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.
Tomorrow at Korakuen Hall fans will get the chance to see former Japanese Featherweight champion Taiki Minamoto (16-6-1, 13) [源大輝] take on Kanehiro Nakagawa (9-6, 5) [中川兼玄] in a bout that we expect will be much, much better than it looks on paper.
Today the two men took part in their weigh in for the contest, and both men came bang on the Super Featherweight limit, and looked in good shape.
For Minamoto, who is ranked #5 by the OPBF and by the JBC, the bout is his first since losing in a thrilling contest last year to Takuya Watanabe, in a Japanese title eliminator. A win here puts him immediately back in the mix for a Japanese Super Featherweight title bout.
As for Nakagawa, who enters with a #4 JBC ranking, he's looking to build on the momentum he created for himself last year. Although not a big name he had a huge 2019 with big domestic upset wins over Seiichi Okada, Ryuto Araya and Ken Osato, to put himself on the verge of a Japanese title fight.
The bout might not scream big news on paper, but both men will know they are only a couple of wins away from a title shot in 2021 or 2022. A loss here would push them way down the queue in regards to a shot at the Japanese belt.
(Image credit - Misako Gym)
Earlier today it was announced that OPBF Super Bantamweight champion Hiroaki Teshigawara (21-2-2, 14) [勅使河原 弘晶] would be making his next defense on October 8th at Korakuen Hall. In the opposite corner to the champion will be the out of form Shingo Kawamura (16-5-4, 8) [河村真吾].
The bout will be Teshigawara's first since officially transferring to the Misako earlier this month, and it's expected to be one of his final defenses of the regional title. The plan, for the longer term, is certainly to move him towards a world title fight but with Teshigawara having not fought in 2020 it seems sensible to have him in the ring as soon as they can.
During his reign so far Teshigawara has already recorded 3 defenses of the title, stopping Yuki Iriguchi, Shohei Omori and Shohei Kawashima. In fact he has now stopped 8 of his last 9, and is living up to the "Crush Boy" nickname.
As for Kawamura this is pretty much last chance saloon. In his last 5 bouts, dating back more than 2 years, he has gone 0-2-3, including losses to both Satoshi Shimizu and Ryo Sagawa. It is, however, worth noting that this bout will see him drop down in weight and the hope will be that he's more suited to Super Bantamweight than Featherweight.
Earlier this year, before boxing was put on hiatus, Kawamura was scheduled to face Musashi Mori, in a bout for Mori's regional title at Featherweight. Given he's now gotten this opportunity he should be considering himself a lucky man, especially given his recent results.
The bout is set to be the main event of a Diamond Glove card, with the only other bout currently announced for the show being a contest between former Japanese Featherweight champion Taiki Minamoto (16-6-1, 13) [源大輝] take on Kanehiro Nakagawa (9-6, 5) [中川兼玄].
As with all Diamond Glove shows this card will receive a tape delay broadcast on Fuji TV, though the date and time of that broadcast haven't yet been confirmed.
A lot of professional boxing gyms in Japan have a schedule of bouts involving their fighters. One of the more notable ones is the Watanabe Gym one, which often lists bouts that aren't on any other schedule. Today we spotted an interesting one on that Watanabe schedule.
The bout in question will see former Japanese Featherweight champion Taiki Minamoto (16-6-1, 13) [源大輝] take on Kanehiro Nakagawa (9-6, 5) [中川兼玄] in a bout between two top 10 JBC ranked Super Featherweights, essentially pushing the winner on the verge of getting a shot at the title in 2021.
On paper this probably doesn't look an amazing match up, given the disparity between the records of the two men. In reality however this is actually a compelling contest on paper and a very meaningful one.
Ranked #6 by the JBC Minamoto is looking to become a 2-division champion after a short reign as the Japanese Featherweight king. He moved up in weight last year, when issues making 126lbs started to affect his performances, though lost a Japanese title eliminator to Takuya Watanabe in what was a sensational bout in November. Since then he has been out of the ring. Although he is a former Japanese title holder Minamoto failed to win either of his bouts in 2019 and is without a win since April 2018.
On the other hand Nakagawa is ranked #4 by the JBC and is enjoying a rich vein of form. Although he has lost 6 of his 15 professional bouts he has won his last 4, and 5 of his last 6, including wins over Seiichi Okada, Ryuto Araya and Ken Osato. He's very much the form guy, despite his record, and will be going into the bout knowing that a win will keep up his great run of form.
Interestingly the JBC do still rank Shuya Masaki, who they have at #2, despite the fact he has announced his retirement. It's also worth noting they rank former Japanese Lightweight champion Kazuhiro Nishitani (21-4-1, 12) [西谷和宏], #3, who fights in September against Kenichi Ogawa (24-1-1-1, 18) [尾川 堅一]. Essentially the winner of this bout could see themselves bang on for a shot at the title next year.
According to the Watanabe Schedule this bout has been scheduled for October 8th at Korakuen Hall, though no other bouts on the show have been officially announced.
Earlier today at Korakuen Hall fans were able to see the award ceremony for the East Japan Boxing Association award winners for April.
The MVP award was won by Japanese Lightweight champion Shuichiro Yoshino (10-0, 8) [吉野 修一郎], following his win over mandatory challenger Accel Sumiyoshi (11-5-3, 3) [アクセル住吉]. At the event he spoke about becoming a loved fighter, like Guts Ishimatsu, and it sounds like he has big plans for the near future. It's worth noting that he has spoken about stepping up in levels and fingers crossed that happens next.
The Fighting Spirit award winner was Yuta Saito (12-9-3, 9) [齊藤裕太], who made his first defense by stopping "interim" champion Hayato Kimura (28-11, 19) [木村隼人]. Saito spoke about wanting to beat Yusuke Suzuki (10-3, 7) [鈴木悠介], in another mandatory defense, in July and stated that he wants to win an MVP award.
The New Comer award was won by Kanehiro Nakagawa (7-6, 4) [中川兼玄], following his huge win over former Japanese Super Featherweight champion Seiichi Okada (22-7-1, 13) [岡田誠一]. Like Saito he stated he was wanting to win an MVP award in the future, and for a man who was relatively unknown before his win over Okada he looked really relaxed and fingers crossed he can build on that win going forward.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
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