Earlier this month we saw a new Japanese Youth Light Flyweight champion being crowned, as Yudai Shigeoka (3-0, 2) scored a TKO win over Ryu Horikawa (3-1-1, 1) to claim the previously vacant title. The bout was later aired on Fuji TV and gave us a chance to see an excellent match up between two youngsters. In fact it gave us a match up that, in many ways, is part of why Japanese boxing is so good right now. Youngsters are risking unbeaten records against each other to deliver great fights and prove themselves, rather than padding their records until they are ranked high enough for a world title fight.
The bout looked great on paper, it seemed to have all the ingredients of being something special in the ring, and matched stylish boxer-mover against a more mature and aggressive pressure-fighter-come-puncher. And when they got in the ring, the two men delivered something sensational.
With the bout having been watched and dissected, it's one we want to go back over and look at again, as we bring you a Five Take Aways article on the fight.
1-The Japanese Youth title is brilliant and unique to Japan
The main Japanese title is the most competitive domestic title on the planet by far. It might not have the same history as the British title, but in recent years the Japanese title has been one that Japanese fighters have gone for, and looked to defend against top domestic fighters adding value to the title. Sadly the British title has been devalued by fighters vacating the belt, and the split between the two top promoters, leading to a lot potentially brilliant match ups simply not taking place. As a result the Japanese title has over-taken the British title in some ways.
Regardless of which title is more meaningful, the idea of a domestic Youth title is something really unique to Japan and is one of the most amazing concepts. It gives youngsters a reason to face off. They get a belt and recognition for winning bouts like this one. They have a reason to risk their records, and a reward for winning. It's something only Japan, and maybe Mexico, could pull off right now, but it's something every major boxing country should be looking to replicate. It repeatedly gives us great bouts and allows young prospects to prove themselves very early on. It really is something truly brilliant.
2-High level skills from two youngsters!
Before the first bell we knew these weren't the typical 3-0-1 and 2-0 novices we see out there. Both men had been very accomplished amateur fighters and both came into this bout with reputations as talented youngsters. In the ring that talent was evident from the very start. Horikawa looked the better boxer, he judges range well, moved like a feather at times and showed impressive punch selection. He showed touches of genuis and is clearly a brilliant schooled young fighter. Shigeoka however looked the stronger, more powerful man and the bully in the clinches, he knew he was the more mature fighter and he made the most of that advantage. Regardless of the styles the two youngsters showed some fantastic ability, heart and determination. We don't tend to see the skills these two showed at this age, and with so few fights to their name, but the skills on show really made this something very special.
3-Shigeoka is a monster...but also a work in progress
We all know Ginjiro Shigeoka is a star in the making, and he was actually working the corner for Yudai, his older brother, but what this bout showed is that Yudai is also well on his way to being a star. The 23 year old looked like a monster at times. He was being outboxed at times by Horikawa early on, but never looked too phased, and instead believed in his power, his toughness and his skills. He was was left with a bloody nose in round 3, but that seemed to drag out the dog in him, drawing out the bed in him and when he felt Horikawa slowing down he really did turn the screw. He might lack the 1-punch power of his brother but his combinations are a thing of beauty, his counter punching is excellent and his huge left hand is going to be a major threat at world level. He is however some one who sill has work to do, and we suspect his team will be working on his defense and his footwork, and at times he looked a bit too stationary for our liking. With just 3 professional bouts behind him, mistakes were expected, but he was still hugely impressive.
4-Akihiko Katsuragi did a great job
Although this was certainly not a dirty fight, the dynamic of the southpaw vs orthodox fighter caused the fighters to fall into each a fair bit and there was more clinching than we typically see in Japanese fights. Despite that Akihiko Katsuragi did really well as the referee. He gave them chances to work inside, but also knew to split them when shots weren't being thrown. He kept out of the way when he wasn't needed and only involved himself when he needed to. He also had a great view of the fighters at all times, and was clear with his instructions. Most notably he was always in position to jump in when needed and Horikawa chance when he was hurt. He didn't jump in too late, nor did he let a youngster get ruined.
