Over the last 24 hours or so the schedule on the JOSC (JBC Official Supporters Club) website has revealed a new bout set for April 21st, as part of a Yokohama Hikari show at Korakuen Hall.
The bout in question will see Japanese Youth Minimumweight champion Kai Ishizawa (7-1, 7) [石澤開] defending his title, for the first time, as he takes on Yuni Takada (8-6-2, 3) [高田勇仁], in a bout scheduled for 8 rounds.
The talented and hard hitting Ishizawa won the belt back in 2018, when he stopped Yuga Inoue in a sensational bout. The following year the title seemed to be forgotten as Ishizawa focused on securing a Japanese title fight, losing in an eliminator against Masataka Taniguchi. Sadly 2020 was a bit of a write off for Ishizawa, who only squeezed one bout into the year, though did shake off some ring rust with a TKO in over Masashi Tada.
On paper Takada looks like a poor challenger, especially given that he's win-less in his last 3 and is 2-4-1 in his last 7, however he's not a push over. Last year he fought to a draw with Hizuki Saso and suffered a competitive loss to former Japanese champion Norihito Tanaka, and in 2019 he gave the exciting Toshiki Kawamitsu arguably his toughest bout to date.
Ishizawa should have too much for Takada, but we certainly won't be complain about seeing the heavy handed youngster back in action, with bigger and better things surely on the horizon for him.
The bout will be on a show, headlined by Japanese Light Middleweight champion Hironobu Matsunaga (17-1, 11) [松永 宏信] defending his title his title against Rei Nakajima (4-0) [中島玲] and will also feature Reiya Abe (20-3-1, 9) [阿部麗也] battling Koshin Takeshima (4-1-1, 3) [竹嶋宏心].
A week ago we reported that Japanese Light Middleweight champion Hironobu Matsunaga (17-1, 11) [松永 宏信] would be back in the ring on April 21st to defend his title against Rei Nakajima (4-0) [中島玲] at Korakuen Hall. At the time that was the only bout announced for the show, though with it being a show from Yokohama Hikari we did expect other notable fighters to be added to the event.
Today we were informed of a second bout on the card, and it's another really interesting one, as two men with JBC and OPBF rankings clash in a well matched 8 round.
That bout is one which will see the fantastically talented Reiya Abe (20-3-1, 9) [阿部麗也] take on the once beaten Koshin Takeshima (4-1-1, 3) [竹嶋宏心] in an 8 rounder at 58KG's, or around 128lbs.
The talented Abe is 1-1-1 in his last 3, though they include a draw with the then Japanese Featherweight champion Taiki Minamoto, a razor thin loss to Ryo Sagawa and a very good win over the then 10-0 Ren Sasaki. At his best he is one of the smartest and most talented fighters in Japan, though at times he has been a touch lazy and too patient, so hopefully we will begin to see a more aggressive side to him here.
Takeshima on the other hand turned professional after a very promising amateur career Like Abe he is 1-1-1 in his last 3, with his loss coming last time out to Yamato Hata, at Super Featherweight, his draw being a technical draw to Daisuke Watanabe in the Hajime No Ippo 30th Anniversary tournament, and his win came against big punching Filipino Jon Jon Estrada. With his loss last time out we're expecting to see more aggression from Takeshima here, especially given how timid he looked against Hata.
Here we're expecting a really technical and tactical bout, but one that may have more action than typical bouts involving these two men.
Earlier today A-Sign Boxing announced the next defense for Japanese Light Middleweight champion Hironobu Matsunaga (17-1, 11) [松永 宏信], who will be seeking his third defense. In the opposite corner to the aggressive and exciting champion will be unbeaten prospect Rei Nakajima (4-0) [中島玲], making for a really interesting stylistic match up between men with very, very different styles.
The 33 year old Matsunaga, for those who haven't seen him, is an aggressive pressure fighter, who physically imposes himself in bouts, presses forward and looks to break opponents, mentally and physically. He's strong, comes forward and is fairly relentless when he has his man hurt. Although not a big fighter at 154lbs he is a strong one, and has stopped his last 6 opponents, including veterans Koshinmaru Saito, Nobuyuki Shindo and Yuto Shimizu with some very impressive performances.
