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Mike Zambidis Defeats Fadi Merza + Video

Mike Zambidis returned to the ring today in Greece and took on Fadi Merza, a long time veteran of the sport. The fight was for Zambidis' "King of the Ring" Oriental Rules Super Welterweight Title, which Zambidis won last year against Ali Gunyar.

While the fight was somewhat of a tune up for Zambidis, it wasn't easy for him as Merza looked to have a noticeable size and height advantage. Step up knees were coming his way throughout the course of the fight and Merza wouldn't just hand over the win to him. It was a fun fight, as most Zambidis fights are, and he walked away with a unanimous decision.

Up next for Zambidis is a rematch with Chahid Oulad El Hadj at the K-1 MAX Final 16 in Madrid, Spain on May 27. Their fight at the Final 16 in 2010 was absolutely insane and despite it being hard pressed to live up to that, it should still be a great fight.


Tetsuya Yamato vs Sergio Wielzen, Masaaki Noiri vs Raz Sarkisjan Headline May 20th Hoost Cup

A little while back, Ernesto Hoost announced that he would be holding a Hoost Cup event on May 20th in Nagoya, Japan and since, big fight announcements have been rolling in.

Headlining the card will be 2010 K-1 -63kg Tournament winner Tetsuya Yamato taking on former It’s Showtime 61kg champ Sergio Wielzen. Yamato (26-9-1, 21 KO) is coming off of a knockout over Densiam Lukprabaht, avenging a loss from 2009 which snapped a 2-fight loss streak thar saw him drop decisions to Jomthong Chuwattana and Ryuji Kajiwara. Yamato has never taken on European competition, but has faired decently against Thai competition. Wielzen (35-5-2 1 NC, 19 KO) has fought in Japan twice before, the first turned into an exhibition against Kanongsuk Weerasakreck as one of the two fighters missed weight and the second was Wielzen’s most recent fight, a TKO via cut loss to Kosuke Komiyama at RISE 85. Wielzen’s only other bout against Japanese competition was a TKO via cut win over Masahiro Yamamoto in his first defense of his It’s Showtime title. He lost that title to Karim Bennoui last March, but was able to pick up a pair of wins before the loss to Komiyama. Although it’s on Yamato’s turf, I’d favor Wielzen as Yamato has found trouble with upper echelon fighters, mostly due to his lack of speed and defense. However, Wielzen can’t take any time to relax in this fight as Yamato has very good power for the weight class and is extremely dangerous late, as 12 of his 21 knockouts have come in the 3rd round or later.

Perhaps the second biggest booking of this event is 2011 Krush Youth Tournament winner Masaaki Noiri taking on Holland’s Raz Sarkisjan. To many, Noiri (12-2-0, 5 KO) is the clear #2 Lightweight behind Yuta Kubo as his only pro losses are to Kubo and Yuji Takeuchi and holds wins over Koya Urabe, HIROYA, Ryuji Kajiwara and Hirotaka Urabe. Currently, he is riding a 6-fight win streak, most recently defeating Frenchman Cedric Peynaud, but not without Peynaud catching him in the first and dropping him. I can’t tell you much about Sarkisjan at all other than he is Dutch-Armenian and, according to the Krush press release, trains under Hans Nijman. Noiri would have to be the favorite here and if he puts away Sarkisjan with ease, I’d love to see him take on Ryuji Kajiwara for the Krush 63kg title or Naoki Ishikawa in a 60kg #1 contender’s bout as Ishikawa stated towards the end of last year that he wanted to face the winner of the 2011 Youth Tournament. However, it seems as though Noiri is content to stay at 63kg as he gets older and with Krush announcing a 2012 Youth Tournament, I’d imagine Noiri would like to participate again and defend his throne.

The next big fight is WBC Japan Super Welterweight champ Soichiro Miyakoshi taking on HEAT Middleweight champ Danilo Zanolini. Miyakoshi found himself in limbo in 2011 as he was regulated to gatekeeper status with losses to prospects Yuya Yamato and Takafumi Morita, but he closed off the year strong with a win over Yutaro Yamauchi to claim his WBC Japan Super Welterweight title and most recently, Miyakoshi became the first man to beat J-Network Welterweight champ Masato Otake. Miyakoshi is no stranger to foreign competition as he’s faced the likes of Christophe Pruvost and Liam Harrison, among others. It’s hard to refer to the Brazilian Zanolini as a foreigner as he’s fought his entire pro career in Japan, mostly in HEAT. He won the HEAT 70kg title back in 2010 and has defended it twice, most recently with a KO of Su Hwan Lee, while his most recent fight was a loss to Hiroki Nakajima for the inaugural It’s Showtime Japan 70kg title. I give Miyakoshi a slight edge in this fight.

