Earlier today former Japanese Bantamweight champion Matcha Nakagawa (14-2-1, 5) [中川 抹茶] submitted a retirement to the the Japan Boxing Commission (JBC), ending his career at the age of 26.
The talented Nakagawa began his professional career in 2013, fighting to a draw with future world title challenger Ryohei Takahahi, and just over 2 years later won the Rookie of the Year at Bantamweight, beating Tenta Kiyose in the All Japan final. His career progressed well, despite a slip up in 2016, when he lost in a rematch against Takahashi, and in 2019, when he lost a competitive contest with Kai Chiba.
Sadly, like many fighters in 2020, inactivity was a major issue and Nakagawa fought just once between June 2019 and December 2020, beating Ryo Suwa on December 14th 2020.
In an interview with Boxmob Nakagawa revealed that he had lost his motivation for the sport.
When asked about his best bout he revealed it wasn't his impressive win over Suwa in 2020 that stood out the most, but instead his 2017 win over Yuto Nakamura, a win that saw Nakagawa win the Japanese Youth Bantamweight title thanks to an 8th round TKO.
Although his future, post boxing, is now unclear he plans to move to Osaka and be closer to his family.
Given he's only 26 there is a chance he will find his hunger for boxing again, as retirements in boxing are similar to retirements in professional wrestling. However is Nakagawa is done with the sport, we're glad he's getting out with his health intact and with time on his side, allowing him to decide what he does with his life. Whether he returns to fight again another day or not, we want to wish him all the best in the futre.
Just moments ago the under-card for today's Kadoebi show at Korakuen Hall concluded. It wasn't the best of under-cards but was certainly worthy of some attention, with some notable names involved on it, in some pretty good looking match ups.
The show opened with a very one sided novice bout, as Kosuke Sato (1-1, 1) [佐藤 洸輔] made short work of Ryuki Taira (0-1) [平良 龍輝]. Taira looked totally out of his depth from the opening seconds and was dropped very early on. He got back to his feet but never seemed to regain his composure or balance, and was dropped again forcing the referee to wave off the bout very late in round 1. Sadly Taira didn't look like he belonged in the ring whilst Sato will be happy to have picked up his first career win.
In the second bout on the show Mikio Sakai (3-0) [酒井 幹生] took a clear decision over veteran Toshihiro Kai (6-12-3, 2) [甲斐 斗志広]. Earlier on Sakai looked too quick and too sharp for Kai and it looked like he was set for an early win. Sadly though Sakai's lack of power showed and Kai managed to grit out round after round, taking punishment but never looking hurt from Sakai's shots. Knowing he could take Sakai's power, Kai tried to fight back more in the second half, as Sakai slowed down slightly. The ambition however was slowly taken from Kai, as Sakai continued to out box him and out speed him.
Sadly for Kai he never looked competitive, though did show some real toughness, even late in the bout when the result seemed a foregone conclusion. That was seen in round 7, when he was hurt by body shots, and in round 8 when he ate a big right hand and recovered very quickly. After 8 rounds there was no questions as to who won, with Sakai winning by a clear margin, though questions will persist about his power, especially given that Kai had been stopped 6 times prior to this bout. The judges cards for this were 79-73, twice, and 78-74. Although it was disappointing to see Kai last the distance, it has ticked a box for Sakai, who showed he can do 8 rounds at a very decent pace, which is probably better for his career than an early blow out.
In the third bout on the show JBC ranked Super Bantamweight Matcha Nakagawa (14-2-1, 5) [中川 抹茶] battled against the struggling Ryo Suwa (11-4, 2) [諏訪 亮]. From the off Nakagawa, fighting out of the southpaw stance, looked a level or two above Suwa, who seemed to struggle with the speed and and accuracy of Nakagawa's shots from mid-range. Despite that Suwa wasn't there to just pick up a third straight loss and did fight back, though was regularly coming off second best.
After 8 rounds the three judges had the bout a shut out to Nakagawa, who takes a good step towards a future title fight, and bounces back well from a 2019 loss to Kai Chiba. There is however, a lot of areas for the 26 year old to work on before getting a shot at a belt holder. As for Suwa this was a third successive loss, and it's clear he needs real work to rebuild his faltering career.
Highly regarded Light Welterweight Masahiro Suzuki (5-0, 3) [鈴木 雅弘] was next up as he took on former OPBF title challenger Takahiro Oda (10-6, 8) [小田 貴博], who was returning to the ring for the first time in well over 3 years. Sadly for Oda, who had previously fought as Jumbo Oda Nobunaga Shoten Petagine, the lay off showed and Suzuki landed some real solid blows in the opening round. The power shots from Suzuki rocked Oda in the opening round, but the veteran saw out the round with out too many troubles. In round 2 however the power of Suzuki showed as he hurt, and then dropped Oda. Oda recovered and saw out the rest of the round but was in trouble again in round 3 when suffered another knockdown, pulling Suzuki down with him. This was a heavy knockdown and the referee quickly waved the bout off.
For Suzuki this was an ideal performance, coming in to the bout on the back of a 13 month lay off, of a less than convincing technical decision win last year against Hokuto Matsumoto. As for Oda, well, it does seem like maybe he will be heading back into retirement after this performance, and result.
The penultimate bout, and the main support bout, on the show saw former Japanese 140lb champion Hiroki Okada (20-2, 13) [岡田 博喜] return for his first bout at home in well over 2 years as he took on Izuki Tomioka (7-4-1, 2) [富岡 樹]. On paper this was an interesting bout and it proved to be a solid one overall, with a high level of skill, and a good overall meshing of styles.
The opening round saw Tomioka looking to use his speed and movement to great effect to take the early control. His jab, one of the most under-rated in the sport, was being used as an excellent weapon, landing regularly and upsetting the rhythm of Okada, who looked the bigger, stronger man but struggled to enforce his will. As well as the jab Tomioka landed good single shots with his right hand a very nice body shot. In round 2 we began to see Okada try and press the action more, using his size and strength to walk down Tomioka, who had to rely on his sharp footwork more to create space, in what was a very competitive round.
In round 3 we saw more success from Okada, who seemed to be finding his groove and realising that Tomioka's shots didn't have a lot on them, Tomioka still had moments, and landed some really eye catching stuff, but Okada was beginning to just walk through it with little respect given to Tomioka. That was the case again in round 4 as Tomioka was forced to trade blows and seemed to be rocked from an Okada right hand late in the round. It was then beginning to look like the pressure and power of Okada was going to break down Tomioka, who was having to work hard against a naturally stronger man.
The breaking down process continued from Okada in round 5 and 6, as Tomioka's face became a bloodied mess, and his output began to drop noticeably. The facial damage of Tomioka saw him have an inspection from the doctor early in round 7 and it seemed to be clear that time was running out for him. That lead to him being more aggressive and to Okada responding, which didn't work out well for Tomioka. Despite blood pouring out of his nose for much of the second half of the fight, Tomioka gritted it out and saw out the final bell. Sadly for him after 8 rounds his good start and toughness was for nought, as the scorecards all read 77-75 to Okada.
Earlier today Boxing Raise released their line up for December and have announced that they will be including 4 shows during the month, with one live. Despite the fact there's only a single live show the 4 show line up is a brilliant one, with two female world title fights, two Japanese title bouts and a triple title unification contest.
The first of those shows will be the December 3rd Dangan promoted card. This will be headlined by a Japanese Minimumweight title bout featuring Masataka Taniguchi (12-3, 7) [谷口将隆] and Hizuki Saso (12-6-2, 4) [佐宗 緋月], who battle for the vacant title. The same show will also feature a WBO female Minimumweight title bout between Ayaka Miyao (23-8-2, 6) [宮尾 綾香] and Etsuko Tada (19-3-3, 6) [多田悦子].
The second show will be on December 13th and will be headlined by WBO female Super Flyweight champion Miyo Yoshida (14-1) [吉田 実代] defending her title against Tomoko Okuda (6-2-2, 1) [奥田朋子].
The only live show for the month will be on December 14th, and it's a genuinely great show from Kadoebi. The main event here will see Japanese Super Flyweight champion Kenta Nakagawa (19-3-1, 12) [中川 健太] battle WBO Asia Pacific champion Ryoji Fukunaga (12-4, 12) [福永亮次] with the two men unifying their belts, and also fighting for the vacant OPBF title in a triple title unification bout. Other bouts on this card include a brilliant match up between Hiroki Okada (19-2, 13) [岡田 博喜] and Izuki Tomioka (7-3-1, 2) [富岡樹], as well as a bout between Masahiro Suzuki (4-0, 2) [鈴木雅弘] and Jumbo Oda Nobunaga Shoten Petagine (10-5, 8) [ジャンボおだ信長本屋ペタジーニ] and one between Matcha Nakagawa (13-2-1, 5) [中川 抹茶] and Ryo Suwa (11-3, 2) [諏訪 亮].
The final show takes place on December 26th in and will be headlined by Japanese Light Flyweight champion Masamichi Yabuki (11-3, 11) [佐藤政道] defending his title against Toshimasa Ouchi (22-9-3, 8) [大内 淳雅], in what will be Yabuki's first defense.
For subscribers to Boxing Raise we'll admit December might not have a lot of shows, but what it has are fantastic, and each of these 4 shows is worth watching. We have a good month ahead for Boxing Raise users!
(Image courtesy of boxingraise.com)
It's not often that we get to see Japanese, OPBF and WBO Asia Pacific titles unified, though on December 14th we'll get one such chance in the main event of Slugfest 16.
