Krush held its first event of 2012, Krush.15 at Korakuen Hall in Tokyo earlier yesterday. In the headlining bouts, 55kg champ Shota Takiya and 60kg champ Hirotaka Urabe defended their titles against Nobuchika Terado and Naoki Ishikawa, respectively. Krush.15 also kicked off the -63kg WILDRUSH League which is a 6-man round-robin to determine the next 63kg title challenger.
In the main event, 55kg champ Shota Takiya continued his reign of terror, stopping Nobuchika Terado just 71 seconds into the first round, scoring 3 downs with a pair of left hooks and a flying knee. The win is Takiya’s (18-4, 12 KO) first defense and moves his win-streak to 9. With possible opponents KENJI and Ryuya Kusakabe busy with prior engagements, expect Takiya to take a super fight before taking a trilogy fight with either man. The quick loss is disappointing for Terado (27-8-1, 12 KO), who had a good shot at being the man to stop Takiya’s current streak, but he never got into his rhythm and was stopped right away. Should Kusakabe be Takiya’s next opponent, Krush would be well-served in organizing a fight between Terado and KENJI in Krush or RISE to see if KENJI is ready to take a step up in the division and challenge the top fighters in Japan.
In the co-main event, Hirotaka Urabe and Naoki Ishikawa proved to be evenly matched after the two fought to a unanimous draw after 3 rounds on scores of 29-29 and 28-28(x2). Urabe seems to have gotten the better of rounds 1 and 2, but a cut above Urabe’s eye caused by a flying knee allowed Ishikawa to win the 3rd and bring the fight to a draw. Despite the draw, Urabe (13-5-2, 5 KO) defends his title and is now on a 7-fight unbeaten streak. It’s hard to guess what is next for Urabe, should it be FIKA at 63kg or fighting in Krush. If he stays in Krush, matchups with Masaaki Noiri, Kosuke Komiyama or Kejiro Miyakoshi could provide a good test for any of the fighters involved. After his last bout, Ishikawa (33-18-5, 18 KO) talked about retirement, but I do not believe he mentioned it after this bout and according to Boutreview, he seemed pleased with his performance against Urabe. Ishikawa has his ups and downs, but with a win over Yuji Takeuchi followed by this draw against Urabe, Ishikawa is proving to still be a top fighter as he ages and could find success over the next couple of years should he continue to fight.
In a super-fight, flashy K-1 veteran Keiji Ozaki scored a 2nd round KO at 37 seconds into the round over Hironori Hattori. The win is a good bounce-back for Ozaki (24-15-1, 10 KO) who was coming off back to back losses to foreign fighters Thomas Adamandopoulous and Romain Mailov.
Krush.15 also marked the beginning of the -63kg WILDRUSH League which features 6 fighters in a round robin where the fighter with the most points after 5 fights will earn the right to challenge for the Krush -63kg title. Fighters receive 3 points for a KO win, 2 points for a decision win and 1 point for a draw.
Tournament favorite and member of Team Dragon Hideaki Yamazaki(12-1, 6 KO) started off strong with a clear unanimous decision victory over Silver Wolf’s Hitoshi Tsukagoshi (9-2, 5 KO) on scores of 30-29 and 30-28(x2). The win gives Yamazaki two points, however Triple-Y’s TaCa(record N/A) earned himself a 1st round lead with a quick knockout of Naoki Terasaki(8-4, 2 KO) at 1:34 into the 1st round, giving TaCa 3 points. In the final WILDRUSH League fight, Supernova tournament semifinalist Yukimitsu Takahashi(11-4-2, 4 KO) and Krush regular NOMAN(record N/A) fought to a split draw on scores of 30-30, 29-30 and 30-29, giving each man a point and 3rd place in the standings. The lead is nice for TaCa, but it is just the first round and Hideaki Yamazaki has only gotten better as his career as progressed. The draw is tough for Takahashi who will likely need to defeat both TaCa and Yamazaki if he wants to win this tournament.
Finally, in a clash between J-Girls champions, Featherweight champion and Team Dragon’s Kimiko Sasaki defeated Bantamweight champion Shiho Mizuno by unanimous decision on scores of 30-29, 30-28 and 30-27.
Quick results after the break: