Earlier today we saw a new Japanese Atomweight champion being crowned as Kaori Nagai (5-2-3, 2) [長井香織] managed to over-come Momoko Kanda (10-13-2, 4) [神田桃子] in a razor thin bout to claim the previously vacant title.
The two women faced off last year, with Nagai taking a razor thin split decision, and she did something similar again today.
Early on Kanda tried to control the distance, keep the bout at range, and use her experience. After the first round Nagai began to pick up her tempo, and by rounds 3 and 4 the bout was being hotly contested, with neither woman doing enough to clearly differentiate themselves from the other.
Sadly for Kanda the bout was essentially decided in the 6th round, which saw her attempt to finish strong but she was actually rocked.
At the end of 6 rounds there really was almost nothing splitting the two women. That was shown on one of the cards, with that judge having the bout even at 57-57. The other two judges however had Nagai taking a razor thin 58-56 win to claim the title.
Tomorrow in Kobe we're expecting to see a new Japanese Atomweight champion being crowned as Kaori Nagai (4-2-3, 2) [長井香織] and Momoko Kanda (10-12-2, 4) [神田桃子] trade blows a bout for the belt.
The two women, who fought last year in a non-title bout, weighed in for tomorrow's bout earlier today and both fighters made the 102lb Atomweight limit with no real issues,
On the scales both women came in at 105.5lbs, well under the limit, and both seemed well trained and up the first female title fight to be held in Japan since the sport returned back on July 12th.
Last last time these two women fought it was Nagai who won, taking a razor thin split decision. She appeared confident in comments given to the media this morning. She stated her gameplan was to stick to her boxing and that she would win clearly this time around.
Kanda on the other hand stated that she had to be composed and not lose her emotions and not think about revenge too much ahead of tomorrows fight.
For fans wanting to watch this bout, the original plans to have a limited crowd have been cancelled, though the fight will be shown on the youtube channel set up for the events two main bouts. That can be accessed here.
Related - Nagai and Kanda battle for Japanese national crown!
(Image credit - Boxmob)
Earlier today the Shinsei Gym revealed announce two notable stories regarding their July 25th double header from the the Kobe Central Gym.
The show is a pretty notable one, one of the most notable ones since boxing restarted in Japan. The main event will be an OPBF Light Flyweight title bout between Kenichi Horikawa (40-16-1, 13) [堀川 謙一] and Daiki Tomita (14-1, 5) [冨田 大樹] with a second title bout being a Japanese Atomweight title bout between Kaori Nagai (4-2-3, 2) [長井香織] and Momoko Kanda (10-12-2, 4) [神田桃子].
For Horikawa the bout serves as a chance to claim another title, to add to a career collection that includes two Japanese titles and a WBO Asia Pacific title whilst Tomita gets a chance to add to the WBO Asia Pacific title he won last year, when he beat Hayato Yamaguchi.
Originally the event had planned to have fans in attendance, albeit in limited numbers, but today a decision was made to not allow fans in the venue. That decision was announced just days before the event was set to take place
The reason for the change is likely linked to the increased issues caused by the "on going global situation", specifically in Osakan boxing gyms. Whilst the venue may have been in Kobe, Hyogo, several fighters involved on it are from Osaka, including Tomita and Kanda and them potentially bringing fans from Osaka could, potentially, cause issues down the line.
As a result of not allowing fans in Shinsei have announced that they will be live streaming some of the event on a newly set up Youtube channel.
The statement only actually confirms that they will be streaming the "Semi-Main", which is the female title bout, though they do state the other bouts will be added to the channel at a later date. It is assumed however that the main event is also set to be streamed, though wasn't confirmed in today's statement.
The channel streaming the event can be found here.
The channel has also released a short trailer for the event, which can be seen below, as well as the statements in Japanese, and the English translation.
Earlier today, Sunday, fans in Toyonaka had the chance to attend a Nobuhiro Ishida promoted card at the 176BOX.
It wasn't a big show, but it was a notable one as it was the first show to be promoted solely by Ishida, who is best known in the west for his win over James Kirkland.
Ishida packed the card with some of his most notable fighters, and whilst not all the results went his way, there was big wins for two of his brightest youngsters.
One of the brightest hopes on the show was Rei Nakajima (2-0) [中島玲], who took a wide 6 round decision over Korean visitor Se Yul Yang (3-4-2, 1). The Korean showed his toughness and was under pressure through the 6 rounder, but fought back and served a genuine test for Nakajima, who had cruised to victory on his debut with no issues at all.
The other bright youngster picking up a win was the very fan friendly Aso Ishiwaki (7-2-1, 5) [石脇麻生], who scored a 3rd round win over the limited but heavy handed Takuya Matsusaka (8-9, 7) [松坂拓哉]. The bout saw Ishiwaki flirting with the 140lb division and despite the move up in weight he remained a strong, powerful bully, breaking down Matsusaka. Not only was this a step up in weight for Ishiwaki but was also against a southpaw and he seemed impressed by his own performance. The win sees Ishiwaki progress to an A class license and he's now aiming to face a ranked opponent of some kind next time out.
Sadly Ishida's female fighters had a show to forget. Veteran Momoko Kanda (10-11-2, 4) [神田桃子] was beaten by Kaori Nagai (4-2-3, 2) [長井香織], with Nagai taking a 6 round split decision over Kanda whilst Shione Ogata (11-6-1, 3) [緒方汐音] was left with a 3rd round technical draw on her record following a bout with Filipino foe Gretel de Paz (5-5-2, 2). Ogata was cut from a headclash part way through round 3 and the bout was stopped soon afterwards.
Whilst the card wasn't perfect for Ishida he does appear to have two real prospects within his stable, with Nakajima and Ishiwaki both being worthy of attention as their careers develop.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Tomorrow fight fans at the Korakuen Hall get an interesting Dangan card, featuring a host of really notable match ups. One of those will see former WBC female Minimumweight champion Yuko Kuroki (17-5-1, 8) [黒木優子] battling against former OPBF Atomweight champion Momoko Kanda (10-9-2, 4) [神田桃子] in a very interesting match up. Despite looking like a mismatch on paper the bout should be more compelling that the recors suggest, and it should see Kuroki havin her mental state questioned following the loss of her title last December to the fantastic Momo Koseki, aloss that saw Kuroki lose a 9 fight unbeaten run and 8 fight winning streak.
Today the two women took part in the weigh in for their bout and both fighters came in under the under the agreed 47KG limit.
On the scales Kuroki was 103.2lbs, the lowest she has been since a 2014 win over Aisah Alico. The former Minimumweight champion looked incredible annd calm on the scales. She looked like a fighter raring to go, and ready to get back to winning ways as she looks to begin a chase to another world title, and second potential reign as a queen of boxing.
As for Kanda she was even lighter, coming in at at 103lbs. This was heavier than she has been in some recent bouts, but is far from her career highest, and like Kuroki she also looked calm and relaxed. This bout will give Kanda a chance to put herself back in the world title mix, and a win here will help her rebuild following a loss in a WBO world title fight back in 2015 against Kumiko Seeser Ikehara.
For fans interested in this bout it will be featured on Boxingraise as part of their subscription service,
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
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