By Joe Koizumi
Tournaments have become so popular everywhere in the world, as that might be a sort of remedy to get back people’s interests in Sweet Science. We, in Japan, witnessed finals of tourneys among rated contenders to decide mandatory challengers against national champs for the forthcoming Carnival of Champions on Sunday in Tokyo, Japan.
Middleweight: Veteran Fukutaro Ujiie (16-7-1, 11 KOs), 159.5, decked an upset KO victory over previously unbeaten hot prospect Tomohiro Ebisu (7-1, 7 KOs), 159.75, at 2:59 of the fourth session in a scheduled eight. KO artist Ebisu made a good start, but as the seasoned campaigner Ujiie started his retaliation in the fourth, the younger prospect visibly slowed down with his continual body attack only to hit the deck twice for the count.
Welterweight: Hard-hitting despite his suspect chin, Akinori Watanabe (21-4, 19 KOs), 146.75, floored Takehiro Shimokawara (14-6-2, 5 KOs), 147, in the opening session, but had shaky moments due to the latter’s retaliation, and Watanabe finally caught his rival with a flurry of punches en route to a fine stoppage at 1:35 of the fourth canto.
Lightweight: Fast-moving Hiroshi Nakamori (29-2-1, 16 KOs), 134.5, downed pugnacious southpaw Daiki Koide (16-3-2, 6 KOs), 134, in the first, kept him battering in every round and halted the fading foe at 3:00 of the seventh session.
Featherweight: Busier punching Kazumasa Kihara (12-1-1, 4 KOs), 125, defeated Noriyuki Ueno (12-10-4, 4 KOs), 125.75, by a unanimous decision (77-76, 78-76 and 79-74) over eight.
Bantamweight: Unbeaten ex-amateur champ Ryosuke Iwasa (8-0, 6 KOs), 117.5, displayed a very spectacular performance in dismantling much more experienced perennial top contender Kinshiro Usui (19-3, 9 KOs), 118, at 1:08 of the fourth stanza. Iwasa, a Hamed stylist, showed accurate southpaw combinations to the veteran Usui, battered him to the punch and finally pummeled him into submission.
Flyweight: Takayasu Kobayashi (16-3-3, only 2 KOs), 112, was awarded a split technical draw (49-48 for him, 47-49 and 48-48) with ex-national champ Kenji Yoshida (17-9-1, 5 KOs), 112, because of both badly bleeding from gashes at 0:29 of the fifth round, but Kobayashi was named the mandatory challenger to the national champ Tomonobu Shimizu thanks to his aggressiveness that was evaluated by the judge who had tallied a drawn verdict.
Minimumweight: Norihito Tanaka (13-3, 7 KOs), 104.5, surprisingly made a short work of highly regarded Filipino import Gabriel Pumar (fighting here as Boom Boom Toei; 15-4-1, 9 KOs), 104.5, dropping him with a thud that prompted an immediate halt at 1:42 of the opening stanza.
The winners will have mandatory shots to the national titlists in the Carnival to be held in the first four months of 2011.
Promoter: Japan Professional Boxing Association (JPBA).