Last year Japanese amateur standout Kenji Fujita [藤田健児] turned professional, signing with Japanese promotional powerhouse Teiken. It was a signing that created a lot of buzz, with Fujita being a genuine amateur star and someone expected to go a very, very long way in the professional ranks.
As an amateur Fujita was a 3-time All Japan champion and also won a bronze medal at the Asian Amateur Championships, showing just how good he was in the unpaid ranks.
Sadly after signing with Teiken Fujita, along with fellow Teiken signees Subaru Murata [村田昴], Junya Shimada [嶋田淳也] and Kota Kaneko [金子虎旦], he didn't actually get a chance to debut in 2020, in part due to the on going Covid19 pandemic.
Earlier today however it's was revealed that Fujita has got a date, venue, and opponent set for his debut, and thankfully it's not going to be too much more of a wait.
Today it's been revealed that Fujita will debut on March 25th in a 6 round bout against Motosuke Kimura (3-5-2, 1) [木村元祐] on a Dynamic Glove show.
The 34 year old Kimura has lost his last 4, and 5 of his last 6, though he never been stopped and did give the highly touted Shigetoshi Kotari a very good test last October. Given that performance, rather than his results, we do expect him to ask questions of Fujita here and to serve as something of a test. Though a test Fujita should pass with out too many problems.
Sadly this is only bout for the show that has been officially announced so far, though we are expecting a lot of news about this March event to come through in the next week or so, potentially including one of the other amateur standouts that turned professional at the same time as Fujita.
Earlier today the Ohashi Gym announced the debut bouts for both Ryutaro Nakagaki [中垣 龍汰朗] and Keisuke Matsumoto [松本圭佑], who we now know will debut on August 24th at Korakuen Hall.
Matsumoto, dubbed the "Mirai Monster", will be up against 31 year old veteran Hironori Miyake (9-9-2, 1) [三宅寛典]. On paper this doesn't look too imposing for Matsumoto, who went 80-15 (30) in the amateurs, but in many ways it's not supposed to be. The 20 year old is in there to get rounds under the belt and Miyake should serve that purpose, having never been stopped in his 20 professional bouts. Although Miyake's record is a mess he has managed to be somewhat competitive in a number of his losses, and should be regarded as a good opponent for Matsumoto to debut against.
As for Nakagaki, an 8 time amateur champion, he will be in with Shohei Horii (3-5-2, 2) [堀井翔平], in what genuinely is an under-whelming bout. Although this is Nakagaki's professional debut he did go 82-15 (19) in the amateurs and the hope was that he would be facing someone a little more testing than Horii. The reality here is that if Nakagaki is half the fighter we suspect, he should blow out Horii in just a couple of rounds.
Notably both men had been pencilled in to debut earlier in the year though their delays were, understandably, delayed due to the on going global issue.
For fans wanting to know more about the two men here are our "Introducing" articles on both fighters:
Introducing... Keisuke Matsumoto
Introducing... Ryutaro Nakagaki
Earlier today Kadoebi announced the professional debut of Yudai Murakami [村上 雄大].
The 20 year old Murakami will be facing off in a 6 rounder at Lightweight against Thai visitor Sirisak Pimpasitta (3-5, 1) on the Dynamic Young Fight card, set to take place on April 7th at Korakuen Hall.
Whilst not a huge name from the amateurs Murakami is well regarded following a 29-6 (5) and the plan seems to be for Kadoebi to move him quickly through the year, wanting him to progress into 8 round bouts and a potential Japanese youth title fight.
Stood at around 5'11" Murakami is a skilled, clean punching rangy southpaw, who is looking to make his name as a Lightweight and has a lot of promise.
As for the Thai he has won his last 3, but is 0-2 in Japan, albeit with bouts against Kazuto Takesako and Daisuke Sakamoto, and is 0-4 against Japanese opponents.
(Image courtesy of Kadoebi.
Former Japanese amateur stand out Yudai Shigeoka (1-0, 1) [重岡優大] make his professional debut, as he dominated Thai foe Manop Audomphanawari (3-3, 3).
Shigeoka, the older brother of WBO Asia Pacific Minimumweight champion Ginjiro Shigeoka, looked calm and relaxed from the opening bell. Unlike his younger brother he was happy to fight at range, picking moments to come forward and strike with combinations, but not pushing the pace like we've seen from Ginjiro.
Instead of intense pressure Yudai looked to box at mid range, backing off between attacks and trying to catch Manop with counter shots, and single hard left hands to head and body. Although his head shots looked brutal it was the body blows that really caught the eye with Shigeoka repeatedly landing solid shots to the mid-section.
In round 2 Shigeoka rocked Manop to his his knees with a right hook early on before being back up momentarily. It wasn't long until Shigeoka picked up his offense though and began to hammer the Thai with some hugely hurtful left hands. The shots backed up Manop who was dropped by a right hook. To his credit Manop got to his feet, and continued the fight but was stopped soon afterwards as Shigeoka let his hands go again and forced the referee to stop the bout.
Given how impressive Shigeoka was it's hard to complain too much, though we would have liked to have seen more jabs from him. He showed touches of pure genius in there but still has areas to work on, and that's not a bad thing. Following the win he stated he wanted to fight domestic opponents soon, and although we weren't as impressed by him as we were with his brother, in his debut, there was still a lot to like about the older of the two Shigeoka brothers.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Earlier today Japanese fans at the Korakuen Hall saw former female amateur standout Sayo Segawa (1-0, 1) [瀬川紗代] make her professional debut, taking on Thai foe Watcharin Khodam (1-3, 1).
The diminutive Segawa, who went 32-9 (14) in the unpaid ranks, looked very talented from the off as she applied constant and educated pressure against her Thai. Watcharin got through the first round without taking too much punishment, but it was clear that Segawa was warming into things.
Straight from the bell to begin round 2 the debutant upped her tempo, landing combinations straight. Those shots from Segawa had Watcharin looking shocked by the accuracy and hand speed of Segawa, who continued pressing, and after 1 minute 18 seconds of round 2 the referee stepped in saving the Thai visitor.
Despite the opponent being very poor this was still an excellent performance from Segawa who looks like she's going to be a star of the future, and at just 22 years old she is well worth attention from fans of female boxing. There's work to do, but she looked very exciting and very, very promising.
As for Watcharin it's hard to see her making any sort of a mark on the regional scene.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
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