Earlier today the Ohashi gym announced some more details for their October 25th show, "NTT Phoenix Battle 93", which will take place at Korakuen Hall.
The card, which be headlined by former world IBF Super Bantamweight world champion Ryosuke Iwasa (27-4, 17) [岩佐亮佑] facing Genesis Servania (34-3, 16), had previously some bouts announced for it. The aforementioned Iwasa Vs Servania bout, which will headline, and an OPBF Flyweight title bout between current champion Giemel Magramo (26-2, 21) defending his title, for the first time, as he takes on once beaten Japanese fighter Taku Kuwahara (10-1, 6) [桑原拓].
Today we saw Kazuki Nakajima (12-1-1, 10) [嶋 一輝] being added to the show, with Nakajima scheduled to face Thai visitor Chaiwat Buatkrathok (38-6, 25), in what looks like a good bout on paper but ignores the fact the Thai's record is one of the most padded in the entire sport. We also saw former OPBF Minimumweight champion Tsubasa Koura (15-2, 10) [小浦 翼] being added to the show, though at the time of writing his opponents is yet to be confirmed for the show.
Earlier today the Ohashi announced that they would be holding Phoenix Battle 93 on October 25th at Korakuen Hall. Along with the announcement of the when and the where of the show, they also announced the card for the show, and announced once of the strongest Phoenix Battle shows, with what can only be described as a legitimate double header.
The first of the two main bouts from the card will see OPBF Flyweight champion Giemel Magramo (26-2, 21) defending his title, for the first time, as he takes on once beaten Japanese fighter Taku Kuwahara (10-1, 6) [桑原拓], in what will be Kuwahara's second title bout. For Magramo the bout sees him return to the venue where suffered a 2020 loss to Junto Nakatani for the WBO Flyweight title. Since then he has picked up two wins, including am OPBF title win against Jayr Raquinel back in October 2021, and comes into this bout with a point to prove. As for Kuwahara he will be looking to make the most of his second crack at a title, following a 2021 loss to Japanese national champion Seigo Yuri Akui.
The other main bout will see former world IBF Super Bantamweight world champion Ryosuke Iwasa (27-4, 17) [岩佐亮佑] return to the ring for the first time since being stopped by Murodjon Akhmadaliev in April 2021. In the opposite corner to Iwasa will be former world title challenger Genesis Servania (34-3, 16), who was stopped last time out by the devastating Andres Cortes. Whilst the other bout will be for a title, this bout is actually expected to be the main event of the show, in what is scheduled to be a 10 rounder.
A third bout of real note will see young prospects collide as Toshiya Ishii (6-1, 4) [石井渡士也] faces off with Jun Ikegawa (3-0-1, 1) [池側純] in an excellently matched 8 rounder.
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]
Yesterday we saw the birth of a new Japanese star as Junto Nakatani (21-0, 16) [中谷 潤人] claimed the WBO Flyweight title, stopping Giemel Magramo (24-2, 20) in the 8th round. The victory saw Nakatani become the first the first Japanese man to win a world title since the country entered the Reiwa era, and it also came exactly 9 years after Shinsuke Yamanaka defeated Christian Esquivel for the WBC Bantamweight title.
Today he took part in a virtual press conference, along with his nice, new WBO Flyweight title.
Nakatani was asked about what he wants to do next in the ring, and he spoke about valuing a champion a champion who defends a title, and that he wants to defend the belt he won yesterday. At the moment it's unclear who he will face, though it is worth noting that Angel Acosta is in the running, and will likely be ordered by the WBO at some point.
As for what's next in life Nakatani has revealed he wants to relax, after waiting almost a year for this title fight. He'll be relaxing and has mentioned that he likes fishing.
It's worth noting that yesterday, after his win, he was praised pretty much universally with Celes Kobayashi being particularly complimentary of the new champion, and added that he wanted to see Nakatani unify and fight overseas. In regards to overseas bouts it wouldn't be a huge surprise to see Nakatani fight in the US in the future, given that Nakatani has spent numerous training camps Stateside during his career.
Whilst the praise has gone in for Nakatani it's worth noting that his foe was unhappy. Magramo stated that he had a lack of preparation time, and that he wanted revenge for this loss and to become a world champion. In reality however it's hard to imagine him ever being able to defeat Nakatani based on what we saw yesterday.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
Later today at Korakuen Hall we'll see Junto Nakatani (20-0, 15) [中谷 潤人] and Giemel Magramo (24-1, 20) battle for the vacant WBO Flyweight title, in a highly anticipated bout between two young and talented fighters each looking to leave their mark at the highest level.
Prior to that bout there is a 4 fight under-card split essentially into 2 parts. That under-card features 3 low level bouts, shown exclusively on G+, and then a more notable bout shown on both G+ and BS NTV.
As we write this the first part of that under-card is over, and really didn't last very long leaving a lengthy break in the broadcast, that G+ have decided to fill with highlights from Nakatani's bouts.
The show kicked off with an East Japan Rookie of the Year semi-final bout at Middleweight, with Teiken promoted Kenji Yoshino (2-1, 2) [吉野 健二] taking a 2nd round TKO win over Taiga Ito (3-2) [伊藤 大賀], with the two men meeting for the second time. In their first bout Ito had beaten Yoshino and today Yoshino got revenge, landing a sensational left hook towards the end of the second round.
A second Rookie of the Year bout was at Lightweight, where the hard hitting Hiromasa Urakawa (6-1, 4) [浦川 大将] took a technical decision in a very sloppy fight with Toshiki Tanaka (2-3) [田中 利樹]. This was messy from the off, and ended early in round 3 with Urakawa suffering a nasty cut from a head clash. He won on all 3 cards, but things were easy for him.
The third, and final bout of the first part of the show saw Junpei Tsujimoto (7-2-3, 5) [辻本 純兵] defeat Daiki Ogura (4-4-1, 4) [小倉 大樹] in a 2 round thriller. Ogura couldn't miss with his left hook, and seemed to take the first round, before dropping Tsujimoto in round 2. Tsujimoto was all over the place following the knockdown down as Ogura went for the kill and continued to land left hooks over and over. He seemed on the verge of a stoppage, and then got blasted himself by a huge right hand that seemed to be thrown in desperation by Tsujimoto. This was dramatic, exciting, and such a huge turn around. This was the one bout of the under-card that was actually worth watching.
As we write this we're set to get the second part of the under-card, which will see Juiki Tatsuyoshi (13-0, 9) [辰吉寿以輝] battle Kazuhiro Imamura (2-0, 1) [今村和寛] in a very interesting looking 8 round bout.
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