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)
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.
At the Korakuen Hall today Mugicha Nakagawa (24-5-1, 14) [武田勇太] battled against Naoya Okamoto (13-7-1, 6) [岡本直也]. The bout turned out to be one of the most enthralling of 6 Japanese title challenger decider bouts to take place at the holy land of Japanese boxing.
The fight saw Nakagawa take the early lead, landing his stiff jab and controlling the distance to being with. Okamoto upped the pace in round 3, especially with his body shots, and got a foot hold in the bout.
The fight back from Okamoto saw the crowd really get into the bout and both began to hold their feet more, until Okamoto was forced to back off as Nakagawa's accuracy and consistency took a toll on the less experienced man.
Sadly clashes of heads in round 7 saw Okamoto suffer a cut, a cut that would worsen from another clash off heads and eventually cause the bout to be stopped after 2 mins 26 seconds of round 7. The stoppage saw us go to the score-cards with Nakagawa taking a narrow majority decision with scores of 67-65, 67-66 and 67-67.
The win for Nakagawa sets up a potential bout with Shingo Wake in 2019 and despite losing Okamoto proved he was a better fighter than many had realised and he will certainly bounce back as a better fighter from this defeat.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
News! We try and give you the most interesting news stories from the Asian boxing world!