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Shootboxing 2013 act.2 Results: Shishido Tops Takaya, Mohan Dragon KOs Suzuki

Yesterday at Korakuen Hall in Tokyo, Shootboxing held its second major event of the year, headlined by a 67kg matchup between fan favorite Hiroki Shishido and DREAM Featherweight champ Hiroyuki Takaya. The rest of the card featured Shootboxing stars RENA, Hiroaki Suzuki, Satoru Suzuki and Naguranchun Masa M16, as well as stars and champions from other promotions like Kosuke Komiyama, Kizaemon Saiga, Mohan Dragon and Lorena Klijn.

In the main event, Hiroki Shishido dominated DREAM champ Hiroyuki Takaya en route to a unanimous decision on scores of 28-26 from all 3 judges. Shishido knocked Takaya down twice in the opening round with a kick to the body and a spinning backfist, securing an early lead. In the 3rd, Shishido was deducted a point for kicking a downed Takaya, but he had already secured such a big lead that the deduction didn't hurt him. Shishido has now won 3 of his last 4 after seeing his career going into a tailspin, where he lost 6 of 7. Takaya hadn't been very active over the last year, fighting on New Year's Eve in 2011 and not fighting in 2012 until again on New Year's Eve, where he lost to Georgi Karakhanyan.

In the co-main event, MA Kick champion Mohan Dragon surprised nearly everyone by knocking out Shootboxing Lightweight champion Hiroaki Suzuki in the 1st round. The fight started well for Suzuki, who was returning to 65kg after fighting in last year's S-Cup, as he knocked Mohan down with a left hook. However, the brawler from Nepal refused to be put away and scored with a massive right hook that sent Suzuki to the ground where he struggled to get up before the count of 10, forcing the ref to stop the fight. The win is huge for Mohan Dragon, who competed and lost in the opening round of the Road to GLORY 65kg tournament. Going in, there was little doubt that this would be a brawl as both men love to throw down and pack significant power. However, the consensus was that Suzuki's defense was better, that he had more power and that he would dominate in every aspect of the fight. The loss is Suzuki's first since 2010 and snaps a 6 fight winning streak. 

At 70kg, the crowd-pleasing Satoru Suzuki put his Shootboxing Super Welterweight title on the line against Yuki Sakamoto and it was Sakamoto who came out on top on scores of 50-48, 49-47 and 49-48. The little-known Sakamoto has quietly put together a 14-2 record entirely under the Shootboxing banner and the win will get him a lot of name recognition, as well as matchups with some of Shootboxing's better 70kg fighters or foreign talent. Despite his overwhelming popularity, the results have not been there from the former boxer Suzuki, who is just 2-5 since 2012.

In a 60kg #1 contender's bout, K-1 veteran Kizaemon Saiga took an extension round unanimous decision over Shootboxing Featherweight champion Naguranchun Masa M16 after a majority draw. Saiga's speed was too much, as he got the better of most of the boxing exchanges and Naguranchun wasn't able to abuse the Shootboxing ruleset enough to earn the victory. Saiga improves to 3-0 in the organization and has earned a shot at 60kg champ Akifumi Utagawa. Naguranchun drops his 2nd straight bout after losing to RISE champion Kosuke Komiyama.

Speaking of Kosuke Komiyama, he faced South Korea's Seong Jae Kim, winning a unanimous decision on scores of 30-26 and 30-27(x2). Komiyama got a bit of an easier challenge after taking on Shootboxing champions Naguranchun Masa M16 and Akifumi Utagawa in back to back appearances. He pushes his win streak to 9 and he could probably argue that he is the next challenger to the Shootboxing 60kg belt as well. I'd definitely like to see him fight Saiga, whether there's a belt on the line or not, either under Shootboxing rules or under Krush/RISE rules. Kim splits time between MMA and kickboxing, fighting out of the Gumi MMA gym, home to Korean MMA standout Doo Ho Choi. 

Shootboxing prospect MASAYA moved up to 67kg and bounced back from a loss to Kizaemon Saiga with a 2nd round stoppage of Horu Tarai. I'd like to see him face Hiroaki Suzuki next, as his ties with the Cesar Gym mean he won't be leaving Shootboxing for some time. 

Going over to the women's side, 3-time Girls S-Cup champion RENA took on highly touted Taiwanese muay thai practitioner Peiling Du. RENA took advantage of her opponent's unfamiliarity to the rules, scoring a few throws early in the fight before finishing it in the 3rd round with a choke. This was RENA's first fight since last year's Girls S-Cup in August, as she was recovering from an injury. It is very possible that her next fight will be her rematch with Erika Kamimura in RISE. 

