Earlier today we had the first live televised card of the Japanese boxing calender, as we got the latest episode of Dynamic Glove. On paper the card didn't really grab the attention too much, but it genuinely over-delivered, giving us one of the better Dynamic Glove shows of recent years, with a bit of everything. We had action, excitement, guts, determination, controversy and a new Japanese champion being crowned on a show that was, arguably, worth the wait.
The show kicked off with a low level novice bout between Keigo Nakayama (4-2, 3) [中山慶伍] and Akira Nakajima (2-3, 1) [中島彬] and in all honesty this is how we love to see shows starting. The fight was sloppy at times, but all 4 rounds were exciting, with Nakayama bossing things for the most part, but taking his lumps through out the bout. After 4 rounds Nakayama got the deserved decision, but both men were left bloodied in a compelling 4 rounder.
We got another compelling 4 rounder afterwards as Kisato Nakaya (1-0) [中谷清彩人] took a questionable decision over fellow debutant Ryu Suzuki (0-1) [鈴木龍]. Through the bout Suzuki applied pressure, and seemed to have consistent success with that pressure, despite taking some good counter shots from Nakaya, who worked hard to make Suzuki chase him. In round 4 Nakaya looked spent, and even stumbled after the bell as his energy was running on empty, though the judges, somehow, gave him the decision. Whilst we don't agree with the decision this was a fantastic 4 rounder, and we'd love to see more of both men, especially Suzuki.
The third bout on the card was the most one-sided on the show, but some how saw both men coming out with their reputations enhanced. That was in part due to the brave determination of Sho Nagata (9-6, 2) [永田翔] who somehow managed to go the distance against Ryota Ishida (11-2, 6) [石田凌太]. That was despite being dropped within the first 20 seconds and looking like he was going to have his internal organs needing to be replace by the end of the first round. After a great start from Ishida he struggled to keep up the intensity as Nagata found space and his jab. At range Nagata had success and almost always did enough to keep Ishida honest. We say almost as there were some hairy moments late on for Nagata as he tired, but he saw out the storm and survived to the final bell. A good performance from both, and a well earned win for Ishida.
Another really interesting bout saw the determined Ren Kobayashi (4-2-1, 2) [小林廉] give second generation fighter Shinba Yamaguchi (2-0-1, 2) [山口臣馬] a really tough bout, despite the eventual result.
Yamaguchi managed to drop Kobayashi in the first, third and sixth round, with the referee stopping the bout after the third knockdown. However the fight wasn't as easy as that sounds and Yamaguchi was under intense pressure in every round, and was lucky his natural size and power could help him out here. He's clearly a very talented young fighter, but the result does cover up the trouble he had against Kobayashi's pressure, which saw Yamaguchi have problems in every round. Despite the loss we're hoping to see more of Kobayashi in the coming years, whilst Yamaguchi is likely to more into title level before his career is over, though clearly needs to make some significant tweaks to his style.
In the chief support bout we saw another bout where the loser arguably came off looking better than the winner. The bout saw Kaiki Yuba (8-1-2, 5) [湯場海樹] take an 8 round decision win over Tetsuya Kondo (6-5, 4) [近藤哲哉], but Kondo was the one who really caught the eye with his intense pressure, and determination making life very tricky for the talented Yuba.
Yuba seemed quite gun shy at times, likely the result of his TKO loss in 2021 to Jin Sasaki, and this allowed Kondo to pressure a little bit too easily at times. When Yuba did let his shots fly they looked the heavier and more eye catching, but the pressure of Kondo made him really uncomfortable and forced him to hold a lot on the inside. Thankfully for Yuba the middle rounds saw him finding his groove, and dropping Kondo in round 5, as well as hurting him several other times. This showed the effect of Yuba's power, and seemed like he was going to turn it on and take Kondo out, but Kondo gritted it out and made life tough for Yuba in the final stages, leaving the talented Yuba with a swollen left eye. The scores here, 79-72, 78-73 and 78-74, really don't reflect how competitive the bout was, and Yuba really hard to work hard for the win.
