KNOCK OUT 2023 SUPER BOUT "BLAZE" took place on March 5, at the National Yoyogi Stadium Second Gymnasium in Tokyo Japan. The event was headlined by Chihiro Suzuki and Marcos Rios. The MMA fighter made his return to kickboxing in emphatic fashion, scoring a first-round stoppage. In the co-main event, Ryusei Kumagai took on Rajadamnern champion Phetsaensaeb.
Chihiro Suzuki def. Marcos Rios – Suzuki, the breakout 2022 MMA Star, left Marcos Rios no chance to get into the fight, landing a right high kick then swarming him with punches to score a knockdown in just 20 seconds. The stunned Rios beat the count and managed to sweep the rushing-in opponent. The Japanese fighter soon drew him into exchanging blows, landing several unanswered shots, knocking him down a second time, before the referee rushed in to save Rios, stopping the bout just 46 seconds into the first round.
Directly addressing the attending RIZIN CEO, Nobuyuki Sakakibara, Suzuki called for a title match against RIZIN Featherweight World Champion, Kleber Koike. Kleber is coming out of a loss to Bellator Featherweight champion Patrício Pitbull in a non-title bout. Kleber announced on his YouTube channel that he is not booked for any fight and will not be able to fight in the RIZIN event in April, but currently plans to return in May or June this year.
During the overnight press conference, Suzuki noted that Rios was ranked No. 10 in the Beyond Kickboxing Rankings, and said that he believed he earned his spot following his performance. Citing the rankings again, Suzuki said that he would like to fight Kento Haraguchi, who is ranked higher next.
Ryusei Kumagai def. Phetsaensaeb Sor Jor. Tongprachin – Ryusei Kumagai extended his undefeated streak with a well-fought victory in an extra round over Rajadamnern champion Phetsaensaeb Sor Jor. Tongprachin. Utilizing his reach, Ryusei outstruck Phetsaensaeb with jabs and teeps to keep the outsized Thai at bay and followed with consistent work to the body. In return, Phetsaensaeb scored with right low kicks that appeared to cause trouble for Ryusei in the second round.
After three rounds, two judges scored the fight a draw, sending it to an extra round. The Thai champion looked tired and repeatedly clinched, occasionally landing knees and middle kicks, but Ryusei returned with more effective punches and knees. With 30 seconds left, Ryusei landed a knee and a right straight, sending Phetsaensaeb to the canvas. The Thai beat the mandatory count, but lost a clear decision.
Eisaku Ogasawara def. Ronachai Tor.Ramintra – Two-division KNOCK OUT champion Eisaku Ogasawara scored the biggest win of his career with a decision win over 2022 Sports Authority of Thailand Fighter of the Year and three-division Lumpinee champion Ronachai. Eisaku was in control throughout the fight, circling the pound-for-pound talent and hitting him with hooks and low kicks. Ronachai matched Eisaku’s pace with hooks and left elbows in the first round, but his output began to drop in the second. By the third round, Ronachai looked to counter with elbows, but Eisaku wobbled him multiple times with punch and kick combinations, putting the Thai in a retreat until the end of the round, earning him a huge upset win.
Minoru Kimura def. Kuntap Charoenchai – Bigger gloves didn't hamper the former K-1 champion’s power, as Kimura walked down KNOCK OUT champion Kuntap and knocked him out with a short left hook in just under 30 seconds. Due to missing weight by 1.75 KG, Kimura faced the penalties of wearing 10 oz instead of 8 oz gloves, and being deduced two points and 20% of his purse.
After the fight, Kimura called out Manny Pacquiao, who is under a one-fight contract with RIZIN and is expected to compete in the promotion in an exhibition boxing bout in 2023. In response, RIZIN CEO, Nobuyuki Sakakibara, shot down the appeal, as Kimura just failed to make weight.
Panchan Rina – Ruka Sakamoto, No Decision – Panchan showed off her improved boxing skills by comfortably out landing "Breaking Down" fighter, Ruka Sakamoto, through both rounds of this exhibition boxing match. After the fight, Panchan once again apologized for her ongoing fraud case. It is likely that we will see Panchan in the ring soon, as her fight video already has over 1.5 million views in just one day after its upload.
KNOCK OUT 2023 SUPER BOUT "BLAZE" RESULTS
Chihiro Suzuki def. Marcos Rios – KO (Right hook) at 0:46 of R1
Ryusei Kumagai def. Phetsaensaeb Sor Jor. Tongprachin – Extra Round Unanimous Decision (10-8)
Eisaku Ogasawara def. Ronachai Tor.Ramintra – Unanimous Decision (29-28, 30-28, 30-27)
Kimura Minoru def. Kuntap Charoenchai – KO (Left hook) at 0:32 of R1
Fukashi Mizutani def. Bazooka Koki – TKO (Three knockdowns) at 2:11 of R3
Panchan Rina – Ruka Sakamoto – No Decision (Exhibition Bout)
Suarek Rukkukamui def. Daiki Watabe – Unanimous Decision (30-28 x2, 29-28)
Mason Hide Usami def. Shinya Sugihara – Unanimous Decision (30-27 x3)
Taimu Hisai def. Yuki Motoyama – Unanimous Decision (30-28 x2, 29-28)
Kyoha def Issei Saenchai-Gym – TKO (Three knockdowns) at 2:13 of R3
Musashi def Seiya Furuki – KO (Right Straight) at 2:46 of R1
Masa Bravely def Shinta – Unanimous Decision (30-29, 30-28, 29-28)
Kohei Tokeshi def MASATO BRAVELY – KO (Left hook) at 2:42 of Extra Round
Takaya Ogura def Reo Kudo – TKO (Referee Stoppage) at 3:00 of R1