Tomorrow fight fans in Vietnam will get the chance to see an ultra rare show on their shoulders, as "Samurai Fight 2" takes place in Ho Chi Minh City.
The main event of the card will see exciting Japanese fighter Gakuya Furuhashi (23-8-1, 12) [古橋大輔] battle against Yutthichai Wannawong (9-7, 7) for the OPBF "Silver" Super Bantamweight title.
Today the two men took part in their weigh in, and both fighters made weight.
The bout is part of an event to celebrate 45 years of diplomatic relationships between Japan and Vietnam, and also a chance for the OPBF to continue their growth through Asia, something we expect to see them do a lot more of in 2019. It also continues a relationship between the Nitta Gym, who have several fights on the show, and the Vietnamese boxing scene, which we're really hoping will grow in the coming years.
(Image courtesy of Kawasaki Nitta)
Tomorrow at the Korakuen Hall fight fans will be able to see Satoshi Shimizu (6-0, 6) [清水 聡] make his third defense of the OPBF Featherweight title, as he takes on fellow Japanese fighter Shingo Kawamura (16-3-1, 8) [河村真吾]. Today they took part in their weigh in for the contest, and both men came in on the divisional limit of 126lbs.
The champion, the taller man by quite a bit, is looking to not only record his third defense and extend his perfect record to 7-0 (7) but also take a huge step towards getting world title fight, with a couple of world rankings already to his name. He explained that weight loss for this bout had been easier in than in the past.
Shinmizu also spoke about about the heart ache of his family's home in Shizuoka being left ruined by the recent heavy rain. He stated that only about 30% of things from his past, like awards and photographs, were still intact but that a win here would cheer him up. It's clear he's looking forward and looking to win more awards and a world title belt, and not just looking backwards at the ruined memories of his past.
Kawamura on the other hand seemed determined and confident stating that he had set a game plan to beat Shimizu and that he would not be beaten. He made it clear that he felt he was too tough for the champion, comparing himself to a diamond in terms of toughness. A win here however would be the biggest of his career, by far, and easily outshine his 2013 Rookie of the Year
Related-Olympic hero Shimizu takes on Kawamura
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Earlier today fight fans at the Korakuen Hall saw OPBF Bantamweight champion Mark John Yap (29-12, 14) make his third defense as he over-came Takafumi Nakajima (29-10-1, 13) [中嶋 孝文] in a thrilling 12 rounder.
The fight began with Nakajima jabbing well but being backed up by Yap, who looked stronger and landed some eye catching body shots and right hands. The second round was a closer one, and one judge was swayed to Nakajima, as he landed some solid counter shots and stiff jabs, though that wasn't enough to help him build some momentum and the following round Yap too quite clearly, thansk in part to some hard left hooks to the body. Nakajima managed to get his first foothold in the bout in round 4, as he exchanged well with Yap and, despite a good counter from the champion he landed some solid blows of his own.
After 4 rounds two of the judges had the bout a shut out to Yap, whilst the other judge had the bout even at 38-38.
Nakajima put a lot in to round 5, though it was clear that he was unable to hurt Yap who came back into the round, which all 3 judges scored his way, and it actually begane a very credible charge from the challenger who took round 6 on card, round 7 on two and round 8 on two as he began a really credible fight back. Sadly though , for him, his efforts had only closed the gap on the cards with Yap leading 78-74 on two cards and 79-73 on the other.
Nakajima refused to backdown from the fight, knowing this could be his final title bout, and gritted his teeth, impressing in round 9 with combinations, body shots and pushing Yap backwards. With the win in his sails Nakajima came out hot for round 10 and rocked Yap with a big right hand, that forced the champion to back up and take some time to recover. Having hurt his man in round 10 Nakajima continued to pressure and rushed after Yap, who who boxed smartly to avoid a tear up. The clever movement of Yap impressed two of the judges, with the third swaying towards the aggressive Nakajima, who refused to back off in the final round as he further closed the gap on the score cards.
Sadly for Nakajima he was in such a big hole by the time he managed to begin his second half surge that he had simply left himself too much to do, and came up short with scores of 116-112, twice, and 117-111 all in favour of Yap.
This win sees Yap extend his current unbeaten run to 10 fights, including notable wins over Tatsuya Ikemizu, Hiroyuki Kudaka, Takahiro Yamamoto, Kentaro Masuda and now Nakajima whilst Nakajima suffers his 10th defeat, but showed that even at the age of 33 he still has plenty to give the sport going forward.
(Imag courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Tomorrow fight fans at the Korakuen Hall get the chance to see a brilliantly stacked card, featuring two OPBF title bouts. One of those will see OPBF Super Flyweight champion Rene Dacquel (19-6-1, 6) defending his title against Japanese challenger Hayato Kimura (26-9, 17) [木村 隼人所属], in what we expect will be a hotly contested fight between two men who know that a win really could push their careers on.
At the weigh in today Dacquel was the lighter man, coming in around 114.35lbs. The champion was very comfortably under the limit, but looked in good shape, and is clearly relaxed in Japan where he has fought 6 previous bouts, and has won his last two bouts. Despite being relaxed he certainly won't be over-looking the challenger, who was once viewed as a genuine prospect with a lot of potential to go all the way.
Talking about his foe, Kimura was 115lbs on the scales, hitting the limit,and looked in great shape, with real confidence in his eyes. Despite looking confident he did admit that this could be his last chance at a major title, following two losses in recent years for the Japanese title. He will, however, be coming into this bout on the crest of momentumn that is sweeping through the Watanabe gym right now and has seen them have an amazing 2017 so far.
Related-Kimura looks for OPBF crown as he takes on champion Dacquel!
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
At the start of November we reported that Japanese Heavyweight champion Kyotaro Fujimoto (15-1, 8) [藤本 京太郎] would be back in the ring on January 14th at the Korakuen Hall, as part of an interesting card from Kadoebi Houseki.
Today we saw Fujimoto's bout being officially announced with the colourfully haired Japanese fighter now set to face Australian Heavyweight champion Willie Nasio (10-1, 9) on January date for the OPBF Heavyweight title.
For Kyotaro this is a second shot at the Oriental crown, following a 2012 bout with Solomon Haumono, and this time around hie is much more prepared than he was, with the Haumono bout being Kyotaro's 6th professional bout. For Nasio it will be his first OPBF title bout, though he'll be looking to claim a third career title having held a regional Australian and the Australian national title.
The winner of this may find themselves putting into the muddled WBC world title scene, where it seems we get a monthly drug test failure, and could potentially find themselves in the mix for a major fight either later in the year or in 2018, with Kyotaro possibly becoming the first Japanese born fighter to fight in a Heavyweight world title bout.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
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