Last week we reported that Hinata Maruta (8-1-1, 7) [丸田 陽七太] had been listed as fighting on May 1st , with the Dangan card at the Korakuen Hall seemingly the most obvious show for his bout. At the time there was no opponent named, but confirmation that he would be in action on the date.
Today the Dangan twitter account confirmed Maruta's next bout, and confirmed not only that it was going to be on the May 1st Dangan card but also who Maruta would be facing.
The talented youngster from the Morioka Gym will be up against Coach Hiroto (13-2-2, 4) [小内義人], who will be fighting for the first time since fighting to a draw with Ryo Hino, and the first time since the weight mishap that saw him being forced to cancel a fight with Shohei Omori last March. Following the weight issues for the bout with Omori the Kadobi gym punished Hiroto who has now transferred to the Dangan gym, with this being his first bout as a Dangan fighter.
Interestingly the Dangan twitter account suggest that the winner will be targeting the winner of the show's main event, which is the Japanese Featherweight title bout between Taiki Minamoto (16-5, 13) [源大輝] and Reiya Abe (19-2, 9) [阿部 麗也]. And it we're being hone that would be great, in fact the losers meeting could also make for an interesting match up down the line as well.
Earlier this week we were informed that the Japanese Light Middleweight title bout between defending champion Nobuyuki Shindo (20-4-2, 8) [新藤寛之] and mandatory challenger Hironobu Matsunaga (14-1, 8) [松永 宏信], had been delayed.
Originally the bout had been pencilled in for May 1st, along with a Japanese Featherweight title bout between hard hitting champion Taiki Minamoto (16-5, 13) [源大輝] and skilled challenger Reiya Abe (19-2, 9) [阿部 麗也], on what was a very attractive looking Dangan card. Now however the Light Middleweight title bout will be held on May 10th as part of an A-Sign Bee card, which should mean the bout ends up being uploaded to youtube within days of the bout.
This interestingly matches up with another story there may be a big addition to the May 1st card, with multiple sources now confirming that Hinata Maruta (8-1-1, 7) [丸田 陽七太] would be in action on May 1st, though at the time of writing sources haven't been able to confirm whether he will be on the same show as the Minimoto Vs Abe fight.
No clear reason has been given for the delay, though with it only being pushed back by 9 days it seems clear neither man is injured and would seem to be a scheduling issue, or just a feeling that the Dangan card didn't need to be as top heavy as originally announced. Or of course the Maruta fight is on the show and is a big one, time will tell.
Every so often we get a match up that really excites us, despite their being no title or world ranking on the line. Today we had such a bout at the Korakuen Hall, as the highly touted Hinata Maruta (8-1-1, 7) [丸田 陽七太] faced off with the big punching Tsuyoshi Tameda (18-4-2, 16) [溜田剛士] at the Korakuen Hall.
On paper the match up was brilliant, pitting two young Japanese prospects against each other, in a 10 round bout. On paper Tameda wasn't just the bigger puncher but also the naturally bigger fighter, whilst Maruta was seen as the more skilled and naturally more gifted fighter.
Maruta looked the sharper fighter, boxing well with his jab and his powerful right hand, but Tameda had success with his own jab, and looked the more imposing man. Sadly for Tameda he was always struggling with the speed and movement of Maruta who began to use his longer reach to land uppercuts and go around the guard with left hooks. Tameda had success in round 4, but the shots of Maruta were taking a toll, and it seemed like Tameda was going to need to find a plan B if he was to build on the success that he had had during the bout.
Before Tameda was able to change how he was fighting Maruta upped the tempo and dropped him in round 5 with a powerful straight. Tameda beat the count but a follow up soon forced the referee to step in and save Tameda.
After the bout Maruta revealed that he had done more road work this time than he had in the past, something that seemed to help him become more confident in his own stamina. It was also his first bout as a Featherweight, and it seems like the weight is the one that best suits him, in fact this is arguably the best he's looked since turning professional. This is possibly the weight that we'll end up seeing him peak at, and potentially challenge for titles at in the near year.
For Tameda the loss is a hard one. He was level on two of the score cards going into round 5, with scores of 38-38, but was down on the third card. He seemed to realise that he was caught, and was struggling to handle the distance of Maruta, who is an incredibly rangy fighter at the weight. Despite the loss he is young enough, hungry enough and powerful enough to bounce back in 2019.
(Image courtest of boxingnews.jp)
Tomorrow fight fans at the Korakuen Hall will get several fantastic match ups. In our opinion the best of the bunch is a contest between Hinata Maruta (7-1-1, 6) [丸田 陽七太] and Tsuyoshi Tameda (18-3-2, 16) [溜田剛士], who will fight in a 10 round Featherweight bout.
Today the two men took part in their weigh in and medical checks, and both fighters managed to pass everything, with no issues.
On the scales both men were comfortably under the 126lb limit. Maruta was around 125.5lbs whilst Tameda, the shorter man, was 125.75lb. Notably this is a move up in weight for Maruta whilst Tameda has fought at 126lbs in a majority of his professional bouts.
This bout is expected to be aired on Fuji TV later in the month, on at least a highlights basis, though sadly there is not yet an announced date for when that will be broadcast. As a result it's only the fans in the venue who are going to be able to see this mouth watering clash in full, and they are incredibly lucky for the fighters and teams willing to take on such a big contest.
Related - Preview - Maruta and Tameda to fight on December 3rd!
(Image courtesy of the Morioka Gym twitter account)
Earlier today Ohashi gym held a press conference to announce the next defense of the OPBF Featherweight title by Satoshi Shimizu (7-0, 7) [清水 聡].
The 2012 Olympic bronze medal winner was flanked by Ohashi gym president Hideyuki Ohashi and trainer Koji Matsumoto at the press conference as they announced Shimizu's next bout.
The fighter will return to the ring on December 3rd to face off with fellow unbeaten Takuya Uehara (16-0, 10) [上原 拓哉] , who held a press conference of his own at the Apollo Gym in Osaka to announce the contest.
For Shimizu the bout will serve as his 4th title defense, and is expected to be his final bout before on wards to a world title fight in early 2019. For Uehara the bout is his first at this level, though he is a former WBC Youth and Japanese Youth champion.
With this announcement we now know that the show, which will be the "66th Phoenix Battle", will be a double header with the card also featuring the mouth watering match up between Hinata Maruta (7-1-1, 6) [丸田 陽七太] and Tsuyoshi Tameda (18-3-2, 16) [溜田剛士]. We also know that the card will feature Kazuki Nakajima (5-0, 4) [中嶋一輝] battling Yoshihiro Utsumi (15-8-3, 10) [宇津見義広] and bouts involving Sho Nakazawa (11-2, 5) [中澤奨] and Taku Kuwahara (2-0, 2) [桑原拓].
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
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