Tomorrow fight fans will be able to see a new IBF Atomweight champion being crowned, as former world champion Yuko Kuroki (17-5-1, 8) [黒木優子] faced Saemi Hanagata (14-7-4, 7) [田中冴美] for the currently vacant title.
Today the two women took part in their weigh in for the bout and both fighters made weight with no issues.
On the scales Hanagata was the heavier fighter, coming in at 101.6lbs. Despite being heavier she was comfortably under the divisional limit of 102lbs and looked strong and powerful.
Kuroki was slightly lighter, at 101.4lbs. Although easily under the Atomweight limit it is worth noting that she is a former female Minimumweight world champion, having held the WBC title from 2014 to 2017 whilst making 5 successful defenses.
It's worth noting this will be the third bout between these two fighters, with Hanagata having won the first bout and the fighters drawing in their second. This contest gives Kuroki a chance to avenge her defeat and become a 2-time champion whilst Hanagata will be looking to become a world champion for the first time after a number of set backs at world level.
Related - Kuroki looks to settle the score with third bout against Hanagata! (Preview)
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Earlier today Boxingraise added a new slide to their homepage to reveal some rather exciting news...and that is that they will be live streaming Dangan 216 for their subscribers.
The card isn't a massive card stacked with world title fights, but it's an amazingly interesting one with a number of fantastic match ups that really does make it one worth tuning in for.
The card is a double championship show. The nominal main event is an IBF Atomweight title fight as Yuko Kuroki (17-5-1, 8) [黒木優子] and Saemi Hanagata (14-7-4, 7) [田中冴美] face off for the third time in their careers. These two ladies fought in June 2016, with Hanagata taking a decision win, then rematched in December that year, fighting to a draw. Since then both have established themselves as world class fighters. Kuroki had a 3 and a half year reign as the WBC female Minimumweight champion, recording 5 defenses before losing the title last December to Momo Koseki. Hanagata on the other hand would go 0-1-2 in her 3 world title bouts since that loss, twice drawing with Nao Ikeyama.
For us the real main event is the other part of the double championship banner, and will see OPBF Minimumweight champion Tsubasa Koura (13-0, 9) [小浦 翼] defending his belt against unbeaten challenger Daiki Tomita (12-0, 4) [冨田大樹]. This is a truly mouth watering clash between two top young talents in a division that is often over-looked. For the heavy handed Koura the bout will serve as his third defense, and he has made it clear that he's wanting to fight in world title bouts sooner rather than later. For Tomita 20 year old Tomita the bout is a big step up from his recent competition, including Desierto Nagaike, but he was the 2016 All Japan Rookie of the Year, and has shown impressive talent. This could be something special.
It would be easy to just be excited about the two main events but the reality is that the card is deep. One of the under-card bouts will see former OPBF Featherweight champion Ryo Takenaka (16-3-1, 9) [竹中 良] battle against the always testing tough Filipino Vergil Puton (17-10-1, 8) whilst the all action Kenya Yamashita (12-4, 9) [山下賢哉] will face off with former world title challenger John Mark Apolinario (20-11-3, 5). These are two really solid match ups, given that Takenaka has been out of the ring since losing the OPBF title and that Yamashita is a never in a bad fight, even if that does come to his detriment at times.
Potentially the most attractive of the supporting bouts is the chief support bout, which is a mouth watering clash between Japanese puncher Masamichi Yabuki (7-2, 7) [佐藤政道] and the world ranked Light Flyweight Daniel Matellon (7-0-2, 4). This will be a serious test of Yabuki's boxing ability and Matellon's chin. Neither of these are big names, even domestically, but that shouldn't take away from what looks an interesting contest, and allows Yabuki to build on his recent win over former world title challenger Gilberto Pedroza.
The remaining bout on this card will see 39 year old Ribo Takahata (13-8-1, 5) [高畑里望] battle against Sho Nagata (9-4, 2) [永田翔] in a 6 round Super Featherweight bout.