This was just good, solid refereeing from a man who has been there, seen it, got the post card and knows what he's doing in the ring. Referees can learn a lot from watching how Katsuragi officiated here.
5-Do not write Ryu Horikawa off!
We've raved about Horikawa's skills already though his problem was almost certainly the fact the bout came too early for him. He's a talented boxer, but he's a kid and his lack of physical maturity and man strength showed. He was out boxing Shigeoka at times, but he lacked the fire power to get Shigeoka's respect whilst Shigeoka was able to bully him around, hurt him and walk through shots when he needed to. Despite the loss we wouldn't write him off. In fact if anything the loss will do him the world of good, it will help his team focus on letting him mature, develop physically and work on that on that side of things. He is technically very good, but also very young and needs to be given time. If he matures, as we expect, by his mid 20's he will be a real force on domestic scene and a potential national champion.
Just over a week ago fight fans at Korakuen Hall saw the talented Yudai Shigeoka (3-0, 2) claim his first title, winning the Japanese Youth Light Flyweight title with a TKO win against fellow youngster Ryu Horikawa. The win was an impressive one for Shigeoka, who showed his skills, power, strength and speed to overcome a very highly skilled fighter who will almost certainly rebuild from the loss and go on to achieve success of his own.
Aged 23 the future promises a lot for Shigeoka, who can easily make a name for himself at either Minimumweight or Light Flyweight, and follow his brother, Ginjiro Shigeoka, to the top of the sport.
With the latest win behind him we've decided to take a look at 5 potential bouts for Shigeoka when he next steps into the ring as we give Shigeoka the "Five For" treatment.
1-Kenichi Horikawa (41-16-1, 14)
With Shigeoka getting his first taste of silverware recently we suspect he'll be wanting more, and more. With that in mind we suspect Shigeoka will be taking a look at some of the other title holders at 108lbs and 105lbs. One of the potential options for a senior title would see Shigeoka take on veteran Kenichi Horikawa, the current OPBF Light Flyweight champion. On paper this would be a massive jump up on class for Shigeoka, to take on a genuine battle hardened veteran with more than 50 bouts to his name and over 400 professional rounds. Horikawa is a tough test for anyone on the domestic scene, however at the age of 40 his best days are best him and he is slower than he was. If Shigeoka uses his speed and skills he could end up getting a huge win here against a very well respected veteran.
2-Reiya Konishi (17-3, 7)
Whilst we suspect Shigeoka will be wanting to claim his second professional title an alternative option is that he looks to score a win of note in a non-title bout. If that's an option that he finds exciting then the perfect opponent for the youngster would be former 2-time world title challenger Reiya Konishi. At his best Konishi is a handful, and he gave Carlos Canizales a really tough bout in 2018, with little to split the two men. Since then however he has looked poor, and losses to Felix Alvarado and Katsunari Takayama in his last two have shown that Konishi is perhaps not the future world champion he once seemed. Takayama's game plan against Konishi showed a tactic that worked and we suspect Shigeoka could replicate that against Konishi to take a clear win. Despite favouring Shigeoka against Konishi, this would be a gut check for the youngster, and just the type of fight he would need to prove himself.
3-Riku Kano (17-4-1, 8)
Going back to the idea of Shigeoka wanting more titles, another potential belt for him to chase is the WBO Asia Pacific Light Flyweight title. That is currently held by Riku Kano, who won the belt last year with a decision over Ryoki Hirai. Kano was once viewed as a super prospect himself and even fought for a world title when he was just 18, but since then his career has repeatedly faltered and he really needs to build on his title win. With that in mind a Kano may well see a win over Shigeoka as the type of victory that would help boost his career in the right direction. Kano also has the edge in experience and has proven he can go 12 rounds. On the other hand Shigeoka is probably the bigger, stronger man, and he'll be confident that he will have too much for Kano, much like stablemate Shin Ono had a few years ago. We would favour Shigeoka, but this would be close to a 50-50 and a very well matched bout.
