Yesterday we reported that an October 26th card at Korakuen Hall would be playing host to 5 Japanese eliminators as we begin to piece together the 2020 Champion Carnival bouts. Now we've been given a full list of all the eliminators, as we really see the end of the year Japanese boxing calendar take shape.
The first of the bouts will take place on September 13th at Super Bantamweight, and will see former champion Ryoichi Tamura (12-4-1, 6) [田村 亮一] take on experienced veteran Gakuya Furuhashi (25-8-1, 14) [古橋大輔], in what should be a thriller.
The second of the eliminators will take place just a few days later, on September 21st and is another bout that was already known about. This one is the Japanese Minimumweight title eliminator between unbeaten teenager Kai Ishizawa (6-0, 6) [石澤開] and former world title challenger Masataka Taniguchi (11-3, 7) [谷口 将隆].
Following the Minimumweight bout we'll have to wait until October for many of the bouts, with the first of those coming on October 21st and seeing Cristiano Aoqui (14-7-2, 10) [アオキ クリスチャーノ] and Daishi Nagata (13-2-1, 5) [永田大士] clash in an eliminator at 140lbs. On paper this one has explosive action written all over it and could turn out to be the hidden gem of the eliminators.
We then move on to the October 26th card, which features 5 different eliminators. They are the Flyweight eliminator, between Ryota Yamauchi (5-1, 4) [山内涼太] and Seiya Fujikita (13-4, 6) [藤北誠也], the Bantamweight eliminator between Kazuki Tanaka (11-2, 8) [田中一樹] and Kyosuke Sawada (13-2-1, 6) [澤田京介] the Featherweight eliminator, pitting Hinata Maruta (9-1-1, 7) [丸田陽七太] against Takenori Ohashi (17-5-2, 11) [大橋健典], the Lightweight eliminator between Kazuki Saito (7-1, 5) [斎藤一貴] and Izuki Tomioka (6-2-1, 2) [富岡樹] and the Welterweight bout between Keita Obara (21-4-1, 19) [小原 佳太] and Toshiro Tarumi (12-3-3, 6) [垂水稔朗]. This is where the bulk of the bouts are, and is expected to be a sensational card.
The Super Featherweight bout will take place on October 30th and is one of the best match ups. The bout will see former Japanese Featherweight champion Taiki Minamoto (16-5-1, 13) [源大輝] take on Takuya Watanabe (36-9-1, 21) [渡邉卓也]. This pits a huge puncher against a proper tough guy in what could be a very brutal bout.
At Light Middleweight we'll see former champion Nobuyuki Shindo (20-5-2, 8) [新藤寛之] take on Yuto Shimizu (13-4-2, 5) [清水優人] in what looks like a disappointing match up on paper but should prove to be very entertaining. This bout will take place on November 2nd and is expected to be featured on a card that has at least one other noteworthy bout.
The final bout to be scheduled is the Light Flyweight contest, which is set to feature Rikito Shiba (3-0, 2) [芝力人] taking on the big punching Masamichi Yabuki (9-3, 9) [佐藤政道], in another amazing match up. This bout, set to take place in Nagoya on December 15th, is a huge step up for Shiba and a win here would be a huge statement for the youngster.
One bout that has been ordered, but has no set date yet, is the Super Flyweight bout, which will feature former champion Hiroyuki Kudaka (26-18-2, 11) [久高寛之] and Yuta Matsuo (15-4-1, 8) [松尾雄太], in what should be an action packed war, helped by the limitations of the two men involved.
Notably there will be no eliminator at Middleweight and instead Riku Kunimoto (4-0, 2) [国本陸] will get a shot at the belt, likely against current champion Kazuto Takesako (11-0-1, 11) [竹迫司登], in the new year.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
Earlier today at Korakuen Hall fight fans saw a new Japanese Light Middleweight champion being crowned, as Hironobu Matsunaga (15-1, 9) [松永 宏信] shocked Nobuyuki Shindo (20-5-2, 8) [新藤寛之].
The bout, the final of the 2019 Champion Carnival bouts, looked like a really interesting one on paper. In the end however it was was rather less competitive than most would have assumed.
The opening round saw the lanky Shindo show off his skills and movement. He looked good, fighting to his strengths as the shorty, some what clumsier, Matsunaga came forward looking to apply pressure. In round 2 however Matsunaga began to close the distance with more ease and landed a great right hook late in the round.
