Tomorrow fight fans in Osaka will be able to see a very interesting looking Japanese Super Flyweight title bout as veterans, and former champions, Hiroyuki Kudaka (28-18-4, 11) [久髙寛之] and Kenta Nakagawa (20-4-1, 12) [中川健太] battle for the title that was vacated by Ryoji Fukunaga [福永亮次].
On the scales both men were bang on the 115lb weight limit and both looked in fantastic shape for the bout, and very much up for the contest, which both will know could be their last major bout.
After making weight Nakagawa, a 2-time champion, stated "The weight loss was tough, but it went down smoothly. The condition is perfect,". He also spoke about his much-vaunted left hand stating "I've put out (Thunder Left), but I haven't hit it in recent games. Only God knows if it will hit tomorrow. I'm looking forward to it. Please keep it". Notably he's the away fighter for this bout, travelling from Tokyo to Osaka for the contest.
As for Kudaka, himself a 1-time former champion, explained that he was "I'm standing firmly and calm", and he showed the aura of a veteran, which he is as this will be his 51st professional bout. He also spoke about the bout, explaining, "I can't imagine what it will be like tomorrow, but in the end Take it to your own pace. Don't think about the future. Focus only on winning tomorrow's game. "
Sadly a planned Japanese Super Featherweight bout, between hard hitting champion Kosuke Saka (21-6, 18) [坂晃典] and #1 ranked challenger Kanehiro Nakagawa (11-6, 5) [中川兼玄], which was also supposed to be on this card, has been cancelled after Nakagawa suffered an injury.
Related - Kudaka and Nakagawa clash for Japanese title!
Earlier today news broke from Japan that we would be seeing a new Japanese Super Flyweight being crowned on April 23rd at the EDION Arena Osaka, as Nakazato gym announced a bout for the currently vacant title. The bout for the title will see their fighter Hiroyuki Kudaka (28-18-4, 11) [久髙寛之] battle against Kenta Nakagawa (20-4-1, 12) [中川健太], in a bout for one of the titles vacated late last year by Ryoji Fukunaga [福永亮次].
Coming in to the bout Hisataka is ranked #1 by the JBC, thanks to his 2021 win over Ryusei Kawaura. Aged 36 he is best known for coming up short in 4 world title fights between 2008 and 2013, losing to Takefumi Sakata, Denkaosan Kaovichit, Hugo Fidel Cazares and Omar Andres Narvaez. Despite losing in 4 world title fights, the "Sexy Soldier" has managed to win other titles through his career, including the Japanese Super Flyweight title, which he won in 2018 and held for almost 4 months before losing it in his first defense.
Nakagawa on the other hand is ranked #2 by the JBC and is looking to become a 3-time Japanese champion. He has earned this shot thanks to a 2021 win over Ayato Hiromoto, and has previous held the title thanks to wins over Hayato Kimura and Takayuki Okumoto. Sadly for him both of his reigns so far have been short, with just a single successful defense across his two title reigns.
The bout will take place on a card which also features a Japanese Super Featherweight bout, with hard hitting champion Kosuke Saka (21-6, 18) [坂晃典] defending his title against #1 ranked challenger Kanehiro Nakagawa (11-6, 5) [中川兼玄].
Earlier today it was announced that Japanese Super Featherweight champion Kosuke Saka (21-6, 18) [坂晃典] would be returning to the ring on April 23rd to defend his title against #1 ranked challenger Kanehiro Nakagawa (11-6, 5) [中川兼玄], in what is set to be a very interesting match up.
Of the two men Saka is the much more well known, and is a 2-weight Japanese champion, having previously held the Japanese Featherweight title before winning the Super Featherweight title in 2019. Sadly since winning the title he has only defended it once, scoring an eye catching TKO win over Takuya Watanabe, and was really made to look second rate last time out, losing in 3 rounds in an OPBF title fight against Yoshimitsu Kimura.
In the ring the champion is a huge puncher, but a flawed fighter, who has been stopped 3 times in his last 8 bouts, and 4 times in total. Whilst he's not a glass cannon as such, he is very much a fighter who appears to be a front runner, and someone who loves to give, but not receive.
As for Nakagawa this will be his first title fight, but one he has earned the hard way. He started his career 4-5 (3) and has gone 7-1 (2) since then, with notable wins over the likes of Seiichi Okada, Taiki Minamoto and Shinnosuke Hasegawa, with those wins boosting his Japanese ranking and earning him this fight. Notably he has been stopped twice, which is a worry against a fighter like Saka, but those were in his first and 7th bout, and he has shown a good chin since then, most notably in his war with Minamoto.
At the time of writing no other bouts have been announced for this show, which will take place at the EDION Arena Osaka.
Earlier today at Korakuen Hall fight fans had the chance to enjoy the latest show under the Diamond Glove banner, and the show really was one worthy of attention thanks to three great bouts at the top of the card.
The first of the notable bouts was a clash between prospects as 23 year old Ryo Nakai (3-1-1, 1) [中井 龍] took on touted 25 year old Go Hosaka (5-1, 3) [保坂 剛] in an 8 rounder at Super Featherweight. On Hoaka was the favourite, entering the bout as an unbeaten fighter, though in many was Nakai was the more proven professional, having shown what he could do in a very competitive bout with Shu Utsuki not too long ago.
