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Japanese Scene: Miyazaki Defends OPBF Title, Nashiro & Lee to Return This Summer

Sidney Boquiren has a recap of Sunday's boxing action from Japan, along with some news and notes (after the jump).  For more Japanese boxing updates, you can follow Sidney on twitter: RingwalkNippon@Twitter

Miyazaki wins easy despite lackluster performance

Ryo Miyazaki succeeded in defending his OPBF title on Sunday, earning a wide unanimous decision over Donny Mabao by scores of 117-111, 119-110, 118-110. However, the light flyweight prospect was off his game and failed to stop a journeyman on a 4-fight losing streak (and 1-6 in his last 7). Flat and unimpressive, the prospect will likely retool before attempting a shot at a world title as expected he would within the year.

Able to swap punches or box with finesse, Miyazaki is clearly a talented youngster (this writer actually prefers him over gymmate and world champ Kazuto Ioka). However, as his handlers attempted to attribute the quality of the weekend’s performance to the difficulty of making the 108-lb limit, the 22-year old is either growing out of his current weight class or needs a better strategy for dropping extra poundage.

Nashiro to face Filipino national champ

Hoping to make another run at a 115-lb title, Nobuo Nashiro announced he will start with a July 30 date against Filipino national beltholder Rey Perez (11-0, 2KO). The former two-time world champion came up short in his bid against Tomas Rojas in February, losing by unanimous decision. Outside of a three round stoppage over an Indonesian journeyman last October, the 29-year old Kansai native has not had a quality win since September 2009. Perez is much better competition, however, than the fighters Nashiro has faced in previous returns from losses.

Little information on the Filipino is available in Japan, though the former champ’s handlers say he is a technical boxer. That may pose a problem for Nashiro, as the brawler was outclassed against Rojas, who uses a similar style, and proved too one-dimensional when Hugo Cazares decided to mix things up by boxing in their rematch. While it is unlikely Nashiro will master the finer points of the sweet science any time soon, here’s hoping that he will at least pick up a few tactics before facing a solid technician.

Ryol Li Lee returning to featherweight

Former WBA super bantamweight titleholder Ryol Li Lee (17-2-1, 8KO) is planning his comeback for August 6. The Ring Magazine #3 rated 122-pounder appears to be heading back to his original division, as he will face Rikiya Fukuhara (24-5-1, 18KO) in a featherweight contest. Lee gave up the national 126-lb strap in order to face Poonsawat Kratingdaenggym last October. After failing to defend the world title against Akifumi Shimoda in January, it looks like Lee is gunning for a crown in a second division.

His opponent, a former national super bantamweight champion, is a decent puncher, but is also susceptible to stoppage losses. A three-round exit at the hands of unheralded Allan Tanada last September was thought to be a sign of the end for the veteran. However, the 32-year old was surprisingly game in his last appearance, a split decision loss to Seiichi Okada which several onlookers felt he deserved to win. As Lee does not pose much of a threat with power, this bout should be a strategic one.

e-mail Sidney Boquiren

For more coverage of Japanese boxing, follow Sidney on Twitter: RingwalkNippon@Twitter

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