Earlier today we were informed that Japanese Light Flyweight champion Kenichi Horikawa (40-15-1, 13) [堀川 謙一] would make his second defense of the title in August, with the veteran set to fight against Ryuto Oho (12-5-1, 4) [大保 龍斗] on August 8th.
The bout will be Horikawa's third of the year following title win in February against Satoru Todaka and his first defense this past May. The 39 year old champion has more wins than any other active Japanese born fighter and is still reeling off victories at his advanced age.
As for Oho, aged 24, the bout will be his the bout will be his first Japanese title bout, but follows a Japanese Youth title win for the youngster. It's worth noting that he was stopped last time out, but that loss had come at Flyweight, to Masamichi Yabuki who actually damaged his hand in the win.
The bout, which will serve as the chief support bout to the highly anticipated OPBF Super Bantamweight bout between Hiroaki Teshigawara (19-2-2, 12) [勅使河原 弘晶] and Shohei Omori (20-2, 15) [大森 将平] and rounds off an interesting card which will also see the very promising Masahiro Suzuki (2-0, 1) [鈴木雅弘] face off with Japanese ranked Lightweight Kosuke Arioka (9-3-1, 8) [有岡 康輔].
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)
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