Earlier today we were informed that Japanese Light Flyweight champion Kenichi Horikawa (40-15-1, 13) [堀川 謙一] would make his second defense of the title in August, with the veteran set to fight against Ryuto Oho (12-5-1, 4) [大保 龍斗] on August 8th.
The bout will be Horikawa's third of the year following title win in February against Satoru Todaka and his first defense this past May. The 39 year old champion has more wins than any other active Japanese born fighter and is still reeling off victories at his advanced age.
As for Oho, aged 24, the bout will be his the bout will be his first Japanese title bout, but follows a Japanese Youth title win for the youngster. It's worth noting that he was stopped last time out, but that loss had come at Flyweight, to Masamichi Yabuki who actually damaged his hand in the win.
The bout, which will serve as the chief support bout to the highly anticipated OPBF Super Bantamweight bout between Hiroaki Teshigawara (19-2-2, 12) [勅使河原 弘晶] and Shohei Omori (20-2, 15) [大森 将平] and rounds off an interesting card which will also see the very promising Masahiro Suzuki (2-0, 1) [鈴木雅弘] face off with Japanese ranked Lightweight Kosuke Arioka (9-3-1, 8) [有岡 康輔].
Over the last few years we've seen fewer and fewer OPBF title fights that really get the juices flowing, but today we had one of those incredible bouts being announced.
The match up in question will see OPBF Super Bantamweight champion Hiroaki Teshigawara (19-2-2, 12) [勅使河原 弘晶] take on former Japanese Bantamweight champion Shohei Omori (20-2, 15) [大森 将平], in what is a truly mouth watering clash.
The fight, which is scheduled to take place on August 8th at the Korakuen Hall as part of a Diamond Glove show, will be Teshigawara's second defense of the title. He won the belt in October 2018, stopping Glenn Suminguit in 5 rounds, and successfully defended it in February against Yuki Iriguchi, with an 8th round TKO. Those wins have extended Teshigawara's current winning run to 7 wins, with 6 by stoppage. During that winning run he has not only stopped Suminguit and Iriguchi but also Keita Kurihara, the current OPBF Bantamweight champion, Jason Canoy and former 2-time world title challenger Teiru Kinoshita.
Omori on the other hand is best known for his losses, both to Marlon Tapales including a loss in a world title fight to the Filipino. Despite those losses he has remained a fringe contender, and is still seen as a man with very high potential, especially at 122lbs, with both of his losses coming at Bantamweight. Since losing to Tapales for the second time, in April 2017, we've seen Omori blitz both Brian Lobetania and Takahiro Yamamoto, and a win here against Teshigawara would be his best win to date, and potentially opens the door to a second world title fight.
Given the styles of the two men, who are both aggressive and heavy handed despite having very different approaches in the ring, we're expecting an absolute barn burner when the two men get in the ring.
As with all Diamond Glove shows this will be shown on tape delay on Fuji TV, and we'd expect at least 1 other noteworthy bout to be added to the show in the coming weeks.
The main event of today's show at the Korakuen Hall saw OPBF Super Bantamweight champion Hiroaki Teshigawara (19-2-2, 12) [勅使河原 弘晶] successfully retain his title, winning in an exciting battle against the gutsy but over-powered Yuki Iriguchi (10-3-1, 4) [入口裕貴].
The fight started fast as both men looked to set a high pace from the opening moments. Defense was limited during the first stanza as both looked to force their will on the other. Things got worse for Iriguchi in the second round as Teshigawara began to find his range more and more often, using his jab to set up his pressure and left Iriguchi with a bloodied nose. The pace began to slow in round 3, as both looked to counter more often. After 4 rounds Teshigawara was leading on all 3 cards, with scores of 39-37, twice, and 40-36.
Teshigawara began to amp up the pressure in round 5, pushing Iriguchi back more and using his jab and left hook smartly. The clean, hurtful shots, were rare, but he was busting up Irigicuhi, who was beginning to show more and more damage as the rounds went on, despite a gallant fight back in round 7. Teshigawara began to go to the body more in round 8, and part way through the round and the referee finally saved Iriguchi who had shown bravery and guts but taken a lot of punishment through the bout.
Interestingly Japanese Super Bantamweight champion Ryoichi Tamura (12-3-1, 6) [田村 亮一], who was at the venue to be honoured as the Fight Spirit Award winner for January, seemed to be paying particular attention to this bout, and may well look to unify with Teshigawara, who was speaking about facing top domestic fighters after his win.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
Tomorrow fans at the Korakuen Hall will get the chance to see Hiroaki Teshigawara (18-2-2, 11) [勅使河原 弘晶] defending the OPBF Super Bantamweight title against fellow Japanese fighter Yuki Iriguchi (10-2-1, 4) [入口裕貴].
This morning the two men took part in their weigh in for the contest, and both men made the 122lb limit.
Teshigawara, who is ranked by 3 of the 4 world title bodies, spoke very confidently and seemed to be a man who knows he could be fighting for a world title by the end of the year, though has focused on Iriguchi.
Iriguchi was also confident, and will be looking to build on big career wins over Ryohei Takahashi, who recently fought for a world title, and Takafumi Nakajima. A win here would however be his biggest win, by far.
For fans wanting to watch this bout, it will be televised on tape delay on Fuji TV this coming weekend.
Related - Teshigawara looks to defend OPBF crown against Iriguchi!
(Image = Boxingnews.jp)
Thursday next week Japanese fans at the Korakuen Hall will get the next Diamond Glove card. The show will be headlined by Hiroaki Teshigawara (18-2-2, 11) [勅使河原 弘晶], defending the OPBF Super Bantamweight title against Yuki Iriguchi (10-2-1, 4) [入口裕貴], and will also feature Kenichi Horikawa (38-15-1, 12) [堀川 謙一] battling with Satoru Todaka (9-2-4, 3) [戸髙達] for the Japanese Light Flyweight title.
Over the last day or so Fuji TV have revealed that the show will be aired the following weekend, on Saturday night/Sunday morning, as their next "Diamond Glove" broadcast.
As is typical for these Diamond Glove shows it will have a 1 hour time slot, beginning at 27:10 Saturday night, or 3:10 Sunday morning, meaning we'll likely only get TV edited highlights of the bouts unless they finish early.
Whilst we're not fans of delay footage, we are glad that this does have a scheduled air date, and is only a few days after the bouts take place.
Teshigawara looks to defend OPBF crown against Iriguchi!
Horikawa and Todaka battle for vacant Japanese crown!
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