Earlier today Japanese fight fans at the Korakuen Hall saw Shinobu Charlie Hosokawa (12-4-1, 11) [細川チャーリー忍] become a 2-time OPBF Middleweight champion, thanks to a TKO win over Koki Tyson (14-4-3, 12) [太尊 康輝], who had a horrible swelling around his right eye.
After the bout it was revealed Hosokawa's first defense has been scheduled for January 19th, and it won't be an easy one, but it will be a bout that should get any fan of the Japanese scene very excited!
The match up that was revealed will see Hosokawa defending his belt against Japanese national champion Kazuto Takesako (11-0-1, 11) [竹迫司登], in what will be a unification of the two titles.
On paper a bout between Hosokawa and Takesako looks like it should be an early fight of the year contender, with both men being tough fighters with serious power. Of the two Hosokawa is the one who has a more pressure based style, whilst Takesako is bigger 1-punch puncher, but the styles should gel to give us an incredible war.
The winner of this will then compete in the Champion Carnival, where they will be mandated to defend the Japanese title against unbeaten youngster Riku Kunimoto (4-0, 2) [国本陸], in what has suddenly become a very, very big bout for Kunimoto at this early stage in his career.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Earlier today the East Japan Boxing Association announced the award winners for the month of August, with 3 awards being won.
The MVP for the month was Japanese Middleweight champion Kazuto Takesako (11-0-1, 11) [竹迫司登], who successfully defended his title with a stoppage win over Shuji Kato (10-2-2, 6) [加藤収二], in what was the second bout between the two. In their first bout, earlier in the year, the two men had fought to a draw but this time Takahashi managed to take his foe out, and take the monthly MVP award.
The Fighting Spirit award was won by OPBF Super Bantamweight title champion Hiroaki Teshigawara(20-2-2, 13) [勅使河原 弘晶], who retained his title in a war with former world title challenger Shohei Omori (20-3, 15) [大森 将平]. The bout was a thriller, without being an all out action fight, and both men landed some heavy leather, with Teshigawara's unorthodox timing and rhythm constantly confounding Omori until Teshigawara finally took his man out late on.
The Newcomer award was won by Masahiro Suzuki (3-0, 2) [鈴木雅弘], who scored a career best win by stopping Japanese ranked Lightweight Kosuke Arioka (9-4-1, 8) [有岡 康輔]. This was a tough test for the novice who was hurt at one point, but still impressed with his performance and made a clear statement of intent, as he took a huge step towards his first title bout.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Earlier this year we had an absolute barn burner with Japanese Middleweight champion Kazuto Takesako (11-0-1, 11) [竹迫司登] defending his title with a a draw against mandatory challenger Shuji Kato (10-2-2, 6) [加藤収二]. The bout was one of the best domestic title fights of the year so far and left both men wanting a rematch. Today we got that rematch, and a clear winner.
In their first bout Takesako struggled so much with the southpaw jab and the movement of Kato. It seemed like Kato just knew how to do things that Takesako couldn't deal with, and instead the champion had to dig deep to pull out the draw late on. That was a learning experience for Takesako who picked up his sparring and prepared for the southpaw stance this time around.
This time the bout was drastically different, with Takesako realising he had to fight differently against southpaws. He was able to quickly find a home for his left hook and right cross, and although he was tagged himself his shots were the hard ones, the cleaner ones and the more damaging ones. The success of Takesako was clear, and this looked like he had done a lot figure out what went wrong in their first bout. The tactics were spot on and his pressure, aggression and ability to land his power shots early saw him establish a clear lead at the mid way point, with the cards being read as 50-46 and 49-46, twice.
After just 5 rounds the bout couldn't have been much different to their first one.
With Takesako in the lead Kato had to try and turn things around, and he did have some success in round 7, as a body shot seemed to stall the champion. Both men were tiring, although Takesako was in the lead he had put a lot into the fight, whilst Kato had taken a lot of punishment, as well as giving his all. In round 8 the tiredness showed further, with both essentially fighting on instinct. At the end of the round Kato hit the canvas, it wasn't ruled a knockdown, but it was enough to make Kato's team decide to save their man, pulling him out before the start of round 9. By the it was clear he was spent and needed saving before taking any more punishment.
