Earlier today at Korakuen Hall fight fans got the latest show under the Diamond Glove banner of shows. The card was a pretty notable one with several bouts of note on it, including a Japanese title eliminator and a Japanese title fight.
The first of the notable bouts on this card saw second generation fighter Jinya Yamaguchi (2-0, 2) [山口 仁也] score a 4th round win over Filipino visitor Argelo Samson (4-2, 4). Yamaguchi started slowly, and was dropped early in the bout by a right hook. Despite being knocked down Yamaguchi recovered well and then opened up in round 3, wobbling Samson late in the round, before dropping his man in round 4. Samson beat the count but was stopped soon afterwards as Yamaguchi unloaded on him with a flurry.
The second bout of note saw Mikyo Watarai (2-0, 1) [渡来 美響] score his second professional win, as he took a 6 round shut out win over Filipino visitor Romer Pinili (5-2-1, 4). Watarai dominated the bout, but he was unable to stop Pinili, who showed real grit, determination and toughness to see out 6 rounds. Credit needs to go to Pinili for surviving, but he didn't come close to being competitive, and really was relying on his grit, especially in the later rounds.
The third bout of some real note saw another prospect pick up a win as Josuke Nagata (4-0) [永田 丈晶] out boxed and out pointed the explosive Yuki Nakajima (5-2-2, 5) [中嶋 憂輝] over 8 rounds to claim his fourth win, and his most notable to date. The talented Nagata controlled swathes of the bout behind his accurate punching and combinations, which forced Nakajima on to the back foot, somewhere he's never been comfortable. The smart up and down combinations and intelligent defense from Nagata saw him make this look easy, as he shut out Nakajima on two cards, whilst the third judge saw a wat to find a round for Nakajima.
In the chief support bout we saw a Japanese Lightweight title eliminator as Shuma Nakazato (12-2-3, 7) [仲里周磨] defeated Ken Koibuchi (8-5-1, 7) [鯉淵健] over 8 rounds. This was a genuine war with both landing big shots, and head clashes also being a factor, with Nakazato suffering several cuts from head clashes. Despite the head clashes Nakazato did enough to take home the win, though had to take some serious punishment along the way, particularly in round 7 as Koibuchi dug hard and looked to core a late stoppage. After 8 rounds the score cards were 78-74, 77-75 and 76-76 giving Nakazato the majority decision win.
In the main event we saw Japanese Welterweight champion Keita Obara (26-4-1, 23) [小原 佳太] over-come interim champion Takeru Kobata (12-6-1, 5) [小畑 武尊] in 3 rounds. On paper this one always seemed like a mismatch, despite the good recent form from Kobata, though the opening round was tense with both men showing a lot of respect to each other. In the second round Obara seemed to find his groove, though only landed a single notable right hand, which was essentially a warning shot. In round 3 he managed to land another right hand, which sent Kobata down. Although Kobata did recover his feet he staggered forcing the referee to wave the bout off.
Earlier today Misako Gym announced that a date has been sent for a Japanese Welterweight title unification bout, between regular champion Keita Obara (25-4-1, 22) [小原 佳太] and the recently crowned interim champion Takeru Kobata (12-5-1, 5) [小畑 武尊], with the bout set for October 11th at Korakuen Hall.
Obara was supposed to defend his title earlier this year against Yuki Nagano (19-4, 15) [永野祐樹], but was forced to pull out of the contest due to a leg injury suffered in training. Due to Obara's injury Kobata and Nagano clashed for the interim title, with Kobata stopping Nagano in 5 rounds back in June.
For Obara the bout will serve as his third defense of the title, and he has his eyes on another major international fight if he can get past Kobata. He is currently world ranked and knows that time is running out on his career to land the huge fights he wants.
As for Kobata the bout will be his first for a full title, and a chance to announce himself, big time, on the domestic scene. It is, however, a huge ask for him against the most talented fighter he has faced in his career, and a huge step up from facing the likes of Nagano.
As well as the title bout this card is also confirmed to feature the Japanese title eliminator between Shuma Nakazato (11-2-3, 7) [仲里周磨] and Ken Koibuchi (8-4-1, 7) [鯉淵健], with the winner set to get a Japanese title fight next year, as part of the Champion Carnival.
