Yesterday we reported that an October 26th card at Korakuen Hall would be playing host to 5 Japanese eliminators as we begin to piece together the 2020 Champion Carnival bouts. Now we've been given a full list of all the eliminators, as we really see the end of the year Japanese boxing calendar take shape.
The first of the bouts will take place on September 13th at Super Bantamweight, and will see former champion Ryoichi Tamura (12-4-1, 6) [田村 亮一] take on experienced veteran Gakuya Furuhashi (25-8-1, 14) [古橋大輔], in what should be a thriller.
The second of the eliminators will take place just a few days later, on September 21st and is another bout that was already known about. This one is the Japanese Minimumweight title eliminator between unbeaten teenager Kai Ishizawa (6-0, 6) [石澤開] and former world title challenger Masataka Taniguchi (11-3, 7) [谷口 将隆].
Following the Minimumweight bout we'll have to wait until October for many of the bouts, with the first of those coming on October 21st and seeing Cristiano Aoqui (14-7-2, 10) [アオキ クリスチャーノ] and Daishi Nagata (13-2-1, 5) [永田大士] clash in an eliminator at 140lbs. On paper this one has explosive action written all over it and could turn out to be the hidden gem of the eliminators.
We then move on to the October 26th card, which features 5 different eliminators. They are the Flyweight eliminator, between Ryota Yamauchi (5-1, 4) [山内涼太] and Seiya Fujikita (13-4, 6) [藤北誠也], the Bantamweight eliminator between Kazuki Tanaka (11-2, 8) [田中一樹] and Kyosuke Sawada (13-2-1, 6) [澤田京介] the Featherweight eliminator, pitting Hinata Maruta (9-1-1, 7) [丸田陽七太] against Takenori Ohashi (17-5-2, 11) [大橋健典], the Lightweight eliminator between Kazuki Saito (7-1, 5) [斎藤一貴] and Izuki Tomioka (6-2-1, 2) [富岡樹] and the Welterweight bout between Keita Obara (21-4-1, 19) [小原 佳太] and Toshiro Tarumi (12-3-3, 6) [垂水稔朗]. This is where the bulk of the bouts are, and is expected to be a sensational card.
The Super Featherweight bout will take place on October 30th and is one of the best match ups. The bout will see former Japanese Featherweight champion Taiki Minamoto (16-5-1, 13) [源大輝] take on Takuya Watanabe (36-9-1, 21) [渡邉卓也]. This pits a huge puncher against a proper tough guy in what could be a very brutal bout.
At Light Middleweight we'll see former champion Nobuyuki Shindo (20-5-2, 8) [新藤寛之] take on Yuto Shimizu (13-4-2, 5) [清水優人] in what looks like a disappointing match up on paper but should prove to be very entertaining. This bout will take place on November 2nd and is expected to be featured on a card that has at least one other noteworthy bout.
The final bout to be scheduled is the Light Flyweight contest, which is set to feature Rikito Shiba (3-0, 2) [芝力人] taking on the big punching Masamichi Yabuki (9-3, 9) [佐藤政道], in another amazing match up. This bout, set to take place in Nagoya on December 15th, is a huge step up for Shiba and a win here would be a huge statement for the youngster.
One bout that has been ordered, but has no set date yet, is the Super Flyweight bout, which will feature former champion Hiroyuki Kudaka (26-18-2, 11) [久高寛之] and Yuta Matsuo (15-4-1, 8) [松尾雄太], in what should be an action packed war, helped by the limitations of the two men involved.
Notably there will be no eliminator at Middleweight and instead Riku Kunimoto (4-0, 2) [国本陸] will get a shot at the belt, likely against current champion Kazuto Takesako (11-0-1, 11) [竹迫司登], in the new year.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
Earlier today we reported that Japanese Heavyweight Kyotaro Fujimoto (20-1, 12) [藤本京太郎] would be back in the ring on October 21st as he takes on Suthat Kalalek (13-10, 12) in a rematch of their 2018 clash. That bout won't be the main event of the card however, instead the main event of the show, Slugfest 11, will be WBO Asia Pacific Flyweight title clash, between defending champion Yusuke Sakashita (18-8-3, 13) [阪下優友] and Naoki Mochizuki (16-4, 8) [望月直樹], in what will be a rematch of their December 2016 clash.
