Yesterday we reported that an October 26th card at Korakuen Hall would be playing host to 5 Japanese eliminators as we begin to piece together the 2020 Champion Carnival bouts. Now we've been given a full list of all the eliminators, as we really see the end of the year Japanese boxing calendar take shape.
The first of the bouts will take place on September 13th at Super Bantamweight, and will see former champion Ryoichi Tamura (12-4-1, 6) [田村 亮一] take on experienced veteran Gakuya Furuhashi (25-8-1, 14) [古橋大輔], in what should be a thriller.
The second of the eliminators will take place just a few days later, on September 21st and is another bout that was already known about. This one is the Japanese Minimumweight title eliminator between unbeaten teenager Kai Ishizawa (6-0, 6) [石澤開] and former world title challenger Masataka Taniguchi (11-3, 7) [谷口 将隆].
Following the Minimumweight bout we'll have to wait until October for many of the bouts, with the first of those coming on October 21st and seeing Cristiano Aoqui (14-7-2, 10) [アオキ クリスチャーノ] and Daishi Nagata (13-2-1, 5) [永田大士] clash in an eliminator at 140lbs. On paper this one has explosive action written all over it and could turn out to be the hidden gem of the eliminators.
We then move on to the October 26th card, which features 5 different eliminators. They are the Flyweight eliminator, between Ryota Yamauchi (5-1, 4) [山内涼太] and Seiya Fujikita (13-4, 6) [藤北誠也], the Bantamweight eliminator between Kazuki Tanaka (11-2, 8) [田中一樹] and Kyosuke Sawada (13-2-1, 6) [澤田京介] the Featherweight eliminator, pitting Hinata Maruta (9-1-1, 7) [丸田陽七太] against Takenori Ohashi (17-5-2, 11) [大橋健典], the Lightweight eliminator between Kazuki Saito (7-1, 5) [斎藤一貴] and Izuki Tomioka (6-2-1, 2) [富岡樹] and the Welterweight bout between Keita Obara (21-4-1, 19) [小原 佳太] and Toshiro Tarumi (12-3-3, 6) [垂水稔朗]. This is where the bulk of the bouts are, and is expected to be a sensational card.
The Super Featherweight bout will take place on October 30th and is one of the best match ups. The bout will see former Japanese Featherweight champion Taiki Minamoto (16-5-1, 13) [源大輝] take on Takuya Watanabe (36-9-1, 21) [渡邉卓也]. This pits a huge puncher against a proper tough guy in what could be a very brutal bout.
At Light Middleweight we'll see former champion Nobuyuki Shindo (20-5-2, 8) [新藤寛之] take on Yuto Shimizu (13-4-2, 5) [清水優人] in what looks like a disappointing match up on paper but should prove to be very entertaining. This bout will take place on November 2nd and is expected to be featured on a card that has at least one other noteworthy bout.
The final bout to be scheduled is the Light Flyweight contest, which is set to feature Rikito Shiba (3-0, 2) [芝力人] taking on the big punching Masamichi Yabuki (9-3, 9) [佐藤政道], in another amazing match up. This bout, set to take place in Nagoya on December 15th, is a huge step up for Shiba and a win here would be a huge statement for the youngster.
One bout that has been ordered, but has no set date yet, is the Super Flyweight bout, which will feature former champion Hiroyuki Kudaka (26-18-2, 11) [久高寛之] and Yuta Matsuo (15-4-1, 8) [松尾雄太], in what should be an action packed war, helped by the limitations of the two men involved.
Notably there will be no eliminator at Middleweight and instead Riku Kunimoto (4-0, 2) [国本陸] will get a shot at the belt, likely against current champion Kazuto Takesako (11-0-1, 11) [竹迫司登], in the new year.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
The Strongest Korakuen tournaments might have ended a few years ago but the Champion Carnival has continued on, with the Japanese national champions defending their belts in mandatory title fights in the first half of the year. At the moment we're not totally sure who will be defending, or challenging, for titles in early 2020 though that will change in the coming months, especially October.
