Due to the fact some fans will not be wanting to know the result of today's from Korakuen Hall, as the bouts will be shown on Tape Delay on Monday on G+ we will begin this with a paragraph of text to act as a spoiler warning. Please be aware this is a 1-off paragraph designed to not ruin the bout for those who have accidentally stumbled on this page ahead of the TV broadcast of the bout on Monday. This is something we are only going to be doing when we know that a bout will be televised on delay and will only ever be a 1 paragraph thing, with the idea of allowing fans to watch events as live.
Please be wary spoilers will begin in the next few paragraphs as we go through the results of today's show starting at the opening and going through, bout by bout, to the main event, featuring Super Featherweights Kenichi Ogawa [尾川 堅一] and Kazuhiro Nishitani [西谷和宏].
Earlier today at Korakuen Hall Teiken put on their latest show, which was originally supposed to take place back in September, though was pushed back after Jorge Linares had a positive result in a PCR test. As a result the show was pushed back by around a month, and was removed from Live TV, getting a Tape Delay place on Japanese premium TV channel G+.
The show began with a 6 round Super Bantamweight bout as Satoru Hoshiba (7-4, 2) [干場 悟] scored a minor upset win over Takayoshi Suzuki (5-2-1, 1) [鈴木 敬祥]. The bout began with Suzuki looking to use his reach, but Hishiba cut the distance relatively early on and in round 4 a body shot from Hoshiba hurt his man, and he kept coming, out working Suzuki to earn a unanimous decision. The scores for this were 58-56 from all 3 judges.
In another minor upset Ryuya Tsugawa (8-1, 4) [津川 龍也] over-came Hikari Mineta (8-2, 5) [峯田 光], with Tsugawa scoring a 6th round TKO win over Mineta. To begin with both men struggled to connect anything cleanly but the pace began to get going in round 3 and then increased again in round 4, with Tsugawa getting the advantage. At least that was how it seemed until a counter from Mineta at the end of the round dropped Tsugawa. It was too late in the round for Mineta to jump on his man and by the start of round 5Tsugawa had recovered and started land clean shots, worsening facial damage on Mineta, who was stopped in round 6 by the ringside doctor.
One man who picked up an expected win was touted Light Flyweight prospect Shokichi Iwata (5-0, 4) [岩田翔吉], who stopped Ryo Narizuka (9-10-1) [成塚亮] in the 7th round of their scheduled 8 rounder. Early on Narizuka used his reach to pose some questions to Iwata but the talented Iwata managed to neutralise the advantage with his speed and skills. By round 2 it was starting to seem like Iwata was, soon or later, going to break down his man as he began to landing solid shots. Credit however went to Narizuka who regrouped well and gritted out some tough moments. That was until round 7 when Iwata began to get inside and land big hooks, with both hands, and forced the referee to jump in and save Narizuka.
In a very notable domestic win fans saw Japanese Youth Super Featherweight champion Yamato Hata (11-1, 10) [波田 大和] take a decision win over former amateur standout Koshin Takeshima (4-1-1, 3) [竹嶋宏心]. This one started at a high tempo from the off, and was a thrilling contest with both men looking to establish themselves before the other. The tempo slowed down slightly in the middle rounds, but the action didn't really relent and in round 6 Hata dropped Takeshima. The knockdown seemed to force Takeshima to change tactics somewhat and began to press forward looking for a mistake to counter, sadly for Takeshima he was unable to land a decisive blow, and found himself forced to cover up under the pressure of Hata's offensive output. In the end it seemed, perhaps, that the natural size and power advantage of Hata played a part in the result, and all 3 judges had the bout scored 78-73 in favour of the hard hitting Hata. Incidentally this is Hata's first bout to go the distance and only his second to go beyond 5 rounds.
The co-feature proved to be a mismatch as Hayate Kaji (15-0, 9) [梶颯] easily over-came Hiroki Yajima (9-9-3, 4) [矢島大樹]. Credit however goes to Yajima, who survived 8 torrid rounds despite being down twice. Yajima was down in the opening round, from a short right hand and Yajima was down again in round 7 and deducted a point for holding. Those knockdowns and the deduction helped Kaji take a very, very comfortable win, with scores of 78-70, twice, and 79-69. Sadly aside from the knockdowns the bout did lack clean action. Despite the win it's still hard to know whether or not Kaji has what it takes to progress onto a Japanese title, or higher, and it will take a much stiff test than this to see where Kaji is at, and where he can go.
