Earlier today news broke from Japan that the scheduled November 7th bout between Japanese Middleweight champion Kazuto Takesako (11-0-1, 11) [竹迫司登] and mandatory challenger Riku Kunimoto (4-0, 2) [国本陸] has had to be cancelled.
The bout has been cancelled due to Takesako suffering an issue with his left shoulder after sparring this past week. Originally the issue arose on October 27th, he then iced it, went to a medical facility on the 28th and advised to rest for 2 months.
The injury, which has occurred to his left subscapularis, is one that would essentially left him a one handed fighter had the bout gone ahead so it's hard to complain about his decision. Sadly though it does push this bout back to 2021, if it takes place at all.
This is the third time the bout has been scheduled and then cancelled. It was originally set as part of the Champion Carnival and pencilled in for May 2nd, was rescheduled due to the on going global situation. It was then pushed back back to July 27th, before Kunimoto pulled out, citing training issues, and now we've had this cancellation.
At the time of writing the plan is for the show to still take place, with former world title challenger Takeshi Inoue (16-1-1, 10) [井上 岳志] battling unbeaten fighter Nath Nwachukwu (6-0-2, 3) [ワチュク・ナァツ] in the show's main event.
We've known for a while that Japanese Middleweight champion Kazuto Takesako (11-0-1, 11) [竹迫司登] will be defending is title against mandatory challenger Riku Kunimoto (4-0, 2) [国本陸] on November 7th as part of the Champion Carnival.
Today we were informed that the show has now had it's under-card set.
The chief support bout will see former world title challenger Takeshi Inoue (16-1-1, 10) [井上 岳志] take on unbeaten fighter Nath Nwachukwu (6-0-2, 3) [ワチュク・ナァツ], in what will be an 8 round bout at 70KG's, which is 154.3lbs. This will mean that Inoue will not be defending his WBO Asia Pacific title, but will be fighting in what is seen as more of a tick over fight.
For Inoue this will be his first bout since stopping Cheng Su back in January, to defend his regional title, and will very much be a case of getting some ring time after a lengthy lay off. His opponent however, won't there to just roll over and NwachukwuNwachukwu will be looking to build on his unbeaten record, and his big win in February over Junpei Tsujimoto. Although he's not regarded as being on the same level as Inoue he's very much a live under-dog and a hungry fighter with ambitions himself.
One of the other bouts worthy of interest on this card will see the unbeaten Takuma Takahashi (5-0, 5) [高橋拓磨] take on Kodai Kiyota (9-6-2, 9) [清田 広大], who returns to the ring more than 11 years after his last bout! Takahashi has certainly been an interesting prospect to following, but he didn't look great last time and it seems like they are matching softly here given his previous performance. This is scheduled for 6 rounds and is a must win for Yakahashi.
Other bouts on this card will include a match up between Koki Koshikawa (9-2, 6) [越川孝紀] and Yuichi Ideta (13-15-1, 7) [出田裕一] and a clash between Shinnosuke Hasegawa (12-2-1, 8) [長谷川慎之介] and Ikemen Atsushi (7-6-2, 2) [イケメン淳]. Both of these are scheduled for 8 rounds.
For fans wanting to watch this show it's expected to be shown on G+ as part of their Dynamic Glove series.
Earlier today, Tuesday, in Osaka Japanese Middleweight hopeful Riku Kunimoto (4-0, 2) [国本陸] held an event with the media to discuss his upcoming bout with Japanese Middleweight champion Kazuto Takesako (11-0-1, 11) [竹迫司登], which is set for November 7th.
The talented Kunimoto, who is the mandatory challenger for Takesako, had been expecting to fight the hard hitting champion earlier in the year but unfortunately the bout was put on hiatus due to the on going global situation. The bout was then pencilled in for Summer, before again needing to be delayed due to the on going issues.
At the event today Kunimoto sounded ambitious and spoke about his amateur pedigree and his ambition of winning, despite stating that Takesako was a strong champion. His trainer, and former fighter, Kosuke Takeichi, sounded more confident and suggested that if Kunimoto wins he wouldn't just be the best in Japan but also in Asia, and added that feels his charge will be able to defeat Takesako.
