Today at the Korakuen Hall fight fans saw the award ceremony for the August award winners.
Among those winners was MVP for the month Satoshi Shimizu (7-0, 7) [清水 聡], who took to the ring and spoke about being on the verge of a world title fight, and wanting the support of fans if, and when, a world title fight does come his way.
Another of the award winners was Japanese Minimumweight champion Shin Ono (23-9-3, 6) [小野 心], who said he wasn't feeling 35 years old and seemed to hint at a chance to have a big fight shortly. It's worth noting that Ono is said to have agreed an end of year bout with Minimumweight champion Wanheng Menayothin (51-0, 18) [วันเฮง ไก่ย่างห้าดาวยิม].
The third award winner was Kenshin Oshima (4-1-1, 3) [大嶋剣心], who had no immediate plans but revealed he wanted to fight another Japanese ranked fighter, following his recent win over Joe Tanooka (15-5-4, 1) [田之岡条].
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Earlier today the East Japan Boxing Association announced their monthly award winners for the month of August, with 3 award winners being announced.
The MVP for the month was 2012 Olympic bronze medal Satoshi Shimizu (7-0, 7) [清水 聡] who made his third defense of the OPBF Featherweight title, as he stopped Shingo Kawamura (16-4-1, 8) [河村真吾]. He was given his first test, with Kawamura taking the fight to Shimizu, before breaking down the challenger and recording his 7th straight stoppage win.
Shimizu is now said to be pursuing a world title fight, and this win will have served as a test, not a world class one, but as a good test all the same.
The Fighting Spirit award was also won by a title holder, with Japanese Minimumweight champion Shin Ono (23-9-3, 6) [小野 心] claiming the award thanks to his stoppage win over youngster Riku Kano (13-4-1, 7) [加納 陸]. The bout saw Ono fighting through a nasty cut to stop Kano and make his first defense of the title.
Interestingly since this win Ono has been strongly linked to a potential WBC world title fight against Wanheng Menayothin (51-0, 18) [วันเฮง ไก่ย่างห้าดาวยิม], with rumours suggesting that bout could be held on December 31st.
The new-comer award was won by Kenshin Oshima (4-1-1, 3) [大嶋剣心], who took a close decision win over Joe Tanooka (15-5-4, 1) [田之岡条]. This was a very competitive bout, with Oshima just doing enough to take the win on the judges score cards.
The winners will receive their awards on October 11th at the Diamond Glove show held at the Korakuen Hall.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
On August 24th Dangan will be putting on Dangan 215, a show that really is a great one on paper for fans able to attend at the Korakuen Hall. Thankfully you won't need to be in Tokyo to watch the card live with Dangan's online service "Boxingraise" confirming they would be streaming the entire show live as part of their monthly subscription service.
The card's big selling point is the double title aspect of the card, with two Japanese title fights.
One of those will see youngster Riku Kano (13-3-1, 7) [加納 陸] challenge Japanese Minimumweight champion Shin Ono (22-9-3, 5) [小野 心]. For Ono the bout will service as his first defense, following his title winning effort against Ryoki Hirai earlier in the year whilst Kano will be getting his first Japanese title shot, though has previously won an interim OPBF title and a WBA Asia title. The winner of this will be seen as a potential world title challenger towards the end of the year, whilst the loser really will have a long way to climb back if they are to be considered a contender.
The other title bout will be for the Japanese interim Light Middleweight title, as Ryosuke Maruki (15-5-1, 10) [丸木 凌介] and Akinori Watanabe (36-7, 30) [渡部あきのり] meet in what could be an explosive and action packed contest. For Maruki the bout will be his third shot at the title, after having come up short against Yuki Nonaka and Nobuyuki Shindo, both in close contests, whilst Watanabe will be looking to add to his collection of career titles which saw him claim a number of belts at Welterweight.
Other bouts of note on this card will see Kenshin Oshima (3-1-1, 3) [大嶋剣心] taking on Joe Tanooka (15-4-4, 1) [田之岡条], in what is a fantastic match up, and a bout featuring the in form Kyosuke Sawada (11-2-1, 6) [澤田京介] taking on former Japanese title challenger Yosuke Fujihara (17-5, 4) [藤原陽介].
Although fight fans will need access to boxingraise it is a fantastic show for subscribers, and well worth the attention for those tempted to try the service.
Ealier this year Japanese Middleweight Kazuto Takesako (8-0, 8) [竹迫司登] blasted away the tough Hikaru Nishida (17-9-1, 8) [西田 光] to become the Japanese Middleweight champion. That bout was, sadly, only aired on an obscure regional channel in Japan, meanign that most fans in the country haven't seem Takesako since he stopped Shoma Fukumoto inside a round last year.
Thankfully fans in Japan will get the chance to see the exciting, and very heavy handed, Takesako in the ring in early June as he has been selected to headline the June version of Dynamic Glove on G+.
The hard hitting Takesako won't be defending his title however, instead he will be facing off with Filipino veteran Joel Dela Cruz (20-26-3, 8), who is fighting in his 50th professional bout.
On paper this is a huge mismatch in favour of the Japanese fighter, who has only fought for 3 minutes and 2 seconds, combined, in the last 12 months, but it's great to see that he will be kept active and will be returning to the ring less than 3 months after his title win.
Other fighters on this card include Seiya Tsutsumi (1-0, 1) [堤聖也], who will be up against Kenshin Oshima (3-1-1, 3) [大嶋剣心], the debuts of Jin Minamide (0-0) [南出仁] and Takuma Takahashi (0-0) [高橋拓磨], as well as bouts featuring Spicy Matsushita (17-10-1, 2) [スパイシー松下] and Junki Sasaki (19-3, 7) [佐々木洵樹] in decent domestic tests.
The Japanese domestic scene is arguably the best on the planet, with all-Japanese bouts often delivering in the best possible ways. That was seen again today, with the main event of a card at the Korakuen Hall standing out as being a little special.
The bout in question saw touted former amateur stand out Hironori Mishiro (4-0, 2) [三代大訓] battle against the 2015 Rookie of the Year Featherweight runner up Shuma Nakazato (6-1-1, 5) [仲里周磨], and they delivered.
Within seconds of the bout starting the men warmed to their task, boxing and moving, keeping just on the edge of their range whilst trying to land power shots. The bout wasn't a brawl from the off, but was a highly skilled and thrilling bout between two men who were willing to work their openings then go for them, testing each other's durability.
The pace gradually quickened and in round 3 Mishiro's durability showed cracks as Nakazato detonated with a huge right hand. Lesser fighters would have been down and out but Mishiro quickly got back to his feet and saw off the follow up assault from Nakazato. Nakazato attempted to jump on Mishiro in the following round but Mishiro had recovered well and late in round 4 he landed a sweeping hook that sent Nakazato down.
Although Nakazato had moments in the final 2 rounds Mishiro's more varied attack and better defense was enough to earn him the win, taking the decision on all 3 cards, but both men grew their reputations in a bout that really gave the fans more than they had ever expected and will go down as one of the ever growing number of great bouts that fans at the Korakuen Hall have seen this year.
The win for Mishiro sets up a January encounter with Shuya Masaki (9-0, 5) [正木脩也] in what is a really mouth watering match up!
On the same card there was also notable wins for Coach Hiroto (13-2-1, 4) [小内義人], Kenshin Oshima (3-1, 3) [大嶋剣心] and Ryo Sagawa (2-1, 2) [佐川遼], who are all expected to move into bigger bouts in 2018.
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