Earlier today Kadoebi announced that the line for their December Slugfest and the main event will see three titles being unified at Super Flyweight, and the rest of the card will also feature several other really interesting bouts as supporting contests.
The main event will see Japanese Super Flyweight champion Kenta Nakagawa (19-3-1, 12) [中川 健太] clash with WBO Asia Pacific champion Ryoji Fukunaga (12-4, 12) [福永亮次, with the vacant OPBF title also on the line.
For Nakagawa the bout will serve as he second defense of his second reign as the national champion, after re-claiming the title last December when he beat Takayuki Okumoto by decision, and will see him looking to build on July's win over mandatory challenger Yuta Matsuo. As for Fukunaga the bout will be his first since winning the title in February, when he upset Froilan Saludar.
In the chief support bout we'll see the once touted Hiroki Okada (19-2, 13) [岡田 博喜] take on the always tricky Izuki Tomioka (7-3-1, 2) [富岡樹], in a real must win for both men.
Okada is looking to bounce back from back to back stoppage losses in the US, where he was beaten by Raymundo Beltran and Javier Molina. As a result of those losses he is now win-less in over 2 years , and hasn't fought in Japan since May 2018. Tomioka on the other hand is looking to bounce back after a TKO loss in February to Shuichiro Yoshino in a Japanese title fight.
Another interesting looking bout on this show will see OPBF and JBC ranked Lightweight Masahiro Suzuki (4-0, 2) [鈴木雅弘] taking on the returning Jumbo Oda Nobunaga Shoten Petagine (10-5, 8) [ジャンボおだ信長本屋ペタジーニ], who hasn't fought since losing in an OPBF title fact back in July 2017. We've been impressed by Suzuki at times and this should serve as a good test to see what he has in his locker.
Another good looking supporting bout will see JBC ranked Super Bantamweight Matcha Nakagawa (13-2-1, 5) [中川 抹茶] battling against 21 year old hopeful will battle Ryo Suwa (11-3, 2) [諏訪 亮].
One other bout worthy of note will see talented Middleweight hopeful Mikio Sakai (2-0) [酒井幹生] battling against 35 year old veteran Toshihiro Kai (6-11-3, 2) [甲斐斗志広], in what should serve as a good chance for Sakai to get some rounds under his belt against a limited, but experienced foe.
Earlier today the Muto Gym, the Japanese partner of MTK Global in their "MTK Japan" expansion, held a press conference in Osaka to announce five bouts.
From the bouts two were already known about, but the other three weren't, and were completely new announcements.
The most notable of the bouts mentioned today was actually one that was revealed yesterday.
That was the Japanese Middleweight title bout between Kazuto Takesako (12-0-1, 11) [竹迫司登] and mandatory challenger Riku Kunimoto (4-0, 2) [国本陸]. Kunimoto, a Muto Gym fighter, will be getting his shot at the Japanese title on May 2nd as part of a Dynamic Glove card at Korakuen Hall, but he will be up against it as he takes on a dominant and heavy handed champion and it's clear he will be the under-dog.
Another bout that was known about before this press conference was a bout between Muto fighter Yusuke Mine (3-0, 1) [峯 佑輔] and former world title challenger Masayuki Kuroda (30-8-3, 16) [黒田 雅之], which was announced earlier in the day. This bout will take place on March 30th at Korakuen Hall, and again it's the Muto fighter who will be regarded as the under-dog.
One of the bouts are set to take place on April 12th, and will see Tulio Kuwabata (3-1, 2) [桑畑凜生], also known as Dekanarudo Torio, look to bounce back from a December loss to Filipino puncher Ken Jordan (9-1-2, 8) as he takes on Japanese ranked fighter Kazuki Tanaka (11-3, 8) [田中一樹], who is looking to bounce back from a loss to Kyosuke Sawada (14-2-1, 6) [澤田京介] in a Japanese title eliminator. This looks like a ridiculous match up, at this point, for Kuwabata, who is talented but deserves an easy win after being blown out by Jordan. This is yet another case of the Muto fighter being the under-dog.
The two remaining bouts are both set for April 19th, and both look more competitive than the other three.
One of those will see Akio Furutani (8-4, 3) [古谷 昭男] take on Chikato Sumida (9-3, 1) [住田愛斗], in what is set to be an 8 round bout at Super Flyweight on "You Will Be the Champion 11". This looked really even on paper and Furutani, the Mutoh fighter, is probably the slight favourite.
The other bout, on the same card, will see Ryosuke Nishida (2-0, 1) [西田凌佑] taking a massive step up in class as he is set to take on Matcha Nakagawa (13-2-1, 5) [武田航], in another 8 rounder, in what looks like a mouth watering match up. Although taking a huge step up Nishida does look like a special fighter and he maybe has the best chance of notching an upset.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
News! We try and give you the most interesting news stories from the Asian boxing world!