Despite only having 4 professional bouts to his name Kunimoto is a real talent and has shown and ability or punch. Last time out he looked very good, stopping Shoma Fukumoto, but he has now been out of the ring since April 2019. Aged just 23 the future is bright for Kunimoto, though the general view seems to be that this is a very big step up for the youngster, against a very dangerous and hard hitting champion.
Although probably a more talented natural boxer than the champion Kunimoto is still a physically immature man compared to the very powerfully built Takesako who is the much more powerful and heavy handed man. We wouldn't be surprised if the power difference proves to be vital when the men get in the ring in a few months time.
This year's Champion Carnival has been completely altered by the on going global situation that caused boxing, around the world, to go on hiatus. One of the many things affected by that was this year's Champion Carnival, which was scheduled to be completed by the summer, but was hardly even started.
One of the bouts that was set for the Champion Carnival was a bout between Japanese Middleweight champion Kazuto Takesako (11-0-1, 11) [竹迫司登] and mandatory challenger Riku Kunimoto (4-0, 2) [国本陸].
Originally this bout was set for May 2nd, with that date being cancelled due to the sport's hiatus. Then it was rescheduled to July 27th, with that date falling through due to issues with Kunimoto and his in ability to train for the bout.
Today we saw a new date being announced for the bout, with the two men now set to fight on November 7th at Korakuen Hall as part of the Dynamic Glove series.
For Takesako the bout will be his fourth defense of the title, which he won back in March 2018. Since winning the belt he has been busy, with 6 bouts, though one of those was non-title bout against Chaiwat Mueanphong whilst another was an OPBF title bout with Shinobu Charlie Hosokawa, which didn't see Takesako risking his title. That win over Hosokawa came in January this year and as Takesako's most recent bout.
For Kunimoto the bout will be his first title bout, and is a major step up in competition. He hasn't been in the ring since April 2019, when he stopped Shoma Fukumoto. He's proven to be a talented fighter, but with more than 18 months between fights we do wonder how rusty he'll look when he gets in their with the dangerous Takesako.
At the moment the bout is the only one announced for the show, though we would expect other notable fighters on the card from World Sports, the gym that manages Takesako. These could include the likes of Takeshi Inoue (16-1-1, 10) [井上 岳志] and Takuma Takahashi (5-0, 5) [高橋拓磨] .
The Coronavirus Countermeasures Liaison Council, set up by the Japan Boxing Commission and Japan Professional Boxing Association had their latest meeting today and took their latest step towards opening up the boxing scene in the country. A full decision on the restart it expect to be made in the coming days but today's meeting did lay down some clear ground work for the return.
In regards to health and safety the hope is to give fighters anti-body tests 3 weeks prior to a bout. That still hasn't been totally signed off but seems to be the standard they will be pushing for. The shows will also be non-spectator events to begin with, and it doesn't seem like their is a clear agreement on when that is going to be changed.
The first show that has been applied for at Korakuen Hall is, still, the planned Ohashi show on July 16th which will be a double header show, with no supporting under-card. That event is planned to see OPBF Featherweight champion Satoshi Shimizu (8-1, 8) [清水 聡] defending his title against Kyohei Tonomoto (9-2-1, 4) [殿本恭平] and Japanese Light Welterweight champion Koki Inoue (15-0, 12) [浩樹井上] defending his belt against mandatory challenger Daishi Nagata (14-2-1, 5) [永田大士].
That may end up not being the first show in Japan in July, with applications made for two shows at the Aioi Hall, one on July 5th and one on July 12, though details of those shows haven't been announced in any sort of detail yet. This could mean Japanese boxing restarts in Central Japan almost 2 weeks before it starts in the capital.
Talking about events in the capital it appears the Japanese Middleweight title bout between Kazuto Takesako (11-0-1, 11) [竹迫司登] and Riku Kunimoto (4-0, 2) [国本陸] will not take place on July 27th as planned, and has been pushed back, potentially to 2012. That was due to Kunimoto requesting a delay based on his inability to train.
Despite that news there is the hope is that Tokyo will host a card on July 22nd, with Kenta Nakagawa (18-3-1, 12) [中川 健太] defending his Japanese Super Flyweight title against Yuta Matsuo (15-4-2, 8) [松尾雄太].
Notably there wasn't any mention of the recently reported WBO Flyweight title bout between Junto Nakatani (20-0, 15) [中谷 潤人] and Giemel Magramo (24-1, 20), which was reportedly looking for a July 4th date.
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