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)
Back in July a number of top Japanese amateurs spent a day training with the professionals at the Ioka Gym. That was regarded as a great day of training and sparring for both the amateurs and the professionals and it was hoped that it would lead to similar sessions happening on a regular basis.
Less than a month after the Ioka Gym pro-am session we've managed to see another pro-am training session. This time it wasn't a particular gym training with the amateur but instead it involved WBC Super Featherweight world champion Takashi Miura and OPBF Bantamweight champion Ryosuke Iwasa, both of whom are preparing for bouts later this year.
From the amateur side of things the session involved Olympic bronze medal winner Satoshi Shimizu and promising youngster Kenji Fujita.
The sessions saw Fujita sparring with Iwasa. The two men, pictured above, sparred for 3 rounds with Fujita showing a busy and fast handed attack whilst Iwasa resorted, on the whole, to counters in what was said to have been a very mutually successful spar.
In the other session Shimizu and Miura, pictured right, tried to make the most of their skills. From Miura that involved heavy and intense pressure whilst Shimizu made the most of the notable size advantage peppering Miura with shots from range. The session another that will have helped both men though it did seem to suggest that Miura may struggle with a rangy and fast boxer. Sparring however doesn't really tell us the whole story and it would seem clear in a real fight that Miura would over-come the height issues and close the distance on the naturally lighter Shimizu.
(Images courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
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