On March 16th we were expecting to see Japanese Light Welterweight champion Koki Inoue (15-0, 12) [浩樹井上] defending his title in a mandatory defense against Daishi Nagata (14-2-1, 5) [永田大士], as part of the Champion Carnival.
Today however that bout was pushed back, by over 2 months.
It was revealed that Inoue had been injured and as a result he wouldn't be ready in time for the March card. Instead the bout will take place on May 28th, at Korakuen Hall.
Despite the rescheduling the bout will still serve as an interesting Champion Carnival bout, and a good, solid second defense for the champion, who is expected to go on to big things in the coming years.
As for Nagata the rescheduling will give him extra time to come up with some sort of a gameplan to defeat the excellent champion, who will be seen as the clear favourite despite the injury.
As a result of this rescheduling the March show will now be headlined by fast rising Japanese prospect Taku Kuwahara (7-0, 4) [桑原拓], as he takes on Filipino foe Jaysever Abcede (20-9, 12) in an 8 rounder.
The Ohashi Gym Chairman, Hideyuki Ohashi, took to social media to apologise for the rescheduling of the bout.
Earlier today news broke of the next Ohashi promoted show, "Phoenix Battle 71", which will take place on March 16th at Korakuen Hall and will feature not only a Champion Carnival bout but also a number notable Japanese hopefuls.
The main event will see Japanese Light Welterweight champion Koki Inoue (15-0, 12) [浩樹井上] defending his title against mandatory challenger Daishi Nagata (14-2-1, 5) [永田大士]. The unbeaten champion will be looking to make his second defense, after winning the belt last April, and if he wins the expectation is that he will likely vacated in pursuit of a world title fight down the line. As for Nagata he's gotten this shot following a decision win over Cristiano Aoqui back in October.
The chief support bout will see fast rising Japanese prospect Taku Kuwahara (7-0, 4) [桑原拓] take a a really good step up in class to take on rugged Filipino foe Jaysever Abcede (20-9, 12). This will be the third straight Filipino fighter that Kuwahara will be up against and is a good quality of opponent form the youngster. As for Abcede this will be his third visit to Japan in 5 fights, after a win over Seigo Yuri Akui in October 2018 and a very competitive loss to Kento Hatanaka last August. A win here should put Kuwahara in line for a big fight later in the year, but a win is certainly not a given.
Another supporting bout will see former world title challenger Ryo Matsumoto (23-3, 21) [松本亮] take on unbeaten Japanese fighter Koshin Takeshima (4-0-1, 3) [竹嶋宏心]. On paper this is a mismatch, but Matsumoto is still rebuilding after a disastrous 2018 and a bout like this will certainly be a step up from his recent bouts.
One other fighter announced for this card is 2019 All Japan Rookie of the Year winner Katsuki Mori (6-0,1) [森且貴], who looks to kick off his 2020 campaign and build on an excellent year. The 19 year old shined through out the Rookie of the Year and looks like the skilled type of fighter who could go a very, very long way with Ohashi's guidance and backing. A genuine one to watch.
To begin the global streaming of Kosei Tanaka's (13-0, 7) [田中恒成] world title bout against Puerto Rican Jonathan Gonzalez (22-2-1, 13) international fans had the chance to see Tanaka's stablemate Kento Hatanaka (10-0, 9) [畑中 建人] take on world ranked Filipino southpaw Jaysever Abcede (19-9, 12).
The bout, which was only available to an international audience and not actually available live in Japan, was a huge step up in class for Hatanaka and he seemed to realise it immediately. The youngster, who is usually a super aggressive fighter, showed a lot of early respect to Abcede, who's record is very misleading. Rather than his usual style Hatanaka applied good intelligence to his work, looked for holes and kept his combinations to basic stuff.
Abcede, for the most part, applied the pressure, coming forward behind a tight guard and tried to counter when Tanaka opened up. This was a level of defensive ring smarts that Tanaka had never had to solve before, and not only was Abcede smart but he also had Hatanaka's respect with his power.
After 2 interesting rounds to begin with Hatanaka managed to get a big break through in round 3, when he dropped Abcede with a combination. Abcede easily beat the count, and didn't look badly hurt, with the knockdown appearing more like a balance issue when Abcede over-comited, but Hatanaka seemed grow from the knockdown and later in the round landed some gorgeous uppercuts.
The Filipino managed to even up the knockdown count the following round as he turned the heat up and dragged Hatanaka into a fire fight, hurting the youngster and following up with a series of power shots to send Hatanaka. Hatanaka was shaken before going down, for the first time as a professional, and Abcede seemed to smell the upset. The Filipino continued pressing through round 4 before the bell came, giving Hatanaka a minutes respite. The round was sensational, though it seemed to sum up the inexperience of Hatanaka, who was too willing to exchange.
In round 5 Hatanaka managed to show signs of recovering, not just physically but also mentally, as he started to create distance and counter more. It was the countering that was really eye catching and saw him rock Abcede, who looked hurt for a moment. Later in the round Hatanaka again seemed to shake Abcede, and he launched a huge combination in the final seconds, but the bell came, this time to give Abcede some respite.
