If there is one set of emerging brother's that really excite us it's the Shigeoka brothers, Ginjiro Shigeoka (5-0, 4) [重岡銀次朗] and his older brother Yudai Shigeoka (2-0, 1) [重岡優大].
We've known for some time that the older of the two men, 22 year old Yudai, would be fighting again on March 17th at Korakuen Hall. Today we found out more details of the bout, and if we're totally honest we're really disappointed.
The bout has been confirmed as an 8 round contest at Minimumweight with Shigeoka facing Sanchai Yotboon (6-4, 6), the fighter Ginjiro stopped in 3 rounds in 2018, in what was Ginjiro's debut. Since then Sanchai has returned to Japan for 3 fights and been stopped in all 3, making this match up a huge step backwards for the 22 year old who was last seen beating Lito Dante in a 6 rounder.
If we're being honest we would be very surprised if Sanchai lasted more than 3 rounds here, and we suspect Yudai would be disappointed if Sanchai even lasted that long.
On the same card Japanese Youth Super Flyweight champion Suzumi Takayama (3-0, 3) [高山 涼深] has had his opponent named as Sophon Klachun (5-4-1, 1), who had lost in 4 previous visits to Japan, including a stoppage defeat last September to Daiki Funayama. On paper this is a better test for Takayama than Sanchai is for Shigeoka, but not significantly better.
Thankfully the card does have an excellent main event, as OPBF Minimumweight champion Lito Dante (16-11-4, 8) battles against Masataka Taniguchi (12-3, 7) [谷口将隆], in an OPBF and Japanese Minimumweight title fight, and WBO Atomweight champion Mika Iwakawa (9-5-1, 3) [岩川 美花] defends her title against Nanae Suzuki (10-3-1, 1) [鈴木菜々江],
Earlier today in Japan Mika Iwakawa (9-5-1, 3) [岩川 美花] announced her first defense of the WBO Atomweight title, which will take place on March 17th at Korakuen Hall. This will see Iwakawa defending her title for the first time since winning it in July 2018, when she beat Nao Ikeyama.
In the opposite corner to Iwakawa will be former Japanese national champion Nanae Suzuki (10-3-1, 1) [鈴木菜々江], who gets her first world title fight.
The press conference today was a pretty interesting one.
It was revealed that Iwakawa team had been desperate to secure a unification bout, and had hoped to unify with the IBF champion, who happens to be fellow Japanese fighter Saemi Hanagata (16-7-4, 7) [田中冴美]. As a result of not being able to secure a unification fight Iwakawa has taken this bout instead, though it was clear she didn't really want to defend in a lower level match up like this, but was "sure to keep the belt".
This bout comes as the second title bout on an already interesting card headlined by OPBF Minimumweight champion Lito Dante (16-11-4, 8) battling against Masataka Taniguchi (12-3, 7) [谷口将隆], for both the OPBF and Japanese titles Minimumweight titles, and also features Yudai Shigeoka (2-0, 1) [重岡優大] and Suzumi Takayama (3-0, 3) [高山 涼深].
(Image courtesy of Daily.co.jp)
It's rare to see a fighter winning a title in 3 bouts, but female hopeful Eri Matsuda (3-0) [松田恵里] has managed to unify in her third bout!
Earlier today the talented Atomweight unified the OPBF Atomweight title, that she won in her second bout, with the Japanese title, as she over-came Nanae Suzuki (8-3-1, 1) [鈴木 菜々江] over 8 rounds.
Suzuki, a pressure fighter, got off to a good start, winning the opening round on two of the cards, but then struggled to have success against the talented southpaw. Matsuda just did her thing, boxed and moved, racked up the rounds and looked fantastic.
By the 6th round it was clear Matsuda had the bout in the bag, and she seemed to take her foot off the gas a bit late on, as Suzuki tried to turn things around. By then though it was a case of Suzuki knowing she needed a stoppage that was never going to come.
After 8 rounds, all 3 judges scored the bout to Matsuda, with scores of 78-74, twice, and 79-74.
Matsuda spoke about fighting for world titles in the future, and also paid a clear homage to mentor Jun Toriumi, wearing replica shorts and gown to the former OPBF Bantamweight champion who runs the Team 10 Count gym which promotes Matsuda.
Despite the loss Suzuki certainly didn't seem like a broken fighter. She knew she wasn't good enough here, but seemed to suggest that she plans to rebuild, and one day get a rematch with Matsuda.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
Tomorrow Japanese fight fans will get the chance to see an Atomweight unification bout, as OPBF champion Eri Matsuda (2-0) [松田恵里] takes on Japanese champion Nanae Suzuki (8-2-1, 1) [鈴木 菜々江] in an excellent match up.
Both made weight, with no issue, and both sounded very, very confident of winning and advancing their careers.
Matsuda stated that she wanted to win and put in a solid performance to move towards a world title fight. She seemed very strong in her belief that her skills would be too much for the more experienced Suzuki.
Suzuki, on the other hand, revealed she had been preparing harder for this bout than any other bout and that she sees the contest as a check point towards a world title.
For fight fans wanting to watch this bout, it will be available on Boxing Raise, albeit on tape delay.
Related - Matsuda and Suzuki battle to unify titles!
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Earlier this month we reported that OPBF Atomweight champion Eri Matsuda (2-0) [松田恵里] would be facing Japanese champion Nanae Suzuki (8-2-1, 1) [鈴木 菜々江] on March 13th at the Korakuen Hall in an OPBF/JBC female title unification bout. We can announce that there will be a second title fight on that show, which will be "Victoriva Vol 4".
That title fight will see OPBF and JBC female Bantamweight champion Miyo Yoshida (11-1) [吉田 実代] facing off with JBC #1 ranked contender Yoshie Wakasa (6-0, 2) [若狭与志枝]. We've been informed that the Japanese title will be on the line for this bout, in a 6 rounder, though it's unclear if the contest will also double as an OPBF title defense for Yoshida.
Aside from the two title bouts, the rest of the card will only be 4 round bouts, and all will be female contests, as is the theme of the Victoriva shows.
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