Feb. 13, 2014
Asian Boxing Results (Week of 11/8-11/14)
by Scott Graveson
The past week has been a strange one for bouts in Asia, with a very quiet week overall with pretty every bout of note coming on Friday, a day with 4 Oriental title bouts and 1 world title bout, as well bouts involving 3 unbeaten prospects.
One of the shows on Friday came from Kobe, where we had an Oriental (OPBF) title quadruple header. The main event from that card saw OPBF Super Bantamweight champion Shun Kubo (11-0, 8) record the second defense of his title as he scored a 4th round TKO win over Korean Jin Wook Lim (8-5-5, 2). Lim showed his bravery but was totally out classed before being stopped by Kubo, who scarcely broke a sweat.
In a Lightweight bout Masayoshi Nakatani (13-0, 8) dominated Allan Tanada (14-6-3, 6) before scoring a 7th round TKO win to record his 6th title defense and advance his career. Nakatani controlled at range when, and as, he wanted but also showed his ability on the inside as he broke Tanada up with body shots up close. Tanada, like Lim, showed his toughness and bravery but never looked like he could trouble Nakatani before eventually being stopped.
In a genuine upset Mark John Yap (25-12, 11) scored a 5th round TKO over the heavy handed Takahiro Yamamoto (18-5, 15) to claim the OPBF Bantamweight title. Yamamoto had come in to the bout seeking a 3rd defense of the title and was world ranked, but 3 knockdowns in round 5 ended his reign, and any dreams of an upcoming world title fight. For Yap the win is a career defining victory and sees him claiming his first professional title, and potentially opening up big fights for him in 2017, with the likes of Shohei Omori or Hinata Maruta likely to chase Yap and the OPBF crown.
Another upset came at Minimumweight where Japanese youngster Ryuya Yamanaka (13-3, 3) out sped, out boxed and out fought former world champion Merlito Sabillo (25-4-1, 12). Yamanaka was given some problems early in the bout but dominated through the middle rounds to take a wide unanimous decision. The win for Yamanaka does open up a potential world title fight in 2017, but the reality is that he's still a long way from being ready for a world title fight and the bout probably says more about Sabillo and how his career is now at the end.
Across Japan, in Tokyo, we had another interesting card, headlined by the longest reigning active world champion Momo Koseki (23-2-1, 9). The long reigning WBC Atomweight champion continued her reign as the queen at 102lbs as she scored a 4th round TKO win over the totally over-matched Chie Higano (6-5, 2). Koseki, who has now scored 17 title defenses, will likely look to extend her reign next year and could well break the 20 defense mark in the near future.
On the same card we had two exciting prospects in action. One of those was Kazuto Takesako (5-0, 5) who recorded an exciting 3rd round TKO win over Korean champion Kyung-Joon Ahn (6-4-1, 5). Ahn travelled to win, and seemed to hurt Takesako at one point, but was stopped following a brutal knockdown. Although inexperienced Takesako has looked promising, powerful and exciting and it was good to see him put under some pressure here.
The other interesting prospect on the card was Takeshi Inoue (8-0-1, 4), who extended his unbeaten run with a 2nd round TKO win over Korean visitor Chan Ho Lee (5-2, 4). Lee never managed to match the ability of Inoue and was easily seen off by the unbeaten man who will return in January to face former OPBF, PABA and JBC Welterweight champion Akinori Watanabe.
Over in the US there was a win for promising Filipino hopeful Harmonito Dela Torre (19-0, 12) as he took an 8 round unanimous decision win over veteran Jose Luis Araiza (31-19-2, 22). This was Dela Torre's second win on US soil and it seems like the 22 year old will continue to develop his skills over in the States where the Super Featherweight prospect could well find better competition and sparring.