Earlier today at the Portopia Hotel in Kobe fans saw Japanese Light Flyweight champion Kenichi Horikawa (40-15-1, 13) [堀川 謙一] successfully defend his title as he over-came Masashi Tada (13-6-3, 8) [多田雅] with a clear decision.
From the off Horikawa was applying the pressure, whilst Tada looked to use his younger legs to move, jab, and stay away from the inside fight that Horikawa was looking to force. Despite the younger legs of Tada Horikawa did manage to cut the distance and worked the body well in round 2 before out working his man in round 3. Despite the success Horikawa did have some problems and his left eye was cut in round 3 as the up close action lead to headclashes, a typical feature of a Horikawa fight.
Despite not doing as well as the champion Tada was having his moments, they were just less regular than those of Horikawa, who was leading 49-46, twice, and 48-47 when the score cards were announced after round 5.
Tada began to slow down in the second half, struggling to create the distance he needed to work effectively against Horikawa, who remained consistent in his approach to the bout. The shots of Horikawa began to take a toll on Tada in round 7 and the challenger really struggled to work his way back into the bout, though did have some success in round 9 before being hurt and dropped in round 10. The knockdown wasn't enough to stop Tada, but it was enough to put the cherry on the performance for Horikawa who had clearly retained his title.
At the end of 10 rounds the judges had Horikawa winning 99-90, twice, and 98-91.
Whilst this was Horikawa's first defense, of his second reign, it was Tada's second unsuccessful Japanese title bout, having previously lost to Go Odaira in a Japanese Minimumweight title bout way back in 2014.
In under-card bouts on this same show there was stoppage wins for two talented and young prospects.
One of those was unbeaten Tetsuro Ohashi (7-0-1, 2) [大橋哲朗], who had won the 2018 Rookie of the Year at Super Flyweight. He stopped a limited Thai visitor in the opening round. The other was Ryo Suwa (11-1, 2) [諏訪亮] who stopped Indonesian Arega Yunian (7-13, 2) in the in third round of their scheduled 6 round contest
Tomorrow fight fans at the Portopia Hotel in Kobe will see Kenichi Horikawa (39-15-1, 13) [堀川 謙一] defends the Japanese Light Flyweight title against Masashi Tada (13-5-3, 8) [多田雅], in what looks like a pretty interesting support bout to the IBF Light Flyweight title fight on the same show.
Today the two men took part in their weigh in and both fighters made weight with no issues at all.
The champion was the lighter man, weighing around 107.4lbs for the bout, comfortably under the limit. Tada on the other hand was bang on 108lbs.
It's worth noting that this is Horikawa's first defense and will see him go for his 40th victory, at the age of 39. Tada, although the younger man, suggest he was tired at the weigh in after a long train journey and that may play a part in tomorrows contest.
Related - Veteran Horikawa battles Tada!(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
A week ago we reported that Japanese puncher Keita Obara (20-4-1, 18) [小原 佳太] had been added to the June 13th card at the Korakuen Hall, as part of a Diamond Glove card. At the time we were unsure on his opponent though we've now seen the other man in the ring being named.
Sadly the opponent is worse than we would have expected for the 32 year old Obara, who will be in the ring with Indonesian visitor Yosmar Kefi (9-10, 8), who has been stopped in his past 4 visits to Japan including a loss earlier this year to Koki Koshikawa.
Although Obara is best known for coming up short in his biggest bouts to date, including a loss in March to Kudratillo Abdukakhorov (16-0, 6) [Қудратилло Абдуқаҳҳоровдан], he is a good fighter and we suspect a bout against Kefi will do little to push him in the right direction.
Thankfully the card is far from a bout and will also feature Norihito Tanaka (18-7, 10) [田中教仁] making his first defense of the Japanese Minimumweight title, as he takes on Naoya Haruguchi (15-10, 6) [春口直也]. This doesn't look awesome on paper but it is a bout which will see Tanaka looking to avenge a 2017 loss and secure his first defense following a big January win over Shin Ono.
