Yesterday we saw the unfortunate news break from Japan that the scheduled bout between former Japanese amateur standout Mitsuro Tajima (0-0) [但馬ミツロ] and reigning Japanese Heavyweight champion Ryu Ueda (9-1-1, 5) [上田龍] had been cancelled.
The bout, which was scheduled to take place on June 27th, has had to be called off as Tajima has been suffering from back pain, leaving him unable to train properly for the contest, and needing to cancel it.
Despite the bout being cancelled, the show it's self will go ahead as planned, with the Japanese Youth title fight between Tom Mizokoshi (8-2-1, 4) [溝越 斗夢], the Japanese Youth Super Bantamweight champion, and Haruki Ishikawa (8-3, 6) [石川春樹], now being the main event of the show.
Earlier this year we reported that there was set to be a show on June 27th in Nagoya, headlined by the professional debut of Mitsuro Tajima (0-0) [但馬ミツロ], who will face Japanese Heavyweight champion Ryu Ueda (9-1-1, 5) [上田龍] in a highly anticipated match up. Following that we also reported the main support bout for that show would see Tajima's stablemate at the Midori Gym Tom Mizokoshi (8-2-1, 4) [溝越 斗夢] defending the Japanese Youth Super Bantamweight champion title against Haruki Ishikawa (8-3, 6) [石川春樹].
Today we can report that that that show will have a third notable bout on it as touted prospect Narumi Yukawa (1-0) [湯川成美] has been added to the show in a 6 round bout at Lightweight.
The talented Yukawa, who made his debut earlier this year with a decision win over Yuya Azuma, will be up against Kazuki Hase (5-2-1, 3) [長谷和紀] in a solid looking match up.
Yukawa looked like he had the potential to be a star as an amateur before he was caught in possession of marijuana which saw him being given a suspended sentence and being up able to compete as a boxer until the sentence was served. Despite that he has kept his hunger for the sport, and he looked hugely entertaining in his debut, with an aggressive, fun and exciting style. He'll be looking to use that style to great effect here and impress the fans in Nagoya.
Yukawa isn't just an exciting fighter but also a very ambitious one, and according to one very notable Japanese boxing website has set himself the goal of beating Naoya Inoue.
Hase on the other hand is a fighter who hasn't had much attention of buzz, however the 22 year old from Toyama has been a professional since 2018 and has shared the ring with some fairly decent Japanese fighters, albeit novices, such as Kazuki Higuchi. He will come in to this bout as a clear under-dog, but is very much a live under-dog and will be hungry to over-come the touted upstart.
Although yet to be confirmed it's expected for this show to be made available on Boxing Raise, like many other Midori shows from Nagoya. For fans who currently have access to the Boxing Raise service Yukawa's debut is available on there in full.
Last month we reported that Mitsuro Tajima (0-0) [但馬ミツロ] would be making his professional debut on June 27th as he took on Japanese Heavyweight champion Ryu Ueda (9-1-1, 5) [上田龍] in an 8 round non-title bout. At the time there was no other details on the show, with no under-card bouts announced for the event. Today that changed, with a very solid match up confirmed for the event.
That match up will see Japanese Youth Super Bantamweight champion Tom Mizokoshi (8-2-1, 4) [溝越 斗夢] make his first defense as he battles against Haruki Ishikawa (8-3, 6) [石川春樹], in what should be a really fan friendly bout.
Mizokoshi won the title back in March, when he defeated Satoru Hoshiba with an 8 round decision. That bout saw him using his speed and movement to neutralise the pressure of Hoshiba and score a career best win.
As for Ishikawa he is best known for his amazing bout with Toshiya Ishii from back in 2019, in a bout for the Japanese Youth Bantamweight title. Since then however he has fought just once, losing a wide decision to Kai Chiba last December, and has really seen his career falter after reaching the 2018 All Japan Rookie of the Year final.
