Sun Rise Park Gym, Saga, Saga, Japan
This coming Sunday we see Western Japan Rookie of the Year action with 3 bouts, all of which are finals. Sadly they do show just how weak the Western Japan Rookie of the Year is compared to the West and Central Japan tournaments.
The first of the three bouts will be at Super Flyweight, where Fuka Yamasaki (1-4, 1) takes on the unbeaten Sora Sunohara (1-0-1). The more experienced man is Yamasaki, who debuted in April 2018 and hasn't socced a win since taking an opening round victory in his second bout. His last 3 contests have all been clear losses, including a retirement loss to Ryoma Yamashira in December 2018. Sunohara on the other hand debuted with a draw in August 2019, won his second bout, 4 months later, and hasn't fought since. We'll be honest it's a little bit hard to care too much about this, and we can't imagine the winner reaching the All Japan final down the line.
The second bout is another where we can't see the winner progressing to the All-Japan final. In fact this bout will see Hirohisa Fujiwara (0-1) and Shinsaku Sato (0-4) both look for their first win Super Bantamweight final. Fujiwara is 34 years old and was stopped in his debut last year, giving us almost nothing to talk about in regards to his potential. Sato on the other hand is 31 and was stopped in his first 3 bouts, though went the distance last time out in a decision loss. Neither of these men have picked up a win, or even fought this year.
Thankfully the Featherweight final does look somewhat solid as the heavy handed Hikaru Fukunaga (5-1, 4) takes on Misaki Hirano (1-0, 1), in what should be an explosive clash. The 21 year old Fukunaga had been a professional since 2018 and he impressed us last year, before losing to Jinki Maeda in a Rookie of the Year bout. Since then he has picked up 4 rounds of experience against Kohei Suzuki and looks like one to keep an eye on. Hirano on the other hand made his debut in August this year, and needed just 42 seconds to beat Takayoshi Kurokawa. Expect this one to be explosive, and make up, somewhat, for the other two bouts.