Earlier today it was announced that IBF Atomweight champion Saemi Hanagata (16-7-4, 7) [田中冴美] would be making her second defense on February 26th at the Korakuen Hall on a Dangan promoted event. In the opposite corner to the world champion will be former amateur Eri Matsuda (4-0, 1) [松田恵里], a former Japanese and OPBF champion
The aggressive Hanagata won the IBF title in September 2018, when she out pointed Yuko Kuroki for the previously vacant title, in what was their third bout together. That win came in Hanagata's 5th shot at a world title and is very much a career defining win for the protege of former WBA Flyweight champion Susumu Hanagata. She made her first defense almost a year later, when she took a split decision win over Nao Ikeyama, to end their trilogy of razor thin bouts.
Having been a professional since 2008 Hanagata has genuine faced a who's who of female boxing, with 3 bouts against Kuroki and 3 against Ikeyama, as well as bouts against Momo Koseki, Kumiko Seeser Ikehara and Naoko Shibata. Through her entire career she has proven to be rugged, aggressive, tough and a solid puncher.
Matsuda on the other hand turned professional in 2018 following a 33 fight amateur career. She was fast tracked like few others in the sport, winning an OPBF title in her second bout and unifying that with the Japanese title just 3 months later. She made a single defense of the Japanese title in 2019, stopping Mont Blanc Miki, but sadly hasn't fought since September 2019.
In the ring Matsuda is very much a textbook boxer, looking to get behind her jab, establish range and use her foot work. Although not a puncher she hits hard enough to get respect, and with against Sana Hazuki, Nanae Suzuki and Mont Blanc Miki have shown that she can cope with aggressive fighters.
Although yet to be confirmed, it seems likely this will be shown on Boxing Raise.
Tomorrow in Osaka fight fans will be able to see former Japanese Super Flyweight champion Takayuki Okumoto (23-9-4, 11) [奥本貴之] battle against Akio Furutani (8-4, 3) [古谷昭男], in a bout which will take place at the EDION Arena Osaka.
The bout has, rather strangely, been priced up by betting website STSBet, though sadly the odds aren't going to get many nibbles from gamblers who have spotted the contest.
The more experienced and more proven Okumoto is priced at an almost unbackable 1/10 to take home a victory here, and bounce back from a 2019 loss to Kenta Nakagawa.
Whilst the odds on Okumoto are really off putting it should be noted that Furutani on the other hand might be worth a flutter, with the under-dog priced at 9/2. Whilst he is, rightfully, the under-dog he is in good form since a loss in the 2018 Rookie of the Year, with 4 straight wins including a big one last year against Keisuke Nakayama.
We wouldn't touch this one as a gambler, but it is worth noting the implied probability from the odds do no match up with the Boxmob poll for the bout. The Boxmob poll has got Okumoto as the favourite, with 61% of those polled favouring the former Japanese champion, and 39% have gone with Furutani.
For fans wanting to watch this one, it won't be shown live anywhere, but Boxing Raise will have it on their "On Demand" section over the coming days.
Tomorrow at the EDION Arena Osaka we'll see the rescheduled match up between Katsunari Takayama (31-8-0-1, 12) [高山 勝成] and Reiya Konishi (17-2, 7) [小西伶弥].
The contested is widely seen as something that could be an all action spectacular and should provide real fireworks through the 6 rounds that it's scheduled for.
Interestingly STSbet have got this bout priced up for those wanting to gamble on it and have made Konishi the very clear favourite, priced at 1/2 to take home the victory. Konishi on the other hand is priced as a 5/4 under-dog.
Interestingly, for those wanting to know what Japanese fight fans think of the outcome, ~64% of those to predict the outcome on Boxmob have favoured Konishi, with ~32% going with Takayama and ~5% predicting a draw.
The bout, which was originally supposed to take place in November but got delayed due to a false-positive Covid19 test, will be available to watch on demand on Boxing Raise in the coming days for those wanting to watch it.
Note - The poll gives 101% due to issue with rounding.
Tomorrow in Osaka fight fans will be able to see "Naniwa Terminator" Ryota Yada (20-6, 17) [矢田良太] headlining the Green Tsuda card at the EDION Arena. The hard hitting Yada is expected to pick up an easy win as he takes on the experienced Yuichi Ideta (13-15-1, 7) [出田裕一], who has really struggled to pick up wins in recent years.
Today, ahead of their bout, the two men took part in their weigh in and both men came in very comfortably under the Welterweight limit.
On the scales Yada was around 146.5lbs, well under the 147;b limit. Despite being well under the limit the former Japanese Welterweight champion looked powerful, strong and in great condition, as he always does. He spoke confidently of ahead of the bout.
Ideta came in even lighter on the scales, coming in at around 145.8lbs. He looked in good shape, but nothing like the ripped monster that Yada was. He spoke not so much about the bout coming up, but about his return to boxing, after retiring when the legendary Yonekura Gym closed, only to return to boxing and join the Misako gym, which he claims has allowed him to have his best training so far. At the age of 36 however it could be too little, too late, for him to mount a serious return to the sport.
For those wanting to give this one a watch Green Tsuda have confirmed that it will be shown on Boxing Raise on their "On Demand" section over the coming days.
Back in November we had been hoping to see a brilliant matchup between former multi-time world champion Katsunari Takayama (31-8-0-1, 12) [高山 勝成] and 2-time world title challenger Reiya Konishi (17-2, 7) [小西伶弥]. Sadly however that bout was cancelled at the 11th hour when Konishi had a positive Covid19 test.
That test was later shown to be a false positive, with Konishi going through a battery of other tests, to show he wasn't ill, but by then the bout had been cancelled. Thankfully that cancellation quickly became a postponement, and the two men swiftly agreed a new date for the bout. December 27th.
Today, ahead of their no re-arranged bout, the two men took part in their weigh in and both fighters made the Light Flyweight limit with no issues.
On the scales Takayama was comfortably under the limit, weighting around 107.75lbs. For a man who hasn't stepped into the ring for a professional boxing bout in well over 4 years, and is now 37, he looked in solid condition. He didn't look as good as he did 5 or 6 years ago, but he was in very impressive shape.
Konishi on the other hand came in bang on the limit and looked shredded. He looked like a man with a point to prove and was arguably in the shape and condition of his career. He spoke like a man in joy at being able to fight again, something he's not done since a 2019 loss to IBF world champion Felix Alvarado.
Notably there is still a case of PCR test results coming back, which will happen tomorrow, though both men are expected to come back negative, especially given the situation regarding their November date.
For fans wanting to watch this one in person it will be at the EDION Arena Osaka, and not in Hirakata as first planned. For those without a ticket the bout will be added to the Boxing Raise on their "On Demand" section over the coming days.
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