Earlier today we reported that highly touted prospect Rentaro Kimura (3-0, 3) [木村蓮太朗] would be back in the ring on June 10th, for a bout against Hikaru Fukunaga (8-1, 5) [福永輝] as part of a Diamond Glove show at Korakuen Hall. Whilst a great match up that bout isn't going to be the main event of the card, but instead one of the main support bouts. The main event will instead be a Japanese title fight, and a really good on as well!
That title bout will see Japanese Light Welterweight champion Daishi Nagata (15-2-2, 6) [永田大士] making his second defense of the title, which he won last year against Koki Inoue, as he takes on unbeaten 25 year old challenger Masahiro Suzuki (5-0, 3) [鈴木 雅弘].
On paper this looks like a mismatch, but in reality we suspect this could be a very, very compelling bout between two men with a point to prove.
Nagata won his title, as mentioned, in a massive upset win against Koki Inoue, the cousin of Naoya and Takuma Inoue. That win was a massive shock for Nagata who had shown plenty of promise but wasn't expected to be a real test for the then unbeaten Inoue. He was however very under-whelming in his first defense, as head clashes marred a bout with veteran Akihiro Kondo, resulting in a 7th round technical draw last December.
Although a talented fighter Nagata is the sort of fighter who can blow hot and cold. As his best he's a fantastic fighter, as we saw against Inoue and previously against Rikki Naito. At other times it can seem like he's trying too hard to impress and looks poor as a result, such as the draw against Kondo and his 2019 win over Min Ho Jung, which saw him being what fortunate to escape with the victory. If he boxes to his strengths, and avoids letting his heart over rule his brain, he could make this look easy, but with the wrong game plan he could end up slipping on a major banana skin.
Suzuki turned professional in 2018 and immediately impressed ups with an excellent performance against Antonio Siesmundo. It was a performance that instantly seemed to ear mark him as a special talent, capable of racing through the ranks. Sadly his performances after that bout were under-whelming. He was hurt against Kosuke Arioka in his third bout, and narrowly took a victory in his 4th bout, against Hokuto Matsumoto. Those performances saw doubt creep into his potential, though it's fair to say that a step up like this might get the best from him.
For fans wanting to watch this, it will be aired on tape delay by Fuji TV as part of their Diamond Glove series.
Related - Rentaro Kimura to return to the ring on June 10th!
Earlier today Danji Suruga announced the next bout for his star prospect Rentaro Kimura (3-0, 3) [木村蓮太朗], who we now know will return to the ring on June 10th, as he takes on 2020 West Japan Rookie of the Year winner Hikaru Fukunaga (8-1, 5) [福永輝] in a mouth watering 6 rounder at Korakuen Hall.
The talented Kimura made his debut last year, following an excellent amateur career, and he has been hugely impressive since beginning his professional career. In just 3 bouts he has climbed into the WBO Asia Pacific rankings at Featherweight, holding a #15 ranking, and has made it clear that he is chasing title fights as soon as possible. During his first 3 bouts he has shown a lot to be excited about, with his debut KO over Yuya Azuma being one of the most knockouts of 2020., but is still clearly a work in progress and a bout like this will help him develop as he takes on a hungry young fighter with a point to prove.
At 22 years old Fukunaga is genuinely a young fighter, and one who has shown a lot of potential. He made his debut in 2018 and shone in the 2019 Rookie of the Year, until losing a decision to eventual All Japan champion Jinki Maeda. He returned to the Rookie of the Year tournament in 2020 and managed to reach the final, but had to pull out of his bout due to a positive PCR test ahead of a scheduled bout with Kazunori Hirano (4-0, 4) [平野和憲].
On paper this is a genuine step up for both men. Fukunaga is easily the most ambitious opponent that Kimura will have faced so far as a professional, and Kimura is leagues above anyone Fukunaga has faced so far.
If Kimura wins, something he'll be favoured to do, the expectation is that he'll look to secure his first title fight later in the year. Interestingly the bouts comes just 2 days before his 24th birthday and it's clear he, and his team, will not want to waste time with too many bouts like this one. As for Fukunaga he'll want to make a splash after missing out on the Rookie of the Year finals.
Interestingly Mr Suruga explained why it's been so long since Kimura fought, explaining on his blog that "Originally, the plan was to participate in Diamond Globe at Korakuen Hall on April 8th, but we couldn't find an opponent", suggesting that fighters aren't in a rush to face the fast rising Kimura.
