Just moments ago the latest Dynamic Glove card from Korakuen Hall finished and if we're being honest, it was not a card to remember. In fact it was a really poor show overall, with no bout really standing out as a must watch for those wantign to watch on replay.
On paper the bout between former amateur standout Shigetoshi Kotari (3-1-1, 2) [神足茂利] and glass cannon Kazuaki Miyamoto (7-8, 6) [宮本知彰] wasn't a particularly interesting match up. In fact on paper it seemed like a gimmie for Kotari, and the result would suggest it was, however Kotari had to work to earn a 5th round TKO win over Miyamoto, who came to win.
The first 2 rounds saw Kotari control the bout with his high level boxing skills, but in round 3 we saw Miyamoto look to force a dog fight, and land some bombs of his own, forcing Kotari to go through something of a chin check. Sadly for Miyamoto he couldn't crack the chin of Kotari who ended up dumping taking the pressure, and using it against Miyamoto who was eventually stopped in round 5 having been down several times. Despite the stoppage loss this was a great effort for Miyamoto, who came to fight and gave Kotari tough some rounds, even if Kotari did seem in control of much of the action.
In the second of the meaningful bouts on this show the hard hitting Ken Koibuchi (8-5-1, 7)* [鯉淵健] took on Taison Mukaiyama (7-3, 4) [向山太尊]. From the opening stages Kobuchi seemed to have the upper hand, pressing Mukaiyama backwards and landing big, clean, solid shots. As the bout went on however Mukaiyama began landing some good counter shots, creating space and having some genuine success of his own. Sadly though the power of Koibuchi was always dangerous and at the end of round 3 a huge overhand right from Koibuchi stiffened the legs of Mukaiyama, who looked genuinely unconscious on his feet. Lucky for him the shot was on the bell and he got to his corner and a minute to recover.
Unfortunately however Mukaiyama likely needed more than a minute and early in round 4 he was under pressure again, with the referee stepping into save him as he continued to take some huge blows.
After capturing the attention at the weigh in yesterday, by wearing a bra, Mugicha Nakagawa (24-8-2, 14) [中川 麦茶] took part in his first bout for more than 2 years as he faced off with former 2-time world title challenger Ryo Akaho (38-2-2, 25) [赤穂亮], in the chief support bout. The bout was somewhat messy early on, with both looking rusty and the styles not quite meshing. Sadly that never really changed with the two giving us a real mess of a bout.
Nakagawa wanted to keep things at range, box and move and use his jab, whilst Akaho wanted to get close and land hooks coming in, as a result there was a lot of times the two just came together. As a result of the messy action it was hard to score and a really hard one to watch.
Round 3 continued to see some ugly action, but both men did land some quality work, and Nakagawa's clean head shots were really catching the eye, and at one point he forced Akaho on to the retreat. Nakagawa's success continued in round 4, another round that had some incredibly messy moments, as he landed some excellent counters which continued to frustrate Akaho.
In round 5 Nakagawa went low, which left Akaho irate and saw Nakagawa being taken a point. It was a nothing blow, and given the other minor fouls and soon afterwards there was a takedown by Nakagawa, which forced the referee to put the men in neutral corners and talk to both. Sadly for Akaho when the action resumed he was seemingly hurt from another combination up top from Nakagawa. The referee would again give Nakagawa a verbal warning in round 6, as if he felt he was walking a point being deducted, but just moments later both men unloaded rabbit shots, as the bout continued to head towards a farce.
In round 7 it seemed that Akaho was hurt early on, and gassing, though he managed to put his foot on the gas midway into the round, landing some heavy hooks and clearly tagging Nakagawa hard, with Nakagawa forced to slip and slide under pressure from Akaho's wild, crude, heavy hooks. In the 8th round the two men had a huge headclash early on, not the first of the bout, though it left neither man cut. After the clash Akaho looked to come on strong, and landed some very heavy looking hooks but was pushed over to the canvas in the final 30 seconds. Thankfully come the final bell, would could move on, following what is likely to be one of the ugliest bouts we'll see in a Japanese ring this year. To the fans credit however they applauded the action, which was incredibly polite of them.
After 8 rounds the decision went to Akaho, though it did seem the judges were being a little bit generous to him, with two judges scoring it 79-73 in his favour whilst the other had it 77-75 to him. Regardless of the win it seems his career is about over at the age of 34, and on this performance we're not in a rush to see either man fight again. This was one of those bouts that really didn't click and if you missed, you should feel very, very lucky.
In the main event we saw Japanese domestic amateur standout Koki Koshikawa (9-4, 6) [越川孝紀] takes on Makoto Kawasaki (13-8-1, 2) [川崎真琴]
Thankfully this one was a palette cleanser following the mess we had had in the chief support bout. From the off the younger, fresher, hungrier Koshikawa was all over Kawasaki, with intense pressure and high output through the first minute. Kawasakiw as forced to fight fire with fire, and landed some decent blows in the odd exchange, but was clearly on the wrong end of the punishment for much of the round with Koshikawa mixing good head shots and body shots on to the veteran.
As the rounds went on Koshikawa continued to be the aggressor, pressing hard, but he was putting a lot into each round, and his intensity did begin to wane round by round, giving Kawasaki some space to work with.
