Earlier today the Ohashi Gym put on a big show at Korakuen Hall, with the showing have several notable stories from it. Here's we're going to take a look a few of those.
First before the main show there was two very notable youngster who took part in the pro-test bouts. They were Toramasa Imanaga (0-0) [今永虎雅] and Yuya Tanaka (0-0) [田中湧也] , who both passed, and both are set to make their debuts in the near future.
After passing their tests the two men spoke to the media, with Imanaga stating "From now on, I will do my best to become a world champion. I am planning to make my debut on June 29th, so I will win firmly there."
Tanaka on the other hand told reporters "I am very happy to be a long-sought professional. My goal is to continue to do my best to win the debut match."
Another notable story from the show was the ring return of hard hitting Japanese youngster Jin Sasaki (12-1, 11) [佐々木尽] who began his campaign as a Welterweight with a 5th round TKO against Japanese based American Marcus Smith (7-2-1, 7) [マーカス・スミス]. Sasaki, who hadn't fought since being stopped by Andy Hiraoka last year, struggled with his timing and range in the early going, but began to settling in round 3, with some big hooks. Round 4 was competitive but it was becoming clear that Sasaki was the fresher and better fighter and that was shown when he seemed to hurt Smith late in the round. In the following round Sasaki landed a huge left hook that hurt Smith and the referee quickly jumped in as Sasaki began to unload.
Another notable bout on this card saw former K-1 World Grand Prix Super Bantamweight Champion Yoshiki Takei (4-0, 4) [武居由樹] make a statement as he layed out Shingo Kawamura (15-9-4, 8) [河村真吾] in 2 rounds. Takei was the big favourite here, despite taking a huge step up from his first 3 bouts, and he showed his class, strength and skills through the first round, despite Kawamura trying to close the distance behind a high guard. It was clear Takei wasn't looking for rounds, and early in round 2 he landed some good body shots before detonating with a right hook that dropped Kawamura hard. The referee immediately waved the action off, with Kawamura being taken from the ring on a stretcher.
Earlier today Hideyuki Ohashi held a press conference to announce the April edition of Phoenix Battle, and it's a brilliant one, with an all Japanese world title fight headlining the show, and several notable Japanese prospects taking steps up in class on the under-card.
The main event will see WBO Minimumweight champion Masataka Taniguchi (15-3, 10) [谷口将隆] make his first defense, following his title win late last year. The talented champion will be taking on former foe Kai Ishizawa (10-1, 9) [石澤開] in a much anticipated rematch between the two men.
These two first fought back in September 2019, when Taniguchi recovered from a knockdown to defeat Ishizawa, becoming the mandatory challenger for the Japanese title as a result. Since then Tanuguchi has gone 3-0 (3), winning the Japanese title in 2020 and the WBO title in 2021, living up to the potential many in Japan knew he had. Ishizawa himself bounced back from the loss to Taniguchi, the only loss of his career, by defending the Japanese Youth title, before claiming the Japanese senior title in January. It was clear when Ishizawa won the title title that he would be targeting Taniguchi, and this bout was seemingly an obvious one to make.
At the press conference today the two men involved in the world title fight both spoke confidently, with Ishizawa stating he wanted to "humiliate" Taniguchi here, and that seemed to be more of his focus than actually becoming a world champion.
The chief support bout for the show will see the unbeaten Yoshiki Takei (3-0, 3) [武居由樹] take on JBC ranked Shingo Kawamura (15-8-4, 8) [河村真吾], in a real step up for Takei. Despite this being a step up Takei and his team are confident of not just winning, but doing so in spectacular fashion, with Mr Ohashi giving Takei a target of an opening round win. Despite the hope for a blow out victory, it should be noted this is scheduled as a 10 rounder.
In another support bout we'll see the hard hitting the Jin Sasaki (11-1, 10) [佐々木尽] officially begin his campaign as a Welterweight, as he takes on Japanese based American Marcus Smith (7-1-1, 7) [マーカス・スミス], in what will be Sasaki's first bout since losing to Andy Hiraoka (18-0, 13) [平岡アンディ] last year.
Another supporting bout will see youngster Keisuke Matsumoto (3-0, 3) [松本圭佑] step up to take on Morihisa Iju (11-5, 9) [伊集盛尚], in a scheduled 8 rounder. Notably this bout was schediled for February 28th, but has now been rescheduled to April 22nd.
Earlier today fight fans at Korakuen Hall had the latest show in the Diamond Glove series of shows, which will be aired this coming weekend on Fuji TV. The card featured 4 bouts in total, including OPBF Super Bantamweight title bout featuring champion Hiroaki Teshigawara taking on Shingo Kawamura and a very, very interesting co-feature between two Japanese ranked Super Featherweights.
For those wanting to watch this, as live, over the weekend we please note that spoilers will begin in the next paragraph, starting with the Super Featherweight bout and then moving on to the main event. If you wish to avoid those spoilers, please stop reading now.
The chief support bout saw former Japanese Featherweight champion Taiki Minamoto (16-7-1, 13) [源大輝] take on the criminally under-rated Kanehiro Nakagawa (10-6, 5) [中川兼玄] in a bout between two men who were ranked by the JBC.
