Earlier today we had the first live televised card in Japan since the sport restarted, and it was a genuine mixed bag with some low level action, some fighters that didn't click, a sensational bout in the middle of the show, an intriguing Japanese title bout in the main event.
In the opening bout of the show the debuting Kodai Kobayashi (1-0) [小林 航大], from the E&J Cassius Gym, took a clear decision win over the win-less Shunsuke Miyauchi (0-2) [宮内 俊亮]. This was a real low level bout from both men, with Miyauchi pressing forward in the early rounds but showing very limited skills and Kobayashi needing time to shake the nervous energy. Thankfully for Kobayashi he seemed to land the better shots and did the cleaner work. After 4 rounds this was scored 40-36, twice, and 39-38 in favour of Kobayashi.
The second bout saw the touted Shigetoshi Kotari (2-0, 1) [神足 茂利] take on southpaw Motosuke Kimura (3-5-2, 1) [木村 元祐]. On paper this was supposed to be an easy second win for Kotari but in reality this didn't go as expected, at all. Kotari was dropped in the opening round from a round house left hand from Kimura, who seemed to land a shot that should never have caught a former amateur standout lime Kimura. The punch wasn't just looping, but was thrown with the back hand and looper around half the ring.
Sadly the knockdown made Kotari super cautious in rounds 2 and 3 and they were rounds that really lacked anything worthy of talking about. Kotari did seem to do enough to take them, but certainly didn't shine. He was caught with a number of clean counters in round 4, the round where be decided he needed to put his foot on the gas, and the counters seemed to take the wind out of his aggression. That lead to a rather dreary ending to the fight, with rounds 5 and 6 both being dull and tiresome.
After 6 rounds Kotari took the decision, but in reality he looked exposed. He wasn't just dropped but he also looked confused, never managed to figure Kimura out, and looked terrified of Kimura's counter's. He tried to draw leads and failed to land his own counter shots and failed to show the confidence needed to let his own hands go. The officials cards were 57-56 and 58-55, twice, but that can't cover over the fact Kotari did not look good.
After some pretty poor action, if we're being honest, to begin the show we got something spectacular in bout #3 as Toshiki Kawamitsu (5-0, 2) [川満 俊輝] and Kenshi Noda (2-1, 2) [野田 賢史] waged war in a sensational back and forth thriller. The fight didn't need a feeling out round, they just got to it, and let their shots go. From the off it looked like both men had a point to prove and they were putting on a high skilled, inside, action war. On paper that was expected to favour Noda, the bigger puncher, but it was Kawamitsu who seemed to be landing the cleaner, better blows.
The intensity continued in round 2 as both men tried to break the other down with great inside action and good work at range, when they were at range. Sadly for Noda however round 3 was a torrid one for him as his stamina, heart and durability were seriously questioned. He started the round well, but his inability to hurt Kawamitsu whilst Kawamitsu fought like a buzzsaw, seemed to drain the legs and belief from Noda, who slipped to the canvas numerous times. He was finally, officially, given a count late in the round, but by then he was looking very, very spent. He went out for round 4,looking to turn things around, but once again Kawamitsu simply showed that he wasn't going to be denied and forced the referee to finally jump in and save an exhausted looking Noda late on.
This was brilliant. The final round and a half might have been a bit too one sided, but the action, the intensity, the and the excitement was relentless. Absolute exhilarating contest between two young men desperate for victory. This was what we needed, this was what Japanese boxing needed back on TV. This was special!
In the co-feature we saw former world title challenger Ryohei Takahashi (19-4-1, 8) [高橋 竜平] taking a very debatable decision win over the Kiyohei Endo (3-4, 3) [遠藤 清平], in a bout that we felt Endo deserved. And we don't think we were the only ones. Endo started aggressively and was unfortunate to have a knockdown scored against him after he was caught on the back of the head.
