The month of November has been a strange one in many ways, with some really awesome fights, some disappointments, and some real up and down moments through out boxing. The brilliant WBSS final was certainly one of the highlights of the year but bouts falling through was an issue at times.
Thankfully we do have something that is consistent with boxing, and that is that Boxing Raise will show some absolutely amazing fights. This month that was once again true, with some absolutely tremendous action being made available on the Japanese service, that once again made a great case as being the best value service for any boxing fan.
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/".
Youngsters go to war - Ryugo Ushijima (3-0-2, 2) vs Taison Mukaiyama (4-2, 3) [movie/7017/]
Earlier in 2019 we had our attention grabbed by Ryugo Ushijima, thanks to a thrilling contest with Shota Ogasawara. On Boxing Raise this month Ushijima faces off with Taison Mukaiyama and this was some that possibly exceeded the Ogasawara bout, with the two men really smashing lumps out of each other, in a bout that had an opening round knockdown, and a lot wild action. This wasn't as polished as some of the other bouts from through the month but was genuinely great fun to watch.
Bantamweight Shootout - Kazuki Nakajima (7-0, 6) vs Jin Minamide (4-0, 3) [movie/7019/]
The God's Left Bantamweight tournament is a genuinely brilliant idea, and although it hasn't managed to quite deliver as hoped it's still given us some great action. That was certainly seen in the semi-final bout between Kazuki Nakajima and Jin Minamide. This wasn't a drawn out war, we do have one of those coming up, but was a thrilling shoot out. It took a few moments for the fighters to light the touch paper, but as soon as that happened you knew the end was night, but weren't sure who would land a bomb first. Genuinely brilliant and hugely entertaining, little battle here!
Extreme Eliminatorion - Taiki Minamoto (16-5-1, 13) vs Takuya Watanabe (36-9-1, 21) [movie/7020/]
Whils the WBSS Bantamweight final was, easily, the best bout of the month we did see some other thrillers during the month. One of best of the rest was an 8 round war in a Japanese Super Featherweight title eliminator between Taiki Minamoto and Takuya Watanabe. This looked great on paper yet massively over-delivered and gave us one of the best fighters we've seen in Japan this year. It pit Watanabe's toughness and strong yet basic boxing against Minamoto's explosive boxing, and delivered what was an absolute barn burner, and a real must watch for any fan who had 40 minutes of time to enjoy themselves. This was amazing and got better and better as the fight went on and both men began to show the damage of war.
OH DAMN! - Tsuyoshi Tameda (21-4-2, 19) vs Jae Woo Lee (6-2, 5) [movie/7045/]
We've already mentioned a shoot out and a war, but when Tsuyoshi Tameda took on Jae Woo Lee in the Hajime No Ippo 30th anniversary tournament we ended up with something of a hybrid. This was was an up close war, fought as if both men wanted to have a shoot out. Both fighters unloaded bombs from the early going, setting their feet and firing off huge power shots, and trying to take each other out. If you like fights fought on the inside, with machimso being the driving force you'll love this. Absolutely amazing fight, and one that will have you engrossed from the first moment to the last.
Knockdowns traded in thriller! - Shingo Kusano (11-8-1, 4) vs Qiang Ma (5-1-2, 3) [movie/7047/]
On paper the Hajime No Ippo 30th anniversary tournament looked interesting with out being amazing. That thanking was instantly blown out of the water by he Tameda Vs Lee fight and just moments later we were given another fight as Shingo Kusano and Qiang Ma traded knockdowns in a brilliant war. This wasn't quite as intense as the Tameda Vs Lee bout but was another thriller, with bombs galore, both men being hurt and despite the lower intensity it was a more dramatic bout. Despite the records of the two fighters these two delivered something very special.
Whilst we certainly have less great action on Boxing Raise in November than in October, what we did get was some of the months very best fights from anywhere in world boxing. This month we were lucky to get such quality, even if the quantity was lacking!
(Image courtesy of Boxing Raise and Boxmob.jp)
On November 9th former Japanese Featherweight champion Taiki Minamoto (16-5-1, 13) will fight in a Japanese Super Featherweight title eliminator in an attempt to book himself a place in next year's Champion Carnival. Ahead of his bout with Takuya Watanabe, and on the back of a request, we've made him this week's fighter to be covered in our weekly "10 facts you probably didn't know about..." segment.
