Earlier today it was announced that the Shinsei Gym would be holding their next show on March 28th in Kobe, with the plan being to hold a show pretty much every month after that, where possible, through the rest of 2021.
The full details of the show weren't released, though the main event for the show was announced, and the hope is for it to be the first show of the year in West Japan. Sadly that is a rather depressing thought, for it to take until almost the start of April for the first show in the region, but it is a starting point, at least.
The main has been announced as being a bout between former WBA Super Bantamweight champion Shun Kubo (14-2, 9) [久保隼] and 22 year old tough guy Ruito Saeki (7-4-1, 1) [佐伯瑠壱斗], who went the 8 round distance late last year with Featherweight/ Super Featherweight prospect Mikito Nakano.
The Kubo Vs Saeki bout is planned as an 8 round bout at a contracted limit of 58.5KG, which is 129lbs.
The Chairman of the Shinsei Gym, Masato Yamashita, managed to hold 4 shows late last year and seems to be relying on the experience of those shows to help him here, especially given that all 4 shows went well in 2020. He's quoted in the Japanese press as stating "I have decided not to do it under a state of emergency, but it is at such times that the gym that can do boxing will take measures against infection and hold it. I want to do it. I don't want to put out the fire of Kansai boxing. "
Notably Shinsei are responsible for the "Boxing Real" YouTube channel which made the Shinsei shows accessible world wide in 2020. Fingers crossed that continues this year, as the quality of the streams, and the quality of the bouts, was genuinely excellent, and it certainly helped get eyes on boxing in Kansai, an area that can go over-looked at times when it comes to boxing in Japan.
In Kobe earlier today we saw former WBA Super Bantamweight champion Shun Kubo (14-2, 9) [久保隼] pick up his latest win, as he out pointed domestic foe Takashi Igarashi (13-5, 5) [五十嵐嵩視]. Sadly however the bout never really caught fire. In fact it never came close to catching fire and was very much a public sparring session, rather than a fight.
From the opening stages neither man looked particularly comfortable and both looked ultra cautious. Kubo seemed to dictate the space of the bout in the first round, but neither man showed much in terms of hunger or ambition. That sadly proved to be the case for much of the bout, with both men trying to play it safe, too sae.
Every so often we would see Igarashi mount a rush, charging at Kubo, who saw it off, and got back to dictating behind his reach, essentially fencing with his lead hand and tagging Igarashi with good singles at range, but there was little intensity in the out put from either.
Thankfully in round 5 we finally saw Kubo showing something more, showing some hunger. He landed a number of solid single shots, and solid 2-punch combinations. Sadly though they were glimpses of skills, before he got back to range. Even when he seemed to shake Igarashi their was no urgency to impress. As for Igarashi he had moments, but also failed to have the urgency needed to to turn moments into anything more.
By round 7 it was some what tricky to care. The bout had smouldered, and smouldered, and never come to light. Thankfully Igarashi, knowing he had to do something more, did finally let his shots go in round 8, but it was too little, too late, and Kubo was never in any danger.
After 8, rather tedious, slow paced and forgettable rounds, we went to the scorecards which had Kubo winning 79-73, twice, and 78-74.
Sadly, given this was streamed world wide, neither man impressed. At all. Whilst there is some defense to that, such as Kubo being out of the ring since May 2019 and Igarashi being out of the ring for almost 2 years, it doesn't make it any better for fans who sat through a turgid 8 rounder here.
Tomorrow fight fans will be able to see former WBA Super Bantamweight champion Shun Kubo (13-2, 9) [久保隼] fight for the first time since he was stopped by Can Xu in May 2019. Although not a major star Kubo is well liked in Kobe and will be looking to begin the rebuilding process of his career as he takes on Takashi Igarashi (13-4, 5) [五十嵐嵩視] in an 8 round bout.
The contest, which will be fought just above the Featherweight limit, had the two men take part in their weigh in today and both men made weight with no real issues.
