Earlier today at Korakuen Hall fight fans saw a new OPBF Welterweight champion being crowned, as Riku Nagahama (12-3-1, 4) [長濱 陸] scored the biggest win of his career, and out pointed the previously unbeaten Kudura Kaneko (11-1, 8) [クドゥラ 金子].
From the early going it seemed like Nagahama was simply too sharp, too smart, and too good for the slower, clumsier but more powerful Kaneko. Kaneko was trying to come forward, but he was unable to land with authority on any kind of regular basis.
After 4 rounds Nagahama was in a clear lead, up 40-36 on all 3 cards when they were announced for the first time.
In the middle rounds Kaneko managed to get some success, at least in round 5, but it wasn't enough to really work his way into the bout as Nagahama began to work away on the body of Kaneko, and took control again without too many worries. It was as if he let Kaneko feel confident and then took it away, showing he was in total control.
After 8 rounds, when we went to the scorecards for the second time and Nagahama had extended his lead to 79-73 across the board. All he had to do was stay up for the final 4 rounds, and that turned out to be no problem at all, despite Kaneko managing to have some of his best moments in final 4 rounds.
With Nagahama staying up right it was always obvious he had done enough in the first 8 rounds to take the win, and we saw that with scores of 118-110 and 117-111, twice.
For fans wanting to watch this it will be made available on Boxing Raise shortly.
(Image courtesy of boxmpob.jp)
Tomorrow we'll see the last Japanese show for over a month, with the JBC suspending all professional boxing through out the month of March due to coronavirus.
Despite the upcoming break the main event tomorrow is an excellent looking bout, as Riku Nagahama (11-2-1, 4) [長濱 陸] and Kudura Kaneko (11-0, 8) [クドゥラ 金子] clash for the OPBF Welterweight title.
Today, ahead of their bout, the two men took part in their weigh in.
At the weigh in Kaneko came in comfortably under the 147lb limit, hitting the scales at 146.5lb, and looked really good on the scales. He sounded confident and spoke about stopping Nagahama within 5 rounds to take the title, and become the first champion from the Honda Gym.
Nagahama also weight in at 145.5lbs, and like Kaneko he looked in great shape. He was complimentary of Kaneko, and it's clear he has studied the unbeaten Afghan-Japanese fighter, but he did also mention that Kaneko has got holes, and he'll be looking to exploit those.
For fans wanting to watch the bout it will be aired live on Boxing Raise, and will be the final bout in Japan until April, at the earliest.
Related - Kaneko and Nagahama clash for OPBF crown!
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Earlier today at the God's Left Bantamweight tournament final we saw Masataka Taniguchi (12-3, 7) [谷口将隆] take to the ring to announce his next bout, which was expected to come against a Japanese fighter for the vacant JBC Minimumweight title as part of the Champion Carnival.
The announcement was however a little bit different.
In the ring Taniguchi announced that his next bout would be on March 17th and would see him facing OPBF Minimumweight champion Lito Dante (16-11-4, 8), in what will actually be a 12 round bout for the OPBF title, that Dante holds, and Japanese title, which is currently vacant. This means that Dante will get a chance to win the Japanese title, despite being from the Philippines, and that Taniguchi gets a chance to become a double champion rather than just fighting for the Japanese title as expected.
The bout will take place a Guts Fighting & Dangan card, so the bout will be made available on TBS, though it'll only be made available on tape delay.
Interestingly Dante was beaten last time out by Taniguchi's stablemate Yudai Shigeoka (2-0, 1) [重岡優大], though that was in a 6 round non-title bout. Shigeoka's win has put down a gameplan that Taniguchi will be able to build on, though Dante is a very tough man to beat over 12 rounds, as his pressure and toughness is a nightmare for opponents. For Dante this is a chance to get one over on the Watanabe Gym, though Taniguchi is certainly no push over and will come in to this bout knowing that he may not get another chance if he losses here.
At the moment no other bouts have been announced for this card, other than this excellent main event, though we suspect at least 1 other notable bout, potentially featuring the aforementioned Yudai Shigeoka, will be on this card.
Last September we saw a bout for the Japanese female Bantamweight title and the OPBF Female Banamtamweight title end in a draw as the unbeaten Kanako Taniyama (2-1-1, 1) [谷山 佳菜子] was controversially denied victory against Tomoko Okuda (6-2-2, 1) [奥田朋子] in Okuda's home city of Sakai.
