Earlier this month we reported that Koki Tyson (13-3-2, 11) [太尊 康輝] would be returning to the ring on April 6th at the next "Slugfest" card, and would be up against a Thai foe. We now know who that Thai will be, and if we're being honest we're actually expecting this to be a solid work out for the favoured Japanese puncher.
Tyson, who hasn't fought since a loss in December 2017 to Yasayuki Akiyama, will be up against the durable Chaiwat Mueanphong (4-3, 2). On paper it's a mismatch, but Chaiwat has given Japanese champion Kazuto Takesako [竹迫司登] his toughest bout, by far, and will be expected to give Tyson a genuine test here, given the long break Tyson's had.
Also confirmed for the card now is a Japanese youth Light Flyweight title eliminator, as Tsuyoshi Sato (8-1-1, 4) [佐藤剛] takes on the hard hitting Tetsuya Tomioka (5-3, 5) [富岡哲也] and the return to the ring of the exciting Cristiano Aoqui (13-7-2, 9) [アオキ クリスチャーノ], following a hand injury he suffered last year.
These bouts fill out a card that will be headlined by Japanese Light Welterweight champion Valentine Hosokawa (24-6-3, 11) [細川バレンタイン] defending his title against mandatory challenger Koki Inoue (12-0, 10) [浩樹井上] and will also feature an excellent contest between Aso Ishiwaki (5-2, 3) [石脇麻生] and Yoji Saito (1-1, 1) [齊藤陽ニ].
For fans wanting to watch this card but can't get to Tokyo, it will be aired live on G+.
Earlier today at the Tokyo Dome Hotel the media were able to attend the press conference to announce the 2019 Champion Carnival bouts, with 13 contests being officially announced.
As previously reported the Minimumweight bout will see defending champion Shin Ono (23-9-3, 6) [小野 心] defending his title against Norihito Tanaka (17-7, 9) [田中教仁] on January 12th at the Korakuen Hall.
The Light Flyweight bout, to fill the recent vacancy left by Tetsuya Hisada (33-9-2, 19) [久田 哲也], will see Kenichi Horikawa (38-15-1, 12) [堀川 謙一] battle against Satoru Todaka (9-2-4, 3) [戸髙達], with this bout set to take place on February 14th, also at the Korakuen Hall.
The Flyweight bout, like the Minimumweight bout, had already been announced and will see Junto Nakatani (17-0, 12) [中谷 潤人] and Naoki Mochizuki (15-3, 8) [望月直樹] fight on February 2nd at the Korakuen Hall. This bout is to fill the vacancy left by Masayuki Kuroda (30-7-3, 16) [黒田 雅之], who like Hisada has stated he intends to fight for a world title in 2019.
The Super Flyweight champion Takayuki Okumoto (21-8-4, 10) [奥本 貴之] will defend his title on April 21st in Osaka, and will see Okumoto battle against Yuta Matsuo (15-3-1, 8) [松尾雄太], in what will be Okumoto's second defense of the title.
The Bantamweight bout will be a unification bout as regular champion Yuta Saito (11-9-3, 8) [齊藤裕太], who has been suffering from illness recently, battling against recently crowned interim champion Hayato Kimura (28-10, 19) [木村隼人]. There is no set date on this bout, but it's expected to take place in Tokyo, with the Korakuen Hall the most likely venue.
The Super Bantamweight title will have it's vacancy filled on January 12th, on the same show as the Ono Vs Tanaka card. Fighting for the title will be Mugicha Nakagawa (24-5-1, 14) [武田勇太] and Ryoichi Tamura (11-3-1, 6) [田村 亮一], who will be looking to follow in the footsteps of former champion Shingo Wake (25-5-2, 17) [和氣 慎吾] who looks to be heading towards a world title fight, like Hisada and Kuroda.
Arguably the best match up for the Champion Carnival is the Featherweight bout, which will pit Taiki Minamoto (16-5, 13) [源大輝] against Reiya Abe (18-2, 9) [阿部 麗也], who will be battling former amateur stand out Daisuke Sugita (4-0, 3) [杉田大祐] in January before facing Minamoto on May 1st at the Korakuen Hall. This is, to us, the stand out bout of the Champion Carnival and is genuinely a mouth watering clash.
The Japanese Super Featherweight champion Masaru Sueyoshi (18-1-1, 11) [末吉 大] will take on Ken Osato (15-2-1, 4) [大里拳], in a rematch of the bout the two men had during the 2018 Champion Carnival. This contest will take place on May 4th at the Korakuen Hall and will see Osato looking to avenge his loss and Sueyoshi looking to repeat his win over Osato.
