This past Monday we saw a scheduled Light Flyweight bout between Katsunari Takayama (31-8-0-1, 12) [高山 勝成] and Reiya Konishi (17-2, 7) [小西伶弥] cancelled at the 11th hour after Konishi had a positive result from a PCR test, suggesting he had Covid19. Over the days that followed Konishi had a number of other tests, all come back negative, suggesting that his original test was a false positive.
Following the negative tests Konishi stated that he wanted to get the bout with Takayama re-organsied for as soon as possible, something Takayama also seemed very open to. What we didn't expect was for the bout to be given a new date just days after the cancellation. However that's exactly what has happened today with a new date being announced just moments ago.
The bout, which was originally scheduled for November 23nd, will now take place on December 27th at the Green Tsuda promoted "CRASH BOXING vol.21 in Hirakata" event.
Following the new date being confirmed Takayama has thanked people for their support and admitted that he was grateful to fight this year, rather than needing to waiting any longer to return to the ring. His trainer, Hiroake Nakade, has also given quotes to the media explaining that for the next month he Takayama will continue to train and will enter the ring in perfect condition.
Even before this bout was added the card the show was already looking like a good one with several notable names on the show. They included "Naniwa Terminator" Ryota Yada (20-6, 17) [矢田良太], who will be in the main event against Yuichi Ideta (13-15-1, 7) [出田裕一], former Japanese champion Takayuki Okumoto (23-9-4, 11) [奥本貴之], Japanese Youth Super Bantamweight champion Toshiki Shimomachi (12-1-2, 8) [下町俊貴] and the highly regarded Jinki Maeda (5-0, 3) [前田稔輝]. With Takayama and Konishi the show now has added star power.
On paper a bout between Takayama, a multi-time world champion, and Konishi, a 2-time world title challenger, should provide a lot of fire works, and is up there for the bouts we are most excited about for what's left of the year. It might not have a title on the line but the styles of the two should give us a sensational barn burner.
Earlier today the Green Tsuda Gym announced their next card under the "Crash Boxing Banner" and it's set to be an interesting one on December 27th from the Hirakata City Gymnasium in Osaka, with 7 bouts announced for it. Notably several of the fighters set for the card had originally been pencilled in to fight on November 3rd, before that show was cancelled due to Hiroto Kyoguchi (14-0, 9) [京口 紘人] testing positive for Covid19.
Not only have all 7 bouts been announced but also a serious step up in how the show will be ran in regards to making the event more covid safe than any other in Japan.
The first will all be given PCR tests 4 weeks before the fight, and 10 days before the fight, as well following the usual rules of a PCR test on the day of the weigh in. The venue, which can be set up to take 3,5000 people in a normal event, is expected to have between 1,300 and 1,500 fans in attendance along with 30 guards and 10 medical staff.
The day before PCR tests will be carried out at a local hospital, with space being rented for the testing and weighing, and fighters will then be bussed to a hotel, with cafeteria's only available to those involved in bouts. A bus will also be prepared to take fighters from the hotel to the venue, with Masaya Motoishi, the promoter, clearly wanting to lead the way in how to have more covid safe events.
As for the bouts, the main event will see "Naniwa Terminator" Ryota Yada (20-6, 17) [矢田良太] battle against Yuichi Ideta (13-15-1, 7) [出田裕一] in an 8 round Welterweight bout, with the plan being for Yada to essentially tune up ahead of an OPBF title fight next year. On paper this really should be little more than a stay busy bout for the hard hitting Yada.
In the co-feature former Japanese Super Flyweight champion Takayuki Okumoto (23-9-4, 11) [奥本貴之] will take on Akio Furutani (8-4, 3) [古谷昭男], in an 8 round bout fought at a contracted 53KG's, which is around 116.9lbs. For Okumoto this will be his first bout since losing the Japanese title in December 2019 whilst Furutani will be looking to build on an October 2019 upset win over Keisuke Nakayama.
The only title bout on the show will see Japanese Youth Super Bantamweight champion Toshiki Shimomachi (12-1-2, 8) [下町俊貴] seek his second defense as he takes on Satoru Hoshiba (7-4, 2) [干場 悟]. The 24 year old Shimomachi will, if he wins, need to vacate the title due to his age, though given his recent performance we're really excited to see him moving into the main Japanese title mix. As for Hoshiba he'll be coming into this bon the back of successive victory and will be a live under-dog, albeit a very clear under-dog.
