Earlier today the Japan Professional Boxing Association announced the Strongest Korakuen bouts, which will take place later this year to decide the mandatory challengers for the Japanese titles in the new year, with 10 bouts being announced.
The Minimumweight bout will see WBO Asia Pacific champion Yudai Shigeoka (5-0, 3) [重岡優大] take on Tatsuro Nakashima (11-3-1, 7) [仲島辰郎], with the winner getting a show at the Japanese title, currently held by Yudai's younger brother Ginjiro Shigeoka (8-0, 6) [重岡銀次朗], who actually beat Nakashima for the title. This bout is set to take place at Korakuen Hall on November 17th.
The Light Flyweight eliminator will see Daiki Tomita (18-2, 6) [冨田大樹] battle Rikito Shiba (6-2, 3) [芝力人], though no date or venue has been announced for this bout.
At Super Flyweight we also have no date or venue set, but a mouth watering bout as Ryusei Kawaura (9-1, 6) [川浦龍生] battles Suzumi Takayama (5-0, 4) [高山涼深], in what is potentially the best looking of the bouts announced.
The Bantamweight bout bout will see Jin Minamide (6-2, 5) [南出仁] battle against Yuki Yonaha (11-3-1, 8) [与那覇勇気], in what could prove to be a very explosive bout between two flawed but hard hitting.
On the subject of interesting bouts we'll have a potentially thrilling war at Super Bantamweight as former champions Ryoichi Tamura (14-6-1, 7) [田村亮一] takes on Gakuya Furuhashi (28-9-2, 16) [古橋大輔]. Interestingly these two men also met in a Japanese title eliminator back in 2019, with Furuhashi taking a razor win over Tamura, before winning the title with a sensational battle just 4 months later.
At Featherweight former champion Ryo Sagawa (12-2, 7) [佐川遼] faces off with Daisuke Watanabe (12-5-2, 7) [渡部大介].
At Super Featherweight the hard hitting Yamato Hata (12-1, 11) [波田大和] will face Yuna Hara (11-2-1, 6) [原優奈], with this bout set to take place on October 1st at Korakuen Hall.
On paper one of the more underwhelming bouts is set to take place at Lightweight, as Shuma Nakazato (11-2-3, 7) [仲里周磨] takes on the hard hitting Ken Koibuchi (8-4-1, 7) [鯉淵健], in what might be an bout that's easy to over-look but is very likely to be an explosive encounter.
At Welterweight we're in for a treat as we get a rematch between Hironori Shigeta (8-2-1, 5) [重田裕紀] and Shoki Sakai (26-13-2, 14) [坂井祥紀], who gave us a very fan friendly bout back in 2020 with Sakai taking a clear but hard fought decision win. This bout is set to take place on October 22nd at Korakuen Hall.
At 154lbs Rei Nakajima (5-1) [中島玲] will face Koki Koshikawa (9-6, 6) [越川孝紀]. For Koshikawa he's looking to land his third shot at the Japanese 154lb title whilst Nakajima will be looking to secure his second shot at the title.
Notably there is no bout set for Flyweight, Light Welterweight or Middleweight. At the time of writing it's been reported that former world title challenger Ryota Yamauchi (8-2, 7) [山内涼太] will be getting a shot at Flyweight Cristiano Aoqui (16-9-2, 11), will get a shot at 140lbs and unfortunately there won't be a mandatory challenger for the Champion Carnival at Middleweight.
New date set for Iwata Vs Shiba!
Earlier this month we were expecting to see Rikito Shiba (5-1, 3) [芝力人] and Shokichi Iwata (6-0, 4) [岩田翔吉] trade blows for the vacant Japanese Light Flyweight title, in what looked like a fantastic match up. Sadly however the bout was cancelled on the day of the weigh in when Iwata tested positive for Covid19, forcing the bout to be abandoned at the 11th hour, and forcing Teiken to refund tickets whilst holding a show that ended up having just 2 bouts on it.
Thankfully the bout being off appears to have been a short term issue, and earlier today the bout had a new date announced for it, with the announcement that the bout would be taking place on November 6th, as the main event of November's Diamond Glove show.
After testing positive for Covid19 earlier this month Iwata under-went a period of isolation, though suffered no symptoms, and as soon as his quarantine was over he returned to the gym. As a result he's expected to be in 100% fully fit condition come November.
