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.
On March 2nd we'll see unbeaten 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] on March 2nd at the Korakuen Hall.
We had previously reported that two highly regarded prospects would be on the card Takuma Takahashi (2-0, 2) [高橋拓磨] and Masahiro Suzuki [鈴木雅弘] (1-0, 1), who are both stablemates of Takesako.
We can now confirm that they will be joined by another top prospect, this time Celes gym's Jin Minamide (2-0, 2) [南出 仁], who went 43-22 (15) in the unpaid ranks.
Notably Minamide has had his opponent for the show announced, unlike Takahashi and Suzuki. The unbeaten hopeful is set to take a big step up to take on Filipino foe Marjun Pantilgan (18-7, 14), in an 8 round bout at Bantamweight.
To date Minamide has has fought just over 3 minutes as a professional, stopping Anthony Holt and Conrado Tanamor both in the opening round. He has looked great but clearly needs to take a step up, and that's exactly what this is.
Pantilgan on the other hand, has faced tough competition, with notable bouts against the likes Sonny Boy Jaro, Robert Onggocan, Ryusei Kawaura and Masayoshi Hashizume. Although he's lost to those 4 foes he has proven to be tough, and a very good test, likely explaining why Minamide's team have matched their man against him.
This card, for those interested, will be aired live on G+ as part of the Dynamic Glove series of shows.
Earlier this month we saw the 2019 Champion Carnival bouts being announced. One of those was the Japanese Middleweight title bout between unbeaten champion Kazuto Takesako (10-0, 10) [竹迫司登] and mandatory challenger Shuji Kato (10-1-1, 6) [加藤収二], which is set to take place at the Korakuen Hall on March 2nd.
Today we were informed that two of Takesako's most highly touted stablemates have been added to the card, as they both look to take their next step forward.
One of those is Takuma Takahashi (2-0, 2) [高橋拓磨], a very highly regarded Light Welterweight prospect who went 77-24 (68) as an amateur and won notable 4 amateur titles. At the moment Takahashi's opponent hasn't been named, but it has been confirmed that Takahashi's bout will be an 8 round contest, with the fighter moving up from 6 round bouts for the first time in his career.
On debut, back in back in June, Takahashi stopped Thai visitor Weerayut Wannasri before returning to the ring in to score his second win, stopping Filipino Joepher Montano in 2 rounds. Given how little trouble he's had in his first 2 bouts we're expecting to see him take a clear step up in his next contest.
The other is Masahiro Suzuki [鈴木雅弘] (1-0, 1), who got a baptism of fire on November 3rd, when eh took on Antonio Siesmundo in a very tough 6 round bout. Despite the incredibly tough debut Suzuki would go on to stop his hard hitting and teak tough Filipino foe in 6th round, in one of the most accomplished debuts we saw in 2018.
Suzuki, like Takahashi, was an amateur stand out running up a 64-26 (21) record, and although he debuted at Light Welterweight he's expected to fight at Lightweight going forward. He looked good on debut and at just 23 years old his future is incredibly bright.
Sadly Suzuki also hasn't had his opponent for March named, but given how tough his debut was, we're expecting another tough foe for the youngster.
Earlier today at the Tokyo Dome Hotel the media were able to attend the press conference to announce the 2019 Champion Carnival bouts, with 13 contests being officially announced.
As previously reported the Minimumweight bout will see defending champion Shin Ono (23-9-3, 6) [小野 心] defending his title against Norihito Tanaka (17-7, 9) [田中教仁] on January 12th at the Korakuen Hall.
The Light Flyweight bout, to fill the recent vacancy left by Tetsuya Hisada (33-9-2, 19) [久田 哲也], will see Kenichi Horikawa (38-15-1, 12) [堀川 謙一] battle against Satoru Todaka (9-2-4, 3) [戸髙達], with this bout set to take place on February 14th, also at the Korakuen Hall.
The Flyweight bout, like the Minimumweight bout, had already been announced and will see Junto Nakatani (17-0, 12) [中谷 潤人] and Naoki Mochizuki (15-3, 8) [望月直樹] fight on February 2nd at the Korakuen Hall. This bout is to fill the vacancy left by Masayuki Kuroda (30-7-3, 16) [黒田 雅之], who like Hisada has stated he intends to fight for a world title in 2019.
The Super Flyweight champion Takayuki Okumoto (21-8-4, 10) [奥本 貴之] will defend his title on April 21st in Osaka, and will see Okumoto battle against Yuta Matsuo (15-3-1, 8) [松尾雄太], in what will be Okumoto's second defense of the title.
