Earlier this year Yuki Nonaka (32-10-3, 10) [野中 悠樹] suffered a major career set back as he lost in an IBF world title eliminator against Takeshi Inoue. Rather than retire Nonaka has continued his career at the age of 40 and today he was in the ring for the first time since that defeat.
The former Japanese and OPBF Light Middleweight champion was in action at the EDION Arena, Osaka and he took on 19 year old Thai Middleweight champion Natthawut Masamin (6-3, 4) in an 8 rounder.
On paper the bout looked like a mismatch, in the ring however it proved to be pretty competitive with the Thai youngster not travelling to just roll over to his more experienced foe.
Nonaka looked to land straight left hands on his younger foe, using feints to create openings whilst the Thai attempted to land right hooks in an awkward battle of southpaws. It made it hard to split the mean early on as neither had a great deal of success. That however began to change as the fight went on, with Nonaka taking control in the middle rounds, as he upped the pressure and forced the Thai on to the back foot.
In the end Nonaka managed to take the decision with scores of 77-75 an 79-74, twice, in his favour, but he did fail to shine.
At thew same event former OPBF Super Featherweight champion Masao Nakamura (24-3, 23) [仲村 正男] scored a 5th round TKO win over Marbon Bodiongan (14-8-2, 11), who retired in his corner at the end of the 5th round. Prior to the Filipino retiring he had been on the wrong end of some pretty solid blows and had had very limited success of his own.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Earlier today Japanese fight fans saw Japanese Super Featherweight puncher Masao Nakamura (23-3, 22) [仲村 正男] return to the ring for the first time in almost 2 years. The former OPBF champion, who actually retired back in 2016, was returning to the ring to continue his career, having felt that he still had a lot to give boxing, and he showed there was still something left in the tank.
The hard hitting Japanese fighter quickly stopped Khemmasak Wangthirach (0-1), scoring a 2nd round KO over the Thai visitor and afterwards stated he was going to be chasing title glory.
Nakamura wasn't the only notable fighter on the card with the show also featuring two world title fights, which we won't ruin the results of here, and also a bout featuring veteran Kenichi Horikawa (35-15-1, 9) [堀川 謙一], who also claimed a 2nd round win over a limit Thai foe.
For fans wanting to watch these bouts they were shown on Boxmob, and will be available through their website on a delay basis later this week, along with the two world title fights which headlined the same card in Kobe.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Back in the summer of 2016 Japanese Super Featherweight puncher Masao Nakamura (22-3, 21) [仲村 正男] surprisingly announced his retirement. At the time it seemed like he had been in line for a WBA world title fight against Jezreel Corrales and it had seemed like bizarre time for the Atsumi gym fighter to walk away from boxing.
At the time the fighter himself had stated that his body wasn't up to the life style of being a boxer any more and that he felt a decline, both mentally and physically.
Last week however the fighter, a former OPBF champion, announced he had returned to the gym, has sparred and is now pencilled in to return to the ring on March 18th in Kobe, likely as part of the world title double header from Shinsei Gym.
To date no opponent has been announced for Nakamura's return but it's likely to be a safe first foe as he gets readjusted to the ring.
At 30 years old, and with almost 2 years of rest, the heavy handed "KO King" looks to be back with some real vigour, and domestic clashes with the likes of Masaru Sueyoshi, Kenichi Ogawa and former foe Masayuki Ito could all be very interesting down the line.
(Image courtesy of Nakamura's blog)
Following weeks of speculation it's now clear that we will not see big punching Japanese Super Featherweight Masao Nakamura (22-3, 21) [仲村 正男] challenge WBA Super Featherweight "super" champion Jezreel Corrales (22-1-0-1, 8). That's because of a shock announcement late last night where Nakamura announced that he would be retiring from boxing, at the age of just 28.
The popular and exciting power puncher was a former OPBF champion and was a man who had, just last year, scored the biggest win of his career, winning a 10 round FOTY contender with Daiki Kaneko. Despite that he seems to have suggest that his body isn't up to the life style of a boxer any more and that he feels his body is declining mentally and physically.
Whilst it's unclear what came first, Nakamura's decision to retire or the realisation that a bout with Corrales was going to be unlikely following a recent WBA announcement that the champion would have to fight in a mandatory defense, the timing does seem to be a peculiar one.
We wish Nakamura all the best in his post-boxing life, and it seems that he may be wanting to set up a gym of his own. Given his style however memories of him will live on with fights fans in Japan who saw him reel off 12 straight stoppage wins between 2006 and 2011 and score wins of note against not just Kaneko but also Ryota Kajiki, Allan Tanada and Fahsai Sakkreerin,
For those who haven't seen it, we've included footage of his war with Kaneko below.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
A couple of days ago we reported that Watanabe seemed set for a world title triple header on August 31st. With one of those bouts seeing Masao Nakamura (22-3, 21) [仲村 正男] face WBA Super Featherweight "super" champion Jezreel Corrales (22-1-0-1, 8), as well as bouts featuring WBA Super Flyweight champion Kohei Kono (32-8-1, 13) [河野 公平] and WBA Light Flyweight champion Ryoichi Taguchi (24-2-1, 11) [田口良一]. It now seems that the rumour mill has starting putting names to both Kono and Taguchi.
From what we've been told Taguchi will, as recently reported, face mandatory challenger Ryo Miyazaki (24-1-3, 15) [宮崎 亮]. That would be an all Japanese bout and a mouth watering encounter between the champion, who is looking for a notable win, and a man looking to become a 2-weight champion.
The Taguchi Vs Miyazaki bout was ordered about a week ago and although their is some talk about Watanabe and Ioka holding off until New Year Eve's it does seem like both parties may try and get the bout sorted swiftly to open up new avenues for their respective end of year shows.
For Kono it seems like a deal is nearing for him to face interim champion Luis Concepcion (34-4, 24), in what could potentially be a FOTY contender between men who should gel in the ring together.
As with the Taguchi/Miyazaki bout this will also be a mandatory for Kono and there was again talk of trying to push the bout to the end of the year, however Kono may be looking for a huge bout at the end of the year, and may see getting Concepcion out of the way as a key to a bigger bout, potentially with Rex Tso (19-0, 12) [曹星如].
At the moment the triple header, and bouts on it, is merely a rumour but it's one that is slowly gathering steam with more sources informing us of various bouts from it. It also seems clear that if the show is to be announced, it will be in the near future, with the general view being that the show would need to be announced in mid July at the latest.
Rumour- Masao Nakamura to face Jezreel Corrales in August
Kohei Kono and Ryoichi Taguchi to return on August 31st!
Ryoichi Taguchi ordered to face Ryo Miyazaki
WBA order Kohei Kono to negotiate with Luis Concepcion!
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