Earlier today fight fans at Korakuen Hall had the latest show in the Dynamic Glove series of shows, which will be aired this coming week on G+. The card featured a number of bouts, ranging from a Rookie of the Year qualifying contest to a man who is in the wold rankings and someone regarded as one of the hottest prospects in Japan.
For those wanting to watch this, as live, when it's finally aired, we have included this spoiler warning introduction. Please note that spoilers will begin in the paragraph after the next one. We will include the full undercard results for this show as well as the two main bouts.
The show opened up with a 4 round bout between Yuya Kumagai (1-1, 1) [熊谷 祐哉] and Yuki Yamamoto (0-2) [山本 勇貴] and this was exciting from the off with Yamamoto getting the early advantage and looking good in the early stages before Kumagai laned a huge right and flipped the fight on it's head, dropping his man in round 3. Yamamoto beat the count but was saved by the referee later in the round.
The second bout saw teenager Kohei Sakashita (1-1) [坂下 広併] suffer his first loss as the 35 year old Hiroki Ashizawa (4-2, 3) [芦沢 広樹] took a narrow decision over the youngster. This was competitive from the off, but the older, more mature Ashizawa, who was returning to the ring for the first time in 6 years, managed to battle through exhaustion and narrowly come out on top. This was an exciting little war, and a good win for Ashizawa, though we do need to wonder about the longer term potential for both men.
In bout number 3 fans saw Toshiki Tanaka (3-3, 1) [田中 利樹] destroy Daiki Yokota's (3-3, 1) [横田 大樹] ring return. Yokota, who last fought back in October 2005, yes you read that right this was his first fight in more than 15 years, was dropped hard from a 1-2 from Tanaka and the referee stopped this one, not even issuing a count. Yokota was done.
Another quick blow out occured in the final of the scheduled 4 rounders, and this was actually an East Japan Rookie of the Year qualifying bout, as Kai Watanabe (2-0, 1) [渡邊 海] blasted out Soshi Hattori (0-1) [服部 壮志] in just 76 seconds. Watanabe dropped his man hard with a clean straight right hand that forced the referee to wave off the bout with Hattori on the canvas.
In one of the more notable fights JBC #1 ranked Lightweight contender Seiryu Toshikawa (14-5, 8) [利川 聖隆] beat the #15 ranked Masaki Saito (15-16-6, 5) [斉藤 正樹] in very wellcontested 8 round bout. The bout saw Saito use his experience well, make life difficult for Toshikawa, and show a lot of veteran tricks, but in the end Toshikawa managed to do just enough to take the win, digging deep in the second half of the fight. This was a genuine test for the youngerman, and he passed it... though didn't seem like he was even close to ready for a Japanese title fight. As for Saito this was the perfect performance for him to end his career on and the 36 year old has been a genuine credit to Japanese boxing during his long career.
After 8 rounds the judges had this one 77-75, twice, and 78-74 all to Toshikawa.
In the chief support bout the highly touted Shokichi Iwata (6-0, 4) [岩田翔吉] took an 8 round decision over veteran Toshimasa Ouchi (22-11-3, 8) [大内 淳雅]. The fight started well for Iwata, who dropped Ouchi in the first round and from there he general controlled the bout, landing the better, clean, heavier blows. Ouchi, as he always does, gave a genuine effort through the contest but was coming off second best through. The effort of Ouchi made the fight look competitve at times, but Iwata really did do more than enough to take a comfortable decision, and take a huge step towards a potential title fight.
After 8 rounds the judges had this one 79-72 and 78-73, twice, all in favour of Iwata.
Sadly the main event ended up being disappointingly one sided as former 2-time world title challenger Ryo Akaho (37-2-2, 25) [赤穂亮] stopped boxing policeman Daisuke Sugita (6-2, 3) [杉田大祐]in just 3 rounds. The world ranked Akaho hurt Sugita early in the fight, with the ropes keeping Sugita up and Akaho having a knockdown scored in his favour as a result. Sugita, to his credit, fought back after that but was in trouble through out and in round 3 Sugita hit the canvas with a straight right-left to the body combination. He showed great determination to get to his feet, but the referee had seen enogh and waved off the bout.
This was stopped at an official time of 1:49 into round 3.
Nakagawa and Chiba to clash in May
On May 10th we'll see an A-Sign Bee card, headlined by a Japanese Light Middleweight title bout, which will see defending champion Nobuyuki Shindo (20-4-2, 8) [新藤寛之] facing mandatory challenger Hironobu Matsunaga (14-1, 8) [松永 宏信].
Earlier today the A-Sign twitter account announced the under-card bouts for the show, and there was one that really stood out.
The stand out supporting bout is a Bantamweight bout between Matcha Nakagawa (13-1-1, 5) [武田航] and Kai Chiba (10-1, 7) [千葉開]. This has the potential too out-shine the main event and should be a very competitive fight between two men each looking to make their mark and move towards a title bout.
Another intriguing fight confirmed for the card is an 8 round bout between the popular Joe Tanooka (15-6-4, 1) [田之岡条] and Naoto Mizutani (5-6-1, 2) [水谷直人]. On paper this doesn't have the same feel as the previously mentioned bout, but Tanooka has lost 3 of his last 4 and will have to work for the win here against the under-rated Mizutani.
One more bout announced will see former Japanese title challenger Masaki Saito (15-13-6, 5) [斉藤正樹] battle against former OPBF title challenger Ryuto Araya (12-7-1, 4) [荒谷龍人] in what looks like a competitive bout on paper.
Earlier today Japanese fight fans at the Korakuen Hall had the chance to see a Japanese Lightweight title fight, though it was a bit of a "blink and you miss it" fight.
The contest saw unbeaten champion Shuichiro Yoshino (7-0, 5) [吉野修一郎] make his first defense, as he faced off with mandatory challenger Masaki Saito (14-13-6, 5) [斉藤正樹]. On paper the bout was a mismatch, though as a first defense it was na interesting bout on paper, especially given that Saito hadn't been stopped in over a decade and had been very competitive with decent fighters, like Daisuke Sakamoto, Tsuyoshi Tojo, Dai Iwai, Yuichiro Kasuya and Masashi Noguchi.
Although Saito had the edge in experience, and began the bout looking confident, it wasn't long until the talented Yoshino had had settled, and dropped Saito with a hard right hand. To his credit Saito got to his feet, but was never really able to get himself back into the fight, with Yoshino applying pressure and attacking the challenger. With Saito on the ropes, taking shots, the referee finally stepped in, saving the challenger after just 156 seconds.
After the bout Yoshino revealed he was wanting to fight for either the WBO Asia Pacific or OPBF title, which Saito looked broken and he really didn't look like a man who had much left to offer the boxing world. At the age of 32 he can bounce back and continue to fight, but it's unclear whether he'll be wanting to or not.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Tomorrow fight fans in Tokyo will get the chance to see a Japanese Lightweight title fight, as unbeaten champion Shuichiro Yoshino (6-0, 4) [吉野修一郎] takes on mandatory challenger Masaki Saito (14-12-6, 5) [斉藤正樹] at the Korakuen Hall.
Today the two men weighed in for the bout, and both made weigh for the contest, with both making weight.
On the scales Yoshino looked comfortable, a little fleshy but comfortable. He stated he had done 100 rounds of sparring for this bout and it did seem like he was really relaxed for what will be his first defense of the title. The popular view is that he will fall back on the amateur experience that allowed him to be fast tracked to the title, and will realy be given a platform to shine here, in a bout which is expected to be televised on tape delay.
The taller Saito looked a little bit drained, though given he has often fought at Super Featherweight he certainly didn't look too bad on the scales, in fact he still had a litle wiggle room. He seemed confident and is expecting a sizeable fan base of friends and family to be at the bout cheering him on.
Yoshino defends crown against Saito at the Champion Carnival!
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
One of the key parts of the Japanese boxing calendar is the Champion Carnival, which takes place over the first 6 months of the year and sees the national champions defending their titles against their mandatory challengers.
Today we saw the bouts being announced for the 2018 Champion Carnival at a huge press confeence, and as with every year, there were some brilliant bouts being announced.
At Minimumweight we'll see Ryoki Hirai (10-4-1, 4) [平井亮輝] and Shin Ono (21-9-3, 5) [小野 心] battle for the vacant title, which was given up by Reiya Konishi (15-0, 5) [小西伶弥] a few days ago. The bout will be Hirai's first title bout, whilst the experienced Ono will be getting his 4th shot at a Japanese title, having previously won an OPBF title and having several world title bouts. This bout will take place in Kobe on April 22nd and should be a very, very good match up.
The Light Flyweight bout will see defending champion Tetsuya Hisada (30-9-2, 19) [久田 哲也] make his 3rd defense of the title, as he takes on Koji Itagaki (18-11-3, 7) [板垣幸司]. This looks like a mismatch on paper, but it will be Itagaki's first, and likely last, shot at a domestic title and he sounded determined and confident at today's event. This contest has been pencilled in for April 19th and will take place in Osaka.
Although a number of bouts were announced today, some were already known about. One such bout was the Flyweight contest, which will see Masayuki Kuroda (28-7-3, 16) [黒田 雅之] defending his title against the exciting Katsunori Nagamine (14-1-1, 10) [長嶺克則. This will be Kuroda's third defense of the title, whilst Nagamine will be having his first challenge, and the bout really does have the potential to be a real thriller. As mentioned this bout was already known about, and will take place on March 3rd, as previously reported.
