By Joe Koizumi
One of the best ways to activate boxing is to force the champion to strictly abide by the rules and regulations on his mandatory defense against the top contender. In this regard, the Japan Professional Boxing Association (JPBA), the union of licensed managers, makes it a rule to promote the national tournaments of ranked boxers to decide the official challenger who is to have a promised shot at the Japanese belt in the annual Carnival of Champions in the beginning of the year.
The finals of the tournaments took place at the Korakuen Hall on Sunday in Tokyo, Japan, to see the following mandatory challengers eliminated:
154 lbs: Japan-based US schoolteacher, JBC#2 Charles Bellamy (12-1-1, 9 KOs), 154, completely flattened #7 Yoshiharu Ikeda (11-8-2, 9 KOs), 154, with devastating left hooks at 2:24 of the opening session in a scheduled eight. We appreciated the rather short but very muscular American’s awesome hard-punching ability.
140 lbs.: Unbeaten JBC#1 Yoshihiro Kamegai (13-0, 11 KOs), 140, had a tough time coping with non-stop punching southpaw, #6 Daiki Koide (14-2-2, 6 KOs), 140, but finally caught him with a barrage of punches en route to a stoppage at 2:48 of the seventh round in a scheduled eight.
130 lbs.: Unbeaten ex-amateur national champ, JBC#2 Seiichi Okada (10-0, 6 KOs), 130, put on a really give-and-take performance with #1 Koji Kawamura (17-2-1, 5 KOs), 130, with the tide busing turning, and the former finally emerged victorious by a unanimous nod (77-76, 78-75 and 78-76) over eight. The fifth should be the Round of the Year as, in the session, each almost finished the other with a furious assault to have the crowd on its foot in a frenzy.
122 lbs.: JBC#3 Kyohei Tamakoshi (25-5-6, 10 KOs), 122, barely eked out a split duke (78-75 twice and 76-77) over #5 Kento Tauchi (9-3-3, 6 KOs), 122, over monotonous eight.
115 lbs.: JBC#6 Yota Sato (17-2-1, 8 KOs), 115, fully utilized his speed and footwork in scoring a TKO win over #2 Junichiro Sugita (14-3, 7 KOs), 115, at 1:08 of the seventh. Sato was just too fast for the flat-footed rival all the way.
108 lbs.: JBC#4 Suguru Takizawa (19-1, 8 KOs), 108, absorbed much punishment by the opening attack of #3 Takumi Suda (10-5-2, 2 KOs), 107.5, but gamely retaliated to earn a majority verdict (77-75 twice and 76-76) over eight. Both of them had better learn how to defend themselves from the fundamental, as they blocked too many shots from the opponent with the face.
The national champs will prepare for their 2010 defenses against the winners as they came and watched their near-future challengers fighting with their own eyes.