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It's Showtime Japan/REBELS.9 Results: Masahiro Yamamoto Earns It's Showtime 61kg Title Shot

Earlier today at Differ Ariake, It's Showtime Japan and REBELS copromoted their second event together, It's Showtime Japan 4 and REBELS.9, headlined by an It's Showtime 61kg MAX #1 contender's bout.

In the main event, former AJKF Featherweight champion and 2009 Krush Lightweight GP winner Masahiro Yamamoto defeated former RISE 60kg champion Kan Itabashi for a second time on the strength of a 3rd round flying knee knockdown by unanimous decision on scores of 30-27(x3), 30-28 and 29-28. The win puts Yamamoto back on a 2-fight win streak and makes him the #1 contender for the It's Showtime 61kg championship, currently held by Javier Hernandez. The last time the two met Yamamoto was on a 5 fight win streak, including his Krush tournament win, winning 10 of his last 11 fights while Itabashi was riding an 8 fight win streak including back to back title defenses of his RISE belt over TURBΦ and Keiji Ozaki. Yamamoto won that fight by unanimous decision, but went on a 4-fight winless streak immediately after before defeating Arita Tsukahara to earn the right to face Itabashi. Itabashi won his place in this fight by defeating Genki Yamamoto at the first It's Showtime Japan event in what turned out to be Genki's last fight. This win restores a lot of momentum for the 28 year old Masahiro Yamamoto that had been lost over the past year and a half. His matchup with Hernandez should be an extremely entertaining fight. Hernandez is set to take on former 61kg champion Sergio Wielzen, who defeated Yamamoto, in a non-title fight in Spain at It's Showtime 53 on November 12th.

In the co-main event, Hinata was able to defeat South Korean fighter Baek Min-Cheol via a body kick KO at 1:01 into the first round. For Hinata, it is a bounce back from his one-sided loss to 70kg kingpin Giorgio Petrosyan as well as a tune up for his fight at the big It's Showtime January 28th show against Gago Drago.

WPMF Japan Welteweight champion Daiki Watabe picked up a much needed win with a unanimous decision over former J-Network Super Lightweight champion Tomo Kiire on scores of 29-27(x2), 29-28 and 29-26(x2). Watabe was riding a two fight losing streak with a loss to Chi Bin Lim in RISE as well as a loss to T-98 at the first It's Showtime Japan event. Up next for Watabe could be a defense of his WPMF title against newly crowned J-Network Welterweight champ Masato Otake who is looking to be one of the hottest prospects in Japan at the moment.

In REBELS action, WPMF Japan Featherweight champion Yosuke Morii picked up a 3rd round KO win over a Lumpinee ranker. If Morii continues winning and Genji Umeno wins his next fight for the WPMF World title, the two could meet each other with the WPMF Japan and World titles on the line as well as a spot in the Lumpinee Stadium feathweight rankings. {jcomments on}


J-Network Results: Undefeated Otake Claims Welterweight Title

On the 16th at Korakuen Hall, J-NETWORK held an event which featured a Welterweight title fight as well as a Super Bantamweight title unification fight.

In the night’s main event, undefeated Masato Otake improved to 9-0, capturing the J-Network Welterweight title from former champion Atsushi Sasatani by unanimous decision on scores of 50-47(x3). Sasatani won the title against Tomo Kiire in October of last year and this was his first defense. Otake earned the right to fight for the title by defeating former K-1 Koshien fighter Kohei Nishikawa in August. Otake should be an interesting fighter to watch going forward as he has faced little resistance on his path to the title. I would liken him, as a prospect, to Takafumi Morita as he captured a major promotional title within 11 fights and they have a common opponent in Nishikawa. However, Morita took a big step up in his following three fights as well as knocking out Nishikawa in the first round while Otake took him to a decision. Otake has a few options going forward as he could defend his title against #1 ranked Tomo Kiire or he could set his sights on the WPMF or WBC Japan titles.

