Earlier today it was announced that OPBF Light Welterweight champion Rikki Naito (24-2, 7) [内藤 律樹] would be making his 4th defense on November 21st on a stacked card as part of a Dangan and Over Heat Boxer's Night show. And by stacked we genuinely mean stacked!
Naito will be defending his title in a very interesting all Japanese bout against Yusuke Konno (16-4, 9) [今野裕介], in what we expect will be a real shoot out. Although Naito is the quicker, more skilled fighter Konno is the heavier handed, tougher man, who hasn't shown the stamina issues that Naito has.
It's not just the main event to be excited by here, in fact the card has 3 or 4 bouts worthy of attention. One of those is the chief support bout between Yoshimitsu Kimura (12-2, 7) [木村吉光] and Shuma Naklazato (10-1-2, 7) [仲里周磨]. Both of these men have lost close decisions to Hironori Mishiro and both will be looking to move towards a second bout with Mishiro in the near future. This will be a very high skilled and exciting match up between Japanese youngsters.
In a Japanese Youth Super Flyweight title bout we'll see defending champion Suzumi Takayama (3-0, 3) [高山涼深] clash with Hiroto Yashiro (2-0, 2) [矢代博斗], in a bout that looks almost certain to provide fire works. This is the sort of bout that is great on paper, and even better in the ring, given the styles and mentality of the two men involved.
Another bout worthy of mention will see former Japanese Super Bantamweight champion Ryoichi Tamura (13-5-1, 7) [田村亮一] face off with Ryu Oba (5-4, 3) [大場 竜] in a 5 round prize money bout, where a financial bonus is given to the winner if they can score a KO.
This show will be available on Boxing Raise and is a great reason to get their service for the penultimate month of the year.
Earlier today on social media Dangan boxing announced that they were cancelling shows scheduled for May 16th and May 17th at the Sumida City Gymnasium.
Unsurprisingly the reason both shows were cancelled relates to the ongoing global issue.
At the moment it's unclear what will happen with the majority of the bouts set for the two shows, which included a Japanese Super Flyweight title bout between Kenta Nakagawa (18-3-1, 12) [中川 健太] takes on Yuta Matsuo (15-4-2, 8) [松尾雄太], which was set for May 16th, and the Hajime No Ippo 30th anniversary tournament final, between Shingo Kusano (13-8-1, 5) [草野慎悟] and Daisuke Watanabe (10-4-2, 6) [渡部大介], which was to take place a day late. It's expected both bouts will be postponed, but it's very unclear when they will take place.
Although the current suspension on boxing in Japan didn't directly affect the two shows the regulations being put on gyms for hosting shows would have effected both events, which were meant to be held as part of a boxing festival, as opposed to just a plan boxing show.
As with, we suspect everyone else, we hope the issue taking over global news come to an end sooner rather than later. It obviously effects more than just boxing, and we really hope everyone reading this is staying as safe as they can through these trying and tough times.
Given the sheer number of announcements and big fights over the last few days it was obvious we were going to miss something, and sadly one of the stories we missed was actually quite and interesting one, as Hironori Mishiro (8-0-1, 3) [三代大訓] has his next OPBF Super Featherweight title defense announced.
The unbeaten fighter from the Watanabe Gym will be back in the ring at Dangan 231 on December 10th at the Korakuen Hall, where he will face 23 year old challenger Yoshimitsu Kimura (12-1, 7) [木村吉光], who is having his second title bout, following a loss in a WBO Asia Pacific Featherweight title bout against Richard Pumicpic.
The talented Mishiro will be looking to make his 4th defense of the OPBF title, and build on wins from earlier this year against Takuya Watanabe and Ryo Takenaka. Since turning professional he has been on the fact track, winning the OPBF title in 6th bout, when he beat Carlo Magali, and was unlucky not to unify the belt a fight later, when he fight to a draw with Masaru Sueyoshi. Sadly though this will be his 4th defense against a Japanese opponent, and it feels as though maybe fighters from across the Orient don't have the same desire for the belt that they once had.
Whilst Kimura lost against Pumicpic he has been touted highly and won the 2016 Rookie of the Year, beating Tsuyoshoi Sawai in the Featherweight final. Since losing to Pumicpic we've seen him move up in weight and score 3 straight stoppage wins, whilst looking like a heavier handed fighter at 130lbs than he was at 126lbs. Despite that success at Super Featherweight he will be seen as the under-dog in this bout.
At the moment no other bouts have been confirmed for this card, though with is likely being the final big Dangan card of 2019 we are anticipating at least 1 other very notable bout to be added to the show in the coming days.
Back in March we saw a massive upset as Lito Dante (16-10-4, 8) scored a huge 12th round TKO win over Japan's previously unbeaten Tsubasa Koura (14-1, 9) [小浦 翼], and ended Koura's reign as the OPBF Minimumweight champion. Since then the talented Koura hasn't been in action, and and has sat over over 6 months.
Today we finally saw news break on what Koura next plan was, with the Cassius Gym fighter now set to fight on the November 9th Dangan card, which will feature the God's Left semi final bouts.
At the moment his opponent hasn't been confirmed by name, though is said to be an Indonesian fighter, who is likely there to help Koura re-establish some confidence following a very damaging and surprising loss.
The card will not only feature the God's Left semi-final bouts but also a Japanese title eliminator between Taiki Minamoto (16-5-1, 13) [源大輝] and Takuya Watanabe (36-9-1, 21) [渡邉卓也], making this a really good card, even if we don't know who Koura will be fighting.
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