Earlier today Shinsei Gym streamed their latest show, doing so on their YouTube channel Boxing Real, from the Central Gym in Kobe. The card wasn't a big one, but it was certainly one worth tuning into with a former world champion in the main event and a touted prospect in the middle of the card. Sadly the show didn't really provide much in terms of drama, but we did get 5 bouts.
The show kicked off with a 4 round female bout as Japanese ranked Flyweight Marina Hamada (3-0-1) [浜田 麻理菜] took on Japanese ranked Bantamweight Michiko Abiru (2-4, 1) [阿比留 通子]. On paper this looked a mismatch in favour of Hamada, but in the ring in looked clearly like Abiru had the advantage, as she looked much bigger than Hamada and seemed to be the stronger fighter through out the bout.
The bout started very slowly, with both struggling to find their rhythm in the opening round. Thankfully however the bout settled into something of a pattern in round round 2 as Abiru began to press the action forward and Hamada had to try and use her faster feet to maintain some range. Sadly for Abbiru whilst she was the one coming forward, making her size and physical strength count, she was struggling to actually get close and get her shots off, with Hamada countering the pressure well and getting away without taking punishment.
After 4 rounds we went to the scorecards, with the judges turning in scores of 40-36, twice, and 39-37, all to Hamada who took the unanimous decision,
In the second bout we had another 4 rounder as Ren Kobayashi (4-1, 2) [小林 廉] clashed with Kazuki Terasaki (3-3-1, 2) [寺崎 和輝] in a match up that looked good on paper.
Both of these guys started at a good pace, but it seemed like Kobayashi was able to land the better shots from the opening bell. Terasaki showed some real nice touches, much better that we'd expect of a 3-3-1 fighter, but he was coming off second in almost every exchange.
In round 4, with the time ticking down down on the bout, Kobayashi launched the most meaningful assault of the fight, staggering Terasaki, who failed to recover before a follow shot set him down. The referee knew it was too much to ask for Terasaki to get to his feet and quickly waved off the bout with 28 seconds remaining, giving Kobayashi a 4th round TKO win
We saw another 4th round TKO win in the third bout on the show as the charismatic Takahiro Tai (2-0, 2) [田井宜広] scored his second win, and stopped JBC #15 ranked Bantamweight Koichi Wakita (7-3-3, 2) [脇田洸一].
This bout promised quite a lot on paper, but never really came alive. The exciting, wild, and fun Tai, who debuted last year, really didn't look the same here. He press forward, controlled the tempo and action of the fight, but had very little coming back at him. Wakita seemed to taste his power early and never really looked like he wanted to have much of a fight. As a result Wakita played defense against Tai who proved to be wild, open and unpolished.
Despite missing a lot of shots in the first 3 rounds it was clear Tai had absolutely nothing to be worried about when it came to Wakita's offense. Even when Tai wiffed badly with a shot, which he did regularly, Wakita didn't him pay.
In round 4 we finally saw Tai begin to take things a little bit more seriously, putting his foot on the gas, and breaking Wakita down with some big body shots. Late in the rounds the novice hurt his more experienced foe, and a follow up sent him to the canvas, where he lay on all fours whilst the referee waved off the bout.
This was stopped at an official time of 2:47 of round 4. Whislt it's a good win on paper for Tai, who will potentially break into the Japanese rankings, it was a poor performance from him. He has much, much more to show than we saw here, and fingers crossed we see him being genuinely tested sooner rather later.
The chief support bout on the card was an under-whelming contest, as Yuki Yonaha (9-3-1, 6) [与那覇勇気] scored a relatively easy win against Kenta Sakata (7-8-2) [坂田健太].
From the opening round Yonaha looked in total control, control the tempo and distance against the smaller, less talented Sakata. In rounds 2 Yonaha began to showboat, looking away before dropping Sakata with a straight down the pipe, that almost caused an early finish. The bell came soon after Sakata got back to his fee. Sadly for fans, and Sakata, it seemed like Yonaha wanted to get some rounds under his belt and didn't go for the kill, at all. Instead he picked his moments, landed heavy single shots, and really just had his way with Sakata, who had no answers.
In round 6, with Sakata looking a beaten, and bloodied, man his team threw in the towel, saving him from further punishment. The official time here was 2:22 of round 6, though it could easily have been round 3 had Yonaha opened up earlier and not been going through the motions.