In a 53.5kg fight, Lorena Klijn, the woman who upset Erika Kamimura in last year's Girls S-Cup, returned to Shootboxing, taking a majority decision over Miyo Yoshida on scores of 30-29, 29-28 and 29-29. Klijn competed in last year's S-Cup, drawing tournament co-favorite Erika Kamimura in the quarters, but she hung with Kamimura over the first three rounds, forcing an extension round where she scored a shoot point, ensuring victory. In the semis, she faced 2009 finalist V.V Mei, again going to an extension round, but was on the receiving end of several throws that gave V.V Mei the win. This is a solid win over Yoshida, who has beaten everyone Shootboxing put in front of her except Kamimura and now Klijn.

Finally, in a JKS48 qualifier, 2012 champion MIO moved on to the next round with a over Sayaka Yoshina while 2012 quarterfinalist Yuuki Kiratsu beat 2012 semifinalist Yusa Taichi to advance. 

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Kyotaro Bounces Back with TKO Win

Earlier today at Korakuen Hall in Tokyo, former K-1 Heavyweight champion Kyotaro Fujimoto stepped into the ring for his 7th pro boxing bout against another former kickboxer in Fabrice Aurieng. After making the switch to boxing in late 2011, Kyotaro started his career with 5 straight wins including 3 knockouts before challenging Austrailia's Solomon Haumono for the OBPF Heavyweight title this past New Year's Eve. That fight didn't end so well for Kyotaro, who was rocked early in the 5th round, then, while seemingly out on his feet, put away for good with a monstrous right hand. Today, it was Kyotaro handing out the punishment as he knocked Aurieng down four times over the course of 7 rounds before forcing a corner stoppage at 1:11 in the 7th. He came in with an aggressive style and his defense still seems to be a bit shaky, but it was another good showing from the former K-1 champ against a fighter with a lot of fight experience, although Aurieng's boxing experience is about the same as Kyotaro's. Clearly, he has a long way to go before challenging some of boxing's top heavyweights and his management would probably be smart to put him in with some of the less powerful punchers in the division to get him some rounds and help him improve his defense. However, Kyotaro has shown good power, improved footwork and a solid chin on top of his kickboxing experience, so there's no reason that, with some polishing and a couple more years, he can't be a viable contender in a depleted Heavyweight landscape.

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Japanese Kickboxing Scene: March Recap

March was a huge month for Japanese kickboxing, with two Rajadamnern Stadium title fights, the Road to Glory 65kg tournament and big cards from RISE and Krush. This post will recap all of March's kickboxing and muay thai action from the past month.

March 3rd: Krush Ignition 2013 vol.1 and 2

Krush's series of smaller shows, previously known as Krush-EX, kicked off in March with a day-night double header. The main event only lasted 2:19, but was a wild affair with 2012 Youth GP semifinalist Daizo Sasaki knocking down prospect Minoru Kimura. However it was Kimura who came out on top, dropping Sasaki 3 times en route to a stoppage and giving him his third straight stoppage win after a pair of losses, which seem to have reenergized him. The co-main event saw Masanobu Goto rebound from a loss to Keiji Ozaki with a 1st round KO of Atsushi Ogata, who has proved to be little more than a punching bag since an upset win over Toshiki Taniyama. Ryuma Tobe returned to action after a 10 month layoff, knocking out Hiroshi Kamata in the 3rd round.

Tenkaichi 65

While the main event was an MMA fight, the main kickboxing attraction saw Legend 63kg champion Kouki Nakamura stop Masataka Maeda in the 1st round. Nakamura has fought on Big Bang cards before, losing to Koya Urabe and Naoki, and could find himself in Krush or RISE if he continues to dominate lower level competition.

March 10th: Road to GLORY Japan -65kg SLAM

The most stacked weekend of the month was headlined by GLORY's first Road to GLORY Japan event. The quarterfinals saw Zen Fujita stop Riki Matsuoka, Yuki beat Mohan Dragon, Masaaki Noiri get by HIROYA for a 3rd time and Yukihiro Komiya score an upset over Ryuji Kajiwara in a brawl. The semifinals saw Yuki use his signature low kicks to stop Zen Fujita while Noiri got by Komiya. In the finals, Noiri turned it on and dropped Yuki six times over the course of two rounds, ultimately stopping him with a brutal knockout and earning himself a spot in GLORY's 65kg world tournament in May. The event also featured a big superfight between Krush champ Hirotaka Urabe and WPMF champ SHIGERU in what was one of the best fights of the night. After three even rounds, Urabe opened up a nasty cut over SHIGERU's eye with a flying knee in the extension round, forcing a doctor stoppage. Full recap here.