1-Minamoto has type O blood, in Japan this is thought to mean that he is optimistic, calm, realistic, resilient, vain, loyal and financially minded.
2-His first professional loss came in the East Japan Rookie of the year Semi Final, in 2011, and came all the way down at Super Bantamweight! Since then he has grown into his body and out grown not only the Super Bantamweight division but also the Featherweight division.
3-He enjoys playing cards in free time, as well as playing the trumpet and cycling
4-Minamoto's mother passed away on April 7th 2017 at the age of 63, after a battle with cancer. Exactly 1 year later he won the Japanese Featherweight title, stopping Takenori Ohashi in 7 rounds.
5-Surprisingly Minamoto's first Japanese title defense, a win over Tatsuya Otsubo in August 2018, wasn't available in Oita, where Minamoto's originally from meaning his friends had to rely on things like youtube to see the fight!
6-At the time of writing none of Minamoto's 22 opponents so far have had more losses than wins when he faced them. He has had 3 fighters who had an equal amount of losses to wins, including 2 debutants, but none have had losing records.
7-Favourite fighters of Minamoto include former Watanabe gym stablemate Takashi Uchiyama and Arturo Gatti
8-One of Minamoto's older brothers died at the age of 29 in a road traffic accident on January 13th 2017. Just months before their mother's passing.
9-Minamoto is close friends with former-world title challenger Ryo Akaho and they two men have sparred frequently
10-His family ran a restaurant in Beppu, Oita, and Minamoto himself learned to cook a bit there, as he was, at one point, training to work in the business.
(Image courtesy of Watanabe Gym)
Although August was exciting there a lack of big name action. That changes however in September when we get a host of world level bouts with other rising contenders in action across a number of weights.
Masanobu Nakazawa Vs Masayoshi Kotake (Japanese)
The month kicks off with title action in Japan as the once beaten Masanobu Nakazawa (17-1-1, 7) battles Masayoshi Kotake (9-9-2, 5) in a bout for the Japanese interim Light Welterweight title. This bout has come about due to an injury to Hiroki Okada and we're expecting a good one here. On paper it's easy to side with Nakazawa though he's taking a huge step up in class to face the much more proven Kotake in what really looks likely to be a very competitive match up.
Tomoki Kameda Vs Jamie McDonnell II (WBA)
One of the best bouts this year saw Japan's Tomoki Kameda (31-1, 19) suffer his first loss in a brilliantly competitive 12 round bout with Englishman Jamie McDonnell (26-2-1, 12). Now the men will do it again with McDonnell hoping to prove his win wasn't a fluke and Kameda looking to avenge his sole defeat. Up for grabs isn't just personal gratification but also the WBA Bantamweight title and the claim of being the #2 fighter in the division.
Jonathan Taconing Vs Jomar Fajardo (OPBF)
Some bouts are guaranteed to give excitement and action. Any bout that features Jonathan Taconing (21-2-1, 18) is likely to be worth a watch. Taconing will be defending his OPBF Light Flyweight title against compatriot, and fellow slugger, Jomar Fajardo (14-8-2, 7) in a bout that could be the sleeper bout of the month. Stylistically this one promises to be really exciting, though we do suspect that Taconing will be too big, too strong and too powerful for the gutsy Fajardo.
Shohei Omori Vs Hirofumi Mukai (Japan)
Fast rising Japanese Bantamweight Shohei Omori (14-0, 9) impressed us all when he won the Japanese Bantamweight title earlier this year. He makes his first defense of that title as he takes on former 2-time world title challenger Hirofumi Mukai (11-3-2, 1) in what looks like a solid, though unspectacular, defense for the man dubbed “Demon of Left”. Whilst the bout isn't a great one it does see Omori up against his most accomplished southpaw opponent
Kota Tokunaga Vs Yuhei Suzuki (Japan)
On the same card as Omori's Bantamweight title fight his stablemate Kota Tokunaga (15-2, 10) will make the first defense of the Japanese Lightweight title. In the opposite corner is heavy handed challenger Yuhei Suzuki (16-4, 12). This one promises to be explosive with both guys able to through heavy leather, though neither has shown a real ability to cope with being tagged hard meaning that this could be over at any moment.