Today we were given the details of a monstrously significant show on October 26th featuring 5 Japanese title eliminators, with the winners all set to become the mandatory challengers for next year's Champion Carnival. What's even better than having 5 eliminators is the quality of those bouts and the fighters involved, with some barn burners set for the card.
In a Flyweight bout we'll see Ryota Yamauchi (5-1, 4) [山内涼太] look to build on his recent win over world ranked Filipino Alphoe Dagayloan as he takes on Seiya Fujikita (13-4, 6) [藤北誠也]. This should see Yamauchi enter as the clear favourite, but Fujikita is no push over and his 2018 war with Naoki Mochizuki showed just how tough he was, despite the close loss. This should be all action, given the styles of the two men, though obviously we do favour Yamauchi to get the win.
In the Bantamweight eliminator we'll see the hard hitting Kazuki Tanaka (11-2, 8) [田中一樹] take on the highly skilled Kyosuke Sawada (13-2-1, 6) [澤田京介], who is riding a 14 fight unbeaten run following back to back losses to begin his career. This is a real 50-50 bout and a hard one to call, and should be one of the most interesting bouts on the card. The winner is likely to face Yusuke Suzuki in the new year, in what should be a tremendous bout it's self.
At Featherweight we'll see touted youngster Hinata Maruta (9-1-1, 7) [丸田陽七太] take on former champion Takenori Ohashi (17-5-2, 11) [大橋健典]. Maruta has yet to live up to his promise, but has shown touches of brilliance and a win here will be a huge chance for him to show what he can do on the big stage. On the other hand Ohashi, despite being technically limited, is a huge puncher and his KO win in May over Shun Wakabayashi is still one of the best KO's this year. The winner of this will likely face either Reiya Abe (19-2-1, 9) [阿部 麗也] or Ryo Sagawa (7-1, 4) [佐川遼], who fight for the vacant title in September.
The Lightweight division will see Kazuki Saito (7-1, 5) [斎藤一貴] battle against Izuki Tomioka (6-2-1, 2) [富岡樹]. Of the two men Saito has proven to be the more aggressive, hard hitter and and crisper looking professional, however Tomioka is an awkward fighter, and he gave Masayoshi Nakatani real fits in an OPBF bout back in 2018. Saito should have the edge, but has shown real issues with his chin, whilst Tomioka is solid, but lacks power. Sadly the winner of this is likely to face the excellent Shuichiro Yoshino, in what would be a huge ask the for the challenger, who ever that ends up being.
The highest weight being fought at on this show is Welterweight, which will see Keita Obara (21-4-1, 19) [小原 佳太] battle Toshiro Tarumi (12-3-3, 6) [垂水稔朗]. Coming in to this Obara is, clearly, the bigger name, and is the most well known fighter on the show. Despite that he is now heading towards his 33rd birthday and has taken punishment through his career. Tarumi on the other hand is a relative unknown outside of Japan, but is riding a 7 fight winning streak since a 2016 loss to Yuki Nagano, who has since gone on to win the Japanese title.
At the moment the broadcast details of this show are unclear, though the hope is that Boxing Raise will carry it, like they did with a similar show in 2018.
Earlier today fight fans in Osaka saw unbeaten Thai puncher Thanongsak Simsri (10-0, 10) [ทนงศักดิ์ สิมศรี], aka "Srisaket II", make his Green Tsuda debut, and do so in impressive fashion as he stopped Indonesian journeyman Mektison Marganti (12-12-1, 6) in 3 rounds.
The 19 year old Thai, who debuted in June 2018, was originally pencilled in to fight the tough, but limited, Melianus Mirin (10-5, 6). That was changed at short notice, when Mirin was replaced by Marganti. On paper Marganti was less testing than Mirin, but was still expected to take Simsri rounds, given he had gone 8 with Riku Kano last time out.
From the early moments Simsri brought the pressure and although the Indonesian fighter showed some toughness it was clear he was under pressure from the Thai youngster who managed to get his break through mid-way through round 3 and dropped Marganti for the 10 count with a body shot.
