Earlier today Japanese fight fans at the Korakuen Hall saw the always entertaining Koichi Aso (21-7-1, 14) [麻生 興一] score his biggest win to date and claim the Japanese 140lb title with an 8th round stoppag win over Kazuki Matsuyama (13-8-1, 7) [松山 和樹].
The botu started relatively evenly, with Aso pressing the action with calculated pressure and Matsuyama regularly hitting the guard of the shaven headed Aso. Sadly for Matsuyama his success after the opening round were limited with Aso slowly moving through the gears and taking a lead on all 3 cards by the end of 5, with the pressure of Aso clearly bothering Matsuyama.
Having fallen behind at the mid way point Matsuyama decided to try and fight fire with fire and held his own in the pocket, with some sharp and effective counter shots. Sadly though it seemed Matsuyama's success was coming at an cost and Aso was getting the chance to land some heavy leather, particularly in round 7, as the two men took it in turns to let their hands go.
In round 8 Matsuyama again tried to fight toe-to-toe with Aso but this time Aso found a way to break the will of Matsuyama and a series of huge head shots hurt Matsuyama, forcing the referee to save him.
For Aso it was third me lucky, with the exciting warrior having come up short, twice, against Hiroki Okada. As for Matsuyama the loss likely ends his dream of becoming a Japanese champion. He gave a good effort but wasn't good enough to hang with Aso when the going got tough.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Tomorrow fight fans in Tokyo will get the chance to see a Japanese Light Welterweight title bout between Koichi Aso (20-7-1, 13) [麻生 興一] and Kazuki Matsuyama (13-7-1, 7) [松山 和樹], who will be trading blows for the vacant title.
Today the two men took part in their weigh in for the contest and both men made the 140lb limit.
At the weigh in both men made 140lbs dead on. For Aso, who is taking part in his third Japanese title bout, the bout sees him coming in slightly heavier than he has for previous title bouts, but looking in great shape and like a fighter who know this could be his final title opportunity.
For Matsuyama, who is fighting in his first title bout, the weight is the same as he's been in a number of recent bouts, including his 2016 loss to Daishi Nagata and his draw with Kentaro Endo. Although he is winless in almost a year he looked in amazing shape and it's clear he's not looking to make up the numbers here.
Related-Aso and Matsuyama clash for national title!
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
Earlier today saw a notable event take place in Japan as the 13 Champion Carnival boutsfor 2017 were announced, with each division from Minimumweight to Middleweight having had bouts ordered.
At Minimumweight we get a really brilliant fight as the unbeaten pairing of Masataka Taniguchi (6-0, 4) [谷口 将隆] and Reiya Konishi (12-0, 5) [小西 伶弥] fight for the vacant title. The bout will take place on April 3rd in Kobe, giving Konishi the home advantage but Taniguchi does look liek the more proven fighter, despite being less experienced.
At Light Flyweight we'll see Ken Shiro (9-0, 5) [拳 四朗] defending his title against veteran Tetsuya Hisada (27-9-2, 17) [久田 哲也]. The bout hasn't yet gota set date but willtake place in Osaka, and is likely to be Ken Shiro's final defence before going after a world title later in the year. For Hisada this will be his first shot at a title.
The Flyweight division will see Masayuki Kuroda (25-7-3, 15) [黒田 雅之] battle against Yuta Matsuo (12-2-1, 6) [ユータ松尾] for the interim title. The interim title has been made available here as current champion Takuya Kogawa (28-4, 13) [粉川 拓也] is recovering from an injury he suffered last year, and he will be mandated to face the winner of this bout. For Matsuo it's a first title bout whilst Kuroda will be looking to claim a Japanese Flyweight title at his third attempt.
Super Flyweight champion Kenta Nakagawa (13-2-1, 9) [中川 健太] will make his first defence as he takes on Ryuichi Funai (26-7, 18) [船井 龍一]. This bout is pencilled in for the Korakuen Hall on March 22nd and will see Funai getting his third shot at a title, his second for the Japanese crown.
The vacant Bantamweight title will be up for grabs in a bout between Ryo Akaho (29-2-2, 19) [赤穂 亮] and Yushi Tanaka (19-1-3, 13) [田中 裕士]. Akaho, a former world title challenger, is fighting in his second Japanese title fight following a draw in a 2009 fight with Daigo Nakahiro for the Japanese Super Flyweight title. For Tanaka it's a second shot at the Bantamweight crown following a defeat last year to Kentaro Masuda. These two will face off on March 10th at the Korakuen Hall.
We've long known about the Super Bantamweight title bout which will take place on February 4th and see Yasutaka Ishimoto (29-8, 8) [石本 康隆] facing the heavy handed Yusaku Kuga (13-2-1, 9) [久我 勇作]. This is a rematch between these two men who had a great fight in 2015, with Ishimoto claiming a narrow but thrilling decision win.
At Featherweight we'll see Shota Hayashi (28-5-1, 17) [林 翔太] make his secon defence as he battles against the hard hitting Kosuke Saka (15-3, 12) [坂晃典]. For Hayashi this bout will be a chance to build on a big 2016 but he's up against a real dangerman in Saka, who has stopped his last 7 opponents including Ryuto Kyoguchi, Tetsuya Nishinaga, Burning Ishii and Takafumi Nakajima. This bout is set to take place in either March or May in Nagaoya and could well come with the next bout of Kosei Tanaka.
