Krush held the first two installments in of their Krush-EX series in 2012 this past weekend, a series which often features lesser-known fighters. The focus of the day portion was Nobuchika Terado’s return to the ring after being KO’d by 55kg champ Shota Takiya in just 70 seconds in January while the night portion featured the first two rounds of an 8-man tournament to decide 60kg champ Hirotaka Urabe’s next opponent.
In the day portion’s main event, ISKA World Super Bantamweight champ Nobuchika Terado successfully returned to the ring, cruising past Team Dragon’s Namito Izawa by unanimous decision on scores of 30-25 and 30-26(x2). Terado (28-8-1, 12 KO) scored downs in the first and second rounds and controlled the pace and range of the fight, showing he still has it despite his quick loss to Takiya. Terado has faded out of the division’s elite with his most recent losses being to Ryuya Kusakabe and Shota Takiya, but he can still serve as a high-level gatekeeper as he possesses some difficult matchups for rising fighters with his power and experience. A good matchup would be a rematch with RISE Super Bantamweight champ KENJI, though that will be difficult to put together as RISE has him fighting as often as possible. Izawa (7-1-2, 2 KO) did well to not get finished, but he really shouldn’t have been in there with Terado. Understandably, it’s a bounce-back fight for Terado, but it was a win-win for Izawa if he made it out of the first round, so kudos to him.
In other day-portion action, 70kg Krush regulars Takuro Moriya and Hareruya squared off with Moriya taking a unanimous decision. Former female pro wrestler Akari took her second fight in Krush, improving to 2-0 in the organization, defeating Yuzukari Sakamoto.
Now on to the night portion, where Yuzo Suzuki, Junpei Aotsu, Katsuya Goto, Fumiya Osawa, Yuta Dynamite, Takashi Nakajima and Makoto Morishige fought to make it to the finals of the 60kg tournament.
In the first quarterfinal, Takashi Nakajima squeaked by Kyokushin karate champion Yuzo Suzuki by majority decision on scores of 29-29 and 30-29(x2). In the second quarterfinal, Katsuya Goto took a hard fought decision over Yuta Dynamite (Yuta Takahashi) on scores of 29-28 and 29-27(x2), scoring a down with a right hook in the 2nd round of what seems to have been a pretty good fight. In the third quarterfinal, Fumiya Osawa scored the tournament’s first stoppage with a 1st round KO via right cross of Makoto Morishige at 2:06 into the round. In the final quarterfinal, Yuya (Yuya Fujii) edged out Junpei Aotsu, earning a unanimous decision on scores of 29-27 and 29-28(x2).
The first semifinal had a bit of a strange ending it seems, as Katsuya Goto dropped Takashi Nakajima with a right hook in the 3rd round, but after Nakajima went down, he apparently closed his eyes, leading to the referee stopping his count and calling the bout, to Nakajima’s protest. Similar situations have happened in boxing before, and the bottom line is that if you appear unconscious or immobile to the referee, he has the right to stop the fight. In the other semifinal, Fumiya Osawa rose to the occasion and shut down Yuya, winning a unanimous decision on scores of 30-28 and 30-27(x2).
Of the two finalists, I’d say Katsuya Goto is the favorite and would stand the best chance against Hirotaka Urabe. Goto did well against Kizaemon Saiga and showed good defense, including the use of head movement, something few Japanese kickboxers tend to utilize consistently, and powerful hooks. He displayed those hooks again in the tournament, scoring a knockdown and knockout with his right, so training with Kazuhisa Watanabe appears to have given him a good boxing base. Goto is just good enough in the right places to capitalize on someone like Hirotaka Urabe’s flaws, but not good enough to be considered a favorite by any means. Fumiya Osawa was my pick of least likely to win the tournament, as he was 0-3-1 in his last 4 fights heading into the tournament, but I guess that shows how much I know. This final is a rematch of a fight from Krush.14 in December which went to a majority draw. The rematch will take place at Krush.19 on June 8th while the title fight with Urabe is still set for Krush.20 on July 21st barring injury or something of the nature.
Quick Results after the jump
Reports thanks to gbring and boutreview