The unbeaten Shuichiro Yoshino (9-0, 7) [吉野 修一郎] will be making his 4th defense of the Japanese Lightweight title, as he takes on the challenge of Accel Sumiyoshi (11-4-3, 3) [アクセル住吉]. This bout is set to take place on April 11th at the Korakuen Hall.
Another bout that really whets the appetite is the Japanese Light Welterweight title bout. That contest will see champion Valentine Hosokawa (24-6-3, 11) [細川バレンタイン] defending his belt on April 6th at the Korakuen Hall against Koki Inoue (12-0, 10) [浩樹井上] in a mouth watering step up for the challenger.
We'll see attention turn to Osaka for the Welterweight title bout, as Ryota Yada (18-4, 15) [矢田良太] defends his belt against Yuki Nagano (15-2, 11) [永野祐樹]. This bout is set to take place on April 21st, though the specific venue wasn't announced.
The Light Middleweight title bout will see Nobuyuki Shindo (20-4-2, 8) [新藤寛之] defending the title against Hironobu Matsunaga (14-1, 8) [松永 宏信] in what should be a thrilling contest between a very hungry challenger and an under-rated champion. These two will clash at the Korakuen Hall on May 1st, as a double header with the Minamoto Vs Abe bout.
On March 2nd we'll see Japanese Middleweight champion Kazuto Takesako (10-0, 10) [竹迫司登] defending his belt against Shuji Kato (10-1-1, 6) [加藤収二], in what will be Takesako's second defense. This will also be at the Korakuen Hall.
At the moment the full details of who will be showing what bouts is unclear, but we're glad to now have most of the matches set, with dates and venues.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Earlier today the Inoue clan began their latest tough training camp in Atami ahead of key fight in the months.
The camp is primarily to prepare Takuma Inoue (12-0, 3) [井上 拓真] for his December 30th contest against unbeaten Thai Petch Sor Chitpattana (48-0, 33) [เพชร ซีพีเฟรชมาร์ท] for the WBC "interim" Bantamweight title.
Whilst Takuma is the focus of the camp , it also includes WBA "Regular" Bantamweight champion Naoya Inoue (17-0, 15) [井上 尚弥], who is expected back in the ring in Spring for his WBSS Semi-final against Emmanuel Rodriguez (19-0, 12) and Koki Inoue (12-0, 10) [浩樹井上], who will get a Japanese title fight in early 2019.
The camp has seen them doing general fitness work, including runs and beach dashes, with the camp expected to be a tough one to help them men all get into great physical condition as we head towards the end of the year.
After the camp has ended Takuma will return to full scale practice, and will begin to really focus on preparing for Petch, and his style. To do that he has asked to spar with former IBF Super Bantamweight champion Ryosuke Iwasa (25-3, 16) [岩佐 亮佑], to get experience of being in the ring with a long, rangy southpaw.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
This past weekend we saw Naoya Inoue [井上 尚弥] score a sensational stoppage win over Juan Carlos Payano to retain the WBA "interim" Bantamweight title. Today we saw his cousin, Koki Inoue (12-0, 10) [浩樹井上] secure his first title bout, as he defeated Marcus Smith (6-1-1, 6) in a Japanese title eliminator.
The bout promised a lot on paper, with two unbeaten punchers facing off with a big reward. Sadly however the bout rarely came alive and ended up being rather underwhelming.
Through much of the bout it seemed like Inoue wanted to get rounds in, and fought almost solely off the back foot, making Smith miss but never really going out to punish him. It seemed like Inoue was happier to experiment and show off his movement. Despite not being exciting Inoue did look sharp, defensively intelligent and managed to land the cleaner, sharper punches.
In round 4 Smith had some better success and claimed his first round as he managed to get through the guard of Inoue and cut the distance well. Smith also had success in round 5, as Inoue began to come forward with little real success. In round 6 however Inoue landed a dynamite left hand that dropped Smith hard, sadly for Inoue the shot came so close to the bell he couldn't jump on the clearly hurt Smith.
Sadly for Inoue the opportunity to see off Smith was killed by the bell to end round 6, and the final two rounds saw some back and forth, but little real intensity from Inoue, who seemed happier to test his defense and stamina, rather than go for the finish. By then however the win was in the bag, and the judges all scored the bout to Inoue with scores of 78-73, 77-74 and 77-75.
After the bout Inoue explained that the less than thrilling performance had been a result of several injuries he had taken into the bout, including an injury to his right elbow and his left foot. Given those issues his performance makes sense, but certainly wasn't exciting. He admitted that he was relieved to have gotten the chance to fight for a Japanese title, which this win assures him of, but admitted that his focus was now on healing.
Smith seemed to suggest there was no real power on Inoue's shots, but that his sharpness and technical ability was simply too good.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
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