Earlier today at the Archiac Hall in Amagasaki, fight fans got the latest show from Shinsei Promotions. It was a mall one, with only 4 bouts, but one that was made available globally, for free, through the excellent Boxing Real YouTube channel.
The show kicked off with the professional debut of Goki Kobayashi (1-0, 1) [小林 豪己] who took on Hyogo Kimura (6-3-1, 1) [木村 彪吾] in a scheduled 6 rounder. On paper this looked a really tough debut for Kobayashi, who had around 35 bouts as an amateur and it lived up to those expctations, with Kimura fighting to win. Despite a very genuine effort from Kimura he was out boxed and broken down as the more talented Kobayashi hammered his body and left him looking out on his feet through much of round 6. With only around 10 seconds of the bout left the referee waved off the contest, stopping Kimura from taking any more damage in the final moments. He had given a fair account of himself, but lacked the stamina and stopping power to ask real questions of Kobayashi, who lookslike he could be one to keep an eye on over the next few years.
The second bout saw the under-rated Wataru Ikegami (9-5-1, 5) [池上 渉] score his th win in 5 bouts as he over-came the much taller Hibiki Jogo (10-4, 5) [城後 響] in an 8 rounder. On paper this is probbaly not one that screams out as being a good fight, but the styles ended up gellign pretty well to give us a nice little back and forth contest. Early on Jogo was on his toes, moving around the ring and trying to use his height and range whilst Ikegami pressured. As the bout went on Ikegami's workrate increased whilst Jogo landed some very good counter shots. Despite the two men being very different this was a genuinely enjoyable bout between two men each there to win, and two men didn't feel the need to hold instead of fighting. The limitations of both are there to see, but they made for a good, TV friendly, contest with Ikegami doing enough to earn the decision.
The scores here were 77-75, twice, and 78-74, all to Ikegami.
The chief support bout was a contest between Yuga Inoue (11-2-1, 2) [井上 夕雅] and Condor Inaba (7-6-1, 3) [コンドル稲葉]. The naturally bigger Inaba started the bout on the front foot and looked the more aggressive through the opening round as he made his size and strength pay. Sadly however for Inaba he was rocked late in the opening round and it wax clear that, although not a puncher, Inoue had enough in his shots to hurt his man. In round 2 the warning bells from the end of the opening round showed themselves again with Inoue bloodying the nose of Inaba, swelling his eye, forcing him backwards and forcing a doctor inspection of his swollen left eye. With Inaba fighting with just one eye Inoue went for the kill and forced the referee to stop the bout.
The main event saw former Japanese Youth Light Flyweight champion Rikito Shiba (5-1, 3) [芝力人] secure himself a stoppage win over veteran Hideyuki Watanabe (8-14-3, 6) [渡邉秀行]. Despite looking like a mismatch on paper Watanabe got off to a good start, making the most of his southpaw stance, his experience and his ring craft. Though much of the opening round Watanabe was landing the better shots and forcing Shiba to back up. What seemed a good start for Watanabe continued through much of the bout, as Shiba seeemed to be showing signs of ring rust and questionable confidence, following a blow out loss to Masamichi Yabuki last time he fought.
As the rounds went on Shiba looked less and less comfortable and like a man who could be on the end of a major upset loss. That was until round 7 when he pulled out something special. He was under pressure again in the 7th round with Watanabe continuing to have more success than anyone had anticipated, and even walking through a huge hook from Shiba. Another left hook, later in the round, was enough to drop Watanabe, hard. The veteran beat the count, but the referee waved off the bout vewing Watanabe as unfit to continue. A questionable decision from the referee.
Despite the somewhat fortunate call from the ref, this was a huge turn around. It showed that Shiba has fight changing power, but left us with a lot of questions about what exactly he has to offer the sport going forward.
A few weeks ago Shinsei Promotions announced that we would see the return of former Japanese Youth champion Rikito Shiba (4-1, 2) [芝力人] on May 23rd, against Hideyuki Watanabe (8-13-3, 6) [渡邉秀行]. That date was soon changed to June 5th due to the State of Emergency in Osaka that made holding the event in May impossible.
Today we saw an update on the bout, with a new date being announced and a different venue.
The bout has been pushed back a single day this time, from June 5th to June 6th, and has been moved out of the EDION Arena Osaka, which is still closed due to the extended State of Emergency in the region. Instead the event will take place at the Amagasaki Cultural Center in Amagasaki, Hyogo.
