Back in the summer of 2017 former Japanese Lightweight champion Shuhei Tsuchiya (23-5, 18) [土屋 修平] announced his retirement, following a poor performance against Shota Suito [水藤 翔太]. Tsuchiya won the bout but was unhappy with his performance and suggested that he wasn't able to perform to the standard that he had in the past.
It now appears that that retirement is over, and last night Dangan announced that Tsuchiya would be back in action on January 12th in Tokyo, in a 5 round bout as part of their Knock Out Dynamite Tournament final show.
At the moment the details are unclear on who Tsuchiya will be up against, though it has been confirmed that he will be promoted by the people behind the Dangan shows, Reason, and has officially left former promotional outfit Kadoebi.
With the announcement we now know the dates of two Dangan cards for January. There's this Knock Out Dynamite Tournament show on January 12th and we also know that the God's Left Tournament final will be held just 12 days later, on January 24th, where we will see Seiya Tsutsumi (5-0, 4) take on Kazuki Nakajima (8-0, 7) [中嶋一輝].
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Earlier today fight fans in Tokyo, as well as subscribers to the Boxing Raise service, got the chance see the lone semi-final for the God's Left Bantamweight tournament, and learn about who the second finalist would be.
We were left with one semi-final, after Seiya Tsutsumi (5-0, 4) [堤聖也] was given a bye. That happened because Kenya Yamashita (14-5, 11) [山下賢哉] was forced to abstain from the bout and was taken to hospital due to poor health, likely related to trying to make weight.
Although Tsutsumi was given a bye he was still on the show, taking part in a 3 round spar with OPBF Super Bantamweight champion Hiroaki Teshigawara (20-2-2, 13) [勅使河原 弘晶], who really dwarfed Tsutsumi.
After the public spar we then got the semi-final bout between unbeaten punchers Kazuki Nakajima (8-0, 7) [中嶋一輝] and Jin Minamide (4-1, 3) [南出仁]. This had the recipe to be something special, with both able to land dynamite blows, and both being confident and aggressive fighters.
The bout started slowly, with both looking for position, but then it ramped up from neutral to 5th gear and saw both men trading bombs. Unfortunately for Minamide it was his big shots that were his own downfall as Nakajima began to land big counters, dropping Minamide hard with one of those counters. To his credit Minamide got back to his feet and continued on but was dropped again only moments later, forcing Biney Martin, the referee, to step in and call off the bout.
We now know that Tsutsumi and Nakajima will meet in the final next year. In total the two men have fought just 2 rounds to reach the final, with Tsutsumi having byes at both the quarter-final and semi-final stages and whilst Nakajima has blitzed both of his opponents.
Tomorrow at Korakuen Hall, and live on Boxing Raise, fans will get the chance to see the next round of the God's Left Bantamweight tournament.
Today, ahead of the tournament action, we saw Kazuki Nakajima (7-0, 6) [中嶋一輝] and Jin Minamide (4-0, 3) [南出仁] take part in their weigh in, with the two men facing off in a semi-final as they look to book their place in January's final.
Both men made weight at their first attempt with out any issue.
On the scales Minamide was the slightly lighter man, coming in at 117.5lbs for the contest, whilst Nakajima was bang on the Bantamweight limit.
The winner of this bout now knows that their opponent in the final will be Seiya Tsutsumi (5-0, 4) [堤聖也], after Kenya Yamashita (14-5, 11) [山下賢哉] was forced to withdraw from their semi-final due to health issues.
For fans wanting to watch this it will be live on Boxing Raise and then left on demand some time after the event.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Tomorrow's show at the Korakuen Hall, which will be streamed live on Boxing Raise, was supposed to feature two semi-finals for the God's Left Bantamweight tournament. Sadly however one of those bouts has now been cancelled.
That was the excellent match up between Seiya Tsutsumi (5-0, 4) [堤聖也] and Kenya Yamashita (14-5, 11) [山下賢哉], which had the recipe to be a genuine shoot out.
Although we've not been told the specifics we have been informed that Yamashita has had to pull out of the bout due to medical issue. He was, from what we've been told, taken to hospital last night due to his health, which suggests issues making weight.
Sadly this is disappointing news all round. For fans it denies them what should have been an instant classic, for Yamashita it denies him a chance to move his career forward and it also denies Tsutsumi a chance to get back in action, having been inactive since April.
Thankfully for Tsutsumi he will take part in a public spar tomorrow, an given his style we still expect the spar to be an enjoyable and fun watch.
Today Tsutsumi still went through a weigh in process, ans stated "I would like to see tomorrow ’s bout between Minamide vs. Nakajima and concentrate on the final match in January next year" [Translated]
Thankfully there has been issues with the other semi final, between Kazuki Nakajima (7-0, 6) [中嶋一輝] against Jin Minamide (4-0, 3) [南出仁].
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
The Boxing Raise service, which we love despite it's sometimes awkward scheduling, have announced that in November they will be picking up 4 cards, including 2 very exciting live tournament shows and 2 tape delay recorded shows.
The first of the shows will be this Saturday's God's Left Bantamweight tournament show, featuring the God's Left semi final bouts between Seiya Tsutsumi (5-0, 4) [堤聖也] and Kenya Yamashita (14-5, 11) [山下賢哉], and Kazuki Nakajima (7-0, 6) [中嶋一輝] against Jin Minamide (4-0, 3) [南出仁]. The card also includes a Japanese title eliminator between Taiki Minamoto (16-5-1, 13) [源大輝] and Takuya Watanabe (36-9-1, 21) [渡邉卓也], and the ring return of former OPBF Minimumweight champion Tsubasa Koura (14-1, 9) [小浦 翼].
The service will also live stream November 19th Hajime No Ippo 30th anniversary tournament on November 19th. This show will feature quarter final bouts for a Featherweight tournament as Jae Woo Lee (6-2, 5) [이재우] takes on Japan's Tsuyoshi Tameda (21-4-2, 19) [溜田剛士], Shingo Kusano (11-8-1, 4) [草野慎悟] meets Chinese visitor Qiang Ma (5-1-2, 3) [马强] and we get an excellent all Japanese bout between Koshin Takeshima (4-0, 3) [竹嶋宏心] and Daisuke Watanabe (9-4-1, 6) [渡部大介]. This card will also feature Masahiro Suzuki (3-0, 2) [鈴木雅弘] against Hokuto Matsumoto (5-2, 1) [松本北斗].
As for the delay cards, Boxing Raise will be showing the November 17th and November 22nd cards.
The first of those two cards will see Eruka Hiromoto (5-0) [廣本江留香], defending her OPBF female Minimumweight title against Sana Hazuki (7-4-1, 2) [葉月さな], whilst the second will feature former Japanese Light Welterweight champion Valentine Hosokawa (24-7-3, 11) [細川繁] battling against Kosuke Arioka (9-4-1, 8) [有岡康輔]
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