Back in April we saw Yuki Nagano (16-2, 12) [永野祐樹] stop Ryota Yada (18-5, 15) [矢田良太] to become the new Japanese Welterweight champion. Since then we've been waiting for him to make his first defense, and today we finally found out when he would be risking his belt, and who he would be up against.
The champion, from the Teiken gym, will be taking on 35 year old veteran Makoto Kawasaki (11-7-1, 2) [川崎真琴], in what will be his first shot at the full title following a bout for the interim belt back in 2017, with the bout being held at Korakuen Hall on September 7th.
Coming in to this Nagano won't just be looking to defend his belt but also continue his impressive winning streak, which stands at 14 straight wins, including notable victories over Giraffe Kirin Kanda, Riku Nagahama, Yuki Beppu and Ryota Yada. Another win and he could well find himself moving towards bigger titles, and in fact it's fair to suggest that his current run is deserving of a regional title fight already.
Kawasaki has been a professional since 2012 and although his record isn't great he has faced some really interesting names during his career. He debuted against Koki Tyson, his first two losses came to Hironobu Matsunaga and other losses have come to Ryota Yada and Daisuke Sakamoto among others. Despite a sketchy record he has actually won his last 2 bouts, beating both Kentaro Endo and Yuichi Ideta, though a loss to Nagano would likely be the end of his career.
Notably this bout is set to be the chief support bout for the rescheduled contest between Kenichi Ogawa (24-1-0-1, 18) [尾川 堅一] and South African Azinga Fuzile (14-0, 8), who are meeting in an IBF world title eliminator.
Earlier today the Award Winners for the 2019 Champion Carnival were announced, with 4 fighters taking awards, in what was the 40th Champion Carnival.
The MVP was the newly crowned Japanese Welterweight champion Yuki Nagano (16-2, 12) [永野祐樹], who claimed the title on April 21st, when he stopped Ryota Yada (18-5, 15) [矢田良太] in 7 rounds in Osaka. His performance, away from home, was brilliant and saw him extending his current winning run to 14 bouts, with this clearly being his biggest and best win so far.
The Skills Award was won by Shuichiro Yoshino (10-0, 8) [吉野 修一郎], who recorded his 4th defense of the Japanese Lightweight title by stopping Accel Sumiyoshi (11-5-3, 3) [アクセル住吉] in 7 rounds. Yoshino really did impress and it's clear he is well beyond Japanese title level, so hopefully he'll look to push on, and pursue bigger and better titles in the very near future.
The Fighting Spirit Award was won by Japanese Bantamweight champion Yuta Saito (12-9-3, 9) [齊藤裕太], who stopped interim champion Hayato Kimura (28-11, 19) [木村隼人] to unify the two titles. Saito, who had had to cancel a previous bout due to illness, looked like a man possessed in the end and broke down the brave but over-powered Kimura.
The fourth award was the Special Award and that was won by veteran Norihito Tanaka (19-7, 11) [田中教仁], who stopped Shin Ono (23-11-3, 6) [小野 心] to become the new Japanese Minimumweight champion. Tanaka managed to break down Ono in 8 rounds to score his career defining win at the age of 33, and is scheduled to defend his title in June against Naoya Haruguchi.
These awards aren't just ceremonial but also financial with the winners all receiving an impressive financial bonus.
The award ceremony hasn't yet been given a date, though that is expected to be announced in the coming weeks.
(We've included footage of the fights involving Nagano and Yoshino, the other two bouts are only available through the Boxing Raise service)
The main event of "Crash Boxing 17" at the EDION Arena Osaka earlier today saw a title change, as Japanese Welterweight champion Ryota Yada (18-5, 15) [矢田良太] was stopped by mandatory challenger Yuki Nagano (16-2, 12) [永野祐樹].
The bout looked like an intriguing shoot out on paper. Both were flawed, but big punchers in great form. Coming in Yada had won 6 in a row, including his title win last April over Toshio Arikawa and 2 successful defenses. Nagano on the other hand had been riding a 13 fight unbeaten run, which had included a triumph at the 2015 Rookie of the Year and recent wins over Riku Hagahama and Yuki Beppu.
Sadly it appeated that Nagano was in a class of his own early on. Yada pressed but struggle to be effective with his pressure, instead eating straight left hands and hard right hooks from the challenger, who soaked up the pressure brilliantly.
The power of Yada was expected to be a key factor, he had stopped 6 of his previous 7 an was seen as solid puncher at this level. Instead however it was Nagano's power that proved to be a different maker in round 3, when he dropped Yada with a straight left hand, just moments before the bell.
Yada recovered from the knockdown, and managed to have success in round 4, as he intensified his work, and got Nagano on the ropes. The local Osakan fans cheers on their man, but it was short lived success with Nagano getting back into his groove in round 5, despite being forced to take a huge left hook from the champion.
After 5 rounds the scores were split, with 2 judges having the bout 48-45 to the challenger, a score that seemed about right, whilst one judge some how had Yada in the lead, 47-46.
Yada, likely realising he wasn't totally out of it, came out with an increased pace in round 6, which continued into round 7. Sadly for the champion he was unable to avoid the straight left of Nagano which staggered him, and forced the referee to call a halt to the bout.
After the win Nagano revealed he didn't remember much about the bout, though Teiken representative Tsuyoshi Hamada spoke highly of Nagano's performance, and seems to see more growth in Nagano, who has now won 14 in a row.
Yada seemed unconvinced about where he was heading next, and we suspect he'll take something of a break before deciding on his next move. This is a big loss, but he has bounced back from losses before, and he could see this defeat as another learning experience, as his defeat to Jayar Inson in 2016 turned out to be.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Tomorrow in Japan fans will be able to see Japanese Welterweight champion Ryota Yada (18-4, 15) [矢田良太] take on mandatory challenger Yuki Nagano (15-2, 11) [永野祐樹] in his third defense of the title. Today the two men went to the scales to take part in their official weigh in and both men made weight for the contest.
On the scales both men were comfortable under the limit, weighing in at an identical 146.1lbs, and both looked in great condition.
The winner of this does seem likely to have a number of challengers circling, with the likes of Yuki Beppu, Rikuto Adachi, Giraffe Kirin Kanda and Kudura Kaneko all wanting a shot at the belt, and all will be very interested in the winner of this title bout.
Related - Yada and Nagano battle for Japanese crown!
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Yesterday in Osaka the Green Tsuda gym held an event to talk about two upcoming Japanese title defenses.
The match ups in question were the Japanese Super Flyweight title bout between defending champion Takayuki Okumoto (21-8-4, 10) [奥本 貴之] and mandatory challenger Yuta Matsuo (15-3-1, 8) [松尾雄太] and the Japanese Welterweight title bout, between hard hitting champion Ryota Yada (18-4, 15) [矢田良太] and his mandatory challenger Yuki Nagano (15-2, 11) [永野祐樹].
Okumoto and Yada, who are both from the Green Tsuda Gym, attended the event and spoke in front of 150 people at the event.
Yada, who was dressed in a pink suit and relied on his sense of humour at the event, revealed that he had been sparring Filipino southpaws to prepare for Nagano. Okumoto seemed more reserved in his comments, but stated that he was going to have a fun fight.
It was also stated by the gym chairman that the long term hope is to not only win these upcoming defenses, but also move towards increasing the gym's profile and moving towards world title bouts.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
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