Staying with youngsters we'll also see the brilliant Jinki Maeda (5-0, 3) [前田稔輝] face off with Kaito Okubo (5-1, 2) [大久保海都], in a bout that has been rescheduled from November 3rd. Although relatively deep down the card this could end up being the show stealer. We've been really impressed by Maeda, who won Rookie of the Year in 2019, but Okubo is no push over and should pose a genuine test for Maeda.
The other 3 bouts on the card are all 4 rounders including the debut of Ryuicho Kitazono (0-0) [北園 龍一] and a bout featuring unbeaten 35 year old female fighter Rin Murai (1-0-2) [村井 理].
Earlier today the "BOXING REAL" YouTube channel streamed 3 bouts from the Green Tsuda promoted "Crash Boxing Vol 20 in Hirakata". Although those 3 bouts didn't last long they were all notable, and all allowed a different fighter to shine, and managed to all be rather entertaining bouts.
The first of the 3 bouts to be shown was a show between 2019 All Japan Rookie of the Year winner Jinki Maeda (5-0, 3) [前田稔輝] and the hard hitting Arashi Iimi (7-3, 7) [飯見嵐]. On paper this looked an excellent test for for Maeda, but in turned into a show case of his speed, movement and timing.
The unbeaten southpaw dropped Iimi in the first round with a gorgeous. short left hand, and showed the skills that had seen him shine in the Rookie of the Year last year. Iimi wasn't hurt by the knockdown, but it showed that Maeda had the tools to shine. Iimi got back to his feet and saw out the round with no issues. Unfortunately for him the same couldn't be said for round 2. He was dropped again by a left hand early in the round and then dropped a third time later in the round 2, before the referee decided enough was enough.
Given this looked like a genuine test for Maeda on paper this was a really impressive result, and it's maybe time to sit and take notice of a really promising young fighter from the Green Tsuda gym. He looked truly brilliant here.
Talking about looking brilliant we really doubt we have enough superlatives to explain how sensational Japanese Youth Super Bantamweight champion Toshiki Shimomachi (12-1-2, 8) [下町俊貴] looked. Shimomachi was making the first defense of his title and was supposed to be given pushed hard by the unbeaten Hiroki Hanabusa (8-1-3, 3) [英洸貴]. Instead the bout was a showcase for Shimomachi who dazzled with his movement, and looked as slippery as an oiled up eel swimming through KY Jelly.
The first round was a rather slow one, with both men showing off some great skills, but little of value being landed. From there on however it became Shimomachi's time to shine, with the 23 year old showing off what a brilliant, smart, educated defensive fighter he was. He was making Hanabusa miss time and time again, landing his own shots in response and showing a slick style we don't often see in Japan. This almost like he'd be spending time at a Cuban boxing school with some of the moves he was showcasing, and was totally befuddling Hanabusa with. To his credit Hanabusa was coming forward and applying pressure, but was left looking like an amateur at times due to the defense of Shimomachi.
By round 4 it was clear Shimomachi could toy with his challenger. That however would have gotten dull, and instead he stopped playing with his food in round 5. Part way through the round a brilliant body shot from Shimomachi dropped Hanabusa. The bout could probably have been waved off there, but Hanabusa's fighting heart saw him beat the count. Soon after the mandatory 8 counter Shimomachi jumped on his man and forced the finish.
We really can't explain how impressed we were by what we saw from Shimomachi here, and those who like slick, defensive fighters need to give him a watch. We knew he was good, but today he took it to a new level. Fingers crossed we see him take another step forward later in the year.
The final bout saw former Japanese Welterweight champion Ryota Yada (20-6, 17) [矢田良太] sending the local fans home happy with a win over Takuya Fujii (7-6, 3) [藤井 拓也].
Yada, who was born in Hirakata, started slowly, but rocked Fuji with pretty much every punch he landed. He threw very little in the first 3 rounds, with Fujii being allowed to come forward, but what he did throw landed and landed hard.
