Earlier today it was announced that OPBF Welterweight champion Riku Nagahama (12-3-1, 4) [長濱 陸] would be making his first defense on January 16th at Korakuen Hall as part of a "Dynamic Glove" card, to be televised by G+.
The talented Nagahama won the title back in February, when he upset Japanese-Afghan Kudura Kaneko, taking a wide decision over the then 11-0 Kaneko. Since then however Nagahama has been unable to build on the win due to the on going global situation and his moment has understandably slowed. It's a shame as that win was one that seemed ready to launch his career forward, and was a 4th successive win for the 2015 All Japan Rookie of the Year.
Despite taking a while to return to the ring he's not facing an easy first challenger, instead he will be up against the very capable Ryota Toyoshima (12-2-1, 8) [豊嶋亮太], who won the All Japan Rookie of the Year in 2016.
The challenger comes into this bout on the back of 5 straight wins, including victories over Moon Hyun Yun and Woo Min Won. He'll be the slight under-dog but is very much a live under-dog here in a very evenly matched bout.
As well as the OPBF title bout the card is stacked with touted novices with several promising debutants from the Kadoebi gym on the show.
One of those debutants is Flyweight hopeful Teruya Iimura (0-0) [飯村 樹輝弥], who will be debuting in a 6 rounder against 35 year old Daisuke Yamada (6-5, 1) [山田大輔]. The 22 year old Iimura is regarded as one of the best youngsters at the Kadoebi gym and went a very impressive 68-13 in the amateurs, whilst coming runner up in the 2018 National Athletic meet.
Another of the debutants is 22 year old Super Bantamweight Jun Ikegawa (0-0) [池側 純], who went 51-15 in the unpaid ranks and was hugely impressive in terms of his skills and promise. He'll be up against 23 year old Kakeru Yoshikawa (4-1-2) [吉川 翔], in what looks like a genuine test over 6 rounds.
A third touted prospect is 21 year old Yugo Kon (0-0) [今 優吾], who went 23-11 in the unpaid ranks and will be kicking off his career with a 6 rounder against 24 year old Koji Tsurumi (4-3-1, 1) [鶴海 高士]. Kon isn't as highly as regarded as the two debutants mentioned above, but is younger than those two and is certainly still very well though of.
One other bout of note is an all debutant affair between Yudai Murakami (0-0) [村上 雄大], from the Kadoebi Gym, and Naoki Shimizu (0-0) [清水 直樹], of the MT Gym, who clash in a 4 round bout at Lightweight. Despite being a 4 rounder both of these youngsters were able to run up credible amateur records, with Murakami going 29-6 and Shimizu running up a 14-7 tally. We expect this to be a pretty decent match up given their experienced in the unpaid ranks.
Earlier today at Korakuen Hall fight fans had the latest show in the Dynamic Glove series. The show, which will be aired on G+ early next week, was one that looked promising when it was first announced but ended up losing it's main event around a week before the show took place. As a result it went from looking good to a little bit under-whelming, though thankfully the fans ended up with a decent show in the end.
The event began with unbeaten prospect Takuma Takahashi (6-0, 6) [高橋 拓磨] sending 37 year old fighter Kodai Kiyota (9-7-2, 9) [清田 広大] into retirement. Kiyota, who hadn't fought in 10 years, was taken out in the first round by Takahashi, who landed a huge right hand that dropped Kiyota. The referee waved off the bout and gave Takahashi a much needed confidence boost after his ugly, controversial, and terrible performance against Leonardo Doronio back in January.
Following Takahashi's win fans then saw a really interesting match up between Shun Sekine (4-0-1, 3) [関根 駿] and Atsuyuki Sato (5-2-2, 3) [佐藤諄幸]. The two 23 year olds fought really evenly here. Sekine started well, before Sato responded, then Sekine had to step it up, before Sato matched him again. Round after round there was little to split the two men and that showed on the score-cards after 6 rounds. Two of the judges had this even, 57-57, whilst the third judge had Sekine winning 58-56, resulting in a majority decision draw.
