Earlier today at the Korakuen Hall fans saw a Japan Vs South Korea show, with 4 bouts pitting fighters from the two countries against each other. Sadly for the visitors from the Korean peninsula, it was a show to forget with all 4 visitors picking up losses.
The first bout saw Korean teenager In Soo Jang (5-2-1) [장인수] suffer an opening round stoppage loss to Japanese professional novice Suzumi Takayama (2-0, 2) [高山涼深]. Takayama took control very early on, catching the visitor coming in and dropping him after about 90 seconds. Takayama would then continue on the foot and force the referee to step in after just 2 minutes and 6 seconds.
The second bout went the distance as Mirai Naito (8-1, 3) [内藤未来] took a 6 round decision over Do Jin Lee (6-2-3) [이도진]. On paper this looked a competitive match up, but Naito proved to be far too good, shutting out the Korean on 2 of the 3 cards, whilst the third had it 58-56 to the Japanese local.
The bout that did end up being the most competitive came at Light Middleweight and saw Ran Tomomatsu (1-0) [友松藍], narrowly over-came the hard hitting Sang Geun Lee (6-1, 4) [이상근], over 6 hotly contested rounds. The Japanese debutant, a former All Japan national amateur champion, was in a war here with both men letting shots go in a fantastic back and forth. Lee, a big puncher, gave as good as he got, but just came up short against Tonomatsu, who got a baptism of fire and only just came out without being burnt. Given how Watanabe have fast tracked prospects a win here really is a sign that they will push him, and push him hard. Don't be surprised to see him in another tough bout later in the year.
The final bout pitting the two nations against each other saw Korean prospect Jeong Han Cha (5-1, 5) [차정한] will suffer his first loss, coming up short against Japanese puncher Takahiko Kobayashi (9-3, 7) [小林孝彦]. Cha was hurt in round 2 then dropped at the end of the round. Had the round gone on much longer the Korean could have been stopped there. He was hurt again in round 3, before being saved by the referee late in round 4.
Sadly this will be a show for Korean fighters to forget, whilst the Japanese will clearly have a reason to celebrate.
Over the last 48 hours BoxingM have revealed that there is a Korea Vs Japan show being put together for June 25th at the Korakuen Hall. At the moment the full details of the show haven't been officially announced, but there are some really interesting names already already linked the to card.
From the Korean side we're glad to hear that rising prospect Jeong Han Cha (5-0, 5) [차정한] will feature, with the 18 year old scheduled to face Takahiko Kobayashi (8-3, 6) [小林孝彦], in what could be a very entertaining and exciting match up.
Another Korean teenager on the show will be In Soo Jang (5-1-1) [장인수], who will battle Japanese professional novice Suzumi Takayama (1-0, 1) [高山涼深], who was a former amateur standout.
Also announced for the card is Sang Geun Lee (6-0, 4) [이상근], who is set to take on a debuting Japanese fighter from the Watanabe gym, and Do Jin Lee (6-1-3) [이도진] will face Japan's Mirai Naito (7-1, 3) [内藤未来]
Just over a week ago we reported that Tsubasa Koura (14-0, 9) [小浦 翼] would be making his next defense of the OPBF Minimumweight title against Filipino challenger Lito Dante (15-10-4, 7) on March 31st in Kanagawa. At the time details on specifics weren't available though now we have seen more information come out about the show.
The bout will indeed be held on a Dangan card, but it's a Dangan and E&J Cassius Gym joint promoted show, with the event being held to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the E&J Cassius Gym, run by Cassius Naito. The venue of the show in Yokohama has also been selected due to it being an historical place of for Japanese boxing, with one of the first gyms being there and other events being held in and around Yokohama back then.
As well Koura's bout it has also been announced that Mirai Naito (6-1, 2) [内藤 未来] will feature in the main supporting bout whilst his older brother Rikki Naito (23-2, 7) [内藤 律樹] will participate in a sparring session. Both Naito and Rikki are son's of promoter Cassius.
A more complete look at the show is expected in the coming weeks, with Mirai Naito's opponent being named and Rikki Naito's sparring partner.
Yesterday fight fans in Japan had the first chance to see a Dangan card in 2017. The show, Dangan 173, was a small Rookie based show with no major names on it, but did feature several fighters with genuine promise.
One of those was youngster Mirai Naito (2-0, 1) [内藤 未来], who scored a 3rd round victory over the previously unbeaten Seika Mifune (0-1-1) [三船 世翔]. Whilst Naito isn't a big name he does come from goodpedigree with his father being Cassius Naito, a former OPBF and JBC Middleweight champion, and his older brother being Rikki Naito, a former Japanese Super Featherweight champion.
Whilst it seems few are viewing Mirai as a fighter with the potential of his brother he is showing some promise and these low profile bouts will help develop that potential whilst keeping him out of the limelight and away from the pressure that that his brother was under during his early career.
For fans who missed this one but are interested in seeing the bout, and the rest of the show, the card is featured in the boxingraise subscription and is already online for those that subscribe.
(Image courtesy of boxingraise.com)
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