Earlier this week we reported that the unbeaten Junto Nakatani (19-0, 14) [中谷 潤人] would be vacating his Japanese Flyweight title to begin his pursuit of a world title, and would be back in the ring on October 5th to take on former world champion Milan Melindo (37-4, 13). What wasn't clear at the time is what would happen to fill the vacancy of the Japanese title. That has now been answered.
The title will be up for grabs on October 27th when former Nakatani foes clash for the belt. In one corner will be Seigo Yuri Akui (13-2-1, 9) [阿久井政悟] whilst in the other we'll have Shun Kosaka (16-5, 4) [小坂駿].
Akui is very much a stop or be stopped fighter. Although he has 5 decision bouts on his record, 4 wins and a draw, he's not seen the final bell since his all Japan Rookie of the Year win in 2015, against Hiroki Hosoya. Since then he has gone 7-2 with only 2 bouts, his losses to Nakatani and Jaysever Abcede, lasing more than 5 rounds. In fact in that 9 fight run he has scored 5 opening round blow outs. Ultra dangerous early he's a fun guy to watch and a real exciting fighter.
Kosaka is a man who has seemingly gotten a lot of opportunities recently, without really shining. He lost in an OPBF title fight last year to Jayr Raquinel and then lost in a Japanese title eliminator to Nakatani. He has bounced back from those losses with a split decision win over the limit Shunji Nagata, but that win hardly qualifies Kosaka for a shot at the vacant title.
At the moment other details of this bout have yet to be announced, including where and who will be promoting it, though we're guessing it will be on a Shinsei show in likely in Kobe.
Earlier today in Kobe fight fans had the chance to attend the latest show from the Shinsei Gym. The card wasn't a big one, but did feature a few notable fighters at the top of the card.
In the co-feature of the show former Japanese Lightweight champion Kazuhiro Nishitani (20-4-1, 12) [西谷和宏] made light work of Filipino visitor Glenn Medura (10-5-1, 6), who was stopped in the 4th round of a scheduled 8 round contest. The Filipino was dropped from a body shot, late in the opening round before being left unable to defend himself in round 4, forcing the referee to step in and stop the bout.
It is worth noting their was a point taken for a rabbit punch from Nishitani, though Medura never really looked like he was able to settle regardless of the foul.
In the main event Shun Kosaka (16-5, 4) [小坂駿] took a split decision over veteran Shunji Nagata (12-18-2, 4) [長田瞬志], ending a 2 fight losing run. The bout was a really competitive one, fought at a good tempo. Sadly for Kosaka he was cut from a headclash in round 5 and struggled late on as Nagata tried to turn things around, almost doing enough to earn the victory. In the end however the judges gave it to Kosaka on a split decision, with scores of 77-76 in his favour, twice, against a 78-76 card to Nagata.
Whilst the win does end a 2 fight losing run for Kosaka it does leave his career still hanging by a thread and he really will need to put in a good performance next time out if he's to remain relevant.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Over the last 48 hours or so the Shinsei Gym announced their next show, "Real Spirits Vol 62 & To New Heights". The full card hasn't been confirmed but there are some interesting details that have been revealed about the show.
Firstly it will take place on on March 24th at the Kobe Sambo Hall, a venue that Shinsei do use on a regular basis for their shows.
The main event will see youngster Shun Kosaka (15-5, 4) [小坂駿] take on veteran Shunji Nagata (12-17-2, 4) [長田瞬志] in an 8 round bout at a contracted 51.5KG's. This is one two main events for the card, with the other being another 8 round bout, this time featuring world ranked Lightweight Kazuhiro Nishitani (19-4-1, 11), though his opponent, and the specifics on weight haven't yet been confirmed.
On the under we'll see the very highly regarded Yuki Yamauchi (2-0, 1) [山内祐希] take on "Mr Heartthrob" Claudevan Sese (7-0-3, 1), from the Philippines, in an 8 round bout at Super Bantamweight. Yamauchi is regarded as one of the best prospects in Japan, and has been matched hard already, so a win here is expected, but he will certainly be expected to work for it. Sese hasn't scored a stoppage in well over 2 years, but does have decent boxing skills and should be a decent test.