The main event saw world ranked Super Featherweights facing off with Kenichi Ogawa (25-1-1-1, 18) [尾川 堅一] taking on Kazuhiro Nishitani (21-5-1, 12) [西谷和宏] in what was a legitimately great match up. The bout began cautiously from both men, with Nishitani trying to get his shots off at range and Ogawa not giving his foe many opportunities to counter. By round 3 there was a feeling of tension and the pace began to increase, with the most notable moment being a left from Nishitani that dropped Ogawa for the bouts first knockdown.
With Ogawa being down he needed revenge and in round 4 he got that revenge, dropping Nishitani with a straight right hand. That neutralised the early 10-8 and left the bout very finely balanced. In round 5 Nsihitani seemed to swing the balance in his favour, with some good 1-2's from range, from there on however Ogawa took control, boxing well and landing his right hands at will to take the rounds and secure the win.
After 10 rounds the judges all had the bout 97-91 in favour of Ogawa, who takes a huge step towards a second world title fight.
Tomorrow at Korakuen Hall we'll get world ranked Super Featherweights clashing as Kenichi Ogawa (24-1-1-1, 18) [尾川 堅一] and Kazuhiro Nishitani (21-4-1, 12) [西谷和宏] face off in a 10 rounder.
Originally the bout was supposed to be in early September, though got pushed back after a Jorge Linares' positive PCR test, which forced Teiken to close. That was one of a series of delays for Ogawa's return which had also been pencilled in for the spring and again for August.
Today, ahead of their bout, the two men took part in their weigh in and both men made weight with room to spare.
Ogawa, a former Japanese Super Featherweight champion, was around 129.7lbs and looked in amazing condition. Nishitani, a former Japanese Lightweight champion, was notable lighter, at around 129.3lbs.
For Ogawa this will be his third bout after suffering a 1 year suspension from the JBC for testing positive for a steroid, which is assumed to have been in a skin cream for eczema, following his bout with Tevin Farmer. Coming in to this bout he is ranked in the top 10 by the IBF, WBA and WBO and knows that another win here will push him towards a world title fight.
As for Nishitani this is his first big fight since beating Shuhei Tsuchiya way back in March 2017. That win netted him the Japanese Lightweight title, though sadly he vacated the title and has toiled ever since with a string of unmemorable bouts. At the age of 33, and with his 34th birthday coming in February, this is a must win bout for him.
Sadly the card will not be shown live, though will be aired early next week on tape delay, on G+.
(Image credit - Teiken)
In recent weeks we've seen YouTube become the outlet of choice Japanese fights, with BOXING REAL and A-Sign Boxing being great for fight fans wanting to follow the Japanese scene. It appears that YouTube will continue to be a major outlet in coming months, with BOXING REAL streaming a Shinsei card in September, Suruga Boys streaming their September card, Hiroto Kyoguchi (14-0, 9) [京口 紘人] streaming his bout with Thanongsak Simsri (14-0, 12), and TV Osaka streaming the Taisei Promoted "From the World to Mita 16" event on November 23rd.
Despite YouTube becoming a major outlet for Japanese fights we do still have TV channels in the country and today we saw announcements of two channels set to show come boxing in the coming months!
The first of the broadcasts will be a live broadcast on subscription service WOWOW, of the WBA "Super" and IBF Bantamweight title bout between Naoya Inoue (19-0, 16) [井上 尚弥] and Jason Moloney (21-1, 18). This is set to be aired on WOWOW Prime from 10:30AM in Japan on November 1st.
At the moment there hasn't been an announced tape delay airing, though it's assumed that Fuji TV will carry the bout in full on terrestrial TV, potential with same day delay during prime time. This has been the case with some international bouts of Fuji fighters and we suspect it'll continue here.
The second bit of TV news is that TBS will broadcast the bout between former WBC Flyweight champion Daigo Higa (16-1, 16) [比嘉 大吾] and the unbeaten Seiya Tsutsumi (5-0-1, 4) [堤聖也]. The bout will take place on October 26th at Korakuen Hall, but will sadly not be aired until November 18th as part of the "Guts Fighting" series. We suspect that broadcast will also be used to hype up a potential December TBS show.
Whilst we're on the subject of televised boxing in Japan it's worth adding that Japanese pay TV channel G+ will be broadcasting two shows that take place in October.
On October 3rd they will be broadcasting a live card headlined by Japanese Light Middleweight champion Hironobu Matsunaga (16-1, 10) [松永 宏信], who will be defending his belt against Yuto Shimizu (14-4-2, 5) [清水優人], with this broadcast set to run from 17:45 to 22:00 local time.
On October 5th they will then broadcast the Teiken promoted card headlined by a bout between Kenichi Ogawa (24-1-1-1, 18) [尾川 堅一] and Kazuhiro Nishitani (21-4-1, 12) [西谷和宏]. This card, originally scheduled for September, will take place on October 2nd and will be on tape delay. This will be broadcast between 17:00 and 22:00 local time.