The third bout on the card saw Shinnosuke Hasegawa (13-2-1, 9) [長谷川 慎之介] score his 12th straight win as he stopped Ikemen Atsushi (7-7-2, 2) [イケメン淳] in the 5th round of their bout. The JBC #3 ranked Super Featherweight was dropped in the opening round, but recovered well, gritted his teeth and managed turn things around. In round 5 he forced Atsushi's corner to throw in their towel and save their man.
The main event saw former world title challenger Takeshi Inoue (17-1-1, 10) [井上 岳志] battling unbeaten fighter Nath Nwachukwu (6-1-2, 3) [ワチュク・ナァツ]. On paper this was a mismatch, and the real question was whether or Nwachukwu was going to last the distance. In reality however this ended up being an interesting bout with the winner more disappointed than the loser. To his credit Inoue looked good to begin with, he looked sharp, used his jab well and like a fringe world class fighter. Nwachukwu on the other hand showed he was tough, hungry, determined and not there to lose. In round 4 Nwachukwu managed to find his groove, and managed to have some success, though the big talking point was a clash of heads that left Inoue cut and marked up around his left eye.
With his eye cut Inoue fought back the desire to have a war and stuck to his boxing, though was certainly made uncomfortable in the later rounds. He even admitted that he had had his rhythm disturbed by the headclash.
After 8 rounds Inoue took a clear decision, winning the bout 78-75, 78-74 and 79-73. Despite the win he was left a mess and after the bout he was picked with plaster covering his left eye and on the right side of his forehead.
After the bout Inoue stated he wasn't at his best and his promoter also seems to be eyeing bigger and better things, likely in an attempt to keep his man eager and hungry.
As for Nwachukwu he seemed to be looking at making the most of this, and move forward with a positive attitude, and with lessons learned from this bout.
For fans wanting to watch this it will be shown on G+ on Tuesday next week.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
Last week we reported that former 3-weight world champion Jorge Linares (47-5, 29) had a positive result show up on a PCR test. As a result of Linares's test result the Teiken Gym was forced to close temporarily. Since then all of the Teiken fighters, and trainers, have been tested and shown negative results in PCR tests, however the gym is still not open, and hasn't been given permission to reopen from the public health centre.
Had the gym only been closed for a few days, as some hoped, the knock on from the closure would have been very limited. It would seen a bout that was supposed to take today place being cancelled, which it was last week, and Linares bout set for August 28th being cancelled. That would pretty much have been it.
Sadly though with the gym still being closed it has now had wider knock on issues. The most obvious of those relate to the fighters who had been preparing for a September 5th date, for a show at Korakuen Hall which was set to be televised live on G+. With fighters unable to train at the gym at the moment, the September 5th date has officially been scrapped today. Instead the show will be delayed until October 2nd, which may have other knock on issues relating to TV.
The original date for the fight sat on a TV slow reserved for a live boxing broadcast with G+ as part of their monthly Dynamic Glove series. That series shows a live boxing event on the first Saturday of every month, typically from Korakuen Hall. The new days falls on a Friday which may mean that the event misses out on live TV, though this yet to be confirmed. If live TV is lacking the best we can hope for is a tape delay broadcast.
The reason the event can't take the set aside October TV slot, on the first Saturday of the month, is that there is already a show set for that date, with Japanese Light Middleweight champion Hironobu Matsunaga (16-1, 10) [松永 宏信] defending his belt against Yuto Shimizu (14-4-2, 5) [清水優人] on October 3rd.
In a perfect world both events would get live TV coverage, though we suspect that that's unlikely to happen. It should be noted that the event is still being marketed as a Dynamic Glove show, suggesting that the event will still get TV exposure, though it's unclear if it will be tape delay or live broadcast.
