Tomorrow Japanese fans in Tokyo, as well as those who subscribe to Boxingraise, will be able to see a Japanese Light Welterweight title fight as defending champion Hiroki Okada (13-0, 10) [岡田 博喜] defends his title against veteran Valentine Hosokawa (20-5-3, 9) [細川バレンタイン].
On the scales the champion was the heavier man, and towered over his challenger. Okada came in at the divisional limit of 140lbs and looked in great condition for the bout, which will be his 6th defense of the title, and likely his last. At the weigh in he began to talk about moving on to OPBF and WBO Asia Pacific titles next and that seems a better move than continuing to defend this title for the next year or so.
On the sclaes Hosokawa made the weight with relative ease, in what will be his third and probably last title fight. He was dwarfed at the way in but seemed determined to over-come the unbeaten Okada with some hinting that Hosokawa would go all out on the ofensive in search of the win.
Okada takes on Hosokawa in next defense of Japanese title
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
After months of talk today we finally saw the announcement of the WBO Light Flyweight titlebout between Japanese youngster Kosei Tanaka (7-0, 4) [田中恒成] and Moises Fuentes (24-2-1, 13), in what will be a clash between two former WBO Minimumweight champions.
The bout, which had, if rumours are to be believed, first been pencilled in for September will now take place on December 31st in Gifu, not December 29th as ESPN Desportes had previously reported.
The bout will see Tanaka attempt to match the Japanese 2-weight speed record of becoming a multi weight world champion in 8 fights, matching the record of Naoya Inoue, whilst Fuentes will be hoping it's third time lucky, having come up short twice against former champion Donnie Nietes.
Tanaka became the "quickest" Japanese champion last year when he claimed the WBO Minimumweight title with a decision over Yulian Yedras. He followed that with one defense and had hoped to get a title fight earlier this year, and break Inoue's record. Unfortunately due to issues of timing he was unable to get such a fight so fought in a stay busy contest against Rene Patilano, in which he looked like a very solid Light Flyweight.
For Fuentes the bout will see him head off for a third bout in Asia, following the bouts with Nietes, which ended in a draw in 2013 and a KO loss in 2014. He had been mandated to face Nietes a third time but talks between the teams allowed Neites to make a voluntary defense before vacating an opening the door for Fuentes to face Tanaka.
The bout will be aired in Japan on CBC as part of their Soul Fighting series, and could also end up being broadcast on sister channel TBS, as his year ending 2015 bout with Vic Saludar was.
On the under-card of this bout will be a Japanese Featherweight title bout, which will see Shota Hayashi (28-5-1, 17) [林 翔太] make his first defense of the title, taking on former world champion Akifumi Shimoda (31-5-2, 14) [下田 昭文]. That bout is unlikely to recieve national television but will possibly be aired on tape delay in the Chukyo region on CBC, just as Hayashi's title win earlier this year was.
At the moment it's the 4th world title bout set to take place in Japan on New Year's Eve, but there several more expected to be announced in the near future.
(Images courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Since this article was originally published Zanfer have confirmed they are trying to make the bout, but that they were targeting an early 2017 date, which appears to make more sense than the December 3rd date mentioned above. One would assume that it could come on a double header in either Tokyo or Osaka, if Yamanaka can't arrange a much anticipated world title unification bout for early next year.
Earlier today Kanmon Japan Promotions announce their next show, set for December 4th at the Kaikyo Messe in Shimonoseki, Yamaguchi. The card isn't a massive one, but does feature two really intriguing headline bouts which are worthy of some attention.
The main event, according to today's news, will see Accel Sumiyoshi (7-4-2, 2) [アクセル住吉] battle against Yusuke Nakagawa (10-5-1, 6) [中川 祐輔] in what should be a really fun bout.
For Sumiyoshi the bout sees him looking for a third win of the year and continues his rebuilding after a 0-2-1 run between April 2014 and April 2015, which included a loss in an OPBF Lightweight title fight against Masayoshi Nakatani. For Nakagawa the bout sees him fighting for the first time since he was stopped in August by Daiki Kaneko, and he'll be looking to avoid a third loss in 5 bouts. Coming in to this both fighters are JBC ranked, with Nakagawa ranked #2 at Super Featherweight and Sumiyoshi ranked #7 at Lightweight, and Sumiyoshi also holds an OPBF #2 ranking, which Nakagawa will be hoping to claim if he can claim the win here.
The other co-feature bout will see OPBF ranked fighters colliding as Burning Ishii (7-3-1, 2) [バーニング石井] faces Japanese based Korean Teiru Atsumi (11-1, 5) [テイル渥美], who was of course pulled from a Korean card at the end of the month, likely being offered this fight instead.
The hard matched Ishii will be looking to bounce back from a loss in June to the wonderfully promising Kosuke Saka, who stopped Ishii in 7 rounds, and a win could open up doors for a potential title fight in 2017. For Atsumi the bout will see him looking to extend several runs, including a 5 fight winning run dating back more than 2 years, and a 3-fight Japanese stoppage run, which has already included wins over Sho Nakazawa and Dennis Tubieron.
Also confirmed for this show are Jump Ikeo (5-4-2, 3) [ジャンプ池尾] and Fever Maki (8-4-1, 2) [フィーバー真木], though neither fighter has yet had his opponent announced.
At the moment Kazakh boxing is certainly in an interesting phase with Gennady Golovkin and Biebut Shumenov leading the way whilst prospects and contenders such as Zhankhozh Turarov and Zhanibek Alimkhanuly begin to make a mark on the professional scene. Arguably the country's #3 fighter at the moment is Kanat Islam (22-0, 18) [Канат Ислам] who made his first professional outing in Kazakhstan earlier this weekend, when he took on Ghana's Patrick Allotey (34-3, 28), who had been stopped in his last two bouts away from home.
On paper the bout looked like a probably stoppage win for Islam, who had a reputation as a heavy handed fighter, boating 18 stoppages from 21 previous bouts, especially when you consider that Allotey's losses were both by stoppage. Instead however the bout went the distance, exposing Islam's power as over-rated in many ways, and perhaps showing that he wasn't on the fast track to the top. Despite winning the bout.
From the off Islam tried to impose his will, but had to cope with with the intelligent movement of Allotey who refused to stand still, giving Islam issues in terms of connecting on his foe. As the bout progressed Allotey's movement slowed and Islam managed to get into range more consistently, landing copious shots to the body, and hip, of the African visitor. The shots to the hip looked accidentally, and were partly caused by the high trunks of Allotey, but they were effective from a gameplan point of view in slowing Allotey's movement and making him a more stationary target.
Although Allotey was ellusive early his output did lack at times and it seem like he missed his chance to really build a bit of a lead before he slowed and allowed Islam to build some momentumn and land more frequently.
Although never really hurting Allotey it did seem like Islam was doing enough to impress the judges as a result he did enough to secure the win, with scorss of 116-112, twice, and 117-111 winning the vacant WBA Fedelatin and WBO Inter-Continental Ligfth Middleweight titles. Sadly though it wasn't the great performance he was wanting and it looks like a really poor result when you consider that Charles Manyuchi stopped him in 8 rounds, back in 2014, and Patrick Teixeira stopped him in 2 rounds last year, with Teixeira having a similar record to Islam at the time of facing Allotey.
Whilst some can excuse Islam's relatively tame performance by the fact he was under a lot of pressure to perform in his Kazakh debut it does seem like the sort of result that could make him more attractive to the world champions at the weight, who may not see him as the threat he once seemed. Sadly though he's looking unlikely to win a world title unless he can improve significantly from this performance.
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