Earlier today subscription service Boxing Raise released their line up for the month of April and it's a bit of a mixed bag. There are 5 shows, but none of them are live and none of them are particularly big. Notably two of them are also from deep within the Dangan series archive.
The most notable of 3 new shows will be the upcoming Green Tsuda promoted "Crash Boxing Vol 22", a really solid looking show with two touted prospects on it. The show will be headlined by former Japanese Youth Super Bantamweight champion Toshiki Shimomachi (12-1-2, 8) [下町俊貴] who takes on Thunder Teruya (7-8-1, 4) [サンダー照屋]. As well as the main event we are also looking forward to seeing the talented Jinki Maeda (6-0, 4) [前田稔輝] take on Yushi Fujita (9-8-4, 2) [藤田 裕史]. This show takes place tomorrow and will be added to the service at some point over the coming days.
Another show, also taking place on Sunday, will be a Rookie of the Year card. We love Rookie of the Year, and it's nice to see some of the Early Rookie of the Year bouts being made available for fans.
The third of the newer shows will be the April 18th card from Okayama, and will be headlined by Japanese Flyweight champion Seigo Yuri Akui (15-2-1, 10) [阿久井政悟] taking on former Japanese Youth Super Flyweight champion Yuto Nakamura (11-6-1, 8) [中村 祐斗]. There's no title on the line here, but it should serve as an interesting test for the explosive Akui, who has earned a reputation for blowing opponents out very early on.
As for the other two shows, they are both shows from around a decade ago. The first of those is Dangan 27, also known as Dangan Battler, from November 2010. The show is certainly not one of the best from the Dangan series, but it has 8 bouts on it, including 5 bouts scheduled for 8 rounds, and hasn't been available to watch on demand before. The other will be Dangan 32, from May 2011, and features several bouts of note, including a very solid bout between Kentaro Masuda [益田健太郎] and Yosuke Fujihara [藤原陽介].
If we're being honest the service, which we are massive fans of, has been poor so far in 2021, and April is a little bit of a stinger as they had lined up another card that had to be scrapped due to an injury suffered by former IBF Super Bantamweight champion Yukinori Oguni (21-2-1, 8) [小國以載]. Thankfully however May looks set to be a very, very special month with some huge shows expected to take place.
If we're being totally truthful, 2021 has been a quiet year in general for Japanese boxing, as the pandemic has limited shows in the wider Tokyo region. Things now, however, seem like they will begin getting back to normal, and the service should be getting back to it's best sooner rather than later.
Tomorrow in Osaka City we'll get the next show in the Green Tsuda series of shows under their "Crash Boxing" banner. The card isn't a stacked one, by any stretch, but it is an interesting one with two touted Green Tsuda prospects in action.
Today, ahead of the show, the men involved took part in their weigh in for the show.
The first of those prospects in action will be 2019 All Japan Rookie of the Year winner Jinki Maeda (6-0, 4) [前田稔輝], who moves into his first 8 round as he battles Yushi Fujita (9-8-4, 2) [藤田 裕史] in a Featherweight bout.
Today, at the weigh in, Maeda came in comfortably under the limit, at just under 125.5lbs whilst Fujita was closer to the limit, coming in at around 125.9lbs. A win for Maeda here is expected to push him one step closer to a potential title fight in the future, though in fairness he is still some way from competing with the best in a very talent heavy Featherweight division. Despite that Fujita should serve as a very good test for the unbeaten youngster.
The other notable prospect on this show will be former Japanese Youth Super Bantamweight champion Toshiki Shimomachi (12-1-2, 8) [下町俊貴], who takes on the brilliantly named, Thunder Teruya (7-8-1, 4) [サンダー照屋] in an 8 round Super Featherweight bout.
On the scales the talented and super slippery Shimomachi was around 129.4lbs whilst Teruya was around the divisional limit. Notably this will be the first time Shimomachi will be headlining a show and it's clear that he has pressure on his shoulders to perform, though in previous bouts he has looked like one of the brightest young talents in Japan and looks like he has all the tools to go a long way. As for Teruya this will be his first bout since being stopped in 4 rounds by Rentaro Kimura in December.
For fans wanting to watch this show, in full, it will be included, on delay, on the Boxing Raise service.
Earlier today 22 year old kick boxing king Tenshin Nasukawa [那須川天心] appeared on a TBS television show to announce that his kick boxing career was coming to an end, and that he would be retiring from the sport next March, at the end of a RISE tournament. Whilst that would be the end of his days as a kick boxer, it wasn't the end of his combat career, announce that that was when he would be heading to professional boxing.
On the show Tenshin explained "Kickboxing has made me a professional fighter, and I am very grateful for it. However, I am only 22 years old. Kickboxing, who is in a position to be challenged as an undefeated champion, graduated here. I chose the boxing path where I can become a challenger from scratch as the next field. I would like you to see Tenshin Nasukawa as a challenger winning up."