4-Kai Ishizawa (7-1, 7)
Talking about well matched bouts, one we think could be amazingly well matched would be a contest between Shigeoka and the thunderously hard hitting Kai Ishizawa, with this one taking place at Minimumweight. Ishizawa is a thunderous puncher and a legitimate threat on the Japanese title scene, as we've seen in his bouts against the likes of Tatsuro Nakashima, Yuga Inoue and even Masataka Taniguchi, who he dropped before losing a close decision to. Ishizawa is a dangerous man at 105lbs, and if he catches an opponent clean he can take them out, and that includes Shigeoka. However he can be lazy at times, and he can be out boxed, and Shigeoka has got the size, skills and speed to out box Ishizawa. This would be a great test of boxer vs puncher, and would be a fantastic match up, but would see both men taking a real risk in facing the other man. This, sadly, might be one we need to wait a while for, but boy would we love to see this!
5-Lito Dante (17-11-4, 9) II
The first 4 names on this list are all Japan, and as we write this it seems likely that anyone fighting in Japan will only be able to face Japanese opponents for the foreseeable future, at least if they are fighting at home. If Shigeoka can, however, wait until later in the year to return to the ring the obvious next match up for him would be a rematch with OPBF Minimumweight champion Lito Dante. These two fought in late 2019, when Shigeoka, in his second professional bout, defeated Dante in a 6 rounder. Now, in 2021, it would be great to see Shigeoka face off with Dante once again, this time over 12 rounds for the OPBF title. It would be a serious ask for Shigeoka to beat Dante over the longer distance, but it certainly isn't out of the question for the talented Japanese youngster to keep his range, box, mover and control the pace of the bout. This would be a massive step up from facing Dante over 6 rounders, but we dare say that a win here would suggest that Shigeoka was pretty much ready for a world title fight.
With no fights currently taking place we've had a bit of time on our hands, and with that in mind we've decided to look at the sport in terms of how divisions sit, and do something that had previously been requested. The Asian divisional top 10's. We'll be starting this at Minimumweight and working our way through the divisions over the coming days and weeks. We know there will be some debate about some rankings and there is certainly some area for discussion, and that is certainly not a bad thing at all!
We'll begin by looking at Minimumweight today and work our way through the weights in the future one by one.
1-Wanheng Menayothin (54-0, 18)
There is, of course, some debate about the #1 and #2 in the division between two Thai's. Of the two we have Wanheng Menayothin, the WBC champion, as the #1 guy in the division. His 54-0 record might not be full of quality, but in terms of his overall record his resume is better than anyone else's in the division. Wins over Florante Condes, Oswaldo Novoa, Saul Juarez, Melvin Jerusalem, Tatsuya Fukuhara, Pedro Taduran and Simpiwe Konkco are do put him ahead of anyone else. At 34 years old his career hasn't got long left, but until he's dethroned it's hard to put anyone above him, especially given his resume to date. It's also worth noting that he has already ran up a very impressive 12 defenses of the title since winning it more than 5 years ago.
2-Knockout CP Freshmart (21-0, 7)
The other Thai in the running for top spot is Knockout CP Freshmart, the WBA champion. The 29 year old Knockout has been inconsistent at times, in both his performances and his competition. At his best he looks fantastic, but unfortunately he has built a reputation as someone more than happy to stink out the joint, as he did against Byron Rojas in 2018. Wins over the likes of Carlos Buitrago, Byron Rojas, Muhammad Rachman, Rey Loreto and Xiong Zhao Zhong look good on paper but in reality he's not looked the most impressive in some of those and really has managed frustrate fans. He did look good earlier this year, when he beat Norihito Tanaka, but that came after a number of uninspired performances.