Nakajima on the other hand is a 22 year old prospect who is tiny at the weight, standing at around 5'5", though makes his diminutive stature work well for him. He's very much a speedy, smart fighter who draws mistakes, counters, gets in and out and uses criminally under-rated footwork to neutralise bigger, stronger men. He turned professional in 2019 and in 2020, in just his 4th bout, he easily out boxed Shinobu Charlie Hosokawa, though some how one judge gave the bout to Hosokawa resulting in a split decision.
The bout promises to be a case of Matsunaga's pressure against the skills and speed of Nakajima, which should make for a thrilling back and forth bout and a great chance to see if Nakajima really is as good as he's looked, or whether the champion will be too good at this stage in their respective careers.
For those wanting to attend the event it will be on April 21st at Korakuen Hall. Given "Dynamic Glove" is mentioned on the promotional image released it seems likely the event will be shown on G+, though at the moment it seems likely to be a tape delay broadcast.
Earlier today at Korakuen Hall fight fans had the chance to see unbeaten prospect Rei Nakajima (4-0) [中島玲] score the biggest win of his career, as he over-came former OPBF and WBO Asia Pacific Middleweight champion Shinobu Charlie Hosokawa (12-6-1, 11) [細川チャーリー忍], and took a decision win over the veteran.
On paper the bout was a massive step up in class for Nakajima. The unbeaten youngster was taking on his most notable foe so far. Hosokawa seemed to have almost all the advantages, being the bigger, stronger, longer, more powerful and more experienced fighters. That however proved to be for nought as Nakajima proved to be the quicker, smarter, better boxer.
From the opening stages Nakajima relied on his speed and movement. He was making Hosokawa miss, and nipping in and out with sharp, accurate shots. It was great gameplan from the diminutive youngster who looked really talented though out the early and mid rounds.
It wasn't until late into the bout that Hosokawa began to find his man, who was slowing down and feeling the pace a little bit more. In round 7 Hosokawa landed several good body shots, though his success was somewhat limited and in round 8 Nakajima again showed what he could do with his quicker movement and hand speed.
Despite the bout seeming to be a clear win for Nakajima, the judges actually had this one split. One judge some how, had Hosokawa winning 78-74, whilst the other two had Nakajima taking the decision 77-75. It should be noted that Nakajima, from Osaka, was in Tokyo for this bout, whilst Hosokawa wasn't just "fighting at home", but his promoter was also in charge of the show, which may have played a part in the scoring.
Following his win Nakajima stated that he wanted to get a Japanese Light Middleweight title fight as soon as possible. On the back of this performance that title fight might be a bit too soon, though we would love to see him take on Hironobu Matsunaga (17-1, 11) [松永 宏信] somewhere down the line.
On the same show there was a technical draw in the bout between Tulio Kuwabata (3-1-1, 2) [桑畑凜生] and Yoshihiro Utsumi (16-9-4, 10) [宇津見義広]. There was a headclash early on that left Utsumi cut, and in round 2 that cut worsened to the point where the bout had to be stopped.
For fans wanting to watch this one it will be put on Boxing Raise in the coming days.
Tomorrow at Korakuen Hall we'll get Golden Child 128, a show that will be made available on demand on Boxing Raise and will be used to celebrate the 55th anniversary of the Kaneko Boxing Gym.
The main event of that show will see diminutive prospect Rei Nakajima (3-0) [中島玲] take on former OPBF and WBO Asia Pacific Middleweight champion Shinobu Charlie Hosokawa (12-5-1, 11) [細川チャーリー忍] in an 8 round bout at Middleweight. Today, ahead of their contest, the two men took part in their weigh in, with both men easily making the Middleweight limit.
On the scales Hosokawa was the heavier man, coming in at around 159.4lbs whilst Nakajima came in at 159lbs, a full 1lb under the limit.
The weight wasn't the only area where Hosokawa out did Nakajima, with the former regional champion towering over Nakajima, looking like he belonged several weigh classes about the unbeaten Nakajima. As well as height Hosokawa will also have the edge in reach and power.
Despite giving away all the physical advantages Nakajima will likely feel he has advantages of his own. He is the younger man, by 14 years, he's also the quicker man, the more skilled fighter and the man with less miles on the clock.
Again, for fans who can't make it to the Korakuen Hall for this one, it can be watch, on demand, on Boxing Raise.
(Image credit - Kaneko Boxing Gym)
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