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 Japanese Featherweight Reiya Abe (18-2, 9) [阿部 麗也] continued his great run, as he stopped former Japanese Lightweight title challenger Masashi Noguchi (12-11-1, 6) [野口 将志] in a thoroughly one-sided contest that ended when the referee saved Noguchi.
The bout started slowly, with winning the first 4 rounds whilst still in first gear. Noguchi, who looked apprehensive and worried, was over cautious, negative and looked like a fighter filled with self doubt. Things didn't help when Noguchi threw shots and repeatedly missed whilst being tagged by jabs and straight shots from Abe, who looked several leagues above Noguchi.
In round 5 we finally saw Abe go through the gears and begin to put a beating on Noguchi, who's best offense through the rounds was a series of accidental headbutts. Those headbutts did little to prevent him from taking more damage as Abe began to look like the flowing fighter we had become accustomed to in recent years. The aggressive work of Abe during the round saw him drop Noguchi and really rip him a new one.
Abe continued to put a beating on Noguchi in round 6. He would drop Noguchi again before backing him on to the ropes and forcing the referee to stop the bout and save Noguchi from any further punishment, which seemed to be getting more and main hurtful by the round.
Following the bout Abe confirmed his next bout would be a Japanese title fight, and it seems almost certain that he will be facing Taiki Minamoto (16-5, 13) [源大輝] in the 2019 Champion Carnival, in what should be a really fantastic match up, and something to be very excited about.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Earlier today Japanese fight fans at the Korakuen Hall saw a Japanese Featherweight title fight, which act as part of a double header which will be shown this coming weekend on Fuji TV.
The bout saw defending champion Taiki Minamoto (16-5, 13) [源大輝], who had won the title in spectacular fashion earlier this year against Takenori Ohashi, battling against Tatsuya Otsubo (12-9-1, 4) [大坪竜也] in what turned out to be a very compelling and competitive contest.
The challenger started the fight brilliantly. He landing the heavier blows and neutralising the jab of the champion. The power of Otsubo paid dividends in round 3 when he dropped the champion with a nasty straight right hand.
It was the perfect start for the challenger who was of to an early lead. Sadly however for Otsubo dropping the champion seemed to wake him up, and Minamoto managed to establish some control on the bout the following round, before close the gap on the score cards in round 5, to only be 48-46 behind at the mid way point.
Despite coming back into the bout it was clear that Minamoto had a new found respect for the challenger and had to make sure not to get too reckless when attacking the challenger.
In round 6 Otsubo began to show signs of tiring whilst Minamoto managed to tighten his control on the action, using his movement and his accurate sharp punches. By the end of round 7 he had drawn level on the score cards, but was totally in control of the action with Otsubo flagging, in need of a second wind.
Sadly for the challenger that second wind would never come and in round 9 Minamoto would finally drop the challenger, with the bout being stopped immediately.
Following the bout Minamoto stated that there was two Japanese fighters he'd like to face and that he would like to fight again this year. One of those is OPBF champion Satoshi Shimizu (6-0, 6) [清水 聡] whilst the other is the highly ranked Reiya Abe (17-2, 8) [阿部 麗也]. He seemed excited to face either man but he would likely be the under-dog against either man.
As for Otsubo it seemed like he knew he had had a great start, but simply couldn't keep it up. There is however no shame in his performance and he certainly gave a better effort than many had anticipated.
(Images courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Tomorrow fight fans at the Korakuen Hall will see Japanese Featherweight champion Taiki Minamoto (15-5, 12) [源大輝] make his first defense, as he faces off with Tatsuya Otsubo (12-8-1, 4) [大坪竜也]. Today the two men took part in their weigh in for that bout, and both men made the Featherweight limit.
On the scales Minamoto was bang on the limit of 126lbs and looked in fantastic shape. He spoke confidently of defending his title and although he wasn't dismissive of Otsubo it seemed very clear that he is no rush to give up the title and that is not fearful of Otsubo, who has never scored a win against someone as talented as Minamoto before.
As for Otsubo, who also came in on the divisional but looked smaller than the champion, there was also confidence, with the challenger declaring they would take home the title. Otsubo has never been dropped as a fight, either in a bout or in sparring, but this bout certainly seems like it could test his toughness with Minamoto being a hard hitting fighter with really good output.
Fans wanting to watch this bout will sadly need to wait until the weekend with Fuji TV set to broadcast the bout on tape delay this coming Saturday as part of their Diamond Glove serious of fights
Related - Minamoto looks for maiden defense, battles in form Otsubo!
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Earlier this year we saw the Japanese Featherweight title change hands, with Taiki Minamoto (15-5, 12) [源大輝] becoming the new champion courtesy of a brilliant performance against Takenori Ohashi [大橋健典] to claim the belt. We've known for a while that he would be making his first defense on August 9th at Korakuen Hall, as part of a double header alongside the rematch between Keita Obara (19-3-1, 17) [小原 佳太] and Alvin Lagumbay (10-2, 9).
Although we knew when and where Minamoto would be defending his title his opponent wasn't announced, at least not until today.
After several weeks of waiting we finally saw Minamoto's opoonent being announced as former national title challenger Tatsuya Otsubo (12-8-1, 4) [大坪竜也].
The challenger is best known for his 2015 loss to Satoshi Hosono ina bout for the Japanese Featherweight title. That loss would be followed by another defeat, to Han Jo in Korea, but since then he has gone 4-0 (1), scoring two notable wins over Ryuto Araya. This bout looks to be another very tough title challenge for Otsubo, but he should ask question of Minamoto, who looked sensational against Ohashi but hasn't shown amazing consistency through his career.
This bout will be part of a Diamond Glove show and will be featured, in some form on Fuji TV on a delay basis.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
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