Earlier this year we reported that there was set to be a show on June 27th in Nagoya, headlined by the professional debut of Mitsuro Tajima (0-0) [但馬ミツロ], who will face Japanese Heavyweight champion Ryu Ueda (9-1-1, 5) [上田龍] in a highly anticipated match up. Following that we also reported the main support bout for that show would see Tajima's stablemate at the Midori Gym Tom Mizokoshi (8-2-1, 4) [溝越 斗夢] defending the Japanese Youth Super Bantamweight champion title against Haruki Ishikawa (8-3, 6) [石川春樹].
Today we can report that that that show will have a third notable bout on it as touted prospect Narumi Yukawa (1-0) [湯川成美] has been added to the show in a 6 round bout at Lightweight.
The talented Yukawa, who made his debut earlier this year with a decision win over Yuya Azuma, will be up against Kazuki Hase (5-2-1, 3) [長谷和紀] in a solid looking match up.
Yukawa looked like he had the potential to be a star as an amateur before he was caught in possession of marijuana which saw him being given a suspended sentence and being up able to compete as a boxer until the sentence was served. Despite that he has kept his hunger for the sport, and he looked hugely entertaining in his debut, with an aggressive, fun and exciting style. He'll be looking to use that style to great effect here and impress the fans in Nagoya.
Yukawa isn't just an exciting fighter but also a very ambitious one, and according to one very notable Japanese boxing website has set himself the goal of beating Naoya Inoue.
Hase on the other hand is a fighter who hasn't had much attention of buzz, however the 22 year old from Toyama has been a professional since 2018 and has shared the ring with some fairly decent Japanese fighters, albeit novices, such as Kazuki Higuchi. He will come in to this bout as a clear under-dog, but is very much a live under-dog and will be hungry to over-come the touted upstart.
Although yet to be confirmed it's expected for this show to be made available on Boxing Raise, like many other Midori shows from Nagoya. For fans who currently have access to the Boxing Raise service Yukawa's debut is available on there in full.
Last month we reported that Mitsuro Tajima (0-0) [但馬ミツロ] would be making his professional debut on June 27th as he took on Japanese Heavyweight champion Ryu Ueda (9-1-1, 5) [上田龍] in an 8 round non-title bout. At the time there was no other details on the show, with no under-card bouts announced for the event. Today that changed, with a very solid match up confirmed for the event.
That match up will see Japanese Youth Super Bantamweight champion Tom Mizokoshi (8-2-1, 4) [溝越 斗夢] make his first defense as he battles against Haruki Ishikawa (8-3, 6) [石川春樹], in what should be a really fan friendly bout.
Mizokoshi won the title back in March, when he defeated Satoru Hoshiba with an 8 round decision. That bout saw him using his speed and movement to neutralise the pressure of Hoshiba and score a career best win.
As for Ishikawa he is best known for his amazing bout with Toshiya Ishii from back in 2019, in a bout for the Japanese Youth Bantamweight title. Since then however he has fought just once, losing a wide decision to Kai Chiba last December, and has really seen his career falter after reaching the 2018 All Japan Rookie of the Year final.
On paper this match up will be between the movement, speed and boxing brain of Mizokoshi and the power and aggression of Ishikawa. It'll fell like Mizokoshi will be walking a tight rope whilst Ishikawa will be being out boxed, but will have the potential to turn it around at any moment.
It's fair to say that the last 12 months have been hugely frustrating for former amateur star Mitsuro Tajima (0-0) [但馬ミツロ]. He turned professional with Midori gym last year, taking part in his pro-test bout back in February. The plan was for him to debut later in the year sadly plans for a November debut fell through and his debut was then pushed back to March this year. Sadly that too fell through.
The problem for Tajima is that he's a Heavyweight, in Japan. A country that lacks Heavyweights. The plan had been to bring in Korean Heavyweight fighters for him to face, but with travel restrictions still in place that became a more and more complicated and costly plan.
After months of waiting and plans being changed Tajima's debut has now been rescheduled, and it's a much, much more interesting bout than the originally planned bout against a Korean visitor.
Today it was announced that Tajima will make his professional debut on June 27th in an 8 round bout against Japanese Heavyweight champion Ryu Ueda (9-1-1, 5) [上田龍] at the Nagoya Congress Center, in a non-title bout.
Whilst 8 round debuts aren't unheard off they are certainly rare in Japan. In fact the last time a Japanese fighter debuted in an 8 rounder was Naoya Inoue in October 2012, against Crison Omayao! Likewise taking on a title of some sort on debut also isn't unheard of, but is incredibly rare with Ryota Murata being among the most recent Japanese fighters to do so, in 2013 when he faced OPBF Middleweight champion Akio Shibata. The fact that Midori are matching him so hard from the off shows just how highly they think of the 26 year old Japanese-Brazilian.
As for Ueda this will be his first bout since winning the Japanese Heavyweight title in December 2019, when he became the third man to ever hold the title. As with Tajima his career was held up in 2020 by fights against Korean visitors being cancelled due to the on going pandemic, which made importing fighters to face him essentially impossible.
