Earlier today at the Korakuen Hall fight fans saw a rematch between the in form Kyosuke Sawada (13-2-1, 6) [澤田京介] and the struggling Keita Nakano (15-14-6, 5) [中野敬太].
On paper this looked like a mismatch, especially when you consider that Sawada was on a 12-0-1 run following back to back defeats to begin his career. It was however worth noting that the "1" in "12-0-1" was a draw in 2016 with Nakano. A draw he wanted to set right here in the rematch between the two men.
From the opening round it seemed clear the men were still pretty well matched. Nakano managed to hold his own for the most part, but Sawada was the quicker, sharper and busier man, who did just enough in some rounds to earn the decision with scores of 78-74, twice, and 77-75.
Despite the win it's clear Sawada still has areas to work on before getting a title fight, whilst Nakano, even at the age of 33 with a 1-4 record in his last 5, is still a good domestic gate keeper and a real credit to Japanese boxing.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
Back in January we reported that OPBF champion Super Featherweight champion Hironori Mishiro (6-0-1, 2) [三代大訓] would defending his title on March 27th against Takuya Watanabe (35-8-1, 20) [渡邉卓也], in the main event of Dangan 221.
Today we can reveal some notable details for that under-card
In what appears to be the main suport bout Kyosuke Sawada (12-2-1, 6) [澤田京介] will face Keita Nakano (15-13-6, 5) [中野敬太], in what will be a rematch between two men. They fought to a draw back in 2016, which came bang in the middle of a weird run of 3 straight draws for Nakano. Since their first bout Sawada has won 8 in a row whilst Nakano has gone 2-1-3.
Another supporting bout will see Hayate Kaji (11-0, 9) [梶颯] look to kick off his 2019. His opponent hasn't yet been announced, but there is hope that it will be someone more testing than than Sahaphap Bunop and Kichang Kim, who were his last 2 opponents..
Earlier today at the Korakuen Hall Japanese fans got their first card of 2018. The card wasn't the strongest on paper, but did feature a very interesting domestic match up, as former Japanese Bantamweight title challenger Tatsuya Takahashi (28-7-5, 20) [高橋竜也] battled against Keita Nakano (14-13-6, 6) [中野敬太].
On paper the bout didn't look like anything too special, but fans who had followed the Japanese scene over the last few years whould have been well aware of how well matched the two fighters would be, and that showed in a thrilling war.
The fight started perfectly for Takahashi, who landed a brutal right hand and dropped Nakano in the opening round. In round two another right hand dropped Nakano, who seemed unable to take the power of Takahashi, who is known as a crude but tough and rugged fighter.
With 2 knockdowns in the opening couple of rounds it looked like Takahashi was on his way to an easy win. Amazingly however Nakano started his fight back in round 3, and really fought his way back into the bout whilst gritting his teeth, battling toe-to-toe with Takahashi. The fight back was an incredible show of heart, and determination from Nakano, but it was too little too over-come the knockdowns.
The judges score-cards were split, with scores of 76-74 and 76-75 in favour of Takahashi and 76-75 in favour of Nakano.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
We've seen a really slow start to 2018, however you want to look at it the action just, simply, has not been there. Thankfully over the coming days we are, slowly, kicking the year off.
Tomorrow we see the first Japanese show of 2018, and that card will be headlined by big punching Welterweight Yuki Beppu (16-0-1, 16) [別府 優樹], who takes on a Thai visitor in the headline contest.
Today the two men took part in their weight in, and both made the Welterweight limit.
On the scales Beppu came in around the limit whilst the Thai, who towered over Beppu, was well under the limit, at 145.75lbs.
Also on the card will be a very interesting looking clash between Tatsuya Takahashi (27-7-5, 20) [高橋竜也] and Keita Nakano (14-12-6, 6) [中野敬太]. These two both came in slightly under their contracted weight, and both looked in good shape, for what could well be the show stealing contest, between limited but well matched domestic foes.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
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