On paper it seemed Minamoto would have been favoured here, but it was Nakagawa who really bossed the action. Nakagawa blocked a lot of Minamoto's early shots, whilst landing his own solid blows, especially with his straight right hand. That was the key to his game plan and Minamoto never found an answer for it. By the mid way point Nakagawa was in a comfortable lead, though did begin to slow down and Minamoto finally began to have success in round 5, as he dug deep. Minamoto also had success in round 6, and it seemed the fight back was on, before Nakagawa got his second wind, and traded shots up close.
After 8 rounds the judges had this one 79-73, and 78-74, twice, all in favour of Nakagawa. After the bout Nakagawa stated that he was now aiming for a Japanese title fight.
In the main event fans saw OPBF Super Bantamweight champion Hiroaki Teshigawara (22-2-2, 15) [勅使河原 弘晶] record his 4th defense, as he stopped Shingo Kawamura (16-6-4, 8) [河村真吾] in the 6th round.
The defending champion, who is very highly ranked by the IBF, looked calm, relaxed and in control from the opening moments. He moved well, found his range and was landing at ease. Kawamura had one or two moments, but every time he had any success Teshigawara got out of range, regrouped and completely destroyed any momentum Kawamura seemed to be building.
After 4 rounds the open scoring kicked in, with Teshigawara leading 40-36, on all 3 cards. He continued to control the action and put his foot on the gas in round 6, dropping Kawamura. Kawamura got to his feet but he was done and the bout was stopped soon afterwards.
After the bout it seemed to be suggested that Misako Gym were trying to secure Teshigawara a world title fight in the deep and really interesting Super Bantamweight division. It seems hard to imagine him getting a shot, given the politics of boxing, though he is currently ranked by the IBF and WBC and would make for a very interesting challenger, even if he's not a big international name.
Tomorrow fight fans at Korakuen Hall will get the chance to see OPBF Super Bantamweight champion Hiroaki Teshigawara (21-2-2, 14) [勅使河原 弘晶] defending his title against Shingo Kawamura (16-5-4, 8) [河村真吾].
Today, ahead of their bout, the two men took part in their weigh in, and both men came in bang on the 122lbs Super Bantamweight limit.
At the weigh in Teshigawara sounded confident, stating "I'm strong now because I've been practicing for a long time". It also sounds like his recent move to the Misako gym, is going well, with Teshigawara telling Boxmob that his new trainer "He is teaching me from the perspective of making me a world champion." It also seems like he is benefitting from working along side Kenshiro Teraji "I'm inspired by the fact that the players who catch the world are practicing like this."
Kawamura on the other hand sounded determined to not let another chance pass him by. He explained he "will patiently stick to my boxing and find a win. It doesn't have to be an interesting match. I will win tomorrow," and also stated that weight loss wasn't an issue for him, despite the fact he has, typically, been fighting at Featherweight. There is a real chance that his physical power and strength could be a big advantage, though he is, rightfully, the under-dog here.
For fans wanting to watch this one, and aren't able to get to Korakuen Hall tomorrow the bout will be aired on Fuji TV this coming weekend as part of their Diamond Glove series, with the broadcast set to begin at 26:00 Sunday night local time.
Related - World ranked Teshigawara takes on Kawamura in next OPBF title defense!
Earlier today it was announced that OPBF Super Bantamweight champion Hiroaki Teshigawara (21-2-2, 14) [勅使河原 弘晶] would be making his next defense on October 8th at Korakuen Hall. In the opposite corner to the champion will be the out of form Shingo Kawamura (16-5-4, 8) [河村真吾].
The bout will be Teshigawara's first since officially transferring to the Misako earlier this month, and it's expected to be one of his final defenses of the regional title. The plan, for the longer term, is certainly to move him towards a world title fight but with Teshigawara having not fought in 2020 it seems sensible to have him in the ring as soon as they can.
During his reign so far Teshigawara has already recorded 3 defenses of the title, stopping Yuki Iriguchi, Shohei Omori and Shohei Kawashima. In fact he has now stopped 8 of his last 9, and is living up to the "Crush Boy" nickname.
As for Kawamura this is pretty much last chance saloon. In his last 5 bouts, dating back more than 2 years, he has gone 0-2-3, including losses to both Satoshi Shimizu and Ryo Sagawa. It is, however, worth noting that this bout will see him drop down in weight and the hope will be that he's more suited to Super Bantamweight than Featherweight.
Earlier this year, before boxing was put on hiatus, Kawamura was scheduled to face Musashi Mori, in a bout for Mori's regional title at Featherweight. Given he's now gotten this opportunity he should be considering himself a lucky man, especially given his recent results.
The bout is set to be the main event of a Diamond Glove card, with the only other bout currently announced for the show being a contest between former Japanese Featherweight champion Taiki Minamoto (16-6-1, 13) [源大輝] take on Kanehiro Nakagawa (9-6, 5) [中川兼玄].
As with all Diamond Glove shows this card will receive a tape delay broadcast on Fuji TV, though the date and time of that broadcast haven't yet been confirmed.
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