With Matsunaga being able to cut the distance he was able to grind down Shindo, who struggled to respond to the pressure. Shindo did have moments of success, when Matsunaga pushed forward, but for the most part it was the challenger who was dictating the tempo of the fight and breaking down the defending champion, who was backed up against the ropes on a regular basis.
After 5 rounds the scores were announced, with the Matsunaga in the lead on all 3 cards, 48-47, twice, and 49-46. Shindo tried to turn it around in round 6, but couldn't stop Matsunaga from coming forward, and by the end of the round Shindo was looking like a clearly beaten man. His team knew it an pulled him out between rounds 6 and 7, saving him from further punishment.
For Shindo this could be the bout that sends that him into retirement, and he has taken a lot of damage in his last few bouts. As for Matsunaga this is a career defining win, and could help set up some very interesting domestic bouts down the line.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
Tomorrow Japanese fight fans at Korakuen Hall will see Japanese Light Middleweight champion Nobuyuki Shindo (20-4-2, 8) [新藤寛之] defending his title, for the second time, as he takes on mandatory challenger Hironobu Matsunaga (14-1, 8) [松永 宏信]. The bout is the final bout from the 2019 Champion Carnival and will take place on a stacked card from Yokohama Hikari.
Today the two men involved in that bout took part in their weight in.
On the scales Shindo, the much taller man, was bang on the 154lb weight limit and looked calm and relaxed. He comes into this bout following the insane 2018 draw with Akinori Watanabe, a bout that really deserves to be watched by everyone, and despite not having a reputation for being in great fights has had a string of fun to watch bouts in recent years.
Matsunaga, in what will be his first title fight, hit the scales at 153.7lbs, though was genuinely dwarfed by the champion who looked in a different weight class. It's worth noting that e earned this shot with a win last October against Koshinmaru Saito, in a title challenger decider match, and is riding an impressive 8 fight winning run.
Related-Shindo takes on mandatory challenger Matsunaga
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
On May 10th we'll see an A-Sign Bee card, headlined by a Japanese Light Middleweight title bout, which will see defending champion Nobuyuki Shindo (20-4-2, 8) [新藤寛之] facing mandatory challenger Hironobu Matsunaga (14-1, 8) [松永 宏信].
Earlier today the A-Sign twitter account announced the under-card bouts for the show, and there was one that really stood out.
The stand out supporting bout is a Bantamweight bout between Matcha Nakagawa (13-1-1, 5) [武田航] and Kai Chiba (10-1, 7) [千葉開]. This has the potential too out-shine the main event and should be a very competitive fight between two men each looking to make their mark and move towards a title bout.
Another intriguing fight confirmed for the card is an 8 round bout between the popular Joe Tanooka (15-6-4, 1) [田之岡条] and Naoto Mizutani (5-6-1, 2) [水谷直人]. On paper this doesn't have the same feel as the previously mentioned bout, but Tanooka has lost 3 of his last 4 and will have to work for the win here against the under-rated Mizutani.
One more bout announced will see former Japanese title challenger Masaki Saito (15-13-6, 5) [斉藤正樹] battle against former OPBF title challenger Ryuto Araya (12-7-1, 4) [荒谷龍人] in what looks like a competitive bout on paper.
Earlier this week we were informed that the Japanese Light Middleweight title bout between defending champion Nobuyuki Shindo (20-4-2, 8) [新藤寛之] and mandatory challenger Hironobu Matsunaga (14-1, 8) [松永 宏信], had been delayed.
Originally the bout had been pencilled in for May 1st, along with a Japanese Featherweight title bout between hard hitting champion Taiki Minamoto (16-5, 13) [源大輝] and skilled challenger Reiya Abe (19-2, 9) [阿部 麗也], on what was a very attractive looking Dangan card. Now however the Light Middleweight title bout will be held on May 10th as part of an A-Sign Bee card, which should mean the bout ends up being uploaded to youtube within days of the bout.
This interestingly matches up with another story there may be a big addition to the May 1st card, with multiple sources now confirming that Hinata Maruta (8-1-1, 7) [丸田 陽七太] would be in action on May 1st, though at the time of writing sources haven't been able to confirm whether he will be on the same show as the Minimoto Vs Abe fight.
No clear reason has been given for the delay, though with it only being pushed back by 9 days it seems clear neither man is injured and would seem to be a scheduling issue, or just a feeling that the Dangan card didn't need to be as top heavy as originally announced. Or of course the Maruta fight is on the show and is a big one, time will tell.
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