Earlier today the Japan Professional Boxing Association announced the Strongest Korakuen bouts, which will take place later this year to decide the mandatory challengers for the Japanese titles in the new year, with 10 bouts being announced.
The Minimumweight bout will see WBO Asia Pacific champion Yudai Shigeoka (5-0, 3) [重岡優大] take on Tatsuro Nakashima (11-3-1, 7) [仲島辰郎], with the winner getting a show at the Japanese title, currently held by Yudai's younger brother Ginjiro Shigeoka (8-0, 6) [重岡銀次朗], who actually beat Nakashima for the title. This bout is set to take place at Korakuen Hall on November 17th.
The Light Flyweight eliminator will see Daiki Tomita (18-2, 6) [冨田大樹] battle Rikito Shiba (6-2, 3) [芝力人], though no date or venue has been announced for this bout.
At Super Flyweight we also have no date or venue set, but a mouth watering bout as Ryusei Kawaura (9-1, 6) [川浦龍生] battles Suzumi Takayama (5-0, 4) [高山涼深], in what is potentially the best looking of the bouts announced.
The Bantamweight bout bout will see Jin Minamide (6-2, 5) [南出仁] battle against Yuki Yonaha (11-3-1, 8) [与那覇勇気], in what could prove to be a very explosive bout between two flawed but hard hitting.
On the subject of interesting bouts we'll have a potentially thrilling war at Super Bantamweight as former champions Ryoichi Tamura (14-6-1, 7) [田村亮一] takes on Gakuya Furuhashi (28-9-2, 16) [古橋大輔]. Interestingly these two men also met in a Japanese title eliminator back in 2019, with Furuhashi taking a razor win over Tamura, before winning the title with a sensational battle just 4 months later.
At Featherweight former champion Ryo Sagawa (12-2, 7) [佐川遼] faces off with Daisuke Watanabe (12-5-2, 7) [渡部大介].
At Super Featherweight the hard hitting Yamato Hata (12-1, 11) [波田大和] will face Yuna Hara (11-2-1, 6) [原優奈], with this bout set to take place on October 1st at Korakuen Hall.
On paper one of the more underwhelming bouts is set to take place at Lightweight, as Shuma Nakazato (11-2-3, 7) [仲里周磨] takes on the hard hitting Ken Koibuchi (8-4-1, 7) [鯉淵健], in what might be an bout that's easy to over-look but is very likely to be an explosive encounter.
At Welterweight we're in for a treat as we get a rematch between Hironori Shigeta (8-2-1, 5) [重田裕紀] and Shoki Sakai (26-13-2, 14) [坂井祥紀], who gave us a very fan friendly bout back in 2020 with Sakai taking a clear but hard fought decision win. This bout is set to take place on October 22nd at Korakuen Hall.
At 154lbs Rei Nakajima (5-1) [中島玲] will face Koki Koshikawa (9-6, 6) [越川孝紀]. For Koshikawa he's looking to land his third shot at the Japanese 154lb title whilst Nakajima will be looking to secure his second shot at the title.
Notably there is no bout set for Flyweight, Light Welterweight or Middleweight. At the time of writing it's been reported that former world title challenger Ryota Yamauchi (8-2, 7) [山内涼太] will be getting a shot at Flyweight Cristiano Aoqui (16-9-2, 11), will get a shot at 140lbs and unfortunately there won't be a mandatory challenger for the Champion Carnival at Middleweight.
Just moments ago the latest Dynamic Glove card from Korakuen Hall finished and if we're being honest, it was not a card to remember. In fact it was a really poor show overall, with no bout really standing out as a must watch for those wantign to watch on replay.
On paper the bout between former amateur standout Shigetoshi Kotari (3-1-1, 2) [神足茂利] and glass cannon Kazuaki Miyamoto (7-8, 6) [宮本知彰] wasn't a particularly interesting match up. In fact on paper it seemed like a gimmie for Kotari, and the result would suggest it was, however Kotari had to work to earn a 5th round TKO win over Miyamoto, who came to win.
The first 2 rounds saw Kotari control the bout with his high level boxing skills, but in round 3 we saw Miyamoto look to force a dog fight, and land some bombs of his own, forcing Kotari to go through something of a chin check. Sadly for Miyamoto he couldn't crack the chin of Kotari who ended up dumping taking the pressure, and using it against Miyamoto who was eventually stopped in round 5 having been down several times. Despite the stoppage loss this was a great effort for Miyamoto, who came to fight and gave Kotari tough some rounds, even if Kotari did seem in control of much of the action.
