Tomorrow at Korakuen Hall we'll see a new WBO Asia Pacific Minimumweight champion being crowned as Yudai Shigeoka (3-0, 2) [重岡優大] takes on former OPBF Minimumweight champion Tsubasa Koura (15-1, 10) [小浦 翼] for the vacant title. Today, ahead of their bout, the two men took part in their weigh, and both fighters made the 105lb limit for the bout with no issues,
On the scales Shigeoka was the heavier man, weighing in bang on the limit. He looked in amazing shape for the bout, and explained that he had sparred more than usual for this contest, adding that it is an important bout and will to a boxing life for him. For Shigeoka this will be the first time he has been scheduled for 12 rounds, and he seemed very confident that it wouldn't be an issue, explaining that he wants to fight for 12 rounds, and suggested he'd take a decision win
Koura, the more experienced of the two men, was around 104.5lbs on the scales, and he seemed in just as good condition and shape as Shigeoka. To prepare for the bout he has done around 90 rounds of sparring, though this will be his first bout since February 2020, and it's hard to know what such a long lay off will do to him. Notably he has been busy out of the ring, and he had his first child back in July, thoufgh whether being a dad changes Koura as a fighter is yet to be seen. For him the bout is about stepping towards a world title fight, and that appears to be a driving force for victory, along with his newly born son.
Sadly a second scheduled title bout for this show, a rematch between Kyosuke Sawada (14-2-2, 6) [澤田京介] and Ikuro Sadatsune (11-4-4, 4) [定常 育郎] for the Japanese Bantamweight title, has been cancelled after Sadatsune was unable to make it to the weigh in. He was, reportedly taken to hospital and was obviously unfit to fight tomorrow.
For fans wanting to watch Koura Vs Shigeoka, it will be shown live on subscription service Boxing Raise.
Related - Tsubasa Koura and Yudai Shigeoka clash for WBO Asia Pacific title!
A few weeks ago Yudai Shigeoka (3-0, 2) [重岡優大] vacated the Japanese Youth Light Flyweight title, stating that he wanted to go for bigger titles. Just a few days after that Yudai's younger brother Ginjiro Shigeoka (6-0, 5) [重岡銀次朗] vacated the WBO Asia Pacific Minimumweight title, explaining that he wanted world title fights.
At the time it seemed almost as if the Watanabe Gym, which handles the careers of the two Shigeoka brothers, had plans for Ginjiro to get a world title fight later in 2021, and for Yudai to fight for the title his brother vacated. Today it appears those plans have come to fruition, at least partly.
That's because it was announced earlier today that Yudai Shigeoka would be fighting for his brother's old title on November 12th when he takes on former OPBF Minimumweight champion Tsubasa Koura (15-1, 10) [小浦 翼] in a genuinely mouth watering clash.
The older of the two Shigeoka brothers debuted in 2019 with a win over Manop Audomphanawari before adding a 6 round decision win over Lito Dante just a few weeks later. Sadly the pandemic kept him out of the ring through out 2020, but he returned this past February, stopping Ryu Horikawa to claim the Japanese Youth title. Although not as highly regarded as his brother Yudai looks like a very polished and smart boxer, albeit one who is still showing some immaturity and can be forced into a fight at times.
Koura on the other hand is a former Rookie of the Year winner who seemed set for big things when he won the OPBF title in in 2017, with a win over Jaysever Abcede, and he managed 3 good defenses, beating Masataka Taniguchi, Norhito Tanaka and Daiki Tomita, before a 2019 TKO loss to the previously mentioned Lito Dante. Since that loss he has fought just once, a 3rd round TKO win over Ariston Aton, and has sadly lost almost all the momentum he once had. A win here however, would get his career back on track, in a big way.
The bout, which will be the chief support bout on Dangan 245, will take place Korakuen Hall and will put the winner within touching distance of a world title fight of their own. The main event of the show will be the rematch between Kyosuke Sawada (14-2-2, 6) [澤田京介] and Ikuro Sadatsune (11-4-4, 4) [定常 育郎], who clash for the Japanese Bantamweight.
Earlier this year fight fans in Japan saw an unfortunate conclusion to the Japanese Bantamweight title fight between Kyosuke Sawada (14-2-2, 6) [澤田京介] and Ikuro Sadatsune (11-4-4, 4) [定常 育郎], with the bout ending in the second round after a disgusting head clash that left both men looking like human blood faucets. The ending resulted into a technical decision and the cursed Japanese Bantamweight title remained vacant as a result.
Over the weekend it was announced that the two men would clash again for the title, in a rematch set for Dangan 245 on November 12th at Korakuen Hall.
The bout, despite the untimely and unfortunate conclusion, had been interesting in the opening round, with the highly skilled Sawada dropping Sadatsune and looking the better fighter, but the southpaw-righty dynamic resulted in the headclash that caused both men to be left as a bloody mess.
At the moment no other bouts for this card have been announced, though with it being a Dangan card we're expecting a solid chief support bout, especially given the unfortunate ending to their first bout.
