Earlier today at Korakuen Hall fight fans had the chance to enjoy the latest show under the Diamond Glove banner, and the show really was one worthy of attention thanks to three great bouts at the top of the card.
The first of the notable bouts was a clash between prospects as 23 year old Ryo Nakai (3-1-1, 1) [中井 龍] took on touted 25 year old Go Hosaka (5-1, 3) [保坂 剛] in an 8 rounder at Super Featherweight. On Hoaka was the favourite, entering the bout as an unbeaten fighter, though in many was Nakai was the more proven professional, having shown what he could do in a very competitive bout with Shu Utsuki not too long ago.
From the off the two men battled jabs, with little to separate them, though Nakai did seem to land one or two more eye catching shots, thanks to his left hand. Hosaka tried to change the tempo after the opening round, but that lead to Nakai landing some cracking uppercuts with his left hand, punishing Hosaka for his aggression.
In the later rounds Hosaka's pressure did manage to to have success, and he forced some brilliant exchanges in the final rounds as Nakai looked to get his respect. After 8, very competitive and well fought rounds, the judges all turned in cards of 77-75 in favour of Nakai. Nakai will obvious look to build on this win, and despite the loss we certainly wouldn't write Hosaka off.
The second of those three bouts was a Japanese title eliminator at 130lbs, as Kanehiro Nakagawa (11-6, 5) [中川 兼玄] clashed with Shinnosuke Hasegawa (13-3-1, 9) [長谷川 慎之介], and the two men put on a show!
Early on Hasegawa had real success, using his southpaw stance and making the most of Nakagawa's slow feet. It seemed, for the first round or two, that Hasegawa was simply going to be too good, and have a style that Nakagawa couldn't deal with. However as the rounds went on Nakagawa began to find his time, creating his own success, and in round 5 dropped Hasegawa, turning the bout around.
Following the knockdown we ended up with a war, as both men landed numerous big shots, trying to impress the judges and the crowd. It was a thrilling ending, and one that, thankfully for Nakagawa, was his style of fight, leading to him taking a razor thin split decision. With the win Nakagawa sets up a potential FOTY candidate in 2022 with Kosuke Saka, in one that is certainly worth getting very excited about.
The main event saw former Japanese Featherweight champion Ryo Sagawa (11-2, 6) [佐川遼] take on Retsu Kosaka (10-7, 4) [小坂烈]. These two had met before, with Kosaka giving Sagawa his first professional loss back in 2017, and it was clear that Sagawa wanted to avenge that defeat.
From the early going Sagawa looked levels better than Kosaka, though he had in their first bout until Kosaka caught him with a bomb and forced a stoppage. Unlike their first bout however Sagawa managed to show improved defense, avoiding the power of Kosaka, and picking away at his man with straight shots whilst remaining composed when Kosaka did let his shots go. By the final round Kosaka had gotten into a hole and was desperate, trying to turn things around, that left him open at times, and mid way through round 8 Sagawa landed a great right hand before going to work and forcing the referee to save Kosaka with 97 seconds of the bout left.
Earlier today it was announced that triple crown Lightweight champion Shuichiro Yoshino (13-0, 10) [吉野 修一郎] would be returning to the ring on August 12th to make his next defense of the Japanese Lightweight title, on a "Diamond Glove" show.
The bout, which will take place at Korakuen Hall, will see Yoshino taking on the once beaten Shuma Nakazato (10-1-3, 7) [仲里周磨] in a very, very interesting match up.
Yoshino has, arguably, been the best Lightweight in Japan over the last few years, and has gone on to unify the Japanese, OPBF and WBO Asia Pacific titles during his career. Not only has he unified all 3 titles but he has also been picking up a string of notable wins including victories over Yoshitaka Kato, Harmonito Dela Torre and Valentine Hosokawa, and has shown both lights out power and solid rounded boxing skills. Sadly however he hasn't really kicked on, on been able to make any mark beyond on the Oriental scene, so far.
Nakazato on the other hand is a second generation fighter, following in the footsteps of former fighter Shigeru Nakazato, who fought for a world title and would win the OPBF Super Bantamweight title during his career. Although he has got some marks on his record they include a close loss to Hironori Mishiro in 2017, and draws against the then 6-0 Teppei Kayunuma and Yoshimitsu Kimura, as well as an opening round technical draw with Virgil Puton.
As well as the main event there have been other bouts confirmed for this card, including the return of former Japanese Featherweight champion Ryo Sagawa (10-2, 5) [佐川遼] who will take on Retsu Kosaka (10-6, 4) [小坂烈]. On paper this might not seem like a hugely notably match up, but it does give Sagawa a chance to avenge his first professional loss, and get revenge for a 2017 defeat to Kosaka, in what was Sagawa's second professional bout.
