On October 1st the Kadobei Houseki Boxing Gym will host their next card under the "Slugfest" banner, "Slugfest 6" at the Korakuen Hall. The main event of that card has been known for a while, and will see former Japanese Featherweight champion Takenori Ohashi (15-5-2, 10) [大橋健典] battle against once beaten teenager Ruito Saeki (7-1, 1) [佐伯瑠壱斗].
Whilst the main event had been known about for weeks what wasn't so well known was the under-card, which had a number of talented Kadoebi prospects scheduled to fight on it, but none of them had their opponents. Thankfully that has changed and now we know a number of the match ups for the card. We have to admit that in some cases the bouts look underwhelming, but it's great to see prospects being active.
One of the prospects in action on the card will be the debuting Yuki Nakajima (0-0) [中嶋 憂輝], the younger brother of Ohashi gym prospect Kazuki Nakajima (5-0, 4) [中嶋一輝]. The touted Nakajima, who went 52-21 in the amateurs, will be facing off with Thai 21 year old Somphon Banyaem (3-1, 3), who's only loss actually came in Japan to then debuting Takamori Kiyama back in May.
Another youngster on this card is the fast rising Ryota Yamauchi (3-0, 3) [山内涼太], who is ranked by both the OPBF and the JBC. Sadly after back-to-back notable opponents Yamauchi will be facing a notable step backwards as he takes on Indonesian visitor Rio Nainggolan (4-8, 3). This is a pretty disappointing contest, given that Yamauchi has stopped Lester Abutan and Yota Hori in his last 2 bouts, but we suspect that the plan will be to move him into title fights next year.
Notably the show will also feature the ring return of Kazuki Saito (5-1, 5) [斎藤一貴], who will be taking on Filipino foe Rey Ramos (8-9-2, 3). This will be Saito's first bout since a shock upset loss earlier this year against Amphol Suriyo, aka Pharanpetch Tor Buamas. The touted Saito had looked excellent at times prior to that loss, but had question marks about his durability, which Amphol certainly answered. It seems clear that this is an easy comeback for Saito, but there will be serious questions hanging over his head going forward, and how he reacts to being tagged, and having a fighter put it on him.
As with the previous Slugfest cards we expect this card will be uploaded to both Boxingraise and to youtube, in full, for fans wanting to watch it.
Over the weekend we saw the news break that former Japanese Featherweight champion Takenori Ohashi (15-5-2, 10) [大橋健典] would be returning to the ring on October 1st, in the headline bout of Slugfest 6.
Ohashi, who lost the Japanese Featherweight title to Taiki Minamoto [源大輝] in April, will be up against once beaten 19 year old Ruito Saeki (7-1, 1) [佐伯瑠壱斗] in what looks like a very interesting 8 round bout. For Ohashi it is a real must win, whilst Saeki is stepping up in class, but will know that a win will open a lot of new doors and essentially secure him a Japanese and OPBF ranking, if he wins.
Others set to take part on this card include super-prospect Ryota Yamauchi (3-0, 3) [山内涼太], who hasn't had his opponent announced but we are aware that he will be in an 8 round Flyweight bout, and given his competition so far we are expecting him to face a notable opponent. And also the debuting Yumaki Nakajima (0-0) [中嶋憂煇], who will be looking to make quick impact in his maiden professional bout. Nakajima will be involved in a 6 round contest against a yet to be announced opponent.
The card will have other notable bouts announced in the coming weeks and will likely be added to youtube by the brilliant team at the Kadoebi gym.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Last year we saw Takenori Ohashi (15-5-2, 10) [大橋健典] claim the Japanese Featherweight title with a surprising win over Kosuke Saka. The bout had a rather peculiar ending, with Saka being stopped when he mistook the clacker for the bell, but it had looked like Ohashi was getting the better of it well before the stoppage. Today Ohashi retuned to the ring to defend that title, but instead of scoring his first defense he was given a real beating by mandatory challenger Taiki Minamoto (15-5, 12) [源大輝].
At the weigh in for the bout Minamoto boasted that his speed would be the difference, and it immediately seemed to b the case. The challenger was bouncing in and out of range, skipping around Ohashi and landing shots at will, with out Ohashi managing to respond. Ohashi looked lost and confused by the speed and movement of Minamoto who ended the round with some huge shots to the body and a massive left hand up top. Things went from bad to worse for Ohashi, who was hurt and wobbled at the end of round 2. It looked it looked like Minamoto was there to make a statement.
