Recently we were informed of an interesting Japanese card set for April 15th with several notable names involved on it.
The main event of the card will see former Japanese title challenger Tatsuya Takahashi (30-8-5, 21) [高橋竜也] take on hard hitting domestic foe Masayasu Nakamura (6-3-1, 6) [中村 誠康]. On paper this is a bit of a mismatch, given Takahashi's experience, but the veteran hasn't looked great in recent bouts, taking a narrow win over Gaku Aikawa and losing last year to Ikuro Sadatsune and Nakamura will know a win here will put him on the map domestically.
Hard hitting Welterweight Yuki Beppu (18-1-1, 18) [別府優樹] will be in the co-feature, looking to bounce back from his 2018 defeat to Yuki Nagano. He will be up against Filipino foe Jason Egera (24-20-2, 11), and will be seeking to bounce back from that defeat here.
Also on this show will be Japanese ranked Minimumweight Desierto Nagaike (11-4-2, 2) [長池拓] and promising Super Bantamweight prospect Tetsuya Watanabe (4-1, 3) [渡部哲也].
Last year was a big one for Japanese puncher Keita Kurihara (11-5, 10) [栗原 慶太], who defeated Filipino pair Engelbert Moralde and Ryan Lumacad, but had a thrilling loss to Hiroaki Teshigawara splitting those wins. Today he kicked off his 2018 and made an immediate impact by destroying the touted Tetsuya Watanabe (3-1, 2) [渡部哲也] in just 81 rounds.
Kurihara applied pressure straight from the off whilst Watanabe was forced to use his feet and jab. Sadly for Watanabe his movement did little to prevent Kurihara from cutting the distance and cornering Watanabe, who was dropped only moments later.
The win for Kurhara, his second since the loss to Teshigawara, takes him a huge step towards getting his first title bout. That could be a rematch with Teshigawara, the current WBO Asia Pacific champion, or alternatively he could begin chasing either the Japanese or OPBF titles.
As for Watanabe this would have been a hard loss, and one that he may struggle to bounce back from in a hurry. It will leave many opponents questioning his durability and could well show some major cracks in the way he responds to pressure. Though it does give him a platform to build from.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
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