On paper this match up will be between the movement, speed and boxing brain of Mizokoshi and the power and aggression of Ishikawa. It'll fell like Mizokoshi will be walking a tight rope whilst Ishikawa will be being out boxed, but will have the potential to turn it around at any moment.
It's fair to say that the last 12 months have been hugely frustrating for former amateur star Mitsuro Tajima (0-0) [但馬ミツロ]. He turned professional with Midori gym last year, taking part in his pro-test bout back in February. The plan was for him to debut later in the year sadly plans for a November debut fell through and his debut was then pushed back to March this year. Sadly that too fell through.
The problem for Tajima is that he's a Heavyweight, in Japan. A country that lacks Heavyweights. The plan had been to bring in Korean Heavyweight fighters for him to face, but with travel restrictions still in place that became a more and more complicated and costly plan.
After months of waiting and plans being changed Tajima's debut has now been rescheduled, and it's a much, much more interesting bout than the originally planned bout against a Korean visitor.
Today it was announced that Tajima will make his professional debut on June 27th in an 8 round bout against Japanese Heavyweight champion Ryu Ueda (9-1-1, 5) [上田龍] at the Nagoya Congress Center, in a non-title bout.
Whilst 8 round debuts aren't unheard off they are certainly rare in Japan. In fact the last time a Japanese fighter debuted in an 8 rounder was Naoya Inoue in October 2012, against Crison Omayao! Likewise taking on a title of some sort on debut also isn't unheard of, but is incredibly rare with Ryota Murata being among the most recent Japanese fighters to do so, in 2013 when he faced OPBF Middleweight champion Akio Shibata. The fact that Midori are matching him so hard from the off shows just how highly they think of the 26 year old Japanese-Brazilian.
As for Ueda this will be his first bout since winning the Japanese Heavyweight title in December 2019, when he became the third man to ever hold the title. As with Tajima his career was held up in 2020 by fights against Korean visitors being cancelled due to the on going pandemic, which made importing fighters to face him essentially impossible.
Although no TV or broadcaster has been officially announced for the event it is worth noting that most recent Midori shows have ended up on Boxing Raise, so there is a chance we'll get the chance to see this bout online a day or two after the event takes place.
Earlier this week the KBM announced the situation regarding their Heavyweight title, and they have cleared up a situation that could have ended up rather messy.
Originally the plan, way back in February, was for KBM Heavyweight champion Sung Min Lee (7-1, 2) [이성민] to face Japanese national champion Ryu Ueda (9-1-1, 5) [上田龍] in Tokyo, in March. After that was made impossible, due to the ongoing global situation, the plan was then for Lee to vacate the title and give the opportunity to crown a new champion to two other fighters.
The plan there was for Jong Kook Kim (6-1, 3) [김종국] to face Jae Min Kim (2-3-2, 1) [김재민], and with Lee to get a shot at the winner down the line.
Sadly those plans have also gone awry with Jong Kook Kim being unable to fight. As a result a decision has been made for Lee not to vacate the title but instead he will defend the belt against Jae Min Kim, at some point in October, in what will be Lee's first defense of the title. We suspect the winner will then be expected to defend against Jong Kook Kim, unless he can get over to Japan for a potential bout with Ueda.
This whole situation has become a bit of a mess, but it is good to see the KBM finally sorting things out for the future of the title. It's just a shame that Sung Min Lee Vs Jae Min Kim is probably the least interesting of all the possibilities, at least on paper.
Lee is a decent fighter, nothing amazing, but very decent and is riding a 6 fight winning run, including his title win. He's unbeaten since his second professional bout more than 3 years ago. The 29 year old is full of confidence, and despite suffering an injury earlier this year he does appear to be going forward with his career and coming into his prime.
Kim on the other hand is a 38 year old, who hasn't fought since February 2019 and is very much a limited fighter, who has never beaten an opponent with a win to their name.
(Image courtesy of KBM)
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