The bout will be part of the June edition of "Diamond Glove", and is expected to be shown, in some form, on Fuji TV as the channel continues to back the talented Kimura, having shown two of his first 3 bouts.
Earleir today fight fans at Korakuen Hall had the chance to see super-prospect Rentaro Kimura (3-0, 3) [木村蓮太朗] score his latest win, as he stopped Thunder Teruya (7-8-1, 4) [照屋雄太] in round 4 of their scheduled 8 rounder.
From the off it seemed like Kimura wanted to make a statement landing sharp jabs and good, solid body shots. Teruya, to his credit, tightened up his guard and in round 2 it was Teruya pressing the action, coming forward and forcing a bout up close. Kimura seemed willing to oblige, and rounds 2 and 3 were fought up close, with Kimura forced take some solid blows from Teruya's left hook.
Despite a solid effort from Teruya he was taking risks just to try and get Kimura's respect and in round 4 Kimura's impressive power and punch placement paid off, dropping Teruya in agony with a left uppercut to the body. The shot sent Teruya down and the referee waved off the bout giving Kimura his third straight stoppage win.
Following the bout Kimura spoke and explained that he tried to impress the fans, having made his debut at Korakuen Hall in empty venue earlier this year. He stated that this year wasn't wasted, though it did seem like he was disappointed that he couldn't have the level of fights he had wanted. He then added that he thinks he can beat a stronger opponent in the future, and the rumour has been that he will face a Japanese ranked fighter in his next bout. He also spoke about wanting to become a world champion, something many in Japan are tipping him to become.
For fans wanting to watch this one, highlights are expected to be shown on tape delay on Fuji TV this coming weekend.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
Tomorrow at Korakuen Hall fight fans will get the chance to see super-prospect Rentaro Kimura (2-0, 2) [木村蓮太朗] compete in his first 8 rounder, as he takes on Thunder Teruya (7-7-1, 4) [照屋雄太].
Today, ahead of their bout, the two men took part in their weigh in and both men made weight for the bout with no issues.
On the scales the more experienced fighter made weight with room to spare, coming in at 131.8lbs, or 59.8KG's. Kimura on the other hand came in bang on the contracted 60KG weight, which is 132.25lbs. At the weigh in both men looked in incredible shape and it seemed clear that both had been working hard in preparation for this contest.
Interestingly the bout is Kimura's second at the "Holy Land" of Japanese boxing, though his first in front of fans there, as his professional debut took place behind closed doors in an empty venue. Whilst his second bout took place closer to home, at the FujisanMesse in Shizuoka.
As well as making weight the two men under-went PCR tests.
For fans wanting to watch the bout it's expected that the Diamond Glove broadcast this weekend, on Fuji TV, will show highlights from the contest with those at Fuji TV already show some belief in the youngster, having aired his debut and highlights from his second out.
(Image credit - Suruga Danji)
Back in September we reported that Tsubasa Murachi (5-1, 3) [村地翼] and stablemate Rentaro Kimura (2-0, 2) [木村蓮太朗], who both notched wins on September 27th, would be back in action on December 10th at Korakuen Hall.
Earlier this week we broke the news that Kimura's opponent for that show would be Thunder Teruya (7-7-1, 4) [照屋雄太], who has really turned his career around after a 2-6-1 start, with the two men set to fight in an 8 round bout.
Now we can also reveal that Murachi has seemingly had his opponent named!
From what we understand Murachi will take on Isao Aoyama (12-7-1, 3) [青山功] in an 8 round bout at 53KG's, which is a contracted weight just under 117lbs.
For Murachi the bout will be his second since losing to Froilan Saludar in a WBO Asia Pacific Super Flyweight title bout, which really came too soon in his career. For Aoyama the bout will see him getting a chance to build on a January win over Marzon Cabilla. On paper Aoyama will be the under-dog, but he is 3-1 in his last 4 and is no push over, giving the likes of Akinori Hoshino and Keisuke Nakayama really good, close, and competitive bouts.
Murachi's bout with Aoyama and Kimura's bout with Teruya, will be part of a show that will be headlined by Japanese Light Welterweight champion Daishi Nagata (15-2-1, 6) [永田大士] defending his title against Akihiro Kondo (32-9-1, 18) [近藤 明広]. The show will take place under the Diamond Glove banner, with bouts shown on tape delay on Fuji TV.
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