Over the weekend we reported the news that kick boxing king Tenshin Nasukawa [那須川天心] would fight against Koki Kameda (33-2, 18) [亀田 興毅] on June 22nd. At the time no details were available and the originally planned press conference had been scrapped due to the venue not being suitable for the number of press wanting to attend.
Today the rescheduled press conference took place and we finally got some details of the match up, and the rules regarding the fight, even if not everything is totally clear, yet.
The bout will be the third in the ¥10,000,000 series of shows run by Abema TV. Kameda was the first man to defend the money, doing so in 2017, and it's what Nasukawa did himself this past weekend. The money will be available for Kameda, but only if he can stop Nasukawa. If Nasukawa wins, the bout ends in a draw or goes the distance Abema will be keeping the money.
Although the prize was explained the moment the rules of the contest are still under-discussion, with suggestions being that it will be a form of modified boxing rules. Talk about weight, distance, glove weight and the like haven't been revealed either.
At the press conference a confident Kameda referred to Nasukawa's TKO1 loss to Floyd Mayweather at the end of 2018 and stated that he will also stop the the face of Japanese kick boxing in the opening round.
Nasukawa on the other hand spoke about about being confident and wanting to enliven the martial arts world, in battles outside of the typical martial arts frame work. He also spoke about looking up to Kameda when he was younger, showing respect to the former 3 weight world champion.
The full rules are expected to be announced in the near future, with Abema likely to have a lot of shoulder programming for the event as well.
(Image courtesy of Sponichi)
Earlier today Japanese fans tuning in to Abema saw kick boxing wunderkind Tenshin Nasukawa [那須川天心] secure two wins as part of a special event, that had he lost the winner would have been the recipient of a large financial reward. Following the wins Abema announced that Nasukawa's next bout would see him take on former 3-weight boxing world champion Koki Kameda (33-2, 18) [亀田 興毅].
The contest, which was announced at the end of today's show, will take place on June 22nd and will have an official press conference in the near future to fully explain the details and rules.
Originally there was a snap conference announced for Sunday, but that had to be rescheduled due to the venue they had planned not being able to cope with the amount of press hoping to attend.
Japanese sources are reporting that the bout is likely to be a boxing contest, albeit with possibly a modified boxing rule set, and may also feature a large financial prize for the winner.
The two fighters have already spoke on the contest with Nasukawa stating "I would like to aim for KO because I want to play well. I would like to play a game well based on that, because I will not hit the punch well and will not play the next game." Whilst Kameda, who was the first to hold an event like Nasukawa's from earlier today, stated “I decided to play a serious match with a young man who will support the future martial arts world with his own Twitter. Tenshin Nasukawa, cheering up the bee circles to enliven the Japanese archipelago together I sent a message."
Interestingly Tenshin's bouts today included one against Tepparith Kokietgym (35-3, 22) [เทพฤทธิ์ ก่อเกียรติยิม] who scored a notable win over Koki's brother Daiki when he was a full time professional boxer.
This coming weekend is a massive one for boxing fans, with the jewel of the weekend clearly being the WBSS semi final bout between Naoya Inoue (17-0, 15) [井上 尚弥] and Emmanuel Rodriguez (19-0, 12). Today saw the announcement of another fight for the weekend, as part of an Abema special event, and it will feature a former boxing world champion going up against the face of Japanese organisation RIZIN.
The match in question will see Tenshin Nasukawa [那須川天心], best known by boxing fans for his exhibition at the end of 2018 with Floyd Mayweather Jr, taking on former WBA Super Flyweight champion Tepparith Kokietgym (35-3, 22) [เทพฤทธิ์ ก่อเกียรติยิม], with Tepparith having won a fan vote to face Nasukawa.
Tepparith had entered a competition to face the RIZIN fighter but had lost a split decision. He was reprieved however by the fan vote, which happened due to the original competition winner needing to pull out of the bout.