Interestingly the bout has replaced a previously announced bout between Takeshi Inoue (17-1-1, 10) [井上 岳志] and Rei Nakajima (4-1) [中島玲] as the main event of the show, though that was cancelled earlier this month when Inoue was offered a November 17th date with unbeaten Australian hopeful Tim Tszyu (19-0, 15), and understandably took the much, much bigger bout with Tszyu.
Earlier this month it was reported that Takeshi Inoue (17-1-1, 10) [井上 岳志] would be back in the ring on November 6th in a scheduled bout against Rei Nakajima (4-1) [中島玲] at Korakuen Hall. That bout now seems to have been cancelled as Inoue has instead netted a much against unbeaten Australian hopeful Tim Tszyu (19-0, 11), in what is a WBO world title eliminator, and a very interesting match up. With this one set to take place on November 17th in Queensland.
The 26 year old Tszyu, the son of former world champion Kostya, is currently ranked #1 by the WBO and has stopped his last 5 opponents, including former world champion Jeff Horn and former world title challenger Dennis Hogan. He'll know that his world ranking is at risk here, but if he wins he should be ready for a world title shot in early 2022.
On paper this is one of Tszyu's toughest fights, and will see him going up against an incredibly sturdy opponent who is best known for his 2019 loss to Jamie Munguia. Is is however a bout that Tszyu will be strongly favoured to win, and many are tipping Tszyu as a potential world champion, even in the talented heavy Light Middleweight.
As for Inoue this is a big upgrade from the previously planned bout with Nakajima, but is a bout that, if he wins, should open major doors for him. He goes into it with a top 10 WBO ranking himself and will know that a win over the #1 ranked Tszyu could see him gate crashing a world title fight. He'll feel his toughness, and physical strength could be a nightmare for the Australian, who has only gone a combined 9 rounds in his last 3 bouts. Sadly however this will be Inoue's first bout in over a year, and it'll be interesting to see how the lay off effects him coming in to this one.
Notably both men will be entering as champions, in what is a WBO minor title unification bout. Inoue will be risking his WBO Asia Pacific title, which he won in 2019, whilst Tszyu will be risking the WBO Gobal title, which he also won in 2019.
Earlier today it was announced that former world title challenger Takeshi Inoue (17-1-1, 10) [井上 岳志] would be back in the ring on November 6th when he takes on the once beaten Rei Nakajima (4-1) [中島玲] at Korakuen Hall.
The bout will see Inoue defending his WBO Asia Pacific Light Middleweight title and looking to unify it with the currently vacant OPBF title, which he has previously held. As for Nakajima this will be his first bout at regional title level, though did recently face off with Japanese national champion Hironobu Matsunaga.
Inoue, who was last seen beating Nath Nwachukwu in November 2020, has had a frustrating year. He had been in talks to fight for a world title earlier in the year and saw those plans cancelled before they got off the ground, though did land the chance to take part in a training camp in England, alongside Anthony Fowler a few weeks ago.
Fans who have seen Inoue will know what to expect of him. He's a hard nosed, come forward fighter best known for his bout with Jaime Munguia in 2019. Since that loss he has been working on rounding out his technical skills, and being less reliant on his toughness and physicality, and has made rather marked improvements.
As for Nakajima he's not been in action since losing a very, very competitive bout with Matsunaga in April, when he gave the Japanese champion a hotly contested bout in what was a very solid step up in class. Compared to Inoue he's a very different type of fighter, who uses his feet a lot, uses smart movement, good counter punching and good hand speed. He's less likely to look for a war, but could be dragged into one by Inoue.
For fans wanting to watch this, it will be aired on G+ as part of the Dynamic Glove series of shows. At the moment no other bouts for the card have been confirmed.
Earlier today fight fans at Korakuen Hall had the latest show in the Dynamic Glove series of shows, with this show set to be aired in May on G+. The card featured several bouts of note, including a Japanese Light Middleweight title bout, between Hironobu Matsunaga and Rei Nakajima.
For those wanting to watch this, as live, when it's finally aired, we have included this spoiler warning introduction. Please note that spoilers will begin in the next paragraph, starting with the the first under-card bout, and then moving on through the other bouts on the show. If you wish to avoid those spoilers, please stop reading now.