In round 4 we began to see the "Terminator of Naniwa", as Yada moved out of first gear and dropped Fuji hard towards the end of the round. Fujii got to his feet, but ended up bundled down moments fore the bell. It seemed like the bell hadn't so much saved him, was delaying the inevitable.
After the bell to start round 5 Fujii was inspected by the doctor, who ruled that Fujii wasn't fit to continue. The stoppage was down to an injury with Fujii's left leg, that had occurred when he he was knocked down. To his credit it seemed Fujii tried to hide it, but it was clear after the stoppage that the referee made the right call, and Fujii did have a very clear hobble in the moments that followed.
Whilst Yada's bout wasn't expected to be competitive it was great to see him shaking the demons of his 2019 loss to Yuki Beppu, in what was an instant classic. As for Maeda and Shimomachi, they looked brilliant and Green Tsuda have two potential stars of the future there, both of the youngsters looked tremendous and we are really looking forward to seeing them both back in the ring as soon as possible.
With very few events in Japan hosting a crowd, and those that do only having limited crowds, one thing we've started to see is promoters beginning to have events streamed live on YouTube. We saw this twice in July and we're now set to get it this coming weekend with Green Tsuda today announcing some of their event "Crash Boxing Vol 20 in Hirakata" was being live streamed on August 9th.
The announcement revealed that the "BOXING REAL" channel on YouTube will show the 2 main bouts live, and one under-card bout, and will then host the under-card bouts the following day.
The bouts which will be streamed live will be the main event bout between Ryota Yada (19-6, 16) [矢田良太] and Takuya Fuji (7-5, 3) [藤井 拓也], the chief support bout, between Japanese Youth Super Bantamweight champion Toshiki Shimomachi (11-1-2, 7) [下町俊貴] and Hiroki Hanabusa (8-0-3, 3) [英洸貴] and a mouth watering match up between Jinki Maeda (4-0,2 ) [前田稔輝] and Arashi Iimi (7-2, 7) [飯見嵐],
For Yada the bout will be his first since his 2019 epic with Yuki Beppu, that saw both men being dropped, hurt, rocked and Yada being, eventually, stopped. On paper he will be the big favourite, but it's fair to say that the bout with Beppu is one that could leave him a damaged fighter. Fuji on the other hand is fighting for just the second time since 2015.
As for the title bout the contest will be Shimomachi's first defense of the title and will see Hanabusa looking to claim his first belt. We've previewed this bout in a lot more detail here "Shimomachi takes on Hanabusa in Youth title defense!"
The bout between Maeda and Iimi will see Maeda look to build on his 2019 Rookie of the Year triumph, in which he beat Kyonosuke Kameda, whilst Iimi will be hoping to bounce back from a loss last year to Kenta Nomura. For those wanting to know more about Maeda he was actually the focus of this week's "Introducing" article, which can be read here Introducing... Jinki Maeda
For those needing a link to the channel that's here, and they currently have videos from the "REAL Spirits Vol 67" show they streamed in July, for those wanting to know what the quality is going to be like.
One more thing to note bout this show is that the scheduled bout between Takayuki Okumoto (23-9-4, 11) [奥本貴之] and Tulio Kuwabata (3-1, 2) [桑畑凜生] will not be taking place, and was cancelled several weeks ago. This means the show will only have 4 under-card bouts, and not 5, as some sites list.
Over the last few months boxing has been on hold in Japan due to the on going situation, but fights are now being lined up for July and August and various promoters are now focusing on what their next steps are. One such promoter is Green Tsuda who were in the news today for a few reasons today.
The head of the gym, Masaya Motoishi, as well as former Japanese Welterweight champion Ryota Yada (19-6, 16) [矢田良太], visited the mayor of Hirataka City in Osaka, to make a donation of ¥1,000,000. The gym has been one of the more interesting gyms during the whole lockdown, and actually gave fighters additional funds to help them through the tough times that some were having when they were unable to fight, or take part in their day jobs.
As well as the donation Mr Motoishi also confirmed that their will be a Green Tsuda card in Hirataka City on August 9th. The details for the card are very scarce at the moment, though we do know that Yada will headlined the show. At the moment it seems like that card could be the first one in Osaka after the sport's restart in Japan.
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