Earlier today at Korakuen Hall fight fans got the latest Dangan card and it was one that was mostly easy to over-look, though did have 2 bouts worthy of attention on it, including a Japanese title bout.
Befoore we talk about that title fight we'll talk about the chief support bout, which was a pretty notable an interesting contest, and a step up in class for an unbeaten prospect.
That chief support contest saw Mikio Sakai (4-0) [酒井 幹生] over-come a game effort by veteran Koshinmaru Saito (24-11-2, 13) [斉藤伸介]. The talented, but very light punching Sakai was made to work for this win. Early on he was bust up around the nose and forced to take the power of Saito, who left him with blood across his face and in a bit of a hole. To his credit however Sakai gritted his teeth and took the fight to Saito, applying constant, intelligent pressure and running up the rounds using his clean sharp shots and youthful movement and speed to pick Saito apart.
Later in the bout Saito began to dig deep, trying to rough up Sakai whilst the bout was seemingly slipping away from the veteran. He tried, and to his credit he really did put in a real shift in the final rounds, but it was too little too late to steal the play away, and over-turn Sakai's momentum.
After 8 rounds the early troubles of Sakai were easily forgotten as a tired Saito just about made it to the final bell, despite being blooded himself as a result of Sakai's consistent clean head shots.
With the bout going the distance we went to the scorecards which all favoured Sakai 77-75 giving him the win, but one he genuinely had to earn.
We then moved on to the main event, and it turned out to be a really unfortunate and disappiinting one as Kyosuke Sawada (14-2-2, 6) [澤田京介] and Ikuro Sadatsune (11-4-4, 4) [定常 育郎] fought for the "cursed", and vacant, Japanese Bantamweight title.
The first round was a messy one at times as both men tried to figure the other out. Both had moments, but the Righty Vs Lefty dynamic made for some ugly moments. The little bit of real quality however came from Sawada who managed to drop Sadatsune with a perfectly timed straight left right hook combination may way through the round. Following the knockdown Sadatsune did seem to remain buzzed for quite some time, but Sawada couldn't see him off before the bell rung to end the round.
Sadly just seconds into round 2 a huge clash of heads left both men a bloodied mess. Both fighters ended up getting inspected by the doctor, and the doctor quickly decided that the bout shouldn't continue.
To begin with it looked like Sadatsune, who went down in the corner, had got the worse of it, but in reality both men were looking like they had done a Ric Flair blade job as claret flowed freely from both fighters.
Due to the cuts the bout was ruled a 2nd round technical draw, leaving the title vacant and both men disappointed.
On June 19th we'll see unified Bantamweight champion Naoya Inoue (20-0, 17) [井上 尚弥] defending his WBA "Super" and IBF Bantamweight titles against Filipino fighter Michael Dasmarinas (30-2-1, 20), who enters as the IBF's mandatory challenger. Today, ahead of that bout, Inoue and promoter Hideyuki Ohashi attended a virtual press conference to talk about that contest, the future and Nonito Donaire.
It was revealed at the press conference that sparring for the bout finished on May 29th, with the focus now being on preparing final adjustments and shadow boxing. The sparring was high quality sparring with Japanese talent, such as Reiya Abe (21-3-1, 9) [阿部麗也], Ikuro Sadatsune (11-4-3, 4) [定常 育郎], Rentaro Kimura (3-0, 3) [木村蓮太朗], Jin Minamide (4-1, 3) [南出仁] and OPBF Bantamweight champion Kazuki Nakajima (10-0-1, 8) [中嶋一輝]. It should be noted that he sparred more for this bout than he usually does, and that was put down to the fact he was in better shape than usual.
It should be noted that the sparring partners, on the whole, are southpaws who are taller than Inoue, and naturally bigger. That was obviously the focus of the sparring to try and prepare directly for Dasmarinas.
The travel plan is to leave Japan for the bout on Wednesday, along with a rather sizable team, a reported 10 people in total. This should give him over a week to shake whatever jetlag he might have upon landing in the US.
Regarding weight issues, Inoue stated that he suffered from somecramps ahead of his last bout, against Jason Moloney, and will be looking to avoid them here. Though it appears there is no issues at all in making the 118lb Bantamweight limit, and that his weight loss is very much "as usual" and that he feels the same way he usually does 2 weeks before a bout.
In regards to Dasmarinas, it appears a careful, cautious gameplan has been set up for Inoue. They seem wary about Dasmarinas's size and reach, but will look to break him down slowly.
The longer term plan, after he gets past Dasmarinas, is for Inoue to attempt to unify all 4 Bantamweight world titles. He spoke aboue wanting to face recently WBC champion Nonito Donaire, and it was clear that's a bout Inoue has his eye on for the future. It was also a bout that Hideyuki Ohashi also spoke about wanting, whilst also praising Donaire's recent win over Nordine Oubaali.
One other thing that was mentioned here was that Inoue's purse for the fight was $1,000,000.
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