As with all Diamond Glove shows, this will be aired on Fuji TV, on some form of tape delay.
Earlier today Japanese fight fans got their first set of Japanese Youth Tournament finals. One of those, at Featherweight, saw Tsuyoshi Tameda (14-3-2, 12) [溜田 剛士] say good bye to the legendary Yonekura gym as the Youth champion, as he scored a stoppage win over the out gunned Retsu Kosaka (8-3, 3) [小坂烈], in what was the final bout ever fought in by a Yonekura gym fighter.
A determined looking Tameda, who had already agreed to join the Ohashi gym after this fight, set the pace from the off andpressed Kosaka whilst looking to land his heavy shots. Kosaka, to his credit, moved well and looked to counter Tameda, but really never had the power to get Tameda's respect or the speed of foot to really stay away from the power puncher.
In round 2 Tameda's pressure began to tell, and it was hard to beleive that he was entering the bout on the back of two losses. By the end of the round it was clear that Kosaka was feeling the weight of the shots and was breaking down as Tameda landed heavy blows to head and body. The shots from Tameda continued to rain down in round 3 with Kosaka eventually being dropped late in round. At the end of the round Kosaka's team pulled him from the bout, giving Tameda the win, and resulting in celebrations from Tameda's team, which included Hideyuki Ohashi among others.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Tomorrow at the Korakuen Hall fight fans will be able to see a number of Japanese Youth tournament bouts. Included in them is a Featherweight bout between Retsu Kosaka (8-2, 3) [小坂烈] and Tsuyoshi Tameda (13-3-2, 11) [溜田 剛士]. The bout will see a talented boxer take on a heavy handed banger, in what will be the final bout by a Yonekura Gym fighter, with the gym closing at the end of August.
Kosaka comes into this bout following a stoppage win over Ryo Sagawa in May, in what was a semi-final bout for this contest. Kosaka came in well under the limit, at around 125.25lbs, but towered over Tameda. Although he won last time out, it does need to be noted that he did lose his two previous bouts and it's hard to know whether the win over Sagawa said more about Sagawa than it did Kosaka.
As for Tameda the bout will be his first since losses to Simpiwe Vetyeka and Reiya Abe, and he's had a good 10 month break from the ring following those hard bouts. He came in at 125.5lb for the bout and looked in great shape. Although he has been training hard it's notable that there is huge pressure on his shoulders as he essentially becomes the last fighter to fight for the Yonekura Gym. After this bout he will become an Ohashi Gym fighter, and will be hoping to transfer as a Youth tournament winner.
For those wanting to watch this it will be available on Boxingraise.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
This past Tuesday Japanese fans at the Korakuen Hall got the chance to see the first ever bouts from the Japanese Youth Tournament, which had it's first semi final bouts on a recent Dangan card. The bouts were interesting contests on paper, and have opened up some really intriguing match ups for the finals, later this year.
The most interesting of the finals will be at Flyweight, where Seigo Yuri Akui (11-0-1, 7) [ユーリ阿久井 政悟] will face Junto Nakatani (12-0, 9) [中谷 潤人]. In their semi finals the two men had very different levels of success, with Akui brushing aside Ryuto Oho (9-4-1, 2) [大保 龍斗] in 93 seconds, whilst Nakatani claimed a razor thin majority decision over Yuma Kudo (6-3-2, 1) [工藤優雅], in a real gutcheck.
At Super Flyweight Kenya Yamashita (10-3, 7) [山下賢哉] shines, as he scored a 4th round TKO over Naoto Iwai (3-2, 1) [岩井尚斗] to secure a final place against Joe Tanooka (14-3-4, 1) [田之岡条]. Iwai, who had been 3-0 when the bout with Yamashita was first announced, was over-awed by Yamashita's aggression and suffered his second successive loss. Yamashita will be looking to impose himself against Tanooka in a real boxer Vs brawler bout, which could be one of the most interesting match ups from a style point taking place in the finals.
At Featherweight it was again experience being king as Retsu Kosaka (8-2, 3) [小坂烈] stopped Ryo Sagawa (1-1, 1) [佐川遼] in 2 rounds to book a bout with Tsuyoshi Tameda (13-3-2, 11) [溜田 剛士]. The bout between Kosaka and Tameda will be an interesting one, whilst Sagawa, who had fought more than 80 bouts as an amateur, will look to bounce back, after being thrown in very deep here.
In the sole Super Featherweight semi-final Sho Nagata (8-2, 2) [永田 翔] dominated Ryusei Ishii (6-4, 4) [石井龍誠], scoring a shut out to book a place in the final against the talented Kazuma Sanpei (12-4, 4) [三瓶 数馬].
The finals, for the entire tournament not just the divisions with semi-finals, will take place on August 23rd at the Korakuen Hall.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
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