Orient Report

by Joe Koizumi


Mar. 24, 1998 TOKYO--Korakuen Hall--National middle champ YOSHINORI NISHIZAWA, displayed his much superior stamina, kept aggressive and endured occasional solid rallies of JBC #1 contender ATSUSHI SASAWAKI, 159, to retain his title on a unanimous decision over 10. Scored--Kanaya 98-95, Kumazaki 99-93 and Date 99-96, all for Nishizawa, 15-9-4, 9 KOs, who thus registered his 3rd defense since he acquired the vacant title by stopping Kenichi Tsukamoto in the 5th on Jan. 28 of the previous year. Sasawaki fell to 12-3-2, 7 KOs.

The elongated 6-footer Nishizawa was an aggressor all the way, though Sasawaki, a very muscular peek-a-boo stylist, blocked almost all of his incessant combinations. Sasawaki, just 5'7", occasionally landed sporadic right crosses to shake up the champ, but he was obviously less active and less aggressive. It was amazing that Nishizawa kept attacking from the start to the end with such a high pace. Sasawaki had several failures in gaining the national titles, losing the then Japanese jr. welter champ Viacheslav Ianovski in 1991, fighting to a draw with Hiromu Kuwata in a bid for the same national 140-pound title in 1993 and being defeated by Japanese jr. middle ruler Akira Ohigashi in the previous year.

In a semi-final, veteran comebacker Jiro Aoyama, 159 1/2, survived a shaky start in the first round, utilized his persistent jabs and defeated hard-hitting Kenji Tamaoki, JBC #3 ranked 160-pounder, at the limit, by a unanimous decision (99-94, 97-96 and 99-96) over 10. Aoyama is 15-6-1, 4 KOs. The uspet loser Tamaoki dropped to 7-3, 6 KOs.

Aoyama, tricky and flexible, was regarded as a probably safe victim, but he showed his determination in outpunching the younger but green opponent. Aoyama had failed to win the Japanese title 4 times and the OPBF jr. middle throne once in Korea. The shaven skulled veteran had often announced his retirement and made a comeback--a la Sugar Ray Leonard. But he will be ranked again by the JBC thanks to this upset vicotry, and there may be an opportunity for Aoyama to attempt to win the national title for the 5th time soon.
Promoter: Yonekura Promotions.

Mar. 23
TOKYO--Korakuen Hall--JBC #8 jr. feather, lefty Jun Toriumi, 122, scored with southpaw lefts to the belly, winning a unanimous nod (78-77, 78-76 and 78-74) over Ken Katagiri, 122, over 8. Toriumi had him at bay in the 3rd and 7th, but Katagiri refused to go down. Toriumi extended his unbeaten mark to 6-0-1, a KO, but he needs gaining more power to compete with top notchers. Katagiri impaired to 5-5-2, no KO.

Also unbeaten Hiroshui Nakajima, JBC #6 straw, 105, scored a shutout decision (double 80-74 and 80-75) over Kazuhiko Kato, 104 3/4, over 8. Nakajima made him quite groggy with a countering right in the 6th, but failed to follow up and finish his opponent chiefly due to his lack of convincing power. Nakajima is 10-0, just a KO. Kato is 7-2, 5 KOs.
Promoter: Watanabe Promotions.

Mar. 27
TOKYO--Korakuen Hall--Busy-punching Takuya Kiya, JBC #6 jr. bantam, 115, remained aggressive, dropped Naohiro Yanagi, 114 3/4, with a vicious overhand right in the 4th and won a nearly lopsided decision (80-72, 79-72 and 78-75) over 8. Kiya truly overpowered Yanagi, a legitimate flyweight, but sometimes absorbed the latter's retaliations. Kiya was an aggressor all night and won an easy triumph. Kiya is 10-1-1, 6 KOs. Yanagi is 7-5, 4 KOs.

Shinya Kiuchi, JBC #8 feather, 128, earned a majority duke (78-77, 79-78 and 77-77) over Hiroshi Mizushima, JBC #6 junior lightie, 128, over 8. The victor is 12-4-1, 5 KOs. the loser is 12-2-3, 7 KOs.

Fast-rising Choluho Kim, a Korean-Japanese born and living in Kobe, JBC #6 bantam, 126, badly floored Hiroaki Yamaguchi, 126, in the opening session, and stopped him at 1:27 of the 3rd round in a scheduled 8. Kang is 13-3-3, 7 KOs. Yamaguchi is 10-5, 6 KOs.

Remarks: The name of Choluho Kim is a really Korean name. In the Korean pronounciation, he should be spelled Chulho Kim, but this reporter follows the spelling of the JBC ratings.
Promoter: Kaneko Promotions.


Mar. 22, 1998
NAGOYA--Shiratori Century Hall--Upcoming local prospect KOZO ISHII, JBC#5 jr. feather, 123, looked frustrated by the tricky mobility and punching of ex-OPBF bantam champ CHANGKYUN OH, 123 3/4, in the first two rounds, but landed solid blows to hurt Oh to down him 3 times en route to a fine KO at 1:13 of the 5th session in a scheduled 10.