In the second of the meaningful bouts on this show the hard hitting Ken Koibuchi (8-5-1, 7)* [鯉淵健] took on Taison Mukaiyama (7-3, 4) [向山太尊]. From the opening stages Kobuchi seemed to have the upper hand, pressing Mukaiyama backwards and landing big, clean, solid shots. As the bout went on however Mukaiyama began landing some good counter shots, creating space and having some genuine success of his own. Sadly though the power of Koibuchi was always dangerous and at the end of round 3 a huge overhand right from Koibuchi stiffened the legs of Mukaiyama, who looked genuinely unconscious on his feet. Lucky for him the shot was on the bell and he got to his corner and a minute to recover.
Unfortunately however Mukaiyama likely needed more than a minute and early in round 4 he was under pressure again, with the referee stepping into save him as he continued to take some huge blows.
After capturing the attention at the weigh in yesterday, by wearing a bra, Mugicha Nakagawa (24-8-2, 14) [中川 麦茶] took part in his first bout for more than 2 years as he faced off with former 2-time world title challenger Ryo Akaho (38-2-2, 25) [赤穂亮], in the chief support bout. The bout was somewhat messy early on, with both looking rusty and the styles not quite meshing. Sadly that never really changed with the two giving us a real mess of a bout.
Nakagawa wanted to keep things at range, box and move and use his jab, whilst Akaho wanted to get close and land hooks coming in, as a result there was a lot of times the two just came together. As a result of the messy action it was hard to score and a really hard one to watch.
Round 3 continued to see some ugly action, but both men did land some quality work, and Nakagawa's clean head shots were really catching the eye, and at one point he forced Akaho on to the retreat. Nakagawa's success continued in round 4, another round that had some incredibly messy moments, as he landed some excellent counters which continued to frustrate Akaho.
In round 5 Nakagawa went low, which left Akaho irate and saw Nakagawa being taken a point. It was a nothing blow, and given the other minor fouls and soon afterwards there was a takedown by Nakagawa, which forced the referee to put the men in neutral corners and talk to both. Sadly for Akaho when the action resumed he was seemingly hurt from another combination up top from Nakagawa. The referee would again give Nakagawa a verbal warning in round 6, as if he felt he was walking a point being deducted, but just moments later both men unloaded rabbit shots, as the bout continued to head towards a farce.
In round 7 it seemed that Akaho was hurt early on, and gassing, though he managed to put his foot on the gas midway into the round, landing some heavy hooks and clearly tagging Nakagawa hard, with Nakagawa forced to slip and slide under pressure from Akaho's wild, crude, heavy hooks. In the 8th round the two men had a huge headclash early on, not the first of the bout, though it left neither man cut. After the clash Akaho looked to come on strong, and landed some very heavy looking hooks but was pushed over to the canvas in the final 30 seconds. Thankfully come the final bell, would could move on, following what is likely to be one of the ugliest bouts we'll see in a Japanese ring this year. To the fans credit however they applauded the action, which was incredibly polite of them.
After 8 rounds the decision went to Akaho, though it did seem the judges were being a little bit generous to him, with two judges scoring it 79-73 in his favour whilst the other had it 77-75 to him. Regardless of the win it seems his career is about over at the age of 34, and on this performance we're not in a rush to see either man fight again. This was one of those bouts that really didn't click and if you missed, you should feel very, very lucky.
In the main event we saw Japanese domestic amateur standout Koki Koshikawa (9-4, 6) [越川孝紀] takes on Makoto Kawasaki (13-8-1, 2) [川崎真琴]
Thankfully this one was a palette cleanser following the mess we had had in the chief support bout. From the off the younger, fresher, hungrier Koshikawa was all over Kawasaki, with intense pressure and high output through the first minute. Kawasakiw as forced to fight fire with fire, and landed some decent blows in the odd exchange, but was clearly on the wrong end of the punishment for much of the round with Koshikawa mixing good head shots and body shots on to the veteran.
