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 at Korakuen Hall fans will get the chance to see former Japanese Featherweight champion Taiki Minamoto (16-6-1, 13) [源大輝] take on Kanehiro Nakagawa (9-6, 5) [中川兼玄] in a bout that we expect will be much, much better than it looks on paper.
Today the two men took part in their weigh in for the contest, and both men came bang on the Super Featherweight limit, and looked in good shape.
For Minamoto, who is ranked #5 by the OPBF and by the JBC, the bout is his first since losing in a thrilling contest last year to Takuya Watanabe, in a Japanese title eliminator. A win here puts him immediately back in the mix for a Japanese Super Featherweight title bout.
As for Nakagawa, who enters with a #4 JBC ranking, he's looking to build on the momentum he created for himself last year. Although not a big name he had a huge 2019 with big domestic upset wins over Seiichi Okada, Ryuto Araya and Ken Osato, to put himself on the verge of a Japanese title fight.
The bout might not scream big news on paper, but both men will know they are only a couple of wins away from a title shot in 2021 or 2022. A loss here would push them way down the queue in regards to a shot at the Japanese belt.
(Image credit - Misako Gym)
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.
A lot of professional boxing gyms in Japan have a schedule of bouts involving their fighters. One of the more notable ones is the Watanabe Gym one, which often lists bouts that aren't on any other schedule. Today we spotted an interesting one on that Watanabe schedule.
The bout in question will see former Japanese Featherweight champion Taiki Minamoto (16-6-1, 13) [源大輝] take on Kanehiro Nakagawa (9-6, 5) [中川兼玄] in a bout between two top 10 JBC ranked Super Featherweights, essentially pushing the winner on the verge of getting a shot at the title in 2021.
On paper this probably doesn't look an amazing match up, given the disparity between the records of the two men. In reality however this is actually a compelling contest on paper and a very meaningful one.
Ranked #6 by the JBC Minamoto is looking to become a 2-division champion after a short reign as the Japanese Featherweight king. He moved up in weight last year, when issues making 126lbs started to affect his performances, though lost a Japanese title eliminator to Takuya Watanabe in what was a sensational bout in November. Since then he has been out of the ring. Although he is a former Japanese title holder Minamoto failed to win either of his bouts in 2019 and is without a win since April 2018.
On the other hand Nakagawa is ranked #4 by the JBC and is enjoying a rich vein of form. Although he has lost 6 of his 15 professional bouts he has won his last 4, and 5 of his last 6, including wins over Seiichi Okada, Ryuto Araya and Ken Osato. He's very much the form guy, despite his record, and will be going into the bout knowing that a win will keep up his great run of form.
Interestingly the JBC do still rank Shuya Masaki, who they have at #2, despite the fact he has announced his retirement. It's also worth noting they rank former Japanese Lightweight champion Kazuhiro Nishitani (21-4-1, 12) [西谷和宏], #3, who fights in September against Kenichi Ogawa (24-1-1-1, 18) [尾川 堅一]. Essentially the winner of this bout could see themselves bang on for a shot at the title next year.
According to the Watanabe Schedule this bout has been scheduled for October 8th at Korakuen Hall, though no other bouts on the show have been officially announced.
The main event of today's Dangan card at Korakuen Hall was a Japanese Super Featherweight title eliminator between former Japanese Featherweight champion Taiki Minamoto (16-6-1, 13) [源大輝] and the teak tough Takuya Watanabe (37-9-1, 21) [渡邉卓也]. The two men looked well matched on paper and it seemed almost a given that we would be getting a special bout as the styles looked almost certain to gel. We assumed it would be Minamoto's power against Watanabe's toughness, and that we would get a thriller.
We assumed right!
In the opening round it looked like Minamoto's power was not actually his key to victory, instead it was his speed, and he looked much quicker than Watanabe. Watanabe however was pressuring, landing the effective shots and forcing Minamoto to give ground.
From then touch paper was lit and rounds 2,3 and 4 were incredibly wars, each progressively more exciting than the previous. Two them men seemed to try out man each other on the inside, firing off bombs, and mixing shots between head and body at close range. For 3 straight rounds we saw Minamoto fight Watanabe's fight, and although he held his own, he did lose all 3 rounds, and was left with a bloodied nose and the need to reassess his tactics.
Having fought the wrong fight for 3 rounds Minamoto changed up what he did in rounds 5 and 6 as he looked to get some control in the bout. Rather than warring on the inside he boxed on the outside, using his speed and movement to jab and move against the slower Watanabe. The tactic worked really well, and he seemed to actually hurt Watanabe a couple of times in round 5.
The movement was a good change from Minamoto, but not something he could keep up and by round 7 we were back on the inside, and back to trading back and forth. Sadly for Minamoto this round killed any momentum he had, and he was rocked hard late in the round as Watanabe began to land clean shots that stiffened the legs the legs of Minamoto.
Going into the final round it seemed like Watanabe had done enough to avoid defeat, but a win wasn't in the bag for him. Regardless he came out swinging, and gave Minamoto a real beating in the final 3 minutes. It seemed like Watanabe was determined to stop his man, though some how Minamoto remained on his feet, despite being legitimately battered through the round.
At the end of 8 rounds we though Watanabe had done enough, and so did the judges, scoring the bout 77-75, 78-76 and 79-73 in favour of Watanabe. The 79-73 card seemed unfair but the other two were a pretty accurate reflection on what had been an 8 round war.
With the win Watanabe secures a title shut during the 2020 Champion Carnival, and will face either Masaru Sueyoshi (19-1-1, 11) [末吉 大] or Kosuke Saka (19-5, 16) [坂晃典], who face off in early December.
For those who don't subscribe to Boxing Raise this is the quality of bout you're missing out on, for those who do subscriber this was another instant classic on the service which is quickly becoming a must have for fight fans.
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