Earlier today we were informed that Ohashi would be putting on their next show on April 8th at the Korakuen Hall. The full hasn't been announced, but plenty of details from the show have been revealed, including the names of many fighters from the card.
The headline attraction is former 3 weight world champion Akira Yaegashi (27-6, 15) [八重樫 東], who will be fighting for the first time since his 2018 war with Hirofumi Mukai. At the moment Yaegashi's opponent hasn't been announced for the contest, though it's not expected to be anyone too testing for the hugely popular warrior.
The most exciting bout that has been confirmed for the show will see Andy Hiraoka (13-0, 9) [平岡アンディ] take on unbeaten Thai Atchariya Wirojanasunobol (12-0, 5), in a really fantastic bout. It's rare we see two unbeaten fighters fighting at this point in their careers, with both heading towards bigger fights, so to see both taking this type of risk is fantastic, and something to get really excited about.
Another bout confirmed for the show will see former Japanese Super Featherweight champion Seiichi Okada (22-6-1, 13) [岡田誠一] take on Nakagawa Kanehiro (6-6, 4) [中川兼玄]. Okada has won his last 4 bouts coming into this, and will be looking to continue his good run of form.
Looking to bounce back from recent defeats will be former world title challenger Ryo Matsumoto (21-3, 19) [松本亮] and the once touted Sho Nakazawa (11-3, 5) [中澤奨], who both suffered stoppage losses late last year. Neither man has had their opponent named, but neither is expected to be up against anyone too testing, given their recent stoppage losses.
One other fighter on this card is fast tracked prospect Taku Kuwahara (3-0, 2) [桑原拓], who will be in his second 8 round bout. He also lacks an opponent, though could end up against someone of some note given how Ohashi seem to view him as a very special talent.
Full bouts are expected to be announced by the middle of March, though it's nice to see that the card already has some notable names on it, and the excellent Hiraoka Vs Atchariya bout.
Earlier today Ohashi gym held a press conference to announce the next defense of the OPBF Featherweight title by Satoshi Shimizu (7-0, 7) [清水 聡].
The 2012 Olympic bronze medal winner was flanked by Ohashi gym president Hideyuki Ohashi and trainer Koji Matsumoto at the press conference as they announced Shimizu's next bout.
The fighter will return to the ring on December 3rd to face off with fellow unbeaten Takuya Uehara (16-0, 10) [上原 拓哉] , who held a press conference of his own at the Apollo Gym in Osaka to announce the contest.
For Shimizu the bout will serve as his 4th title defense, and is expected to be his final bout before on wards to a world title fight in early 2019. For Uehara the bout is his first at this level, though he is a former WBC Youth and Japanese Youth champion.
With this announcement we now know that the show, which will be the "66th Phoenix Battle", will be a double header with the card also featuring the mouth watering match up between Hinata Maruta (7-1-1, 6) [丸田 陽七太] and Tsuyoshi Tameda (18-3-2, 16) [溜田剛士]. We also know that the card will feature Kazuki Nakajima (5-0, 4) [中嶋一輝] battling Yoshihiro Utsumi (15-8-3, 10) [宇津見義広] and bouts involving Sho Nakazawa (11-2, 5) [中澤奨] and Taku Kuwahara (2-0, 2) [桑原拓].
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Yesterday at the Korakuen Hall fight fans had a trio of notable under-card fighters in action, all picking up wins and moving their careers forward.
The first of those was the once touted former amateur standout Sho Nakazawa (11-2, 5) [中澤奨]. Nakazawa had lost his previous bout, an upset defeat to Ryo Hino, and understandably had a confidence booster, stopping Indonesian Ahmad Lahizab (3-6-11, 1) in 3 rounds. The visitor had been dropped early in the fight and twice in round 3 as Nakazawa proved far too good.
The second of those notable under-card fighters was former amateur stand out Kazuki Nakajima (5-0, 4) [中嶋一輝], who impressed before forcing the durable Takuya Fujioka (8-9-1, 1) [藤岡拓弥] to retire on his stool at the end of round 6. The bout had been one sided with Nakajima in total control in what the most impressive performance of his career so far, and the one that may well have seen him really begin to click as a professional. Although the bout looked like a mismatch on paper it's worth noting that Fujioka was coming into this having never been stopped, with a huge upset win last time out against Futa Akizuki and having given Eita Kikuchi and Kosuke Isono real problems in 2017.
The final under-card bout of note saw the hard hitting Tsuyoshi Tameda (18-3-2, 16) [溜田剛士] deciminate Indonesan veteran Arief Blader (23-30-2, 8). Originally Tameda had been scheduled to face Japanese based Korean fighter Tae Il Atsumi (14-2, 7), though that bout fell through with Blader being a late replacement for Tameda and being totally over-matched.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
We've known for almost a month that Satoshi Shimizu (6-0, 6) [清水 聡] would be defending his OPBF title against Shingo Kawamura (16-3-1, 8) [河村真吾] and former 3-weight world champion Akira Yaegashi (26-6, 14) [八重樫 東] would be taking on Hirofumi Mukai (16-5-3, 6) [向井 寛史] in a very attractive double header on August 17th. That card has now had some other notable names added to it.
One of those fighters is the once touted Sho Nakazawa (10-2, 4) [中澤奨], who is yet to have his opponent named. He'll be having his first fight as a Ohashi Gym fighter, and will be looking to get his career back on track after suffering 2 losses in his last 4.
A more interesting bit of news for the card is that very exciting Japanese ranked Featherweight Tsuyoshi Tameda (17-3-2, 15) [溜田 剛士] will facing offf with Japanese based Korean fighter Tae Il Atsumi (14-2, 7).
The hard hitting Tameda joined the Ohashi gym last year, when the Yonekura gym closed it's doors, and has scored 4 straight stoppage wins coming in to this bout. He's been looking for a big bout since claiming a Japanese Youth title last August and this is certainly a big bout with a lot, given he will be risking his ranking, and potentially taking a huge step towards a title fight with a win. As for Atsumi, who has also fought Teiru Atsumi in recent bouts, he will be coming in to this on the back of a quick blow out win against Katsuhiko Kanno, though was beaten back in December against Shingo Kawamura.
Given the styles of Tameda and Atsumi we're expecting a genuine thrilling, with both men havign spiteful power and aggresive mentalities. This really could turn out to be the best fight of the card.
Earlier today Japanese fight fans saw the once touted Sho Nakazawa (10-2, 4) [中澤奨] suffer his second defeat, as he was upset by the unheralded Ryo Hino (11-1-1, 6) [日野僚].
On paper the bout looked really interesting, with the the records being very even, however it was assumed that Nakazawa would come out on top given his pedigree as a very good amateur fighter. That pedigree wasn't able to shine however as Hino used his southpaw stance and reach to keep Nakazawa at range, before landing right hands.
Nakazawa's issues were compounded by a controversial knockdown ruled against him in round 2, when he took a shot to the back of the head whilst off balance.
Going in to the 8th and final round Nakazawa knew he was behind and he tried to turn it around, as he went out ultra-aggressive, but unfortunately for him he was unable to stop Hino.
With the bout going the distance we went to the judges, and there was no surprise when Hino's arm was raised with cards of 79-73, 78-74 and 78-73 all in his favour.
The win for Hino is potentially one that will put him in the mix for a Japanese title fight, especially given that Nakazawa was ranking in to this bout. Sadly for Nakazawa it leaves his career with a lot of rebuilding to do, and it's hard to imagine him being able to rebuild following a performance like this one.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
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