Earlier today at the Korakuen Hall Japanese powerhouse promoter hosted a card featuring some of it's most notable hopefuls all fighting in 8 rounders.
Among those hopefuls was the very highly touted Kuntae Lee (2-0-1, 1) [李 健太] who unfortunately suffered a minor set back thanks to a technical draw against unbeaten Indonesian foe Rivo Kundimang (9-0-2, 5). On paper this bout looked really,really interesting but failed to live up to the expectations we had due to repeated headclashes. Those headclashes forces the bout to be halted in round 3, with Lee suffering from several very nasty cuts. Before the headclashes the bout had been interesting, but seemed to one that Lee's more rounded and smooth skills were shining in.
Another of the hopefuls was Mikito Nakano (4-0, 4) [中野幹士], who scored a big win over Filipino foe KJ Natuplag (8-2-2, 7). Natuplag had come to win and was an awkward opponent, giving Nakano issues in the first couple of rounds, pressing and launching big shots. In round 3 however Nakano's power told, and left uppercuts from the Japanese hopeful wobbled, and then dropped the Filipino. This proved to be the type of tough test that Nakano needed, and although a win at just 18 seconds into round 3 doesn't make it seem tough the way the first 2 rounds were were perfect to see what Nakano was made of and how he could adapt.
It's worth noting that entering the bout Natuplag was ranked by the OPBF so we now expect to see Nakano take that ranking, and begin his journey towards a potential regional title fight. He clearly has work and development to do before that, but this was a big step forward for the former amateur standout.
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.
Please note - Today's show from the Korakuen Hall won't be televised until this coming week, when G+ will televise the card "as live". As a result of not wanting to ruin the broadcast for those wanting to watch we'll be leaving this disclaimer in and begin with out results article from the third paragraph. We will, also, be uploading the videos after the show is broadcast in mid-week. So again, for those wanting to watch the fights as live in video section, do not read beyond this paragraph.
Today at the Korakuen Hall Teiken put on the next show under the long established Dynamic Glove banner, and it was one with a number of prospects in action and a few good match ups on paper. It was however one with a weak main event that was put together on later notice due to a fight being ruled off as a visiting fighter from South Africa was unable to secure a visa in time., and was certainly open to criticism given the fact that the late replacement hadn't been able to put up much of a fight in 4 previous visits to Japan.
So lets begin by talking about that main event bout which saw Kenichi Ogawa (24-1-0-1, 18) [尾川 堅一] easily over-come Filipino visitor Glenn Medura (10-6-1, 6), who was a late replacement for South African Azinga Fuzile (14-0, 8). Medura was dropped twice before retiring in his corner at the end of round 4, and had posed very little threat for Ogawa, who will now face Fuzile in September in an IBF world title eliminator.
The main support bout saw Shuya Masaki (13-1, 5) [正木脩也] take a shut out 10 round win over Filipino youngster Al Toyogon (10-4-1, 6), in what will go down as one of Masaki's best wins. Earlier in the year with saw Toyogon ask some questions of Ryo Sagawa but here he looked very poor against a red hot Masaki, who himself showed improvements from a couple of frustrating recent bouts. Masaki will clearly be hunting a title bout in the near future, and a rematch with Hironori Mishiro, the current OPBF champion, is a bout that makes a lot of sense for the Teiken fighter. Mishiro however, may, have different plans.
In a Japanese Welterweight bout Riku Nagahama (10-2-1, 4) [長濱陸] managed to take a decision win over Masaya Tamayama (12-2, 6) [玉山将也], in what is among the very best wins for Nagahama. This was a hotly contested bout with Nagahama taking the narrow decision, 77-75, twice, and 77-76, and kicking off with a win following his recent move to the Kadoebi gym. Another close 8 round bout saw the touted Hayate Kaji (13-0, 9) [梶颯] squeak a win over Japanese based Filipino veteran Rey Orais (20-19-2, 5) with a split decision. Kaji, who came through the Rookie of the Year a few years ago and looked like a star in the making, struggled to hurt Orais who showed his veteran experience and perhaps deserved the upset here. Kaji really needs to get his career sorted as this is not the first time he has come close to suffering a defeat and it seems only a matter of time before he comes up short.
