Earlier today the East Japan Boxing Association announced their award winners for the month of February, and there was 3 award winners this month.
The MVP for the month was Keita Obara (23-4-1, 21) [小原 佳太], who claimed the Japanese Welterweight title early in the month when he stopped Yuki Nagano (17-3, 13) [永野祐樹] to become a 2-weight champion, and to kick off the 2020 Champion Carnival.
The Fighting Spirit award was won by Riku Nagahama (12-3-1, 4) [長濱 陸], the newly crowned OPBF Welterweight champion. Nagahama, who incidentally fought the last bout to be staged in Japan, won the title by out pointing the previously unbeaten Kudura Kaneko (11-1, 8) [クドゥラ 金子] towards the end of the month.
The Newcomer award was won by Nath Nwachukwu (6-0-2, 3) [ワチュク・ナァツ], who took an impressive victory over Junpei Tsujimoto (6-2-3, 4) [辻本 純兵] on the same show as Obara's win.
The three men will get the chance to take part in an award ceremony that has yet to have a confirmed date, due to the coronavirus.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Earlier today at Korakuen Hall we had the second Dynamic Glove show of the year and it was an event with very mixed fortunes for Teiken fighters, as fans at the Hall and on G+ found out.
The show began with Shinta Aihara (3-5) [藍原 伸太], one of the 7 Teiken fighters on the card, losing a clear decision to KC Prachanda (4-2-1, 3) [KC プラチャンダ]. Prachanda won every round and dropped Aihara at the very end of the 4th round to secure the win.
Things did improve for the world famous Teiken gym as two of their big hopefuls picker up wins. The first of those was Hiroto Yashiro (2-0, 2) [矢代 博斗], who took out Indonesian visitor Abdul Rauf (1-3) in round 3. Credit goes to Rauf for seeing out a massive attack in round 2, when Yashiro really went for the finish, but the pressure, and intense body work, got too much for him and he was dropped in round 3. Although Rauf beat the count the referee had seen enough and waved off the bout.
The other big hoping picking up a win was the highly regarded Kenshi Noda (2-0, 2) [野田 賢史], who took out Thomas Tope Hurek (2-5-1, 1) in the opening round. Noda, who was making his TV debut, took his chance to shine and he looked very sharp against Hurek. Hurek tried to make things ugly but took a combination, finished by a brutal shot that left him in agony for the 10 count.
Given the recent JBC rule change in regards to Indonesian fighters, these were perfect examples of why the rule is coming in. Rauf was tough but lacked skills whilst Hurek was terrible.
After back to back wins for Teiken fighters things then went down hill for Teiken fighters with back to back losses.
The first of those saw Kenta Endo (5-1-1, 4) [遠藤 健太] lose his unbeaten record to the unheralded Shun Akaiwa (5-1-1, 3) [赤岩 俊]. Heading in the hard hitting Endo was ranked by the JBC and he looked like he was heading upwards. The first round was a good one for Endo, though he did get caught by the younger, fresh Akaiwa a few times. The pace increased in round 2 as Endo tried to take the fight to Akaiwa more often, and let his powerful shots go in combinations. It made for exciting action but left Endo open as he launched some very wide looping hooks. At the very end of the round, with Akaiwa on the ropes and under pressure, a short counter left dropped Endo. Discussions about it being after the bell or on the bell were there to be had, but Endo himself was unloading when he got caught, taking away any argument he may had to being hit after the bell. Endo would beat the count but never seemed to recover and was stopped the following round in what was a genuinely fantastic little under-card bout.
Another loss for Teiken saw Junpei Tsujimoto (6-2-3, 4) [辻本 純兵] suffer a second round TKO to 22 year old Nath Nwachukwu (6-0-2, 3) [ワチュク・ナァツ], in what was surprisingly a clash of 2018 Rookie of the Year winners. Coming in both fighters had JBC rankings, with Tsujimoto being a ranked Welterweight and Nwachukwu being ranked at Middleweight, though the two men fought at Light Middleweight. After a competitive opening round Nwachukwu forced a fight and broke down Tsujimoto, who was hammered to the body early in the round and dropped from a huge right part way through the round. Tsujimoto beat the count but was still hurt and Nwachukwu went all out until the referee jumped in and saved Tsujimoto.
The hard hitting Yamato Hata (10-1, 10) [波田 大和] got Teiken's third win for the show as he stopped the game but over-powered Ryusei Ishii (8-6-1, 5) [石井龍誠] in 5 rounds to claim the Japanese Youth Super Featherweight title. This was Hata in control from early on with Ishii unable to cope with the power of Hata, and doing more to survive than try to win.
Having won a Youth title the gym had little time to celebrate and before we saw a Japanese Welterweight title fight. This fight saw defending champion Yuki Nagano (17-3, 13) [永野祐樹], himself a Teiken fighter, losing the title to former world title challenger Keita Obara (23-4-1, 21) [小原 佳太]. Nagano pressed the action but was up against a better fighter and Obara simply broke him down over 7 rounds, dropping him in round 2 and slowly breaking him down with big shots.
After the 7 bouts Teiken went 3-4, on a show they'll want to forget.
The final Rookie of the Year bout for 2018 saw Nath Nwachukwu (3-0-2, 1) [ワチュク・ナァツ] and Kazuki Kyohara (3-0-1, 2) [京原 和輝] battle to be crowned the All Japan Middleweight Rookie of the year
On paper this was a very competitive match up, with both men being unbeaten and both having a similar number of fights. It looked like the most even match up on the card with no clear favourite and in the end there was next to nothing to split the two men, who fought to a draw after 4, very hotly contested, rounds. In fact none of the judges could even split the two fighters, with all 3 judges scoring the bout 38-38.
The bout was one of those rare one where the two men really matched each other, for the most part, with Kyohara perhaps just holding the edge in the first two rounds, before having his nose burst open in round 3 and being the loser of the 4th round. Though in fairness all 4 rounds were close, and could have gone either way.
Despite the scores being level their had to be a Rookie of the Year, and that went to Nwachukwu, who claims the title and keeps his unbeaten record.
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