Earlier today at the Tokyo Dome Hotel the media were able to attend the press conference to announce the 2019 Champion Carnival bouts, with 13 contests being officially announced.
As previously reported the Minimumweight bout will see defending champion Shin Ono (23-9-3, 6) [小野 心] defending his title against Norihito Tanaka (17-7, 9) [田中教仁] on January 12th at the Korakuen Hall.
The Light Flyweight bout, to fill the recent vacancy left by Tetsuya Hisada (33-9-2, 19) [久田 哲也], will see Kenichi Horikawa (38-15-1, 12) [堀川 謙一] battle against Satoru Todaka (9-2-4, 3) [戸髙達], with this bout set to take place on February 14th, also at the Korakuen Hall.
The Flyweight bout, like the Minimumweight bout, had already been announced and will see Junto Nakatani (17-0, 12) [中谷 潤人] and Naoki Mochizuki (15-3, 8) [望月直樹] fight on February 2nd at the Korakuen Hall. This bout is to fill the vacancy left by Masayuki Kuroda (30-7-3, 16) [黒田 雅之], who like Hisada has stated he intends to fight for a world title in 2019.
The Super Flyweight champion Takayuki Okumoto (21-8-4, 10) [奥本 貴之] will defend his title on April 21st in Osaka, and will see Okumoto battle against Yuta Matsuo (15-3-1, 8) [松尾雄太], in what will be Okumoto's second defense of the title.
The Bantamweight bout will be a unification bout as regular champion Yuta Saito (11-9-3, 8) [齊藤裕太], who has been suffering from illness recently, battling against recently crowned interim champion Hayato Kimura (28-10, 19) [木村隼人]. There is no set date on this bout, but it's expected to take place in Tokyo, with the Korakuen Hall the most likely venue.
The Super Bantamweight title will have it's vacancy filled on January 12th, on the same show as the Ono Vs Tanaka card. Fighting for the title will be Mugicha Nakagawa (24-5-1, 14) [武田勇太] and Ryoichi Tamura (11-3-1, 6) [田村 亮一], who will be looking to follow in the footsteps of former champion Shingo Wake (25-5-2, 17) [和氣 慎吾] who looks to be heading towards a world title fight, like Hisada and Kuroda.
Arguably the best match up for the Champion Carnival is the Featherweight bout, which will pit Taiki Minamoto (16-5, 13) [源大輝] against Reiya Abe (18-2, 9) [阿部 麗也], who will be battling former amateur stand out Daisuke Sugita (4-0, 3) [杉田大祐] in January before facing Minamoto on May 1st at the Korakuen Hall. This is, to us, the stand out bout of the Champion Carnival and is genuinely a mouth watering clash.
The Japanese Super Featherweight champion Masaru Sueyoshi (18-1-1, 11) [末吉 大] will take on Ken Osato (15-2-1, 4) [大里拳], in a rematch of the bout the two men had during the 2018 Champion Carnival. This contest will take place on May 4th at the Korakuen Hall and will see Osato looking to avenge his loss and Sueyoshi looking to repeat his win over Osato.
The unbeaten Shuichiro Yoshino (9-0, 7) [吉野 修一郎] will be making his 4th defense of the Japanese Lightweight title, as he takes on the challenge of Accel Sumiyoshi (11-4-3, 3) [アクセル住吉]. This bout is set to take place on April 11th at the Korakuen Hall.
Another bout that really whets the appetite is the Japanese Light Welterweight title bout. That contest will see champion Valentine Hosokawa (24-6-3, 11) [細川バレンタイン] defending his belt on April 6th at the Korakuen Hall against Koki Inoue (12-0, 10) [浩樹井上] in a mouth watering step up for the challenger.
We'll see attention turn to Osaka for the Welterweight title bout, as Ryota Yada (18-4, 15) [矢田良太] defends his belt against Yuki Nagano (15-2, 11) [永野祐樹]. This bout is set to take place on April 21st, though the specific venue wasn't announced.
The Light Middleweight title bout will see Nobuyuki Shindo (20-4-2, 8) [新藤寛之] defending the title against Hironobu Matsunaga (14-1, 8) [松永 宏信] in what should be a thrilling contest between a very hungry challenger and an under-rated champion. These two will clash at the Korakuen Hall on May 1st, as a double header with the Minamoto Vs Abe bout.
On March 2nd we'll see Japanese Middleweight champion Kazuto Takesako (10-0, 10) [竹迫司登] defending his belt against Shuji Kato (10-1-1, 6) [加藤収二], in what will be Takesako's second defense. This will also be at the Korakuen Hall.
At the moment the full details of who will be showing what bouts is unclear, but we're glad to now have most of the matches set, with dates and venues.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Earlier today in Fukuoka fans got the chance to see a Japanese title challenger decider bout at Welterweight. The match up saw local hopeful Yuki Beppu (18-1-1, 18) [別府優樹] face off with Teiken's Yuki Nagano (15-2, 11) [永野祐樹] to become the mandatory challenger at the 2019 Champion Carnival.
Beppu, dubbed the "Tyson of Kyushu", looked raw in the early going and in round 2 he was dropped from a straight left from Nagano, who had his confidence boosted by the knockdown. With his confidence high Nagano would press hard and look to get the crowd on side the following round.
In round 4 Beppu landed one of his best shots of the fight, a hard right hook to the mid section. Nagano was caught cleanly by the shot, but recovered quickly and found a home for his straight left hand as he re-established control of the contest. Beppu managed to strike hard again in round 5 as he began to come on strong but Nagano did well to stifle the heavy handed fighter, who had a good second half of the fight. In fact round 8 saw Nagano fighting smartly, using his legs to stay out of range and landing his jab to unsettle Beppu as he came forward looking to land bombs.