In a Super Bantamweight title unification bout, reigning champion Hiroaki Mizuhara defeated interim champ Hidemaru by split decision on scores of 49-47, 48-50 and 50-48. Mizuhara was a part of the Krush 55kg tournament and made it to the semifinals, losing to Ryuya Kusakabe by decision and this win is his first successful defense. Hidemaru won the interim title back in June by unanimous decision. Next could be a rematch between the two, but with a relatively strong weight class, Mizuhara could find himself fighting WPMF Japan Bantamweight champ Ichinohe Sota while a good matchup for Hidemaru would be against Takayuki Umehara in a fight that would have J-Network and WPMF Japan implications.

Finally, in a matchup of Krush regulars, Junpei Aotsu defeated DYNAMITE Yuta by unanimous extension round decision on scores of 10-9(x3) after a majority draw with scores of 29-28 and 29-29(x2). In the past 2 and a half years, Aotsu has fought 17 times, going 9-8-1 against a who’s who of Japanese Lightweights the likes of Masahiro Yamamoto, Fire Harada, Yuta Kubo, Masaaki Noiri, TaCa, Arita Tsukahara and TURBΦ. Aotsu is currently on a 2-fight win streak. DYNAMITE Yuta scored a big upset in the quarterfinals of the Krush 63kg tournament with a first round knockout of former K-1 63kg posterboy Daisuke Uematsu, but lost to Koya Urabe in the semifinals. {jcomments on}


Krush Supernova Tournament Results: Urabe, Noiri, Hiroya, Takahashi Advance to Semis

Earlier today at Shinjuku FACE, Krush held the first two rounds of their Under-22 Supernova Tournament to determine the 4 semifinalists with blocks A and B competing in the afternoon and blocks C and B at night.

During the day in Block A, 2010 K-1 Koshien quarterfinalist Sho Ogawa was able to edge out an extension round decision over Tang Tang Fight Club's Fumiya Osawa, winning the extension round 10-9 on all 3 cards. In the other half of Block A, 2008 K-1 Koshien champion and one of the tournament favorites HIROYA ran through his opponent, Hiroshi Hoshikawa, scoring a knockout just 1:35 into the first round. In the Block A final, HIROYA dominated Sho Ogawa, winning a unanimous decision on scores of 30-27(x2) and 29-26 to advance to the semifinals.

In the other half of the matinee portion of the event, Block B favorite and 2009 K-1 Koshien champion Masaaki Noiri scored a knockout at 1:25 into the 3rd round over Violence. In the other half of Block B, Team Dragon's Daizo Sasaki also scored a 3rd round knockout at 1:24 in the round over Silver Wolf's Shota Fukuda. In the Block B semifinal, Masaaki Noiri scored another knockout, this time 1:42 into the 2nd round to secure his spot in the semifinals against HIROYA.

This fight is a rematch from the 2009 K-1 Koshien semifinals where Masaaki Noiri shocked nearly everyone and made a name for himself with a dominating, entertaining win over HIROYA. The win would be huge for either fighter.

In the night portion of the event, RISE #6 ranked Super Lightweight Shimpei Keita cruised past J-NETWORK's Hiroshi Matsui to take a unanimous decision on scores of 30-28(x2) and 30-27. In the other half of the bracket, tournament favorite Koya Urabe also cruised past Yuta Otaki, taking a unanimous decision on scores of 30-27(x2) and 30-28. In the Block C final, Koya Urabe faced more resistance than one would have thought from Keita, but was still able to defeat Keita on scores of 30-29(x2) and 30-28.

In Block D, Yukimitsu Takahashi edged out Kazuma in an extension round, winning 10-9 on all 3 cards. In what could be considered a bit of an upset, former K-1 Koshien fighter Kengo Sonoda edged out J-NETWORK Flyweight champion Tsukasa Fuji on scores of 30-29, 30-30 and 30-28. Size was likely a factor as Fuji fights about 10kg under the 63kg weight limit for this tournament. In the Block D final, Takahashi caught Sonoda with a hard head kick 25 seconds into the 3rd round and Sonoda was unable to recover, giving Takahashi the KO win.

