Earlier today popular Japanese warrior Katsunori Nagamine (15-2-1, 11) [長嶺克則] took to social media to post an update on his career, and sadly announced his retirement from the sport.
Nagamine revealed that he had suffered an eye injury in training and went to the hospital where he was diagnosed with an issue that has forced him to make his decision to retire from the sport.
Sadly Nagamine had suffered eye issues in the past, and had been advised to retire earlier in his career. He decided to continue with his fighting back then, but it now seems this new issues has made him realise that he may suffer permanent sight problems if he continues fighting.
In the same social media post he thanked fans, the fighters he had shared the ring with, the Manabe Boxing Gym and the gym president and to boxing in general. He made it clear this was his choice to retire, but it has certainly come down to the injury.
We'd like to thank Nagamine for the great action fights he has given us as a professional, especially his war with Kenya Yamashita, and wish him the best in his post boxing life.
For those who want to read Nagamine's social media post, that's available here on his ameblo.
Earlier today it was revealed that Masayuki Kuroda (30-7-3, 16) [黒田 雅之] had vacated the Japanese Flyweight title, with the intention to fight for the IBF Flyweight world title in 2019.
It seems like Kuroda is expecting to face the winner of the upcoming bout between Moruti Mthalane (36-2, 24) and Masahiro Sakamoto (13-1, 9) [坂本真宏] within 90 days of their bout, which takes place on December 31st. From what we understand however there is yet to be an official decision made by the IBF in regards to Kuroda's shot.
Due to Kuroda vacating we're now unsure on who will be fighting for the title in the new year. What we do know is that Junto Nakatani (17-0, 12) [中谷 潤人] will fight for the vacant title, though it's unclear who he will be up against. It is worth noting that the #2 ranked Japanese fighter at the weight is Katsunori Nagamine (15-2-1, 11) [長嶺克則] and a bout between Nakatani and Nagamine would certainly be a very attractive proposition for fight fans.
(Image courtesy of boxmob)
Earlier today fight fans at the Differ Ariake, and those watching on Boxingraise, had the chance to see Hironori Mishiro (6-0, 2) [三代大訓] claim his biggest win so far, as he claimed the OPBF Super Featherweight title with a split decision win over Carlo Magali (23-10-3, 12).
The bout was a huge step up in class for Mishiro but he looked calm and confident early on, but had to cope with the aggressive pressure of Magali before finding his rhythm. The aggression of Magali made life uncomfortable, but after 4 rounds the men were level on the scorecards, which were all 38-38.
Mishiro had looked to create some distance, using his significant height and reach, and had had success with his jab and straight, but was holding his own in the trenches with some nasty uppercuts which had bust Magali's nose and caused notable facial swelling on the champion.
In round 5 it was Magali who had a huge break through, rocking the Japanese fighter and pressing him hard. The round was the clearest of the fight and saw Mishiro look ready to drop at one point as he went on the retreat, hands down, and looked like he had forgotten everything he had trained for. Thankfully for him Magali failed to close the show and in round 6 Mishiro seemed to clear his head, before have a small surge in rounds 7 and 8, as Magali began to look tired. Those rounds saw Mishiro sneak his nose ahead on two of the cards, 77-75, whilst the third was even, 76-76, when the scores were announced after 8 rounds.
Magali then knew things were up against him going into the final 4 rounds, the first two of which were razor thin, with Magali looking to up the pressure and Mishiro holding his own. The could have gone either way, but the final two had Magali really put it all out there, as if he knew it was in the balance. Mishiro on the other hand took his foot off the case, looking to avoid another big scare in the final moments.
In the end Mishiro's decision to play safe proved to be a smart one, with the Japanese fighting edging the decision with scores of 115-113 in his favour, twice, whilst the third judge had the bout 115-113 in Magali's favour.
On the under-card there was a bit of a mixed bag for notable fighters. the hard hitting Riki Hamada (7-2, 6) [濱田力] was stopped in 2 rounds by China's Xiao Tao Su (6-1, 3) [苏晓涛], in what was a pretty brutal KO after having already dropped Hamada. Hamada had been sent through the ropes earlier in the round, and Su had got himself deducted a point as he followed up on the prone Japanese. Hamada never really recovered before being laid out only moments later. Shuma Nakazato (7-1-2, 6) [仲里周磨] saw his fight with late replacement Vergil Puton (17-10-1, 8) come to an early conclusion after a clash of heads forced the bout to be stopped after just 2 minutes 30 seconds, resulting in a technical draw.