Earlier today at the Korakuen Hall fans got the chance to see the award ceremony for February's award winners.
The MVP for the month was veteran fighter Kenichi Horikawa (39-15-1, 13) [堀川 謙一], who became a 2-time Japanese Light Flyweight champion when he stopped Satoru Todaka (9-3-4, 3) [戸髙達] on February 14th. The veteran, who for years was seen as a nearly man, will make his first defense in May and seemed really happy to be at the Korakuen Hall today.
The Fighting Spirit Award was claimed by Japanese Flyweight champion Junto Nakatani (18-0, 13) [中谷 潤人], who won his title on February 2nd, when he stopped Naoki Mochizuki (15-4, 8) [望月直樹] and took both the title and his award. He spoke about returning to one of these ceremony's in the future as the MVP. That could in just a few months time, with the youngster set to defend his title on June 1st, in what will be his first defense.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Over the past few weeks we've seen various rumours and stories break from the Shinsei Gym, including yesterday's reveal on their website of Real Spirits 63.
For those unaware Realy Spirits 63 was on their website and revealed that the unbeaten Kasumi Saeki (3-0, 2) [佐伯霞] would face Mexican Elizabeth Lopez (6-1-4, 1) for the WBO female Minimumweight title.
That title had become vacated when Saeki's stablemate Etsuko Tada (18-3-2, 5) [多田悦子], vacated to pursue a WBC world title, with Tada fighting Kanyarat Yoohanngoh (5-2, 3) in a WBC eliminator. Both of those bouts will be on the same card, and will take place at the EDION Arena Osaka, on April 27th.
Today both of those bouts were officially announced at a press conference by the Shinsei who also confirmed that Reiya Konishi's (17-1, 7) [小西伶弥] battle against IBF Light Flyweight champion Felix Alvarado (34-2, 30) would take place on May 19th in Kobe, at the Portopia hotel.
This bout had been in the works for months, and was originally rumoured to be on the April card, before being pushed back to the following month. It will be Alvarado's first defense of the title and Konishi's second world title bout, following a loss to Carlos Canizales in 2018.
The head of the Shinsei Gym, Masato Yamashita, began the press conference:
“My main character Saiki will participate in the WBO Women's World Minimum Class Championship at the main event on April 27. This title was given by Atsuko Tada 3 Tada will be on the 20th, and Tada will hold the WBC World Women's Minimum Class Challenger, aiming for a four-group victory on the same day, and on May 19 Minoru Konishi will challenge the IBF world title match It was decided by the nomination challenge as it is the only one who will play the world title in Kansai, and both men and women will do their best so that they can continue so as not to light the light of the world war in Kansai. All three of us are welcome to take the win, as they may be muddy" [Google translated]
Konishi, who is in really tough told reporters “I am grateful to the chairman for the second chance, and I am practicing and thinking about what I am missing after losing to the world match, by trial and error. I have not made boxing yet, but now I am the strongest. I think it will be a tough match, but I will take on a strong feeling to capture," [Google translated]
Saeki stated: "I didn't think I could get a chance so quickly," adding "I want to get a good chance to be a world champion here." and "This time the other party is smaller than myself. I would like to defeat my boxing and win" [Google translated]
As for Tada "Now, the condition is very good. I think that the other party has a difference in power, so I want to win well and go to the world,"[Google translated]
It's also worth noting that the Kobe card has a notable chief support bout, as Kenichi Horikawa (39-15-1, 13) [堀川 謙一] defends his Japanese Light Flyweight title against Masashi Tada (13-5-3, 8) [多田雅].
What hasn't yet been confirmed is the broadcast information of the two shows. It's been rumoured that WOWOW will show the May card, though the April show may end up Boxing Raise.
Related-April 27th Shinsei Card gets announced! Saeki gets world title fight in 4th bout!
Reiya Konishi and Felix Alvarado to clash in May!
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
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