The bout will be Sakashita's first defense of the title, which he won earlier this year when he stopped former world title challenger Masahiro Sakamoto.
The 28 year old Sakashita is probably best known for his 2014 loss to Suguru Muranaka for the Japanese Flyweight title. Following that bout he went 2-3 though has now rebuilt well with a 4-0-1 record in his last 5 bouts, including a draw with Takuya Kogawa and stoppage wins over Keisuke Nakayama and Masahiro Sakamoto. Although no world beater he is in good form and his last 3 performances have been among his best.
Interestingly the last man to Sakashita was Mochizuki, who beat him at the end of 2016 with a clear unanimous decision. Since that win he has gone 5-3, with losses to Keisuke Nakayama, Komgrich Nantapech and Junto Nakatani, being stopped by Nakatani in a Japanese title bout earlier this year. Despite the loss to Nakatani he does have some momentum coming into this bout thanks to a June win over Samartlek Kokietgym.
Kyotaro's bout isn't even the chief support bout of the card, instead that's a Japanese Light Welterweight title eliminator between Cristiano Aoqui (14-7-2, 10) [アオキ クリスチャーノ] and Daishi Nagata (13-22-1, 5) [永田大士], in what is a really good match up and could end up being a bit of an instant classic. Aoqui is an aggressive, heavy handed and swift fighter and whilst Nagata isn't as quick or sharp he's tough, aggressive and his bout against Rikki Naito showed how much fun he can be to watch.
One other bout announced for this card will see Riku Nagahama (10-2-1, 4) [長濱 陸] battling against Fumisuke Kimura (9-4-1, 6) [木村文祐] in an interesting 8 round contest.
Earlier today at the Korakuen Hall fight fans got an absolute treat of a show thanks to several brilliant match ups. The card, shown on G+, won't get rave reviews in the West but we do tip our hats to the promoter for the quality of bouts and the excellent match making through the show.
The card had a number of excellent bouts on it, starting with a 6 round war between Rookie of the Year runner up Aso Ishiwaki (5-2-1, 3) [石脇麻生] and the hard hitting Yoji Saito (1-1-1, 1) [齊藤陽ニ]. On paper this wasn't going to be a bout that got many talking unless you followed the Japanese scene, but it was arguably the bout of the card, as both men gave their all. Saito started brilliantly, getting inside and working hard shots up close. It seemed like he would break Ishiwaki down, but instead he began to flag heavily in round 3 as Ishiwaki really began to take the fight to him, and it was Ishiwaki who seemed to do enough to deserve the win after out working Saito over the final 4 rounds. In the end however the judges had the bout a split draw, with scores of 58-56 to Iwshiwaki, 58-57 to Saito and 57-57. We really do need to wonder about the 58-57 card, which we can't come to any defense of, though 57-57 was fair enough, as Saito may have done just enough to edge round 5.
A second notable bout saw 2017 Rookie of the Year winner Hironori Shigeta (6-1-1, 3) [重田裕紀] take a clear decision win over the limited but game Mitsumasa Takahashi (9-6-1, 3) [高橋光政]. The once beaten Shigeta dropped his man in the opening round and put on a bit of a show case of ring control as he easily won the bout, though showed a few flaws that we expect fighters will take advantage of in the future. Although clearly too skilled, too fast and too smart for Takahashi, who constantly brought the pressure, Shigeta does seem like a very lead hand focused southpaw, and does waste movement. Though there is a real talent for his team mould. He won this one 60-54, 60-53 and 59-54.
In a Japanese youth Light Flyweight title eliminator, as Tsuyoshi Sato (9-1-1, 5) [佐藤剛] pressured and broke hard hitting Tetsuya Tomioka (5-4, 5) [富岡哲也]. Tomioka, who has never heard the final bell, was under pressure from the off and after being dropped in round 2 he really had no answer, and was saved by the referee as Sato went to work. Sato is an absolute nightmare to fight and looks like he will clearly be in the mix for titles well beyond youth level in the coming years. He will face the winner of the April 11th bout between Rikito Shiba (2-0, 1) [芝力人] and Hizuki Saso (10-5-1, 3) [佐宗緋月].
