Earlier today at Korakuen Hall fight fans saw an OPBF Middleweight title bout that saw the title change hands. The bout saw the unbeaten Kazuto Takesako (12-0-1, 11) [竹迫司登] take a wide decision win to rip the title from the teak tough Shinobu Charlie Hosokawa (12-5-1, 11) [細川チャーリー忍].
The bout, which no one expected to go the distance, remarkably went 12 rounds with neither man scoring a knockdown.
The bout started in exciting fashion with both men letting big shots go in the first 3 minutes. The challenger quickly established his presence as the one bringing the pressure. Moving forward and cutting the distance to Hosokawa. Hosokawa seemed happy on the backfoot, moving and boxing, but was certainly on the receiving end of the bigger, heavier shots.
As the bout went through the early rounds we saw both men landing solid shots to the other, though the majority of the shots were from Takesako. It was his body shots that were really catching the eye, taking the legs from Hosokawa. The challenger wasn't just landing body shots, but instead he was landing absolutely brutal gut busters to the champion, who some how stood up to shots that looked like would have left many fighters rolling on the floor in agony.
The aggressive start from Takesako saw him take a 40-36 lead after 4 rounds, when the scores were first announced publicly.
The body shots proved to be an excellent long term plan from Takesako, who had used them to take the steam out of Hosokawa's work early on, and by the middle rounds Hosokawa's work rate was dropping markedly. The champion struggled to get any momentum going in the middle stages a the descended into what was slowly becoming a mess. Both men, were becoming tired and there was a lot of smothering, wrestling and clinching. It took the entire tempo out of the bout in the middle stages, and it got worse as both men really only managed to fight in short bursts.
The slower pace didn't help Hosokawa in the slightest, and the bursts of action certainly favoured the heavier and more free flowing combinations of Takesako, who got his shots off then got a chance to catch his breath. These weren't dull rounds, as it felt like any moment could see either man shake the other, but they lost some of the intensity of the earlier rounds.
Takesako was leading 80-72 when the scores were announced for the second time, at the end of round 8, and it was clear he could have taken the easy route and gone ultra negative. Instead he did continue landing the bigger shots, and refused to let Hosokawa get even a toe hold in the contest. When Hosokawa looked like he could be getting some momentum Takesako took the play away with a big combination, just emphasising his control over the contest.
Despite looking tired through the second half both men did keep something in the tank for the final stages, and the tempo increased in the final couple of rounds, with round 12 being the highlight of the second half of the bout. By the the result was already in the bag, with Takesako having an unassailable lead. Despite being comfortably up Takesako still hunted the stoppage, but couldn't get it as Hosokawa proved to be incredibly tough.
After 12 rounds we sent to the scorecards but it was a formality with Takesako take a very clear decision, with scores of 120-108 and 119-109, twice.
Tomorrow from Korakuen Hall we get the first Dynamic Glove card of 2020, and it's headliner is set to be an exceptional bout as OPBF Middleweight champion Shinobu Charlie Hosokawa (12-4-1, 11) [細川チャーリー忍] takes on Japanese national champion Kazuto Takesako (11-0-1, 11) [竹迫司登].
Given the styles of the two men, and the dynamite both men have in their hands, we are expecting something very special here and on paper it's the perfect bout to main event the first televised Japanese card of the new year.
Today, ahead of their bout, the two hard hitters took part in their weigh in and both men made the 160lb limit with no issues.
On the scales the defending champion was around 159.5lbs and sounded confident of picking up the win. Hosokawa suggested that Takesako would be easier to hit than some of the fighters he's been up against, as he's not giving up height and reach here. He spoke about the fight being a struggle but stated that he would finally knockdown Takesako and retain his title.
Takesako was a touch heavier, coming in at 159.75lbs for the bout. He sounded even more confident than Hosokawa, and pointed out that all of his fights against orthodox fighters have been finished in 3 rounds or less.
Despite being the Japanese champion Takesako's belt isn't on the line here, instead he'll be defending it in the Champion Carnival later in the year against mandatory challenger Riku Kunimoto (4-0, 2) [国本陸].
For fans wanting to watch this it will be aired live on G+.
Related - Hosokawa and Takesako battle in clash of champions
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Over the last few days we've seen a lot of Japanese title bouts being revealed as part of the Champion Carnival. Earlier today those bouts were set in stone as the Champion Carnival presentation took place, confirming the contests we'd reported and getting all the champions and challengers in one event.