The real highlight of the supporting card was a thrilling, yet relatively one sided, battle between Katsunori Nagamine (15-2-1, 11) [長嶺克則] and the insanely tough Yujie Zeng (11-8-1, 6) [曾玉洁]. The aggressive Zeng came out with serious belief as he pressed Nagamine from the off, but the Japanese fighter saw out the early pressure and ended up giving Zeng a real beating until the fight was finally stopped in round 7, by a referee who had seen enough punishment for the Chinese fighter. Given his performance we'd like to see a lot more of Zeng, maybe against more competitively matched opponents, as he was really good value here. As for Nagamine he'll be looking for his second title fight shortly, after having lost in a Japanese title fight earlier this year.
(Image courtesy of Sponichi)
Earlier today saw news being revealed of a Dangan card set for June 20th at the Differ Ariake, in Tokyo. The show had been rumoured earlier this year as the next in the Japan Vs China series of shows that Dangan are holding though until today nothing had been announced for the show. Thankfully that changed with several bouts being announced, including a really good looking main event, and two very notable bouts in the Japan Vs China rivalry.
The main event will not be a Japan Vs China bout, but will instead feature a Filipino against a Japanese fighter as OPBF Super Featherweight champion Carlo Magali (23-9-3, 12) makes his next defense of the title, and finally returns to the ring after January's win over Masatoshi Kotani [小谷 将寿]. The champion has seen bouts with Yoon Sung Kim [김윤성] and Miguel Berchelt fall through already this year but won't be expecting similar issues from Japanese prospect Hironori Mishiro (5-0, 2) [三代大訓], who takes a huge step up up from fringe Japanese domestic level to OPBF title level. Obviously Magali has the huge edge in experience but will be the older, smaller man and Mishiro is a highly accomplished amateur, who seemed really confident of using his amateur pedigree and size to over-come the champion.
For Magali this bout will be his second defense of the title and see him looking to secure his fourth straight win. The 31 year old is going through a bit of an Indian summer at the moment and will be fully aware that if he's to get a shot at a world title, as he came so close to getting against Berchelt, he has to win here. Mishiro on the other hand will know the pressure isn't really on him, but the 23 year old from the Watanabe gym will see this as a massive chance to put himself on the verges of a world ranking, and fast track him to a potential showdown for a world title fight.
In supporting bouts fans will be able to see recent Japanese Flyweight title challenger Katsunori Nagamine (14-2-1, 10) [長嶺克則] take on a visitor from China as well as a bout featuring former Mishiro foe Shuma Nakazato (7-1-1, 6) [仲里周磨]. Sadly we don't currently have the names of the two Chinese fighters, but given that Nagamine and Nakazato are both always worth watching we're already excited to see them both in the ring.
Earlier today fight fans in Kanagawa got an absolute treat of a Japanese Flyweight title fight, as Masayuki Kuroda (29-7-3, 16) [黒田 雅之] went to war against mandatory challenger Katsunori Nagamine (14-2-1, 10) [長嶺克則], and narrowly retained his title.
The defending champion fought well behind a busy left jab early on, but Nagamine refused to back off, and continually brought the pressure, despite his right eye becoming swollen and reddening quite badly early in the bout. The pressure of Nagamine had an effect on Kuroda, though the champion had done enough to impress the judges in the early stages, leading 48-47 on two of the 3 cards when they were announced after the 5th round, with the other judge having the bout level at 48-48.
In round 6 it was Nagamine's turn to really up the ante, and he cut the distance and workd the body well, Kuroda tried to respond but it was a round to Nagamine who surged over the following few rounds, despite his eye swelling badly, and forcing a doctor's inspection in round 8. Almost immediately after the restart from the inspection Nagamine had a big break through, dropping Kuroda with a left hook.
Kuroda showed his championship level expeience in round 9 as he upped the pace and took advantage of Nagamine never going beyond 8 rounds. The change in tempo from Kuroda was impressive and something he managed to keep going with in round 10, despite a firce fight back from Nagamine. In the end those two rounds essentially decided the result with the judges scoring the contest 96-93, 96-94 and 95-94 all in favour of Kuroda, who moves a step closer to a world title fight.
Fans in attendance have suggested it's the top contender, so far, for the Japanese fight of the year and really was a special fight, as fans would have expected given the styles of the two men involved. For Nagamine the loss is a set back, but the performance will keep doors open for him going forward. For Kuroda a world title fight looms, and he could be just a few months from a shot at one of the champions.
(Image courtesy of Nikkan Sports)
News! We try and give you the most interesting news stories from the Asian boxing world!