Earlier today it was revealed that Masayuki Kuroda (30-7-3, 16) [黒田 雅之] had vacated the Japanese Flyweight title, with the intention to fight for the IBF Flyweight world title in 2019.
It seems like Kuroda is expecting to face the winner of the upcoming bout between Moruti Mthalane (36-2, 24) and Masahiro Sakamoto (13-1, 9) [坂本真宏] within 90 days of their bout, which takes place on December 31st. From what we understand however there is yet to be an official decision made by the IBF in regards to Kuroda's shot.
Due to Kuroda vacating we're now unsure on who will be fighting for the title in the new year. What we do know is that Junto Nakatani (17-0, 12) [中谷 潤人] will fight for the vacant title, though it's unclear who he will be up against. It is worth noting that the #2 ranked Japanese fighter at the weight is Katsunori Nagamine (15-2-1, 11) [長嶺克則] and a bout between Nakatani and Nagamine would certainly be a very attractive proposition for fight fans.
(Image courtesy of boxmob)
Moments ago we had a Japanese title challenger decider bout at Flyweight, as the unbeaten Junto Nakatani (17-0, 12) [中谷 潤人] battled with recent OPBF title challenger Shun Kosaka (15-5, 4)[小坂駿] at the Korakuen Hall. The winner was guaranteed a shot at the Japanese Flyweight title in the new year whilst the loser was going to have to enter 2019 with some work to do to get a title fight.
The first round was a frustrating round to watch as Kosaka seemed to be wanting to avoid engaging and taking anything, only really being caught by a single left hand of note, whilst landing nothing of his own. It was clearly part of his game plan to make Nakatani miss, but he failed to punish him.
Sadly for Kosaka his gameplan seemed to fall apart in round 2 as Nakatani upped the tempo and landed a number of stiff single shots, notably short southpaw left hands up top and spiteful body shots. Kosaka again landed next to nothing as Nakatani moved into second gear. Kosaka seemed to realise that round 2 was a bad one for him, so he again went into a more negative mindset, though did get dragged into a brawl late in the round as both tried to make a claim for the round.
In round 4 we saw Nakatani again find his timing and range and land some solid shots on Kosaka, getting his left hand into play regularly. Kosaka managed to land one really good right hand but it seemed to bounce off Nakatani who was beginning to dominate in a clear fashion. That lead Kosaka to try and change his tactics in round 5 but whether he was on the inside or the outside he seemed to be coming off second best, and Nakatani walked through his best shots. To end the 5th round Kosaka seemed to be stunned but Nakatani didn't get the time to try and close the show.
Kosaka entered round 6 with his nose bleeding and his left cheek showing visible bruising. Sadly for him the round saw him take a significant amount of punishment as Nakatani found a way to sustain his work on the inside and really hammer Kosaka with uppercuts and hooks. The fight continued mostly on the inside in round 7 and it lead to a brutal beating for Kosaka, who would take a number of spiteful head shots and body shots. The blood from Kosaka's nose smeared across his face and he would be dropped following an a head snapping uppercut and a spiteful left hand.
Having been dropped in the penultimate round, hurt numerous times and clearly behind we wouldn't have been surprised for Kosaka's corner to pull him out at the start of round 8. He however went out for the final round and may well have done enough to win round, landing a solid number of right hands. Nakatani seemed to spend much of his time looking to take Kosaka out with a single shot, but could never land it.
The judges all had Nakatani as the winner, scoring it 80-71, twice, and 79-72.
With the win Nakatani secures himself a Japanese title fight in 2019, becoming the second fighter to secure himself as the challenger for the Champion Carnival, along with Reiya Abe who was essentially put into his mandatory position by default. For Kosaka however this was his second straight loss and he will have a lot of rebuilding to do after this one-sided loss.
Tomorrow in Japan we'll see Junto Nakatani (16-0, 12) [中谷 潤人] battle against Shun Kosaka (15-4, 4) [小坂駿] with the winner securing a Japanese Flyweight title bout in 2019.
Today the two men took part in their weigh in for that bout and both men made weight.
On the scales Nakatani, the taller man at the weigh in, was 111.5lbs. The unbeaten prospect is viewed as the favourite coming into the contest but will certainly be in for a tough test here.
Kosaka, a former OPBF Flyweight title challenger, was the lighter man weighing in at 111.3lbs, which is one of the lightest weights of his career. He looked the smaller man at the weigh in but is the older and more mature fighter.
Related -Nakatani and Kosaka fight for the right to challenge for Flyweight title! [Preview]
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
An important part of the Japanese boxing calendar is the Champion Carnival, which takes place in the first half of the year. The fighters who compete in the Champion Carnival are the national champions and the leading domestic contenders.
In August we a number of bouts to decide the top contenders being announced, with 6 such bouts being set for October 12, on a stacked card at the Korakuen Hall.
For those missed that report those bouts on October 12th will be:
Light Flyweight - Kenichi Horikawa (37-15-1, 11) [堀川 謙一] Vs Koji Itagaki (18-12-3, 7) [板垣幸司]
The Super Flyweight - Yuta Matsuo (14-3-1, 7) [松尾雄太] Vs Rey Orais (20-17-2, 5)
Super Bantamweight - Mugicha Nakagawa (23-5-1, 14) [武田勇太] Vs Naoya Okamoto (13-6-1, 6) [岡本直也].
Super Featherweight - Ken Osato (14-2-1, 4) [大里拳] Vs Satoru Sugita (14-5-1, 9) [杉田聖]
Light Welterweight - Koki Inoue (11-0, 10) [浩樹井上] Vs Marcus Smith (6-0-1, 6)
Light Middleweight Koshinmaru Saito (24-9-2, 13) [斉藤伸介] vs Hironobu Matsunaga (13-1, 7) [松永 宏信]
As well as the October 12th card we also, recently, saw the confirmation that the Flyweight bout would see Junto Nakatani (16-0, 12) [中谷 潤人] battle against Shun Kosaka (15-4, 4) [小坂駿], which that bout now set for October 6th as part of notable Japanese domestic card which is set to be televised on G+.
Today saw the rest of the bouts being announced.
On October 21st we'll have two of them take place in Fukuoka. One of those is the Minimumweight bout, which will see Takumi Sakae (19-2-1, 13) [榮拓海] take on Norihito Tanaka (16-7, 9) [田中教仁], in what could end up being one of the surprise contests from these eliminator style contests. On the same card will be the Welterweight clash between Yuki Beppu (18-0-1, 18) [別府優樹] and Yuki Nagano (14-2, 11) [永野祐樹], in what we are expecting to be a very explosive and exciting encounter between two fighters with very solid power at this level.
A week later, October 28th, we'll get the Lightweight bout, which will see Accel Sumiyoshi (11-4-2, 3) [アクセル住吉] face off with Tatsuya Yanagi (15-5-1, 6) [柳達也]. This bout will take place in Shimonoseki, Yamaguchi prefecture, which should favour Sumiyoshi but given the styles of the two men this has the potential to be very exciting.
On November 7th we'll get the Middleweight bout as former champion Hikaru Nishida (17-9-1, 8) [西田光] takes on Shuji Kato (9-1-1, 6) [加藤収二], with this bout taking place at the Korakuen Hall.
The only bout with out a set date so far is the Bantamweight bout. Despite no set date we do know that Hayato Kimura (27-10, 18) [木村隼人] facing off with Seizo Kono (19-10-1, 12) [高野誠三], in what is a bit of an under-whelming contest given some of the Japanese domestic talent in the division. This bout is expected to have it's date and venue announced in the coming weeks.
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