Earlier today fight fans at Korakuen Hall had the latest show in the Dynamic Glove series of shows, with this show set to be aired in May on G+. The card featured several bouts of note, including a Japanese Light Middleweight title bout, between Hironobu Matsunaga and Rei Nakajima.
For those wanting to watch this, as live, when it's finally aired, we have included this spoiler warning introduction. Please note that spoilers will begin in the next paragraph, starting with the the first under-card bout, and then moving on through the other bouts on the show. If you wish to avoid those spoilers, please stop reading now.
The show began with a 4 round bout between unbeaten novices Taichi Mano (1-0-2) [真野 泰地] and Kanta Kawamura (1-0-1, 1) [川村 栞汰], who both managed to remain unbeaten as they fought to a 4 round split decision draw. This was a good back and forth to kick the show off, and neither man ever really seemed to take control. A good, solid, honest bout to kick off the event, and one that neither man deserved to lose.
The second bout saw teenage Kai Watanabe (1-0) [渡邉 海] kick off his professional career in successful manner, as he out pointed 33 year old Hikaro Sato (2-6-1) [佐藤 光] over 4 rounds. Watanabe was too good from the off. He backed well behind his long reach and whilst Sato tried to turn things around he just walked into shots, taking a lot of punishment, and being cut in round 2. This really was a one sided show case of Watanabe's ability, and a very solid performance from the teenager.
The final 4 rounder saw Teppei Saito (4-1, 2) [齋藤 哲平] take a majority decision against Ayumu Komoto (2-2-1, 2) [河本 歩夢]. Like the bout that opened the event this was really competitive, but it always seemed that Saito was just a touch more eye catching with his work in the first 3 rounds. Komoto was always in the bout, but didn't do quite enough to earn the draw.
The first of 3 notable bouts saw Reiya Abe (21-3-1, 9) [阿部麗也] take a technical decision win over Koshin Takeshima (4-2-1, 3) [竹嶋宏心]. Takeshima started well, and seemed to take the first round, but he was cut in round 2 from an accidental headclash and never seemed to settle after that. In fact Abe seemed to build from knowing Takeshima was a wounded fighter, and he dropped Takeshima in round 3. Takeshima would then suffer another cut, again from an accidental headclash, as his face became a genuine mess.
Knowing he was behind Takeshima tried to turn things around in round 4, and has some success, but Abe's clever boxing saw him take rounds 5 and 6. In round 7 Takeshimna was deducted a point for holding, and late saw the bout being stopped due to his cuts.
At an official time of 2:42 in round 7 the bout was stopped with Abe taking the decision thanks to scores of 67-64, 68-64 and 68-63.
In the second notably bout Japanese Youth Minimumweight champion Kai Ishizawa (8-1, 7) [石澤開] successfully defended his title with a majority decision win over Yuni Takada (8-7-2, 3) [高田勇仁]. This was surprisingly competitive, with Takada really performing much better than expected.
Early on Takada used his speed well and let his hands go whilst moving and stopped Ishizawa from setting his feet. It was the perfect game plan to neutralise Ishizawa's pressure. Sadly however that was an energy sapping gameplan from Takada and one that was not going to be easy to do for 8 rounds against someone as aggressive, strong and powerful as Ishizawa.
In the later rounds Ishizawa's pressure finally started to break through as he got cl0se and got his shots off, doing what he needed to win. After 8 rounds we went to the scorecards with scores of 76-76, 78-74 and 79-73, giving Ishizawa his first decision wins as a professional.
In the main event Japanese Light Middleweight champion Hironobu Matsunaga (18-1, 11) [松永 宏信] recorded his third defense, but really hard to work for it as he narrowly over-came Rei Nakajima (4-1) [中島玲].
Nakajima made the most of his speed advantage early on, and seemed to look confident in the early round, but Matsunaga did what he has been doing for years, and began to find his rhythm in round 2, coming forward behind his jab. In rounds 3 and 4 he began to force his fight, and Nakajima really was made to feel somewhat uncomfortable due to the aggression and pressure of Matsunaga.
After 5 rounds Matsunaga was leading on all 3 cards, 48-47, twice and 49-46.
Knowing he was behind Nakajima looked to change things around, but Matsunaga wasn't having it and looked to tighten his stranglehold on the action. That was despite some really good moments from Nakajima, who really tried to change the tide of the bout, especially in round 9.It was, however, too little too late.
After 10 rounds the two men seemed to have some real respect for each other, following what was a well contested bout. Sadly for Nakajima however he did come up short on all 3 cards, with scores of 97-93, twice and 96-94 all in favour of Nakajima.
