The first Shootboxing event of the year kicked off last night in Tokyo, Japan at Korakuen Hall. The show featured a variety of good fights with a few of the normal Shootboxing faces, headlined by a match between Yoshihiro Sato and the 2012 S-Cup runner-up, Henri Van Opstal.
In the main event event Sato emerged victorious, defeating Van Opstal by decision with scores of 30-29, 30-29, and 29-29. It was a desperately needed win for Sato, who had already dropped his last three fights to Shemsi Beqiri, Sanny Dahlbeck, and Kenta, respectively. A win over Van Opstal puts him back into the ranks of contender. However, as close as the scores were we may need to hold out until a video surfaces before we claim that the Infinity Sniper is back in full form.
In the other big fight on the card Warren Stevelmans beat Bovy Sor Udomson by decision with scores of 29-29, 29-28, and 30-28. This will be Stevelmans' third consecutive victory, coming off wins over Dzhabar Askerov and Hinata. Stevelmans is set to face Johann Fauveau at GLORY 5 London.
Also on the card, Joachim "Hellboy" Hansen won his first Shootboxing match against Kenji Kanai, after being defeated in his debut by Hiroaki Suzuki. It's good to see Hansen taking Shootboxing seriously, and hopefully we'll see him in more events in the future.
Yoshihiro Sato def. Henri Van Opstal by Decision
Warrens Stevelmans def. Bovy Sor Udomson by Decision
Akifumi Utigawa def. Kazuki Tamakawa by Decision
Imrock def. Masahiro Fujimoto by Decision
Joachim Hansen def. Kenji Kanai by Decision
Hinata def. Masatoshi Hyakutake by Decision
Kizaemon Saiga def. Masato Sannai by Decision