Endo would continue to press, and pressure and seemed to easily out land Takahashi, but it was Takahashi with the cleaner, more telling single connects. Whilst we under-stand the quality Vs quantity argument we didn't feel the quality of Takahashi's single shots made up for how clearly out landed he was. There was also confusion after Endo seemed to score a knockdown of his own, though we're not totally sure if the referee told the judges to ignore it, as there was some instruction to the judges from the referee in round 6. Whether it was counted or not Endo certainly seemed to have taken the round.
Going into the final round it seemed like Endo was well and truly in it, if not in a slight lead. That wasn't something that Takahashi seemed to believe, with the former world title challenger doing little offensively for the first 2 minutes of the round before landing the two best shots of the round late on, in an attempt to steal it.
We went to the scorecards believing this one was razor thin, but the judges thought other wise, scoring it 78-73 and 77-74, twice, in favour of Takahashi. Those scores however do not reflect the nature of a very, very close bout that could easily have gone the other way.
In the main event we saw Japanese Light Middleweight champion Hironobu Matsunaga (17-1, 11) [松永 宏信] successfully defend his title, for the second time, as he over-came mandatory challenger Yuto Shimizu (14-5-2, 5) [清水優人]. The styles of these two men made for an interesting dynamic on paper, with Matsunaga being a bull like aggressive fighter, who's short in stature but aggressive, busy and strong, and Shimizu being a tall, rangy technical counter puncher. Early on however it took time for either man to find their groove.
The slow going saw Matsunaga taking the early rounds on work rate, whilst Shimizu looked to figure out what the champion brought. This lead to Matsunaga building momentum and in rounds 4 and 5 the champion began to turn the screw, landing clean left hands with alarming regularity. The aggression of the champion gave the challenger chances, and the accurate straight shots of Shimizu left the champion with a cut on the bridge of his nose.
After 5 rounds we had the open scoring and the scores were 50-45, 49-46 and 48-47, all in favour of Matsunaga. That should have made Shimizu feel like he was in with a chance, but instead it seemed to fire up Matsunaga, who had a point to prove and put his foot on the gas again. Shimizu finished round 6 with a nice flash of what he could do, in what seemed like an attempt to steal the round, but it was too little too late.
In round 7 the pressure of Matsunaga finally told. Early in the round he left the challenger with a huge cut over his left eye. Later in the round Matsunaga rocked Shimizu, before pinning him on the ropes and going into over drive, letting shots fly whilst Shimizu tried to clear his head. The shots kept coming and the referee took a close look several times. Finally enough was enough and the referee stepped in, saving the challenger.
For Matsunaga the win is a huge one, and sees him get through his Champion Carnival bout as the champion as he we head towards 2021. As for Shimizu this maybe his one and only chance given he turns 33 in January and he will have a long road back to a second title shot.
At the end of July we saw Teiken announce their next card, set for September 5th at Korakuen Hall. At the time only 2 bouts for the show were announce, but today we were informed of more details relating to the event, which will have 6 bouts on it and will be shown live on G+, as part of their Dynamic Glove series, from Korakuen Hall.
As previously reported the main event will see Kenichi Ogawa (24-1-1-1, 18) [尾川 堅一] take on Kazuhiro Nishitani (21-4-1, 12) [西谷和宏] in a bout between for Japanese champions who are both currently world ranked and both are looking to get a shot at a world title in the near future.
The chief support bout was also previously announced, and will see the highly touted Shokichi Iwata (4-0, 3) [岩田翔吉] taking on Ryo Narizuka (9-9-1) [成塚亮] in an 8 rounder.
A second 8 rounder on this show will see Hikari Mineta (8-1, 5) [峯田 光] take on Ryuya Tsugawa (7-1, 3) [津川 龍也] in a mouth watering 8 round Featherweight bout. Mineta lost in the 2018 Rookie of the Year final, losing to Yuri Takemoto, whilst Tsugawa won the Rookie of the Year last year. This is a brilliant match up, and could end up the most interesting of the bouts on the card.