Again for those wanting to watch, the show will be televised on G+ on May. A disappointingly long wait for a show that took place with more than a week of April still remaining.
Tomorrow at Korakuen Hall we'll see Japanese Youth Minimumweight champion Kai Ishizawa (7-1, 7) [石澤開] make his first defense, as he takes on Yuni Takada (8-6-2, 3) [高田勇仁]. The bout sees Ishizawa defending the title he's held since 2018, and defending it before he has to vacate it, which he has to do before he turns 25.
Today the two men took part in their weigh in for that bout earlier today and both men made the 105lbs weight limit.
On the scales Ishizawa was bang on the limit and looked in fantastic condition. He looked ripped and ready to go whilst Takada was well under the limit at 104.3lbs, and looked good but not as ripped as the champion.
At the weigh in Ishizawa made it clear that his days at 105lbs are numbered, explaining "It's not easy to lose weight, but I'm relieved that I was able to lose it firmly. I'm going to recover and prepare for tomorrow's game." He also promised a really exciting bout and stated "I want to show what is different from other minimum-class players. It's best to win, but if possible, I will win with an aesthetic KO."
Takada seemed to be aware he was the under-dog but also promised a good fight, stating "I'll just fight hard tomorrow. I want to show a game where the customers are excited. If there is a meeting, I want to face it head-on."
For fans hoping to watch this one, unfortunately we need to wait until May 10th when the event will be shown on tape delay on G+, unless you have a ticket to the venue for the bout tomorrow.
Related - Ishizawa takes on Takada in Japanese Youth title defense
(Image credit - Yokohama Hikari Gym)
Over the last 24 hours or so the schedule on the JOSC (JBC Official Supporters Club) website has revealed a new bout set for April 21st, as part of a Yokohama Hikari show at Korakuen Hall.
The bout in question will see Japanese Youth Minimumweight champion Kai Ishizawa (7-1, 7) [石澤開] defending his title, for the first time, as he takes on Yuni Takada (8-6-2, 3) [高田勇仁], in a bout scheduled for 8 rounds.
The talented and hard hitting Ishizawa won the belt back in 2018, when he stopped Yuga Inoue in a sensational bout. The following year the title seemed to be forgotten as Ishizawa focused on securing a Japanese title fight, losing in an eliminator against Masataka Taniguchi. Sadly 2020 was a bit of a write off for Ishizawa, who only squeezed one bout into the year, though did shake off some ring rust with a TKO in over Masashi Tada.
On paper Takada looks like a poor challenger, especially given that he's win-less in his last 3 and is 2-4-1 in his last 7, however he's not a push over. Last year he fought to a draw with Hizuki Saso and suffered a competitive loss to former Japanese champion Norihito Tanaka, and in 2019 he gave the exciting Toshiki Kawamitsu arguably his toughest bout to date.
Ishizawa should have too much for Takada, but we certainly won't be complain about seeing the heavy handed youngster back in action, with bigger and better things surely on the horizon for him.
The bout will be on a show, headlined by Japanese Light Middleweight champion Hironobu Matsunaga (17-1, 11) [松永 宏信] defending his title his title against Rei Nakajima (4-0) [中島玲] and will also feature Reiya Abe (20-3-1, 9) [阿部麗也] battling Koshin Takeshima (4-1-1, 3) [竹嶋宏心].
Earlier today the A-Sign Boxing YouTube channel streamed the latest show live from Korakuen Hall. Whilst not the most event of the year it was an entertaining one, despite the fact the card actually lost the bout match up on earlier in the day due to a positive PCR test ruling one of the fighters off the event.
The bout that was cancelled from the show was the much anticipated match up between and Kai Chiba (12-1, 8) [千葉開] and Haruki Ishikawa (8-2, 6) [石川春樹], with Ishikawa not being allowed to fight after his PCR test, which took place yesterday, came back positive, along with that of his chief second.
As a result of Ishikawa needing to be pulled from the show we only got 5 bouts on the card. The first of those was a 4 round bout between debutants, as Joker Ryo (1-0) [ジョーカー リョウ] took a technical decision over Wataru Ogata (0-1) [尾形 航]. This was a messy bout at times, with the styles not really gelling too well. Ogata tried to box and move, and Ryo kept rushing in bull-rushes, that netted him an odd amount of success. In round 1 Oagata was cut from a clash of heads from one of Ryo's rushes. Ryo was deducted a point for another headclash in round 2 but then began to break down Oagata in rounds 3 and 4. Those shots saw Ogata's cut worsening and the referee called an early halt in round 4 taking us to the scorecards, which all favoured Ryo, 39-36, twice, and 38-37.
