Earlier today at the Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney Olympic Park we got the chance to see two Japanese fighters in action as the took on popular Australian fighters. Sadly for the Japanese fighters it wasn't top be their night, but they both put up genuine efforts against better men.
The first of two bouts saw Nath Nwachukwu (7-2-2, 3) [ワチュク・ナァツ] taking on IBO International Light Middleweight champion Ryan Wade (20-9, 7). Sadly for Nath he was second best through the bout, despite having some moment.
On paper it did look a good bout, but Wade was too good, too sharp and too experienced for Nath who really only had limited success. Sadly this wasn't a particularly fun bout to watch, as the technical limitations of both showed repeatedly, and neither man seemed capable of showing much genuine consistency. Wade did however land almost all the telling blows, in what became a messy, and scruffy bout in the second half.
The other bout saw former world title challenger Takeshi Inoue (17-2-1, 10) [井上 岳志] showcase his toughness, as he lost a wide and clear decision to unbeaten Australian hopeful Tim Tszyu (20-0, 15), in what was a really interesting contest and one that saw Tszyu answering some questions. Despite the fact the Australian dominated large swathes of the bout, to unify the WBO Global and WBO Asia Pacific Light Middleweight titles.
Through out the early rounds Tszyu hammered Inoue at will, landing huge shots to head and body and left Inoue swollen around the face. He had taken center ring and was pressuring the Japanese fighter, getting him on the retreat, punching through his guard and having a field day with Inoue. By round 5 it looked like Tszyu was on route to an inevitable stoppage, and rounds 6 and 7 saw him further pounding Inoue, who was some how remaining up right.
Amazingly Inoue started to show life in round 8, and it was from there that he managed to have some success, catching Tszyu with some solid shots of his own and leaving the Australian bloodied around the mouth. Tszyu was still getting the better of things, but he was slowing, and his shots were having less of an effect than they had earlier in the contest. Inoue was starting to work his way into the action more, but was still taking heavy punishment.
In round 12 Inoue started well, but late in the rounded he was put on the canvas, but he managed to hear out the bell, becoming the first man to take Tszyu the 12 round distance, albeit in a comprehensive loss with scores of 120-107, twice, and 119-108 to Tszyu. The performance of Inoue maybe deserved a round or two from the judges but he was clearly second best and Tszyu was very much the better man through out the bout.
With the win Tszyu is now expected to get a WBO world title fight in 2022. As for Inoue, who got plaudits from the Australian fans and media for his toughness, it's likely to be a case of returning to Japan and continuing to ply his trade against regional and domestic opponents. Hopefully a 2022 showdown with Japanese champion Hironobu Matsunaga, could be made, as that would be a really fun one to watch.
Earlier today at Korakuen fight fans got the chance to see the latest show from Kaneko boxing, and sadly for them it saw one of their biggest names lose in the main event, though it did also see the debut of one of the gym's potential stars of the future.
The positive for the Kaneko gym was the debut of 24 year old Yuya Oku (1-0, 1) [大久 祐哉] who needed just 50 seconds to see off Naoto Moriya (6-4-1, 3) [森屋 直人]. Oku, who went 26-16 (6) in the amateurs looked razor sharp from the opening bell, landing a really crisp 1-2 early on and then put his shots together, and then dropping Moriya. Given Moriya went down hard the referee waved off the bout without issues a count, and Oku kicked off his career in the perfect fashion.
Sadly however, at least for the Kaneko boxing Gym, we then saw Oku's stablemate Shinobu Charlie Hosokawa (12-7-1, 11) [細川チャーリー忍] suffered a third straight loss as he came up short against 23 year old Nath Nwachukwu (7-1-2, 3) [ワチュク・ナァツ].
On paper this had the makings of a really interesting match up, with the heavy handed handed veteran, now aged 36, taking on an inexperienced but talented youngster. Sadly however the bout struggled to catch light at times, as Nwachukwu used his feet well, and tried to neutralise the power of Hosokawa by using his younger, fresher legs to control range. Hosokawa, to his credit, always tried to fight and land his shots, but he really struggled to sustain attacks and put shots together whilst Nwachukwu managed to get his shots off
After 8 rounds Nwachukwu had done enough to take a win and that was shown on all 3 cards, with scores of 77-75, 78-74 and 79-73.
What makes the win even bigger for Nwachukwu is that heading into the bout Hosokawa was ranked #1 by the JBC, so this win could well set Nwachukwu up for a Japanese title fight in 2022.
Earlier today at Korakuen Hall fight fans had the latest show in the Dynamic Glove series. The show, which will be aired on G+ early next week, was one that looked promising when it was first announced but ended up losing it's main event around a week before the show took place. As a result it went from looking good to a little bit under-whelming, though thankfully the fans ended up with a decent show in the end.
The event began with unbeaten prospect Takuma Takahashi (6-0, 6) [高橋 拓磨] sending 37 year old fighter Kodai Kiyota (9-7-2, 9) [清田 広大] into retirement. Kiyota, who hadn't fought in 10 years, was taken out in the first round by Takahashi, who landed a huge right hand that dropped Kiyota. The referee waved off the bout and gave Takahashi a much needed confidence boost after his ugly, controversial, and terrible performance against Leonardo Doronio back in January.
