Earlier today it was revealed that Tetsuya Hisada (33-9-2, 19) [久田 哲也] had vacated the Japanese Light Flyweight, with his intention being on getting a world title fight in early 2019.
Hisada had held the title since April 2017, when he defeated Kenichi Horikawa for the belt in their third meeting. Since winning the title he has racked up 5 successful defenses, whilst extending his current unbeaten run to 12 bouts dating back well over 3 years.
The 34 year old from Osaka Prefecture has been linked strongly to a world title fight for some time and it seems likely that in 2019 he will either face WBA "regular" champion Carlos Canizales (21-0-1, 17), who is reportedly in talks to fight in Japan in the Spring for what will be his third fight in the country, or WBC champion Kenshiro (14-0, 8) [拳四朗], who defends his title on December 30th.
Despite being unknown in the West Hisada is one of the very, very few fighters to be ranked by all 4 world title bodies, in fact he is ranked in the top 3 by all 4 world title bouts, and could well attempt to lure IBF champion Felix Alvarado (34-2, 30) over to Japan if that's the option he wants to go with.
Due to the Japanese title becoming vacant we're unsure who Kenichi Horikawa (38-15-1, 12) [堀川 謙一] will be fighting to fill the vacancy. Horikawa earned his shot at the belt in October, and will fight for the title in the Champion Carnival. The #2 ranked fighter is Satoru Todaka (9-2-4, 3) [戸髙達], though he is currently pencilled in for a fight on January 19th, and it's unclear if he will be the man Horikawa fights for the belt.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Earlier today Japanese Youth Light Flyweight champion Ryuto Oho (12-4-1, 4) [大保龍斗] successfully defended the title, stopping Yuta Nakayama (6-2-1, 3) [中山祐太] in the 7th round of their bout.
The contest, which took place at the Korakuen Hall, was hotly contested from the off, with an exciting pace being set by the two fighters. Although both were letting their hands go, it always seemed like Oho was the heavier puncher, and the one landing the more effective blows.
The clean blows from Oho never looked damaging on a 1-shot basis, but they were accumulating, and damaging Nakayama, who was clearly hurt in round 5. Nakayama gritted his teeth but in round 7 a left hook took what was left his resolve, and the referee stepped in when the challenger's knees wobbled.
After the fight the champion, who will now have to vacate the title due to out growing the age limit, stated he would like to challenger Japanese national champion Tetsuya Hisada (33-9-2, 19) [久田 哲也]. From what we under-stand however Hisada is unlikely to face Oho any time soon, given his own ambitions and the fact he already has a mandatory challenger for the 2019 Champion Carnival, Kenichi Horikawa (38-15-1, 12) [堀川 謙一]. What seems more likely is that Oho may face Horikawa for the title, or challenge a new champion in summer 2019, rather than facing Hisada.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
Earlier today there was a number of Japanese title eliminators. One of those took place at 108lbs and saw veterans colliding as Kenichi Horikawa (38-15-1, 12) [堀川 謙一] battled Koji Itagaki (18-13-3, 7) [板垣幸司].
On paper this was a very attractive match up, with both men looking for a chance to secure another match with Japanese champion Tetsuya Hisada. It was also a rematch of a previous contest that Horikawa had won over Itagaki, back in 2017 for the WBO Asia Pacific title.
At 38 years old Horikawa surprised us all by coming out and setting the pace form the opening moments, pressing the action hard and making Itagaki fight off the back foot almost immediately. To his credit Itagaki did get some success with his counter shots, but took a number of clean, hurt shots himself as Horikawa pressured him. Late in round 4 Itagaki seemed to be rocked, but gritted his teeth and got through to the bell.
Although Itagaki was showing his toughness Horikawa seemed like a man possessed and continued pressing the fighter and forced a stoppage in round 7 to secure a big win and set up one more Japanese title fight for the former champion.
Sadly for Itagaki this will likely end his career, with the 35 year old not really having the time to bounce back and earn another big fight.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
Tomorrow fight fans at the Korakuen Hall, and those with Boxingraise, will be able to see a number of Japanese title eliminator bouts.
One of those takes place at Light Flyweight and will see Kenichi Horikawa (37-15-1, 11) [堀川 謙一] face off with Koji Itagaki (18-12-3, 7) [板垣幸司] in a mouth match up between two under-rated veterans. Both have come up short in recent Japanese title bouts against Tetsuya Hisada, but both are hungry for one final at the national crown, and a potential rematch with Hisada.
Today the two men took part in their weigh in and both fighters made weight.
On the scales Horikawa was bang on the 108lbs limit whilst Itagaki was slightly lighter, at around 107.7lbs. Both looked in good shape and both seemed determined to continue their career at title level, with one more significant career win.,
Related - Horikawa and Itagaki rematch with a title fight on the line!
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Earlier today Japanese Light Flyweight champion Tetsuya Hisada (32-9-2, 19) [久田 哲也] took to social media to revealed some details about his next bout.
Sadly for those wanting to see the veteran getting a world title fight before the end of 2018 it appears that that won't be happening. Instead he will be making his 5th defense of the Japanese title, though his opponent for that bout hasn't been named. There are, of course, fighters we can rule out, such as Kenichi Horikawa (37-15-1, 11) [堀川 謙一] and Koji Itagaki (18-12-3, 7) [板垣幸司], who will be fighting in a Japanese title eliminator in October, but that doesn't really let us known who Harada gym have lined up for their man to face.
What we do know is that the defense is scheduled for November 16th, with the bout likely acting as Hisada's final defense before a world title fight in 2019. Interestingly that could mean that the winner of the Horikawa Vs Itagaki bout will not get a rematch with Hisada, as anticipated, but will instead get a shot at the vacant title in the new year.
We expect to see more details of Hisada's upcoming bout announced shortly, but it will almost certainly take place in Osaka and is likely to be a bout where Hisada will be strongly favoured to retain his title.
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