Back in January we reported that OPBF champion Super Featherweight champion Hironori Mishiro (6-0-1, 2) [三代大訓] would defending his title on March 27th against Takuya Watanabe (35-8-1, 20) [渡邉卓也], in the main event of Dangan 221.
Today we can reveal some notable details for that under-card
In what appears to be the main suport bout Kyosuke Sawada (12-2-1, 6) [澤田京介] will face Keita Nakano (15-13-6, 5) [中野敬太], in what will be a rematch between two men. They fought to a draw back in 2016, which came bang in the middle of a weird run of 3 straight draws for Nakano. Since their first bout Sawada has won 8 in a row whilst Nakano has gone 2-1-3.
Another supporting bout will see Hayate Kaji (11-0, 9) [梶颯] look to kick off his 2019. His opponent hasn't yet been announced, but there is hope that it will be someone more testing than than Sahaphap Bunop and Kichang Kim, who were his last 2 opponents..
At the moment the other bouts on this card haven't been widely announced, but this is an exceptional main event and something to be very excited about.
For fans who haven't seen the men in action we've included footage of both. Please note Watanabe's bout with Lee is a total blood bath!
On January 10th the JBC, along with members of the Tokyo Boxing Press, announced the nominations for the 2018 Japanese boxing awards.
The highest award is the Best Fighter, or MVP, award. The nominations for this award are:
Naoya Inoue (17-0, 15) [井上 尚弥] - The current WBA "regular" Bantamweight champion
Kosei Tanaka (12-0, 7) [田中恒成] - The current WBO Flyweight champion
Kenshiro (15-0, 8) [拳四朗] - The current WBC Flyweight champion
and Masayuki Ito (25-1-1, 13) [伊藤 雅雪] - The current WBO Super Featherweight champion
The Skills Award again includes Kenshiro and Tanaka but also:
Tomoki Kameda (36-2, 20) [亀田和毅] - The current WBC "interim" Super Bantamweight champion
Hiroto Kyoguchi (12-0, 9) [京口 紘人] - The current WBC Light Flyweight champion
and Jorge Linares (45-4, 28)
The Special award sees Ito and Tanaka being nominated
The KO award see's Naoya Inoue being joined by:
Satoshi Shimizu (8-0, 8) [清水 聡] - The current OPBF Featherweight champion
and Kazuto Takesako (10-0, 10) [竹迫司登] - The current Japanese Middleweight champion
The Newcomer award has seen a nice number of candidates, the nominees here are, Takesako along with:
Tsubasa Koura (14-0, 9) [小浦 翼] - The current OPBF Minimumweight champion
Hiroaki Teshigawara (18-2-2, 11) [勅使河原 弘晶] - The current OPBF Super Bantamweight champion
Shuichiro Yoshino (9-0, 7) [吉野 修一郎] - The current Japanese Lightweight champion
Ryota Yada (18-4, 15) [矢田良太] - The current Japanese Welterweight champion
The "strive", which appears to be an achievement type of award, has seen the following nominations:
Masayoshi Nakatani (18-0, 12) [中谷正義] - The current OPBF Lightweight champion
Valentine Hosokawa (24-6-3, 11) [細川バレンタイン] - The current Japanese Light Welterweight champion
Masayuki Kuroda (30-7-3, 16) [黒田 雅之] - The former Japanese Flyweight champion
and Tetsuya Hisada (33-9-2, 19) [久田 哲也] - The former Japanese Light Flyweight champion
The best fight, at world level has seen 3 bouts being nominated:
Sho Kimura [木村翔] Vs Kosei Tanaka [田中恒成] - WBO Flyweight title fight
Jorge Linares Vs Vasyl Lomachneko - WBA "super" Lightweight title fight
and Naoya Inoue [井上 尚弥] Vs Juan Carlos Payano - WBA "Regular" Bantamweight title fight
The best fight that wasn't at world level has 4 nominations:
Yusaku Kuga [久我勇作] Vs Shingo Wake [和氣 慎吾] - Japanese Super Bantamweight title fight
Valentine Hosokawa [細川バレンタイン] Vs Vladimir Baez - Japanese Light Welterweight title fight
Hironori Mishiro [三代大訓] Vs Masaru Sueyoshi [末吉 大] - OPBF / JBA Super Featherweight unification bout
Hikaru Nishida [西田 光] vs Kazuto Takesako [竹迫司登] - Japanese Middleweight title fight
The female Fighter of the Year nominations are:
Tenkai Tsunami (26-12, 15) [天海 ツナミ] - The current WBO female Light Welterweight champion
Etsuko Tada (18-3-2, 5) [多田悦子] - The current WBO female Minimumweight champion
Naoko Fujioka (18-2, 7) [藤岡 奈穂子] - The current WBA female Flyweight champion
The female Fight of the Year nominations were:
Tenkai Tsunami [天海 ツナミ] Vs Chaoz Minowa [チャオズ箕輪]- WBO female Light Flyweight title fight
Nao Ikeyama [池山直] Vs Mika Iwakawa [岩川美花] - WBO Atomweight title fight
Naoko Fujioka [藤岡 奈穂子] Vs Irma Sanchez - WBA female Flyweight title fight
Kayoko Ebata [江畑佳代子] Vs Etsuko Tada [多田悦子] - WBO female Minimumweight title fight
Voting will take place in January with the winners being awarded at a ceremony on February 8th.
Earlier today Japanese fight fans at the Korakuen Hall, and those tuning in on G+, had the chance to see a memorable OPBF/JBC Super Featherweight unification bout between Hironori Mishiro (6-0-1, 2) [三代大訓] and Masaru Sueyoshi (18-1-1, 11) [末吉 大]. Not only was the bout memorable but it exceeded any expectations we had and turned out to be a very entertaining scrap between two championship level fighters who both dug deep.
The fight started perfectly for Sueyoshi who actually looked the much better fighter to begin with. He looked too crisp, too sharp and too fast for Mishiro, who struggled to land anything of any note in the first 3 rounds. From then on however Mishiro seemed to change his tactics and began to actually press Sueyoshi, making him work harder for space and openings. When he did this he began to have success.
After 4 rounds the open scoring confirmed what we could all see. Sueyoshi was winning. The scores at the time were 40-36 and 39-37, twice. From round 5 onwards however Mishiro began to force his fight with more consistency and through the middle rounds he certainly pulled the fight back, landing eye catching hooks, his own stiff jab and a solid right hands. The pressure of Mishiro dragged him back into the fight and by the end of round 8, when the public scoring was announced again, the scores had closed up. One judge had the bout even at 76-76, another had it 77-75 to Sueyoshi and the third also favoured Sueyoshi, 78-74.
Mishiro knew he was still behind going into the final 4 rounds and continued with what had worked through the middle rounds, with his hard hooks and stiff jab closing the eye of Sueyoshi, who also ended up with a bloodied nose. It wasn't that Mishiro was doing anything spectacular but he was consistent, his pressure lead him to openings and he took them, even winning the battle of the jabs.
After 12 rounds it really was too close to call, and the judges struggled to split them with cards of 115-113 each way and a 114-114 leading to a split draw. Sadly this means that the titles remain separate but the bout delivered a lot more than expected. We anticipated a messy fight but got a real 12 round treat with a huge momentum shift and both men needing to show their grit. And we would love a rematch in 2019!
On Saturday we'll see OPBF Super Featherweight champion Hironori Mishiro (6-0, 2) [三代大訓] face off with Japanese champion Masaru Sueyoshi (18-1, 11) [末吉 大] in a very interesting looking all Japanese title unification bout.
Whilst most bookies aren't interested in this bout it is worth noting that our Polish friends at STS have priced the bout up, and have struggled to split the two men in what appears to be a very hard to predict contest between two very talented men.
The bookies have narrowly favoured Mishiro, pricing him at 1.7, or 7/10, whilst Sueyoshi is 1.9, or 9/10.
Sadly there is only one other market available for the contest, the over/under which has been set at 8.5 rounds. The under has been set at 3.2, or 11/5, whilst the over is available at 1.25, or 1/4.
Related - Mishiro and Sueyoshi battle to unify crowns!
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
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