Following Takahashi's win fans then saw a really interesting match up between Shun Sekine (4-0-1, 3) [関根 駿] and Atsuyuki Sato (5-2-2, 3) [佐藤諄幸]. The two 23 year olds fought really evenly here. Sekine started well, before Sato responded, then Sekine had to step it up, before Sato matched him again. Round after round there was little to split the two men and that showed on the score-cards after 6 rounds. Two of the judges had this even, 57-57, whilst the third judge had Sekine winning 58-56, resulting in a majority decision draw.
The third bout on the card saw Shinnosuke Hasegawa (13-2-1, 9) [長谷川 慎之介] score his 12th straight win as he stopped Ikemen Atsushi (7-7-2, 2) [イケメン淳] in the 5th round of their bout. The JBC #3 ranked Super Featherweight was dropped in the opening round, but recovered well, gritted his teeth and managed turn things around. In round 5 he forced Atsushi's corner to throw in their towel and save their man.
The main event saw former world title challenger Takeshi Inoue (17-1-1, 10) [井上 岳志] battling unbeaten fighter Nath Nwachukwu (6-1-2, 3) [ワチュク・ナァツ]. On paper this was a mismatch, and the real question was whether or Nwachukwu was going to last the distance. In reality however this ended up being an interesting bout with the winner more disappointed than the loser. To his credit Inoue looked good to begin with, he looked sharp, used his jab well and like a fringe world class fighter. Nwachukwu on the other hand showed he was tough, hungry, determined and not there to lose. In round 4 Nwachukwu managed to find his groove, and managed to have some success, though the big talking point was a clash of heads that left Inoue cut and marked up around his left eye.
With his eye cut Inoue fought back the desire to have a war and stuck to his boxing, though was certainly made uncomfortable in the later rounds. He even admitted that he had had his rhythm disturbed by the headclash.
After 8 rounds Inoue took a clear decision, winning the bout 78-75, 78-74 and 79-73. Despite the win he was left a mess and after the bout he was picked with plaster covering his left eye and on the right side of his forehead.
After the bout Inoue stated he wasn't at his best and his promoter also seems to be eyeing bigger and better things, likely in an attempt to keep his man eager and hungry.
As for Nwachukwu he seemed to be looking at making the most of this, and move forward with a positive attitude, and with lessons learned from this bout.
For fans wanting to watch this it will be shown on G+ on Tuesday next week.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
Tomorrow at Korakuen Hall we'll see former world title challenger Takeshi Inoue (16-1-1, 10) [井上 岳志] battling unbeaten fighter Nath Nwachukwu (6-0-2, 3) [ワチュク・ナァツ], in the main event of a Dynamic Glove card.
Today, ahead of their bout, the two men took part in their weigh in and both men came in under the 70KG, 154.3lbs, contracted limit for the bout.
On the scales Inoue was 153.8lbs, well under the limit. In fact he was under the Light Middleweight limit, the division that he typically fights at and currently holds the WBO Asia Pacific title in. At the weigh in he looked in amazing shape and he seemed determined to win, explaining that if he loses he'll lose his world ranking and that it wouldn't be a good sign for his future if he can't win a bout against a world domestic level fighter. Although he has dreams for a fighting for a world, again, it's clear he is focused on the opponent in front of him and will not over-looking him.
Surprisingly Nwachukwu, who is ranked #13 by the JBC at Middleweight, was even further under the limit at 153.4lbs. He explained that he was calm and much less nervous than he expected. He is however fully aware that Inoue is no push over, and that he will have to rely on his strength, power and stamina. It is however a very big ask for him.
For fans wanting to watch this it will be aired on tape delay on Tuesday November 10th on G+, which is available on isakura for fans outside of Japan.
Earlier today news broke from Japan that the scheduled November 7th bout between Japanese Middleweight champion Kazuto Takesako (11-0-1, 11) [竹迫司登] and mandatory challenger Riku Kunimoto (4-0, 2) [国本陸] has had to be cancelled.
The bout has been cancelled due to Takesako suffering an issue with his left shoulder after sparring this past week. Originally the issue arose on October 27th, he then iced it, went to a medical facility on the 28th and advised to rest for 2 months.
The injury, which has occurred to his left subscapularis, is one that would essentially left him a one handed fighter had the bout gone ahead so it's hard to complain about his decision. Sadly though it does push this bout back to 2021, if it takes place at all.
This is the third time the bout has been scheduled and then cancelled. It was originally set as part of the Champion Carnival and pencilled in for May 2nd, was rescheduled due to the on going global situation. It was then pushed back back to July 27th, before Kunimoto pulled out, citing training issues, and now we've had this cancellation.
At the time of writing the plan is for the show to still take place, with former world title challenger Takeshi Inoue (16-1-1, 10) [井上 岳志] battling unbeaten fighter Nath Nwachukwu (6-0-2, 3) [ワチュク・ナァツ] in the show's main event.
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