The main event of the show was expected to be something of a technical chess match as former amateur stand out Kyosuke Sawada (15-2-2, 6) [澤田京介] faced off with Kenshin Oshima (7-2-1, 3) [大嶋剣心] for the Japanese title fight. Surprisingly however it ended up being a thrilling, brutal, blood bath with both men left bloodied and bruised.
The fight started well, though it was clear looking at the two men that Oshima was the bigger man, in fact he looked 2 weight classes bigger than Sawada, however Sawada seemed the crisper, sharper boxer. The sharpness of Sawada showed through in the first minute or saw before Oshima tried to get phsyical and left us with a really exciting final 30 seconds, as he let his shots go and Sawada tried to respond.
In round 2 exchanges became a frequent thing between the two men, with both being hurt. Sawada was rocked early on, but Oshima couldn't jump on him, and soon afterwards Sawada responded, taking the fight to him, and looking genuinely pissed about being hurt. Sawada's amateur class began to shine through as he landed some excellent combinations and went hunting, finally sending Oshima stumbling into the ropes, and landing a combination before the referee could get between them to issue a count, as the ropes had clearly kept him up.
Sadly was was warming into a really good fight had a moment that changed everything in round 3 when a clash of heads left Sawada's head with a gash that immediately flowed with claret. It seemed as if the bout was, inevitably, going to be stopped, but the doctor let it continue before the two men went back to trading some big shots. Sawada landed a massive left hook, before eating an uppercut on the bell as the two men seemed to both be aware this could stop at any moment. Round 4 saw Sawada trying to change tactics and box more, brawl less, but Oshima didn't want to let Sawada fight his fight and instead did what he could to get up close, rough up Sawada, and further mess up the cut, which was turning the bout into something of a blood bath. The doctor inspected the cut again with about 80 seconds of the round left and let it continue, whilst Oshima continued to play rough.
In round 5 the cut finally forced the doctor to say enough was enough, and in fairness it did look like Sawada's corner had a pool of blood where he stool would have been. It was the right decision front he doctor, and took us to the scorecards.
The cards, which were to include the first 27 seconds of round 5, saw Oshima get the first one, 48-47, Sawada get the second, 48-46, and Sawada get the third, 48-47, to take the split decision win, and a win that will mean so much to him after the way things have gone for him in the last year, including a technical draw in a previous title fight against Ikuro Sadatsune and the cancelation of a rematch with Sadatsune.
Tomorrow at Korakuen Hall we'll see a new Japanese Bantamweight champion being crowned as Kyosuke Sawada (14-2-2, 6) [澤田京介] and Kenshin Oshima (7-1-1, 3) [大嶋剣心] battle for the title that was vacated in 2021 by Yusuke Suzuki (11-3, 7) [鈴木悠介], who was forced into retirement.
Today, ahead of their clash, the two men took part in their weigh in for the bout, and thankfully both Sawada and Oshima made the 118lb limit, with out any issues at all.
On the scales Sawada was the lighter man, hitting the scales at 117.72lbs, comfortably under the limit. At the weigh in he looked in great shape, and seemed incredibly hungry for a win here, to make the most of his second chance at the Japanese title after a technical draw last year with Ikuro Sadatsune. He spoke about winning the battle, and even referenced the cursed Japanese Bantamweight title, something that has been mentioned in the boxing media several times over the last few years after injuries, weigh-in mishaps, and Covid19 have all affected the recent history of the title.
Oshima on the other hand was bang on the 118lb divisional limit. He looked surprisingly good on the scales, given he hasn't fought in over 2 years, and admitted he had done 136 rounds of sparring for this bout. He described his condition at perfect for the bout, and seemingly suggested that he would never lose to Sawada, coming across as so confident it almost bordered on arrogance.