For fans with tickets they will still be able to attend the reschedule show, though it should be noted that the seating is different in the venue and guides may be on hand to help seat you correctly.
It should be noted that a second show, set to take place at the EDION Arena Osaka on the same day, headlined by Tsubasa Narai (7-0, 6) [奈良井 翼] facing Kyonosuke Kameda (6-2-1, 5) [亀田 京之介] for the Japanese Youth Featherweight title, has not yet had anannouncement regarding it's status. We expect an update in the very near future.
Last week news broke from Japan that Shinsei Gym would be holding "Real Spirits Vol 73" on May 23rd at the EDION Arena Osaka. Sadly however plans have now had to change, with that show being pushed back to June, due to the State of Emergency being extended to the end of the month, essentially meaning that the month of May will not have any boxing held in Osaka.
Thankfully the delay to the show isn't a long one, pushing the event from May 23rd to June 5th, but it is still a disappointing delay for the show and for those in charge of the event.
The show was set to be headlined by former Japanese Youth Light Flyweight champion Rikito Shiba (4-1, 2) [芝力人] battling against Hideyuki Watanabe (8-13-3, 6) [渡邉秀行], in what will be Shiba's first bout since being stopped by Masamichi Yabuki in December 2019. Thankfully it still seems that bout will be on the show, remaining as the headline bout on a show with just 3 other contests
Although the show is delayed we are glad that we know when the talented Shiba will be back in action and it's also assumed that this show will be streamed online for free on the Boxing Real YouTube channel.
Fingers crossed June will be a much, much better month for boxing in Osaka than May's been, with two shows now having been postponed and no shows still on the schedule for what remains of the month.
Earlier this year the JBC added a new feature to their website showing changes in information for JBC licensed bouts. Whilst some of these changes are minor, and some what irrelevant to those outside of Japanese boxing, others are more interesting.
The changes are broken down into 4 types. They include returning titles, fighters transferring gyms, changing their ring names and retiring.
We won't go through all the changes in September but we will share some of the more notable ones.
The only title to be vacated in September was the Japanese Youth Light Flyweight title, which was given up by Rikito Shiba (4-1, 2) [芝力人], who officially vacated the title on September 18th, just over a year after he won it. Sadly he never managed to defend the bout during his reign.
In regards to Gym Transfers the most notable was talented Super Featherweight hopeful Yoshimitsu Kimura (12-2, 7) [木村 吉光], who has officially signed with the AMBITION Gym, becoming the latest fighter from the now closed Shirai Gushiken Gym to join AMBITION Gym.
One of the biggest things to note was that a trio of Kadoebi Gym fighters have announced their retirements. These included former OPBF Middleweight champion Koki Tyson (14-4-3, 12) [王杉康輝] and former Japanese Super Bantamweight contender Mugicha Nakagawa (24-7-2, 14) [武田勇太].
There was some name changes, but in reality none of these were hugely notable.
Just a few minutes ago WBO Asia Pacific Featherweight champion Musashi Mori (11-0, 6) [森 武蔵] announced the details regarding his next bout.
The youngster will be defending his WBO regional title as he takes on veteran Shingo Kawamura (16-5-4, 8) [河村真吾] in Kumamoto on April 18th as the main event of "Splendid Boxing in Kumamoto Vol 2".
The 20 year old Mori won the title in late 2018, when he beat Richard Pumicpic, and since then has developed significantly, defended the belt twice and began working with legendary trainer Ismael Salas. He's some way from a world title fight, though he has made it known he wants one soon, and this will be a chance for him to further show his improvement under Salas.
Sadly coming in to this Kawamura is without a win in 5 bouts, having drawn his last 3 and losing the previous 2. Despite his poor form he has mixed with good company, facing the likes of Satoshi Shimizu and Ryo Sagawa.
Also booked for this card is a brilliant match up at Light Flyweight between former world title challenger Reiya Konishi (17-2, 7) [小西伶弥] and former Japanese Youth champion Rikito Shiba (4-1, 2) [芝力人], in what should be an excellent supporting bout and matches two men who really need a win following losses last time out. For Shiba this will be his first bout since being stopped in a Japanese title eliminator to Masamichi Yabuki (10-3, 10) [佐藤政道] whilst Konishi is looking to bounce back from a clear loss to Felix Alvarado.
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