Both of those will then get re-shown through the month, with the Teiken show set to be re-shown on October 12th and the other card being rebroadcast on October 19th.
Fans of Japanese boxing haven't had it this good in years!
Last week we reported that former 3-weight world champion Jorge Linares (47-5, 29) had a positive result show up on a PCR test. As a result of Linares's test result the Teiken Gym was forced to close temporarily. Since then all of the Teiken fighters, and trainers, have been tested and shown negative results in PCR tests, however the gym is still not open, and hasn't been given permission to reopen from the public health centre.
Had the gym only been closed for a few days, as some hoped, the knock on from the closure would have been very limited. It would seen a bout that was supposed to take today place being cancelled, which it was last week, and Linares bout set for August 28th being cancelled. That would pretty much have been it.
Sadly though with the gym still being closed it has now had wider knock on issues. The most obvious of those relate to the fighters who had been preparing for a September 5th date, for a show at Korakuen Hall which was set to be televised live on G+. With fighters unable to train at the gym at the moment, the September 5th date has officially been scrapped today. Instead the show will be delayed until October 2nd, which may have other knock on issues relating to TV.
The original date for the fight sat on a TV slow reserved for a live boxing broadcast with G+ as part of their monthly Dynamic Glove series. That series shows a live boxing event on the first Saturday of every month, typically from Korakuen Hall. The new days falls on a Friday which may mean that the event misses out on live TV, though this yet to be confirmed. If live TV is lacking the best we can hope for is a tape delay broadcast.
The reason the event can't take the set aside October TV slot, on the first Saturday of the month, is that there is already a show set for that date, with Japanese Light Middleweight champion Hironobu Matsunaga (16-1, 10) [松永 宏信] defending his belt against Yuto Shimizu (14-4-2, 5) [清水優人] on October 3rd.
In a perfect world both events would get live TV coverage, though we suspect that that's unlikely to happen. It should be noted that the event is still being marketed as a Dynamic Glove show, suggesting that the event will still get TV exposure, though it's unclear if it will be tape delay or live broadcast.
What makes this even bigger news is that the September 5th date was set to be the first live televised event in Japan since boxing restarted there. They have had some tape delay broadcasts and have had some live streamed events, but no live televised boxing has taken place in the country since February.
We do, fully understand the reason for the delay, and I think everyone else does as well. But it's certainly been a few frustrating months for some of the fighters on this show. That includes Kenichi Ogawa (24-1-1-1, 18) [尾川 堅一], who has now had 3 different dates fall apart this year.
From what we under-stand, though again it's yet to be confirmed, the 6 bouts that were scheduled for September 5th will all still take place on the new date. However we do know that the card, for definite, still includes Ogawa's bout with the world ranked foe Kazuhiro Nishitani (21-4-1, 12) [西谷和宏] and Shokichi Iwata's (4-0, 3) [岩田翔吉] bout with Ryo Narizuka (9-9-1) [成塚亮].
Once we know more about the bout line up and the TV situation we'll report that.
Last week Teiken announced that former 3-weight world champion Jorge Linares (47-5, 29) had a positive result show up on a PCR test. There was worries that the situation could end similar to the Osakan Gym cluster, which saw more than 15 individual testing positive including fighters, trainers and gym owner.
Today Teiken announced that everyone at the gym has been tested yesterday, including all the fighters and all the trainers, with everyone returning a negative result earlier today.
This is great news for the gym, but things still aren't perfect and the gym still hasn't been given permission to re-open, with the Public Health Center still not allowing them to open the doors, yet.
The hope is, obviously, for the gym to be given permission to be open shortly so fighters can continue their preparation for upcoming bouts, including the bouts set for a September 5th "Dynamic Glove" show.
Among those who tested negative were Kenichi Ogawa (24-1-1-1, 18) [尾川 堅一], who announced his negative test on social media. His name is particularly notable as he will be main eventing the September show and will be facing world ranked foe Kazuhiro Nishitani (21-4-1, 12) [西谷和宏].
The September 5th show is a major one for Japanese boxing as it will be the first live televised card since the sport resumed in the country in July. In fact it will be the first nationally televised card in the country since February 1st! The show will have heightened focus as G+ have had several other shows fall through for recent months, including the planned August 21st WBO Flyweight title bout between Junto Nakatani (20-0, 15) [中谷 潤人] and Giemel Magramo (24-1, 20), which was indefinitely postponed when Magramo was unable to travel to Japan, due to the on-going situation.
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