The 30 year old Kubo made the weight bang on, weighing the contracted 58KG's, which is around 127.9lbs, on the scales. This is the heaviest weight of his career, and is actually the first time he has ever come in above the Featherweight limit.
At the weigh in Kubo seemed calm and spoke about how well he has been able to train for this bout. And he looked really comfortable and self assured.
As for Igarashi he came in under the weigh limit, weighing around 127.6lbs. Notably this is his first bout in almost 2 years, and the long lay off seems to have made the 24 year old hungry to impress. He spoke about wanting to make the most of this opportunity and make a name for himself. He also revealed something in regards to his gameplan, stating that he was planning to get into the pocket and work up close, to neutralise the height and reach of Kubo.
Fans interested in this one will be glad to know this will be available to watch live, as it will be streamed for free on the Boxing Real YouTube channel.
We've known for a few weeks now that WBO Atomweight champion Mika Iwakawa (9-5-1, 3) [岩川 美花] was going to make her first defense in September, as she battles Nanae Suzuki (10-3-1, 1) [鈴木菜々江]. That bout had been confirmed earlier this month and we were also informed it would be held in Kobe. At the time however little else was known.
The only real details confirmed were Mika Iwakawa would face Nanae Suzuki on September 26th at the Central Gym, Kobe.
Now we've seen the full card being announced by Shinsei, along with the poster and details regarding the show being broadcast online for free. We also know that the WBO Atomweight title bout will not be the main event!
The main event honours actually go to former WBA Super Bantamweight champion Shun Kubo (13-2, 9) [久保隼], who is fighting for the first time since a loss to Can Xu in May 2019. The former world champion will be facing Takashi Igarashi (13-4, 5) [五十嵐嵩視] in an 8 round bout being fought above the Featherweight limit.
On paper this should be an easy win for Kubo, especially given Igarashi hasn't fought in almost 2 years, but with stoppage losses in 2 of his last 3 there are question marks about his durability and ring miles. Saying that however Igarashi has been stopped 3 times, including his last bout, a notable upset loss to Toshiya Yokogawa.
Another bout now confirmed for this card was the long rumoured return of Kohei Oba (36-3-1, 14) [大場浩平], who will face Yoshiki Minato (8-3, 3) [湊義生].
This bout had been rumoured since Oba, also known as the "Mayweather of Nagoya", stated he was going to make a come back at the age of 35. He had retired citing issues with his eyes, but he's had treatment and rest from the sport, which has seemingly allowed his eyes to recover along with his fire for boxing. This will be his first bout in more than 6 years and he's more than a decade older than Minato. As for Minato he has lost his last 2 and will be the naturally smaller man here, though of course is the younger, fresher fighter.
We mentioned that their had been details released regarding the broadcasting of the show. The main bouts will be streamed live on the Boxing Real youtube channel, whilst the rest of the show will be made available afterwards.
Boxing Real, which only started a few months ago, has quickly become a brilliant addition to the boxing world. They have already had 2 streams similar to this and they were both flawless, so we are expecting another quality stream for this event.
The channel appears to be making a mark on the sport, and hopefully it continues to deliver these shows in the way it does as it really does give fans more of a chance to catch fights that typically we wouldn't see.
Tomorrow we'll see WBA "regular" Featherweight champion Can Xu (16-2, 2) [徐灿] defending his title against Japanese challenger Shun Kubo (13-1, 9) [久保隼].
The bout marks Xu's first defense of the title and also gives Kubo a chance to become a "2-weight champion", following a short reign as the WBA "regular" Super Bantamweight king.
Today the men weighed in for their bout.
On the scales the champion was around 125.7lbs for the bout whilst Kubo was around 125.6lbs, both comfortably under the limit. Their was no stress shown from either man from making weight, though it was clear that Xu seemed the more confident, oozing the quiet confidence of a champion. Kubo did, at times look a touch nervous, though this is his first bout outside of Japan and a must win for his career, so there is a lot at stake for him.
Will Xu be successful in first defense as he takes on Kubo?
(Image courtesy of M23 team)
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