Earlier today fight fans in Tokyo, as well as subscribers to the Boxing Raise service, got the chance see the lone semi-final for the God's Left Bantamweight tournament, and learn about who the second finalist would be.
We were left with one semi-final, after Seiya Tsutsumi (5-0, 4) [堤聖也] was given a bye. That happened because Kenya Yamashita (14-5, 11) [山下賢哉] was forced to abstain from the bout and was taken to hospital due to poor health, likely related to trying to make weight.
Although Tsutsumi was given a bye he was still on the show, taking part in a 3 round spar with OPBF Super Bantamweight champion Hiroaki Teshigawara (20-2-2, 13) [勅使河原 弘晶], who really dwarfed Tsutsumi.
After the public spar we then got the semi-final bout between unbeaten punchers Kazuki Nakajima (8-0, 7) [中嶋一輝] and Jin Minamide (4-1, 3) [南出仁]. This had the recipe to be something special, with both able to land dynamite blows, and both being confident and aggressive fighters.
The bout started slowly, with both looking for position, but then it ramped up from neutral to 5th gear and saw both men trading bombs. Unfortunately for Minamide it was his big shots that were his own downfall as Nakajima began to land big counters, dropping Minamide hard with one of those counters. To his credit Minamide got back to his feet and continued on but was dropped again only moments later, forcing Biney Martin, the referee, to step in and call off the bout.
We now know that Tsutsumi and Nakajima will meet in the final next year. In total the two men have fought just 2 rounds to reach the final, with Tsutsumi having byes at both the quarter-final and semi-final stages and whilst Nakajima has blitzed both of his opponents.
Tomorrow at Korakuen Hall, and live on Boxing Raise, fans will get the chance to see the next round of the God's Left Bantamweight tournament.
Today, ahead of the tournament action, we saw Kazuki Nakajima (7-0, 6) [中嶋一輝] and Jin Minamide (4-0, 3) [南出仁] take part in their weigh in, with the two men facing off in a semi-final as they look to book their place in January's final.
Both men made weight at their first attempt with out any issue.
On the scales Minamide was the slightly lighter man, coming in at 117.5lbs for the contest, whilst Nakajima was bang on the Bantamweight limit.
The winner of this bout now knows that their opponent in the final will be Seiya Tsutsumi (5-0, 4) [堤聖也], after Kenya Yamashita (14-5, 11) [山下賢哉] was forced to withdraw from their semi-final due to health issues.
For fans wanting to watch this it will be live on Boxing Raise and then left on demand some time after the event.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Tomorrow's show at the Korakuen Hall, which will be streamed live on Boxing Raise, was supposed to feature two semi-finals for the God's Left Bantamweight tournament. Sadly however one of those bouts has now been cancelled.
That was the excellent match up between Seiya Tsutsumi (5-0, 4) [堤聖也] and Kenya Yamashita (14-5, 11) [山下賢哉], which had the recipe to be a genuine shoot out.
Although we've not been told the specifics we have been informed that Yamashita has had to pull out of the bout due to medical issue. He was, from what we've been told, taken to hospital last night due to his health, which suggests issues making weight.
Sadly this is disappointing news all round. For fans it denies them what should have been an instant classic, for Yamashita it denies him a chance to move his career forward and it also denies Tsutsumi a chance to get back in action, having been inactive since April.
Thankfully for Tsutsumi he will take part in a public spar tomorrow, an given his style we still expect the spar to be an enjoyable and fun watch.
Today Tsutsumi still went through a weigh in process, ans stated "I would like to see tomorrow ’s bout between Minamide vs. Nakajima and concentrate on the final match in January next year" [Translated]
Thankfully there has been issues with the other semi final, between Kazuki Nakajima (7-0, 6) [中嶋一輝] against Jin Minamide (4-0, 3) [南出仁].
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
The Boxing Raise service, which we love despite it's sometimes awkward scheduling, have announced that in November they will be picking up 4 cards, including 2 very exciting live tournament shows and 2 tape delay recorded shows.
