The World Sport Boxing gym hasn't had the most amazing of years so far, with neither of their two biggest names picking up wins in their bouts so far. We've seen Takeshi Inoue (13-1-1, 7) [井上 岳志] suffer his first defeat, though come out with a significantly improved reputation, and we also saw Japanese Middleweight champion Kazuto Takesako (10-0-1, 10) [竹迫司登] suffer the first mark on his record, fighting to a draw with mandatory challenger Shuji Kato (10-1-2, 6) [加藤収二].
Today the gym announced their two stars would be co-headlining a show on August 3rd at Korakuen Hall.
At the moment Inoue's opponent isn't known, though it will mark his first bout since losing to WBO Light Middleweight champion Jaime Munguia (32-0, 26) in Houston. We're not expecting anyone too testing for Inoue, but it'd be hard for World Sport Boxing to sell Inoue in a total mismatch given his performance against Munguia, which was genuinely a credible effort despite a clear loss on the cards.
Takesako's bout on the other hand is a pretty predictable one, a rematch with Kato. It was a bout both men stated they wanted, following the draw, and is a bout that makes a lot of sense. For Takesako it's a chance to put the draw behind him and look to advance to regional level title fights, potentially a bout with OPBF and WBO Asia Pacific champion Yuki Nonaka, whilst Kato gets a second chance to get over the line and get a win over Takesako.
At the moment the under-card hasn't been announced, though we'd not be surprised to see it stacked with World Sport prospects, such as Masahiro Suzuki (2-0, 1) [鈴木雅弘] and Takuma Takahashi (3-0, 3) [高橋拓磨], who we are really looking forward to following in the years to come.
Earlier today the Japanese award winners for March were named, with the normal 3 awards being won for the month.
The MVP was won by OPBF Super Featherweight champion Hironori Mishiro (7-0-1, 2) [三代大訓], who successfully defended his title against Takuya Watanabe (35-9-1, 20) [渡邉卓也] to earn the award. The talented Mishiro was forced to fight hard, but was the clear winner against Watanabe, who was game, but out classed and out sped.
The fighting spirit award was won by Shuji Kato (10-1-2, 6) [加藤収二], who earned the award with his draw against Japanese Middleweight champion Kazuto Takesako (10-0-1, 10) [竹迫司登]. Despite failing to win Kato showed a lot to be excited about, and we're really looking forward to seeing his next bout. A well worthy winner for this award!
The new comer award was won by OPBF and JBC Atomweight champion Eri Matsuda (3-0) [松田恵里] following her decision win over Nanae Suzuki (8-3-1, 1) [鈴木 菜々江], in their unification bout.
The fighters will receive their awards on May 15th at the Korakuen Hall.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
Earlier today at the Korakuen Hall Japanese fight fans had a chance to see a Japanese Middleweight title bout, as unbeaten champion Kazuto Takesako (10-0-1, 10) [竹迫司登] took on mandatory challenger Shuji Kato (10-1-2, 6) [加藤収二]. On paper the bout looked really interesting, with Takesako being a rising hopeful and destructive puncher on the domestic scene whilst Kato was a tricky, rangy boxer who had won the 2017 Rookie of the Year.
Despite looking good on paper, we, and we assume many others, strongly favoured the champion to come out on top. He had looked fantastic in a number of bouts and despite being the smaller man was a serious punch. Kato though had other plans and showed what he could do early on, boxing to a game plan, keeping the bout at range and using his movement, southpaw jab and reach brilliantly. Even when Takesako was under pressure his footwork was really smart, escaping from the corner and getting back to his fighting.
Although Kato was the under-dog he seemed to be in control by the mid-way point. When the scores were announced after 5 rounds the judges had the bout 48-47, twice, and 49-46 all in favour of the challenger. The challenger really seemed to have neutralised Takesako's power, shown his smart boxing brain and stamped his foot on the bout and it was clear Takesako had to get back into the bout.
To his credit Takesako began to try and drag the bout back into his favour, he was still struggling to pin down Kato, but was starting to have more success in round 6, before having a fantastic round 7 and it was there that he began to finally get his hands going. That round began a real fight back from Takesako who knew his title was at risk. He pushed hard, really drew on what energy he had and did just enough to earn a draw on the scorecards, with scores of 96-94, in his favour, 95-95 and 96-94 to Kato.
After the bout Takesako apologised and admitted that the bout was disappointing and that he wasn't good with southpaws. He also stated that he wanted a rematch with Kato and expressed some self doubt about winning a world title if he can't win here. He seemed genuinely deflated. Kato, although disappointed himself, didn't seem to feel like the judges had robbed him, and he also seemed to want a rematch, something that could well happen later this year.
Tomorrow we see the 2019 Champion Carnival roll on once again, as fans at the Korakuen Hall see Japanese Middleweight champion Kazuto Takesako (10-0, 10) [竹迫司登] defending his title against mandatory challenger Shuji Kato (10-1-1, 6) [加藤収二]. The bout will be Takesako's second defense and Kato's first title fight.
Today the two fighters took part in their weigh in and both men made weight for the Middleweight clash.
On the scales both fighters were 159.4lbs, comfortably under the limit.
Takesako, who has never resembled a cut Greek god, was a little bit fleshy and the notably shorter man. Kato on the other hand looked in amazing shape and has clearly done everything he can to get into tip top shape for the biggest fight of his career.
Sadly the bout won't be aired live, it will however be shown on Monday on G+, as part of their Dynamic Glove coverage.
Related - Japanese king Takesako faces mandatory challenger!
Back in December we reported that Takuma Takahashi (2-0, 2) [高橋拓磨] and Masahiro Suzuki (1-0, 1) [鈴木雅弘] had been added to the March 2nd show headlined by a Japanese Middleweight title bout between Kazuto Takesako (10-0, 10) [竹迫司登] and Shuji Kato (10-1-1, 6) [加藤収二].
At the time neither Takahashi or Suzuki had their opponents named, today however both had opponents confirmed.
Takahashi will be having his first 8 round bout as he takes on 21 year Filipino Jonel Dapidran (10-3, 6). On paper this looks like a serious test for Takahashi, though it should be noted that Dapidran is 3-3 in his last 6, and was stopped in 3 rounds by Rikuto Adachi last October, in what was Dapidran's first, and so far only, bout in Japan.
As for Suzuki, who impressed on his debut against Antonio Siesmundo, he will be up against Kelvin Tenorio (4-4-, 2). Tenorio is a 26 year old from the Philippines, who will be making his international debut.
Sadly we've also been informed that this show will not be shown live, but will instead be on tape delay on G+, with the first airing coming on Monday March 4th.
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