Another interesting bout on the card will see the unbeaten pairing of Kenshi Noda (2-0, 2) [野田 賢史] and Toshiki Kawamitsu (4-0, 1) [川満 俊輝] face off in a really mouth watering bout. This will be a 6 round Light Flyweight bout and is a fantastic match up, worthy of real attention.
Another unbeaten hopeful announced for this card is Shigetoshi Kotari (1-0, 1) [神足 茂利], who will be up against Motosuke Kimura (3-4-2, 1) [木村 元祐], in a 6 round Featherweight bout.
The opening bout on the show will see Takayoshi Suzuki (5-1-1, 1) [鈴木 敬祥] take on Tamaki Miwa (6-6-1, 1) [干場 悟] in a 6 round Super Bantamweight bout.
Given this event will be the first live televised show in Japan since February this is a key show and we're glad that it has so many interesting bouts on it.
Earlier today at Korakuen Hall we had the second Dynamic Glove show of the year and it was an event with very mixed fortunes for Teiken fighters, as fans at the Hall and on G+ found out.
The show began with Shinta Aihara (3-5) [藍原 伸太], one of the 7 Teiken fighters on the card, losing a clear decision to KC Prachanda (4-2-1, 3) [KC プラチャンダ]. Prachanda won every round and dropped Aihara at the very end of the 4th round to secure the win.
Things did improve for the world famous Teiken gym as two of their big hopefuls picker up wins. The first of those was Hiroto Yashiro (2-0, 2) [矢代 博斗], who took out Indonesian visitor Abdul Rauf (1-3) in round 3. Credit goes to Rauf for seeing out a massive attack in round 2, when Yashiro really went for the finish, but the pressure, and intense body work, got too much for him and he was dropped in round 3. Although Rauf beat the count the referee had seen enough and waved off the bout.
The other big hoping picking up a win was the highly regarded Kenshi Noda (2-0, 2) [野田 賢史], who took out Thomas Tope Hurek (2-5-1, 1) in the opening round. Noda, who was making his TV debut, took his chance to shine and he looked very sharp against Hurek. Hurek tried to make things ugly but took a combination, finished by a brutal shot that left him in agony for the 10 count.
Given the recent JBC rule change in regards to Indonesian fighters, these were perfect examples of why the rule is coming in. Rauf was tough but lacked skills whilst Hurek was terrible.
After back to back wins for Teiken fighters things then went down hill for Teiken fighters with back to back losses.
The first of those saw Kenta Endo (5-1-1, 4) [遠藤 健太] lose his unbeaten record to the unheralded Shun Akaiwa (5-1-1, 3) [赤岩 俊]. Heading in the hard hitting Endo was ranked by the JBC and he looked like he was heading upwards. The first round was a good one for Endo, though he did get caught by the younger, fresh Akaiwa a few times. The pace increased in round 2 as Endo tried to take the fight to Akaiwa more often, and let his powerful shots go in combinations. It made for exciting action but left Endo open as he launched some very wide looping hooks. At the very end of the round, with Akaiwa on the ropes and under pressure, a short counter left dropped Endo. Discussions about it being after the bell or on the bell were there to be had, but Endo himself was unloading when he got caught, taking away any argument he may had to being hit after the bell. Endo would beat the count but never seemed to recover and was stopped the following round in what was a genuinely fantastic little under-card bout.
Another loss for Teiken saw Junpei Tsujimoto (6-2-3, 4) [辻本 純兵] suffer a second round TKO to 22 year old Nath Nwachukwu (6-0-2, 3) [ワチュク・ナァツ], in what was surprisingly a clash of 2018 Rookie of the Year winners. Coming in both fighters had JBC rankings, with Tsujimoto being a ranked Welterweight and Nwachukwu being ranked at Middleweight, though the two men fought at Light Middleweight. After a competitive opening round Nwachukwu forced a fight and broke down Tsujimoto, who was hammered to the body early in the round and dropped from a huge right part way through the round. Tsujimoto beat the count but was still hurt and Nwachukwu went all out until the referee jumped in and saved Tsujimoto.