For Takesako this is a third defense of the title, and a good defense at that, but perhaps reveals his ceiling isn't as high as some had hoped. For Kato the bout didn't go as he would have hoped, and his major weapons were neutralised somewhat here. For both this was damaging, tiring, and the sort of fight, like their first, which will require a significant rest following. We wouldn't be surprised if both men waited until 2020 to make their ring return.
(Image coutesy of boxingnews.jp)
Earlier this year we saw a criminally under-rated fight between Japanese Middleweight champion Kazuto Takesako (10-0-1, 10) [竹迫司登] and mandatory challenger Shuji Kato (10-1-2, 6) [加藤収二]. The bout, part of the Champion Carnival, saw Takesako retain his title with a draw, and have his KO streak ended after 10 early wins. For both men the result was a disappointing one, but for fans in attendance the bout was an instant classic, a brilliant 10 round back and forth.
Tomorrow they go again in an immediate rematch.
Today the two fighters took part in their weigh in for the rematch and both men looked in good shape whilst making the 160lb Middleweight limit.
The champion came in slightly lighter than expected, hitting the scales at 159.4lbs. It's similar to what he was last time out, though we expected him to try and hit the limit dead on, to add a touch more physicality to his style, following the frustration he had trapping Kato in the first bout. Interestingly Kato was the same weight, despite looking somewhat bigger at the weigh in.
Takesako revealed that to prepare for this bout he has around 100 rounds of sparring, compared to the 20 or so he had for the first bout, and has focused on preparing for a bout with a southpaw, after all it was the southpaw jab of Kato that gave Takesako so many problems in their first meeting. Kato didn't reveal his tactics for this match up, but did explain he had a secret plan this time, which drew some laughs from those in his team.
Related- Takesako and Kato go again for Japanese Middleweight crown!
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
We've known for a while that August's Diamond Glove card would take place on August 3rd and be headlined by the rematch between Japanese Middleweight champion Kazuto Takesako (10-0-1, 10) [竹迫司登] and Shuji Kato (10-1-2, 6) [加藤収二]. We also knew the show would feature world title challenger Takeshi Inoue (13-1-1, 7) [井上 岳志]. Sadly though we didn't really get any extra news about the card until earlier today.
Today we were given details of the under-card as well as more details about Inoue's bout.
One of the under-card bouts will see Celes gym's new prospect Issay Ochai (0-0) [落合 壱星] make his debut, as he goes up against Thai foe Lerdchai Chaiyawed (1-2). The unbeaten Japanese fighter is a touted 18 year old who is tipped for big things whilst the Thai is a really good test, who holds a win over Samartlek Kokietgym and pushed both Ryoki Hirai and Seita Ogido hard in Japan in his losses. This bout will be scheduled for 6 rounds.
Another prospect on the card will be Takuma Takahashi (3-0, 3) [高橋拓磨], who also takes on a Thai foe as he battles against Sitthidet Banti (11-4, 5) in an 8 round bout. Takahashi is tipped for big things, and despite technical flaws he does look like he can go a very long way, so we're not expecting too many issues for him here. The Thai does hold a notable win over Saddam Kietyongyuth, but has been beaten in 3 of his 4 bouts outside of Thailand.
Another promising fighter on this card will be Kenshin Oshima (5-1-1, 3) [大嶋剣心], though his opponent hasn't yet been announced.
So back to Inoue, his bout for the card has now been announced and he will take on Patomsuk Pathompothong (38-10-1, 24), also known as Komsan Polsan, in a bout for the WBO Asia Pacific Light Middleweight title. This really should be a straight forward win for Inoue, who shouldn't have any problems with the Thai, who has lost in all 3 of his previous visits to Japan.
At the moment it's unclear whether this card will be aired live on G+ or not, though given the quality of the show, and the double main event, we really are hoping G+ will get back to showing live boxing.
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