Back in March we saw a massive upset as Lito Dante (16-10-4, 8) scored a huge 12th round TKO win over Japan's previously unbeaten Tsubasa Koura (14-1, 9) [小浦 翼], and ended Koura's reign as the OPBF Minimumweight champion. Since then the talented Koura hasn't been in action, and and has sat over over 6 months.
Today we finally saw news break on what Koura next plan was, with the Cassius Gym fighter now set to fight on the November 9th Dangan card, which will feature the God's Left semi final bouts.
At the moment his opponent hasn't been confirmed by name, though is said to be an Indonesian fighter, who is likely there to help Koura re-establish some confidence following a very damaging and surprising loss.
The card will not only feature the God's Left semi-final bouts but also a Japanese title eliminator between Taiki Minamoto (16-5-1, 13) [源大輝] and Takuya Watanabe (36-9-1, 21) [渡邉卓也], making this a really good card, even if we don't know who Koura will be fighting.
Earlier today news broke that the Aoki Gym in Tokyo, would be closing due before the started of 2020 due to issues with compliance.
The full issues haven't been totally disclosed, but appear to be of a financial nature. and was described as being an issue of power harassment, and social irresponsible.
The gym isn't a huge one, but is known for having several notable fighters. One of those was female star Momo Koseki (24-2-1, 9) [小関 桃], who retired in 2018, former WBO Flyweight Sho Kimura (18-3-2, 11) [木村翔] and Takuya Watanabe (36-9-1, 21) [渡邉卓也].
Whilst Koseki has retired, Kimura is still worl ranked, and only lost his world title a year. More notably Watanabe has a big bout planned for October 30th against former Japanese Featherweight champion Taiki Minamoto (16-5-1, 13) [源大輝], in what will be a Japanese Featherweight title eliminator.
The gym is still open, but the fighters such as Kimura and Watanabe, will need to transfer before it closes it's doors. There is no set date for the closure, but those fighters will still need to be transferred, with their licenses before it does close.
The gym has started that not only will it be closed by January 1st 2020, and fighters will be transferred, where appropriate, but that that the directors will also retire by the date it closes.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Yesterday we reported that an October 26th card at Korakuen Hall would be playing host to 5 Japanese eliminators as we begin to piece together the 2020 Champion Carnival bouts. Now we've been given a full list of all the eliminators, as we really see the end of the year Japanese boxing calendar take shape.
The first of the bouts will take place on September 13th at Super Bantamweight, and will see former champion Ryoichi Tamura (12-4-1, 6) [田村 亮一] take on experienced veteran Gakuya Furuhashi (25-8-1, 14) [古橋大輔], in what should be a thriller.
The second of the eliminators will take place just a few days later, on September 21st and is another bout that was already known about. This one is the Japanese Minimumweight title eliminator between unbeaten teenager Kai Ishizawa (6-0, 6) [石澤開] and former world title challenger Masataka Taniguchi (11-3, 7) [谷口 将隆].
Following the Minimumweight bout we'll have to wait until October for many of the bouts, with the first of those coming on October 21st and seeing Cristiano Aoqui (14-7-2, 10) [アオキ クリスチャーノ] and Daishi Nagata (13-2-1, 5) [永田大士] clash in an eliminator at 140lbs. On paper this one has explosive action written all over it and could turn out to be the hidden gem of the eliminators.
We then move on to the October 26th card, which features 5 different eliminators. They are the Flyweight eliminator, between Ryota Yamauchi (5-1, 4) [山内涼太] and Seiya Fujikita (13-4, 6) [藤北誠也], the Bantamweight eliminator between Kazuki Tanaka (11-2, 8) [田中一樹] and Kyosuke Sawada (13-2-1, 6) [澤田京介] the Featherweight eliminator, pitting Hinata Maruta (9-1-1, 7) [丸田陽七太] against Takenori Ohashi (17-5-2, 11) [大橋健典], the Lightweight eliminator between Kazuki Saito (7-1, 5) [斎藤一貴] and Izuki Tomioka (6-2-1, 2) [富岡樹] and the Welterweight bout between Keita Obara (21-4-1, 19) [小原 佳太] and Toshiro Tarumi (12-3-3, 6) [垂水稔朗]. This is where the bulk of the bouts are, and is expected to be a sensational card.
