Over the last 48 hours or so the Shinsei Gym announced their next show, "Real Spirits Vol 62 & To New Heights". The full card hasn't been confirmed but there are some interesting details that have been revealed about the show.
Firstly it will take place on on March 24th at the Kobe Sambo Hall, a venue that Shinsei do use on a regular basis for their shows.
The main event will see youngster Shun Kosaka (15-5, 4) [小坂駿] take on veteran Shunji Nagata (12-17-2, 4) [長田瞬志] in an 8 round bout at a contracted 51.5KG's. This is one two main events for the card, with the other being another 8 round bout, this time featuring world ranked Lightweight Kazuhiro Nishitani (19-4-1, 11), though his opponent, and the specifics on weight haven't yet been confirmed.
On the under we'll see the very highly regarded Yuki Yamauchi (2-0, 1) [山内祐希] take on "Mr Heartthrob" Claudevan Sese (7-0-3, 1), from the Philippines, in an 8 round bout at Super Bantamweight. Yamauchi is regarded as one of the best prospects in Japan, and has been matched hard already, so a win here is expected, but he will certainly be expected to work for it. Sese hasn't scored a stoppage in well over 2 years, but does have decent boxing skills and should be a decent test.
Also confirmed for this card is Yuri Takemoto (5-1-1, 3) [竹本雄利], the 2018 All Japan Featherweight Rookie of the Year. He will be up against Filipino foe Reymond Empic (6-2, 2), in what looks like a really hard to call bout, on paper. Takemoto does have the confidence of winning Rookie of the Year however Empic is unbeaten in over 5 years!
This show will also feature the retirement ceremony for Eita Kikuchi (21-6-4, 8) [菊地永太], who has retired following his 2018 loss to Yuta Saito in a Japanese Bantamweight title fight.
On paper one of the stand out bouts at the 2018 All Japan Rookie of the Year final's was the Featherweight bout, that pitted Hikari Mineta (5-1, 3) [峯田光] against Yuri Takemoto (5-1-1, 3) [竹本雄利]. On paper this was something special, with both men reaching the final in impressive fashion. At the Korakuen Hall today, both fighters delivered, albeit in very different ways.
Mineta seemed to realise quickly that his right hand was the danger punch against the southpaw. That however didn't really help him and instead it was Takemoto that took the early advantage, dropping Mineta 3 times in the opening round. That could have been it, Mineta could have been done there and then, but instead he battled on, and slowly began to crawl his way back into the bout, that was despite the fact Takemoto was all over him to begin round 2.
Mineta's success really was dependent on landing the right hand cleanly, something he struggled with. Despite struggling to connect with the right hand he was doing enough damage to leave to leave Takemoto's left eye swelling shut in the third round, with huge, purple bruising around it.
In round 4 it finally felt like Mineta could, some how, get to his man, and it became the edge of the seat type of fight. Takemoto however saw off the storm, and actually hurt Mineta in the 5th, and final, round securing the decision and putting it well beyond doubt.
In the end the score cards were read, 49-44, and 47-46 twice, all to Takemoto, who was a well deserved winner, and we do need to question how judges had the bout 47-46 given the opening round, which we believe also saw a point being taken from Takemoto in what was a genuinely crazy final minute!
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