In a really interesting test former amateur stand out Kuntae Lee (2-0, 1) [李 健太] was forced to work for a win over the previously unbeaten Filipino Marlon Paniamogan (9-1-1, 5). Lee looked to always be in control, though Paniamogan refused to go away and was certainly the type of test Lee deserved after his debut, which saw his opponent really look out of of his depth. Lee showed off good technical boxing, sharp punching, but still, clearly, needs time to develop his professional style, and a bout like this will serve as a major tool in shaping him and correcting his flaws.
It was a much easier day for fellow amateur stand out Mikito Nakano (3-0, 3) [中野幹士], who blitzed Arvin Yurong (12-4, 3) in 2 rounds, in a very impressive performance. Young had been stopped 3 times prior to this, but had managed to ask questions last time of Xiang Li and in China. Today however Young was taken out mid-way through round 2 from a pair of Nakano right hooks. This was the sort of test Nakano needed and the sort that saw him stamp what he can do in the mind of fans.
To begin the show Takayoshi Suzuki (4-1-1, 1) [鈴木敬祥] scored an opening round win over Tsuyoshi Naito (4-5-4, 2) [内藤 剛], with Naito retiring at the end of the round.
On July 6th Japanese fight fans in Tokyo can attend the latest Dynamic Glove card, a show promoted by Teiken and featuring some of their most notable fighters, including Kenichi Ogawa (23-1-0-1, 17) [尾川 堅一], Shuya Masaki (12-1, 5) [正木脩也], Hayate Kaji (12-0, 9), Mikito Nakano (2-0, 2) [中野幹士] and Kuntae Lee (1-0, 1) [李 健太].
Sadly even with that talent on the show we can now report that the card will not be aired live. Instead of being shown on July 6th as a live broadcast it will instead be delayed until the following Tuesday, July 9th, for it's first airing, with a 9PM time slot. It will then be replayed a week later, starting at 10PM.
This is becoming a worrying trend for these G+ cards, and whilst this could be down to a change in main event, with Ogawa's original opponent Azinga Fuzile (14-0, 8) being unable to get a visa in time for the fight, it's still a worry with the show being one of several G+ cards to be pushed to a tape delayed mid-week broadcast.
We've got our fingers crossed that the August show, which will feature the return of former world title challenger Takeshi Inoue (13-1-1, 7) [井上 岳志] and the rematch between Japanese Middleweight champion Kazuto Takesako (10-0-1, 10) [竹迫司登] and Shuji Kato (10-1-2, 6) [加藤収二], will be aired live, but right now it's unclear, especially given how little news has been made available in regards to that card in recent weeks.
It would be a huge shame to see G+ become exclusively a tape delay broadcaster for the sport, but they really have pulled back on their boxing contest in 2019, stopping certain re-runs and other boxing content. That's despite the fact other channels, including TBS and Fuji TV doing some huge numbers on boxing already this year.
Earlier today we saw two of Teiken's hottest young prospects having their next opponents name, with both set to face Filipino fighters in July.
One of those prospects is Kuntae Lee (1-0, 1) [李 健太], who will be in action on July 6th at Korakuen Hall as part of a Dynamic Glove card. The talented and highly touted Lee, who hardly broke a sweat in his debut earlier in the year, will be up against a much better opponent than his debut foe.
The announced opponent for Lee is unbeaten Filipino Marlon Paniamogan (9-0-1, 5). The unbeaten Paniamogan is a 24 year who made his debut around 5 years ago and has fought his entire career in Paranaque City against Filipino domestic level novices and journeyman. Despite limited competition he does have 46 rounds of professional experience behind him and an unbeaten record should serve up a much better test for Lee than Aphisit Namkhot did back in February.
The other young prospect to have his next opponent named is Shokichi Iwata (2-0, 1) [岩田翔吉], whop fights 6 days later on a stacked card in Osaka. The talented Iwata will, like Lee, take on a Filipino foe, but one who has a less impressive record. His opponent will be 23 year old Paolo Sy (6-3-1, 3).
Like Paniamogan we've yet to see Sy fight outside of the Philippines, or fight above domestic novice level, though hopefully he will ask some questions of Iwata, who is already being groomed as a very special fighter, following amateur wins over the likes of Kosei Tanaka and Takuma Inoue.
Please note - Lee's name is transcribed as Kuntae Lee on the Teiken site, though Boxrec continue to refer to him as Gonte Lee
News! We try and give you the most interesting news stories from the Asian boxing world!