This sets up a semfinal between Koya Urabe and Yukimitsu Takahashi. Urabe, already the tournament favorite before the brackets were announced, should have his status as tournament favorite bumped even higher. Takahashi showed he is no slouch and Urabe struggled a little with Keita, but Urabe should be able to cruise into the finals while the winner of Noiri-Hiroya will likely be dinged up from the semifinals. However, if the pattern of the Krush tournaments of favorites losing in the later rounds hold, Takahashi could see himself with a big upset win, though I find it more unlikely as Krush tournament champions Shota Takiya, Hirotaka Urabe, Ryuji Kajiwara and Kenta were more overlooked talents while the focus was on fighters like Ryuya Kusakabe, Masaaki Noiri, Koya Urabe and Hiroki Nakajima.

The tournament's conclusion will take place on December 9th and if Naoki Ishikawa gets his way, he will fight the winner of this tournament at some time after that.

Quick Results after the break


Lucrative Wins for Sam A and F16 at Lumpinee Stadium

It's been a good year for Sam A who has beaten all comers with the only exception a dubious draw with Konsak (pretty much everyone except the judges thought Kongsak won) but it got a whole lot better on Friday night.

Like a lot of the best Muay Thai fighters Sam A hails from Buriram in the rural north east which is one of the most impoverished areas in Thailand. As one of the most in demand fighters on the stadium circuit in Bangkok he can expect to receive in excess of 100,000 Baht per fight, more than most people in Buriram earn in a year, but on Friday night he had the prize of a Toyota pick up (valued at 1.7 million Baht according to the announcer) awaiting him if he could defeat Ting Tong.

Ting Tong is sponsored by Isuzu and not wishing to be outdone they also offered him an Isuzu pickup meaning that the winner would be driving home in one of two trucks parked outside the stadium. Sam A won the last time these two fought and Ting Tong the underdog was allowed to weigh in 2 lbs heavier. If the extra weight was an advantage it didn't show as, after the traditionally slow start, Sam A dominated proceedings to win a one sided decision victory.

Sam A ia a very intelligent fighter, who is good at making his opponents miss and then pubishing them with a vicious left body kick. He was up against another southpaw in Ting Tong but the strategy remained the same and was effective enough for him to be awarded the fight 50-47 on all three judge's scorecards.

In the main event 2010 fighter of the year Nong O took on F 16 who was coming off a big win over 2009 fighter of the yeat Kongsak which you can see here (check out the handspeed from F16 as he knocks Kongsak down twice in round two). 2011 has not been a vintage year for Nong O who has lost a few fights and this one had a two million baht bet riding on it.

 F16 looked to be the bigger of the two fighters but Nong O was able to hold his own for the first few rounds. It seemed to be anyone's fight but Nong O faded badly in rounds four or five allowing F16 to outwork and outmuscle him to the extent that the outcome was a foregone conclusion long before the final bell sounded.

A stellar card also saw Singdam and Petboonchu do battle for the third (i think...) time this year. Petboonchu's clinch work has made the difference in the previous two fights but this time it was the turn of the 'black lion' who was able to consistently land body kicks and even managed to more than hold his own in the clinch.

In the fight of the night  Detnarong Wor Sangprapai and Tryjak Sitjomtry went toe to toe right from the opening bell. Most Muay Thai fighters like to star slow but these two started unloading straightaway and it looked set to be a classic until Detnarong got swept in round two and then hit with a knee on the way down which cut him badly and left him needing a ten count to recover.

It seemed that the momentum was with Tryjak but instead Detnarong came storming back, taking the fight to his opponent to win every remaining round despite being covered in blood from a gash above his left eye. A full house at Lumpini erupted and Detnarong celebrated long and hard, even the referee was on the receving end of a kiss much to his surprise.

The first fight of the night saw Ponsanah on the comeback trail. He made a name for himself sue to his aggressive style and solid low kicks which are the trademark of fighters from the Sitmonchai camp but has been out of action for a while after briefly becoming a monk (most Thai men do this at some stage in their lives).

He was up against Yuttachai and took less than a round to destroy his opponent's leg, showing just how effective low kicks can be as a weapon. It was one of the best cards of the year, put on by Petchyindee promotions. A match up between Saenchai and F16 must surely be on the cards soon as the two have never previously met while a rematch between Kongsak (who beat Pakorn Sakyotin recently) and Sam A would also be interesting.
















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