As the rounds went on Koshikawa continued to be the aggressor, pressing hard, but he was putting a lot into each round, and his intensity did begin to wane round by round, giving Kawasaki some space to work with.
By round 5 the tempo from Koshikawa was about done, and both began to look exhausted. Sadly for Koshikawa, that really let Kawasaki into the bout as he began to lean into the younger man and have success with shots up close. Even with more success however Kawasaki was still regularly being caught himself by the busier, younger fighter. Some how however the judges appear to have been watching a different fight, and the open scoring after round 5 had Kawasaki leading 48-47 and 49-46, with the third judge having Koshikawa in a 48-47 lead.
Sadly by round 7 this had gone from an entertaining war, driven by the aggression of Koshikawa, into a bout that was fought up close, with little output from either man, with both happy to lean into each other for large stretches of the bout. Despite that there were still eye catching moments, especially the counter shots of Kawasaki. Those counter shots impressed the judges in the final rounds, along with his love 2-punch combinations that switched between head and body against the really tired looking Koshikawa.
After 10 rounds we went to the scorecards and the judges had this on 96-94, 97-93 and 98-92 all in favour of Kawasaki. Some of those cards seemed far, far too wide in a bout where Koshikawa's early output really should have been enough for him to take plenty of rounds. Though Koshikawa did seem to blow his load in the first half, and struggled with his pacing in the second half of the bout.
Earlier today the Shinjuku FACE played host to the latest show under the A-Sign Boxing banner, thanks to Hachioji Nakaya gym and Ichitaro Ishii, from Yokohama Hikari, who streamed the bout on the A-Sign Boxing YouTube channel.
Originally planned as a small, 4 bout, card the show was down a bout before it even began. That was due to 2019 Rookie of the Year winner Hyoga Taniguchi (4-2-2, 1) [谷口彪賀] being forced out of his scheduled bout with Hiro Ichimichi (4-0-1, 3) [一道宏] due to motor vehicle accident. Sadly that left us with just 3 bouts on the show, though credit to everyone involved in going ahead with the show and delivering us a memorable card.
The show began with a genuine upset, as Ryugo Ushijima (4-2-2, 2) [牛島龍吾] suffered a surprise defeat at the hands of the experienced Hyuma Fujioka (11-10-1, 1) [藤岡飛雄馬]. Sadly for Ushijima he never got a handle on Fujioka at all, with the veteran being too crafty, too smart, too quick and too experienced. After 6 rounds there was only one winner, and it wasn't Ushijima. To his credit Ushijima never stopped trying, but he had very little success, and one judge managed to give all 6 rounds to Fujioka. That seemed harsh, but there no doubt about the rightful victor.
The second bout on the show saw Tetsuya Kondo (5-2, 3) [近藤 哲哉] take a majority decision win over Ken Koibuchi (6-5, 5) [鯉渕 健] in a bout that started slowly, but ended up getting super exciting in the middle stages. The first two rounds were some what quiet, with Kondo taking the first and Koibuchi taking the second. Then the touch paper was lit in round 3 and Koibuchi dropped Kondo. He then went all out looking for the finish, unloading everything he had as Kondo did everything he could to survive. Somehow Kondo saw off the storm, and sadly for Koibuchi he pretty much went all in, failing to follow up in round 4. The exhaustion of Koibuchi allowed Kondo back into the bout and in the final 2 rounds. Going to the bell this was a hard one to call, with Kondo getting the nod on the cards. We feel it went the wrong way, but wouldn't argue too much here, very close and well matched bout.
There was no need for judges in the main event as rising star Jin Sasaki (9-0, 8) [佐々木尽] scored his latest win, stopping Tatsuya Miyazaki (9-14-1, 9) [宮崎辰也] in the opening round. Miyazaki went out looking for the upset before being dropped mid-way through the round. Despite the knockdown he got back to his feet, and pressed forward before being knocked loopy in the final seconds of the round, and dangling over the ropes before the referee jumped in.
Following his win it was announced that Sasaki would clash with Aso Ishiwaki (8-2-1, 6) [石脇麻生] on December 26th. The bout is expected to be a JBC Youth title bout at 140lbs. Given the styles of the two men this has the hall marks of a brutal and thrilling bout, and a potential late contender for Fight of the Year. The styles and mentalities of the two should gel and we can't help but think this has the ingredients to be something very special.
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