Earlier today we saw a new Japanese Atomweight champion being crowned as Kaori Nagai (5-2-3, 2) [長井香織] managed to over-come Momoko Kanda (10-13-2, 4) [神田桃子] in a razor thin bout to claim the previously vacant title.
The two women faced off last year, with Nagai taking a razor thin split decision, and she did something similar again today.
Early on Kanda tried to control the distance, keep the bout at range, and use her experience. After the first round Nagai began to pick up her tempo, and by rounds 3 and 4 the bout was being hotly contested, with neither woman doing enough to clearly differentiate themselves from the other.
Sadly for Kanda the bout was essentially decided in the 6th round, which saw her attempt to finish strong but she was actually rocked.
At the end of 6 rounds there really was almost nothing splitting the two women. That was shown on one of the cards, with that judge having the bout even at 57-57. The other two judges however had Nagai taking a razor thin 58-56 win to claim the title.
Tomorrow in Kobe we're expecting to see a new Japanese Atomweight champion being crowned as Kaori Nagai (4-2-3, 2) [長井香織] and Momoko Kanda (10-12-2, 4) [神田桃子] trade blows a bout for the belt.
The two women, who fought last year in a non-title bout, weighed in for tomorrow's bout earlier today and both fighters made the 102lb Atomweight limit with no real issues,
On the scales both women came in at 105.5lbs, well under the limit, and both seemed well trained and up the first female title fight to be held in Japan since the sport returned back on July 12th.
Last last time these two women fought it was Nagai who won, taking a razor thin split decision. She appeared confident in comments given to the media this morning. She stated her gameplan was to stick to her boxing and that she would win clearly this time around.
Kanda on the other hand stated that she had to be composed and not lose her emotions and not think about revenge too much ahead of tomorrows fight.
For fans wanting to watch this bout, the original plans to have a limited crowd have been cancelled, though the fight will be shown on the youtube channel set up for the events two main bouts. That can be accessed here.
Related - Nagai and Kanda battle for Japanese national crown!
(Image credit - Boxmob)
Earlier today the Shinsei Gym revealed announce two notable stories regarding their July 25th double header from the the Kobe Central Gym.
The show is a pretty notable one, one of the most notable ones since boxing restarted in Japan. The main event will be an OPBF Light Flyweight title bout between Kenichi Horikawa (40-16-1, 13) [堀川 謙一] and Daiki Tomita (14-1, 5) [冨田 大樹] with a second title bout being a Japanese Atomweight title bout between Kaori Nagai (4-2-3, 2) [長井香織] and Momoko Kanda (10-12-2, 4) [神田桃子].
For Horikawa the bout serves as a chance to claim another title, to add to a career collection that includes two Japanese titles and a WBO Asia Pacific title whilst Tomita gets a chance to add to the WBO Asia Pacific title he won last year, when he beat Hayato Yamaguchi.
Originally the event had planned to have fans in attendance, albeit in limited numbers, but today a decision was made to not allow fans in the venue. That decision was announced just days before the event was set to take place
The reason for the change is likely linked to the increased issues caused by the "on going global situation", specifically in Osakan boxing gyms. Whilst the venue may have been in Kobe, Hyogo, several fighters involved on it are from Osaka, including Tomita and Kanda and them potentially bringing fans from Osaka could, potentially, cause issues down the line.
As a result of not allowing fans in Shinsei have announced that they will be live streaming some of the event on a newly set up Youtube channel.
The statement only actually confirms that they will be streaming the "Semi-Main", which is the female title bout, though they do state the other bouts will be added to the channel at a later date. It is assumed however that the main event is also set to be streamed, though wasn't confirmed in today's statement.
The channel streaming the event can be found here.
The channel has also released a short trailer for the event, which can be seen below, as well as the statements in Japanese, and the English translation.
News! We try and give you the most interesting news stories from the Asian boxing world!