Having gone to the final bell the bout went to the judges, with all 3 judges scoring in favour Nagano, with scores of 76-75, 77-75 and 78-73.
With the win Nagano secures himself a title fight. As for Beppu this loss should act as a wake up call, and hopefully he will be given real match ups to develop his skills, rather than more mismatches, like many of his contests have been in recent years.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
Tomorrow in Fukuoka we'll see the Japanese title challenger decider bout at Welterweight, as Yuki Beppu (18-0-1, 18) [別府優樹] and Yuki Nagano (14-2, 11) [永野祐樹]. The two men will clash in what is essentially a Japanese title eliminator and will see the winner challenger for the belt in early 2019 as part of the Champion Carnival.
Today the two men took part in their weigh in, and both fighters made weight easily, though looked like they belonged in very different divisions, with a clear height difference between the two men.
On the scales Beppu, the shorter man, was 145.9lbs. He looked strong and powerful, though very short for a Welterweight. He was excited about fighting against a top national fighter, something he's rarely done, and it's clear that he's looking forward to proving himself against a fighter like Nagano.
Surprisingly Nagano, who looked the much bigger man, was just 145.5lbs on the scales. He looked in great shape and seemed pretty confident that he would win and would become the next mandatory challenger for the Japanese title, currently held by Ryota Yada.
Related - Heavy handed Beppu and Nagano clash in eliminator!
(image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
An important part of the Japanese boxing calendar is the Champion Carnival, which takes place in the first half of the year. The fighters who compete in the Champion Carnival are the national champions and the leading domestic contenders.
In August we a number of bouts to decide the top contenders being announced, with 6 such bouts being set for October 12, on a stacked card at the Korakuen Hall.
For those missed that report those bouts on October 12th will be:
Light Flyweight - Kenichi Horikawa (37-15-1, 11) [堀川 謙一] Vs Koji Itagaki (18-12-3, 7) [板垣幸司]
The Super Flyweight - Yuta Matsuo (14-3-1, 7) [松尾雄太] Vs Rey Orais (20-17-2, 5)
Super Bantamweight - Mugicha Nakagawa (23-5-1, 14) [武田勇太] Vs Naoya Okamoto (13-6-1, 6) [岡本直也].
Super Featherweight - Ken Osato (14-2-1, 4) [大里拳] Vs Satoru Sugita (14-5-1, 9) [杉田聖]
Light Welterweight - Koki Inoue (11-0, 10) [浩樹井上] Vs Marcus Smith (6-0-1, 6)
Light Middleweight Koshinmaru Saito (24-9-2, 13) [斉藤伸介] vs Hironobu Matsunaga (13-1, 7) [松永 宏信]
As well as the October 12th card we also, recently, saw the confirmation that the Flyweight bout would see Junto Nakatani (16-0, 12) [中谷 潤人] battle against Shun Kosaka (15-4, 4) [小坂駿], which that bout now set for October 6th as part of notable Japanese domestic card which is set to be televised on G+.
Today saw the rest of the bouts being announced.
On October 21st we'll have two of them take place in Fukuoka. One of those is the Minimumweight bout, which will see Takumi Sakae (19-2-1, 13) [榮拓海] take on Norihito Tanaka (16-7, 9) [田中教仁], in what could end up being one of the surprise contests from these eliminator style contests. On the same card will be the Welterweight clash between Yuki Beppu (18-0-1, 18) [別府優樹] and Yuki Nagano (14-2, 11) [永野祐樹], in what we are expecting to be a very explosive and exciting encounter between two fighters with very solid power at this level.
A week later, October 28th, we'll get the Lightweight bout, which will see Accel Sumiyoshi (11-4-2, 3) [アクセル住吉] face off with Tatsuya Yanagi (15-5-1, 6) [柳達也]. This bout will take place in Shimonoseki, Yamaguchi prefecture, which should favour Sumiyoshi but given the styles of the two men this has the potential to be very exciting.
On November 7th we'll get the Middleweight bout as former champion Hikaru Nishida (17-9-1, 8) [西田光] takes on Shuji Kato (9-1-1, 6) [加藤収二], with this bout taking place at the Korakuen Hall.
The only bout with out a set date so far is the Bantamweight bout. Despite no set date we do know that Hayato Kimura (27-10, 18) [木村隼人] facing off with Seizo Kono (19-10-1, 12) [高野誠三], in what is a bit of an under-whelming contest given some of the Japanese domestic talent in the division. This bout is expected to have it's date and venue announced in the coming weeks.
Yesterday fight fans at Korakuen Hall had the chance to see Welterweight puncher Yuki Beppu (18-0-1, 18) [別府 優樹] take part in a small cameo as he continued his pursuit of a Japanese title fight.
The unbeaten 27 year old was headlining a Dynamic Young Fight card and faced off with Thai visitor Phongsathon Sompol (8-4, 5). The Thai, who was making his Japanese debut, looked to come forward early on. This created opportunities for Beppu who boxed well beforre landing a brutal body shot that dropped the Thai for the 10 count.
Following the bout it was revealed that Beppu will now return to the ring on October 21st to fight in a Japanese title eliminator bout. His opponent for that bout is expected to be Yuki Nagano (14-2, 11) [永野祐樹], who is riding a 12 fight winning run coming into the bout. The winner of this will then become the mandatory challenger for the Japanese champion at the start of 2019, as part of the Champion Carnival.
Also on this card was a split decision win for Desierto Nagaike (11-3-2, 2) [長池拓], who narrowly over-came Masayuki Ichikawa (7-6-1, 2) [市川雅之]. This was a rematch of a bout from November 2015, which was also won by Nagaike, and was a really well fought and competitive match, just liek their first one.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
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