By round 5 the tempo from Koshikawa was about done, and both began to look exhausted. Sadly for Koshikawa, that really let Kawasaki into the bout as he began to lean into the younger man and have success with shots up close. Even with more success however Kawasaki was still regularly being caught himself by the busier, younger fighter. Some how however the judges appear to have been watching a different fight, and the open scoring after round 5 had Kawasaki leading 48-47 and 49-46, with the third judge having Koshikawa in a 48-47 lead.
Sadly by round 7 this had gone from an entertaining war, driven by the aggression of Koshikawa, into a bout that was fought up close, with little output from either man, with both happy to lean into each other for large stretches of the bout. Despite that there were still eye catching moments, especially the counter shots of Kawasaki. Those counter shots impressed the judges in the final rounds, along with his love 2-punch combinations that switched between head and body against the really tired looking Koshikawa.
After 10 rounds we went to the scorecards and the judges had this on 96-94, 97-93 and 98-92 all in favour of Kawasaki. Some of those cards seemed far, far too wide in a bout where Koshikawa's early output really should have been enough for him to take plenty of rounds. Though Koshikawa did seem to blow his load in the first half, and struggled with his pacing in the second half of the bout.
Earlier this year the JBC added a new feature to their website showing changes in information for JBC licensed bouts. Whilst some of these changes are minor, and some what irrelevant to those outside of Japanese boxing, others are more interesting.
The changes are broken down into 4 types. They include returning titles, fighters transferring gyms, changing their ring names and retiring.
We won't go through all the changes in September but we will share some of the more notable ones.
The only title to be vacated in September was the Japanese Youth Light Flyweight title, which was given up by Rikito Shiba (4-1, 2) [芝力人], who officially vacated the title on September 18th, just over a year after he won it. Sadly he never managed to defend the bout during his reign.
In regards to Gym Transfers the most notable was talented Super Featherweight hopeful Yoshimitsu Kimura (12-2, 7) [木村 吉光], who has officially signed with the AMBITION Gym, becoming the latest fighter from the now closed Shirai Gushiken Gym to join AMBITION Gym.
One of the biggest things to note was that a trio of Kadoebi Gym fighters have announced their retirements. These included former OPBF Middleweight champion Koki Tyson (14-4-3, 12) [王杉康輝] and former Japanese Super Bantamweight contender Mugicha Nakagawa (24-7-2, 14) [武田勇太].
There was some name changes, but in reality none of these were hugely notable.
Earlier today Makoto Okaniwa., manager／official coordinater of midori promotions.,inc revealed in Japan, informed us of the new date set for the Japanese Light Flyweight title bout between defending champion Yuto Takahashi (11-4, 5) [高橋悠斗] and mandatory challenger Masamichi Yabuki (10-3, 10).
The bout, which was originally set for March 15th though had to be postponed due to the Coronavirus outbreak, will now take place on May 6th.
We've also been informed that the supporting bout between Tom Mizokoshi (7-1-1, 4) [溝越斗夢] and Mugicha Nakagawa (24-7-2, 14) [中川麦茶選手] is still expected to be part of the card, though the other other under-card bouts are currently in negotiations.
It must be noted that there is a chance this will still be postponed, again, if the virus continues to cause sporting events in Japan to be effected in the way it has during March, though the date is now the one the bout is pencilled in for going forward.
The second Japanese title fight of 2019 saw the heavy handed Ryoichi Tamura (12-3-1, 6) [田村 亮一] put on an aggressive show case as he defeated Mugicha Nakagawa (24-6-1, 14) [武田勇太] to claim the Japanese Super Bantamweight title that was vacated by Shingo Wake (25-5-2, 17) [和氣 慎吾] late last year.
From the opening round Tamura put his flag in the ground and made it clear he was going to be the aggressive pressure fighting, backing Nakagawa up round after round and making life incredibly difficult for Nakagawa to do anything. The shots of Tamura rarely looked fluid, but they were forceful, hard and incessant, as he continually pressed forward, unloaded and hammered the head and body of Nakagawa. There were moments where Nakagawa responded, and had success with uppercuts in particular, but Tamura walked through them whilst landing his own blows in return.
Through the first 5 rounds it was hard to make a case for anything bu Tamura leading, and the judges agreed scoring it 50-45, 49-48 and 48-47, a bizarrely close card for what was looking like a very easy to close and very dominant 1-sided bout. There was a lot to be said about Nakagawa's heart and toughness, but he was looking out of his depth and uncompetitive with a very driven Tamura.
The crowd had responded to Nakagawa's efforts, him gritting his teeth and fighting back, chanting his name. That however served little help in terms of the action with Tamura continuing to march forward in the second half of the fight, landing solid right hands to head and body and regularly punching through the guard of Nakagawa, who ate progressively more shots as the bout went on.
It was only really round 7 that Tamura slowed down, having a battle of jabs with Nakagawa. In the rounds that followed Tamura again ramped up the pressure, and in rounds 9 and 10 he really did look for a stoppage, bouncing shots off Nakagawa's head. It was incredible to not only see Nakagawa standing up right but also firing off his own shots, he was like a human zombie, though he was taking a beating and wasn't competitive in the slightest.
It was amazing to see Nakagawa survive the 10 rounds, but when the bell came to end the fight it was clear that Tamura had won, with the judges scoring the bout 99-91, twice, and 97-93 giving Tamura the title in what was a brilliant performance.
For Nakagawa this was his second shot at the title, following a 2017 loss to Yusaku Kuga, and he simply had too much of everything for Nakagawa. The loser however, should realise the effort he put up, and his incredible toughness will have made him new fans and many will want to see him get another title opportunity in the near future.
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