The hard hitting Yamato Hata (10-1, 10) [波田 大和] got Teiken's third win for the show as he stopped the game but over-powered Ryusei Ishii (8-6-1, 5) [石井龍誠] in 5 rounds to claim the Japanese Youth Super Featherweight title. This was Hata in control from early on with Ishii unable to cope with the power of Hata, and doing more to survive than try to win.
Having won a Youth title the gym had little time to celebrate and before we saw a Japanese Welterweight title fight. This fight saw defending champion Yuki Nagano (17-3, 13) [永野祐樹], himself a Teiken fighter, losing the title to former world title challenger Keita Obara (23-4-1, 21) [小原 佳太]. Nagano pressed the action but was up against a better fighter and Obara simply broke him down over 7 rounds, dropping him in round 2 and slowly breaking him down with big shots.
After the 7 bouts Teiken went 3-4, on a show they'll want to forget.
Earlier today we reported that the February 1st edition of Dynamic Glove would be televised. We've now been given some interesting information about the card as the under-card was revealed, at least partially.
We've known for a while that the main event would see Japanese Welterweight champion Yuki Nagano (17-2, 13) [永野祐樹] defending his title against mandatory challenger Keita Obara (22-4-1, 20) [小原 佳太] in a 2020 Champion Carnival bout. What we didn't know was who would be filling up the lower end of the card.
We were told the chief support bout would be a Japanese Youth Super Featherweight bout between Ryusei Ishii (8-5-1, 5) [石井龍誠] and Yamato Hata (9-1, 9) [波田 大和], and now we've learned that two top prospects would also be on that card.
One of those confirmed for the show was Kenshi Noda (1-0, 1) [野田 賢史] and the other was Hiroto Yashiro (1-0, 1) [矢代 博斗], both of whom debuted back on September 2nd.
Whilst neither Noda or Yashiro are big names both were very accomplished amateurs. Noda went 45-16 in the unpaid ranks and is tipped for big things whilst Yashiro is tipped even more highly, being the nephew of a former Japanese national champion, and he went 75-19 in the unpaid ranks.
At the time of writing neither man has had their opponent named but both are pencilled in to be involved in 6 round bouts, and this is a great chance for fans to see what both men are capable of.
Earlier today at the Korakuen Hall Japanese fight fans had the chance to see two talented young fighters make their debut, following notable amateur careers.
The first of those was Kenshi Noda (1-0, 1) [野田賢史], who made light work of Thai visitor Somphon Banyaem (3-4, 3). The 24 year old Noda, who will be campaigning at Light Flyweight, needd just 75 seconds to take out the Thai. The visitor was in trouble after just 30 seconds and was finished not too long after that as Noda made an instant statement.
As an amateur Noda had gone 45-16, but had had his career as a fighter put at risk due toi an issue in university with a ligament issue, which has thankfully cured. Noda was on the Japanese amateur scene at the same time as Kosei Tanaka and Takuma Inoue, and is expected to make a serious mark on the sport in the coming years.
Straight after Noda's win fans had the chance to see the even more highly touted Hiroto Yashiro (1-0, 1) [矢代博斗] score a 2nd round win over Adundet Khonwong (3-7, 2), also a visitor from Thailand. As an amateur Yashiro went 75-19 and he quickly showed his ability here, before taking apart the Thai in the second round with clean, accurate shots. He closed the show with a straight left to the body, and by that point he had already shown so much to impress and excite fights.
After the fight he spoke about wanting to win a Youth title in the near future, and we wouldn't be surprised to see Yashiro in the JBC Youth Bantamweight title picture in 2020.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
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