Earlier today the Kadoebi Gym announced their next big show, "Slugfest 9", which will take place on May 8th at the Korakuen Hall.
The main event of the card will see former IBF Super Bantamweight world champion Yukinori Oguni (20-2-1, 8) [小國以載] battle in a 10 round bout. The bout will be Oguni's second contest since returning to the ring last year, with a win over Arega Yunian, having been out of the ring for almost 15 months following the loss to Ryosuke Iwasa in September 2017. His opponent hasn't been announced but we'd expect a big step up from Yunian.
The chief support bout will be an 8 round bout featuring former Japanese Flyweight and OPBF Super Flyweight champion Takuya Kogawa (29-5-1, 13) [粉川拓也], who fights for the first time as a Kadoebi Gym fighter, and Hideyuki Watanabe (8-11-3, 6) [渡邉秀行]. This isn't just Kogawa's first bout as a Kadoebi fighter, but also only his second bout since the start of 2018. This should be a relatively safe bout for the veteran given that Watanabe has gone 0-5 since the start of 2015.
Another former Japanese champion confirmed for this card is Takenori Ohashi (16-5-2, 10) [大橋健典], who gets a tough assignment as he takes on Shun Wakabayashi (9-3, 2) [若林駿] in an 8 round bout. This will be Ohashi's second bout since he lost the Japanese Featherweight title to Taiki Minamoto last April, whilst Wakabayashi will be looking to score a 6th straight win, building on victories over Taichi Ueno and Xian Qian Wei.
Others now confirmed for this show include the hard hitting Ryoji Fukunaga (10-4, 10) [福永亮次], the talented Yuichiro Kasuya (11-2-1, 3) [粕谷雄一郎] and very promising prospect Yuki Nakajima (1-0, 1) [中嶋憂輝].
Earlier today the news broke that another notable fighter had transferred to the Kadoebi Gym, following Yuichiro Kasuya (10-2-1, 2) [粕谷雄一郎] and Koki Tyson (13-3-2, 11) [太尊 康輝], who both joined the gym in recent weeks.
The notable fighter in question is Takuya Kogawa (29-5-1, 13) [粉川拓也], who is a former 2-time world title challenger and has also held OPBF and JBC titles.
At the age of 33 Kogawa likely sees his career as having 1 more big run in it, though will know that a loss would likely spell the end of his hopes to be a world champion. Kogawa was last seen in the ring in July, narrowly earning a draw with Yusuke Sakashita, and it seems like he believes a change in environment and culture will be what he needs to have another run.
At his best he was an all action fighter, who has had great contests with the likes if Suguru Muranaka, Yodmongkol Vor Saengthep, Masayuki Kuroda, Hiroyuki Kudaka and the legendary Pongsaklek Wonjongkam. At the 33 years old and with his hard career behind him however it's unclear what he still has left to offer the sport.
Interestingly it's also been revealed that Kasuya will be fighting on January 31st, Tyson in April and Kogawa in either April or May.
Earlier today Japanese fight fans at the Korakuen Hall saw former Japanese Super Bantamweight champion Masaaki Serie (27-10, 10) [芹江 匡晋] take on Daisuke Sugita (3-0, 2) [杉田大祐]. The bout was set to be Serie's final bout, and was a return to action for the former champion who had been away from the ring for over 2 years.
Sadly the ring return was to be a short and unsuccessful one for Serie who was stopped after just 116 seconds.
The fight started perfectly for Serie, who connected a a left hook and dropped the Sugita, who seemed to be caught cold. Sadly for the veteran however Sugita recovered and would land a brutal right hand that dropped Serie, who was unable to beat the count and suffered his first stoppage defeat.
The former champion apologised following the defeat, but the reality is that he had had a great career today and was well deserving of the 10 bell salute that he received after the bout.
Also on this card was a split decision draw between Takuya Kogawa (29-5-1, 13) [粉川拓也] and Yusuke Sakashita (16-8-3, 11) [阪下優友]. The fight was a thrilling war and saw men needing to grit their teeth through the contest.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
On Friday we'll see Yusaku Kuga (16-2-1, 11) [久我勇作] defending the Japanese Super Bantamweight title against former world title challenger Shingo Wake (24-5-2, 16) [和氣 慎吾] in what is one of the most anticipated Japanese domestic fights of 2018.
Fans who are wanting to watch the fight but aren't able to get to the Korakuen Hall are going to have to wait a few days to see the delayed broadcast on TBS though those in Tokyo will be able to get a special treat tomorrow as the weigh in will be held in public, a rarity for Japanese fights.
The weigh in will take place at the "MLBcafe" in the Tokyo Dome City, with the weigh in beginning at 1PM local time.
Dangan held a similar open weigh in last year when Rikki Naito battled Chinese fighter Baishanbo Nasiyiwula and despite tensions flaring between the two fighters the atmosphere was great and those who attended did seem to enjoy the whole event.
From what we understand all the bouts on the card will be featured in this open weigh in, including Takuya Kogawa (29-5, 13) [粉川拓也], Yusuke Sakashita (16-8-2, 11) [阪下優友], Masaaki Serie (27-9, 10) [芹江 匡晋] and Daisuke Sugita (1-0) [杉田大祐].
Sadly as reported yesterday the Japanese Minimumweight Youth title fight between Kai Ishizawa (4-0, 4) [石澤開] and Daiki Tomita (12-0, 4) [冨田大樹] has been cancelled.
Related - Japanese king Kuga takes on slick Wake in upcoming defense
This coming Friday we'll see an excellent card, headlined by a Japanese Super Bantamweight title bout, between defending champion Yusaku Kuga (16-2-1, 11) [久我勇作] and former world title challenger Shingo Wake (24-5-2, 16) [和氣 慎吾]. The under-card for that show is a deep and stacked one, featuring bouts between Takuya Kogawa (29-5, 13) [粉川拓也] and Yusuke Sakashita (16-8-2, 11) [阪下優友], and Masaaki Serie (27-9, 10) [芹江 匡晋] against Daisuke Sugita (1-0) [杉田大祐].
Sadly however one of the fantastic looking under-card bouts for the show has now been cancelled, due to one of the fighter suffering a nose injury in training for the bout.
The bout that's been cancelled is a a Japanese Minimumweight Youth title fight, that was set to pit the heavy handed Kai Ishizawa (4-0, 4) [石澤開] against 2016 Rookie of the Year Daiki Tomita (12-0, 4) [冨田大樹]. Sadly however Ishizawa is out of the bout.
At the moment the full details of the injury aren't very well known, though it would seem like the hope, from both camps, would be to get the bout re-organised for either later this year or early next year, when the injury has healed. Sadly the timing will likely not give the organisers enough time to find Tomita a suitable opponent, though he may well take part in the card in some none-fighting capacity.
It's a shame that the bout that was the second best looking on the card has been cancelled, but we do with Ishizawa a speedy recovery from his injury and hopefully the bout can be rescheduled.
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