Yesterday Hideyuki Ohashi, the head of the Ohashi Gym, announced that his unbeaten charge Andy Hiraoka (17-0, 12) [å¹³å²¡ã¢ã³ãã£] would be getting a shot at newly crowned Japanese 140lb champion Masahiro Suzuki (6-0, 4) [é´æ¨ é å¼], who defeated Daishi Nagata (15-3-2, 6) [æ°¸ç°å¤§å£«] yesterday to win the title.
In the instagram post, above, Mr Ohashi states:
"Andy Hiraoka, 8th in the IBF World Super Light Weight, who was scheduled for the match on September 9, will be nominated by Masahiro Suzuki (Kadoebi), who became the new champion yesterday, within 4 months according to the JBC rules. Please note that the match schedule may change."
Given this post it seems likely that Hiraoka's scheduled September bout will be cancelled, with him instead focusing on facing Suzuki at the earliest opportunity, and within the next 4 months. With that in mind it seems likely that we'll see the men collide in October, though no date has yet been set for the bout
Earlier today fight fans at Korakuen Hall had the latest show in the Phoenix Battle series of shows, which will be aired this coming weekend on Fuji TV. The card featured a Japanese title bout at 140lbs, between Daishi Nagata and Masahiro Suzuki, as well as under-card bouts featurignt he likes of Rentaro Kimura, Akira Hoshuyama, Shisui Kawabata and Ryota Karimata.
For those wanting to watch this, as live, when it's finally aired, we have included this spoiler warning introduction. Please note that spoilers will begin in the paragraph after the next one. We will include the full undercard results for this show as well as the main bout.
The show opened up with a 6 rounder at Super Bantamweight between Shota Ogasawara (6-3-1, 3) [小笠原 梢太] and Naito Oikawa (3-1-1, 1) [笈川 夏愛]. This one was a really well contested bout from the off, with the two men trading shots at mid range through the opening round. Oikawa went to the body of his man, whilst Ogasawara let shots go up top. Through the bout it was fantastic 2-way action, with neither man ever managing to distinguish themselves ahead of their opponent.
After 6 rounds of great action, we went to the judges and they ruled this one a split decision draw, with scors of 58-56, 56-58 and 57-57.
The second bout saw All Japan Rookie of the Year winner Akira Hoshuyama (6-0, 3) [宝珠山 晃] score a 2nd round TKO win over the once touted Shisui Kawabata (2-3, 2) [川畑 嗣穂]. This was exciting from the off, with Hoshuyama dropping his man with a left uppercut in the first round. Kawabata responded to the knockdown by taking the fight to Hoshuyama before being forced to clinch. Kawabata managed to see out the first round, but was swiftly put under pressure in round 2 and the referee was forced to jump in and save after 57 seconds of the round.
The third match on the show saw another all Japan Rookie of the Year champion in action as Ryota Karimata (7-0, 3) [狩俣 綾汰] clashed with Hayato Aoki (4-1, 3) [青木 勇人]. Originally these two were supposed to fight last December, before Aoki was forced to pull out of a scheduled bout, and it meant this one had a touch of backstory to it. Sadly for Aoki he really struggled to get his wayt into the bout, as Karimata out worked him in round 1 and moved through the gears in round 2, finding holes in Aoki's defense. Aoki really did seem like he was focusing on not getting tagged too much, but as a result wasn't letting his own hands go much. As a result Karimata was able to build his confidence and momentum ot the point where he was in a comfortable lead by the time Aoki finally began to fire back.
After 6 rounds the judges really didn't have a tough task here, two had the bout 60-54 to Karimata whilst the third judge had it 59-55, finding a sympathy round for Aoki.
The chief support bout saw the highly regarded Rentaro Kimura (4-0, 3) [木村蓮太朗] score his most notable win to date as he defeated Hikaru Fukunaga (8-2, 5) [福永輝] via a clear 6 round decision. Kimura boxed well at range in the opening round, using his straight left hand to control the tempo and range of the contest through the openoing round. Fukunaga tried to make it into a fight, but he struggled to apply his pressure against the taller, smarter, sharper, smoother Kimura who was simply too good. Through much of the bout it was all about Fukunaga's pressure and Kimura's movement, however in round 6 we saw Kimura try to hunt a finish, with Fukunaga doing well to survive the late assault from Kimura. After 6 rounds this was a shut out, and a very impressive win for Kimura, who is now heading towards his first title fight, which could come before the year is over.
