Last week news broke from Japan that Shinsei Gym would be holding "Real Spirits Vol 73" on May 23rd at the EDION Arena Osaka. Sadly however plans have now had to change, with that show being pushed back to June, due to the State of Emergency being extended to the end of the month, essentially meaning that the month of May will not have any boxing held in Osaka.
Thankfully the delay to the show isn't a long one, pushing the event from May 23rd to June 5th, but it is still a disappointing delay for the show and for those in charge of the event.
The show was set to be headlined by former Japanese Youth Light Flyweight champion Rikito Shiba (4-1, 2) [芝力人] battling against Hideyuki Watanabe (8-13-3, 6) [渡邉秀行], in what will be Shiba's first bout since being stopped by Masamichi Yabuki in December 2019. Thankfully it still seems that bout will be on the show, remaining as the headline bout on a show with just 3 other contests
Although the show is delayed we are glad that we know when the talented Shiba will be back in action and it's also assumed that this show will be streamed online for free on the Boxing Real YouTube channel.
Fingers crossed June will be a much, much better month for boxing in Osaka than May's been, with two shows now having been postponed and no shows still on the schedule for what remains of the month.
Earlier today Shinsei Gym streamed their latest show, doing so on their YouTube channel Boxing Real, from the Central Gym in Kobe. The card wasn't a big one, but it was certainly one worth tuning into with a former world champion in the main event and a touted prospect in the middle of the card. Sadly the show didn't really provide much in terms of drama, but we did get 5 bouts.
The show kicked off with a 4 round female bout as Japanese ranked Flyweight Marina Hamada (3-0-1) [浜田 麻理菜] took on Japanese ranked Bantamweight Michiko Abiru (2-4, 1) [阿比留 通子]. On paper this looked a mismatch in favour of Hamada, but in the ring in looked clearly like Abiru had the advantage, as she looked much bigger than Hamada and seemed to be the stronger fighter through out the bout.
The bout started very slowly, with both struggling to find their rhythm in the opening round. Thankfully however the bout settled into something of a pattern in round round 2 as Abiru began to press the action forward and Hamada had to try and use her faster feet to maintain some range. Sadly for Abbiru whilst she was the one coming forward, making her size and physical strength count, she was struggling to actually get close and get her shots off, with Hamada countering the pressure well and getting away without taking punishment.
After 4 rounds we went to the scorecards, with the judges turning in scores of 40-36, twice, and 39-37, all to Hamada who took the unanimous decision,
In the second bout we had another 4 rounder as Ren Kobayashi (4-1, 2) [小林 廉] clashed with Kazuki Terasaki (3-3-1, 2) [寺崎 和輝] in a match up that looked good on paper.
Both of these guys started at a good pace, but it seemed like Kobayashi was able to land the better shots from the opening bell. Terasaki showed some real nice touches, much better that we'd expect of a 3-3-1 fighter, but he was coming off second in almost every exchange.
In round 4, with the time ticking down down on the bout, Kobayashi launched the most meaningful assault of the fight, staggering Terasaki, who failed to recover before a follow shot set him down. The referee knew it was too much to ask for Terasaki to get to his feet and quickly waved off the bout with 28 seconds remaining, giving Kobayashi a 4th round TKO win
We saw another 4th round TKO win in the third bout on the show as the charismatic Takahiro Tai (2-0, 2) [田井宜広] scored his second win, and stopped JBC #15 ranked Bantamweight Koichi Wakita (7-3-3, 2) [脇田洸一].
This bout promised quite a lot on paper, but never really came alive. The exciting, wild, and fun Tai, who debuted last year, really didn't look the same here. He press forward, controlled the tempo and action of the fight, but had very little coming back at him. Wakita seemed to taste his power early and never really looked like he wanted to have much of a fight. As a result Wakita played defense against Tai who proved to be wild, open and unpolished.
Despite missing a lot of shots in the first 3 rounds it was clear Tai had absolutely nothing to be worried about when it came to Wakita's offense. Even when Tai wiffed badly with a shot, which he did regularly, Wakita didn't him pay.
In round 4 we finally saw Tai begin to take things a little bit more seriously, putting his foot on the gas, and breaking Wakita down with some big body shots. Late in the rounds the novice hurt his more experienced foe, and a follow up sent him to the canvas, where he lay on all fours whilst the referee waved off the bout.
