Unbeaten OPBF Lightweight champion Masayoshi Nakatani (18-0, 12) [中谷正義] successfully made his 11th defense of the title earlier today, as he stopped the hard hitting Hurricane Futa (25-8-1, 15) [中岸風太] and took one more step towards a potential world title fight.
The rangy champion got his jab working really early and dictated the tempo of the fight very early on. Futa, as he typically does, came forward, looking to apply pressure, but he struggled to get close to the champion.
The sharp jab of Nakatani controlled the distance well, though when Futa did come close Nakatani managed to use his uppercut brilliantly. Not only did the jab control the tempo of the bout, but it also cut Futa over both eyes, as Futa's face became target practice for the champion.
The cuts gave Nakatani areas to target, and in round 4 he worsened them, forcing the doctors to inspect the cuts, and stop the bout.
Nakatani and promoter Kazunori Ioka seemed to suggest that a world title fight would be be coming up, with Ioka suggesting a world title fight next year for his charge. Sadly we've heard that sort of thing a few times before so won't believe it until we see it, though we hope to see it rather than Nakatani continue to defend the OPBF title in bouts like this. For Futa he seemed to know he had to start fast, but the reality was that he was always up against it here, against an excellent champion.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Tomorrow at the EDION Arena Osaka fight fans will be able to see OPBF Lightweight champion Masayoshi Nakatani (17-0, 11) [中谷正義] take on Hurricane Futa (25-7-1, 15) [中岸風太], in what will be Nakatani's 11th defense of the title.
Today the two men took part in their weigh in for the contest.
On the scales the unbeaten Nakatani was 134.7lbs whilst Futa was bang on the divisional limit of 135lbs.
Despite being the lighter man Nakatani towered over his foe and has significant reach advantage. He seemed surprised by how short Futa was, though everyone knew there would be a notable difference in height.
If Nakatani wins here, we're expecting him to begin a long awaited pursuit of a world title fight, something that he really should have done a long time ago if we're being honest.
Related-OPBF king Nakatani battles hard hitting Futa!
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Over the last few weeks we've seen a number of bouts being revealed for an December 9th card at the EDION Arena Osaka, with them pencilled in for a card that hadn't been officially announced but had had bouts leaked out.
The first of those bouts to lead was a contest between former world title challengers, with Japanese based Filipino Warlito Parrenas (26-8-1, 23) battling against Japan's very own Sho Ishida (26-1, 15) [石田 匠]. That was bout was revealed in late October and a few days later we saw WOZ boxing confirm that their star fighter, and former world title challenger, Shohei Omori (19-2, 14) [大森 将平] would be up against fellow puncher Takahiro Yamamoto (21-5, 17) [山本 隆寛], himself a former OPBF Bantamweight champion.
Despite both of those bouts being good ones, it did feel like the show needed one more big fight, a true main event contest if you will. We had assumed that that main event would feature OPBF Lightweight champion Masayoshi Nakatani (17-0, 11) [中谷正義] but nothing really seemed to develop on that front until yesterday morning, when rumour began to surface that Nakatani would indeed be defending his belt on the show.
The name that was linked to Nakatani was that of the hard hitting and experienced Hurricane Futa (25-7-1, 15) [中岸風太] who has now been confirmed as Nakatani's challenger on the card, which is expected to be officially confirmed over the weekend.
For Nakatani the bout will be his 11th defense, of the title that he won back in January 2014, when he beat Yoshitaka Kato. In recent defenses Nakatani has failed to shine, beating the likes of Tosho Makoto Aoki and Allan Tanada. He was however given a very serious test last time out by Izuki Tomioka.
Futa is a bit known for scoring notable upsets, having scored big surprise wins on the road over Will Tomlinson and Vage Sarukhanyan in recent years. Although is no world beater, but he's heavy handed, tough and confident, and he could well cause Nakatani a really tough test. He is also, surprisingly, getting his second OPBF title bout, after having challenged for the OPBF Super Bantamweight title back in 2007, losing a decision to Thai veteran Wethya Sakmuangklang.
We're expecting a press conference from the Ioka Gym, to officially announce this bout, and the show in general, in the coming days.
Earlier today at the Sangyo Hall in Kanazawa fight fans had the chance to see the teak tough Hurricane Futa (25-7-1, 15) [中岸風太] pick up his third straight win, as he defeated Indonesian veteran Roy Tua Manihuruk (19-19-2, 15).
The Japanese fighter was coming into the bout on the back of his chilling February KO win over Vage Sarukhanyan in Russia and looked like he was wanting to impress the fans in home of Kanazawa, landing big shots early in the bout. The visitor was dropped in the opening round and was dominated in round 3, but he showed his toughness and came survived the early onslaught from Futa.
A head clash in round 4 left Futa cut around the left eye but didn't really blunt his offensive work and in round 6 Manihuruk was dropped for the second time, from a left uppercut. The visitor managed to recover again and saw off the storm to make it the final bell, at the end of 8 rounds, but had been thoroughly by that point.
The judges turned in score cards of 80-70, twice, and 77-73, from what seems to have been a rather sympathetic judge, all in favour of Futa.
On the same card Omrri Bolivar (7-1, 3) took a clear and wide decision win against Filipino Lorence Rosas (9-2-2, 3), in what was Bolivar's first bout as Kashimi gym fighter, a stablemate of Futa's.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Earlier this week it was announced by Kashimi gym that WBA "regular" Bantamweight champion Naoya Inoue (16-0, 14) [井上 尚弥] would be back in the ring on August 19th, as he takes part in a 3 round exhibition with former WBO Featherweight world title challenger Genesis Servania (31-1, 14) in Kanazawa.
The show, dubbed the "Asian Boxing Classic", is being put on by Servania's team at the Kashimi gym and follows previous exhibitions and sparring sessions between the two world class fighters.
Inoue is currently taking part in a training camp and has expressed some frustration about how slowly things are being sorted for the Bantamweight World Boxing Super Series (WBSS), which is expected to begin in the fall. This bnout with Servania will likely be part of his preparation for that contest and will see him getting a good work out with someone naturally bigger, and someone he seems to enjoy sharing the ring with.
As for the Japanese based Filipino born Servania, who was last seen fighting in the Philippines earlier this year, the exhibition is going to help him increase his profile and continue hiw working relationship with both the Kashimi gym and with Inoue, and the Ohashi gym.
At the moment not much else about the show is knonw, though Hurricane Futa (24-7-1, 15) [中岸風太] is also on the show returning to the ring for the first time since he brilliant KO win over Vage Sarukhanyan in February. The hard hitting Futa is always good value for money and should be in a fun to watch bout here, though we are waiting for his opponent to be announced.
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