Although no TV or broadcaster has been officially announced for the event it is worth noting that most recent Midori shows have ended up on Boxing Raise, so there is a chance we'll get the chance to see this bout online a day or two after the event takes place.
Earlier today at the Aioi Hall in Kariya fight fans had the latest show from Midori Promotions, and it was a pretty notable one, featuring several Japanese ranked fighters and the announcement of a highly anticipated debut.
The show began with the debut of Felipe Do Prado (0-1) [デビュー戦×ドプラド フェリペ], and sadly for the Japanese based Brazilian the bout didn't go his way. Do Prado showed balls and was brave, but was stopped in round 3 by Daichi Hirai (2-1, 1) [平井 乃智]. Prior to the stoppage the debutant had had a point taken for spitting out his gum shield and was then stopped standing with the referee saving him.
The second debutant on the show fared better, with Takuto Mino (1-0) [美濃 巧人] picking up a razor thin decision win over Yamato Watanabe (2-3) [渡辺 大和]. All 3 judges scored this 39-37, though one judge did favour Watanabe, whilst the other two went with Mino.
Fans were given a bit of a treat in an all debutant bout between Kenta Kamimura (1-0) [上村 健太] and Yuto Kagata (0-1) [加々田 優人]. The bout saw both men hitting the canvas, high intensity action and drama at every turn. This was a genuine treat for fans who really won't have been expecting two novices to put on a show like these two did. Whilst it was low level action, it was still thrilling stuff, with Kamimura taking the decision 37-36, on all 3 cards.
In a minor upset the hard hitting Mammoth Kazunori (6-3-1, 6) [マンモス和則] suffered a close decision loss to Keisuke Iwasaki (4-2-1, 1) [岩﨑 圭祐]. The fight started slowly, and took a while to get going, though it was always clear that Kazunori had the power to hurt Iwasaki, who was wobbled from a hand hand. Despite the power of Kazunori making the most impact the judges all went with Iwasaki, who took the decision 58-56 on all 3 cards. Notably some fans in the venue, who have posted on social media, felt this could, and perhaps should, have gone the other way.
The chief support bout saw Japanese ranked Flyweight Japanese ranked Katsuya Murakami (9-2-1, 2) [村上 勝也] pick up his latest win as he easily, confidently and calmly out boxed the more limited Kazunori Yorimasa (5-7-3, 2) [頼政 和法] over 8 rounds. Murakami was pretty much in control through out, using his jab, foot work, reach and speed to win a very comfortable decision. After 8 rounds two of the judges had this a shut out whilst the other found a pity round for Yorimasa.
In the main event Japanese ranked Lightweights faced off with #2 ranked contender Masanori Rikiishi (9-1, 5) [力石 政法] battling the #15 ranked Soreike Taichi (7-4, 5) [木村太一]. In the end this was one sided, with Rikiishi being far, far too good for his man and stopping him in round 3. Before the stoppage Taichi had been down twice, and he had very, very little to test Rikiishi with.
After the bout it was revealed that Rikiishi was planning to mount a challenge for the Japanese Super Featherweight title, dropping down in weight to chase a second bout with Kosuke Saka, the man who gave him his sole defeat.
As well as the fights there was also a cameo of sorts from Japanese-Brazilian Mitsuro Tajima [但馬ミツロ] , who was originally scheduled to make his professional debut this month. Instead of debuting Tajima took part in a public work out and announced some details of his now scheduled debut.
The 5-time Japanese amateur national champion will debut as a professional on March 7th 2021 in a bout at the Nagoya Congress Center. His opponent is set to be a Korean fighter, who is reportedly Jong Kook Kim (6-1, 3).
Former 5-time Japanese Amateur Light Heavyweight champion Mitsuro Tajima [但馬ミツロ] was one of a number of top Japanese amateur fighters to turn professional this year. He showed what he could do back in the Spring, when he passed his B-Class test bout at the Kaneko Gym.
Yesterday Makoto Okaniwa, the matchmaker for Midori Promotions, announced that Tajima will be participating in a public work out on November 1st in Aichi, giving the press and fans, a chance to see what he'll be bringing to to the ring in his long awaited professional debut.
Tajima himself, a Japanese Brazilian, is a big fighter for the Japanese scene, standing at around 6" tall and will be expecting to fight as a Heavyweight in the professional ranks. Given that the Japanese Heavyweight ranks are relatively weak the expectation is that he will be moved quickly, and could end up fighting for a Japanese title sooner, rather than later. He had previously stated, in an interview with Boxmob, that he wished to fight for the Japanese title on debut, though seems to willing to wait until his second bout for such a fight.
Of course given his wish to move quickly it should be no surprise that Tajima has got lofty aspirations in the sport, and has recently told the Japanese press that he "wants to be a living legend".
On November 1st we expect to not only see how Tajima's transition to the professional scene looks, and how his training is going but also hear plans about his future in the professional ranks.
At the moment the Midori Gym is going through a really exciting time, thanks to the rise of fighters like Japanese Light Flyweight champion Masamichi Yabuki (11-3, 11) [佐藤政道] and Masanori Rikiishi (8-1, 4) [力石 政法]. With Tajima also in their ranks, it seems like the gym is set for real success in the near future.
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