3-Pedro Taduran (14-2-1, 11)
IBF Minimumweight champion Pedro Taduran is an interesting case here. On paper the 23 year old is some way behind the WBA and WBC champions, though he did give Wanheng one of his toughest bouts to date. He impressed in his title win last year, when he stopped Samuel Salva in a 4 round thriller, and was unfortunate to see his first defense to end in a technical draw in February. Unlike the men ranked #1 and #2 Taduran is a real fun fighter to watch, with an aggressive and exciting style, though it does seem likely that he will lose the title sooner rather than later. We suspect his next bout will be a rematch with Daniel Valladares, and given their bout earlier this year we will not be complaining about them re-running that, as it was a great fight.
4-Vic Saludar (20-4,11)
Former WBO champion Vic Saludar is a hard man to place on this list. The 29 year old has looked great at times, such as in his loss to Kosei Tanaka and his wins over Ryuya Yamanaka and Masataka Taniguchi. At other times however he has looked questionable. His title loss last August, to Wilfredo Mendez, ended what had been a reign that started well but never really got going. He's talented, heavy handed, has an under-rated boxing brain but is a touch on the slow slide and can be out boxed. At his best he's a nightmare for anyone in the division, though we do wonder if his days at Minimumweight are numbered.
5-Ginjiro Shigeoka (5-0, 4)
One of the most exciting and promising prospects in the sport, Ginjiro Shigeoka is a special fighter and the youngster has already claimed the WBO Asia Pacific title and put himself in the running for a world title fight. Aged just 20 years old he has already shown he can box or punch. His body shot KO of Clyde Azarcon was truly brutal and his stoppage of Rey Loreto, in just his 5th professional bout, legitimised him as a true contender. The rating here might be a little high however that is, in part, due to his potential, which we expect we will see a lot of when the sport returns to the ring.Don't be surprised at all if Shigeoka fights for a world title in his next fight or two.
6-Melvin Jerusalem (15-2, 9)
Another Filipino youngster who needs to be mentioned is 26 year old contender Melvin Jerusalem. Jerusalem does have a couple of losses to his name, but one of them was a razor thin loss to Wanheng Menayothin and another was a close loss to the always tricky Joey Canoy. Since losing those fights, which were back to back in 2017, Jerusalem has won his last 4 including solid wins over Philip Luis Cuerdo and Toto Landero. He's yet to have a win at the world level, but our feeling is that will change sooner rather than later and he prove himself as a world class fighter in the next year or two. A really exciting, talented youngster with a lot of promise.
7-Lito Dante (17-11-4, 9)
On paper Lito Dante doesn't belong on this list, with 11 losses in his 32 bout career. The reality however is that the records of fighters don't always reflect their ability, or how dangerous they are and that's the case with Dante. The 30 year old Filipino is the current OPBF champion and is one of the division's hidden danger men. He's got 11 losses but has never been stopped and most of his losses have come in 6 rounders. We mention that because Dante's big strength is not just his toughness, but also his insane stamina, making him a total nightmare to fight over the longer distances. Over 10 or 12 rounds he will be a handful for anyone and would give any of the champions fits.
8-Masataka Taniguchi (12-3, 7)
Japan's Masataka Taniguchi is another of those hard men to place, like Vic Saludar who holds a win against him. Taniguchi is a very real talent, and we were looking forward to his proposed showdown with Lito Dante before boxing in Japan was put on hiatus. He's a solid puncher, had under-rated skills, an exciting style, but still has a lot of work to do. The 26 year old isn't a KO artist, he's not got the best stamina, and he does have areas to work on. But, he's also a very, very good fighter and has been unfortunate in 2 of his 3 losses, with the other coming to Saludar in a world title fight. Don't be surprised to see Taniguchi banging on the door of future world title fights down the line. He does however need to find that extra gear in the coming years if he's to win a top level belt.
