diamond in the rough.
Wild and even eliminator - Hiroyuki Kudaka (26-18-3, 11) vs Yuta Matsuo (15-4-1, 8) [/movie/7206/]
A Japanese title eliminator at Super Flyweight matched together Hiroyuki Kudaka and Yuta Matsuo in what proved to be, unsurprisingly, a really good fight. These two let their shots fly through out and provided plenty of action in a fun 8 rounder. With the men involved we always expected something special could be on the cards, and whilst this wasn't truly spectacular it was a very fun back and forth battle with some truly brilliant moments. The final round of this was truly excellent, as the two tired men put it on the line.
IBF eliminator provides action - Sho Ishida (28-1, 15) vs Israel Gonzalez (24-3, 11) [/movie/7242/]
The final bout of the month for the service was the best, as Sho Ishida and Israel Gonzalez battled in an IBF Super Flyweight world title eliminator. This was actually fantastic to watch, and it was most down to Gonzalez, who brought so much action and pressure through out. He let his hands go, he forced the fight and it wasn't until late on that Ishida managed to find a foot hold in what was a real gem. It's a shame this wasn't given some form of TV coverage in Osaka as it should have had a bigger viewing audience than it got, but still a very good fight and one that Boxing Raise subscribers should make an effort to watch whilst we're still lumbering through a quiet month of fights.
(Images courtesy of boxmob, and Boxingraise)
Thinking Out East
With this site being pretty successful so far we've decided to open up about our own views and start what could be considered effectively an editorial style opinion column dubbed "Thinking Out East" (T.O.E).