The Super Bantamweight division is one of the most criminally under-rated at the moment, and keeps delivering some amazing contests.
Today fight fans at Korakuen Hall saw one of the more overlooked fighters in the division, OPBF champion Hiroaki Teshigawara (21-2-2, 14) [勅使河原 弘晶] score his latest defense, as he stopped the talented Shohei Kawashima (18-4-2, 4) [川島翔平].
Teshigawara, who has been on a great run since suffering a split decision loss to Ryo Akaho back in 2016, applied pressure early on. He fought smartly whilst bringing the pressure and found a home early on for his right hand. Kawashima seemed to take the shots well, but struggled to build any momentum of his own.
After 4 rounds Teshigawara was up 39-37, twice, and 40-36. He looked in control of the bout, and really forced Kawashima to try and turn things around. Kawashima's attempt to change things came at a risk, and at the very end of round 5 he was caught by a left hook from Teshigawara, and failed to beat the count. Kawashima was counted out an official time of 3:09 of round 5.
Having now made 3 defences of his belt Teshigawara has his eyes on world title glory, and it seems clear that mentor Koichi Wajima shares that desire. We wouldn't be surprised at all with Teshigawara getting a title shot late in 2020.
Interestingly Kawashima stated that Teshigawara didn't hit as hard as expected, but that his control of distance was more impressive. That's something that seemed to be a big strength of Teshigawara's earlier in the year when he faced Shohei Omori, and looks to be one of his most under-rated skills.
For fans wanting to watch this bout it will be televised on Fuji TV this coming Saturday.
(Image courtesy of A.McGovern)
Tomorrow at Korakuen Hall fight fans will get the chance to see the next Diamond Glove card, which genuinely promises a lot with 3 title bouts being crammed into a very good show.
On paper the most significant of those bouts is at Super Bantamweight, where OPBF champion Hiroaki Teshigawara (20-2-2, 13) [勅使河原 弘晶] defends his belt against fellow Japanese fighter Shohei Kawashima (18-3-2, 4) [川島翔平]. Today those two men took part in their weigh in for the bout.
On the scales both men made weight with no issues.
Teshigawara came in under the limit, weighing in at around 121.7lbs for the bout, and looked in great shape despite looking somewhat gaunt around the face, a look he has always had. Kawashima on the other hand came in bang on 122lbs, the Super Bantamweight limit.
After weighing in Teshigawara seemed to hint that he was wanting to face Ryosuke Iwasa (27-3, 17) [岩佐 亮佑] in the future.
Kawashima, fighting for a title in Japan for the first time, spoke about scoring an upset and surprising people in Tokyo. Despite his confidence the challenger is a very clear under-dog here.
Related - Teshigawara takes on Kawahsima in next OPBF title defense
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
We've known for a while that the December 12th Diamond glove card was going to be a stacked card, with 2 title bouts having been confirmed for it a back in October.
Today we were actually informed there was a third title bout added to the show.
That bout will see Toshiya Ishii (2-0, 1) [石井渡士也] and Haruki Ishikawa (8-1, 6) [石川春樹] battle for the vacant Japanese Youth Bantamweight title, with both youngsters looking to claim their first professional titles.
The two men were part of a 4 man tournament to crown a champion, with Ishii beating Fumiya Fuse and Ishikawa stopping Atsushi Takada in what were essentially semi-final bouts.
The 18 year old Ishii is very highly regarded after a stellar amateur career that saw him going 30-14 (7) and his win over Fuse was a sensational victory for just a man in just his second professional bout. Ishikawa on the other hand went 2-3 (1) in the amateur ranks but has made his mark in the professional ranks, reaching the final of the 2018 Rookie of the Year and picking up 2 good wins already this year.
As well as this Youth title bout the card will be headlined with OPBF title action at 122lbs as Hiroaki Teshigawara (20-2-2, 13) [勅使河原 弘晶] defends his OPBF Super Bantamweight title against Shohei Kawashima (18-3-2, 4) [川島翔平] and a great supporting bout between Japanese Featherweight champion Ryo Sagawa (8-1, 4) [佐川遼] and Ryo Hino (13-1-2, 8) [日野僚].
Back in October we reported that OPBF Super Bantamweight champion Hiroaki Teshigawara (20-2-2, 13) [勅使河原 弘晶] would be defending his title on December 12th at the Korakuen Hall, as he looks to end the year on a high.
At the time of that report there was no opponent announced for Teshigawara, though we were expecting someone of some name value for the still often under-rated slugger.
Today we saw Teshigawara's opponent for that December 12th bout being announced as Shohei Kawashima (18-3-2, 4) [川島翔平], in what is a really good bout between the hard hitting and aggressive champion and skilled challenger.
For Teshigawara the bout will be his third defense, following wins earlier this year against Yuki Iriguchi and Shohei Omori, and he's likely to want to move towards a potential world title fight in 2020.
As for Kawashima the bout will be his third title bout, and comes after close decisions losses on the road to Cristian Mijares, in 2016, and Juan Miguel Elorde, in the Philippines in 2019. Although the under-dog, he is very much a live opponent here.
It's worth noting that this bout will be the headline bout of December's Diamond Glove show, which is a double header, with this OPBF title fight being doubled up with a Japanese Featherweight title bout between Ryo Sagawa (8-1, 4) [佐川遼] and Ryo Hino (13-1-2, 8) [日野僚]. The winner of this Japanese title fight will be mandate to defend the Japanese title in 2020 against Hinata Maruta (10-1-1, 8) [丸田陽七太] during the Champion Carnival.
Over the last few weeks we had been hearing a lot of solid sources reporting that OPBF Light Welterweight title bout between Rikki Naito (23-2, 7) [内藤 律樹] and Korean challenger Gyu Beon Jeon (9-3-1, 4) [전규범] has been postponed from a September date. That has now been confirmed by the KBF who were sanctioning the bout.
The contest, which was pencilled in for early September, is now set to take place on October 9th, with the bout still set for a Korean venue.
Sadly the interesting looking co-feature bout between WBA Asia Super Bantamweight champion Ye Joon Kim (18-1-2, 10) [김예준] and Japanese challenger Shohei Kawashima (17-3-2, 4) [川島翔平] has been cancelled due to Kim suffering an injury to his elbow.
As a result of Kim's injury, and the rescheduling of the show, there will now be a Korean Welterweight title bout, a KBF Bantamweight bout and a Korea Vs China supporting bout.
Unfortunately with this now being something like the 4th date for this bout, and growing tensions between Japan and Korea there is a good chance this may slip to a later date, or be cancelled all together, unless things change.
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