9-Yudai Shigeoka (2-0, 1)
The 23 year old Yudai Shigeoka is the older brother of Ginjiro Shigeoka and actually appears to bee the more polished fighter of the two, though he lacks the explosiveness and physical strength of his younger brother. Yudai made his debut just over a year ago and then really impressed as he beat Lito Dante, over 6 rounds, in his second professional bout. The talented southpaw looks to be an excellent, sharp boxer, with some brutal body punching, educated foot work and a very smart boxing brain. He certainly fights to his strengths, though we do wonder whether or not he can fight the way he does over 10 or 12 rounds. That's the one big question over Shigeoka and one we hope to see answered later this year.
10-Samuel Salva (18-1, 11)
Former world title contender Samuel Salva is someone who came up short in his biggest bout to date, being stopped by Pedro Taduran, but at 23 years old has a lot of time to rebuild and learn from that loss. Against Taduran we saw a really talented young fighter, with good power, good technical ability and good speed, but a fighter who lacked the mental toughening he needed against Taduran. He had early success but didn't like it when he was on the receiving end of Taduran's pressure. There's a chance that Salva will never like being under intense pressure, as he was against Taduran, but we're going to give him the benefit of the doubt and go with the idea that that loss will actually make him a better fighter. He now knows what he needs to work on, he'll hopefully learn to bit down on his gum shield a bit more, and maybe even take a bit of a whooping in sparring to mentally preparing him for when the going gets tough again. He's got the skills, now he just needs maturing, and mentally toughening up.
On the bubble:
ArAr Andales, Jing Xiang, Marco John Rementizo, Tsubasa Koura and Hasanboy Dusmatov
Note - Typically a fighter with a win against a ranked fighter would be above the ranked opponent. Here though we've decided that the 6 round limit neutralises Shigeoka's win over Dante a little bit, and have left Shigeoka behind Dante, however not a lot separates the two of them, or Taniguchi at this present moment in time.
One of the great things about Japanese boxing right now is the excellent Boxing Raise service which is quickly becoming a necessity for those wanting to watch the best action in Japan every month. The service is certainly not flawless, and the way they share their schedules is nothing short of infuriating at the moment, but it keeps showing some of the best action in Japanese rings on a month by month basis.
With that in mind we've decided to begin a new monthly feature looking at the Best of Boxing Raise. In these articles we will look at the best moments Boxing Raise gave us in the previous month. With this being posted in November we'll be looking over the moments from October, and better yet we'll also include the video reference for those who already subscribe, and briefly explain why the bout is worth watching. We won't, however, share the videos as they are Boxing Raise exclusives, though if you have Boxing Raise and add the "movie/####" to "https://boxingraise.com/" you should be able to go straight to the fight after logging in.
Rematch war-Shinobu Charlie Hosokawa (11-4-1, 10) vs Koki Tyson (14-3-2, 12) II [movie/6862/]
Earlier in 2019 we had seen Shinobu Charlie Hosokawa and Koki Tyson fight to a draw in a bout for the OPBF Middleweight title. That was a good bout, but not spectacular. In October they had a rematch and boy was this one good! The two men fought to a standstill, with both landing some huge shots. Tyson was looking to fight at range and Hosokawa refused to let him, and as a result both men were forced to trade on the inside. A truly fantastic battle
Boom goes the Dynamite-Shingo Wake (26-5-2, 18) Vs Jhunriel Ramonal (15-8-6, 8) [movie/6860/]
The rematch between the world ranked Shingo Wake and Filipino journeyman Jhunriel Ramonal had very few people raving about it before hand, but saw a lit of attention afterwards thanks to a KO of the year Contender. This wasn't the most exciting of bouts to begin with, but was full of drama by the end. A must watch for fans of massive knock outs.