In the Super Featherweight division we get a rematch as reigning chanmpion Kenichi Ogawa (20-1, 16) [尾川 堅一] battles against Satoru Sugita (12-3-4, 7) [杉田 聖], in a rematch of a bout from last year's Charmpion Carnival. The bout will be Ogawa's 4th defence and he will be looking for a better performance than he had last time against Sugita, whilst the challenger will be seeking an upset here. This bout is expected to take place in March at the Korakune Hall.
As reported yesterday Lightweight champion Shuhei Tsuchiya (22-4, 18) [土屋 修平] will be defending his title against Kazuhiro Nishitani (16-4-1, 8) [西谷 和宏] on March 4th. The bout will be Tsuchiya's first defence whilst Nishitani will be getting his second shot at a title following a 2015 bout with Kota Tokunaga.
Another bout we've known about for sometime is the Light Welterweight clash between Koichi Aso (20-7-1, 13) [麻生 興一] and Kazuki Matsuyama (13-7-1, 7) [松山 和樹], who will face off on February 9th at the Korakuen Hall. The bout will see Aso getting a third shot at the title, following two losses to Hiroki Okada, whilst Matsuyama will get his first title fight.
At Welterweight we'll see heavy handed champion Toshio Arikawa (14-4, 12) [有川 稔男] battle against Daisuke Sakamoto (13-8-3, 8), who actually holds a win over the champion. Arikawa will be seeking his second defence here and looking to continue a destructive run but Sakamoto will feel confident of repeating his previous win over the champion. This bout is pencilled in for April 17th at the Korakuen Hall.
The Light Middleweight title bout will see defending champion Yuki Nonaka (31-8-3, 10) [野中 悠樹] defending his title in Osaka against fellow veteran Koshinmaru Saito (23-8-2, 13) [斉藤 幸伸丸]. The bout will take place in March or April and see Nonaka seek a 7th defence whilst Saito will be looking to claim a title in his 8th title shot!
The Middleweight bout sees a unification taking place as Hikaru Nishida (15-8-1, 7) [西田 光] returns from injury to defend his "regular" title against "interim" champion Tomohiro Ebisu (17-4, 17) [胡 朋宏]. Ebisu won the interim title back on December 24th as he stopped Makoto Fuchigami in a late Japanese FOTY contender, when Nishida was out of action due to injury. For Nishida the bout is a tough ask on his return but should be a thriller with two men who have styles that should gel brilliantly. This bout will take place May 1st at the Korakuen Hall.
As well the fact there are 13 Japanese titles up for grabs their will also be financial rewards. The MVP will earn a bonus of ¥300,000 whilst the winner of the Skills and Fighting awards will net themselves ¥100,000 each.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
Earlier today saw an announcement at the Korakuen Hall, to announce a doubler header for a "Diamond Glove" show set to be held on February 9th 2016.
One of those bouts will see OPBF Featherweight champion Ryo Takenaka (15-3-1, 8) [竹中 良] defending his title against Ryuto Araya (11-4-1,3) [荒谷 龍人]. The world ranked Takenaka will be seeking his third defense of the title and will be looking to use another win as a chance to boost his hopes of getting a world title fight in 2017. For Araya the bout will be his first at title level and see him attempt to extend a 3 fight winning run.
The other title bout will be a Japanese Light Welterweight bout as Koichi Aso (20-7-1, 13) [麻生 興一] faces Kazuki Matsuyama (13-7-1, 7) [松山 和樹] for the now vacant title, which was recently given up by Hiroki Okada. The bout will be a third Japanese title shot for the exciting Aso, who twice came up short against Okada, whilst Matsuyama will be gettign his first title shot and will be looking to put a a 1-2-1 run behind him.
As with all Diamond Glove shows this will be aired as part of the Fuji networks boxing coverage, though obviously we are yet to get the specific television details for the show, though hope to get them in January.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Earlier today Green Tsuda held a press conference to announce several notable bouts. One of those was a Japanese Bantamweight title bout between current champion Kentaro Masuda (24-7, 13) [益田 健太郎] and GT's very own Yu Kawaguchi (25-7, 12) [川口 裕], in what will be a rematch of Masuda's first title winning bout.
Back in April 2014 these two men met for the vacant title with Masuda winning the title with a 10th round technical decision, in a bout that can be seen below. Since then both men have had an interesting couple of years.
Masuda's first title reign saw him defending the title twice, stopping Konosuke Tomiyama and winning a war with Tatsuya Takahashi, before being blitzed by Shohei Omori. Since that loss he has won three bouts, including a win over Yushi Tanaka in April to reclaim the Japanse title.
As for Kawaguchi He has 5-1 winning, and losing, the OPBF title and scoring notable wins over Seizo Kono and Takahiro Yamamoto.
The bout will take place at the Korakuen Hall on June 9th and is expected to be shown, on tape delay, Fuji TV.
As for the under-card it's not the strongest but their is a very tasty looking 140lb bout between Daishi Nagata (6-0-1, 3) [永田 大士] and Kazuki Matsuyama (13-6, 7) [松山 和樹], which we suspect could be an absolute barn burner.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
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