The first of the bouts will take place on February 1st at the Dynamic Glove show, and will see Japanese Welterweight champion Yuki Nagano (17-2, 13) [永野祐樹] defending his title against mandatory challenger Keita Obara (22-4-1, 20) [小原 佳太]. This bout has been known about for weeks and is an exciting, and potentially very explosive, way to kick off the Champion Vs Challenger series. This bout will be at Korakuen Hall, where most of the title bouts will actually take place.
The second bout will take on February 13th, when Lightweight champion Shuichiro Yoshino (11-0, 9) [吉野 修一郎] defends his belt against Izuki Tomioka (7-2-1, 2) [富岡樹]. This is expected to bee a match up showing a lot of skills, from both men, though the power and physical edges with the champion does make him the favourite. This is another bout at Korakuen Hall.
It's then almost a month later until we get the next bout in the series. That'll be on March 7th, on the March Dynamic Glove, when Light Middleweight champion Hironobu Matsunaga (16-1, 10) [松永 宏信] defends his belt against Yuto Shimizu (14-4-2, 5) [清水優人] in a potentially enthralling bout. The champion will be seeking his second defense whilst Shimizu will be getting his first title fight. This will be the third successive bout at Tokyo's Korakuen Hall.
Just one day later, March 8th, we get the Flyweight bout with the heavy handed Seigo Yuri Akui (14-2-1, 10) [阿久井政悟] defending his title against Seiya Fujikita (13-4, 6) [藤北誠也]. Given Akui's style this should be an explosive bout, and one to look forward to. This was announced way back at the start of the year and will take place at the Aeon Mall mall in Okayama City, the first of the bouts outside of Tokyo.
Just a week later, March 15th, action turns to the Aioi Hall in Kariya as Light Flyweight champion Yuto Takahashi (11-4, 5) [高橋悠斗] defends against hard hitting challenger Masamichi Yabuki (10-3, 10) [佐藤政道]. This will be the first title defnense for Takahashi, and will see him entering enemy territory.
The following day, March 16th, Light Welterweight champion Koki Inoue (15-0, 12) [浩樹井上] will take on Daishi Nagata (15-2-1, 5) [永田大士] in the main event of a card at Korakuen Hall from Ohashi. This is one of the few shows where under-card details have been revealed, and it makes for a very decent looking card overall.
After a slew of fights in March we then have a bit of a break before returning on April 9th for a double header at Korakuen Hall. One of the bouts here will see Bantamweight champion Yusuke Suzuki (11-3, 7) [鈴木悠介] make his first defense, as he goes up against Kyosuke Sawada (14-2-1, 6) [澤田京介] in a rematch of a bout both men had back in 2013. The other bout on this card will see Featherweight champion Ryo Sagawa (9-1, 4) [佐川遼] make his second defense as he takes on Hinata Maruta (10-1-1, 8) [丸田陽七太], in what we feel is the standout bout from this year's Carnival.
On April 28th Super Bantamweight champion Yusaku Kuga (19-4-1, 13) [久我勇作] will defend his title against Gakuya Furuhashi (26-8-1, 14) [古橋大輔]. This bout will be Kuga's first defense since reclaiming the title last year and will be Furuhashi's third shot, at a third different champion. This bout is also set to be at Korakuen Hall.
Interestingly the Super Featherweight bout between hard hitting champion Kosuke Saka (20-5, 17) [坂晃典] and teak tough challenger Takuya Watanabe (37-9-1, 21) [渡邉卓也] is pencilled in for April in Osaka, though no date or specific venue was confirmed at today's event.
On May 16th we'll see the Super Flyweight title bout as defending champion Kenta Nakagawa (18-3-1, 12) [中川 健太] takes on Yuta Matsuo (15-4-2, 8) [松尾雄太] at the Sumida City Gymnasium in Tokyo.
No those who are eagle eyed will be aware there were some division's missing.
Firstly the Minimumweight bout hasn't yet been decided. The title is currently vacant, after Norihito Tanaka (19-7, 10) [田中教仁] returned the belt earlier this year. What we do know is that Masataka Taniguchi (12-3, 7) [谷口 将隆] will be involved in the title bout, though there is currently no opponent, date or venue for the bout.
