On October 30th the Watanabe Gym will hold a small but notable show at Korakuen Hall. The card, which will be feature the retirement ceremony of former world title challenger Ryuichi Funai (31-8, 22) [船井 龍一], hasn't been fully announced but a number of fighters involved on the show have been announced including the several former amateur outs.
One of those former amateur standouts is Yudai Shigeoka (0-0) [重岡優大], who will make his debut on the card. The 22 year old Shigeoka is the older brother of WBO Asia Pacific Minimumweight champion Ginjiro Shigeoka (4-0, 3) [重岡銀次朗], and had planned to compete at the 2020 Olympics, until his weight class was removed the games.
At the moment the full details of Shigeoka's bout have yet be announced, though it's expected to be a 6 rounder fought just above the Minimumweight limit against an imported opponent.
Another amateur standout set for the card is Shu Utsuki (5-0, 4) [宇津木秀], who is listed as being in the main event. Utsuki's opponent hasn't been named yet, but we do know his bout will be an 8 rounder. So too will be a bout involving Motoki Osanai (4-2, 1) [小山内幹], who is looking for his 4th straight win as looks to build some momentum with his career.
One bout that has been confirmed for the show will see former OPBF Flyweight champion Keisuke Nakayama (11-4-2, 5) [中山佳祐] battle against Akio Furutani (7-4, 3) [古谷昭男]. This bout is also schedule for 8 rounds and is a must win for Nakayama who has struggled massively in recent bouts.
Full details of this show are expected in the coming week or two as Watanabe look to bring on their next wave of promising fighters.
Earlier today Japanese fans at the Korakuen Hall had a genuinely brilliant show.
One of the notable bouts on the card saw former world title challenger Keita Obara (16-2-1, 14) [小原 佳太] return to the ring and go up against Indonesian foe Larry Siwu (24-8, 20) in a Welterweight bout. Obara took the win with a unanimous decision to claim his first career win to go the scheduled distance, with his only other decision being a technical win.
Following his win Obara made it clear he was looking to get a second world title fight.
Another notable veteran on the card was former 2-time Japanese Bantamweight champion Kentaro Masuda (27-7, 15) [益田 健太郎]. Masuda made very light work of Filipino foe Romel Oliveros (8-4-1, 3), who was stopped inside a round. Following the win Masuds seemed to suggest his next target was an OPBF title fight, backing up a story that he has a deal to face Mark John Yap later in the year.
In a minor upset fans saw touted Watnabe gym prospect Motoki Osanai (1-1) [小山内幹] suffer an unexpected loss to the unbeaten Takeshi Kaneko (5-0-1) [かねこたけし], with Kaenko taking a very well earned decision over the former amateur stand out.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
In recent months it seems like promoters have started to step up their game, and cards that typically only had one one or two good fights now have 3 or 4. That was shown again today when Misako gym announced the next Diamond Glove card, set for April 13th at the Korakuen Hall. And genuinely we feel they could have got two solid cards out of the match ups they have on offer.
The main event will see WBO Asia Pacific Super Featherweight champion Masayuki Ito (20-1-1, 9) [伊藤 雅雪] defending the title against big punching Filipino Lorenzo Villanueva (32-2-1, 28) in a really exciting looking match up. Ito is one of the best pure boxers in Japan, and is and is riding a 4 fight winning run against the likes of Dai Iwai, Shingo Eto and Takuya Watanabe whilst Villanueva is a monster puncher who is best known for his up-and-down bout with Daud Yordan from back in 2012. It's a boxer Vs a puncher and could be a very fun bout.
The chief support bout will see former world title challenger Keita Obara (15-2-1, 14) [小原 佳太] return to the ring and go up against Indonesian foe Larry Siwu (24-7, 20) in a decent looking comeback bout for the former Japanese and OPBF Light Welterweight champion. Notably this bout will be a 10 rounder at Welterweight and could well be Obara finally saying good bye to the Light Welterweight division, which he has struggled to make for a while.