The Bantamweight bout will be a unification bout as regular champion Yuta Saito (11-9-3, 8) [齊藤裕太], who has been suffering from illness recently, battling against recently crowned interim champion Hayato Kimura (28-10, 19) [木村隼人]. There is no set date on this bout, but it's expected to take place in Tokyo, with the Korakuen Hall the most likely venue.
The Super Bantamweight title will have it's vacancy filled on January 12th, on the same show as the Ono Vs Tanaka card. Fighting for the title will be Mugicha Nakagawa (24-5-1, 14) [武田勇太] and Ryoichi Tamura (11-3-1, 6) [田村 亮一], who will be looking to follow in the footsteps of former champion Shingo Wake (25-5-2, 17) [和氣 慎吾] who looks to be heading towards a world title fight, like Hisada and Kuroda.
Arguably the best match up for the Champion Carnival is the Featherweight bout, which will pit Taiki Minamoto (16-5, 13) [源大輝] against Reiya Abe (18-2, 9) [阿部 麗也], who will be battling former amateur stand out Daisuke Sugita (4-0, 3) [杉田大祐] in January before facing Minamoto on May 1st at the Korakuen Hall. This is, to us, the stand out bout of the Champion Carnival and is genuinely a mouth watering clash.
The Japanese Super Featherweight champion Masaru Sueyoshi (18-1-1, 11) [末吉 大] will take on Ken Osato (15-2-1, 4) [大里拳], in a rematch of the bout the two men had during the 2018 Champion Carnival. This contest will take place on May 4th at the Korakuen Hall and will see Osato looking to avenge his loss and Sueyoshi looking to repeat his win over Osato.
The unbeaten Shuichiro Yoshino (9-0, 7) [吉野 修一郎] will be making his 4th defense of the Japanese Lightweight title, as he takes on the challenge of Accel Sumiyoshi (11-4-3, 3) [アクセル住吉]. This bout is set to take place on April 11th at the Korakuen Hall.
Another bout that really whets the appetite is the Japanese Light Welterweight title bout. That contest will see champion Valentine Hosokawa (24-6-3, 11) [細川バレンタイン] defending his belt on April 6th at the Korakuen Hall against Koki Inoue (12-0, 10) [浩樹井上] in a mouth watering step up for the challenger.
We'll see attention turn to Osaka for the Welterweight title bout, as Ryota Yada (18-4, 15) [矢田良太] defends his belt against Yuki Nagano (15-2, 11) [永野祐樹]. This bout is set to take place on April 21st, though the specific venue wasn't announced.
The Light Middleweight title bout will see Nobuyuki Shindo (20-4-2, 8) [新藤寛之] defending the title against Hironobu Matsunaga (14-1, 8) [松永 宏信] in what should be a thrilling contest between a very hungry challenger and an under-rated champion. These two will clash at the Korakuen Hall on May 1st, as a double header with the Minamoto Vs Abe bout.
On March 2nd we'll see Japanese Middleweight champion Kazuto Takesako (10-0, 10) [竹迫司登] defending his belt against Shuji Kato (10-1-1, 6) [加藤収二], in what will be Takesako's second defense. This will also be at the Korakuen Hall.
At the moment the full details of who will be showing what bouts is unclear, but we're glad to now have most of the matches set, with dates and venues.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Earlier today, Tuesday, the East Japan Boxing Association announced their 3 award winners for the month of November.
The MVP for the month was Watanabe Gym's Ryuichi Funai (31-7, 22) [船井 龍一] who became the IBF Super Flyweight mandatory challenger due to his win over Mexican fighter Victor Olivo (15-3-1, 7). That win netter Funai the MVP award as well as the IBF title shot.
The Fighting Spirit award went to 20 year old Japanese-Afghan fighter Kudura Kaneko (9-0, 6) [クドゥラ金子] who looked fantastic, as he stopped former Japanese Welterweight champion Toshio Arikawa (15-6, 13) [有川 稔男] in a real break out win. That win has immediately put him in the mix for a title fight and we're expecting a huge 2019 for him.
The New Comer award, or State of the Art award, was won by Shuji Kato (10-1-1, 6) [加藤収二] who became the mandatory challenger for the Japanese Middleweight title, following his win over Hikaru Nishida (17-10-1, 8) [西田光].
The award ceremony for the 3 winners will be held at the Korakuen Hall on January 12th.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
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