In a 64kg bout, WBC Japan and NJKF Welterweight champ Yuya Yamato is set to square off with Kanongsuk Weerasakreck. Yamato (12-7-0, 8 KO) wasn’t much of a name outside of Japan before last May when he upset Fabio Pinca in Thai Fight via 3rd round cut. Since, however, the 21 year old prospect is just 1-3 with his win over fellow card participant Soichiro Miyakoshi and losses to Kazuki and Fabio Pinca in rematches and most recently to Klangsuan Sasiprapa in NJKF. Kanongsuk (64-15-2, 22 KO) was a force in the 63kg division with wins over Rashata, Tetsuya Yamato, Genki Yamamoto and Hirmoasa Masuda, among others, but has dropped his last two fights, first losing his WPMF Lightweight title to Arita Tsukahara by late KO, then dropping a decision back in March. This one’s tough to call as both fighters are on a slide, but I think Kanongsuk is just better at the moment.

Other fights include Holland’s Jemyma Betrian taking on WBC Japan Women’s Featherweight champ Ayano Oishi, recently crowned 2011 K-1 Koshien champ Sho Ogawa vs Yuta Nogami, at heavyweight Noboru Uchida, who is best known for beating Alexey Ignashov in 2005, against Polish fighter Tomasz Sarara and Tsutomi Takahagi against Jairo Kusunoki. Also expected to participate are Daichi Yamato and Ramazon Ramazanov.{jcomments on}


Naoki Ishikawa vs Kan Itabashi Added to Krush.19

Krush has begun building Krush.19, set for June 8th, with a 60kg matchup between former AJKF Super Featherweight champ Naoki Ishikawa and former RISE Super Featherweight champ Kan Itabashi. Ishikawa (34-18-5, 18 KO) has bounced back from a rough year that started in July 2010 that saw him go 1-4 by defeating Yuji Takeuchi at Krush.12 and drawing 60kg champ Hirotaka Urabe in a title fight at Krush.15 in January. Itabashi (19-5-2, 3 KO) had a rough 2011 which saw him lose his RISE title to Kosuke Komiyama, defeat Genki Yamamoto to earn an It’s Showtime #1 contender’s bout, but lose that #1 contender’s bout to Masahiro Yamamoto. Itabashi hasn’t fought since that fight back in October. Although Hirotaka Urabe is set to face the winner of the 60kg tournament, which concludes at Krush.19 as well, the winner of this fight has a strong case to be next in line, especially Ishikawa.

This fight joins the finals of the 60kg tournament between Katsuya Goto and Fumiya Osawa as well as a 63kg WILDRUSH League 3rd leg fight between TaCa and Yukimitsu Takahashi. Yuta Kubo and Keiji Ozaki are expected to participate, too.

Also on a side-note to the 63kg WILDRUSH League, the 3rd leg fight between current leader Hideaki Yamazaki and NOMAN has been scrapped due to an injury to NOMAN. Krush decided that due to the rigorous WILDRUSH League schedule that calls for 5 fights in one year, the fight would not be rescheduled and Yamazaki would receive a bye and the two points that would normally be awarded for a decision win. This secures Yamazaki’s spot at the top for the end of the 3rd leg with 6 points, but TaCa and Hitoshi Tsukagoshi could capture a share of the lead should either score a knockout.{jcomments on}


Hiroaki Suzuki vs Hiroki Shishido Added to Shootboxing 2012 Act.3

Shootboxing has made its first fight announcement for Shootboxing Act.3 on June 3rd and it is a 65kg bout between 65kg champ Hiroaki Suzuki and Shootboxing star Hiroki Shishido. Suzuki (13-3-0, 5 KO) is currently riding a 4-fight win streak with 3 of those wins over MMA fighters and the other being against Yu Sugawara for the Shootboxing Super Lightweight title. His most recent win was a knockout of “Lion” Takeshi Inoue earlier this month. Shishido (48-10-0, 20 KO) seems to be heading towards the end of his career as he is 35 and is 1-5 in his last 6 fights. He also took on MMA fighter “Lion” Takeshi Inoue, but lost a close decision while his most recent fight was a loss to Warren Stevelmans at Shootboxing 2012 Act.1. Shishido usually fights at 70kg, but didn’t seem drained much by dropping to 67kg for the Inoue fight. However, at 35 this cut may be difficult and Shishido already has his hands full with Suzuki, so I expect his rough streak to continue.

Also expected to participate on the card is Ai Takahashi, who looks to join Mizuki Inoue in the next round of the 53.5kg Girls S-Cup, against a yet to be named opponent.{jcomments on}


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