Earlier today we were informed that Japanese Light Middleweight champion Hironobu Matsunaga (15-1, 9) [松永 宏信] will make his first defense on November 2nd, as part of the November Dynamic Glove card. In the opposite card to the once beaten champion will be the well regarded Koki Koshikawa (9-1, 6) [越川孝紀].
The 31 year old champion won the title back in May, when he upset Nobuyuki Shindo in 6 rounds. That was Matsunaga's 9th straight win, and 4th by stoppage, and saw him make the most of his mandatory opportunity. He's now been unbeaten since a the 2014 All Japan Rookie of the Year, where he was stopped in 2 rounds by Yukji Beppu. Since then he has been on a roll with notable wins against the likes of Hisao Narita, Sanosuke Sasaki, Je Ni Ma, Koshinmaru Saito and of course Shindo.
The 28 year old Koshikawa turned professional in 2014 with a lot of expectation on his shoulders, and made an impact with a debut win over Quaye Peter. After 4 wins he suffered a loss to veteran Koshinmaru Saito, before taking a 2 year break from the ring. Since returning he has gone 5-0 (4) including a win over Daisuke Sakamoto.
At the moment there is no other bouts announced for this card, yet, though those are likely to be announced in October,
Earlier today at the Korakuen Hall fight fans had the chance to see Japanese #2 ranked Light Middleweight Koki Koshikawa (9-1, 6) [越川孝紀] take his next step towards getting a title fight.
The Celes Kobayashi managed fighter was up against Indonesian foe Yosmar Kefi (9-1o, 8), in what looked like a total mismatch. Despite the records Kefi didn't get in the ring to just roll over, instead he looked to give Koshikawa a fight.
Koshikawa looked good earlier on, but Kefi withstood the early shots of Koshikawa, and landed a number of his own, competing pretty well with Koshikawa, despite seemingly losing rounds.
In round 5 Koshikawa, who looked to be tiring, upped the tempo, and the referee jumped in, stopping Kefi who seemed less than happy at the stoppage. It was as if Kefi, felt he hadn't been that hurt, and if we're being honest he did have a point.
Despite the less than great stoppage Koshikawa now moves on to the verge of a Japanese title fight. As for Kefi, this effort today suggests he'd be welcome back in Japan in the future.
On the under-card the stand out bout was a brilliant war between Kazuma Sanpei (17-5, 7) [三瓶数馬] and Tatsuya Otsubo (13-10-1, 4) [大坪竜也], which Sanpei won by majority decision. This was a real highlight, and was the second straight awesome fight for Otsubo who may have come up short but put on a show.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Earlier today we were informed of two notable Japanese fighters having their next opponents named for shows in April.
The more notable of the Japanese fighters here was former 3 weight world champion Akira Yaegashi (27-6, 15) [八重樫 東] who will return to action on April 8th at the Korakuen Hall. The very popular Yaegashi was last seen in the ring last year, scoring a sensational win over Hirofumi Mukai in one of the Japanese fights of the year. He won't be expected to dig so deep for his upcoming bout, with opponent named as 23 year old Thai fighter Sahaphap Bunop (4-2, 3), who has lost both bouts that he has had outside of Thailand, being stopped in 2 rounds by Takahiro Yamamoto and Hayate Kaji.
The other fighter in question is Japanese #2 ranked Light Middleweight Koki Koshikawa (8-1, 5) [越川孝紀], who will be fighting on on April 12th. His opponent is also a disappointing one, with his foe being Indonesian Yosmar Kefi (9-9, 8), who has been stopped in all 3 previous bouts in Japan including an opening round TKO loss to Shinya Iwabuchi at Lightweight way back in 2010.
Whilst neither of these opponents are great it's likely that both of the Japanese fighters will have bigger tests later in the year, and Yaegashi is talk about fighting for a Super Flyweight world title later in the year.
Earlier today Japanese hopeful Koki Koshikawa (8-1, 5) [越川孝紀] took a big step up in class, as he took on former OPBF Light Middleweight champion Ratchasi Sithsaithong (8-8, 6), aka Niwat Kongkan.
The bout turned out to be a tough one for Koshikawa, who started well but tired as the bout went on, and was caught by a number of counter shots from the Thai. The Thai didn't exactly fight clean either, being deducted a point for a rabbit punch.
The counters of Ratchasi proved to be be effective, but not regular enough for him to really push Koshikawa, who suffered a nose bleed but nothing too serious.
At the end of the bout the judges had the bout scored 79-73, 77-73 and 76-75 all in favour of Koshikawa. Despite the win Koshikawa admitted that he wasn't happy with his performance, and will look to fight for titles next year. Given this performance he has a long way to go before fighting at title level, but he is talented and this wasn't a great showing of what he can do. Sadly for the Thai this is now a 4th straight loss, and 5th loss in 6 bouts.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
Earlier today fight fans at Korakuen Hall saw Korakuen Hall saw former Japanese "interim" Welterweight champion Daisuke Sakamoto (14-10-3, 8) [坂本大輔] end his career. Sadly for the popular Kadoebi man it wasn't to be a fairytale ending, and he instead he was made to look like an old and shot fighter by the much younger Koki Koshikawa (7-1, 5) [越川孝紀].
The 36 year old Sakamoto had stated the bout would be his final contest and he hand selected the 26 year old Koshikawa as his opponent. Sadly for Sakamoto Koshikawa got a read on the veteran early on and looked calm and relaxed as he landed clean shots, including a nasty left mid way through round 1.
Sakamoto managed to remain on his feet but as the bout went on he seemed to be putting more and more effort into his work and took more and more heavy leather from Koshikawa, who looked so calm and relaxed. Sadly by the end of round 2 Sakamoto looked exhausted though he continued to fight on, mustering all he had to fight through rounds 3 and 4, with the 4th being particularly one-sided as Koshikawa picked up his pace.
At the end of round 4 Sakamoto was retired by his corner, saving him from further punishment and giving Koshikawa his biggest career win.
After the bout Sakamoto spoke about wanting to open a restaurant whilst Koshikawa, who showed a lot of respect to Sakamoto, suggested that he was wanting to get into the domestic title mix.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
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