Ohashi managed to have moments in round 3, but those moments were over shadowed by the challenger who not only continued to dominate but came close to scoring a knockdown at the end of the round from a nasty 1-2 that left Ohashi wobbling before the bell. The champion was given the benefit of the doubt and managed to get some success in round 4, though every time he did he was forced to take return fire, with interest. The success of Minamoto was mentally damaging to Ohashi, who was forced backwards when they traded, and was unable to ever hurt the challenger, who looked to be having a lot of fun in there.
Things went from bad to worse for Ohashi, who was cut early in round 5 and seemed to become immediately desperate, throwing wild shots. Those shots almost all missed as Minamoto pressed forward and landed a number of big shots, rocking the champion again as we went to the bell.
After 5 rounds the scores were announced. Some how two of the judges had given a round to Ohashi, to have the scores at 49-46 to Minamoto, the third however had it 50-44, giving a 10-8 round for Minamoto's domination. Despite the judges being at ring side, they didn't really seem like they would be needed. Minamoto continued to dominate through round 6, shaking Ohashi in the final 20 seconds of the round. The referee looked ready to step in, but wait,and waited,before the bell run, and not for the first time Ohashi's beating was prolonged by the bell.
Given how badly stunned Ohashi looked to end round 6 a wise corner would have pulled their man out. Instead they sent him back out and he took yet further punishment as Minamoto continued to hammer him until the referee, after what felt like an eternity, jumped in and saved Ohashi, who was a beaten, bloodied, battered man.
With the win Minamoto scores a career defining victory and with the performance he put on he looks like a potential domestic star. For Ohashi his reign comes to a short conclusion, and it's hard to imagine him bouncing back from this defeat in a hurry.
Tomorrow fight fans in Japan will get the chance to see Japanese Featherweight champion Takenori Ohashi (15-4-2, 10) [大橋健典] defending his title against mandatory challenger Taiki Minamoto (14-5, 11) [源大輝], with the bout being shown on G+.
Today the tw omen weighed in for the bout and both fighters made the 126lb limit for the contest.
The champion for the bout was 125.88lbs on the scales,making the weight with some room to spare. Despite looking a little bit fleshy the champion looked solid and will be looking to build on his 2017 upset win over Kosuke Saka [坂晃典]. The champion spoke about being wary ofthe challenger and mentioned he felt when he challenged Saka, as if to suggest that he know how Minamoto will feel coming in to this bout.
The champion, who has previously challengedfor the Super Bantamweight title, was bang on the 126lb limit. He seemed tofeel that his boxing skills were the key to winning, and while Ohashi can punch, Minamoto seems to feel his speed and jab will be his keys to victory in this bout.
Asmentionedthe boutwill be aired in full on G+ and will come with a pretty interesting under-card, well worthy of a watch if you get the channel.
Related - Ohashi seeks first defense, takes on big punching Minamoto
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
One of the key parts of the Japanese boxing calendar is the Champion Carnival, which takes place over the first 6 months of the year and sees the national champions defending their titles against their mandatory challengers.
Today we saw the bouts being announced for the 2018 Champion Carnival at a huge press confeence, and as with every year, there were some brilliant bouts being announced.
At Minimumweight we'll see Ryoki Hirai (10-4-1, 4) [平井亮輝] and Shin Ono (21-9-3, 5) [小野 心] battle for the vacant title, which was given up by Reiya Konishi (15-0, 5) [小西伶弥] a few days ago. The bout will be Hirai's first title bout, whilst the experienced Ono will be getting his 4th shot at a Japanese title, having previously won an OPBF title and having several world title bouts. This bout will take place in Kobe on April 22nd and should be a very, very good match up.
The Light Flyweight bout will see defending champion Tetsuya Hisada (30-9-2, 19) [久田 哲也] make his 3rd defense of the title, as he takes on Koji Itagaki (18-11-3, 7) [板垣幸司]. This looks like a mismatch on paper, but it will be Itagaki's first, and likely last, shot at a domestic title and he sounded determined and confident at today's event. This contest has been pencilled in for April 19th and will take place in Osaka.
Although a number of bouts were announced today, some were already known about. One such bout was the Flyweight contest, which will see Masayuki Kuroda (28-7-3, 16) [黒田 雅之] defending his title against the exciting Katsunori Nagamine (14-1-1, 10) [長嶺克則. This will be Kuroda's third defense of the title, whilst Nagamine will be having his first challenge, and the bout really does have the potential to be a real thriller. As mentioned this bout was already known about, and will take place on March 3rd, as previously reported.
At Super Flyweight we'll be getting a rematch between Hiroyuki Kudaka (25-17-2, 11) [久高寛之] and Go Onaga (28-3-4, 19) [翁長 吾央], who face off following a technical draw in December. The two men will be fighting for the currently vacant title, which was given up by Ryuichi Funai (29-7, 20) [船井 龍一] earlier this week. Sadly at the time of writing this bout has no venue, or set date, but seems likely to be fought in Tokyo on either a Dangan show or an Ohashi one, potentially in April or May.
