Yesterday we saw the announcement of two Japanese title bouts which are now both set to take place in the summer, in fact they are set to take place within in the space of 2 weeks of each other, in June.
The first of those will take place on June 1st and will see Japanese Flyweight champion Junto Nakatani (18-0, 13) [中谷 潤人] make his first defense of the title he won earlier this year. The talented Nakatani will be up against #3 ranked JBC contender Wolf Nakano (6-7-4, 2) [中野玄悠]. On paper this is a mismatch, and should serve as little more than getting the first defense on the board for Nakatani, who is likely to move on to bigger and better things in the near future.
The Nakatani Vs Nakano bout will be on a Dynamic Glove card and we've been informed that the chief support bout will be a rematch between Charles Bellamy (28-3-2, 18) and Yuto Shimizu (12-4-2, 5) [清水優人], who had a great bout earlier this year.
The other title bout will take place on June 13th and will see Japanese Minimumweight champion Norihito Tanaka (18-7, 10) [田中教仁] make his first defense, as he takes on Naoya Haruguchi (15-10, 6) [春口直也], in what looks like a pretty competitive bout on paper. Tanaka won the title in January, stopping Shin Ono and looked better than ever, but Haruguchi is better than his record suggests and should put up a decent effort.
Earlier today Japanese fight fans at the Korakuen Hall, and those with G+, got the latest Dyanmic Glove card. The card's chief support bout was one of the standout contests of the show and saw Charles Bellamy (28-3-2, 18) go toe-to-toe with Yuto Shimizu (12-4-2, 5) [清水優人] in a hotly contested back and forth war.
Bellamy applied pressure from the off, and although it was a touch on the clumsy side, it was exciting and made it clear that he wasn't in the ring to box cutely, instead he was there for a war. Shimizu on the other hand tried to use his significant reach and height advantages to box on the outside, using his jab and straight shots and keep Bellamy at range.
The styles, although polar opposites, gelled marvelously with Shimizu having regular success on the outside, and landing some really eye catching 3 and 4 punch combinations, and Bellamy neutralising that success when he got on the inside and landed 2 or 3 thumping power shots.
At several points during the fight Shimizu was staggered, particularly by the left hook of Bellamy, and it's likely that those moments proved to be the difference between the two men in the eyes of the judges, with 2 of them favouring Bellamy 77-76, whilst the dissenting judge had it 77-76 in favour of Shimizu.
With the win Bellamy has kept his career alive and moved towards another potential title fight, and given his desire and toughness we wouldn't rule him out of winning another title before his career is over. Shimizu on the other hand proved he can hang tough with Bellamy and we hope to see him in another notable fight in the near future.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
At the end of June we were informed that Yuta Saito (10-9-3, 7) [齊藤裕太] would face off with Eita Kikuchi (21-5-4, 8) [菊地永太] to fill the vacancy of the Japanese Bantamweight champion, with that bout taking place on September 1st. At the time there was no details on the under-card, though with it being the headline bout of an A-sign Bee card we did expect something of quality on the show.
This morning A-Sign took to twitter to confirm some of the details of the card.
The chief support bout was confirmed as being a contest between Reiya Abe (17-2, 8) [阿部 麗也] and Masashi Noguchi (12-10-1, 6) [野口 将志]. Originally the hope had been for Abe to fight in a Japanese challenger decision bout, a Japanese title eliminator, sadly however none of the ranked challengers wanted to face Abe so instead the Noguchi bout will take place above the divisional limit. From what we understand Abe however will not miss out on a Japanese title fight, and will instead got a shot at the Japanese Featherweight title next year at the Champion Carnival.
Another bout on this card will feature popular American born Japanese based fighter Charles Bellamy (27-3-2, 18) facing off with Yuto Shimizu (12-3-2, 5) [清水優人]. The 36 year old Bellamy has been out of the ring since January, when he took out a Thai visitor in 2 rounds, and will be looking to get his career back on track after some recent bouts of inactivity. Interestingly Shimizu has been out of the ring a little long, after having last fought in December 2017. This bout is a must win for both and should prove pretty entertaining given the styles of both fighters.
The card will also feature Ryohei Takahashi (15-3-1, 6) [高橋竜平], though his opponent is yet to be announced and will be confirmed closer to the date of the card.
Today fans in Osaka had a lot of action, with 3 shows held in the city. The headline bout at one of those shows was a Japanese Light Middleweight title bout that saw local veteran southpaw Yuki Nonaka (29-8-3, 9) [野中 悠樹] record the 4th defense of his title.
The popular Nonaka was facing mandatory challenger Yuto Shimizu (11-3-2, 4) [清水 優人], who was riding a very impressive 8 fight winning streak which included some wins over very solid Japanese domestic contenders, in what looked like a good match up. In the end however Nonaka made it look easy.
The bout started pretty evenly with both looking to take the role of the counter-puncher, Nonaka however took the initiative, and by the end of round 3 appeared to be taking control of the action with his jab and movement. That control was recognised by two of the judges, who had Nonaka up after 5 rounds.
With Nonaka taking control there was no looking back and the champion continued to use his feet, and thoroughly outbox the challenger, who struggled to land anything of note in the final 5 rounds as Nonaka dominated him with his smart boxing.
By the final bell their was no doubting the winner, and that showed on the scorecards, with the judges scoring the bout as a dominant victory for the champion, with scores of 97-93, 98-93 and 99-92.
Following the bout Nonaka suggested that he wanted to be more than just the Japanese champion, and bouts for the OPBF title, or even a world title, are in his plans.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
Tomorrow fans in Japan have a lot to look forward too, especially in Osaka where 4 titles will take place. One of those title fights will see Japanese Light Middleweight champion Yuki Nonaka (28-8-3, 9) [野中 悠樹] defending his title against mandatory challenger Yuto Shimizu (11-2-2, 4) [清水 優人], in what will be Nonaka's 4th defense and Shimizu's first title bout.
Today those two men weighed in for the bout with Nonaka being the heavier man, weighing in at 153.9lbs, just under the 154lb limit. As for Shimizu he was well under the limit at just 153lbs. Despite the notable difference in weight between the two men both looked in great shape and both looked very confident of coming away the winner, and champion, tomorrow.
Shimizu looks for the upset against Yuki Nonaka
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
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