Knock Out Dynamite excitement-Marvin Esquierdo (14-2-1, 8) Vs Koichi Ito (11-7-3, 10) [movie/6892/]
The first bout from the Knock Out Dynamite tournament saw Filipino fighter Marvin Esquierdo go to war with Koichi Ito and although it was a short lived bout on OCtober 19, it was all action in a full on intense shoot out. For us this was the type of bout that the Knock Out Dynamite tournament was designed for, and man was this fun. Sadly though none of the other bouts lived up to this one. A very fun, if short, shoot out!
Prospect Debut-Tuguldur Byambatsogt (0-0) Vs Shusaku Fujinaka (16-11-2, 11) [movie/6899/]
The Knockout Dynamite Tournament was designed to encourage fighters to go for early wins. We didn't actually see that happened when Mongolian fighter Tuguldur Byambatsogt made his debut against Japan's Shusaku Fujinaka. Despite not going for the knock out, the Mongolian genuinely impressed, and for a debut this was the sort of performance that allowed fans a glimpse of what he can do.
Japanese Youth Title action-Tetsuro Ohashi (7-0-1, 2) vs Suzumi Takayama (2-0, 2) [movie/6919/]
One of the real hidden gems of the the month was the Japanese Youth Super Flyweight title bout between Tetsuro Ohashi and Suzumi Takayama. This was fantastic, saw both men being dropped and show cased excellent skills and technique from two very talented youngsters. Although there was a winner and a loser we suspect both men will have improved thanks to this truly fantastic bout from October 19th
Domestic title bout- Seigo Yuri Akui (13-2-1, 9) vs Shun Kosaka (16-5, 4) [movie/6951/]
We've known for a while that Seigo Yuri Akui is a fast starter, though we were interested to see how he'd cope with the usually durable Shun Kosaka in a bout for the Japanese Flyweight title. This looked good on paper, and whilst it didn't live up to expectations it's still well worth a watch for a short and rather explosive performance
Prospect Debut- Yudai Shigeoka (0-0) vs Manop Audomphanawari (3-2, 3) [movie/6969/]
One of the most anticipated debuts in Japan this year was that of prospect Yudai Shigeoka, who's debut came against Thai foe Manop Audomphanawari on the Watanabe promoted "Fight The Power", on October 30th. This wasn't so much a great bout but a showcase for one of Japan's future stars.
(Images courtesy of boxingraise and Boxmob)
Last November we ran what we thought would be a one off article, entitled "1 and 0 so good! The 1-0 fighters to make a note of!", now, almost a year one, we've decided to revisit that idea and look at some fighters who are currently 1-0.
Before we go any further we've decided to briefly look at the 5 men we mentioned in last year's article:
Tsendbaatar Erdenebat - was (1-0) and is now 2-0 (1) - The Mongolian has been switching between amateur and professional codes, so hasn't really built his record from a year ago, scoring only a single win in the professional ranks since his debut.
Makhmud Gaipov - was (1-0, 1) and is now 2-1 (1) - The touted Uzbek youngster notched a win just days after our article, but was beaten in March 2019, by Vazir Tamoyan, and hasn't been seen in the professional ranks since. At 23 years old there is time, but it does seem like maybe he's not the star in the making that he seemed following his debut.
Israil Madrimov - was (1-0, 1) and is now 4-0 (4) - Whilst Gaipov has failed to build on his debut win the same can't be said of Israil Madrimov, who has quickly become one of the sports must watch fighters. The confident switch hitting 154lb boxer-puncher has taken on progressively better fighters and has managed to impress every time. He has gone from prospect to contender incredibly quickly and we are expecting him to fight for a world title sooner rather than later.
Apichet Petchmanee - was (1-0, 1) and is now 5-0 (2) - The most active fighter featured on last year's list is Thai fight Apichet Petchmanee, who has fought 4 times since we put the list together. He's a weird one in many ways, as he's now scored 2 wins over former world title challenger Chonlatarn Piriyapinyo but hasn't looked great in those wins and there are now more questions over the 30 year old than we have liked. He's a talent, but maybe not the face of Thai boxing as hoped a year ago.
