Earlier today it was announced that OPBF Welterweight champion Riku Nagahama (12-2-1, 4) [長濱 陸] would be making his first defense on January 16th at Korakuen Hall as part of a "Dynamic Glove" card, to be televised by G+.
The talented Nagahama won the title back in February, when he upset Japanese-Afghan Kudura Kaneko, taking a wide decision over the then 11-0 Kaneko. Since then however Nagahama has been unable to build on the win due to the on going global situation and his moment has understandably slowed. It's a shame as that win was one that seemed ready to launch his career forward, and was a 4th successive win for the 2015 All Japan Rookie of the Year.
Despite taking a while to return to the ring he's not facing an easy first challenger, instead he will be up against the very capable Ryota Toyoshima (12-2-1, 8) [豊嶋亮太], who won the All Japan Rookie of the Year in 2016.
The challenger comes into this bout on the back of 5 straight wins, including victories over Moon Hyun Yun and Woo Min Won. He'll be the slight under-dog but is very much a live under-dog here in a very evenly matched bout.
As well as the OPBF title bout the card is stacked with touted novices with several promising debutants from the Kadoebi gym on the show.
One of those debutants is Flyweight hopeful Jukiya Iimura (0-0) [飯村 樹輝弥], who will be debuting in a 6 rounder against 35 year old Daisuke Yamada (6-5, 1) [山田大輔]. The 22 year old Iimura is regarded as one of the best youngsters at the Kadoebi gym and went a very impressive 68-13 in the amateurs, whilst coming runner up in the 2018 National Athletic meet.
Another of the debutants is 22 year old Super Bantamweight Jun Ikegawa (0-0) [池側 純], who went 51-15 in the unpaid ranks and was hugely impressive in terms of his skills and promise. He'll be up against 23 year old Kakeru Yoshikawa (4-1-2) [吉川 翔], in what looks like a genuine test over 6 rounds.
A third touted prospect is 21 year old Yugo Kon (0-0) [今 優吾], who went 23-11 in the unpaid ranks and will be kicking off his career with a 6 rounder against 24 year old Koji Tsurumi (4-3-1, 1) [鶴海 高士]. Kon isn't as highly as regarded as the two debutants mentioned above, but is younger than those two and is certainly still very well though of.
One other bout of note is an all debutant affair between Yudai Murakami (0-0) [村上 雄大], from the Kadoebi Gym, and Naoki Shimizu (0-0) [清水 直樹], of the MT Gym, who clash in a 4 round bout at Lightweight. Despite being a 4 rounder both of these youngsters were able to run up credible amateur records, with Murakami going 29-6 and Shimizu running up a 14-7 tally. We expect this to be a pretty decent match up given their experienced in the unpaid ranks.
A few days ago Kadoebi prospects Teruya Iimura [飯村 樹輝弥] and Jun Ikegawa [池側 純] passed their B license tests in Japan. The plan, we assume, is to have both men make their professional debuts later in the year as part of a future Kadoebi promoted "Slugfest card". Despite needing to wait for their professional debuts Kadoebi have announced that we will see both me in the ring sooner rather than later.
By saying that we mean Kadoebi have announced that the two men will be in the ring on October 14th as part of Slugest 15, where they will engage in a public exhibition against each other.
The exhibition will be a 2 round spar, with both rounds being set for 2 minutes, and will see the two men show off what they can do at Korakuen Hall. In fact they will be showing off their skills just before the co-feature as Kadoebi look to get their two talented youngsters a little bit of experience in front of a crowd.
Of course there was actually 3 Kadoebi youngsters who passed the B License pro-test recently, with the other being 20 year old Yugo Kon [今 優吾]. He's expected to be showcased in front of fans in the near future.
All of this was revealed earlier today by Kadoebi in a tweet that we've included below.
Earlier today a trio of Kadoebi Gym fighters pass their B license protests, becoming the latest string of promising former Japanese amateurs to turn to the professional game.
One of the trio was 22 year old Teruya Iimura [飯村 樹輝弥], who went 68-13 in the amateurs and came runner up in the 2018 National Sports Festival, at Flyweight. Set to fight at Light Flyweight, and with Ricardo Lopez regarded as an influence Iimura was a very talented amateur and the captain of his university boxing team.
Another 22 year old was Jun Ikegawa [池側 純], who went a similarly impressive 51015 in the unpaid amateurs, and came 3rd place in a National Athletic Meet. As with Iimura he was also the captain of his University team and will be competing as a Bantamweight, or Super Bantamweight, in the professional ranks. He's a southpaw who is expected to settle in to the professional ranks quickly.
The youngest of the trio was 20 year old Yugo Kon [今 優吾], who was also the least experienced of the trio, by far. As an amateur Kon went 23-11 and really shined in 2016, when he was in High School. Like Ikegawa he's going to be fighting at Bantamweight, but his development in the professional ranks is likely to be much slower than his stablemate.
After the trio had passed the test a press conference took place with the trio speaking to the press.
Iimura looked incredibly impress in the sparring part of his test, with high level skills and brilliant body shots. He spoke like a man who wanted to be moved quickly and aggressively.
Ikegawa also spoke about wanting to move quickly and seemed to praise the conditions at the Kadoebi gym, explaining that the training environment is good, and that there is a number of good fighters, essentially explaining why he joined the gym despite previously being based in Osaka.
Kon revealed that his aim is win a Japanese title before progressing to world titles. He dropped out of university to turn professional and we wouldn't be surprised to see him perhaps go for the Japanese Youth title at some point as he probably does need more time than the other two men.
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