The final bout on the card was a title bout, which saw a minor upset as Daishi Nagata (15-3-2, 6) [永田大士] was dethroned of the Japanese Light Welterweight title by the unbeaten Masahiro Suzuki (6-0, 4) [鈴木 雅弘], who put in a stellar performance in a massive step up bout.
Nagata started the bout fighting behind a tight guard and coming forward, with Suzuki meeting him head first and attacking his body well, and left solid left uppercuts. It was a positive start from the challenger who really did find his groove very quickly and was hammering body shotshome in round 2, before letting combinations go in round 3. By then it was starting to look tough for Nagata who was left with a swollen left eye in round 4. Nagata knew he was needing to turn things around and tried to do then in the fourth, but Suzuki responded to it well, and landed some very well timed head shots as Nagata attempted to close the distance. After 5 rounds Suzuki was up on all 3 cards, 50-45, twice, and 49-46.
Suzuki continued to find his shots landing time and time again, and the gulf in skill between the men was becoming really apparent, despite the hunger and desire from Nagata, who continued to trudge forward, trying to turn things around and break down Suzuki.
Amazingly it was Suzuki who moved up a gear in round 9, and left Nagata cut from an uppercut. He kept the shots landing in round 10, with Nagata's team eventually waving the towel and stopping the bout with just over 50 seconds of the contest remaining.
This is a genuinely massive setback for Nagata, who won the title last year, with a shock win over Koki Inoue, but looked poor in his first defense and completely out classed here. As for Suzuki this was a defining performance and he showed the class he that saw us getting excited after his debut. He has had some weaker performances in recent contests, but here he put it all together and it was a champion making outing from him. With just 6 bouts to his name he's already a Japanese champion and now opens the door to some very, very good domestic bouts. That includes a potential clash with Andy Hiraoka later in the year,
tomorrow at Korakuen Hall fight fans will see Japanese Light Welterweight champion Daishi Nagata (15-2-2, 6) [永田大士] attempt to make his second defense of the title as he takes on the unbeaten Masahiro Suzuki (5-0, 3) [鈴木 雅弘]. The bout is a really interesting contest, and one that has seen the Boxmob poll being split nearly 50-50, with those polled narrowly favouring Suzuki as of earlier today.
Talking about earlier today the two men took part in their weigh in for the bout and both men made the 140lb limit.
On the scales Suzuki, who looked much smaller, made weight bang on the 140lb limit. Although he looked smaller, and looked liek he could have made 130lbs if he really needed to, he looked healthy and hydrated and like a man who was very calm and confident ahead of the biggest fight of his career. A win here would be huge for his career and see him winning his first title, and sticking a proverbial jetpack to his back as he'd look to move on to bigger and better things.
As for Nagata he actually made weight by coming in a little under the limit, weighing in at around 139.8lbs, but looked the much, much bigger man. In fact he looked a good division, if not two, bigger than Suzuki. He evealed that after weighing in he would be eating special sashimi crreated by former stablemate Ryo Takenaka.
For fans wanting to watch this bout, it will be aired on tape delay on Fuji TV, but won't be shown live anywhere.
Related - Nagata defends against unbeaten Suzuki!
Earlier today we reported that highly touted prospect Rentaro Kimura (3-0, 3) [木村蓮太朗] would be back in the ring on June 10th, for a bout against Hikaru Fukunaga (8-1, 5) [福永輝] as part of a Diamond Glove show at Korakuen Hall. Whilst a great match up that bout isn't going to be the main event of the card, but instead one of the main support bouts. The main event will instead be a Japanese title fight, and a really good on as well!
That title bout will see Japanese Light Welterweight champion Daishi Nagata (15-2-2, 6) [永田大士] making his second defense of the title, which he won last year against Koki Inoue, as he takes on unbeaten 25 year old challenger Masahiro Suzuki (5-0, 3) [鈴木 雅弘].
On paper this looks like a mismatch, but in reality we suspect this could be a very, very compelling bout between two men with a point to prove.
Nagata won his title, as mentioned, in a massive upset win against Koki Inoue, the cousin of Naoya and Takuma Inoue. That win was a massive shock for Nagata who had shown plenty of promise but wasn't expected to be a real test for the then unbeaten Inoue. He was however very under-whelming in his first defense, as head clashes marred a bout with veteran Akihiro Kondo, resulting in a 7th round technical draw last December.
