Earlier today fans were able to see the 88th All Japan National Championships, with 8 national champions being crowned in what was an incredible show of high level amateur boxing. For fans at the venue the show was brilliant, whilst those watching on TV, courtesy of NHKBS1 got guest analyst work from WBA "Regular" Bantamweight champion Naoya Inoue.
The lowest weight on the show was the Light Flyweight division, which saw Yudai Shigeoka [重岡優大], the older brother of touted professional prospect Ginjiro Shigeoka, take a 5-0 decisions over Daichi Hasebe [長谷部大地]. The bout was a high skilled, fast paced contest that really kicked the show off in an amazing fashion.
The Flyweight bout was another amazing contest, which saw Tosho Kashiwazaki [柏崎刀翔] taking a 4-1 decision over Ryomei Tanaka [田中亮明], the older brother of 3-weight world champion Kosei Tanaka. This was was tightly fought, but Kashiwazaki always looked like the aggressor, and it seems like that extra offensive mentality was the difference between the two men.
At Bantamweight 2014 Youth Olympics bronze medal winner Subaru Murata [村田昴] over-come Keisuke Matsumoto [松本圭佑], the son of former world title challenger Koji Matsumoto. Murata was cut around both eyes but took the decision win, thanks in part to an amazing effort in the final round, where he really put Matsumoto on the back foot to claim a 3-0 win.
The Lightweight bout saw 2016 Olympian Arashi Morisaka [森坂嵐] narrowly over-come Kenji Fujita [藤田健児] in a 3-2 decision. This was a messy bout at time, with the styles not quite gelling as the earlier bouts, but was very competitive and hard to take your eyes off as both men did all they could to try and take the win.
In the Light Welterweight final we saw the highly established Daisuke Narimatsu [成松大介] claim his latest title as he defeated Yuta Akiyama [秋山佑汰]. This was Narimatsu's 8th All Japanese title, and it seems like his intention is to go to the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. If boxing is however removed from the Olympics we could imagine promoters scrambling over each other to become his professional promoter.
The Welterweight crown was won by Sewon Okazawa [岡澤セオン], who took a 5-0 decision over Kanjo Taiyo [金城大明], in what was an another entertaining contest with Okazawa making his claim to be pushed towards some notable international competitions, potentially including the Olympics.
At Middleweight Yuito Moriwaki [森脇唯人] continued his great run on the domestic scene, as he defeated Kyohei Hosono [細野恭兵] 5-0. This win saw Moriwaki retain the title he won last year, and claim the MVP award for the show, as he continues to thrive and really make his mark.
The heaviest weight class on the show as the Light Heavyweight division, which saw Takuro Kurita [栗田琢郎] take a 3-2 win over Takahito Nitta [新田隆人] to take the crown.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
A group of 5 Japanese youngsters have travelled to the mountainous region of Kuruyama to begin a week long training camp. By it's self that's bit news but the fighters involved are themselves pretty big news.
The most notable of the fighters involved in the camp is OPBF Flyweight champion Daigo Higa (10-0, 10) [比嘉大吾], who we suspect will have his next bout announced in the coming weeks, another notable youngster their is amateur star Keisuke Matsumoto [松本圭佑], who has just come runner up in a national tournament.
Whilst those two are perhaps the most notable others at the camp include Ryuto Maekawa (11-0-1, 7) [前川龍斗], who faces Rex Tso (19-0, 12) in October, Riku Nagahama (5-0-1, 1) [長濱陸] and Rookie of the Year competitor Yoshimitsu Kimura (5-0, 3) [木村吉光].
The camp started on August 22nd and will run to August 29th with the focus then returning to training closer to home for bouts before the end of the year.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
Over the past few days Japanese fight fans had the opportunity to see a number of the inter-scholastic tournaments, including the boxing which was streamed online. Among those in action was Keisuke Matsumoto [松本 圭佑], who lost a split decision in the final at Flyweight to Asian Youth Games gold medal winner Hayato Tsutsumi [堤駿斗].
Despite that competition finish just days ago Matsumoto has already returned to the Ohashi gym where he has started to work on the flaws that Tsutsumi exposed in his ability.
The popular teenager, who is hoping to compete at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, seems to know the way to improve is to get back on the horse and has seemingly shown a determination to become better and to avenge in the future. Then against losing to Tsutsumi is nothing at all to be ashamed by and he too is expected to have a very bright future ahead of him.
(Image courtesy of Ohashi's blog)
Earlier today saw the finals of the Japanese High School tournament. Among the tournament winners was the very promising Keisuke Matsumoto [松本 圭佑] a youngster tipped for a place at Tokyo 2020 and a potential star of the future.
Matsumoto, who has been in the gym with Akira Yaegashi and Naoya Inoue, claimed the Light Flyweight crown and continued to build on his burgeoning reputation as a genuine one to watch. He claimed the crown with a decision win over Takumi Tamura [田村拓実].
Other winners at the event included-
Ginjiro Shigeoka [重岡銀次郎] at Pinweight,
Hayato Tsutsumi [堤駿斗] at Flyweight, who also built on his success from last year,
Taiga Imanaga [今永虎雅] who claimed the Bantamweight crown, and built on his own success
and Light Welterweight Issei Aramoto [荒本一成].
Whilst the competition doesn't also lead to stars of the future it does tend to highlight the top young teenagers in the Japanese amateur scene and these young men will all be worth following over the coming years. The continued success of a number of these fighters does suggest a very promising future and don't be surprised to see them at Tokyo 2020, or in fact turning professional by the 2020 Olympics.
(Image courtesy of Hideyuki Ohashi's blog)
We admit we don't cover amateur boxing in the way we should, though we are hoping to change that in the coming year or so, however there is an amateur who has caught our eye. That is teenage sensation Keisuke Matsumoto, a man who some in Japan believe is a major contender for an Olympic medal in the 2020 games.
Earlier today we were informed that Matsumoto has moved in to the semi finals of the Japanese High School championships, which will take place tomorrow.
The youngster, who competes as a Light Flyweight, over-came Tatsuya Sakamoto in the quarter final of the competition with a clear 3-0 win and is now being tipped as one of the favourites.
Whilst Matsumoto is incredibly young he has already been featured in a couple of notable TV segments and has trained alongside a number of major names at the Ohashi gym, including Naoya Inoue. His career has also been guided by his father, Koji Matsumoto, himself a former world title challenger. It's thought that the level of training and the guidance of his father will help him become a star of the future and we've been continually advised to keep a close eye on the teenager.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
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