But Ishii was still stiff, and failed to show flexible weaving or ducking after hitting jabs or left-right combinations. Oh, an obvious pushover, hit the deck with a crashing right of Ishii in the 3rd, and had a standing count taken in the 4th. Oh, who had lost to Victor Rabanales in a bid for the WBC interim bantam title in Calif. on Jul. 27, 1992, was like a shell of his former self. He didn't pay any effort to raise himself when he sat down due to Ishii's strong right shot in the fatal 5th. Ishii bettered his mark to 13-1, 8 KOs, scoring 5 consecutive KO wins. He need more speed in punching and moving. Oh fell to 34-9-4, 14 KOs.

In a semi-windup, Hiroki Tomi, JBC #2 ranked middle, 158 3/4, found it very easy to drop ex-Philippine national welter champ Alan Alegria, 154, 3 times to produce an automatic KO at 2:25 of the 2nd session.

Tomi, a stablemate of Ishii, couldn't win the national 160-pound title, losing a decision to Yoshinori Nishizawa in Tokyo last Jun. But Tomi attacked the Filipino veteran from the start to have him on the defensive all the way. Tomi's busy combinations nailed Alegria to the ropes to send him thrice to the deck. Tomi, pugnacious though he lacks convincing power, bettered his ledger to 13-2-2, 9 KOs. Alegria, who had previously scored an upset KO win over the then WBA #1 ranked contender Sangho Lee in Korea many years before, didn't look what he used to be. It was his first appearance here, but his performance disappointed some keen aficionados who knew his previous reputation.
Promoter: Tenyu Maruki Promotions.

Mar. 21
NAGOYA--Nagoya City public Arena--Unbeaten local prospect Ryuhei Sugita, 129, ran his unbeaten mark to 13-0-1, 11 KOs, as he scored a fine KO win over Naoto Asakura, 129 1/2, at 2:04 of the 5th round in a scheduled 10. Sugita, piloted by ex-WBC super-bantam champ Kiyoshi Hatanaka, was formerly the All-Japan Shinjin-o (Novice King) tourney winner in the 130-pound division. It is true that Nagoya has some good prospects now.

Veteran campaigner Tomoaki Iwasa, 122, outscored The Musashi (whose real name is Toru Sato), 120 3/4, over 10. Iwasa, who had failed to win the national bantam crown from Great Kanayama in 1994 and the Japanese jr. feather diadem from Kyoshiro Fukushima in the previous year, is 23-5-2, 16 KOs. Iwasa was previously KO'd by the current WBC feather boss Luisito Espinosa in the 7th in Nagoya in 1995. Musashi is 13-10-4, 7 KOs.


Joaquin Henson wrote:

March 28. Sucat Sports Complex, Muntinlupa City. Promoter: Rod Nazario. Philippine Boxing Federation (PBF) featherweight champion Ric Ramirez, l26, pounded out a clear-cut unanimous l2-round decision over challenger Chu Ferrer, l26. Ramirez, 24, was in control of the bout from the start, easily sidestepping Ferrer's wild rushes, and was never in trouble.

The win raised Ramirez' record to 22-l7-l, with eight KOs. It was the second defense of the PBF title he won on a fifth round stoppage of Allan Visayas. In the undercard, Felix Marfa, fresh from losing to Samson Dutch Boy Gym in a bid for the World Boxing Federation (WBF) junior bantamweight crown, scored a unanimous 10-round decision obver Joel Avila, ll5 1/2. Marfa, ll6 l/2, is the Games and Amusements Board No. 3 junior bantam while Avila is rated No. 11 bantam.

Unbeaten Rolando Villaflor, ll9 1/2, defeated Bimboy Ruego, ll9, via a unanimous 8-round verdict. Villaflor's record is now 7-0, with 4 KOs. He floored Ruego once in the seventh and coasted for the easy win. Villaflor's only shaky round was the fourth when Ruego appeared to floor him but referee Joe Espinosa ruled it a slip.

Ruego bucked a cut on his forehead in the opening round and it was a miracle that he finished the fight standing up.

Marty Elorde (youngest son of the late Flash Elorde) protege Ian Arnaiz, ll4, halted Daniel Salvador, ll0, in the fifth round. Arnaiz decked Salvador with a vicious body shot midway the fifth. Salvador got up, claimed he was hit by a low blow, then left the ring. A TV replay showed the blow was legitimate.

Arnaiz was in command throughout the fight and in the fourth stanza, Salvador should've been disqualified when he deliberately threw a low blow to stymie Arnaiz' attack. Arnaiz, l9, raised his record to 3-2-2, with 2 KOs.

In 4-rounders, William Salvador, l06, decisioned Gerald Ubatay, 104, Arce Bag, ll8 1/2, outpointed Mario Aliviado, ll9, Dominador Magno, l07, scored a split decision over Ali Anino, l05, and Japanese Tetsuya Aoyagi hammered out a majority decision over Jonis Monquil, l24.

Aoyagi, l22, is 27 years old and made his pro debut with Toti Sangalang and former Philippine featherweight champion Jojo Cayson in his corner. The Japanese, who dyed his hair gold, was nearly knocked off his feet in the first round as Monquil connected at will. Then, in a dramatic reversal, Aoyagi took charge in the second round. Monquil appeared to stop throwing punches starting the second and was visibly exhausted. He had punched himself out in the first canto.

Aoyagi didn't show much promise, He showed little technique and little power. Monquil lost the fight more than Aoyagi won it. The big crowd applauded Aoygai for his efforts.

Joe Koizumi
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