The Super Featherweight bout will take place on October 30th and is one of the best match ups. The bout will see former Japanese Featherweight champion Taiki Minamoto (16-5-1, 13) [源大輝] take on Takuya Watanabe (36-9-1, 21) [渡邉卓也]. This pits a huge puncher against a proper tough guy in what could be a very brutal bout.
At Light Middleweight we'll see former champion Nobuyuki Shindo (20-5-2, 8) [新藤寛之] take on Yuto Shimizu (13-4-2, 5) [清水優人] in what looks like a disappointing match up on paper but should prove to be very entertaining. This bout will take place on November 2nd and is expected to be featured on a card that has at least one other noteworthy bout.
The final bout to be scheduled is the Light Flyweight contest, which is set to feature Rikito Shiba (3-0, 2) [芝力人] taking on the big punching Masamichi Yabuki (9-3, 9) [佐藤政道], in another amazing match up. This bout, set to take place in Nagoya on December 15th, is a huge step up for Shiba and a win here would be a huge statement for the youngster.
One bout that has been ordered, but has no set date yet, is the Super Flyweight bout, which will feature former champion Hiroyuki Kudaka (26-18-2, 11) [久高寛之] and Yuta Matsuo (15-4-1, 8) [松尾雄太], in what should be an action packed war, helped by the limitations of the two men involved.
Notably there will be no eliminator at Middleweight and instead Riku Kunimoto (4-0, 2) [国本陸] will get a shot at the belt, likely against current champion Kazuto Takesako (11-0-1, 11) [竹迫司登], in the new year.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
Earlier today at the Korakuen Hall saw OPBF Super Featherweight champion Hironori Mishiro (7-0-1, 2) [三代大訓] make his second defense, defeating veteran Takuya Watanabe (35-9-1, 20) [渡邉卓也] in a compelling 12 round affair.
The bout, promised a lot on paper and genuinely delivered in what was a technical, tactical, highly skilled fight. Both looked to make use of their jab early on, with Watanabe having the slightly heavy jab, whilst Mishiro's was the sharper one. There was little to split the men in the early stages and after 4 rounds the judges had the bout 38-38, 39-37 and a rather harsh 40-36, giving Mishiro the majority lead when the scores were announced for the first time.
Knowing he was behind Watanabe looked to change the tempo in the middle rounds, but Mishiro went with him and refused to be out worked by the older man. This lead to him extending his lead when the scores were announced after 8 rounds, with scores of 78-74, twice, and 77-75 in favour of the champion.
Knowing he had had to do everything in the final stages Watnabe tried to work the body and break down Mishiro, who held his own, showing that even with his novice level of experience he can go 12 rounds with no problems and in fact he was the one finishing hard with a big attack in the final seconds.
At the end off the bout the open scoring had made it clear that Mishiro was going to win, and he did so with scores of 115-113, 116-112 and 117-111, but he had to work hard for it and Watanabe again proved he was no push over, despite now having 9 losses to his name.
For fans wanting to watch this, it was shown live over Boxing Raise, and will be added to their Video on Demand section in the near future.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Tomorrow fight fans around the world, as well as those at the Korakuen Hall, will be able to see a potentially brilliant fight, as OPBF Super Featherweight champion Hironori Mishiro (6-0-1, 2) [三代大訓] defends his belt against Takuya Watanabe (35-8-1, 20) [渡邉卓也], in the main event of Dangan 221.
The bout, which will be streamed on Boxing Raise, will be Mishiro's second defense, and Watanabe's first bout in Japan since December 2016.
Today the two fighters took part in their weigh in, and both men made weight.
The more experienced Watanabe was bang on the limit, and looked in great condition, as he always does. Mishiro, who also looked tremendous, was a touch lighter than the challenger.
At the weigh in both spoke confidently and it seems like they are just as excited for the bout as we are. The styles and mentalities of the two should make for some excellent action and we may be in for a bit of a hidden gem here.
Related - Mishiro and Watanabe to battle for OPBF crown!
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
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