SNKA: Magnum 31

This event featured two Rajadamnern Stadium title fights as Hiroki Ishii defended his 140lb title while Bantamweight champ Manasak Pinsinchai defended his strap against Mutsuki Ebata. Despite facing his second straight undersized opponent, Ishii was dropped in the 2nd round by an elbow and, despite recovering, finished in the 4th round by Aikpikart Mor Krongthepthonburi, who claimed Ishii's Raja title. In the co-main event, Manasak dominated Ebata in every aspect of the fight for the first four rounds and fended off a strong charge from Ebata in the final round, defending his title on foreign soil for the first time. Also on the card was 2010 K-1 Koshien champ Shohei Hareyama bouncing back from a loss to Shota Saenchaigym with a with a unanimous decision over Haruki. NJKF Welterweight Taeyeon was also on the card and despite impressing over the past year, he was knocked out in the 1st round by Shota Otsuki.

REALDEAL 32

REALDEAL Gym's 32nd event was headlined by a rematch between one of their top prospects and RISING Rookies Cup 70kg winner Ryota Toyoshima and Akio Kishima. Toyoshima won their first bout, but this fight couldn't have ended differently as Kishima landed with a big head kick in the 1st round that put Toyoshima to sleep.

BOUT 14

The main event saw the popular TOMONORI defeat WAKO Korea Flyweight champion Gan Byon-ju by decision, dropping him once in the fight. Also on the card was NJKF and Krush vet Shoya Suzuki who picked up a  win over Yoshiyuki Nagayama.

Recap of the second half of the month after the break.

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Krush.27 Results: Yamazaki Upsets Adamandopoulos for 63kg Title

Earlier today at Korakuen Hall in Tokyo, Krush held Krush.27, headlined by a 63kg title bout between current champ Thomas Adamandopoulos and 2012 WILDRUSH League winner Hideaki Yamazaki. Also on the card were the semifinals of the 58kg tournament, the second leg of the 55kg WILDRUSH League and fights featuring Krush standouts Koya Urabe, Yutaro Yamauchi, Yuji Takeuchi, Hisaki Higashimoto and MA Kick champion Keisuke Miyamoto.

The main event saw Krush 63kg champ Thomas Adamandopoulos attempt to defend his title for the first time against Hideaki Yamazaki, who earned the fight by winning the 63kg WILDRUSH League with a perfect 5-0-0 record. In a big upset, the Liver Kick #6 ranked Lightweight Adamandopoulos was dropped by a spinning backfist in the 2nd round and seemed to have a bit of trouble finding offense against Yamazaki, losing a unanimous decision on scores of 30-28(x2) and 30-27. I had given Yamazaki little chance to beat Adamandopoulos as he was coming off of a stoppage loss to Gagny Baradji, who had very little kickboxing experience despite being a Savate champion. Some might remember that Adamandopoulos' first trip to Krush saw him get dropped by a spinning backfist when he won his ISKA title against Keiji Ozaki. The win continues the chaos in the Lightweight division and could earn Yamazaki a spot in the top 10. I'd like to see Yamazaki rematch Gagny Baradji for the title and possibly see Adamandopoulos back in Krush against Koya Urabe. The odds of Urabe fighting his teammate Yamazaki are pretty low, though he did fight his teammate Ryuji Kajiwara in the finals of the Krush tournament. 

The co-main event features were the semifinals of the 58kg tournament featuring Nobuchika Terado vs Shota Kobe and Takeru vs Yuzo Suzuki. Tournament favorite Terado struggled a bit, but was able to drop Kobe in the 2nd round and ride out a unanimous decision on scores of 30-28(x2) and 29-27. At this point is career it's clear that Terado has lost a step, but he's still one of Japan's best talents around this weight and his combination of power and heart makes him a difficult matchup for nearly everyone. The other semifinal saw the other favorite advance as Team Dragon's Takeru pushed his win streak to 5 with a unanimous decision over former Kyokushin world champion Yuzo Suzuki on scores of 30-28(x3). Takeru wasn't unhittable, but he controlled the action and landed the better shots, setting up a final against Terado. I have a feeling that Takeru will win, but the logical choice in the finals is Terado. Despite being 11 years older, Terado has shown the ability get hit and hit back harder. He gets knocked down more often at this point in his career, but he always seems to get back up. Takeru, on the other hand, has not been put in the same position, so it's impossible to know how he'll respond to being hit by Terado. I give Takeru the power advantage and it's very possible he could hurt Terado early and put him away, but he is also pretty wild and Terado can end a fight just as quickly. Regardless, the finals should be fireworks whether it lasts one round or three.

