Earlier today the winners of the East Japan Boxing Awards, for November, were announced with 3 winners being named for the month.
The MVP for the month was Takuma Inoue (15-1, 3) [井上拓真], who won the award after becoming a 3-weight OPBF champion in the following his win over Shingo Wake (27-7-2, 19) [和氣 慎吾] on November 11th. Inoue, who won the OPBF Super Bantamweight title with the win, was a clear front runner for the award and his win over Wake is one of the best of his career so far. And that's ignoring how food the actual performance was, as he neutralised the talented Wake and dominated him over 12 rounds.
The Fighting Spirit Award was won by the newly crowned Japanese Light Flyweight champion Shokichi Iwata (7-0, 5) [岩田 翔吉], who won the award, and the Japanese title, thanks to an excellent 9th round TKO win over Rikito Shiba (5-3, 2) [芝 力人]. The bout was a very clear step up in class for Iwata, but it was a step up that he made with relative ease as he took the best Shiba had to offer, and went on to break him down.
The third winner was the Newcomer of the Month, Hyuma Fujioka (12-10-1, 1) [藤岡飛雄馬], who earned the award for his massive upset win over former world title challenger Ryohei Takahashi (19-5-1, 8) [高橋竜平]. Takahashi, best known for his IBF world title bout with TJ Doheny back in 2019, was dropped by Fujiuoka, who took a career best win with an 8 round decision victory here on November 26th.
Earlier today at Korakuen Hall fight fans saw the latest show from Teiken Promotions, with the event coming under the Dynamic Glove banner. Sadly the event wasn't shown live on TV, but it was still an interesting one, and one that will be aired this coming Tuesday on G+.
We won't be going through all the bouts on the card, but there was 3 bouts that were interesting, including a Japanese Heavyweight bout, a bout featuring a top prospect and a Japanese Light Flyweight title bout.
The Heavyweight bout was an all-debutant bout which saw Shuho Takayama (1-0, 1) [高山 秀峰] stopping Kentaro Nakano (0-1) [中野 健太郎] in just 54 seconds. The fight saw both men unloading heavy leather from the off, with Takayama landing a right hand that staggered Nakano. A follow up dropped Nakano, who had taken hard shots whilst up against the ropes. Following the win Takayama spoke about using 10Oz gloves for the first time in his career, and it seems like the smaller gloves have lead him to landing heavier shots. He also spoke about wanting to win the Japanese Heavyweight title one day in the future.
The second bout of real note on this show was the co-feature bout Goki Kobayashi (2-0, 1) [小林 豪己] scored a 6 round unanimous decision over Hayato Aoki (4-2, 3) [青木 勇人]. The bout was an interesting one from the off, but Kobayashi was too good for Aoki, who got put on the back foot and forced to fight as a counter puncher early on. The combinations and clean accurate shots form Kobayashi saw him dominating the first 5 rounds, and he was in a comfortable position heading into the final round. Knowing he was down Aoki gave his all in round 6, pressing and coming forward, looking to take his man out, but it wasn't enough and Kobayashi continued to land at will.
After 6 rounds the judges had this one 60-54, twice, and 59-55, all to Kobayashi.
The main event of the show was a Japanese Light Flyweight title fight that saw Shokichi Iwata (7-0, 5) [岩田 翔吉] score a 9th round TKO win over Rikito Shiba (5-3, 2) [芝 力人], for the previously vacant title. From the opening round this was exciting and high level stuff, at mid range from both men. The first round saw little to split the men, but Shiba landed some eye catching body shots whilst Iwata looked to get close. The back and forth of the opening round was shown through the first half of the fight, with both having moments in every round, though it seemed the work of Iwata was a bit tidier, more accurate and his counters were more telling. That was despite Iwata being cut from an accidental clash of heads.
In round 4, Iwata began to increase the pressure, and began getting to Shiba with more and more success because backing off a bit more in round 5, seeing how Shiba would respond.
After 5 rounds we got the open scoring with Iwata leading on two of the cards, 49-46 and 48-47, whilst Shiba was up on the third judges' card. Iwata then began to show what he could really do, dropping Shiba in round 6 with a straight right hand, landing some brutal uppercuts in round 7, and then closing the show with a big assault in round 9, that forced the referee to wave off the bout.
For those wondering, 9 Iwata was up on all 3 cards at the time of the stoppage, leading 78-73 on two of them and 77-74 on the third.
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.
On Saturday in Japan we were expecting to see a new Japanese Light Flyweight champion being crowned as Rikito Shiba (5-1, 3) [芝力人] and Shokichi Iwata (6-0, 4) [岩田翔吉] were set to face off for the currently vacant title.
Sadly that bout was cancelled today when Iwata's PCR test came back as being positive for Covid19, forcing the contest to be pulled from the show at the 11th hour.
Upon the announce Iwata gave comment to the media, stating: "I received a positive coronavirus test in the PCR test the day before the match. I'm really sorry to everyone who was planning to come to the venue to support me. I sincerely apologize for the inconvenience and concern. "
This was the second notable bout to be pulled from the show, following Juiki Tatsuyoshi (13-0-1, 9) [辰吉寿以輝] pulling out of a scheduled bout against Norris Yano (6-2-1, 1) [矢野乃莉守], with that bout falling through in late August.
As a result the show has been left with just 2 bouts, a Japanese Welterweight title eliminator between Yuki Nagano (18-3, 14) [永野祐樹]and Yuki Beppu (21-2-1, 20) [別府優樹], and an East Japan Rookie of the Year bout between Eigoro Akai (0-0) [赤井英五郎] and Yasunori Okamura (0-0) [岡村弥徳].
Due to the very poor quality of what's left of the card it's been confirmed that those with tickets will be refunded, and are still allowed to attend the event.
Yesterday news from Japan broke regarding Juiki Tatsuyoshi (13-0-1, 9) [辰吉寿以輝], the son of the iconic Joichiro Tatsuyoshi, who was supposed to return to the ring on September 11th as part of the Dynamic Glove show at Korakuen Hall.
The flawed, but fun to watch and unbeaten, Tatsuyoshi was supposed to face off against Norris Yano (6-2-1, 1) [矢野乃莉守] in a scheduled 8 rounder at Super Bantamweight. That bout is however off as Tatsuyoshi has suffered an injury in training.
Further details about the injury haven't been made available at the moment, but it is known that the bout is off, and Tatsuyoshi will need time to recover.
Despite this bout being cancelled the card is still a really good one, headlined by a brilliant Japanese title fight between Rikito Shiba (5-1, 3) [芝力人] and Shokichi Iwata (6-0, 4) [岩田翔吉], who clash for the Japanese Light Flyweight title, and has a stellar chief support bout between Yuki Nagano (18-3, 14) [永野祐樹]and Yuki Beppu (21-2-1, 20) [別府優樹], who clash in a Japanese title eliminator.
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