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.
On July 6th Japanese fight fans in Tokyo can attend the latest Dynamic Glove card, a show promoted by Teiken and featuring some of their most notable fighters, including Kenichi Ogawa (23-1-0-1, 17) [尾川 堅一], Shuya Masaki (12-1, 5) [正木脩也], Hayate Kaji (12-0, 9), Mikito Nakano (2-0, 2) [中野幹士] and Kuntae Lee (1-0, 1) [李 健太].
Sadly even with that talent on the show we can now report that the card will not be aired live. Instead of being shown on July 6th as a live broadcast it will instead be delayed until the following Tuesday, July 9th, for it's first airing, with a 9PM time slot. It will then be replayed a week later, starting at 10PM.
This is becoming a worrying trend for these G+ cards, and whilst this could be down to a change in main event, with Ogawa's original opponent Azinga Fuzile (14-0, 8) being unable to get a visa in time for the fight, it's still a worry with the show being one of several G+ cards to be pushed to a tape delayed mid-week broadcast.
We've got our fingers crossed that the August show, which will feature the return of former world title challenger Takeshi Inoue (13-1-1, 7) [井上 岳志] and 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], will be aired live, but right now it's unclear, especially given how little news has been made available in regards to that card in recent weeks.
It would be a huge shame to see G+ become exclusively a tape delay broadcaster for the sport, but they really have pulled back on their boxing contest in 2019, stopping certain re-runs and other boxing content. That's despite the fact other channels, including TBS and Fuji TV doing some huge numbers on boxing already this year.
The World Sport Boxing gym hasn't had the most amazing of years so far, with neither of their two biggest names picking up wins in their bouts so far. We've seen Takeshi Inoue (13-1-1, 7) [井上 岳志] suffer his first defeat, though come out with a significantly improved reputation, and we also saw Japanese Middleweight champion Kazuto Takesako (10-0-1, 10) [竹迫司登] suffer the first mark on his record, fighting to a draw with mandatory challenger Shuji Kato (10-1-2, 6) [加藤収二].
Today the gym announced their two stars would be co-headlining a show on August 3rd at Korakuen Hall.
At the moment Inoue's opponent isn't known, though it will mark his first bout since losing to WBO Light Middleweight champion Jaime Munguia (32-0, 26) in Houston. We're not expecting anyone too testing for Inoue, but it'd be hard for World Sport Boxing to sell Inoue in a total mismatch given his performance against Munguia, which was genuinely a credible effort despite a clear loss on the cards.
Takesako's bout on the other hand is a pretty predictable one, a rematch with Kato. It was a bout both men stated they wanted, following the draw, and is a bout that makes a lot of sense. For Takesako it's a chance to put the draw behind him and look to advance to regional level title fights, potentially a bout with OPBF and WBO Asia Pacific champion Yuki Nonaka, whilst Kato gets a second chance to get over the line and get a win over Takesako.
At the moment the under-card hasn't been announced, though we'd not be surprised to see it stacked with World Sport prospects, such as Masahiro Suzuki (2-0, 1) [鈴木雅弘] and Takuma Takahashi (3-0, 3) [高橋拓磨], who we are really looking forward to following in the years to come.
Earlier today at the Korakuen Hall Japanese fight fans had a chance to see a Japanese Middleweight title bout, as unbeaten champion Kazuto Takesako (10-0-1, 10) [竹迫司登] took on mandatory challenger Shuji Kato (10-1-2, 6) [加藤収二]. On paper the bout looked really interesting, with Takesako being a rising hopeful and destructive puncher on the domestic scene whilst Kato was a tricky, rangy boxer who had won the 2017 Rookie of the Year.
Despite looking good on paper, we, and we assume many others, strongly favoured the champion to come out on top. He had looked fantastic in a number of bouts and despite being the smaller man was a serious punch. Kato though had other plans and showed what he could do early on, boxing to a game plan, keeping the bout at range and using his movement, southpaw jab and reach brilliantly. Even when Takesako was under pressure his footwork was really smart, escaping from the corner and getting back to his fighting.
Although Kato was the under-dog he seemed to be in control by the mid-way point. When the scores were announced after 5 rounds the judges had the bout 48-47, twice, and 49-46 all in favour of the challenger. The challenger really seemed to have neutralised Takesako's power, shown his smart boxing brain and stamped his foot on the bout and it was clear Takesako had to get back into the bout.
To his credit Takesako began to try and drag the bout back into his favour, he was still struggling to pin down Kato, but was starting to have more success in round 6, before having a fantastic round 7 and it was there that he began to finally get his hands going. That round began a real fight back from Takesako who knew his title was at risk. He pushed hard, really drew on what energy he had and did just enough to earn a draw on the scorecards, with scores of 96-94, in his favour, 95-95 and 96-94 to Kato.
After the bout Takesako apologised and admitted that the bout was disappointing and that he wasn't good with southpaws. He also stated that he wanted a rematch with Kato and expressed some self doubt about winning a world title if he can't win here. He seemed genuinely deflated. Kato, although disappointed himself, didn't seem to feel like the judges had robbed him, and he also seemed to want a rematch, something that could well happen later this year.
Tomorrow we see the 2019 Champion Carnival roll on once again, as fans at the Korakuen Hall see Japanese Middleweight champion Kazuto Takesako (10-0, 10) [竹迫司登] defending his title against mandatory challenger Shuji Kato (10-1-1, 6) [加藤収二]. The bout will be Takesako's second defense and Kato's first title fight.
Today the two fighters took part in their weigh in and both men made weight for the Middleweight clash.
On the scales both fighters were 159.4lbs, comfortably under the limit.
Takesako, who has never resembled a cut Greek god, was a little bit fleshy and the notably shorter man. Kato on the other hand looked in amazing shape and has clearly done everything he can to get into tip top shape for the biggest fight of his career.
Sadly the bout won't be aired live, it will however be shown on Monday on G+, as part of their Dynamic Glove coverage.
Related - Japanese king Takesako faces mandatory challenger!
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