The main super fight saw 2012 63kg Youth GP champ Koya Urabe drop to 60kg to rematch 2012 60kg Tournament winner Fumiya Osawa. The two previously met very early in their respective careers, with Urabe winning by knockout with a flying knee. Urabe had grown into a star while Osawa meddled in mediocrity until surprising everyone by winning last year's 60kg tournament and a shot at Hirotaka Urabe's title. Despite that, he was coming off of two stoppage losses and most had him pegged as a big underdog in this rematch. That was until Koya Urabe tried the same flying knee that he stopped Osawa with in their first fight, which Osawa countered beautifully with a left cross, dropping Urabe. Unfortunately, however, I believe Urabe dropped Osawa with a right hook coming off of a break. Osawa was more or less knocked out and the referee had no other option but to disqualify Urabe. I can definitely see these two fighting for a 3rd time as the result here was inconclusive and I assume most people would want to see this fight again considering the underdog Osawa was able to drop Urabe early. Not to mention that Urabe is in no man's land when it comes to a title shot, as his brother holds the 60kg title and his teammate Yamazaki just won the 63kg title.

In a 61kg fight, "Kyoken" Yuji Takeuchi made quick work of Team Dragon's Shota Hayashi, stopping him with his favored left hook at 1:48 in the 1st round. Admittedly, the fight was a squash match, much like Takeuchi's last fight in Krush which ended in a no contest due to an accidental low blow, and it seems like they're trying to give him wins just to keep him in the picture at the top of the division and open up possible rematches with SHIGERU and Naoki Ishikawa. If Hirotaka Urabe fights Naoki Ishikawa for a 4th time in the near future and SHIGERU doesn't come to Krush, I'd like to see him fight Kan Itabashi. Otherwise give him Ishikawa or SHIGERU in a #1 contender bout. 

Krush 70kg tournament finalist Yutaro Yamauchi knocked out fellow tournament participant Hiroki Nakajima with a right hook at 1:10 of the 2nd round. This fight was a rematch of a fight from 2009 which saw Nakajima win by decision. This time, however, Nakajima was coming off of a 14 month layoff and it really hurt him as Yamauchi constantly hurt and dropped Nakajima en route to a stoppage. Krush has a lack of fresh options at 70kg with Kenta beating Yoshihiro Sato and unless Krush rushes right into a third fight between Kenta and Yasuhiro Kido, I'd like to see Yamauchi get a rematch with Kenta with a shot at Kido on the line. If not, a fight with Takuro Moriya or Asami Zaurus would be a good indicator as to where the 35 year old Yamauchi stands in the division at this point in his career. 

At 55kg, MA Kick champion Keisuke Miyamoto and MAD MAX Gym's Masahiro faced off in a matchup of 20 year old prospects. Miyamoto showed he was the better fighter over 3 rounds, earning a unanimous decision on scores of 30-29(x3). After a 2012 that had me name him the #2 prospect in Japanese kickboxing, Miyamoto had a bumpy start to 2013, barely being able to retain his MA Kick title with a majority draw against Kunihiro. Conversely, Masahiro had a great start to his year as he picked up a big win over Shuichi Wentz. Masahiro was able to hang, but he was outgunned by Miyamoto, who snaps a 2-fight winless streak. 

At 63kg, Ikki was able to knock out 63kg Youth GP finalist Hisaki Higashimoto in the 3rd round with a right cross. This fight seemed to go much like Higashimoto's fight with Koya Urabe where he started strong in the first, even winning the round, began to lose a step in the 2nd and was ultimately finished in the 3rd. By upsetting Hiroya by knockout in his pro debut, Higashimoto made himself a hot commodity in Krush, and a strong performance against Koya Urabe solidified that, despite being finished. However, I think Krush and his management need to take a step back so they don't ruin his career before it has a chance to get started. I didn't have a problem with this fight because it was a real test to where Higashimoto stood, but it's clear he doesn't have the experience to be fighting a guy like Ikki. He's just 20 and clearly has a lot of potential, but he needs to learn how to pace himself over 3 rounds and needs more ring experience before he's ready for the upper echelon of the division. Nonetheless, solid win for Ikki.

Finally, this event also saw the 2nd leg of the 55kg WILDRUSH League take place with tournament favorite Takumi picking up a decision win over Yuki Masato and improving to 2-0, Yuya Suzuki and Kazyosi fighting to a majority draw and Kazuki Okawa knocking out Masanori Shimada in the 1st round. After 2 rounds of fights, the standings look like this:

1. Takumi, 4 pts (2-0-0, 0 KO)

2. Yuya Suzuki, 4 pts (1-0-1, 1 KO)

3. Kazuki Okawa, 3 pts (1-1-0, 1 KO)

4. Kazyosi, 2 pts (0-0-2, 0 KO)

5. Yuki Masato, 1 pt (0-1-1, 0 KO)

6. Masanori Shimada, 0 pts (0-0-2, 0 KO)

Quick results after the break

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