The second bout was a 6 rounder that saw Kosuke Ando (8-2, 3) [安藤 教祐] easily out box, out land and out skill Hidetoshi Takane (4-3, 1) [高根 秀寿], who proved to be tough and determined but out-matched. Ando, who won the East Japan Rookie of the Year in 2019, landed at will, kept the bout long and racked up the rounds without much fuss until round 6, when Takane finally had some success. By then it was too little too late and Ando took a clear decision. The judges had this one a shut, we personally felt Takane deserved round 6.
The third bout on the show saw the had hitting Kai Ishizawa (7-1, 7) [石澤開] over-come a spirited Masashi Tada (13-8-3, 8) [多打 魔炸獅]. Ishizawa started well, but seemed to go off the boil in round 3 as Tada began to show what he could do, and out landed Ishizawa, who seemed to be handcuffed at times. Thankfully for Ishizawa he put his foot back on the gas in round 6, dropping Tada. The bout continued, after Tada took the mandatory 8 count, but was saved soon afterwards as Ishizawa's power proved to be too much for him.
The biggest surprise of the show came in a surprisingly exciting bout between Katsunori Endo (7-3, 4) [遠藤勝則] and Ryuto Araya (13-9-1, 4) [荒谷龍人]. The bout saw Araya set a high pace to begin with, and he seemed to be enjoying the majority of the success through the first 3 rounds. £ndo had moments, through out but he was coming off second best. That was until he landed a monstrous combination in round 4, that sent Araya down face first. It was a brutal series of shots, and given how Araya hit the canvas there was no option but for the referee to wave this one, giving Endo the 4th round TKO.
Sadly the main event of the show was somewhat under-whelming, as the world ranked Reiya Abe (20-3-1, 9) [阿部麗也] out boxed the unbeaten Ren Sasaki (10-1, 6) [佐々木蓮] in a bout that lacked real drama. The bout started competitively, and was high level boxing chess early on, between two men who seemed very well matched. As the bout went on on however it began to get more and more one-sided with Abe being too good, too sharp, too strong and too smart. Sasaki had a big moment in round 3, when he seemed to rock Abe, but by the end of the bout that was easily forgotten and it seemed like Sasaki was beaten, both mentally and physically, by Abe.
After 8 rounds we went to the scores which had Abe leading 78-74, twice, and 77-75. Despite being a good match up on paper Abe did what he tends to do, and sucked the ambition out of Sasaki whilst racking up the rounds, and then played with his food late on. Sadly Abe again showed a lack of killer instinct, which is a shame as Sasaki did seem like he was there for the taking late on.
At the end of August the A-Sign boxing channel put on a live stream of the Hachioji Nakaya promoted event from the Shinjuku FACE. Now it seems they are just a month away from another live stream! An it's gone a little bit under-the-radar.
According to the poster released today the October 13th A-Sign Bee show from Korakuen Hall will also be streamed on YouTube by A-Sign who continue to deliver great shows and content for fans.
The event will be headlined by a brilliant match up between the excellent Reiya Abe (19-3-1, 9) [阿部麗也] and the unbeaten Ren Sasaki (10-0, 6) [佐々木蓮], who will be fighting in an 8 round contest. The winner of this will likely move onto a title bout, of some kind, in 2021 and so not only is the bout a great one on paper but also a meaningful one in the grand scheme of things.
It's not only the main event that looks great but also some of the supporting bouts. For example the chief support bout is expected to deliver fireworks as Kai Chiba (12-1, 8) [千葉開] takes on the thrilling Haruki Ishikawa (8-2, 6) [石川春樹]. This has the potential to be the show stealing and given the styles of the two men this should be a genuine war.
Other bouts include a match up between Katsunori Endo (6-3, 3) [遠藤勝則] and Ryuto Araya (13-8-1, 4) [荒谷龍人] and a clash between Kai Ishizawa (6-1, 6) [石澤開] and Masashi Tada (13-7-3, 8) [多打 魔炸獅].
This event becomes the latest in a growing line of Japanese shows heading towards YouTube for a live streaming outlet. Other upcoming Japanese shows on YouTube are:
The Shinsei show on September 26th - Streamed on Boxing Real
The Suruga show on September 27th - Streamed on Suruga Boys
The November 3rd WBA Light Flyweight "Super" world title bout - Streamed on Hiroto Kyoguchi YouTube Channel
The Taisei show on November 23rd - Streamed on TV Osaka
With 5 shows set to be streamed in the space of 9 weeks or so it really hasn't been easier to enjoy Japanese boxing, and we really do hope fans, internationally, will get behind some of the free content that is now on the docket!
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