By Joe Koizumi
Photos: Naoki Fukuda
Veteran 36-year-old American residing in Japan, former OPBF 154-pound champ Charles Bellamy (27-3-2, 18 KOs), 146.5, returned to ring warfare after a one-year hiatus, and impressively displayed a single-punch stoppage of Thai #4 super-light Chairak Tor Silachai (10-2, 3 KOs), 146.5, at 1:10 of the second round in a scheduled eight on Saturday in Tokyo, Japan.
Originally scheduled for a semi-windup contest, it eventually elevated to a main event since Ryo Akaho, world-rated Japanese bantam titleholder, became so suddenly sick that he was hospitalized by ambulance at night two days before. Akaho had been slated to defend his national belt against mandatory challenger Yusuke Suzuki, but this unfortunate incident will reportedly force him to renounce his belt to pave the way for Suzuki to fight for the vacant title against Suguru Muranaka.
According to a reliable source in Thailand, the Thai government lately made an investigation into too many mismatches of mediocre Thailanders who came to Japan only to be fragile and disgraceful victims for Japanese prospects. Chairak, against the crowd’s expectations, looked so fresh and furious from the outset that he battered Bellamy from all angles as Charlie was such a well-known slow starter. The Thailander scored a point in the initial round, but his opening attack quickly awakened him and his pride so that the fight terminated fast in round two. Charlie, still powerful and pugnacious, connected with busy body punches and then followed a pulverizing right to the face of the Thailander, who went to dreamland to be carried out on a stretcher. Charlie was impressive, but his post-fight speech in Japanese in the ring wasn’t so impressive that we couldn’t understand well.
Having defended his national 154-pound belt five times and the OPBF title on eight occasions, he fought Jermell Charlo in Montreal in quest of the IBF #2 rank in May 2014. Though dropping Jermell midway in the eliminator, Charlie, born in New York, lost a 12-round decision (115-111, 109-108 twice, all against him) to have his dream broken in Canada. Thirty-six as he is, he can still fight and punch, and may be a good threat to the OPBF/WBO ASPAC 154-pound ruler Takeshi Inoue.
We witnessed very interesting encounters of Japanese prospects against Filipino OPBF contenders on the undercard. Unbeaten flyweight southpaw, Junto Nakatani (14-0, 11 KOs), 115, demolished OPBF #11 Jeronil Borres (8-4-1, 5 KOs), 115.5, with a single body shot at 1:56 of the first round in a scheduled eight. Tall and hard-punching, Nakatani, 20, looked very promising. In his previous contest Junto won the Novice King tournament final by finally halting highly touted and also unbeaten Yuri Akui in six and was recently rated by the JBC thanks to his victory.
Unbeaten Japanese bantam prospect, OPBF#10 Kai Chiba, 117.5, was surprisingly stopped by Filipino swinger, OPBF#11 Brian Lobetania (12-5-3, 10 KOs), 117.75, at 0:26 of the fourth session in a scheduled eight. The first two rounds saw Chiba, 7-0, 6 KOs, toy with the slower and roundhouse Filipino battler, who kept punching the air and missing the target. Chiba lopsidedly whipped the unorthodox and awkward Filipino nearly at will until the middle of the third round. His carelessness, however, cost much, as he took a wild right hook to the head to be rubbery legged to have a very narrow escape. The next session witnessed Chiba badly hit the deck with a wicked right of Lobetania and the ref Vinny Martin wisely called a halt though the Japanese youngster very barely regained his feet. It was truly an upset of the night.