The end of August really is a week where we go out with a bang, with 3 world title bouts and a number of top prospects all in action in the final 7 days of the month!
Kosei Tanaka (13-0, 7) v Jonathan Gonzalez (22-2-1, 13) - Aichi, Japan
Arguably the most interesting of the world title bouts will see WBO Flyweight champion Kosei Tanaka make his second defense as he takes on mandatory challenger Jonathan Gonzalez of Puerto Rico. After a few wars for Tanaka we're now expecting to see him put on a more sound boxing display. Gonzalez is a former amateur stand out, but he has shown vulnerability in his 2 losses and we suspect those vulnerabilities will show again here.
Kento Hatanaka (9-0, 9) v Jaysever Abcede (19-8, 12) - Aichi, Japan
In a really good supporting bout to Tanaka Vs Gonzalez we'll see fast rising Japanese youngster Kento Hatanaka takes on world ranked Filipino Jaysever Abcede. This is a big step up for Hatanaka, but the talented "Prince" is tipped for the top and a win here will help push him into the world rankings. On paper Abcede isn't someone who looks like a challenge for a top prospect but the Filipino has scored recent wins over Stamp Kiatniwat and Seigo Yuri Akui.
John Riel Casimero (27-4, 18) v Cesar Ramirez (18-3, 11) - Metro Manila, Philippines
Staying in Asia we'll see WBO interim Bantamweight champion John Riel Casimero make his first defense, taking on Mexican challenger Cesar Ramirez. The talented Filipino won the title back in April, when he stopped Ricardo Espinoza Franco in the 12th round, and will be further wanting to make his make on the talent packed 118lb division. Ramirez on the other hand is a very limited challenger who has done nothing to earn a shot at a title fight, and was nearly shut out the last time he faced a world class fighter.
Vic Saludar (19-3, 10) v Wilfredo Mendez (13-1, 5) - San Juan, Puerto Rico
In Puerto Rico we'll see former Tanaka opponent Vic Saludar making his second defense of the WBO Minimumweight title as he takes on mandatory challenger Wilfredo Mendez. The under-rated Saludar is a heavy handed boxer-puncher who has really shone in his last two, beating Ryuya Yamanaka and Masataka Taniguchi and despite being on the road, for the third fight in a row, he will again be favoured. Mendez is a talented fighter but is taking a massive step up in class here for what will be his toughest bout, by far.
Shakhram Giyasov (8-0, 6) Vs Darleys Perez (34-4-2, 22) Sonora, Mexico
Unbeaten Uzbek fighter Shakhram Giyasov takes on his most notable opponent to date as he returns to a Mexican ring, for the second time. The talented Giyasov, who didn't look great last time out against Emanuel Taylor, will be up against former world champion Darleys Perez. Giyasov is a talent, and an Olympic silver medal winner, but as a professional it's seemed very much like he either blows opponents away with raw power or struggles. Perez, at his best, was world class, but with a 2-3-3 record in his last 7, with all 3 losses by stoppage, it's hard to know what he has left at this point.
Haruki Ishikawa (7-1, 5) vs Atsushi Takada (6-1-3, 3) - Tokyo, Japan
The Japanese Youth title picture is a really interesting one and although none of the fighters in Yoyuth title bouts are big names they are often emerging talents. In a really good looking JBC Youth Bantamweight title Eliminator we'll see the once beaten Haruki Ishikawa take on Atsushi Takada. The talented Ishikawa suffered his only loss in the 2018 Rookie of the Year final, by majority decision, whilst Takada's only loss was to Tetsu Araki in a Youth title fight. This should be a very good fight.
Fumiya Fuse (8-0, 1) v Toshiya Ishii (1-0, 1) - Tokyo, Japan
Another JBC Youth Bantamweight title eliminator will will see Rookie of the Year winner Fumiya Fuse take on the recently turned professional Toshiya Ishii. The talented Fuse has been impressive since his Rookie of the Year win back in 2017 and has notched some solid wins since his rookie triumph. Ishii on the other hand only debuted back in April but looked excellent on his debut win over Adam Wijaya, though did have a solid amateur career. Despite looking like a mismatch this should be a compelling contest of skills.
The winner of the two eliminators will fight for the vacant title later in the year.
Yuki Nakajima (2-0, 2) vs Ryu Horikawa (1-0, 1) - Tokyo, Japan
On the same card as the two eliminators we'll also see a B Class Tournament bout that pits former amateur standouts against each other, with Yuki Nakajima and Ryu Horikawa facing off. Despite only 3 fights between them this should be a very hotly contest, high skilled battle between two youngsters who, win or lose, will still have a very bright future. The winner of this may "only" have beaten a novice, but will be on the fast track to some much bigger bouts in the very near future.
Japanese boxing is full of fighting families. Some of these are obvious, like the Inoue brothers, Naoya and Takuma, and the Kameda brothers, others are less well known like Masamichi Yabuki and Masanori Rikiishi or the Hosokawa brothers, Valentine Hosokawa and Shinobu Charlie Hosokawa. Another set of brothers making their name on the sport right name are the Nakajima brothers, Kazuki Nakajima and Yuki Nakajima. Today we want to introduce you to Yuki Nakajima, the younger of the two men.
The 23 year old Yuki Nakajima (1-0, 1) made his professional debut last October, fighting on a card that was featured on Boxing Raise. That debut saw the youngster stop Thai foe Somphon Banyaem in 2 rounds, using some devastating body shots to take out the Thai in rather eye catching fashion.
Whilst we'll get back to how he looked on his debut in a few minutes lets have a bit more of a look at who he is first.
Nakajima was born in Yamatokoriyama, Nara, though now based in Tokyo at the Kadoebi Gym in, one of Japan's packed gyms, and notably didn't join the Ohashi Gym, where his brother is based. Prior to turning professional he had been a notable amateur, running up a 52-21 record, though lacked in terms of major competition wins. It's worth noting that his older brother went 72-15 in the unpaid ranks, and did manage to win various amateur honours, though it's hard to ignore that Yuki was a very good amateur.
The amateur pedigree of the younger Nakajima saw him turn professional with plenty of expectation on his shoulders and he was immediately debuting as a B license fighter when he turned professional last year. That meant that he essentially skipped the 4 round stage of his career, beginning in 6 round bouts instead. This is typical of fighters in Japan with amateur backgrounds and is something that we do love, we don't really see why top amateurs fight in 4 rounders when they are unnecessary to a young prospects development.
So back to his debut. Yuki looked fleet footed through out the bout, moving quickly and naturally around the ring, getting his jab into play almost immediately. He swiftly looked like a natural talent, but one who perhaps was too focused on using a jab rather than trying to go for a kill to begin with. It wasn't long however until he began to put more on his shots, and the body shot he used to close the show was an absolute beauty, finding the perfect place for the blow.
Nakajima's next bout will take place at Slugfest 9 on May 8th. His opponent is yet to be confirmed but the contest is scheduled to be a 6 rounder at Light Flyweight. We're not expecting anyone too tough for Nakajima for this bout, butt wouldn't be surprised if he was fighting ranked fighters before the end of 2019, with titles likely to be in his grasp no later than the end of 2021. He's a real talented and another brilliant fighter under the Kadoebi banner.
This is just an opinion, maaaan! It's easy to share our opinions, and that's what you'll find here, some random opinion pieces