Earlier today at Korakuen Hall in Tokyo, Krush held its final event of the year, Krush.14, which was headlined by the semifinals and finals of their first youth tournament, the Under-22 ~Supernova~ Tournament, as well as 63kg champion Ryuji Kajiwara defending his title for the first time against Tetsuya Yamato.
The first semifinal was a rematch from the semifinals of the 2009 K-1 Koshien Tournament between the man who won that tournament, Masaaki Noiri, and the 2008 K-1 Koshien champion Hiroya. Like their first encounter, Noiri came out the aggressor and it paid off for him, as he scored a down in the opening round. Noiri held his lead and cruised through the rest of the bout, where he seems to have used his reach to nullify most of Hiroya's offense. Noiri earned a unanimous decision on scores of 30-28(x2) and 30-27.
In the second semifinal, Krush -63kg Tournament and 2011 K-1 -63kg Japan Tournament runner-up Koya Urabe defeated Yukimitsu Takahashi by a close, but clear decision, winning on scores of 30-28, 30-29 and 29-28. Urabe seems to have used his boxing, as usual, to grab a lead on the scorecards, but was not completely free of Takahashi's assault, as it appears he attacked Urabe's legs quite a bit.
In the finals of the tournament, Masaaki Noiri was able to nullify Urabe's superior boxing and ultimately landed with a flying knee that ended Urabe's night 2:58 into the 1st round. The tournament win is huge for Noiri and makes it his second youth tournament victory along with the 2009 K-1 Koshien tournament. Noiri had been in two other tournaments this year, losing in the semifinals of both. The win over Urabe is the biggest of Noiri's career and though there's no video yet, it appears that he fixed some of his defensive issues. Next for Noiri could be a shot at the winner of the Hirotaka Urabe-Naoki Ishikawa 60kg title fight at Krush.15 in January. For Urabe, it's his 3rd loss in a tournament final this year. In the Krush -63kg Tournament he was likely on his way to a win with the strength of his boxing but fell victim to a down that cost him the fight and in the K-1 -63kg Japan Tournament he got careless in the quarterfinals, failing to check leg kicks, which ultimately caused him to lose to Yuta Kubo in the finals and it seems he could've fallen victim to the same mistake this time. Despite his immense talent, Urabe may find himself without a tournament win for even longer if he fails to fix his defensive flaws. For Hiroya, it is another disappointing result for the former Koshien golden boy who was bounced in the quarterfinals of the K-1 -63kg Japan Tournament, albeit in a fight he arguably won, and now in the semifinals of this tournament.
In the night's other main event, Krush -63kg champion Ryuji Kajiwara successfully defended his title for the first time against 2010 K-1 -63kg Tournament champion Tetsuya Yamato by unanimous decision on scores of 30-27 and 30-28(x2). The first two rounds appear to have been back and forth with both fighters landing on each other, though Kajiwara seems to have gotten the better of it. Kajiwara took over in the 3rd round and was likely on his way to winning the round and the fight before scoring a knockdown with a flying knee in the final minute of the round, securing his victory. The win is a great birthday present for Kajiwara who turned 35 today and was a good challenge for the aging fighter. I don't see him holding onto the Krush title much longer though as Rashata could still be considered the top contender and I feel he would do much better against Kajiwara than Yamato did. The loss for Yamato is a second straight as he lost to Jomthong Chuwattana back in October and further solidifies his position below the elite fighters of the division.
In the tournament reserve bouts, the losers of the quarterfinal bouts faced off and Sho Ogawa defeated Shimpei Keita on scores of 30-29(x2) and 30-28 while Kengo Sonoda defeated Daizo Sasaki on scores of 30-28(x2) and 29-28. Ogawa should find himself on future Krush cards because even though he lost in the quarterfinals, he put up a good fight against Hiroya and was getting the better of him in some exchanges.
In non-tournament action, WPMF Japan #2 ranked Lightweight Yosuke Mizuochi scored a decision win over former NJKF Lightweight champion Ikki on scores of 30-28(x3). I believe this puts Mizuochi at 5-0 on the year and should give him more leverage towards a shot at current WPMF Japan Lightweight champion Arita Tsukahara, who is coming off a huge win over Kanongsuk Weerasakreck.
Quick Results after the break