Earlier today during Kadoebi's "Slugfest 12" show there was a number of fighters announcing their next bouts, set for Slugfest 13 on February 17th.
The main event will see Filipino power puncher Froilan Saludar (31-3-1, 22) return to Japan to make his first defense of the WBO Asia Pacific Super Flyweight title. In the opposite corner to Saludar will be fellow puncher Ryoji Fukunaga (11-4, 11) [福永亮次], in what looks likely to be a very explosive encounter.
Saludar made a splash in September when he won the title with a brutal KO win over Tsubasa Murachi, and extended his winning run to 3 bouts following a 2018 loss to Sho Kimura in a WBO Flyweight world title bout in China. It was an impressive performance from Saludar after many had written him due to the Kimura loss, ourselves included, and the win has genuinely kept his career alive.
Fukunaga on the other hand is a hard man to get a solid read on. He won the 2016 Rookie of the Year, but has gone 4-2 since then with his wins come against very poor opponents and his losses coming to solid, but unspectacular, foes. He can certainly bang but it's hard to know what he'll offer against a fighter of Saludar's ability and experience.
Also confirmed for this show, though currently opponent-less, Ryota Yamauchi (5-4, 1) [山内涼太], who looks to build on Augusts's win over Alphoe Dagayloan, and Ayato Hiromoto (2-0, 1) [廣本彩刀], who competes in his first 8 rounder.
One other thing to note is that Japanese veteran Takuya Kogawa (30-6-1, 13) [粉川拓也] is looking to make his return on the following "Slugfest" card, pencilled in for March. The details here are less fleshed out however and we suspect he'll be in a supporting bout against a limited visiting opponent.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
When the Japanese eliminators were announced for the 2020 Champion Carnival we originally saw 5 eliminators being pencilled in for the October 26th show at Korakuen Hall. Sadly though we're only getting 4 of those as the Flyweight bout between Ryota Yamauchi (5-1, 4) [山内涼太] and Seiya Fujikita (13-4, 6) [藤北誠也] was cancelled several weeks ago.
Despite the bout being cancelled one of the two men still attended what would have been the weigh in for the bout due to the need to follow procedure.
The original plan had been for Yamauchi and Fujikita to fight, though sadly Yamauchi suffered an injury in his August win over Alphoe Dagayloan. The hope had been for Yamauchi to have been recovered in time for this bout but he was unable get over the injury.
A back up opponent was sought for Fujikita, though no suitable fighter was found. In part that was due to two of the leading contenders, Seigo Yuri Akui (13-2-1, 9) [阿久井政悟] and Shun Kosaka (16-5, 4) [小坂駿], being scheduled to fight for the vacant title on October 27th, whilst other potential opponents, such as Yusuke Sakashita (19-8-3, 14) [阪下優友] and Naoki Mochizuki (16-5, 8) [望月直樹], were in action too recently to be ready for this weekend.
With no suitable opponent Fujikita essentially got a bye to a title fight at the Champion Carnival, on the condition that he made weight for the originally scheduled bout. Which he did today, despite knowing there was no fight set to take place.
This is likely not the way Fujikita would have wanted to land a shot the Japanese Flyweight title, but he won't be complain, and will feel up for facing the winner of the Akui Vs Kosaka bout in the new year.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
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)
The Strongest Korakuen tournaments might have ended a few years ago but the Champion Carnival has continued on, with the Japanese national champions defending their belts in mandatory title fights in the first half of the year. At the moment we're not totally sure who will be defending, or challenging, for titles in early 2020 though that will change in the coming months, especially October.
Today we were given the details of a monstrously significant show on October 26th featuring 5 Japanese title eliminators, with the winners all set to become the mandatory challengers for next year's Champion Carnival. What's even better than having 5 eliminators is the quality of those bouts and the fighters involved, with some barn burners set for the card.
