By Joe Koizumi
Photos by Naoki Fukuda
The first Japan’s Youth Tournaments came to an end to see the finals in four classes on the first day on Tuesday with the other three on the next day in Tokyo, Japan.
In the super-flyweight category, hard-punching Kenya Yamashita (11-3, 8 KOs), 115, impressively won the tourney when he displayed a devastating one-punch stoppage of JBC#3 Joe Tanooka (14-4-1, 1 KO), 114.75, at 0:53 of the opening session in a scheduled eight. Yamashita’s eye-catching right dropped the taller southpaw and prefight favorite with a thud and the damaged loser just attempted to unsuccessfully raise himself with rubber legs to be halted by the referee.
In the feather class, hard-hitting Tsuyoshi Tameda (14-3-2, 12 KOs), 125.5, started fireworks from the outset, floored Retsu Kosaka (7-3, 3 KOs), 125.25, with a solid left hook in the third, and had him retire on the stool after the round. Tameda, who had lost to world-rated Simpiwe Vetyeka in South Africa last year, showed his superior punching power to hurt the lanky speedster and gained the tourney belt.
The lightweight final saw unbeaten former amateur Izuki Tomioka (4-0, 1 KO), 134.5, barely outspeed and outbox Yuichiro Kasuya (9-2-1, 1 KO), 134.5, to be awarded a split decision (77-75, 77-76, 76-77) over eight. Tomioka, who had scored 31 wins in forty amateur contests, sustained a bad gash over the left eyebrow, but kept on outlegging the persistent aggressor.
In the super-feather division, Kazuma Sanpei (13-4, 4 KOs), 129.75, eked out a majority verdict (77-76, 78-75, 76-76) over Ryusei Yoshida (7-4, 4 KOs), 130, in a see-saw eight.
The Japan Boxing Commission (JBC) hasn’t recognized this tournament as a championship, nor authorized the presentation of the Youth belt by the Japan Professional Boxing Association (JPBA; a union of all the JBC-licensed club owners), but time will solve this matter, hopefully.