This was stopped at an official time of 2:47 of round 4. Whislt it's a good win on paper for Tai, who will potentially break into the Japanese rankings, it was a poor performance from him. He has much, much more to show than we saw here, and fingers crossed we see him being genuinely tested sooner rather later.
The chief support bout on the card was an under-whelming contest, as Yuki Yonaha (9-3-1, 6) [与那覇勇気] scored a relatively easy win against Kenta Sakata (7-8-2) [坂田健太].
From the opening round Yonaha looked in total control, control the tempo and distance against the smaller, less talented Sakata. In rounds 2 Yonaha began to showboat, looking away before dropping Sakata with a straight down the pipe, that almost caused an early finish. The bell came soon after Sakata got back to his fee. Sadly for fans, and Sakata, it seemed like Yonaha wanted to get some rounds under his belt and didn't go for the kill, at all. Instead he picked his moments, landed heavy single shots, and really just had his way with Sakata, who had no answers.
In round 6, with Sakata looking a beaten, and bloodied, man his team threw in the towel, saving him from further punishment. The official time here was 2:22 of round 6, though it could easily have been round 3 had Yonaha opened up earlier and not been going through the motions.
The main event of the card saw former WBA Super Bantamweight world champion Shun Kubo (15-2, 10) [久保隼] score his first stoppage win in almost 4 years, as he forced the referee to save 22 year old Ruito Saeki (7-5-1, 1) [佐伯瑠壱斗].
Kubo looked relaxed and comfortable form the off, boxing behind his long, awkward, jab. Sadly Saeki had no answer for it, and he never really looked close to solving the jab. The one time he did was late in round 2 when he landed an uppercut, but that was pretty much the only time he landed anything of note.
In round 3 the clean accurate shots of Kubo took their toll, as he dropped Saeki with a perfect straight, following two soft jabs. Later in the same round Kubo landed another clean straight, that rocked Saeki, who seemed to lose his legs. The referee quickly jumped in, saving Saeki from any potential follow up. It was the right decision, saving Saeki from more punishment in what was quickly becoming a massive mismatch.
Tomorrow at the Central Gym in Kobe we'll get the latest show from Shinsei Gym. The card isn't a massive show, by any stretch, but it is one worth being aware of several reasons. It features a former world champion, a charismatic prospect and it's going to be shown live for free online!
The show was originally scheduled to feature 6 bouts in total, though that has been reduced to 5 after Yuri Takemoto (8-2-1, 4) [竹本雄利] was forced to pull out of a scheduled bout with Tamaki Miwa (6-6-1, 1) [三輪珠輝]
Today, ahead of the show, the fighters took part in their weigh in and the 10 fighters on the show all made weight for their bouts.
From the 5 bouts on the show there are 3 are worth some attention.
The first of those, which will be third on the broadcast, is a Super Bantamweight bout between Takahiro Tai (1-0, 1) [田井宜広] and JBC #15 ranked Bantamweight Koichi Wakita (7-2-3, 2) [脇田洸一]. The exciting Tai made his debut last year and immediately impressed with a flashy, fun, exciting style, and we're glad to see him back in the ring in a notable step up.
On the scales these two men were both around 121.5lbs, well under the 122lb limit.
The second bout of note is the chief support bout, which will see Yuki Yonaha (8-3-1, 5) [与那覇勇気] clash with Kenta Sakata (7-7-2) [坂田健太] in an 8 round Super Flyweight bout. Coming in to this Yonaha is ranked by the JBC at Bantamweight and looking to build on a very good 2020 win over the once touted Motoko Osanai.
On the scales neither man came close to the 115lb limit, with Yonaha weighing 114.6lbs and Sakata coming in at 114.4lbs.
The main event will see former WBA Super Bantamweight world champion Shun Kubo (14-2, 9) [久保隼] battle against 22 year old tough guy Ruito Saeki (7-4-1, 1) [佐伯瑠壱斗] in a match up that should be a lot better than it looks on paper. Kubo needs an impressive performance to show that he's back and heading in the right direction whilst Saeki has spoken very confidently in the build up to the bout.
The bout between Kubo and Saeki was set at a contracted weight of 58.5KG's, around 129lbs, and saw Saeki weigh bang on the limit whilst Kubo was slightly lighter, at around 128.8lbs.
For fans wanting to tune in for this one, it will be stream live on the Boxing Real YouTube channel, for free from around 13:00 Japan time. As well as the 3 bouts mentioned the show will also feature 2 bouts scheduled for 4 rounds.