In a Flyweight bout we'll see Ryota Yamauchi (5-1, 4) [山内涼太] look to build on his recent win over world ranked Filipino Alphoe Dagayloan as he takes on Seiya Fujikita (13-4, 6) [藤北誠也]. This should see Yamauchi enter as the clear favourite, but Fujikita is no push over and his 2018 war with Naoki Mochizuki showed just how tough he was, despite the close loss. This should be all action, given the styles of the two men, though obviously we do favour Yamauchi to get the win.
In the Bantamweight eliminator we'll see the hard hitting Kazuki Tanaka (11-2, 8) [田中一樹] take on the highly skilled Kyosuke Sawada (13-2-1, 6) [澤田京介], who is riding a 14 fight unbeaten run following back to back losses to begin his career. This is a real 50-50 bout and a hard one to call, and should be one of the most interesting bouts on the card. The winner is likely to face Yusuke Suzuki in the new year, in what should be a tremendous bout it's self.
At Featherweight we'll see touted youngster Hinata Maruta (9-1-1, 7) [丸田陽七太] take on former champion Takenori Ohashi (17-5-2, 11) [大橋健典]. Maruta has yet to live up to his promise, but has shown touches of brilliance and a win here will be a huge chance for him to show what he can do on the big stage. On the other hand Ohashi, despite being technically limited, is a huge puncher and his KO win in May over Shun Wakabayashi is still one of the best KO's this year. The winner of this will likely face either Reiya Abe (19-2-1, 9) [阿部 麗也] or Ryo Sagawa (7-1, 4) [佐川遼], who fight for the vacant title in September.
The Lightweight division will see Kazuki Saito (7-1, 5) [斎藤一貴] battle against Izuki Tomioka (6-2-1, 2) [富岡樹]. Of the two men Saito has proven to be the more aggressive, hard hitter and and crisper looking professional, however Tomioka is an awkward fighter, and he gave Masayoshi Nakatani real fits in an OPBF bout back in 2018. Saito should have the edge, but has shown real issues with his chin, whilst Tomioka is solid, but lacks power. Sadly the winner of this is likely to face the excellent Shuichiro Yoshino, in what would be a huge ask the for the challenger, who ever that ends up being.
The highest weight being fought at on this show is Welterweight, which will see Keita Obara (21-4-1, 19) [小原 佳太] battle Toshiro Tarumi (12-3-3, 6) [垂水稔朗]. Coming in to this Obara is, clearly, the bigger name, and is the most well known fighter on the show. Despite that he is now heading towards his 33rd birthday and has taken punishment through his career. Tarumi on the other hand is a relative unknown outside of Japan, but is riding a 7 fight winning streak since a 2016 loss to Yuki Nagano, who has since gone on to win the Japanese title.
At the moment the broadcast details of this show are unclear, though the hope is that Boxing Raise will carry it, like they did with a similar show in 2018.
Earlier today at Korakuen Hall fight fans saw local hopeful Ryota Yamauchi (5-1, 4) [山内涼太] score his best win so far, as he narrowly out pointed the world ranked Filipino Alphoe Dagayloan (13-3-5, 5) in an excellent 8 round contest.
On paper this had the making of an excellent bout and it quickly lived up to expectations with Dagayloan getting up close and working his straight left hand on Yamauchi who fired back with combinations, despite being backed up.
Whilst Dagayloan's physical strength pushed Yamauchi back the Japanese fighter began to land the more eye catching blows, especially in the later stages, as he managed to work with distance whilst Dagayloan's accuracy began to falter, just a touch. It was those accurate punches that seemed to impress the judges who managed to have the local favourite taking the bout, albeit narrowly.
After 8 rounds the score cards were 76-76, level, and 78-74, 77-75, giving Yamauchi the majority decision win.
Following the bout Dagayloan seemed to accept defeat, though seemed to hint that it was close, whilst Yamauchi hinted that he felt more relaxed here than he had in his loss in China to Wulan Tuolehazi earlier in the year.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
News! We try and give you the most interesting news stories from the Asian boxing world!