Whilst this was the third time Marganti had been stopped it was, the quickest defeat of his career. As mentioned Riku Kano stopped him in 8 rounds, back in May, whilst George Lumoly stopped him in 4 rounds back in 2015. As for Simsri he continues his perfect T/KO run here and it's likely that Green Tsuda will match him with a more testing opponent next time out as they look to develop the Thai youngster.
Another fighter picking up a win against Indonesian on this card was the once touted Kazuki Tanaka (11-2, 8) [田中一樹], who took out Boby Runsumbre (3-2-1, 2) in the second round of their bout. Tanaka had turned professional with big expectations on his shoulders, and despite some sets backs is still a solid fighter, with nasty power. That power was on show here as he dropped Runsumbre with a body shot for the 10 count.
Earlier today in Osaka the Green Tsuda gym announced their next show, Crash Boxing volume 18. The show, set for August 4th at the EDION Arena Osaka, in Osaka City, is a pretty stacked one with a couple of title fights, the next bout of a former Japanese champion and the next bout of a very highly regarded Thai prospect.
The main event of the card will see Japanese Super Flyweight champion Takayuki Okumoto (22-8-4, 10) [奥本貴之] defending his title against Dynamic Kenji (11-3, 7) [木久健次] in a mouth watering clash. The champion, seeking his third defense, will be looking to build from close bouts against Hiroyuki Kudaka, Masayoshi Hashizume and Yuta Matsuo whilst Kenji will be getting his first title fight. Neither man looked great last time out, but they should put on an absolute thriller here in a bout that neither man can really afford to lose.
The other title bout on this card will see Toshiki Shimomachi (9-1-2, 5) [下町俊貴] battle against Kenta Nomura (6-2, 3) [野村健太] in an excellent match up for the Japanese Youth Super Bantamweight title. The winner of this will get their first title and it's a bout that we're expecting to be fantastic, with two under-rated youngsters meeting in a big bout for this stage in their career. Of course a Japanese Youth title doesn't always put you on the fast track, we would be surprised to not have the winner move towards a proper national title in the years to come.
In notable supporting bouts we'll see former Japanese Welterweight champion Ryota Yada (18-5, 15) [矢田良太] and former Japanese amateur standout Kazuki Tanaka (10-2, 7) [田中一樹]. Neither man has had their up coming opponents named yet, though both are in the rebuilding process, with Yada wanting to rebuild from his title loss and Tanaka looking to secure his second win since a defeat to Keita Kurihara.
Arguably the most interesting part of the undercard is the Green Tsudada debut of Thai teenager Thanongsak Simsri (9-0, 9), who is being referred to as "Srisaket II" in the Thai press. Simsri signed with Green Tsuda earlier this month and is tipped as something of a prodigy, so we're really looking forward to what he can do with a Japanese gym behind him. Sadly his opponent, for an 8 rounder, has also not yet been confirmed.
Earlier today at the City Sogo gym fight fans had the chance to see a brilliant match up as former amateur stand out Kazuki Tanaka (9-2, 6) [田中 一樹] took on the hard hitting Keita Kurihara (12-5, 11) [栗原 慶太] in a mouth watering match up.
The bout lived up to the expectations of being something special as the two went to war part way through the opening round. The power edge of Kurihara showed as he dropped Tanaka in the opening round and left the former amateur star fully aware of the danger Kurihara brought to the ring.
Tanaka, to his credit, recovered well from the knockdown and rebuilt in round 2 behind his jab. The jab was a key for Tanaka to avoid the power of Kurihara, though his inability to keep Kurihara at range proved to be a problem again in round 3 when the hard hitter cut the distance and and dropped him again. Tanaka again recovered to his feet but a follow up attack forced the referee to save Tanaka, who has now been stopped twice.
Whilst this is a massive set back for Tanaka, who had been touted for huge things, the win continues a fantastic run for Kurihara, who has now stopped 3 foes in a row since his 2017 loss to Hiroaki Teshigawara.
After the fight the two fighters were photographed together and Kurihara showed his respect on social media stated that the bout was his most enjoyable.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
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