The only bout that was actually poor saw Cristiano Aoqui (14-7-2, 10) [アオキ クリスチャーノ] struggle to get going against Filipino Anthony Marcial (24-4-1, 22). This was a disappointing and messy affair, though it did end in very impressive fashion, with Aoqui landing a sensational left hand to knock out Marcial in round 5. It was a highlight to an other forgettable match up.
A second sensational finish came only a few minutes later when hard hitting Middleweight Koki Tyson (14-3-2, 12) [太尊 康輝] took out Thai visitor Chaiwat Mueanphong (4-4, 2) in the second round, with a brutal left hand. Tyson, who was fighting for the first time since joining the Kadoebi gym, impressed here and we're going to look forward to what he does next.
Earlier this month we reported that Koki Tyson (13-3-2, 11) [太尊 康輝] would be returning to the ring on April 6th at the next "Slugfest" card, and would be up against a Thai foe. We now know who that Thai will be, and if we're being honest we're actually expecting this to be a solid work out for the favoured Japanese puncher.
Tyson, who hasn't fought since a loss in December 2017 to Yasayuki Akiyama, will be up against the durable Chaiwat Mueanphong (4-3, 2). On paper it's a mismatch, but Chaiwat has given Japanese champion Kazuto Takesako [竹迫司登] his toughest bout, by far, and will be expected to give Tyson a genuine test here, given the long break Tyson's had.
Also confirmed for the card now is a Japanese youth Light Flyweight title eliminator, as Tsuyoshi Sato (8-1-1, 4) [佐藤剛] takes on the hard hitting Tetsuya Tomioka (5-3, 5) [富岡哲也] and the return to the ring of the exciting Cristiano Aoqui (13-7-2, 9) [アオキ クリスチャーノ], following a hand injury he suffered last year.
These bouts fill out a card that will be headlined by Japanese Light Welterweight champion Valentine Hosokawa (24-6-3, 11) [細川バレンタイン] defending his title against mandatory challenger Koki Inoue (12-0, 10) [浩樹井上] and will also feature an excellent contest between Aso Ishiwaki (5-2, 3) [石脇麻生] and Yoji Saito (1-1, 1) [齊藤陽ニ].
For fans wanting to watch this card but can't get to Tokyo, it will be aired live on G+.
Earlier today former Japanese "interim" Welterweight champion Daisuke Sakamoto (14-9-3, 8) [坂本大輔] took to his blog to announce his next bout. In his blog post Sakamoto revealed that he would be returning on July 9th as part of a Kadoebi promoted "Sugfest 5" card.
The 36 year old Sakamoto, who turned professional back in 2007, announced that his opponent for the bout would be Koki Koshikawa (6-1, 4) [越川孝紀], who turned professional with high expectations but has so far failed to deliver.
Sakamoto stated the bout would be the final one of his career, and comes after a notable break from action, with the Kadoebi man last fighting in November 2017. That bout saw him lose in a bout to unify the Japanese and Japanese "interim" Welterweight titles, with Toshio Arikawa stopping him in 5 rounds.
Whilst not well known outside of Japan Sakamoto has had a pretty interesting career at hime, fighting a domestic who's who of the Light Welterweight and Welterweight diviison. He has shared the ring with Yasuhiro Okawa, Moon Hyon Yun, Cobra Suwa, Nobuyuki Shindo, Toshio Arikawa and Makoto Kawasaki.
As an amateur Koshikawa shined before signing with the Celes gym. Sadly his professional career which began back in 2014, has been a frustrating one. He looked to be on the fast track before losing in 2015 to Koshinmaru Saito. Following that loss he would be away from the ring for over 2 years before returning in August, and beating 2 over-matched Thai foes.
Also set to be on this card are Japanese ranked fighters Yusuke Konno (12-4, 6) [今野裕介], Cristiano Aoqui (12-7-2, 8) and Tsuyoshi Sato (6-1-1, 2) [佐藤剛], though none of them have had confirmed opponents announce for the card as of yet.
(Image courtesy of Sakamoto's blog)
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