Fans in Osaka who were hoping to see a Japanese Youth Bantamweight title fight between Yuki Iriguchi (9-2-1, 4) [入口裕貴] and Matcha Nakagawa (12-1-1, 5) [武田航] on Saturday will sadly be disappointed to learn that that fight has been cancelled as Iriguchi has become the latest Japanese fighter to fail to make weight, following a growing trend. Unlike the recent bout between Daigo Higa and Cristofer Rosales this bout won't take place, and instead has been cancelled.
The talented 20 year old Iriguchi had fought his last few bouts, including a Japanese Youth title bout in December, at Super Bantamweight and hadn't actually fought at Bantamweight since a December 2016 win.
On the scales Iriguchi was originally 500g, just over 1lbs, over the Bantamweight limit. After 45 minutes he was still over the Bantamweight limit and his gym, the Kadoebi gym, cancelled the bout on the grounds of health, with the promotional team behind the show agreeing it was the right thing to do.
Sadly for the Kadoebi gym this is the second notable time one of their fighters has failed to make weight in recent weeks, with Coach Hiroto (13-2-2, 4) [小内義人] failing to make weight for a bout back in March.
As a result of this bout being cancelled Nakagawa, who was supposed to be defending the title, will be fighting in an exhibition with his older brother Mugicha Nakagawa (22-5-1, 13) [武田勇太], who is expected to return fight in mid May in the Philippines.
Earlier today saw the announcement that Japanese youth Bantamweight Wataru Takeda (12-1-1, 5) [武田航] would be defending his title on April 28th against Yuki Iriguchi (9-2-1, 4) [入口裕貴] in Osaka.
The bout will be Takeda's first defense of the title, that he won last August when he scored an 8th round TKO win over Yuto Nakamura, and the 23 year old Southpaw will be looking to extend his current 3 fight winning run. As for Iriguchi this will be his second shot at a Japanese Youth title, following a loss in a battle for Japanese Youth Super Bantamweight title, losing a spilt decision to Takuya Mizuno. Prior to that loss he had been on a 5 fight unbeaten run and had scored notable wins over Kenshin Oshima and Ryohei Takahashi.
At the moment little else has been confirmed about the card, but on paper this is a very good domestic type of bout and should be a very competitive contest between two talented youngsters, both hoping to move onto bigger and better things.
Earlier today fight fans in Aichi saw a Japanese Super Bantamweight Youth title fight, as heavy handed champion Takuya Mizuno (13-1-1, 11) [水野拓哉] took on the in form Yuki Iriguchi (9-2-1, 4) [入口 裕貴]. For the champion the bout was his first defense, whilst Iriguchi was fighting in his first title bout, and it was clear that both men really wanted the belt, some that had been clear at the weight in yesterday.
The desire to win was clear from the opening moments of the fight, with Iriguchi backing Mizuno into the corner, but being forced to take a huge counter shot that put him on the back foot. From then on it was a brilliant back and forth between two amazingly well matched young men, who traded bombs.
Through the middle rounds the bout became a war up close. Both managed to switch between head and body and both looked like they felt their power would be enough to make the other fold. Instead of folding the shots just seemed to spur the other man on and they both went head to head in a battle of machismo.
Going in to the final rounds it looked like the bout was on a knife edge and both were refusing to step back. Sadly for Iriguchi it was Mizuno who got the better of things, especially in round 8, as Iriguchi began to fade, a result of having oput so much into the early stages of the fight.
In the end there was little to separate the two men, and the judges struggled to split them. One judge went with Iriguchi, 77-76, but he was over-ruled but judges who went for Mizuno with scores of 77-76 and 77-75. Essentially the final round decided the winner.
The close nature of the contest will hopefully lead to another match between these two somewhere down the line, but given their age there is no need at all to rush that.
For fans wanting to watch the bout it will be featured on boxingraise shortly.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Back in August fight fans in Japan saw Takuya Mizuno (12-1-1, 11) [水野拓哉] claim a narrow decision win over Ryota Ishida [石田凌太] to become the first ever Japanese Youth Super Bantamweight champion. Tomorrow he will be making his first defense of the title, as he takes on the under-rated Yuki Iriguchi (9-1-1, 4) [入口 裕貴].
The men took part in their weigh in earlier today with Mizuno being bang on the limit, and Iriguchi coming in a lil under the maximum allowed, at 121.75lbs.
Coming in to this the champion is riding a 5 fight winning streak, with 4 stoppge, and has rebuilt well since a 2015 loss to Tenta Kiyose in the Rookie of the Year. Although a heavy handed fighter Mizuno is also a capable boxer, and his two bouts that have gone the distance have both been razor thin, winning a split decision and losing a majority decision. Although in good form it should be noted that his best wins are over the likes of Ishida and Renji Ichimura, both solid fighters but nothing spectacular.
As for Iriguchi this will be his first title bout of any kind Iriguchi began his career with a 5 fight winnign streak being being stopped by Hibiki Joko, and then fighting to a draw with recent Mizuno victim Noboru Osato. At 5-1-1 (3) Iriguchi was struggling, but since then he has reeled off 4 wins, including very good wins over Kenshin Oshima and Ryohei Takahashi, who was in amazing form prior to the bout. Those wins have turned Iriguchi's career around, and seen him develop into a much more confident, and skilled fighter.
For fans interested in watching this one, it will be included on the Boxingraise service on a Video on Demand basis, long with the rest of the show.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Earlier today Japanese fight fans had the chance to see an interesting card at the Korakuen Hall. The card had a number of well matches bouts and a number of notable fighters in action.
The chief support bout saw Teiken prospect Shuya Masaki (8-0, 4) [正木 脩也] destroy a Thai foe in 3 rounds, with the Thai being dropped in round 2, and round 3 of a pretty fun supporting bout. The Thai was saved by the towel, during the count from the second knock down, but he did give a very credible effort.
In a minor upset Yuki Iriguchi (9-1-1, 4) [入口 裕貴] took a split decision win over the in form Ryohei Takahashi (11-3-1, 3) [高橋 竜平] , who had taken the unbeaten records of Wataru Takeda and Kazuki Tanaka in his last 2 bouts. Takahashi had come into the bout as the #12 ranked Japanese Bantamweight, and he looked to defend that ranking, but could never get on top of his man in a real nip-and-tuck back and forth contest. Although Iriguchi took the win the scores of 77-75 could have gone either way on a really good fight.
In a battle of Japanese ranked Lightweights fans saw Tatsuya Yanagi (13-5-1, 4) [柳 達也] take a unanimous decision win against former title challenger Masashi Noguchi (12-8-1, 6) [野口 将志]. The bout saw Yanagi have a really solid start, before Noguchi settled, and by then the 27 year Noguchi was too far behidn to get back into the bout, despite some solid rounds. Sadly for Noguchi this is a third straight loss and it's hard to see how he will bounce back. As for Yanagai this was a second good win in a row, following an upset against Ryusei Nakajima, and it seems his once promising career is slowly getting back on track following a number of setbacks over the last few years.
One other bout of note saw Japanese ranked Super Flyweight Ryuta Otsuka (16-10-3, 6) [大塚 隆太] fight to a draw with Ryuta Wakamatsu (10-12-1, 7) [若松 竜太] in a really well matched and competitive contest.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
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