For fans wanting to watch this bout, it will be shown live on G+, who will having a double header of boxing with this show in Saturday and the All Japan Rookie of the Year final on Sunday.
Related – Sawada and Oshima battle for Japanese national title!
Way back in July 2019 we saw Japanese Bantamweight Yusuke Suzuki (11-3, 7) [鈴木悠介] go through an hellacious war with Yuta Saito (12-10-3, 9) [齊藤裕太] to take the Japanese Bantamweight title from Saito in a bloody, brutal, hard, tough fight.
Following that loss Saito retired from the sport, choosing to do so very soon after the bout.
Suzuki however had ended 2019 as the Japanese champion and was entering 2020 with the view to defend the belt against mandatory challenger Kyosuke Sawada (14-2-1, 6) [澤田京介], with that bout originally scheduled for April 9th 2020. Sadly though that date was derailed completely by the Covid19 pandemic which put the ice on boxing in Japanese a good chunk of 2020.
No it’s been confirmed that Suzuki Vs Sawada will never happen, with Suzuki announcing his retirement from the sport due to a detached retina, ending his career as the reigning champion.
Suzuki revealed that he had wanted to defend the title but that he had been having problems with his right eye for a while, and they got worse recently in training. Rather than risk his sight he has made the wise decision to hang them up and walk away from in ring competition.
Prior to turning professional Suzuki had been a solid amateur, running up a 54-24 (25) record. He turned professional in 2012 and climbed into the Japanese rankings very early in his career, following a win over Takaaki Ishikawa in early 2014. Sadly however he had to wait until 2019 for a show at the title, and made the most of his chance, dethroning Saito in a genuine brutal bout.
Although best known for his title win Suzuki didn’t have it easy. In his 14 bout professional career he beat solid domestic and regional fighters, like Kyosuke Sawada, Takaaki Ishikawa, Monico Laurente, Akinori Hoshino, Eita Kikuchi and Saito. Whilst coming up short against Yusaku Kuga, Ryoichi Tamura and Jeffrey Francisco.
When asked by Boxmob about his best performance Suzuki stated his title win was his best, and that he was glad to be able to show the title to those who had supported him through his career.
He is now going to set up a company and hopes to be able to use the company to help support fighters in the future.
With Suzuki retiring the title situation does become a little bit of a mess, though the assumption is that Sawada will fight for the vacant title against the next highest available contender. That would, potentially, be either Ikuro Sadatsune (11-4-3, 4) [定常 育郎], who is ranked #2 in the latest rankings, or Kenshin Oshima (7-1-1, 3) [大嶋剣心], who is ranked #3.
Sadly the retirement of Suzuki does bring back the curse of the JBC Bantamweight title, which scuppered a host of events in 2018. This ended up seeing Ryo Akaho [赤穂 亮], vacating due to injury, Suzuki himself being injured, Suguru Muranaka [村中 優] missing weight, Saito being ill after winning the title. Strangely we’ve seen almost everyone who has been linked to the title since Akaho vacated retiring. Maybe the curse lives on after all.
We would like to wish Suzuki all the best in his post boxing life.
For those who missed Suzuki's final bout we've included it below.
Earlier today at Korakuen Hall fight fans had the chance to attend a Teiken card, featuring a host of notable hopefuls. Among those were a trio who have shown promise, but left some question marks in recent bouts, with either poor performances of losses.
One of those was Masaya Tamayama (13-2, 7) [玉山将也], who had recently lost in a domestic clash against Riku Nagahama, and was in need of a win following that set back in July. Tamayama needed only 3 rounds to get back to winning ways with an easy win over limited Thai visitor Wachirasak Waiyawong (4-4, 3). Whilst the Thai had been stopped in 2 rounds by Koki Inoue last year he had also gone 6 rounds with Brandon Ogilvie, losing a split decision, last December, so Tamayama does deserve some credit for this win, which came following a big salvo of shots with Wachirasak Waiyawong on the ropes.