The main event of the card saw former WBA Super Bantamweight world champion Shun Kubo (15-2, 10) [久保隼] score his first stoppage win in almost 4 years, as he forced the referee to save 22 year old Ruito Saeki (7-5-1, 1) [佐伯瑠壱斗].
Kubo looked relaxed and comfortable form the off, boxing behind his long, awkward, jab. Sadly Saeki had no answer for it, and he never really looked close to solving the jab. The one time he did was late in round 2 when he landed an uppercut, but that was pretty much the only time he landed anything of note.
In round 3 the clean accurate shots of Kubo took their toll, as he dropped Saeki with a perfect straight, following two soft jabs. Later in the same round Kubo landed another clean straight, that rocked Saeki, who seemed to lose his legs. The referee quickly jumped in, saving Saeki from any potential follow up. It was the right decision, saving Saeki from more punishment in what was quickly becoming a massive mismatch.
Tomorrow at the Central Gym in Kobe we'll get the latest show from Shinsei Gym. The card isn't a massive show, by any stretch, but it is one worth being aware of several reasons. It features a former world champion, a charismatic prospect and it's going to be shown live for free online!
The show was originally scheduled to feature 6 bouts in total, though that has been reduced to 5 after Yuri Takemoto (8-2-1, 4) [竹本雄利] was forced to pull out of a scheduled bout with Tamaki Miwa (6-6-1, 1) [三輪珠輝]
Today, ahead of the show, the fighters took part in their weigh in and the 10 fighters on the show all made weight for their bouts.
From the 5 bouts on the show there are 3 are worth some attention.
The first of those, which will be third on the broadcast, is a Super Bantamweight bout between Takahiro Tai (1-0, 1) [田井宜広] and JBC #15 ranked Bantamweight Koichi Wakita (7-2-3, 2) [脇田洸一]. The exciting Tai made his debut last year and immediately impressed with a flashy, fun, exciting style, and we're glad to see him back in the ring in a notable step up.
On the scales these two men were both around 121.5lbs, well under the 122lb limit.
The second bout of note is the chief support bout, which will see Yuki Yonaha (8-3-1, 5) [与那覇勇気] clash with Kenta Sakata (7-7-2) [坂田健太] in an 8 round Super Flyweight bout. Coming in to this Yonaha is ranked by the JBC at Bantamweight and looking to build on a very good 2020 win over the once touted Motoko Osanai.
On the scales neither man came close to the 115lb limit, with Yonaha weighing 114.6lbs and Sakata coming in at 114.4lbs.
The main event will see former WBA Super Bantamweight world champion Shun Kubo (14-2, 9) [久保隼] battle against 22 year old tough guy Ruito Saeki (7-4-1, 1) [佐伯瑠壱斗] in a match up that should be a lot better than it looks on paper. Kubo needs an impressive performance to show that he's back and heading in the right direction whilst Saeki has spoken very confidently in the build up to the bout.
The bout between Kubo and Saeki was set at a contracted weight of 58.5KG's, around 129lbs, and saw Saeki weigh bang on the limit whilst Kubo was slightly lighter, at around 128.8lbs.
For fans wanting to tune in for this one, it will be stream live on the Boxing Real YouTube channel, for free from around 13:00 Japan time. As well as the 3 bouts mentioned the show will also feature 2 bouts scheduled for 4 rounds.
Back in December we saw charismatic youngster Takahiro Tai (1-0, 1) [田井宜広] make his professional debut and put on an eye catching, fan and entertaining performance. The talented switch hitter looked confident, brash and a little arrogant as he showcased what he could do and stopped Ryosei Hamaguchi.
Today we were informed that Tai's next bout has been organised and he will be in action on March 28th on a show promoted by Shinsei Promotions. Not only that be we now also know that he will be facing a JBC ranked fighter in a notable step up for the youngster.
The youngster has been matched with JBC #18 ranked Bantamweight Koichi Wakita (7-2-3, 2) [脇田洸一] in a very good looking 6 rounder, at Super Bantamweight.
Although not the biggest name out there Wakita is a solid fighter who is unbeaten in over 5 years, with his last loss coming in 2015 to Juiki Tatsuyoshi. Since then he has gone 5-0-3, and will have plenty of confidence coming into this one. Saying that however he will be the under-dog coming in to this bout, and is the naturally smaller and older man.
This bout will feature on a card headlined by a bout between former world 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], an we're expecting the entire show to be streamed online, for free, via the Boxing Real YouTube channel, though this is yet to be confirmed.
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.
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