After 3 really brilliant rounds, from round 3 to round 5, we saw the pace slow somewhat in round 6 with Hatanaka again getting on his toes and and using his speed and movement to out box Abcede. He seemed to want to do the same in round 7, as he looked to keep some gas in reserve, though Abcede began to press more, causing an accidental clash of heads which left Hatanaka cut on his left eye.
With the cut, as well as tiredness Hatanaka began to falter again and Abcede tried to intensify his pressure, relying on his experience to try and turn the fight back in his favour. Thankfully for the youngster Abcede seemed too tired himself to turn the heat up in round 8, allowing Hatanaka to control more of the tempo through the 3 minutes, despite Abcede certainly having moments in the round.
In the penultimate round Hatanaka, who had never been beyond 8 beforre, was dragged back into a war again, landing body shots up close and pushing Abcede around. This lead to Abcede landing some good shots off the ropes as tiredness again seemed to effect Hatanaka mid-way through the round. This was the point where the experience of the Filipino began to show again whilst Hatanaka went to his corner stumbling and looking like someone who was really feeling the pace.
Round 10 again saw Abcede relying on his experience, bouncing on his toes, making it look like he was busy, even when neither man was really doing much. Both spent much of the round posturing, looking, searching, but not throwing, yet to eye it was Abcede who looked the fresher man and the one with something in the tank. After around 2 minutes of nothing a fighter began to break out, with both landing solid shots in the final minute, as the pace turned up for an excellent finish.
After 10 rounds we went to the judges who had the bout scored 95-93, 96-93, 96-92 all in favour of Hatanaka who retains his unbeaten record, but had to work incredibly hard for it. The cards felt a bit wide, but it's hard to argue with the winner.
For Hatanaka, the son of former world champion and now gym Kiyoshi Hatanaka, this was a real gut check. This was the test he needed and although it ends his KO streak he'll have learned so much from this bout. A really, really good test.
Fo Abcede he, again, showed that he's the type of fighter who will give prospects a tough, tough, ask, and following recent wins over the likes of Stamp Kiatniwat and Seigo Yuri Akui, and a very credible performance against Ivan Soriano back in late 2012. This performance will almost certainly see him being invited back to Japan to test another Japanese prospect in the near future.
According to reliable Japanese sources former world title challenger Genesis Servania (32-2, 15) has been added to the August 24th card at the Takeda Teva Ocean Arena, in Nagoya. Not only has he been added to the card, but we also know his opponent for the show.
The talented, though flawed, Servania was last seen in action back in February, when he was almost shut out by the talented, but light hitting, Carlos Castro in Fresno California. That bout showed how limited Servania was when a fighter moved, and used speed and movement, rather than stood and traded with him, as Oscar Valdez did in their thrilling 2017 WBO world title fight. Sadly the loss to Castro killed all the momentum that Servania had and has left his career in need of a real rebuild from the Kashimi Gym which now manage him.
The first step of that rebuilding process will see Servania take on limited Indonesian journeyman Erick Deztroyer (12-5-1, 3) in an 8 round bout being fought at a contracted 57.6KG's, or just under 127lbs.
As mentioned this will be Servania's first bout since losing to Castro in February. For Deztroyer however it will be his first bout since being dominated in April by Mark Magsayo, who stopped him in 4 rounds. That was Deztroyer's first bout in over a year, and he really took a hammering before being stopped, in what was his second stoppage loss. Interestingly this will be the second time Deztroyer has fought in Japan, and the second time he'll have fought a former world title challenger, having lost to Hiroshige Osawa in November 2017 in Sanda, Hyogo.
The bout has been added as a swing bout on the card which will be headlined by Kosei Tanaka (13-0, 7) defending his WBO Flyweight title against mandatory challenger Jonathan Gonzalez (22-2-1, 13) of Puerto Rico. That card will also feature Kento Hatanaka (9-0, 9) [畑中 建人]taking on world ranked Filipino Jaysever Abcede (19-8, 12).
It appears that the next few weeks could be busy ones for the unbeaten Japanese fighter Kento Hatanaka (8-0, 8) [畑中 建人], who is now pencilled in for fights in both July and August.
His July bout, which has been known about for quite some time, is a stay busy bout on July 20th, pencilled in to take place at the Aioi Hall in Kariya against limited Indonesian foe Thomas Tope Hurek (3-3-1, 1).
It's now been revealed however that just over a month later Hatanaka will take on his most notable foe to date, world ranked Filipino Jaysever Abcede (19-8, 12), as part of the under-card for Kosei Tanaka's (13-0, 7) [田中恒成] world title defense against Puerto Rican Jonathan Gonzalez (22-2-1, 13).
Hatanaka was on the poster for the event, and although his opponent wasn't immediately known Japanese sources have stated it will be Abcede.
The Filipino fighter has a limited looking record, but is currently in good form having won his last 4, including stoppages over Stamp Kiatniwat in May 2018 and Seigo Yuri Akui last October. Originally it seemed like he would be returning to Japan for a rematch with Akui but that has yet to materialise, leaving us with Hatanaka's biggest test instead.
We've got our fingers crossed that this bout will be made available to an international audience, and we've reached out to CBC in the hope of continuing our working relationship with the Chukyo broadcaster, which allowed us to bring Tanaka's last 2 world title fights to a Western audience live, and for free!
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