Given that a lot of shows this month in Japan will be on tape delay this looks like an amazing way for Dangan to finish the month, and the card really is set to be something fantastic for subscribers of Boxingraise
It's fair to say we've been drip fed the match ups for Dangan 216, on September 29th. First came an interesting contest between Japanese puncher Masamichi Yabuki (7-2, 7) [佐藤政道] and the world ranked Light Flyweight Daniel Matellon (7-0-2, 4), in what looked like a really good match up a solid test for the hard hitting Yabuki. A week or so after that announcement we saw two title bouts being added to the card, with Yuko Kuroki (17-5-1, 8) [黒木優子] taking on Saemi Hanagata (14-7-4, 7) [田中冴美] for the vacant IBF Atomweight title and OPBF Minimumweight champion Tsubasa Koura (13-0, 9) [小浦 翼] defending his belt against unbeaten challenger Daiki Tomita (12-0, 4) [冨田大樹].
At the time of the title bout announcements we saw Dangan confirm that the under-card would also feature former OPBF Featherweight champion Ryo Takenaka (16-3-1, 9) [竹中 良] and the all action Kenya Yamashita (12-4, 9) [山下賢哉]. Despite the confirmation neither man had their opponents announced.
Now however we have seen both of those men having their opponents named.
Takenaka, who will be fighting for the first time since suffering a gruesome facial injury in his title loss to Sa Myung Noh [노사명], will now be matched against the always tough Filipino Vergil Puton (17-10-1, 8), who will be fighting in Japan for the third successive time, following a TKO loss to Masayuki Ito in March and an opening round technical draw to Shuma Nakazato in June. Despite his record Puton is always a good test and should give Takenaka a genuine fight here, especially given that Takenaka hasn't fought since June 2017.
As for Yamashita he will be stepping up in class to face off with former world title challenger John Mark Apolinario (20-11-3, 5), who the likes of Drian Francisco, Hernan Marquez, Roberto Vasquez and Koki Kameda. The experienced Filipino debuted back in December 2006 and is certainly experienced at a higher level than Yamashita, but will certainly be the under-dog against the incredibly aggressive and hard hitting Yamashita.
One other under-card bout on this card will see 39 year old Ribo Takahata (13-8-1, 5) [高畑里望] battle against Sho Nagata (9-4, 2) [永田翔] in a 6 round Super Featherweight bout.
Earlier today saw the official line up for the "Victoriva Vol 1" show, set for March 8th at the Korakuen Hall. The announcement confirmed a number of bouts and revealed others, to give us a staggering 6 title bouts on the show, which comes only 5 days after Hinamatsuri, also known as "Girls Day" or "Doll's Day".
The first 3 title bouts set for the card were all Japanese female title bouts. These were a Bantamweight title bout between Miyo Yoshida (8-1) [吉田 実代] and Kai Johnson (5-11-3, 2) [カイ ジョンソン], with Yoshida defending her title for the first time, a Flyweight title bout between Yuki Koseki (5-4, 1) [小関 有希] and Yumemi Ikemoto (4-1) [池本 夢実] and a Japanese Atomweight title fight between Sana Hazuki (6-2-1, 2) [葉月 さな] and Nanae Suzuki (5-2-1, 1) [鈴木 菜々江].
We then saw an OPBF title being confirmed, with the confirmation of an OPBF Female Minimumweight bout between Saemi Hanagata (13-7-4, 7) [田中冴美] and Erika Hanawa (8-1, 3) [塙英理加], both of whom have come up short in recent world title fights. The winner of this will likely get another shot at a world title whilst the lower will have to climb back up the rankings and could be a year or two from getting a shot.
One of the world title bouts is for the WBO female Light Flyweight title and will see former Japanese amateur standout Chaoz Minowa (5-0, 4) [チャオズ箕輪] take on Tenkai Tsunami (24-12, 13) [天海 ツナミ] in what should be an absolute barn burner for the vacant title, which was vacated last year by Naoko Fujioka.
The other world title bout will see WBO female Minimumweight champion Kayoko Ebata (11-7, 6) [江畑 佳代子] defending her title against Korean veteran Ji Hyun Park (22-2, 6). For Ebata the bout will be her first defense whilst Park will be fighting for the first time in over 2 years, and will be seeking one of the biggest wins of her career.
The card, for those interested in watching it, will be featured on Boxingraise.com.
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