Another brilliant supporting bout will see former OPBF and Japanese Lightweight champion Yoshitaka Kato (30-7-2, 9) [加藤 善孝] battle the fast rising Shuichiro Yoshino (3-0, 2) [吉野 修一郎]. If Yoshino can get past Kato, even the currently faded version of Kato, it would be a statement and it seems clear that Yoshino's team strongly believe in their man, who was a former amateur stand out.
Another former Japanese champion on this card will be former 2-time Japanese Bantamweight champion Kentaro Masuda (26-7, 14) [益田 健太郎], who will be up against who will be up against the Filipino Romel Oliveros (8-3-1, 3). This bout isn't as good as the three mentioned above but shows that Masuda is keeping busy and it seems likely that those linked to him will push hard for the veteran to get a world title fight before the end of 2017.
A more attractive bout will see former amateur stand out Motoki Osanai (1-0) [小山内幹] return for his second professional bout as he takes on fellow unbeaten Takeshi Kaneko (4-0-1) [かねこたけし]. Osanai was one of a trio of Watanabe gym fighters who had their pro-tests on the same day, with the others being Masataka Taniguchi and Hiroto Kyoguchi, and it seems clear that he has lost time to make up forgiven that the other two are now in title bouts, and we suspect we'll see something a little special from him here.
As with all Diamond Glove cards this will be shown on Fuji TV, on a tape delay basis, but the date and time hasn't yet been set for the broadcast.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Back in February a trio of former Japanese amateur standouts signed with Watanabe and claimed B licenses, prior to their debuts. Today saw the third of those men making his debut.
That was Motoki Osanai (1-0) [小山内幹], who followed Masataka Taniguchi (1-0, 1) [谷口将隆] and Hiroto Kyoguchi (1-0, 1) [京口紘人], and like his "brothers in arms" Osanai debuted with a win.
Fighting at the Korakuen Hall Osanai was against a Thai opponent in a 6 rounder bout Osanai showed some fantastic skills and speed, to easily out box his foe en route to a clear 6 round decision. Unlike his follow novices he was unable to see off his foe, with the Thai showing real grit despite being clearly out boxed by the Japanese southpaw, who seemed to show case good stamina, great movement and a clever boxing brain.
The win for Osanai wasn't a shut out, with one judge scoring the bout 58-56, but it was a clear win with the other two judges scoring it a 60-54 whitewash for the talented youngster, who amassed a 56-17 (10) record in the unpaid ranks.
Earlier today it was announced that a trio of former amateur fighters had passed their B-license tests ahead of upcoming debuts. The trio, all signed to Watanabe, took their tests together and all have been tipped for great success.
The first of those to debut will be Masataka Taniguchi (0-0) [谷口将隆] who will be in action on April 3rd at the EDION Osaka. Taniguchi went 55-19 (16) in the amateur ranks and was expected to sign with an Osaka based promoter, but instead decided to sign with the Tokyo based Watanabe outfit. He's a southpaw who was the captain of his university and is aiming to win a world title before his career is over.
The second man to debut is expected to be Hiroto Kyoguchi (0-0) [京口紘人], the younger brother of Ryuto Kyoguchi. Kyoguchi went 52-14 (8) in the amateurs and fought on the international as well as being a star at home on the domestic amateur scene. The 22 year old will debut on April 17th at the EDION OSaka and again has picked Watanabe over an Osaka based promoter, citing a chance to show his self reliance and essentially to grow as a person. He's aiming for titles at Minimumweight and sounds incredibly confident ahead of his debut.
The other fighter to pass a test was Motoki Osanai (0-0) [小山内幹]. He went 56-17 (10) in the amateur ranks and, like Taniguchi he's a southpaw. At the moment his debut hasn't yet been announced, though it's expected to come in April in Tokyo, possibly on the under-card of the April 27th show at the Ota City Gymnasium that WBA Light Flyweight champion Ryoichi Taguchi will be defending his title on.
(Image courtesy boxingnews.jp)
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