Earlier today Teiken announced reigning OPBF and WBO Asia Pacific Welterweight champion Ryota Toyoshima (14-2-1, 9) [豊嶋亮太] would be returning to the ring on December 4th to take on "reimported" fighter Shoki Sakai (25-12-2, 12) [坂井 祥記], in what will be the main event of December's Dynamic Glove show.
The bout, which will take place at Korakuen Hall, will see two very interesting fighters in action. The champion, who won the OPBF title in January and unified it with the WBO Asia Pacific title in May, is an exciting and aggressive boxer puncher who has been involved in some really great fights in recent years. Although never likely to be close to a world title fight, he's a really fun fighter and Teiken's biggest hope at the weight.
Sakai on the other hand was a man who first made his name fighting in Mexico before proving himself to be a tough test case for prospects in the US, and then he returned to Japan last year, making his Japanese debut in the process. Earlier this year he challenged Keita Obara, the Japanese national champion, and gave Obara a really tough test before losing a hotly contested decision. In the ring he's all about pressure, coming forward behind a tight guard and making a fight of things. His style should make life very tough for Toyoshima.
Sadly the bout won't be for both of Toyoshima's titles, instead he'll only be defending the OPBF title, for the second time. Thankfully though, that won't take away from the action in the ring, which we expect to be thrilling as the styles of the two men really should gel to give us something very special.
At the time of writing no other bouts for this show have been announced, though with it being in December that's not too much of a surprise. We do however expect at least one other bout of note to be on the show.
Earlier today at Korakuen Hall we got the latest in the Dynamic Glove series, televised live on G+. It was, if we're being totally honest, not a show we had high expectations of and didn't really seem like a strong one on paper with most novices in action. Despite the low expectations the show genuinely managed to deliver, and really exceeded expectations.
The show began with the first of 3 all debutant bouts as Kanta Kawamura (1-0, 1) [川村 栞汰] clashed with Koyo Nakayama (0-1) [中山 弘陽]. This was a real fun but short one with Kawamura taking out Nakayama in the first round. Nakayama was dropped very early on and then stopped standing when the referee stepped in following a big uppercut. Despite being a debutant Kawamura looked very good here.
Although the first bout was great it was out done by the second bout on the show as Kenshiro Ishimori (2-0, 1) [石森 憲士朗] and Tomoya Tanaka (0-3) [田中 智也] put on a surprise thriller. The opening round saw Tanaka drop Ishimori with a fantastic counter right hand. Sadly for Tanaka that wasn't the end and Ishimori wasn't done and in the following round Ishimori dropped Tanaka for the 10 count.
The third bout was another surprisingly great novice bout between the debuting pair of Takumi Hashimoto (1-0) [橋本 拓海] and Soshi Goto (0-1) [後藤 宗士]. Through out the bout Hashimoto pressed forward, set a high tempo, forced a fun action pace on to the bout and gave us something exhilarating through out. Goto played his part with some solid counters, and a lot of heart, but it was a clear win for Hashimoto, who really did impress us with a fantastic performance, and he was a worthy decision winner.
In another surprisingly competitive and compelling bout Yuta Dynamite Takahashi (1-2) [ダイナマイト高橋佑太] took a razor thin decision win over Shoya Hiratoko (0-1) [平床 聖也]. This was an action packed bout, with the result decided by a knockdown scored by Takahashi. A real decent lower level bout.
The final of the all debutant bouts saw Hiroshi Sakashita (1-0) [坂下 広併] take a clear decision win over Anju Chioa (0-1) [千田 安殊]. Sakashita set the tempo early with his jab and then increased his output during the bout, but Chioa fought back bravely and saw out the 4 round bout. After 4 rounds Sakashita took the unanimous decision.
The first of the two main bouts saw former Japanese Welterweight champion Yuki Nagano (18-3, 14) [永野祐樹] in bounce back from February's loss to Keita Obara. The heavy handed Nagano took on Masafumi Ando (6-11-2, 3) [安藤暢文] and took him out within a round. Ando used a busy jab early on, but towards the end of the opening round several right hooks from Nagano landed, wobbling and hen dropping Ando. Ando got to his feet but was all over the place, forcing the referee to wave the bout off.
In the main event unbeaten Featherweight prospect Mikito Nakano (5-0, 4) [中野幹士] was given a bit of a test by Ruito Saeki (7-4-1, 1) [佐伯瑠壱斗], in what was easily Nakano's toughest bout so far.
From the off Nakano took control of center ring whilst Saeki used the ropes. On paper this looked idea for the faster, smart, more powerful Nakano, but it turned to be a real game of cat and mouse, and Saeki's toughness saw him able to take the shots of Nakano, often riding them, whilst looking to land counters.
Saeki's tactic wasn't the most fan friendly but did get him success, particularly in round 3, where he dropped Nakano with seconds of the round left. It was a flash knockdown but still notable success and the first time Nakano had been down during his professional career.
Despite the knockdown Saeki never managed to build, with Nakano becoming more wary of the counters, giving Saeki few chances and landing solid single shots without taking much in return. The straight left of Nakano found a home in both the body and the head of Saeki, but couldn't harm his rugged foe. The one thing that did damage Saeki was a headclash that left him cut around the right eye, but it was a minor inconvenience.
The final round was rather interesting. The bout was in the bag for Nakano, but the final moments saw the unbeaten man cut around the eye, and he dabbed at it a lot. It's not clear it's a really bad cut, or if he's just not been cut much during his time in the ring, but he certainly seemed bothered by it.
After 8 rounds Nakano took the decision, 78-73 on all 3 cards, and ticked a lot of boxes. He has shown he has the stamina to go 8 rounds, he has shown he can pull himself off the canvas to win, and has shown more than just power. There is however still work to do, and this bout will serve as a great opportunity for his team to see what has done wrong, and to work on it. As for Saeki, it's probably fair to say he didn't really try too hard to win, if we're being blunt, but he did enough to test Nakano who needed a good test. It wasn't pretty, and it wasn't exciting, but it was intriguing.
Earlier today it was announced that OPBF Welterweight champion Riku Nagahama (12-2-1, 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 Jukiya 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.
News! We try and give you the most interesting news stories from the Asian boxing world!