Although a talented fighter Nagata is the sort of fighter who can blow hot and cold. As his best he's a fantastic fighter, as we saw against Inoue and previously against Rikki Naito. At other times it can seem like he's trying too hard to impress and looks poor as a result, such as the draw against Kondo and his 2019 win over Min Ho Jung, which saw him being what fortunate to escape with the victory. If he boxes to his strengths, and avoids letting his heart over rule his brain, he could make this look easy, but with the wrong game plan he could end up slipping on a major banana skin.
Suzuki turned professional in 2018 and immediately impressed ups with an excellent performance against Antonio Siesmundo. It was a performance that instantly seemed to ear mark him as a special talent, capable of racing through the ranks. Sadly his performances after that bout were under-whelming. He was hurt against Kosuke Arioka in his third bout, and narrowly took a victory in his 4th bout, against Hokuto Matsumoto. Those performances saw doubt creep into his potential, though it's fair to say that a step up like this might get the best from him.
For fans wanting to watch this, it will be aired on tape delay by Fuji TV as part of their Diamond Glove series.
Related - Rentaro Kimura to return to the ring on June 10th!
Earlier today the nominations for the JBC and Tokyo Athletic Press Club Boxing Subcommittee annual awards were announced, with the media being able to vote on the winners, who will be announced later this month. Unlike usual there will not be a big event ceremony, due to the ongoing Covid19 situation.
Sadly Covid19 really did destroy the boxing calendar in Japan and only a handful of top Japanese fighters managed to squeeze a fight into the year. In fact only 3 of the 7 current male world champions managed to fight, and that include a man who won his world title late year.
The fighters nominated for the "Best Fighter" award were those 3 champions that manage to fight last year:
They were WBO Super Flyweight champion Kazuto Ioka (25-2, 14) [井岡一翔]
WBO Flyweight champion Junto Nakatani (21-0, 16) [中谷 潤人]
And unified WBA "super" and IBF Bantamweight champion Naoya Inoue (20-0, 17) [井上 尚弥]
Those 3 champions are also up in the running for the "Skill Award".
The "Special Merit" award sees Junto Nakatani in the running alongside:
Masayoshi Nakatani (19-1, 13) [中谷正義]
and Hironori Mishiro (10-0-1, 3) [三代大訓]
The Effort/Fighting Award short list is
Ryoji Fukunaga (13-4, 13) [福永亮次]
and Kenichi Horikawa (41-16-1, 14) [堀川 謙一]
The KO award has 4 nominees, with Inoue, Ioka, and both Junto and Masayoshi Nakatani.
The newcomer award sees Mishiro up against:
Daishi Nagata (15-2-2, 6) [永田大士]
and Masamichi Yabuki (12-3, 11) [佐藤政道]
The best bout of the year has been split into two categories, as it has been for a while.
The world title bouts up for the award are:
Kazuto Ioka Vs Kosei Tanaka (15-1, 9) [田中恒成]
Naoya Inoue Vs Jason Moloney
Junto Nakatani Vs Giemel Magramo
As for the none world title bouts, the fights nominated here are:
Riku Nagahama [長濱 陸] Vs Kudura Kaneko [クドゥラ 金子]- For the OPBF Welterweight title
Kenichi Ogawa [尾川 堅一] Vs Kazuhiro Nishitani [西谷和宏] - Non title bout
Masayoshi Nakatani Vs Felix Verdejo - WBO Intercontinental Lightweight title
Ryoji Fukunaga Vs Kenta Nakagawa [中川 健太] - WBO Asia Pacific, JBC and OPBF triple title bout
and Hironori Mishiro Vs Masayuki Ito [伊藤 雅雪] - Non title bout
As for the female awards, the MVP nominess are:
WBO Atomweight champion Mika Iwakawa (10-5-1, 3) [岩川 美花]
WBO female Minimumweight champion Etsuko Tada (20-3-3, 7) [多田悦子]
and WBO female Super Flyweight champion Tomoko Okuda (7-2-2, 1) [奥田朋子]
The best bouts for female boxing are:
Mika Iwakawa Vs Nanae Suzuki [鈴木菜々江]
Etsuko Tada Vs Ayaka Miyao [宮尾 綾香]
and Tomoko Okuda Vs Miyo Yoshida [吉田 実代]
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