Also confirmed for this card is Yuri Takemoto (5-1-1, 3) [竹本雄利], the 2018 All Japan Featherweight Rookie of the Year. He will be up against Filipino foe Reymond Empic (6-2, 2), in what looks like a really hard to call bout, on paper. Takemoto does have the confidence of winning Rookie of the Year however Empic is unbeaten in over 5 years!
This show will also feature the retirement ceremony for Eita Kikuchi (21-6-4, 8) [菊地永太], who has retired following his 2018 loss to Yuta Saito in a Japanese Bantamweight title fight.
Moments ago we had a Japanese title challenger decider bout at Flyweight, as the unbeaten Junto Nakatani (17-0, 12) [中谷 潤人] battled with recent OPBF title challenger Shun Kosaka (15-5, 4)[小坂駿] at the Korakuen Hall. The winner was guaranteed a shot at the Japanese Flyweight title in the new year whilst the loser was going to have to enter 2019 with some work to do to get a title fight.
The first round was a frustrating round to watch as Kosaka seemed to be wanting to avoid engaging and taking anything, only really being caught by a single left hand of note, whilst landing nothing of his own. It was clearly part of his game plan to make Nakatani miss, but he failed to punish him.
Sadly for Kosaka his gameplan seemed to fall apart in round 2 as Nakatani upped the tempo and landed a number of stiff single shots, notably short southpaw left hands up top and spiteful body shots. Kosaka again landed next to nothing as Nakatani moved into second gear. Kosaka seemed to realise that round 2 was a bad one for him, so he again went into a more negative mindset, though did get dragged into a brawl late in the round as both tried to make a claim for the round.
In round 4 we saw Nakatani again find his timing and range and land some solid shots on Kosaka, getting his left hand into play regularly. Kosaka managed to land one really good right hand but it seemed to bounce off Nakatani who was beginning to dominate in a clear fashion. That lead Kosaka to try and change his tactics in round 5 but whether he was on the inside or the outside he seemed to be coming off second best, and Nakatani walked through his best shots. To end the 5th round Kosaka seemed to be stunned but Nakatani didn't get the time to try and close the show.
Kosaka entered round 6 with his nose bleeding and his left cheek showing visible bruising. Sadly for him the round saw him take a significant amount of punishment as Nakatani found a way to sustain his work on the inside and really hammer Kosaka with uppercuts and hooks. The fight continued mostly on the inside in round 7 and it lead to a brutal beating for Kosaka, who would take a number of spiteful head shots and body shots. The blood from Kosaka's nose smeared across his face and he would be dropped following an a head snapping uppercut and a spiteful left hand.
Having been dropped in the penultimate round, hurt numerous times and clearly behind we wouldn't have been surprised for Kosaka's corner to pull him out at the start of round 8. He however went out for the final round and may well have done enough to win round, landing a solid number of right hands. Nakatani seemed to spend much of his time looking to take Kosaka out with a single shot, but could never land it.
The judges all had Nakatani as the winner, scoring it 80-71, twice, and 79-72.
With the win Nakatani secures himself a Japanese title fight in 2019, becoming the second fighter to secure himself as the challenger for the Champion Carnival, along with Reiya Abe who was essentially put into his mandatory position by default. For Kosaka however this was his second straight loss and he will have a lot of rebuilding to do after this one-sided loss.
Tomorrow in Japan we'll see Junto Nakatani (16-0, 12) [中谷 潤人] battle against Shun Kosaka (15-4, 4) [小坂駿] with the winner securing a Japanese Flyweight title bout in 2019.
Today the two men took part in their weigh in for that bout and both men made weight.
On the scales Nakatani, the taller man at the weigh in, was 111.5lbs. The unbeaten prospect is viewed as the favourite coming into the contest but will certainly be in for a tough test here.
Kosaka, a former OPBF Flyweight title challenger, was the lighter man weighing in at 111.3lbs, which is one of the lightest weights of his career. He looked the smaller man at the weigh in but is the older and more mature fighter.
Related -Nakatani and Kosaka fight for the right to challenge for Flyweight title! [Preview]
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
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