The past week hasn’t been the busiest in the world of Asian boxing, but it has been a pretty interesting one, with several bouts of note.
The week kicked off with a notable show at the Korakuen Hall, where fight fans saw a Japanese title fight as well as a former Japanese title challenger.
The main event of Monday’s card saw the Japanese Middleweight title being unified as “regular” champion Hikaru Nishida (16-8-1, 7) scored a clear unanimous decision over the much heavier handed Tomohiro Ebisu (17-5,17), who suffered his first decision loss. Ebisu had entered the bout as the interim champion and was made to look second best here.
Exciting former Japanese Super Bantamweight title challenger Gakuya Furuhashi (19-8-1, 9) ended a bit of a slide as he claimed an easy confidence building win over Masajiro Honda (6-9, 4), in what was a real mismatch. Although the bout was a mismatch Furuhashi, who I do love watching, really did need a good performance to keep his career alive, and thankfully that’s what he had.
Most of the week was quiet but we did see plenty of action on Friday.
The most interesting bout of the day was in Japan as fight fans saw two former world title challengers face off. The bout saw Filipino Jerry Tomogdan (23-8-4, 11) claim a stoppage win over the talented teenager Riku Kano (11-3-1, 6), who was broken down by Tomogdan’s body shots. The win, one of the biggest of Tomogdan’s career, saw him claim the WBO Asia Pacific Minimumweight title and put himself in the mix for a second world title fight, potentially later this year.
It wasn’t all bad for Japanese teenager’s, as the unbeaten Futa Akizuki (9-0, 7) easily over-came the tough Vincent Bautista (5-7-4, 1), with a wide unanimous decision. Bautista was dropped once in the first half of the bout, and then dominated through out en route to a wide decision loss.
In Russia fans saw Tajik Shavkat Rakhimov (10-0, 8) climb off the canvas twice to end up stopping former OPBF title challenger Jimmy Paypa (19-4-1, 7), in the 6th round of their up and down clash. Paypa had come into the bout in good form, and looked on his way to a win, before Rakhimov dug deep to stop him.
Another fighter beating a Filipino was Evgeny Chuprakov (18-0, 10) who stopped Eden Sonsona (36-7-2, 13) in the 5th round of their bout. The gutsy Sonsona had been dropped several times before finally being stopped. Coming in to the bout Sonsona had been on a great run, where he had gone 10-0-2, and had scored a huge win over Adrian Estrella in 2015, so it is a shame to see that run come to an end here.
Action returned to the Korakuen Hall on Saturday where we had a show that was recorded for a G+ broadcast, which will be shown next week.
The main event saw former world title challenger Daiki Kaneko (26-5-3, 18) look really impressive as he scored a 7th round TKO against veteran Tsuyoshi Tojo (13-15-5, 2). The talented and powerful Kaneko became the first man to stop Tojo.
On the same card we also saw veteran Motoki Sasaki (42-11-1, 26), sadly though he looked his 41 years as he was out boxed and out fought by the much younger Genki Ishikawa (9-1, 5), who claimed a clear decision. Ishikawa fought much of the bout with a bad cut, but proved to be the much better man. Sasaki looked a shadow of the fighter he had once been and it was clear that this was the end of his career.
The weekend closed out with two notable bouts, one in the Philippines and one in Japan.
The Filipino bout fans saw the talented Jonas Sultan (13-3, 8) retain the IBF Inter Continental Super Flyweight title with an impressive stoppage win over veteran Sonny Boy Jaro (43-14-5, 30). Jaro, a former world champion, was on the receiving end of a vicious assault from Sultan in round 7 that sent him out of the ring, and potentially into retirement.
The other bout saw the unbeaten Takuya Uehara (12-0, 7) retain the WBC Youth Featherweight title with a 6th round stoppage against Thai journeyman Nongdear Sor Bangkharu (1-15).Uehara looked a little bit off to begin with but grew into the bout before breaking the Thai down in round, dropping him and forcing the referees hand.
(Scott Graveson covers the Asian boxing scene for www.asianboxing.info)