At Super Flyweight we'll be getting a rematch between Hiroyuki Kudaka (25-17-2, 11) [久高寛之] and Go Onaga (28-3-4, 19) [翁長 吾央], who face off following a technical draw in December. The two men will be fighting for the currently vacant title, which was given up by Ryuichi Funai (29-7, 20) [船井 龍一] earlier this week. Sadly at the time of writing this bout has no venue, or set date, but seems likely to be fought in Tokyo on either a Dangan show or an Ohashi one, potentially in April or May.
Interestingly the first Champion Carnival bout comes in just over a week's time, as Ryo Akaho (31-2-2, 20) [赤穂 亮] defends his Bantamweight title against Yusuke Suzuki (9-3, 6) [鈴木悠介] at the Korakuen Hall on January 20th, in a bout set to be televised on G+. For Akaho the bout willbe his second defense, whilst Suzuki gets his first title fight, in what looks like a really exciting way to kick off the 2018 Champion Carnival, and should be a very brutal bout.
At Super Bantamweight we'll see Ryo Kosaka (15-3-1, 7) [小坂遼] challenging champion Yusaka Kuga (15-2-1, 10) [久我勇作], with Kosaka essentially filling in for the injured Yasutaka Ishimoto (31-9, 9) [石本康隆]. The bout is a decent looking one, but it's hard to not expect a win for the champion, who has looked fantastic in a number of recent contests, and could well find himself in the world title mix later this year. This bout is scheduled for March 27th at the Korakuen Hall.
Featherweight champion Takenori Ohashi (15-4-2, 10) [大橋健典] will look to build from his dramatic 2017 win over Kosuke Saka (16-4, 13) [坂晃典] as he defends his title against fellow puncher Taiki Minamoto (14-5, 11) [源大輝]. This bout promises to be explosive, even if both are a bit crude, and Ohashi will be hoping to avoid a similar finish to his title win, where Saka turned away thinking he had heard the bell, and got iced by Ohashi in the final seconds of the round. These two will meet on April 7th at the Korakuen Hall.
In early February we'll see Ken Osato (13-1-1, 4) [大里拳] challenge Super Featherweight champion Masaru Sueyoshi (16-1, 10) [末吉 大]. For Sueyoshi this will be his first defense whilst Osato looks to build on his big 2017 win over Satoru Sugita (13-5-1, 8) [杉田聖]. The talented Sueyoshi has frustrated at times, but does look class when he gets going and should be favoured here for the February 3rd bout, but Osato is in good form and could easily spring the upset, if Sueyoshi is anything less than his best.
At Lightweight we'll see the very talented Shuichiro Yoshino (6-0, 4) [吉野修一郎] defending his title, for the first time, against Masaki Saito (14-12-6, 5) [斉藤正樹]. Yoshino has really shined so far in his short career and looks to be a star of the future for Japanese boxing, though will obviously need to get his first defense under his belt before becoming a star. Saito looks like a limited challenger, though is a very experienced fighter and should be able to give Yoshino some questions. This bout will be taking place on February 8th at the Korakuen Hall.
The Light Welterweight contests looks set to be one of the most exciting, as Valentine Hosokawa (22-6-3, 9) [細川バレンタイン] makes his first defense, and takes on the heavy handed Vladimir Baez (24-3-2-22). This bout looks likely to be a war, and whilst Baez will be the favourite, despite being the challenger, we can't rule out the champion, who hs long been under-rated. Like many this contest will take place at the Korakuen Hall and is set for May 7th.
One of the most explosive bouts on paper will see Welterweight champion Toshio Arikawa (15-4, 13) [有川 稔男] taking on fellow puncher Ryota Yada (14-4, 11) [矢田良太]. The contest might not have a future world champion or potential star in it, but given the power of both men this should be a shoot out, and could be something fvery, very special for the fans, who will be in the Korakuen Hall on April 16th.
At Light Middleweight we'll see triple crown winner Takeshi Inoue (12-0-1, 7) [井上 岳志] take on former Welterweight champion Nobuyuki Shindo (19-4-1, 8) [新藤寛之] in what should be a really good test for Inoue, who will be lookibg at bigger and better things in 2018. Shindo's reign at Welterweight was a short one, and whilst he will be hoping to become a 2-weight champion he is really up against it here against the fantastic Inoue. This bout is set to take place on April 26th at the Korakuen Hall.
The heaviest weight being contested at this year's Champion Carnival is Middleweight, and it may well end up being the best of the bouts, as March 3rd plays host to a contest between defending champion Hikaru Nishida (17-8-1, 8) [西田 光] and the heavy handed Kazuto Takesako (7-0, 7) [竹迫司登]. Nishida is a freakishly strong fighter who brings a lot of pressure, and whilst he can be out boxed he is a tough and aggressive nightmare,. Takesako on the other hand is a really brutish puncher and this will be something very special.
The winners of the bouts will of course be the defending champion, and will also be in the running for a number of prizes, including a notable award for being crowned the MVP of the Champion Carnival, or winning either the Skill or Battle awards.
(Photographs courtesy of boxmob.jp)
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