Another of that trio was Hayate Kaji (14-0, 9) [梶颯], who had struggled past both Arnold Garde and Rey Orais, putting the breaks on what had looked like a really promising career. Sadly he failed to shine again today as took a close decision over Diomel Diocos (14-5-3, 4). Whilst Diocos isn't a bad fighter, at all, he is a natural Flyweight, who was stopped in 4 rounds by Daigo Higa back in 2017, and wasn't expected to give the hard hitting Kaji much of a test. Instead however Diocos proved to be tough and full of ambition, giving Kaji all he could handle early on, dropping Kaji in the early going. The fight did however turn when Diocos suffered cut and got the fight slowly beaten out of him in the later stages. After 8 rounds the judges had this 77-74, twice, and 76-75, though again we're left with more questions than answers about Kaji.
The third of this trio was Kenshin Oshima (7-1-1, 3) [大嶋剣心], who had drawn against Nobuaki Kanazawa last year and had struggled to over-come Joe Tanooka and Ikuro Sadatsune in recent bouts. He took another win today as he defeated Filipino fighter Eranio Semillano (17-11-3, 5) in a bout with some odd looking scorecards. Semillano looked quick and sharp early on, though was forced to take some solid counter shows from Oshima, who looked to be landing the better shots. Semillano's toughness show he come through the counters, though repeated head clashes saw Semillano dedicted a pount in round 4. The headclahses continued through the fight to the point where the referee took a second point from the Filipino in the final round. After 8 rounds the scorecards here were 80-70, 79-74 and 76-75, giving Oshima the unanimous decision win. Whilst this was exciting early on it certainly wasn't pretty as we got to the end of the contest.
Earlier today we were informed that Teiken would be holding a show on November 2nd featuring some of their brightest prospects, each taking their next step forward as they continue their march towards title glory.
The main event of the card will feature Shuya Masaki (13-1, 5) [正木脩也], though his opponent hasn't been announced at the time of writing. Masaki, ranked #3 by the JBC, will be featuring in an 8 round bout and the suspicion is that he will be taking on an international opponent but someone who isn't a significant step forward from his last bout, which saw him defeat Al Toyogon.
In the co-feature Kenshin Oshima (6-1-1, 3) [大嶋剣心], whilst other leading support bouts will feature Masaya Tamayama (12-2, 6) [玉山将也] and Hayate Kaji (13-0, 9) [梶颯]. Sadly not one of this trio have had their opponents named, however we're expected Oshima to face a decent test following a good win last time out, Tamayama to be in a confidence building performance after a loss and Kaji is likely to face an imported opponent to rebuild his aura after a poor performance in his last outing.
Strangely two most interesting, and the two least experienced, men on the card have both had their opponents named.
One of those is highly touted Kuntae Lee (2-0, 1) [李 健太] will be up against unbeaten Indonesian foe Rivo Kundimang (9-0-1, 5), in what is a really good fight. Lee is expected to be a major player on the regional scene, at the very least, at 140lbs and looks to have the skills to be a potential player at the world level. Kundimang on the other hand is an unbeaten youngster and is regarded as a legitimate prospect himself. Aged 22 Kundimang has won his last 9, and last time out he stopped Ryan Sermona, so should pose a genuine test for Lee. Notably this will be Lee's first 8 round bout.
The other is Mikito Nakano (3-0, 3) [中野幹士], who is set to face Filipino KJ Natuplag (8-1-2, 7), who was beaten last time out by Joe Tejones but should be regarded as a step up in class for Nakano. The unbeaten Japanese fighter was a former standout amateur who is tipped to be a major star of the future, and he has looked the business so far, but the Filipino has never been stopped and could well ask serious questions of Nakano. Then again if Nakano stops Natuplag here it will be very hard for Teiken to hold him back, and there could well be title fights in 2020 for Nakano.
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