Earlier today it was announced that hard hitting Japanese fighter Masao Nakamura (18-2, 18), a former OPBF Super Featherweight champion, would be fighting against Filipino Rey Labao (27-6, 17), the #1 ranked OPBF Lightweight, on the December 28th.
On paper the bout is a really interesting one with Nakamura being a really exciting but technically limited slugger whilst Labao is a genuine tough guy despite some limitations himself.
Nakamura made a name for himself early in his career as "KO King" and none of his first 19 bouts went the distance as he ran up an impressive 18-1 (18) record including wins over Allan Tanada and Fahsai Sakkreerin. Unfortunately that run of stop-or-be-stopped ended earlier this year when he was out pointed by the highly talented Masayuki Ito. Despite the loss to Ito we know that Nakamura is a heavy handed fighter and what he hits he tends to hurt. The way to beat him is to neutralise his power with movement and making him reset.
As for Labao, he is a former OPBF Lightweight title challenger who ran Yoshitaka Kato close late last year. This will be Labao's 5th bout in Japan where he is currently 2-2 having twice in the country last year. He will however be entereing this bout following a loss in Russia to Roman Andreev earlier this month.
The bout will be the chief support bout for the Japanese Light Middleweight title fight between Yuki Nonaka, the defending champion and a stable mate of Nakamura's, and Charlie Ota. The main event looks like a really exciting one however it'll have to be sensational to be better than the chief support bout which has explosive action written all over it.
(Image courtesy of http://atsumiboxinggym.com)
Earlier today it was announced that Japanese Light Middleweight champion Yuki Nonaka (26-8-2, 9) would be making the first defense of his title on December 28th as he battles against former unified Japanese and OPBF champion Charlie Ota (24-2-1, 16), an American born fighter who has been one of the staples on the Japanese scene at Light Middleweight.
The bout, to be fought at Sumiyoshi Ward Community Cente, looks to be a really good one on paper and is a real make or break contest for both men.
The champion, who is celebrating his second reign as the champion, will be 37 on fight and appears to know that a loss will be the end of his eventful career. Although not a big puncher Nonaka is a very talented boxer who has been in with the likes of Nobuhiro Ishida, Kazuhiko Hidaka, Akio Shibata, Dmitry Nikulin and Kengo Nagashima. Currently world ranked he know it's all to lose going into this contest.
For the challenger this will be his first bout since suffering a decision loss in the US to Jermell Charlo in May. The loss to Charlo was was Ota's second successive bout in the US and the upcoming bout with Nonaka will be his first in Japan in over 18 months. Whilst Nonaka is a pure boxer it's fair to describe Ota as a boxer-puncher with the challenger having a clear edge in power.
At the moment we've not been given any details on the under-card though the main event gives us yet another exciting match up in December and it already appears that the month is becoming very packed, especially in regards to the final week of the year which already features 5 world title bouts and 4 shows of note.
(Image courtesy of http://www.daily.co.jp shows Nonaka posing with the title)
Japanese based American Charlie Ota (24-2-1, 16) was unfortunate in his big bout on Saturday as he suffered a clear points loss to the much touted Jermell Charlo (24-0, 11).
Ota, giving away sizeable reach and height to Charlo, gave a great account of himself and managed to drop Charlo in round 3 whilst rocking him more than once with hard over-hand rights. Sadly however a swelling around Ota eye and several low blows hurt his cause, as did a possibly damaged right hand.
Although this was a big step up for Ota he gave a decent account of himself and although we don't imagine he'll get an opportunity like this again we do hope he'll be given another notable fight in North America against a better stylistic match up. Someone like Charlo was always going to be wrong for Ota whilst someone like Gabriel Rosado would make for a much better fight.
Despite the loss we want to say well done Charlie on putting up a good effort and showing up several flaws with the very highly touted Charlo who was made to look somewhat ordinary by the former OPBF and Japanese Light Middleweight champion.
(Image courtesy of http://www.8nakaya.co.jp)
Yesterday saw the weigh in for the fights in Canada later today. Included in those fighters being weighed was Japanese based American Charlie Ota (24-1-1, 16) and the very highly touted Jermell Charlo (23-0, 11).
Looking at the two men it was difficult to see how they were even in the same division with Charlo towering over over Charlie, in fact the reported height difference of the two men was 14cm. We don't believe it was quite that but it was certainly notable.
Charlo wasn't just taller than Charlie but also the heavier man weighing in at 153.75lbs. Charlie was 0.75lbs light at 153lbs dead.
Although lighter and shorter Charlie looked extremely confident and stared intently at Charlo as if trying to mentally weaken the unbeaten man.
With the IBF #2 Light Middleweight place going to the winner both men know just how important this fight is and are likely to put it all on the line to try and move to within a fight or two of a world title bout.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
Our Japanese sources have reported some bad news regarding Japanese based American fighter Charlie Ota (24-1-1, 16) and his trip to Canada for his bout with unbeaten American Jermell Charlo (23-0, 11).
The story we've heard is that Ota's plane, which was supposed to get him to Quebec for a final press conference yesterday was unfortunately delayed due to bad weather in New York. Instead of getting the scheduled flight we believe he was getting one first thing on Friday to make it to Quebec for the weigh in.
Overall this shouldn't be a massive problem for Ota but could have some knock on effects given how close we are to fight night which is just a day. Hopefully Ota will be able to put this behind him and fight hard with the lure of an IBF #2 ranking place being the prize for the winner of the bout.
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