Shin Ono Vs Kenichi Horikawa (Japan)
Former world title challenger Shin Ono (18-6-2, 2) looks to claim his first domestic title as he faced veteran pro Kenichi Horikawa (29-13-1, 6). For Horikawa this will be a 4th Japanese title fight and although he's come up short in first 3 shots he'll be determined to make the most of this one. With both fighters being in their 30's this could be a case of now or never, especially with the fast rising Ken Shiro waiting in the wings for the winner.
Xiong Zhao Zhong Vs Crison Omayao (OPBF)
China's only man to claim a world title, Xiong Zhao Zhong (25-6-1, 14) will look for one of his most notable wins as he takes on Filipino fighter Crison Omayao (17-9-3, 5) in a bout for the OPBF Minimumweight title. On paper this looks like a mismatch but Omayao has got a spotty record due to facing some of the most talented little men on the planet, including Naoya Inoue and Kosei Tanaka. This really should be the Chinese highlight of the month.
Shinsuke Yamanaka Vs Anselmo Moreno (WBC)
The Asian wide highlight of the month, and one of the world wide bouts of the month, will see WBC Bantamweight kingpin Shinsuke Yamanaka (23-0-2, 17) defending his belt against former WBA “super” champion Anselmo Moreno (35-3-1, 12). For some this bout is to decide the facto #1 Bantamweight on the planet, for others how it's just a bout to savior and features one of the most talented pure boxers in the sport battle against one of the sports most natural punchers. This really is something very special.
Less than a week after the Yamanaka/Moreno bout we get another of the month's highlights as we get a real huge bumper show in Osaka.
Kazuto Ioka Vs Roberto Domingo Sosa (WBA)
The main event will see Kazuto Ioka (17-1, 10) defending his WBA Flyweight title against Roberto Domingo Sosa (26-2-1, 14). This will be Ioka's first defense of the title, that he won against Juan Carlos Reveco earlier this year, and if he comes through this, as is expected, he will be facing Reveco in a bout penciled in for December 31st. A lot riding on this one for the 26 year Japanese youngster.
Katsunari Takayama Vs Ryuji Hara (IBF)
Another world title bout on the same card will see IBF Minimumweight champion Katsunari Takayama (29-7-0-1, 11) defending his title Ryuji Hara (19-1, 11) in what looks to be a genuinely mouth watering match up. For Takayama this will be the second defence of his title whilst Hara fights in his first world title fight, having previously been the Japanese and OPBF champion.
Sho Ishida Vs Hayato Kimura (Japan)
On the same card the Ioka bout will be three other title bouts. One of those will see Japanese Super Flyweight champion Sho Ishida (19-0, 10) defending his belt against Hayato Kimura (23-7, 15). This doesn't look great on paper but it's a good test for Ishida who will be hoping to move on to world level in his upcoming bouts. Alstough a big favour there are some questions marks about the champions stamina which will hopefully be tested again here.
Kei Takenaka Vs Krikanok Islandmuaythai (OPBF-Female)
A lower title fight on this card will see Kei Takenaka (9-0, 3) defending her OPBF female Light Flyweight title against Thai visitor Krikanok Islandmuaythai (4-4-1, 2). This is a weaker bout than the other two major fights on this card but it's expected to be one of Takenaka's final bouts before stepping up to world level.
Eun Hye Lee Vs Ploynapa Sakrungrueng (WBC-Female)
The final world title bout comes towards the end of the month as South Korean fighter Eun Hye Lee (7-0, 2) battle Thai visitor Ploynapa Sakrungrueng (12-5-1, 1) in a bout for the WBO female Light Flyweight title. This bout has been rescheduled twice following various issues and is finally looking like it's all sorted, finally.
Yukinori Oguni Vs Taiki Minamoto
The final notable action of the month takes place at the end of the month where Japanese fans get a couple of national title fights. The most interesting of those will see Japanese Super Bantamweight champion Yukinori Oguni (14-1-1, 4) defending his belt against the heavy handed Taiki Minamoto (10-4, 9). This will be Oguni's second defense and if he comes through he'll be expected to face a rematch against Yasutaka Ishimoto.
Suyon Takayama Vs Ryoji Tanaka
The other title fight at the end of the month will see Suyon Takayama (22-1, 7) defending the Japanese Welterweight title against Ryoji Tanaka (8-4-1, 2). This is a weak looking match up, if we're being honest, but the significance of the bout is worth noting and if Takayama keeps defending his title we may, one day, see him take part in a more interesting match up than his recent ones.
(All Images courtesy of boxmob.jp
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).