Tepparith, from what we under-stand, is living in Osaka at the moment to continue his own career in kick boxing. As a boxer he was a very solid fighter and amassed a 35-3 (22) record whilst scoring notable wins over Drian Francisco, Daiki Kameda, Tomonobu Shimizu and Nobuo Nashiro. he has however been out of boxing for almost 3 years, and from what we understand his bout with Tenshin will be a bout fought under modified boxing rules.
For those wanting to watch the bout will take place on Abema on Saturday, from 14:55 local time on Abema Special 2
Earlier today multiple sources began to run a story that Tenshin Nasukawa [那須川天心] would be returning to the ring on April 21st, to compete at RIZIN 15, at the Yokohama Arena. The story isn't that straight forward however, with Nasukawa's bout on the show being an exhibition, similar to his December 31st exhibition with Floyd Mayweather Jr.
This time, rather than fighting someone around 20lbs heavier than himself, Nasukawa will be sharing the ring with WBA Super Featherweight "Super" champion Gervonta Davis (21-0, 20), who is more similar to Nasukawa in terms of size and weight.
Mayweather, who is Davis' promoter, told reporters that the plan is to have this exhibition in April and then for Davis to fight his next defense in May, though details on that are scarce.
After a bit of waiting we're now starting to see the end of Japanese cards being put together, and today we had a huge announcement from a press conference to confirm Fuji TV's December 30th card, which was announced as a world title triple header.
As had long been rumoured Masayuki Ito (24-1-1, 12) [伊藤 雅雪] will indeed be defending his title against mandatory challenger Evgeny Chuprakov (20-0, 10), in what will be Ito's first defense since winning the title in the US against Christopher Diaz.
It was actually Ito who revealed the press conference to some fans yesterday and increase anticipation or today's event. His bout with Chuprakov is a good first defense, but one that he should win, given how much Chuprakov struggled with Filipino foe Ernie Sanchez last time out, a man that Ito easily beat back in 2016.
Another world champion defending his title on the show will be the Kenshiro (14-0, 8) [拳四朗], as he defends the WBC Light Flyweight title against Saul Juarez (24-8-2, 13). The "Smiling Assassin" has had a great 2018 , which already includes stoppage wins over Ganigan Lopez and Milan Melindo, and this bout really pushes him towards the Japanese Fighter of the Year. It will be his 5th defense of the title and see him keeping up one of the busier scheduled in Japan. For Juarez the bout is a bit of an unexpected chance. Since losing to Wanheng Menayothin in August 2016 he hasn't really done much to deserve a world title shot, going 1-3-1 with losses to Leroy Estrada and Gilbero Pedroza, but few question his ability, and he should be a decent test in the ring for the excellent champion.
The least surprising was the announcement was that Takuma Inoue (12-0, 3) [井上 拓真] would be facing off with Thai Petch Sor Chitpattana (48-0, 33) [เพชร ซีพีเฟรชมาร์ท], a bout that had essentially been confirmed back at the WBC Convention earlier this year. It now appears that their bout will be for the WBC "interim" Bantamweight title, as the WBC continue to tidy up a real mess in the division. The mess has been caused by repeated failures to meet deadlines between Nordine Oubaali (14-0, 11) and American Rau'shee Warren (16-2-0-1, 4). There is still some speculation that the interim title may become the regular title if a deal still cannot be sorted between Oubaali and Warren.
Takuma, the younger brother of Naoya Inoue (17-0, 15) [井上 尚弥] is looking to move out of the shadows of the monster, a win here would certainly help him stand out in his own right, but he still has some way to go to over-take the "Monster".
This tripled header is expected to be shown full and live on Fuji TV, giving them a huge platform to kick off their end of year events early and promote RIZIN 14 for the following day, headlined by Tenshin Nasukawa [那須川天心] facing boxing superstar Floyd Mayweather Jr (50-0, 27).
This card will take place at the Ota City General Gymnasium and is expected to have a strong supporting card, though no bouts have yet been announced for it.
(Image courtesy of Sports Hochi)
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