Today the two women rematched in Tokyo, and again the judges were called into action in what was a bout that swung from one direction to the other.
In the first fight it was regularly Taniyama forcing the pace and tempo, but this time around the Watanabe Gym fighter seemed happy to prove she could strike at range whilst it was Okuda who looked to get inside, and land counter rights on her way in.
From the opening round Taniyama looked to control the distance and repeatedly found a home for her right hand up top. It was a good game plan but not one she could maintain and by the end of round 3 it was clear both women were feeling the pace, and the action was beginning to get sloppy.
The sloppiness began to suit Okuda more, as she let shots go in the clinches that were happening, with a lot of messy action in round 4. That bred more success for Okuda who continued pressing and landing clean, and heavy counters. In fact the power seemed very much with Okuda who landed the much hard looking shots.
After 4 rounds the scores were level on 2 cards and Okuda was up, 39-37 on the third.
In round 6 a clash of heads left Taniyama with a cut above her left eye which the doctor inspected at the start of round 7. The cut seemed to inspire Taniyama to be more aggressive and she began the round hammering off shots but was caught by clean shots herself as she looked to turn back in her favour. Soon afterwards however the cut re-opened forcing an early conclusion as we went to the scorecards.
At the conclusion of the contest Okuda was favoured by all 3 judges, with scores of 68-65 and 67-66, twice, to take the unanimous decision and both the JBC Female and OPBF Female the titles.
Earlier today at Korakuen Hall fight fans saw an OPBF Middleweight title bout that saw the title change hands. The bout saw the unbeaten Kazuto Takesako (12-0-1, 11) [竹迫司登] take a wide decision win to rip the title from the teak tough Shinobu Charlie Hosokawa (12-5-1, 11) [細川チャーリー忍].
The bout, which no one expected to go the distance, remarkably went 12 rounds with neither man scoring a knockdown.
The bout started in exciting fashion with both men letting big shots go in the first 3 minutes. The challenger quickly established his presence as the one bringing the pressure. Moving forward and cutting the distance to Hosokawa. Hosokawa seemed happy on the backfoot, moving and boxing, but was certainly on the receiving end of the bigger, heavier shots.
As the bout went through the early rounds we saw both men landing solid shots to the other, though the majority of the shots were from Takesako. It was his body shots that were really catching the eye, taking the legs from Hosokawa. The challenger wasn't just landing body shots, but instead he was landing absolutely brutal gut busters to the champion, who some how stood up to shots that looked like would have left many fighters rolling on the floor in agony.
The aggressive start from Takesako saw him take a 40-36 lead after 4 rounds, when the scores were first announced publicly.
The body shots proved to be an excellent long term plan from Takesako, who had used them to take the steam out of Hosokawa's work early on, and by the middle rounds Hosokawa's work rate was dropping markedly. The champion struggled to get any momentum going in the middle stages a the descended into what was slowly becoming a mess. Both men, were becoming tired and there was a lot of smothering, wrestling and clinching. It took the entire tempo out of the bout in the middle stages, and it got worse as both men really only managed to fight in short bursts.
The slower pace didn't help Hosokawa in the slightest, and the bursts of action certainly favoured the heavier and more free flowing combinations of Takesako, who got his shots off then got a chance to catch his breath. These weren't dull rounds, as it felt like any moment could see either man shake the other, but they lost some of the intensity of the earlier rounds.
Takesako was leading 80-72 when the scores were announced for the second time, at the end of round 8, and it was clear he could have taken the easy route and gone ultra negative. Instead he did continue landing the bigger shots, and refused to let Hosokawa get even a toe hold in the contest. When Hosokawa looked like he could be getting some momentum Takesako took the play away with a big combination, just emphasising his control over the contest.
Despite looking tired through the second half both men did keep something in the tank for the final stages, and the tempo increased in the final couple of rounds, with round 12 being the highlight of the second half of the bout. By the the result was already in the bag, with Takesako having an unassailable lead. Despite being comfortably up Takesako still hunted the stoppage, but couldn't get it as Hosokawa proved to be incredibly tough.
After 12 rounds we sent to the scorecards but it was a formality with Takesako take a very clear decision, with scores of 120-108 and 119-109, twice.
News! We try and give you the most interesting news stories from the Asian boxing world!