Earlier today Ohashi gym held a press conference to announce the next defense of the OPBF Featherweight title by Satoshi Shimizu (7-0, 7) [清水 聡].
The 2012 Olympic bronze medal winner was flanked by Ohashi gym president Hideyuki Ohashi and trainer Koji Matsumoto at the press conference as they announced Shimizu's next bout.
The fighter will return to the ring on December 3rd to face off with fellow unbeaten Takuya Uehara (16-0, 10) [上原 拓哉] , who held a press conference of his own at the Apollo Gym in Osaka to announce the contest.
For Shimizu the bout will serve as his 4th title defense, and is expected to be his final bout before on wards to a world title fight in early 2019. For Uehara the bout is his first at this level, though he is a former WBC Youth and Japanese Youth champion.
With this announcement we now know that the show, which will be the "66th Phoenix Battle", will be a double header with the card also featuring the mouth watering match up between Hinata Maruta (7-1-1, 6) [丸田 陽七太] and Tsuyoshi Tameda (18-3-2, 16) [溜田剛士]. We also know that the card will feature Kazuki Nakajima (5-0, 4) [中嶋一輝] battling Yoshihiro Utsumi (15-8-3, 10) [宇津見義広] and bouts involving Sho Nakazawa (11-2, 5) [中澤奨] and Taku Kuwahara (2-0, 2) [桑原拓].
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Every so often we get a domestic clash that sends the blood racing and excites us more than it probably should. Today we got an announcement of once such bout, as it was announced we would see two talented youngsters face off in December!
The two men in question were Morioka's star prospect Hinata Maruta (7-1-1, 6) [丸田 陽七太] and hard hitting Ohashi gym prospect Tsuyoshi Tameda (18-3-2, 16) [溜田剛士].
The two fighters will be competing in a Featherweight bout at the Korakuen Hall, with both men having serious title aspirations for 2019. The contest, on December 3rd, looks likely to be the main event of a Phoenix Boxing card, promoted by Tameda's team at the Ohashi Gym. It's a significant step up in class for Tameda given his recent wins over limited opponents, but he has mixed with excellent company in the past, with his most recent losses coming in 2016 to Reiya Abe and Simpiwe Vetyeka and it's fair to saw that Tameda has faced more proven fighters than Maruta.
The 21 year old Maruta, who lost last time he fought at the Korakuen Hall to the then OPBF Super Bantamweight champion Hidenori Otake, will be coming into this bout on the back of a draw in the Philippines to Ben Mananquil, a bout that Maruta seemed to do enough to deserve a win in. He was touted as the next big star from Hyogo but has failed to really live up to expectation in the ring. Here however he has a huge chance to prove himself.
At the moment no other bouts for the card have been announced, but this already makes the show mouth watering.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
Yesterday at the Korakuen Hall fight fans had a trio of notable under-card fighters in action, all picking up wins and moving their careers forward.
The first of those was the once touted former amateur standout Sho Nakazawa (11-2, 5) [中澤奨]. Nakazawa had lost his previous bout, an upset defeat to Ryo Hino, and understandably had a confidence booster, stopping Indonesian Ahmad Lahizab (3-6-11, 1) in 3 rounds. The visitor had been dropped early in the fight and twice in round 3 as Nakazawa proved far too good.
The second of those notable under-card fighters was former amateur stand out Kazuki Nakajima (5-0, 4) [中嶋一輝], who impressed before forcing the durable Takuya Fujioka (8-9-1, 1) [藤岡拓弥] to retire on his stool at the end of round 6. The bout had been one sided with Nakajima in total control in what the most impressive performance of his career so far, and the one that may well have seen him really begin to click as a professional. Although the bout looked like a mismatch on paper it's worth noting that Fujioka was coming into this having never been stopped, with a huge upset win last time out against Futa Akizuki and having given Eita Kikuchi and Kosuke Isono real problems in 2017.
The final under-card bout of note saw the hard hitting Tsuyoshi Tameda (18-3-2, 16) [溜田剛士] deciminate Indonesan veteran Arief Blader (23-30-2, 8). Originally Tameda had been scheduled to face Japanese based Korean fighter Tae Il Atsumi (14-2, 7), though that bout fell through with Blader being a late replacement for Tameda and being totally over-matched.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
We've known for almost a month that Satoshi Shimizu (6-0, 6) [清水 聡] would be defending his OPBF title against Shingo Kawamura (16-3-1, 8) [河村真吾] and former 3-weight world champion Akira Yaegashi (26-6, 14) [八重樫 東] would be taking on Hirofumi Mukai (16-5-3, 6) [向井 寛史] in a very attractive double header on August 17th. That card has now had some other notable names added to it.
One of those fighters is the once touted Sho Nakazawa (10-2, 4) [中澤奨], who is yet to have his opponent named. He'll be having his first fight as a Ohashi Gym fighter, and will be looking to get his career back on track after suffering 2 losses in his last 4.
A more interesting bit of news for the card is that very exciting Japanese ranked Featherweight Tsuyoshi Tameda (17-3-2, 15) [溜田 剛士] will facing offf with Japanese based Korean fighter Tae Il Atsumi (14-2, 7).
The hard hitting Tameda joined the Ohashi gym last year, when the Yonekura gym closed it's doors, and has scored 4 straight stoppage wins coming in to this bout. He's been looking for a big bout since claiming a Japanese Youth title last August and this is certainly a big bout with a lot, given he will be risking his ranking, and potentially taking a huge step towards a title fight with a win. As for Atsumi, who has also fought Teiru Atsumi in recent bouts, he will be coming in to this on the back of a quick blow out win against Katsuhiko Kanno, though was beaten back in December against Shingo Kawamura.
Given the styles of Tameda and Atsumi we're expecting a genuine thrilling, with both men havign spiteful power and aggresive mentalities. This really could turn out to be the best fight of the card.
Back in May we saw Naoya Inoue (16-0, 14) [井上 尚弥] further enhance his reputation as one of the sports rising stars as he ripped the WBA Bantamweight "regular" title from Englishman Jamie McDonnell. Today Inoue returned to the gym to begin his training ahead of entry into the World Boxing Super Series (WBSS).
The former WBC Light Flyweight and WBO Super Flyweight champion took less than 3 weeks off before returning today, and stated that he was refreshed enough to return to gym work.
In the ring today Inoue spent 4 rounds sparring with Japanese ranked Featherweight Tsuyoshi Tameda (17-3-2, 15) [溜田 剛士]. The spar saw him looking sharp and in great condition, as one would expect given how recently he was last in the ring.
At the moment there is no set schedule for the WBSS, though Inoue and his team are preparing for a bout in the fall. He's scheduled to take part in a number of mini-camps, with one taking place later this month and one in July. Those camps will focus on his physical strength.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
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