We are slowly seeing the boxing calendar for July and August filling up and the latest news from Japan regarding August 22nd's Hajime No Ippo 30th Anniversary tournament final.
The final will see Shingo Kusano (13-8-1, 5) [草野慎悟] and Daisuke Watanabe (10-4-2, 6) [渡部大介] battle for the tournament prize, ending the 7 man knockout competition that began last year. Originally the plan had been for the tournament to end in mid-May but due to the on going global situation the final has been pushed back and will be the headline bout of Dangan's show on August 22nd.
The under-card has now been confirmed and will feature an excellent match up between former world title challenger Shingo Wake (26-6-2, 18) [和氣 慎吾] and the talented but light punching Shohei Kawashima (18-4-2, 4) [川島翔平]. This will be Wake's first bout since being upset by Jhunriel Ramonal last year, in a massive set back.
Another of the under-card bouts will see former Japanese Lightweight champion Shuhei Tsuchiya (23-6, 18) [土屋 修平] look to salvage his career as he battles 2018 All Japan Rookie of the Year winner George Tachibana (8-4, 2) [橘ジョージ]. Coming in to this the 33 year old Tsuchiya has won just one of his last 3 fights and was shockingly upset in February against Shogo Yamaguchi.
Whilst it's great to see under-cards with notable fighters on them the best bit of news regarding the card is that the event will be able to have fans attending it! Tickets will be limited, but fans will be allowed in attendance with the show likely to be the first Dangan promoted card to have fans upon the boxing's restart in Japan.
Last October fight fans at Korakuen Hall were given a massive show as former world title challenger Shingo Wake (26-6-2, 18) [和氣 慎吾] was blasted out in 3 rounds by Filipino journeyman Jhunriel Ramonal. The loss came in what was supposed to be a tune up for Wake ahead of a world title bout, and essentially killed his hopes of getting a second shot at a world title in 2020.
Today we were informed that details have been revealed for Wake's return to the ring following that loss.
Our sources have informed us that Wake will return on March 14th at Korakuen Hall in a bout at a contracted 56KG, around 123.5lbs. His opponent will be Japanese ranked Featherweight Toshiya Yokogawa (11-12-2, 10) [横川聡也].
Whilst the talented Wake is pretty well known, given he's a former Japanese and OPBF champion and former world title challenger, we suspect that few will know much about Yokogawa. He's a 34 year old who shouldn't be much of an issue for Wake, though he has gone 4-1-1 (4) in his last 6.
Given that Wake was taken out in brutal fashion it seems likely that Yokogawa has been selected to test Wake's chin, ahead of a bigger bout later in the year.
It's fair to say that 2019 has had some huge upset, like Andy Ruiz beating Anthony Joshua, and on the OPBF title level Lito Dante stopping the previously unbeaten Tsubasa Koura. Today fans at Korakuen Hall got another huge upset, as the WBC #2 ranked Super Bantamweight got taken out in what was regarded as a tune up bout against a man he had previously beaten!
The fighter in question was former world title challenger Shingo Wake (26-6-2, 18) [和氣 慎吾] who was meant to be tuning up for a second world title bout early next year. He just had a straight forward rematch with Filipino fighter Jhunriel Ramonal (16-8-6, 9) to get through. Wake had beaten the Filipino in 2013 and seemed assured of picking up the W again here, and move one step closer to a potential showdown with Rey Vargas.
Instead the world has crumbled below Wake, in one of the biggest shocks of the year.
Wake looked in control through the first 2 rounds, using his straight left hand to tag the Filipino at will. It looked like things were going to plan, though he couldn't stop the visitor from marching forward, pressing the fight and trying to cut the distance.
In round 3 Ramonal, with coming from his right eye, got the break through he needed, landing a huge hook and dropping Wake. The Japanese fighter got to his feet but was still shaken, and took another left and was dropped again. This time the referee waved the bout off, with Wake remaining down for quite some time.
For the Filipino this was revenge for his loss, and a massive shock win. He toughness and desire proved vital. As for Wake, this leaves his career really in tough place and it's really unclear what will be next for him.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
Tomorrow fight fans in Tokyo will see former world title challenger Shingo Wake (26-5-2, 18) [和氣 慎吾] rematch with Filipino fighter Jhunriel Ramonal (15-8-6, 8), who Wake stopped in 3 rounds back in 2013.
Today the two fighters weighed in for their bout, which has been contracted at 126lbs.
On the scales Wake was around 125.7lbs, well above his usual fighting weight but comfortably under the Featherweight limit that was enforced for this bout.
For Wake this bout is being regarded as a world title prelude and it's assumed that in 2020 he will get his second world title fight.
Ramonal was even lighter, coming in at 125.25lbs for the bout. He looked in good shape, but this is only his 4th bout since the start of 2015, and he has only scored 1 win in that time. He revealed that he had been disappointed by the original loss to Wake, which had come from a cut.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Over the last few weeks we have reported 2 bouts set for October 11th at the Korakuen Hall, as part of the next show under the Golden Child banner. Today we can confirm one more notable bout set for the show!
The first bout to be confirmed for the card was the rematch between Shinobu Charlie Hosokawa (11-4-1, 10) [細川チャーリー忍] and Koki Tyson (14-3-3, 12) [太尊 康輝], who will battle for the vacant OPBF Middleweight title following their draw earlier this year. The second bout to be announced for this card was also a rematch, with former world title challenger Shingo Wake (26-5-2, 18) [和氣 慎吾] taking on Jhunriel Ramonal (15-8-6, 8), in what is being sold as world title prelude for Wake.
Today saw the official confirmation that former multi-time world title challenger Shin Ono (23-11-3, 6) [小野 心] would also be on the card, in what will be his first bout since losing the Japanese title to Norihito Tanaka [田中教仁] in January.
Sadly Ono's bout isn't a hugely interesting one, with the Watanabe gym fighter going up against Akira Kokubo (8-8-3, 2) [小久保聡].
This bout will be an 8 rounder fought at a contracted 50KG's, and the loser will be in an awkward position. Coming in Ono is ranked by the OPBF and Japan at Minimumweight, whilst Okubo enters as a Japanese ranked Flyweight, following 4 straight wins.
One other bout confirmed for this show today will see Naoki Inaba (6-5-1, 3) [稲葉直樹] fight in a 6 rounder against Yuta Kono (4-5-1) [河野勇太], in what is likely to be the best of the rest from the under-card.
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