Ealier this year Japanese Middleweight Kazuto Takesako (8-0, 8) [竹迫司登] blasted away the tough Hikaru Nishida (17-9-1, 8) [西田 光] to become the Japanese Middleweight champion. That bout was, sadly, only aired on an obscure regional channel in Japan, meanign that most fans in the country haven't seem Takesako since he stopped Shoma Fukumoto inside a round last year.
Thankfully fans in Japan will get the chance to see the exciting, and very heavy handed, Takesako in the ring in early June as he has been selected to headline the June version of Dynamic Glove on G+.
The hard hitting Takesako won't be defending his title however, instead he will be facing off with Filipino veteran Joel Dela Cruz (20-26-3, 8), who is fighting in his 50th professional bout.
On paper this is a huge mismatch in favour of the Japanese fighter, who has only fought for 3 minutes and 2 seconds, combined, in the last 12 months, but it's great to see that he will be kept active and will be returning to the ring less than 3 months after his title win.
Other fighters on this card include Seiya Tsutsumi (1-0, 1) [堤聖也], who will be up against Kenshin Oshima (3-1-1, 3) [大嶋剣心], the debuts of Jin Minamide (0-0) [南出仁] and Takuma Takahashi (0-0) [高橋拓磨], as well as bouts featuring Spicy Matsushita (17-10-1, 2) [スパイシー松下] and Junki Sasaki (19-3, 7) [佐々木洵樹] in decent domestic tests.
Earlier today Japanese fans at the Korakuen Hall had an interesting card, "Fighting Bee Vol 19", put on by Ichi Riki promotions. The card wasn't stacked with top names but featured a good combination of name talent and decent domestic match ups to give fans both some blow outs and some competitive action.
The chief support bout from the show saw the struggling Takafumi Nakajima (26-9-1, 11) [中嶋 孝文] score an opening round blow out against a Thai foe in a massive mismatch. Coming into this Nakajima had lost his previous 2 bouts, including suffering an 88 second blow out to the frighteningly exciting Kosuke Saka back in September.
Nakajima showed little sign of any hangover from that loss to Saka as he dropped the Thai foe foe the full 10 count in a quick and efficient victoryto reinstill some confidence.
Another man picking up a confidence building win was fellow struggler Hikaru Marugame (6-2-1 4) [丸亀 光]. who had failed to win in his previous 3. Marugame, a former amateur stand out, took out Pepsi Sithluangporphun (1-1, 1) in the second round to record his first win in alos 17 months!
Another stoppage saw the big punching Keita Kurihara (8-4, 7) [栗原 慶太] score a 3rd round win over the talented but light punching Sonin Nihei (8-3-2, 1) [仁平 宗忍. Whilst not a huge shock this was a minor upset with Nihei having once looked like a really promising fighter, that promise however couldn't cope with the heavy hands of Kurihara.
A good, and competitive, bout that did see the final bell saw Junki Sasaki (17-3, 6) [佐々木 洵樹] claim a clear, but hard fought, 8 round decision win over Yudai Tamagawa (9-8-1, 3) [玉川 裕大]. Sasaki, ranked in the top 15 by the JBC at Featherweight, always seemed that little bit better than Tamagawa, but the under-dog refused to bow down and Sasaki certainly got forced to work for his win.
Another that went the distance saw Tasuku Nakagawa (6-1-1, 2) [中川 祐] take a dominant and clear 6 round win over Toshizane Kinoda (5-3, 1) [木野田 俊翔] in a bout that looked very, very, competitive on paper. Nakagawa won every round, and was never in trouble during the 6 rounder.
(Images courtesy of boxingnews.jp and boxmob.jp)
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