As a kick boxer the plan is to have 4 more bouts over the next 11 months, and in regards to those bouts he explained "I want to KO all the games (for the rest of the kickboxing games). However, just because there are a few games that will count down to retirement, I will not change anything, but prepare and adjust as usual and go to the game. Kickboxing will graduate in March 2022, but it will definitely revolutionize the boxing industry. Thank you for your continued support! "
Although Tenshin hasn't yet fought as a professional he has shared the ring with numerous boxers. There was his now infamous exhibition with Floyd Mayweather Jr, that helped boost his name internationally despite the farcical nature of the contest, as well as an exhibition with Koki Kameda and sparring with Naoya Inoue [井上 尚弥].
Given that the comments were made on a show on TBS it has lead to discussion about who Tenshin will turn professional with. The logical answer seems to be Teiken, with whom he has trained with before, though Teiken don't actually have a TV deal of any note with TBS, usually working with NTV instead and occasionally working with Fuji, usually when it comes to Ryota Murata [村田 諒太]. There are work arounds here, as seen with Murata who has deal himself with Fuji but actually began his career with Misako gym, who have a long relationship with Fuji. On the other hand Watanabe Gym and Ambition gym both have links to TBS.
There is also suggestion that the comments were made on TBS today due to their existing relationship with RISE and has nothing to do with his professional boxing career, and that a deal with Teiken is done with Tenshin probably fighting on Fuji TV as a professional boxer.
Of course there are other options, and there is certainly a lot of speculation going around.
We'll be expecting more news through the year and will be looking forward to his professional debut, which people are expecting to take place by the end of 2022.
Later today we'll see IBF Super Flyweight champion Jerwin Ancajas (32-1-2, 22) attempt to make his 9th defense as he takes on mandatory challenger Jonathan Javier Rodriguez (22-1, 16), in what looks like a really good bout in on Showtime.
Despite looking like a good bout the match up is the latest IBF mandatory title fight, and in recent years they have become a bit of a joke, with the champions regularly defending without too many problems. In fact the whole "IBF mandatory challenger" thing is quickly becoming a poison chalice that no fighter should be wanting to hold.
Despite the recent history of mandatory challengers being easy for the champions we are really interested by the odds for this match up, with the champion being an almost unbackable favourite. The talented Ancajas is a 1/6 favourite to retain his title, and record his latest defense. The challenger on the other hand is best priced, at least in the UK, as a 13/2 under-dog, a tempting price by usual standards. The draw is 28/1.
Whilst Ancajas being the favourite is completely understandable, it is worth noting that this will be his first bout in well over a year, and ring rust could be a serious issue for him against a big, strong, powerful fighter like Rodriguez.
For those backing Ancajas they may find the "Method of Victory" market more appealing. Here we find Ancajas by stoppage at 4/6 and a decision for Ancajas at 9/4. Notably Ancajas is 8-0-1 (6) in world title fights and the odds of a stoppage do seem be playing on that history of his at world level. As for Rodriguez, he is 12/1 to get a stoppage and a huge 16/1 to win a decision over the talented Filipino.
Given the odds on an Ancajas stoppage it'll be little surprise to learn that this bout is not expected to go the distance. In fact the bout is 1/2 to finish early and 2/1 to go the scheduled 12 rounds.
Again, although we understand Ancajas being the favourite, we do wonder if he'll be looking to shake ring rust here and will maybe even struggle with his timing and pacing given such a long lay off. IF that's the case maybe there is some value for the smart bettor.
Related - Ancajas and Rodriguez face off... at last!
Last year we were expecting to see former 2-time world title challenger Masayuki Kuroda (30-8-3, 16) [黒田雅之] compete in a November clash with unbeaten prospect Ayato Hiromoto [廣本彩刀]. Sadly that bout had been postponed, and then cancelled completely due to Kuroda suffering a nasty injury in training to his left arm. And when we mean nasty injury, we really mean nasty, with a tendon in his upper left arm rupturing in sparring.
Following the injury the fighter himself required surgery and then lengthy rehabilitation before getting back in the gym.
Today the excellent team at Boxmob.jp spoke to Kuroda, who explained he was now back in the gym and resuming gym work for the first time since his injury.
Despite being back in the gym the actual gym work of Kuroda has been limited. He described, in his comments to Boxmob, that his training is currently "light" and stated that he hadn't yet hit the punching bags. It seems that whilst he is in the gym, his return to the ring will not be a quick one, and he stated "I want to return by the end of the year."
For fans of Kuroda this is obviously mixed news. It's great that he's back in training, but at 34 years old he probably only has one or two fights left in his body, and it really does seem like injuries and age will force him to retire sooner rather than later.
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