Ginjiro Shigeoka - was (1-0, 1) and is now 4-0 (3) - Japanese youngster Ginjiro Shigeoka had only fought 3 rounds when we covered this subject a year ago. Since then he has added 10 more rounds, scored a couple of blow out wins and claimed the WBO Asia Pacific Minimumweight title. Like Madrimov he looks like he could be in the world title mix very soon, and and he looks like one of the best young prospects in world boxing.
With that update on the 5 men we covered last November out the way, lets have a look at 5 men who are currently 1-0 and are already being tipped for big, big things going forward.
Yudai Shigeoka (1-0, 1)
Having included Ginjiro Shigeoka in last year's list it only makes sense to include his brother in this year's list! The talented Yudai Shigeoka is a couple of years older than Ginjiro but, like his younger brother, he looks like a sensation. On debut Yudai took out Manop Audomphanawari (3-3, 3), and whilst that's not a huge win it was the performance that really impressed. He showed a lovely variety of shots with some of the most impressive body punching we've seen from a debutant. We know Yudai wants to get into the title mix quickly, and we wouldn't be surprised at all by him fighting for some type of title by the end of next year.
Miras Ali Sarsenov (1-0, 1)
Following a 211 bout amateur career we're really excited to see how Kazakh youngster Miras Ali Sarsenov goes on as a professional. In the unpaid ranks Sarsenov won 188 bouts before signing with MTK Global earlier this year, and debuting in October. He looked good on debut, when he stopped Davit Natsvlishvili in 2 rounds, and whilst his opponents wasn't up to anything the 22 year old Kazakh still impressed with sharp punching, good movement, and good shot variety. He's certainly one to watch in 2020, though we need to hope that MTK Global won't hold him back, as we have seen from them in the past with other fighters.
Nurdos Tolebay (1-0)
Another Kazakh worth making a noting of with a 1-0 record is Nurdos Tolebay, who is also managed by MTK Global. He's aged just 18 and is tipped highly by those in Kazakhstan, despite not having the biggest or strongest amateur pedigree. He looked good on his debut, back in mid October, and was slated to return to the ring in mid November, as he looks for his second win. At just 18 years old MTK won't be rushing him, then again MTK aren't well known for rushing fighters, and will instead keep him busy over the next year or two, giving him time to develop.
Tuguldur Byambatsogt (1-0)
In October we saw 20 year old Mongolian fighter Tuguldur Byambatsogt make his debut, and he impressed as he out pointed Japanese veteran Shusaku Fujinaka over 5 rounds in the Knock Out Dynamite tournament. We'll admit it did feel like Byambatsogt was fighting within himself, but even then he out out boxed Fujinaka, and looked like he had an extra 2 or 3 gears to go through. He showed really smart movement on debut, a lot of skills and we're looking forward to seeing his next bout, which will come in Japan against Vladimir Baez. That bout should see Byambatsogt answering a lot more questions about his chin, his durability and his ability to go through the gears. From what we've seen of him on his debut however he looked very good.
Hiroto Yashiro (1-0, 1)
The only fighter on this list that've sadly not been able to watch, though have had very positive feed back from, is Japanese Bantamweight Hiroto Yashiro. Yashiro is a 22 year old southpaw who debuted in September when he stopped Adundet Khonwong and turned professional following a very, very impressive amateur career. The youngster went an incredible 75-19 in the unpaid ranks and managed to come 3rd in a national tournament. He's a really interesting fighter, who has stated that he wants to fight for youth titles sooner rather than later. Not only does he have the amateur pedigree but also boxing in his blood, with his cousin being Yoshimitsu Yashiro, a former Japanese Super Featherweight champion who twice fought Takashi Miura. We're really hoping to see Yashiro in the ring sooner rather than later and hopefully his next bout will be broadcast some how, as from what we understand he is one exceptional young fighter and someone with a lot of potential to live up to.
(Images courtesy of Watanabe Gym and Teiken)
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).