Interestingly the first Champion Carnival bout comes in just over a week's time, as Ryo Akaho (31-2-2, 20) [赤穂 亮] defends his Bantamweight title against Yusuke Suzuki (9-3, 6) [鈴木悠介] at the Korakuen Hall on January 20th, in a bout set to be televised on G+. For Akaho the bout willbe his second defense, whilst Suzuki gets his first title fight, in what looks like a really exciting way to kick off the 2018 Champion Carnival, and should be a very brutal bout.
At Super Bantamweight we'll see Ryo Kosaka (15-3-1, 7) [小坂遼] challenging champion Yusaka Kuga (15-2-1, 10) [久我勇作], with Kosaka essentially filling in for the injured Yasutaka Ishimoto (31-9, 9) [石本康隆]. The bout is a decent looking one, but it's hard to not expect a win for the champion, who has looked fantastic in a number of recent contests, and could well find himself in the world title mix later this year. This bout is scheduled for March 27th at the Korakuen Hall.
Featherweight champion Takenori Ohashi (15-4-2, 10) [大橋健典] will look to build from his dramatic 2017 win over Kosuke Saka (16-4, 13) [坂晃典] as he defends his title against fellow puncher Taiki Minamoto (14-5, 11) [源大輝]. This bout promises to be explosive, even if both are a bit crude, and Ohashi will be hoping to avoid a similar finish to his title win, where Saka turned away thinking he had heard the bell, and got iced by Ohashi in the final seconds of the round. These two will meet on April 7th at the Korakuen Hall.
In early February we'll see Ken Osato (13-1-1, 4) [大里拳] challenge Super Featherweight champion Masaru Sueyoshi (16-1, 10) [末吉 大]. For Sueyoshi this will be his first defense whilst Osato looks to build on his big 2017 win over Satoru Sugita (13-5-1, 8) [杉田聖]. The talented Sueyoshi has frustrated at times, but does look class when he gets going and should be favoured here for the February 3rd bout, but Osato is in good form and could easily spring the upset, if Sueyoshi is anything less than his best.
At Lightweight we'll see the very talented Shuichiro Yoshino (6-0, 4) [吉野修一郎] defending his title, for the first time, against Masaki Saito (14-12-6, 5) [斉藤正樹]. Yoshino has really shined so far in his short career and looks to be a star of the future for Japanese boxing, though will obviously need to get his first defense under his belt before becoming a star. Saito looks like a limited challenger, though is a very experienced fighter and should be able to give Yoshino some questions. This bout will be taking place on February 8th at the Korakuen Hall.
The Light Welterweight contests looks set to be one of the most exciting, as Valentine Hosokawa (22-6-3, 9) [細川バレンタイン] makes his first defense, and takes on the heavy handed Vladimir Baez (24-3-2-22). This bout looks likely to be a war, and whilst Baez will be the favourite, despite being the challenger, we can't rule out the champion, who hs long been under-rated. Like many this contest will take place at the Korakuen Hall and is set for May 7th.
One of the most explosive bouts on paper will see Welterweight champion Toshio Arikawa (15-4, 13) [有川 稔男] taking on fellow puncher Ryota Yada (14-4, 11) [矢田良太]. The contest might not have a future world champion or potential star in it, but given the power of both men this should be a shoot out, and could be something fvery, very special for the fans, who will be in the Korakuen Hall on April 16th.
At Light Middleweight we'll see triple crown winner Takeshi Inoue (12-0-1, 7) [井上 岳志] take on former Welterweight champion Nobuyuki Shindo (19-4-1, 8) [新藤寛之] in what should be a really good test for Inoue, who will be lookibg at bigger and better things in 2018. Shindo's reign at Welterweight was a short one, and whilst he will be hoping to become a 2-weight champion he is really up against it here against the fantastic Inoue. This bout is set to take place on April 26th at the Korakuen Hall.
The heaviest weight being contested at this year's Champion Carnival is Middleweight, and it may well end up being the best of the bouts, as March 3rd plays host to a contest between defending champion Hikaru Nishida (17-8-1, 8) [西田 光] and the heavy handed Kazuto Takesako (7-0, 7) [竹迫司登]. Nishida is a freakishly strong fighter who brings a lot of pressure, and whilst he can be out boxed he is a tough and aggressive nightmare,. Takesako on the other hand is a really brutish puncher and this will be something very special.
The winners of the bouts will of course be the defending champion, and will also be in the running for a number of prizes, including a notable award for being crowned the MVP of the Champion Carnival, or winning either the Skill or Battle awards.
(Photographs courtesy of boxmob.jp)
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