The Middleweight title bout will see the hard hitting Kazuto Takesako (11-0-1, 11) [竹迫司登] defending his belt against Riku Kunimoto (4-0, 2) [国本陸] but this bout has no date or location set. This bout is likely to be scheduled following Takesako's bout this coming weekend against OPBF champion Shinobu Charlie Hosokawa (12-4-1, 11) [細川チャーリー忍].
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
Today saw the shortlists being released from the Japanese Boxing Commission and the Tokyo Sports Press Club for the annual Japanese boxing awards, celebrating the best of Japanese boxing in 2019.
Unsurprisingly Ryota Murata, Kazuto Ioka, Kosei Tanaka, Kenshiro Teraji and Naoya Inoue were in multiple categories following a solid for all 5 men.
Below are the short lists for this years awards, ahead of the annual ceremony, which will take place on February 7th in Tokyo.
Naoya Inoue (19-0, 16) [井上 尚弥]
Kazuto Ioka (25-2, 14) [井岡一翔]
Ryota Murata (16-2, 13) [村田 諒太]
Kosei Tanaka (15-0, 9) [田中恒成]
Kenshiro Teraji (17-0, 10) [寺地 拳四朗]
Ryosuke Iwasa (27-3, 17) [岩佐 亮佑]
Keita Kurihara (15-5, 13) [栗原 慶太]
Shuichiro Yoshino (11-0, 9) [吉野 修一郎]
Hiroaki Teshigawara (21-2-2, 14) [勅使河原 弘晶]
Ginjiro Shigeoka (5-0, 4) [重岡銀次朗]
Koki Inoue (15-0, 12) [浩樹井上]
Junto Nakatani (20-0, 15) [中谷 潤人]
Yuki Nonaka (33-11-3, 10) [野中 悠樹]
Akinori Watanabe (39-7-1, 33) [渡部あきのり]
Yuki Nagano (17-2, 13) [永野祐樹]
Norihito Tanaka (19-7, 10) [田中教仁]
Best Fight of the Year (World title Bout)
Naoya Inoue Vs Nonito Donaire
Naoya Inoue Vs Emanuel Rodriguez
Kazuto Ioka Vs Aston Palicte
Ryota Murata Vs Rob Brant II
Best Fight of the Year (Non-world title)
Kazuto Takesako Vs Shuji Kato 加藤収二]
Yuki Beppu [別府優樹] Vs Ryota Yada [矢田良太]
Toshiya Ishii [石井渡士也] Vs Haruki Ishikawa [石川春樹]
Tenkai Tsunami (27-12-1, 16) [天海 ツナミ]
Kasumi Saeki (3-0, 2) [佐伯霞]
Miyo Yoshida (14-1) [吉田 実代]
Female Fight of the Year
Naoko Fujioka [藤岡 奈穂子] Vs Tenkai Tsunami
Kasumi Saeki Vs Elizabeth Lopez
Monseratt Alcaron Vs Ayaka Miyao [宮尾 綾香]
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
We've known for a while that the first Dynamic Glove of 2019 would be taking place on January 18th 2019 and would feature a number of notable fighters, though details have changed since things were first reported.
Firstly we now know that Japanese Middleweight champion Kazuto Takesako (11-0-1, 11) [竹迫司登] will not be risking his national title against OPBF counter-part Shinobu Charlie Hosokawa (12-4-1, 11) [細川チャーリー忍], with only Hosokawa's OPBF title on the line. It's disappointing news, but doesn't change the fact that the match up it's self is an excellent one.
We've also now seen World Sports Boxing confirm the details of Takeshi Inoue's (15-1-1, 9) [井上 岳志] bout on this card. Inoue will defend his WBO Asia Pacific Light Middleweight title against Chinese challenger Cheng Su (14-2-1, 8) [蘇程], in what will be Inoue's first defense of his second reign.
The 30 year old Japanese fighter is best known for his bout this past January against Jaime Munguia, and since then has picked up two easy wins against limited Thai foes. Su on the other hand is a relatively unknown Chinese fighter who's most notable win to date was his last win, against Junjesie Ibgos. On paper he looks a decent challenger but in reality his 2017 loss to Nikolozi Gviniashvili fills us with a feeling that this will be another another easy win for Inoue.
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