Earlier today it was announced, at a press conference in Osaka, that WBC Light Flyweight champion Kenshiro Teraji (17-0, 10) [寺地 拳四朗] would be facing fellow Japanese fighter Tetsuya Hisada (34-10-2, 20) [久田 哲也] on April 24th, with the bout being Kenshiro's 8th defense of the WBC title and Hisada's second world title shot.
The bout has a long history, that dates back around 4 years, though hasn't been delayed for the usual "marinating" reasons given by promoters in the west. Instead it's been on the docket twice and cancelled twice.
Originally the bout was supposed to take place in Spring 2017 when Kenshiro was the Japanese Light Flyweight champion and was supposed to defend the title against Hisada in a mandatory title fight, as part of the Champion Carnival. That bout was cancelled when Kenshiro was able to secure a WBC world title fight against Ganigan Lopez, and instead we saw Kenshiro claim the WBC title whilst Hisada went on to beat Kenichi Horikawa for the Japanese title.
The bout was then set to take place in late 2020, before the baby faced Kenshiro was suspended after issues outside of the ring, where he drunkenly damaged someone's vehicle. That suspension lasted 3 months, from the start of December, and saw him also being being made to pay a fine and do some 48 hours of social activities to try and make amends. That social activity saw Kenshiro spending time watching students at elementary school in Kyoto and then helping pick up trash in Tokyo, working at a nursing, helping with harvesting vegetables cleaning shrines and helping with boxing lessons.
At today's press conference Kenshiro apologised for the issues last year, apologising to Hisada and the gym, as well as the people affected by his suspension. He seemed hungry to make amends in the ring as well as his out of the ring activity.
As for Hisada, who famously fought WBA "super" champion Hiroto Kyoguchi in 2019, he explained he was getting older due to waiting for this bout, but that he had a lot of time to prepare and that he's actually seen that as a positive, explaining his chances of winning have increased. It's worth noting this is a particularly important bout for him as it would see him becoming the first world champion from the Hisada gym, who's former chairman passed away last year.
Whilst no TV has been confirmed for the bout, the poster for the event does have the BOXING REAL logo on it, and it has been confirmed that the bout will be live streamed on YouTube by the BOXING REAL channel!
Other details that have been confirmed the event will take place at the EDION Osaka, fans will be in attendance, and the under-card will feature a number of interesting bouts. The best among those are an 8 round Super Flyweight bout between Japanese ranked Isao Aoyama (12-8-1, 3) [青山功] and the once touted Tetsuro Ohashi (7-2-1, 2) [大橋哲朗] and a mouth watering Flyweight bout between 18 year old Ayumu Hanada (6-0, 5)* [花田歩夢] and Mammoth Kazunori (6-3-1, 6) [中山和則], which should be incredibly explosive.
*Hanada has a bout not recognised by Boxrec or the JBC.
Over the last 24 hours or so Shinsei Gym, along with Dimante Boxing Gym, revealed a co-promoted event set to take place in Sakai City on April 4th. The show has had 6 bouts announced for it, including a Japanese title bout, and it currently appears that the show will be a female only show, the first such show in Japan in 2021.
The main event of the card will see JBC Atomweight champion Kaori Nagai (5-2-3, 2) [長井香織] making the first defense of her title, which she won last July. The 31 year old Nagai will be facing off with Natsuki Tarui (4-6-2) [樽井捺月], who has an under-whelming record but is currently on a 3 fight unbeaten run including a win over the touted Sayo Segawa last October. This bout, scheduled for 6 rounds, is the big focus of the poster.
In the main support bout we'll see more Atomweight action as JBC ranked fighters Riyuna Yoshikawa (1-1, 1) [吉川梨優那] and Reika Kawaguchi (1-1, 1) [川口玲可] clash in a 4 rounder, with the winner potentially moving towards a Japanese title fight of their own.
Whilst we won't go through all 6 bouts announced for the show it is worth noting that others announced for the card include Kaoru Iga (3-1-1) [伊賀 薫], Aoi Watanabe (2-4, 1) [渡邉葵] and Sumire Yamanaka (1-0) [山中 菫].
For fans wanting to watch this one it's expected to be streamed, for free, on the Boxing Real YouTube channel, who have a reputation for putting on excellent quality streams.
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