On October 30th the Watanabe Gym will hold a small but notable show at Korakuen Hall. The card, which will be feature the retirement ceremony of former world title challenger Ryuichi Funai (31-8, 22) [船井 龍一], hasn't been fully announced but a number of fighters involved on the show have been announced including the several former amateur outs.
One of those former amateur standouts is Yudai Shigeoka (0-0) [重岡優大], who will make his debut on the card. The 22 year old Shigeoka is the older brother of WBO Asia Pacific Minimumweight champion Ginjiro Shigeoka (4-0, 3) [重岡銀次朗], and had planned to compete at the 2020 Olympics, until his weight class was removed the games.
At the moment the full details of Shigeoka's bout have yet be announced, though it's expected to be a 6 rounder fought just above the Minimumweight limit against an imported opponent.
Another amateur standout set for the card is Shu Utsuki (5-0, 4) [宇津木秀], who is listed as being in the main event. Utsuki's opponent hasn't been named yet, but we do know his bout will be an 8 rounder. So too will be a bout involving Motoki Osanai (4-2, 1) [小山内幹], who is looking for his 4th straight win as looks to build some momentum with his career.
One bout that has been confirmed for the show will see former OPBF Flyweight champion Keisuke Nakayama (11-4-2, 5) [中山佳祐] battle against Akio Furutani (7-4, 3) [古谷昭男]. This bout is also schedule for 8 rounds and is a must win for Nakayama who has struggled massively in recent bouts.
Full details of this show are expected in the coming week or two as Watanabe look to bring on their next wave of promising fighters.
Earlier today we reported that Yudai Shigeoka [重岡優大] was heading to the professional ranks, following his younger brother, Ginjiro. As it turns he's not the only former amateur standout hanging up the vest and turning professional, with Kotari Shigetoshi [神足 茂利] doing the same.
Shigetoshi isn't as well regarded as the two Shigeoka but that doesn't mean he's not a very accomplished fighter from his day's in the unpaid ranks. As an amateur he amassed an excellent 50-23 record and is experienced in national tournaments.
Unlike the Shigeoka brothers, who are both Watanabe gym fighters Shigetoshi has signed his professional contract with the MT gym and his B License test earlier today saw him sparring with former Japanese Flyweight champion Junto Nakatani.
The MT Gym isn't one of the more well known gyms internationally but with Nakatani, Kai Ishizawa and now Shigetoshi the gym is amassing some quality young talent which could secure their place among the likes of Watanabe, Teiken and Ohashi.
Aged 22 and fighting at Featherweight Shigetoshi is going to be in one of the most interesting division's domestically, but is young enough develop rather than rush into the big fights.
At the moment Shigetoshi's debut hasn't been set in stone, but it's expected to be a 6 round bout in October, with Shigetoshi expected to feature on some notable cards in 2020.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Less than a week ago we saw super prospect Ginjiro Shigeoka (4-0, 3) [重岡銀次朗] claim his first professional title, stopping Clyde Azarcon in 72 seconds to win the WBO Asia Pacific Minimumweight title. Today we've been informed that he's being followed into the professional ranks by older brother Yudai Shigeoka [重岡優大].
The 22 year old Yudai, the "1" in Ginjiro's 56-1 amateur record, took part in his B license test this morning, sparring with former world title challenger Masataka Taniguchi (11-3, 7) [谷口 将隆].
The youngster, who had originally planned to go to the 2020 Olympics linked up with the Watanabe Gym in April, following in his brother's footsteps.
As an amateur Yudai scored more than 80 wins and suffered just 10 losses, whilst taking a host of tournament wins, including the 2018 All Japan championships last November and reached the final of the 2018 World University Championship.
At the moment his debut hasn't been set though he will be competing at 105lbs, like his brother.
When compared to his brother Taniguchi stated that Ginjiro hits harder but Yudai is the faster fighter.