What makes this even bigger news is that the September 5th date was set to be the first live televised event in Japan since boxing restarted there. They have had some tape delay broadcasts and have had some live streamed events, but no live televised boxing has taken place in the country since February.
We do, fully understand the reason for the delay, and I think everyone else does as well. But it's certainly been a few frustrating months for some of the fighters on this show. That includes Kenichi Ogawa (24-1-1-1, 18) [尾川 堅一], who has now had 3 different dates fall apart this year.
From what we under-stand, though again it's yet to be confirmed, the 6 bouts that were scheduled for September 5th will all still take place on the new date. However we do know that the card, for definite, still includes Ogawa's bout with the world ranked foe Kazuhiro Nishitani (21-4-1, 12) [西谷和宏] and Shokichi Iwata's (4-0, 3) [岩田翔吉] bout with Ryo Narizuka (9-9-1) [成塚亮].
Once we know more about the bout line up and the TV situation we'll report that.
The long awaited WBO Flyweight title bout between Junto Nakatani (20-0, 15) [中谷 潤人] and Giemel Magramo (24-1, 20), who are fighting for the vacant title, has seen it's scheduled date slip once again. Thankfully however it does appear that this will be the final change in date for a bout that was supposed to take place in April, before all shows in Japan were put on hold.
The bout, which has had dates pencilled in for April, May and July now appears set in stone for August 21st, at Korakuen Hall on a Teiken promoted card. That's 20 days later the previously reported date, but we do have more details regarding the event and the bout won't be the only one of note on the show.
The show was announced by Teiken earlier today on their website, confirming the show would be a Dynamic Glove Special, suggesting that G+ will be televising the bout live. That may leave the door open for two different G+ cards in the month, which is something we have seen rumoured for the rest of 2020 given the backlog of fights and the very limited TV dates typically available.
As well as the much anticipated, and repeatedly rescheduled, main event we also now know that the card show will feature Kenichi Ogawa (24-1-1-1, 18) [尾川 堅一] and Hayate Kaji (14-0, 9) [梶颯]. Both men were pencilled in for the original April show, but due to the on-going global situation that card was postponed. Sadly neither man has yet had their opponents for the show confirmed.
It's unclear what has caused this delay, but giving the two men around 3 weeks extra to prepare after lengthy lay offs due to the world situation doesn't appear to be a bad thing, and could serve both fighters well. At the time of writing it's unclear whether the show will be allowing fans or note, though that may explain the postponement of the bout.
It should be noted that the WBO title is currently vacant, and has been since Kosei Tanaka (15-0, 9) [田中恒成] gave it up earlier in the year when he moved up in weight.
Last week there was talk about the now postponed WBO Flyweight title bout between Junto Nakatani (20-0, 15) [中谷 潤人] and Giemel Magramo (24-1, 20) potentially taking place on July 4th at Korakuen Hall. Now however it appears that date has slipped, but a new date is looking like it is now essentially set in stone.
The date, now being reported for the bout, is August 1st with the bout taking place at Korakuen Hall with no fans in attendance.
Issues with securing visa for both Magramo and his trainer Rudy Hernandez, as well as inconsistent international flights, were part of the reason given for the July date not coming to fruition, though it should be noted that the July date wasn't really mentioned at any of the recent council events from the JBC and JPBA.
It's not just been Magramo with training that has been effected by the current situation but also Nakatani who had been planning a long training camp in the US earlier this year, but had to return to Japan due to the current outbreak.
Given the August 1st date matches up with what we would expect for a televised Dynamic Glove card it seems that whilst no fans will be in attendance the bout would be expected to be shown on G+, likely live. If this does happen it's looking likely to be the first Japanese card to be given live TV coverage since the whole global situation put boxing on hold in the country.
It's worth remembering that the WBO Flyweight title is vacant after Kosei Tanaka (15-0, 9) [田中恒成] gave it up to begin the pursuit of a Super Flyweight title. At the moment there is no details on when Tanaka will be back in the ring.
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