The first of the shows will be this Saturday's God's Left Bantamweight tournament show, featuring the God's Left semi final bouts between Seiya Tsutsumi (5-0, 4) [堤聖也] and Kenya Yamashita (14-5, 11) [山下賢哉], and Kazuki Nakajima (7-0, 6) [中嶋一輝] against Jin Minamide (4-0, 3) [南出仁]. The card also includes a Japanese title eliminator between Taiki Minamoto (16-5-1, 13) [源大輝] and Takuya Watanabe (36-9-1, 21) [渡邉卓也], and the ring return of former OPBF Minimumweight champion Tsubasa Koura (14-1, 9) [小浦 翼].
The service will also live stream November 19th Hajime No Ippo 30th anniversary tournament on November 19th. This show will feature quarter final bouts for a Featherweight tournament as Jae Woo Lee (6-2, 5) [이재우] takes on Japan's Tsuyoshi Tameda (21-4-2, 19) [溜田剛士], Shingo Kusano (11-8-1, 4) [草野慎悟] meets Chinese visitor Qiang Ma (5-1-2, 3) [马强] and we get an excellent all Japanese bout between Koshin Takeshima (4-0, 3) [竹嶋宏心] and Daisuke Watanabe (9-4-1, 6) [渡部大介]. This card will also feature Masahiro Suzuki (3-0, 2) [鈴木雅弘] against Hokuto Matsumoto (5-2, 1) [松本北斗].
As for the delay cards, Boxing Raise will be showing the November 17th and November 22nd cards.
The first of those two cards will see Eruka Hiromoto (5-0) [廣本江留香], defending her OPBF female Minimumweight title against Sana Hazuki (7-4-1, 2) [葉月さな], whilst the second will feature former Japanese Light Welterweight champion Valentine Hosokawa (24-7-3, 11) [細川繁] battling against Kosuke Arioka (9-4-1, 8) [有岡康輔]
At the start of today we knew that Seiya Tsutsumi (5-0, 4) [堤聖也] was assured a place in the God's Left Bantamweight tournament semi final. What we didn't know is who the other 3 semi-finalists would be. That changed today, when we had the three quarter final bouts take place the the Korakuen Hall. Whilst they didn't provide much in terms of an upset they did provide some great entertainment.
The first man to join Tsutsumi in the round of 4 was Ohashi gym's unbeaten hopeful Kazuki Nakajima (7-0, 6) [中嶋一輝]. Nakajima, a former amateur stand out, did exactly what was expected of him as he quickly disposed of veteran Kenichi Watanabe (8-5-1, 4) [渡辺健一] inside a round. Nakajima took control quickly and dropped hard near the ropes. The referee quickly waved off the action, after just over 2 minutes, as he booked his place in the final 4.
The next man to advance was the aggressive Kenya Yamashita (14-5, 11) [山下賢哉], who booked himself a fight with Tsutsumi, as he scored a second round win over Gaku Aikawa (9-8-1, 3) [相川 学己]. Aikiawa put up a good effort in the opening round, but Yamashita always looked more dangerous, more aggressive and much more powerful. In round 2 that aggression proved too much for Aikawa who was dropped and failed to beat the 10 count, at a time of 2:10 in round 2.
With Yamashita Vs Tsutsumi now booked we're glad to say that this will be a brutally violent war and we really cannot wait to see this one.
The final of the quarter final bouts proved to be the most exciting, and the most competitive, with Jin Minamide (4-0, 3) [南出仁] and Tetsu Araki (14-2-1, 2) [荒木哲] putting on a show.
Minamide always looked the more powerful and aggressive fighter, but often the man who was taking risks and he was cut and tagged by counters from Araki, who proved his mettle and toughness through out. In the end Minamide did enough to earn the decision, albeit a razor close one, and book himself a fight with Nakajima. From all the rounds of today's show the 6th round of this bout was particularly good, with the men stand and throwing bombs in the final moments of the fight.
Whilst Tsutsumi Vs Yamashita is likely to be a violent inside war we can't help but feel that Nakajima and Minamide will make for a brutal fight in it's own right, albeit with a more varied style due to the strong amateur pedigree of both men, who can certainly both bang and both put on a show.
For fans interested in watch this it was aired live in Boxing Raise and will be made available on demand in the coming days.
(Image ourtesy of boxingnews.jp)
News! We try and give you the most interesting news stories from the Asian boxing world!