The show began with a 4 round bout between unbeaten novices Taichi Mano (1-0-2) [真野 泰地] and Kanta Kawamura (1-0-1, 1) [川村 栞汰], who both managed to remain unbeaten as they fought to a 4 round split decision draw. This was a good back and forth to kick the show off, and neither man ever really seemed to take control. A good, solid, honest bout to kick off the event, and one that neither man deserved to lose.
The second bout saw teenage Kai Watanabe (1-0) [渡邉 海] kick off his professional career in successful manner, as he out pointed 33 year old Hikaro Sato (2-6-1) [佐藤 光] over 4 rounds. Watanabe was too good from the off. He backed well behind his long reach and whilst Sato tried to turn things around he just walked into shots, taking a lot of punishment, and being cut in round 2. This really was a one sided show case of Watanabe's ability, and a very solid performance from the teenager.
The final 4 rounder saw Teppei Saito (4-1, 2) [齋藤 哲平] take a majority decision against Ayumu Komoto (2-2-1, 2) [河本 歩夢]. Like the bout that opened the event this was really competitive, but it always seemed that Saito was just a touch more eye catching with his work in the first 3 rounds. Komoto was always in the bout, but didn't do quite enough to earn the draw.
The first of 3 notable bouts saw Reiya Abe (21-3-1, 9) [阿部麗也] take a technical decision win over Koshin Takeshima (4-2-1, 3) [竹嶋宏心]. Takeshima started well, and seemed to take the first round, but he was cut in round 2 from an accidental headclash and never seemed to settle after that. In fact Abe seemed to build from knowing Takeshima was a wounded fighter, and he dropped Takeshima in round 3. Takeshima would then suffer another cut, again from an accidental headclash, as his face became a genuine mess.
Knowing he was behind Takeshima tried to turn things around in round 4, and has some success, but Abe's clever boxing saw him take rounds 5 and 6. In round 7 Takeshimna was deducted a point for holding, and late saw the bout being stopped due to his cuts.
At an official time of 2:42 in round 7 the bout was stopped with Abe taking the decision thanks to scores of 67-64, 68-64 and 68-63.
In the second notably bout Japanese Youth Minimumweight champion Kai Ishizawa (8-1, 7) [石澤開] successfully defended his title with a majority decision win over Yuni Takada (8-7-2, 3) [高田勇仁]. This was surprisingly competitive, with Takada really performing much better than expected.
Early on Takada used his speed well and let his hands go whilst moving and stopped Ishizawa from setting his feet. It was the perfect game plan to neutralise Ishizawa's pressure. Sadly however that was an energy sapping gameplan from Takada and one that was not going to be easy to do for 8 rounds against someone as aggressive, strong and powerful as Ishizawa.
In the later rounds Ishizawa's pressure finally started to break through as he got cl0se and got his shots off, doing what he needed to win. After 8 rounds we went to the scorecards with scores of 76-76, 78-74 and 79-73, giving Ishizawa his first decision wins as a professional.
In the main event Japanese Light Middleweight champion Hironobu Matsunaga (18-1, 11) [松永 宏信] recorded his third defense, but really hard to work for it as he narrowly over-came Rei Nakajima (4-1) [中島玲].
Nakajima made the most of his speed advantage early on, and seemed to look confident in the early round, but Matsunaga did what he has been doing for years, and began to find his rhythm in round 2, coming forward behind his jab. In rounds 3 and 4 he began to force his fight, and Nakajima really was made to feel somewhat uncomfortable due to the aggression and pressure of Matsunaga.
After 5 rounds Matsunaga was leading on all 3 cards, 48-47, twice and 49-46.
Knowing he was behind Nakajima looked to change things around, but Matsunaga wasn't having it and looked to tighten his stranglehold on the action. That was despite some really good moments from Nakajima, who really tried to change the tide of the bout, especially in round 9.It was, however, too little too late.
After 10 rounds the two men seemed to have some real respect for each other, following what was a well contested bout. Sadly for Nakajima however he did come up short on all 3 cards, with scores of 97-93, twice and 96-94 all in favour of Nakajima.
Again for those wanting to watch, the show will be televised on G+ on May. A disappointingly long wait for a show that took place with more than a week of April still remaining.
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