We'd expect news about his debut in the coming weeks, with it likely to take place before the end of 2019.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
Earlier today fans were able to see the 88th All Japan National Championships, with 8 national champions being crowned in what was an incredible show of high level amateur boxing. For fans at the venue the show was brilliant, whilst those watching on TV, courtesy of NHKBS1 got guest analyst work from WBA "Regular" Bantamweight champion Naoya Inoue.
The lowest weight on the show was the Light Flyweight division, which saw Yudai Shigeoka [重岡優大], the older brother of touted professional prospect Ginjiro Shigeoka, take a 5-0 decisions over Daichi Hasebe [長谷部大地]. The bout was a high skilled, fast paced contest that really kicked the show off in an amazing fashion.
The Flyweight bout was another amazing contest, which saw Tosho Kashiwazaki [柏崎刀翔] taking a 4-1 decision over Ryomei Tanaka [田中亮明], the older brother of 3-weight world champion Kosei Tanaka. This was was tightly fought, but Kashiwazaki always looked like the aggressor, and it seems like that extra offensive mentality was the difference between the two men.
At Bantamweight 2014 Youth Olympics bronze medal winner Subaru Murata [村田昴] over-come Keisuke Matsumoto [松本圭佑], the son of former world title challenger Koji Matsumoto. Murata was cut around both eyes but took the decision win, thanks in part to an amazing effort in the final round, where he really put Matsumoto on the back foot to claim a 3-0 win.
The Lightweight bout saw 2016 Olympian Arashi Morisaka [森坂嵐] narrowly over-come Kenji Fujita [藤田健児] in a 3-2 decision. This was a messy bout at time, with the styles not quite gelling as the earlier bouts, but was very competitive and hard to take your eyes off as both men did all they could to try and take the win.
In the Light Welterweight final we saw the highly established Daisuke Narimatsu [成松大介] claim his latest title as he defeated Yuta Akiyama [秋山佑汰]. This was Narimatsu's 8th All Japanese title, and it seems like his intention is to go to the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. If boxing is however removed from the Olympics we could imagine promoters scrambling over each other to become his professional promoter.
The Welterweight crown was won by Sewon Okazawa [岡澤セオン], who took a 5-0 decision over Kanjo Taiyo [金城大明], in what was an another entertaining contest with Okazawa making his claim to be pushed towards some notable international competitions, potentially including the Olympics.
At Middleweight Yuito Moriwaki [森脇唯人] continued his great run on the domestic scene, as he defeated Kyohei Hosono [細野恭兵] 5-0. This win saw Moriwaki retain the title he won last year, and claim the MVP award for the show, as he continues to thrive and really make his mark.
The heaviest weight class on the show as the Light Heavyweight division, which saw Takuro Kurita [栗田琢郎] take a 3-2 win over Takahito Nitta [新田隆人] to take the crown.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
Earlier today saw the finals of the Japanese High School tournament. Among the tournament winners was the very promising Keisuke Matsumoto [松本 圭佑] a youngster tipped for a place at Tokyo 2020 and a potential star of the future.
Matsumoto, who has been in the gym with Akira Yaegashi and Naoya Inoue, claimed the Light Flyweight crown and continued to build on his burgeoning reputation as a genuine one to watch. He claimed the crown with a decision win over Takumi Tamura [田村拓実].
Other winners at the event included-
Ginjiro Shigeoka [重岡銀次郎] at Pinweight,
Hayato Tsutsumi [堤駿斗] at Flyweight, who also built on his success from last year,
Taiga Imanaga [今永虎雅] who claimed the Bantamweight crown, and built on his own success
and Light Welterweight Issei Aramoto [荒本一成].
Whilst the competition doesn't also lead to stars of the future it does tend to highlight the top young teenagers in the Japanese amateur scene and these young men will all be worth following over the coming years. The continued success of a number of these fighters does suggest a very promising future and don't be surprised to see them at Tokyo 2020, or in fact turning professional by the 2020 Olympics.
(Image courtesy of Hideyuki Ohashi's blog)
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