Earlier today fight fans in Kobe we able to see the ring return of former world title contender Kohei Oba (36-4-1, 14) [大場浩平] who fought for the first time in in over 6 years. Sadly however it wasn't to be a hero's return to the ring as he was stopped by former Rookie of the Year winner Yoshiki Minato (9-3, 4) [湊義生], who moved up 2 weights for this bout!
Oba, who was once dubbed the "Mayweather of Nagoya", had retired at the age of 29 before mounting a comeback campaign earlier this year. He had hoped that the long rest and break had allowed him to get his health to where it had to be before being back in the ring. Notably though he had put on significant weight from his fighting days and had admitted that coming down to Bantamweight for this bout had been a struggle.
The inactivity, ring rust and struggle to make weight was seemingly an issue straight away with Minato being too quick, too sharp and too on point for Oba. The opening round saw Minato essentially landing when he wanted through the opening round.
In round 2 Minato put his foot on the gas and landed a solid 1-2 that dropped Oba. To his credit Oba did get back to his feet, but Minato didn't let the opportunity slip and forced the referee to save the veteran who was covering up.
Sadly for Oba this wasn't the return he wanted. It was his third stoppage loss and likely puts him into permanent retirement. As for Minato this is a massive win and boost for his career, though it's hard to know if he will continue at Bantamweight or drop back down in weight. Prior to this bout he had been a career Flyweight and it wouldn't be a surprise to see him back at 112lbs, or maybe 1115lbs, going forward.
Although the bout wasn't shown live outside of the venue, it will be made available on demand on the Boxing Real YouTube channel in the near future.
Tomorrow in Kobe, Kohei Oba (36-3-1, 14) [大場浩平] will return to the ring for the first time in more than 6 years as he takes on former Rookie of the Year winner Yoshiki Minato (8-3, 3) [湊義生].
Today, ahead of their bout, the two men took part in their weigh in and both men managed to make the Bantamweight limit without any issues. In fact both men came in with room to spare, weighing 117.75lbs
The 35 year old Oba, dubbed the "Mayweather of Nagoya", didn't look like a man who had been out of the ring for 6 years. He looked in great shape and seemed confident, though did admit his weight loss was a struggle. He had had to come down from 63KG's, around 139lbs, and struggled for the last few lbs. Interestingly he did state that he wouldn't need to lose this much weight again in his life.
Minato, who is 13 years Oba's junior, is notably going up in weight for this bout. He has, for the most part, been a Flyweight, and stated the weight loss was easy for him. Not a surprise, given he usually needs to drain another 6lbs. He seemed respectful of Oba, though was talking as if a win would be the proverbial passing of the torch.
For fans wanting to watch this bout it will be shown on the Boxing Real YouTube channel for free.
We've known for a few weeks now that WBO Atomweight champion Mika Iwakawa (9-5-1, 3) [岩川 美花] was going to make her first defense in September, as she battles Nanae Suzuki (10-3-1, 1) [鈴木菜々江]. That bout had been confirmed earlier this month and we were also informed it would be held in Kobe. At the time however little else was known.
The only real details confirmed were Mika Iwakawa would face Nanae Suzuki on September 26th at the Central Gym, Kobe.
Now we've seen the full card being announced by Shinsei, along with the poster and details regarding the show being broadcast online for free. We also know that the WBO Atomweight title bout will not be the main event!
The main event honours actually go to former WBA Super Bantamweight champion Shun Kubo (13-2, 9) [久保隼], who is fighting for the first time since a loss to Can Xu in May 2019. The former world champion will be facing Takashi Igarashi (13-4, 5) [五十嵐嵩視] in an 8 round bout being fought above the Featherweight limit.
On paper this should be an easy win for Kubo, especially given Igarashi hasn't fought in almost 2 years, but with stoppage losses in 2 of his last 3 there are question marks about his durability and ring miles. Saying that however Igarashi has been stopped 3 times, including his last bout, a notable upset loss to Toshiya Yokogawa.
Another bout now confirmed for this card was the long rumoured return of Kohei Oba (36-3-1, 14) [大場浩平], who will face Yoshiki Minato (8-3, 3) [湊義生].
This bout had been rumoured since Oba, also known as the "Mayweather of Nagoya", stated he was going to make a come back at the age of 35. He had retired citing issues with his eyes, but he's had treatment and rest from the sport, which has seemingly allowed his eyes to recover along with his fire for boxing. This will be his first bout in more than 6 years and he's more than a decade older than Minato. As for Minato he has lost his last 2 and will be the naturally smaller man here, though of course is the younger, fresher fighter.
We mentioned that their had been details released regarding the broadcasting of the show. The main bouts will be streamed live on the Boxing Real youtube channel, whilst the rest of the show will be made available afterwards.
Boxing Real, which only started a few months ago, has quickly become a brilliant addition to the boxing world. They have already had 2 streams similar to this and they were both flawless, so we are expecting another quality stream for this event.
The channel appears to be making a mark on the sport, and hopefully it continues to deliver these shows in the way it does as it really does give fans more of a chance to catch fights that typically we wouldn't see.
Earlier today reports from Japan stated that 35 year old Japanese veteran Kohei Oba (36-3-1, 14) [大場浩平] is looking to make an in ring return, more than 5 years after his last bout.
Oba, also known as the "Mayweather of Nagoya", was last seen in action in September 2014, when he beat Keigo Soma in a bit of a gimme. That bout had followed a loss in an IBF Bantamweight world title eliminator against Randy Caballero, who later won the IBF title. Prior those two bout Oba had previously held the Japanese Bantamweight title, twice, making a combined 7 defenses over his 2 reigns.
When he retired he cited issues with his eyes, including cataracts, though it appears that contact lenses, and time away from the sport has helped his eyes recover. After retiring he served as a trainer, and found that his eyes were healing which seems to have helped reignite his fire for an in ring career.
According to a report in the Japanese Boxingnews website, it appears that his return could end up taking place later this year and could see him taking on 21 year old Yoshiki Minato (8-3, 3) [湊義生], who is a former All Japan Rookie of the Year winner. The bout has been announced, though has no set date or venue and will still require Oba to get a license and for the bout to be given the green light by the Japan Boxing Commission.
A license for Oba has been applied for, but at the time of writing it has yet to be granted.
Last September we reported that Kohei Oba (36-3-1, 14), the former Japanese Bantamweight champion, was to retire from boxing. At the time he was just 29 but was sure that he no longer had what it took to get the most from himself in the ring. Today he took part in his retirement ceremony at the Kobe Central Gym.
Oba, dubbed the "Mayweather of Nagoya" due to his style, celebrated his retirement with some shadow boxing in the ring before being given a banquet of flowers from former stablemate Hozumi Hasegawa who gave a speech about his former gym mate.
At the ceremony Oba said he wanted to thank his fans and wife whilst Hasegawa said that he hoped to see Oba open a gym in the future, the Kohei Gym. Whether that is what Oba plans to do or not we're unsure though we would like to wish him the best in the best in the future.
Although international fans may not be aware Oba did have a notable career. He was a 2 time Japanese national champion and a 3-time OPBF title challenger. Unfortunately however he lost his 3 most notable bouts, including a loss last year in an IBF eliminator to Randy Caballero.
Kohei Oba to have retirement ceremony on March 4th
Kohei Oba bounces back with a win, then waves good bye to his career
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
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