On December 10th OPBF Super Featherweight champion Hironori Mishiro (8-0-1, 3) [三代大訓] will make his next defense, as he takes on 23 year old challenger Yoshimitsu Kimura (12-1, 7) [木村吉光]. Today we can confirm that that bout is set to be shown on TV, albeit on tape delay, as part of TBS's "Guts Fighting" series of shows.
For Mishiro the bout will be his 4th defense and promotional company Watanabe Gym seem to view his rise as something worthy of serious attention. They have already pushed him on to the fast track to the top, and he won the title in just his 6th professional bout, taking a decision over Carlo Magali. Although he failed to unify the title with the Japanese belt, fighting to a draw in 2018 with Masaru Sueyoshi, it's clear that his team have big plans for him, and likely see him as their successor to former WBA world champion Takashi Uchiyama. Since winning the belt not only has Mishiro retained it, with the draw, against Sueyoshi but also scored notable wins over Takuya Watanabe and Ryo Takenaka.
As for Kimura this will be a second shot a belt for him, following a competitive loss to Richard Pumicpic for the WBO Asia Pacific Featherweight title. Since that loss Kimura has moved up in weight and has built some momentum coming in to this bout.
The bout will be aired aired just days later, with the broadcast also expected to help promote the New Year's Eve card which TBS will be showing live.
At the moment it's unclear whether TBS will also air some form of footage of the very interesting chief support bout between Yudai Shigeoka (1-0, 1) [重岡優大] and OPBF Minimumweight champion Lito Dante (16-10-4, 8).
(Image - TBS)
According to one, often reliable, Japanese source Japanese prospect Yudai Shigeoka (1-0, 1) [重岡優大] is set to return to the ring on December 10th in a 6 round bout against a current OPBF champion, albeit in a non-title bout.
The source has revealed that Shigeoka is pencilled in to face OPBF Minimumweight champion Lito Dante (16-10-4, 8), who fights for the first time since scoring a huge upset win in March against Tsubasa Koura.
The talented Shigeoka, the older brother of WBO Asia Pacific champion Ginjiro Shigeoka, debuted at the end of October and looked sensational as he beat Thai foe Manop Audomphanawari. This is, however, a massive step up in class and shows the youngster's ambition to rise through the ranks in an incredibly aggressive way.
Dante on the other hand is pretty a card carrying member of the "who needs him? club". The Filipino might be the OPBF champion but even with that belt he is high risk and low reward, and over 12 rounds he's a nightmare due to his toughness and energy. He can be out-boxed over the shorter distance, as Shigeoka appears to be planning here, but he is still not an easy out for any one.
The bout is said to be pencilled in as the chief support bout for a Dangan card headlined by Shigeoka's stablemate Hironori Mishiro (8-0-1, 3) [三代大訓] defending the OPBF Super Featherweight title against 23 year old challenger Yoshimitsu Kimura (12-1, 7) [木村吉光].
Other fighters now pencilled in for this card include Fumiya Fuse (8-1, 1) [富施郁哉] and Ayaka Miyao (23-8-1, 6) [宮尾 綾香], though neither of these two have had opponents reported by our source yet.
Given the sheer number of announcements and big fights over the last few days it was obvious we were going to miss something, and sadly one of the stories we missed was actually quite and interesting one, as Hironori Mishiro (8-0-1, 3) [三代大訓] has his next OPBF Super Featherweight title defense announced.
The unbeaten fighter from the Watanabe Gym will be back in the ring at Dangan 231 on December 10th at the Korakuen Hall, where he will face 23 year old challenger Yoshimitsu Kimura (12-1, 7) [木村吉光], who is having his second title bout, following a loss in a WBO Asia Pacific Featherweight title bout against Richard Pumicpic.
The talented Mishiro will be looking to make his 4th defense of the OPBF title, and build on wins from earlier this year against Takuya Watanabe and Ryo Takenaka. Since turning professional he has been on the fact track, winning the OPBF title in 6th bout, when he beat Carlo Magali, and was unlucky not to unify the belt a fight later, when he fight to a draw with Masaru Sueyoshi. Sadly though this will be his 4th defense against a Japanese opponent, and it feels as though maybe fighters from across the Orient don't have the same desire for the belt that they once had.
Whilst Kimura lost against Pumicpic he has been touted highly and won the 2016 Rookie of the Year, beating Tsuyoshoi Sawai in the Featherweight final. Since losing to Pumicpic we've seen him move up in weight and score 3 straight stoppage wins, whilst looking like a heavier handed fighter at 130lbs than he was at 126lbs. Despite that success at Super Featherweight he will be seen as the under-dog in this bout.
At the moment no other bouts have been confirmed for this card, though with is likely being the final big Dangan card of 2019 we are anticipating at least 1 other very notable bout to be added to the show in the coming days.
Earlier today at the Korakuen Hall the East Japanese Boxing Assocation award winners for the month of July were given a chance to collect awards and speak to the crowd, who were there primarily to see the East Japan Rookie of the Year semi-finals.
The MVP for the month was OPBF Super Featherweight champion Hironori Mishiro (8-0-1, 3) [三代大訓], who retained his title with a win over the now retired Ryo Takenaka (18-5-1, 11) [竹中 良]. Mishiro retained his title by stopping Takenaka in the 8th round of their clash.
At today's ceremony Mishiro said he was pleased to have won the MVP award following successive fights and that his next bout would be in December, with more details being revealed over social media in the near future.
The Fighting Spirit award was won by Japanese Bantamweight champion Yusuke Suzuki (11-3, 7) [鈴木悠介] following his violent war with the heavy handed Yuta Saito (12-10-3, 9) [齊藤裕太]. Thankfully Saito's face, which was a mess after the bout, has healed up well. He didn't say much but did say that next time out he'll be doing his best to win the MVP award.
For those who missed the Suzuki Vs Saito bout we've included it below.
The Newcomer award won by the fact rising Light Welterweight hopeful Andy Hiraoka (14-0, 9) [平岡アンディ], who took a decision win over former world title challenger Akihiro Kondo (31-9-1, 18) [近藤 明広]. Hiraoka mentioned going overseas in the future and that he was honoured to recieve his first award. At the moment there is no future plans set in stone, but he will be announcing things in the near future through social media.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Earlier today we saw an announcement from Japan revealing that wformer OPBF Featherweight champion Ryo Takenaka (18-5-1, 11) [竹中 良] was retiring following his recent loss to OPBF Super Featherweight champion Hironori Mishiro (8-0-1, 3) [三代大訓].
The talented Takenaka was an amateur standout, running up a 73-17 (28) record in the unpaid ranks before beginning his professional career in 2008.
Despite some set backs early in his career, including losses to Ryol Li Lee and Hisashi Amagasa, Takenaka would win the OPBF Featherweight title in 2015, with a brilliant KO over Vinvin Rufino.
As the OPBF champion Takenaka made 3 defenses before being stopped by Korean tough guy Sa Myung Noh in 2017. A move up in weight followed and after two wins he would be upset by the unheralded Heorhii Lashko before losing in his final bout to Mishiro.
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