From the off the two men battled jabs, with little to separate them, though Nakai did seem to land one or two more eye catching shots, thanks to his left hand. Hosaka tried to change the tempo after the opening round, but that lead to Nakai landing some cracking uppercuts with his left hand, punishing Hosaka for his aggression.
In the later rounds Hosaka's pressure did manage to to have success, and he forced some brilliant exchanges in the final rounds as Nakai looked to get his respect. After 8, very competitive and well fought rounds, the judges all turned in cards of 77-75 in favour of Nakai. Nakai will obvious look to build on this win, and despite the loss we certainly wouldn't write Hosaka off.
The second of those three bouts was a Japanese title eliminator at 130lbs, as Kanehiro Nakagawa (11-6, 5) [中川 兼玄] clashed with Shinnosuke Hasegawa (13-3-1, 9) [長谷川 慎之介], and the two men put on a show!
Early on Hasegawa had real success, using his southpaw stance and making the most of Nakagawa's slow feet. It seemed, for the first round or two, that Hasegawa was simply going to be too good, and have a style that Nakagawa couldn't deal with. However as the rounds went on Nakagawa began to find his time, creating his own success, and in round 5 dropped Hasegawa, turning the bout around.
Following the knockdown we ended up with a war, as both men landed numerous big shots, trying to impress the judges and the crowd. It was a thrilling ending, and one that, thankfully for Nakagawa, was his style of fight, leading to him taking a razor thin split decision. With the win Nakagawa sets up a potential FOTY candidate in 2022 with Kosuke Saka, in one that is certainly worth getting very excited about.
The main event saw former Japanese Featherweight champion Ryo Sagawa (11-2, 6) [佐川遼] take on Retsu Kosaka (10-7, 4) [小坂烈]. These two had met before, with Kosaka giving Sagawa his first professional loss back in 2017, and it was clear that Sagawa wanted to avenge that defeat.
From the early going Sagawa looked levels better than Kosaka, though he had in their first bout until Kosaka caught him with a bomb and forced a stoppage. Unlike their first bout however Sagawa managed to show improved defense, avoiding the power of Kosaka, and picking away at his man with straight shots whilst remaining composed when Kosaka did let his shots go. By the final round Kosaka had gotten into a hole and was desperate, trying to turn things around, that left him open at times, and mid way through round 8 Sagawa landed a great right hand before going to work and forcing the referee to save Kosaka with 97 seconds of the bout left.
Earlier today fight fans at Korakuen Hall had the latest show in the Diamond Glove series of shows, which will be aired this coming weekend on Fuji TV. The card featured 4 bouts in total, including OPBF Super Bantamweight title bout featuring champion Hiroaki Teshigawara taking on Shingo Kawamura and a very, very interesting co-feature between two Japanese ranked Super Featherweights.
For those wanting to watch this, as live, over the weekend we please note that spoilers will begin in the next paragraph, starting with the Super Featherweight bout and then moving on to the main event. If you wish to avoid those spoilers, please stop reading now.
The chief support bout saw former Japanese Featherweight champion Taiki Minamoto (16-7-1, 13) [源大輝] take on the criminally under-rated Kanehiro Nakagawa (10-6, 5) [中川兼玄] in a bout between two men who were ranked by the JBC.
On paper it seemed Minamoto would have been favoured here, but it was Nakagawa who really bossed the action. Nakagawa blocked a lot of Minamoto's early shots, whilst landing his own solid blows, especially with his straight right hand. That was the key to his game plan and Minamoto never found an answer for it. By the mid way point Nakagawa was in a comfortable lead, though did begin to slow down and Minamoto finally began to have success in round 5, as he dug deep. Minamoto also had success in round 6, and it seemed the fight back was on, before Nakagawa got his second wind, and traded shots up close.
After 8 rounds the judges had this one 79-73, and 78-74, twice, all in favour of Nakagawa. After the bout Nakagawa stated that he was now aiming for a Japanese title fight.
In the main event fans saw OPBF Super Bantamweight champion Hiroaki Teshigawara (22-2-2, 15) [勅使河原 弘晶] record his 4th defense, as he stopped Shingo Kawamura (16-6-4, 8) [河村真吾] in the 6th round.
The defending champion, who is very highly ranked by the IBF, looked calm, relaxed and in control from the opening moments. He moved well, found his range and was landing at ease. Kawamura had one or two moments, but every time he had any success Teshigawara got out of range, regrouped and completely destroyed any momentum Kawamura seemed to be building.
After 4 rounds the open scoring kicked in, with Teshigawara leading 40-36, on all 3 cards. He continued to control the action and put his foot on the gas in round 6, dropping Kawamura. Kawamura got to his feet but he was done and the bout was stopped soon afterwards.
After the bout it seemed to be suggested that Misako Gym were trying to secure Teshigawara a world title fight in the deep and really interesting Super Bantamweight division. It seems hard to imagine him getting a shot, given the politics of boxing, though he is currently ranked by the IBF and WBC and would make for a very interesting challenger, even if he's not a big international name.
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