Earlier today fight fans at Korakuen Hall got the latest show in the Diamond Glove series. The card wasn't the deepest, due in part to losing the planned main event at short notice, but it was still a pretty notable one, with a solid looking 8 rounder in the main event, alongside the debut of a former amateur standout, and the second professional bout of a very, very highly regarded female hopeful.
The first of the three notable bouts on this card saw the amazingly promising Mikyo Watarai (1-0, 1) [渡来美響] make his debut as he stopped Takafumi Shibata (2-1) [柴田尊文]. As an amateur Watari went 77-15, and he used that amateur experience here to over-come Shibata, who was a solid amateur him. Shibata came to win, but was dropped from a counter left hook in the first round as Watari announced himself as one to watch. From there on Shibata attempted to turn things around, but struggled to have sustained success whilst Watari worked the body well. In round 4 Watari ended up hurting Shibata and going to work until the referee stepped in and save Shibata who was under a lot of pressure at the time.
The second bout of note saw Mizuki Hiruta (2-0) [晝田瑞希] announce herself as a super prospect, as she took a wide and clear win over OPBF female Super Flyweight champion Terumi Nuki (12-5, 8) [貫輝美], in what was Hiruta's second professional. From the off the pink haired Hiruta dominated the action with straight punches as she looked to control the range and tempo of the bout. Nuki on the other hand was determined to try and close the distance, but that just left her walking into shots from the extremely talented Hiruta who was in a comfortable lead as we entered the second half of the fight. In round 7 Nuki had a massive break through as she finally connected with some of her heavy leather and dropped Hiruta, but couldn't finish her off. Instead Hiruta recovered to her feet and and despite being under pressure in round 8 did enough to take a comfortable and clear decision win. After 8 rounds Hiruta took the win with scores of 77-73, twice, and 76-74.
The final bout on the card saw former Japanese Featherweight champion Ryo Sagawa (12-2, 7) [佐川遼] score one of the most wins of his career so far, as he took out former WBA Super Bantamweight world champion Shun Kubo (15-3, 10) [久保隼] inside 3 rounds. Sagawa was aggressive from the off, landing clean right hands to the body in the opening round. Kubo tried to fire back, looking to land long left hands, at range. From there on Sagawa began to pick up the pace, and in round 3 he managed to drop his man. To his credit Kubo attempted to beat the count, but the referee reached 10 as Kubo was trying to get to his feet, giving Sagawa the KO win.
Earlier today in Hirakata City fight fans got the latest Green Tsuda show, continuing their series of "Crash Boxing" events. The shows, which was streamed on YouTube, featured a number of notable fighters, including two very promising debutants, a highly regarded prospect and a former Japanese national champion.
One of the highly regarded debutants was Takafumi Shibata (1-0) [柴田 尊文], who got off to an ideal start to his professional career as he easily defeated Ryosie Niguma (5-4-1, 3) [二熊 亮成] in a 6 rounder at at 140lbs. From the off Shibata was defensively tight, taking a look at Niguma before letting his own shots go, fighting behidn his jab, then mixing more and more of his arsenal into the bout as the fight went on. After 6 rounds it was hard to give Niguma more than a round, though served the ideal debut opponent for Shibata, who looks like he could be moved quickly at either 140lbs or 135lbs going forward.
Following Shibata we then saw Kaito Yamazaki (1-0) [山崎 海斗] make his debut, and pick up a 6 round decision win over his own as he defeated Kohei Hamamoto (4-3-1, 3) [濱元 耕平]. To his credit Hamamoto showed some nasty intent here, and landed some clubbing shots early on, but as the bout went on Yamazaki's amateur pedigree shone through, with the youngster really easing into the bout and dominating it in the end, leaving Hamamoto cut and busted by the end of the round 5. Credit to Hamamoto for sticking in, but he was clearly second best here.
In a notable support bout fans saw unbeaten prospect Jinki Maeda (8-0, 4) [前田 稔輝] pick up his latest win, as he defeated Yuya Azuma (5-6-1, 1) [東 祐也] via another 6 round decision. Azuma came to win, and there was no faulting his effort especially early on, but as the bout went on Maeda began to settle, boxing smartly, and boxing to his strengths to rack up the rounds, laving Azuma swollen in the process. Azuma never showed any quit, but after 6 rounds there was denying he had come off second best against a very, very talented young prospect.
In the main event former Japanese Super Flyweight champion Takayuki Okumoto (24-10-4, 11) [奥本 貴之] ended a 2 fight losing streak as he over-came Sonin Nihei (10-6-2, 2) [仁平 宗忍], in what was a second bout between the two men. They two had fought in 2016, with Okumoto taking a 2nd round TKO win over Nihei, but today he had to work for a win, with Nihei showing grit and determination. Nihei put up a genuine effort early on but as the bout went on Okumoto's power, determination and will to win broke through as he went on to win round after round, and even seemed to have Nihei on the verge of being stopped late on.
Earlier today we were informed about the latest show in the Green Tsuda promoted "Crash Boxing" series of shows, as the gym held a press conference to announce the event. The show in question will take place on August 8th in Hirkata City, and is one packed with interesting bouts and notable names.
The main event of the card is an excellent match up between two JBC ranked Super Flyweight as former Japanese national champion Takayuki Okumoto (23-10-4, 11) [奥本 貴之] battles against Sonin Nihei (10-5-2, 2) [仁平 宗忍], in a rematch of their 2016 clash. The first time these two men fought Okumoto stopped in 2 rounds, and it's fair to say that the former champion will be confident of another win here. Saying that however Nihei has picked up two decent domestic wins since then, beating Tatsuya Ikemizu and Ryosuke Nasu whilst Okumoto has actually lost his last two bouts, including a huge upset loss in December to Akio Furutani.
In the main support bout we'll see Green Tsuda hopeful Toshiki Shimomachi (13-1-2, 9) [下町 俊貴] in action in an 8 rounder, though his opponent has yet to be announced. Despite not being a big name he is among the best prospects in Japan and fingers crossed this bout will be one of his last bouts before a potential title fight at the end of the year, or in early 2022.
Where the card really is appealing is the depth of young talent on it, not just Shimomachi. Another of the youngsters is his Green Tsuda stablemate Jinki Maeda (7-0, 4) [前田 稔輝], who will be taking on the solid Yuya Azuma (5-5-1, 1) [東 祐也], who's only been stopped once in his 5 losses and that was by Rentaro Kimura.
Other youngsters include the debuting pair of Kaito Yamazaki (0-0) [山崎 海斗] and Takafumi Shibata (0-0) [柴田 尊文]. Yamazaki will be expected to have a chin check here as he takes on Kohei Hamamoto (4-2-1, 3) [濱元 耕平], who has stopped his last 3 in the first round whilst Shibata will be up against Ryosie Niguma (5-3-1, 3) [二熊 亮成] in a very interesting match up.
At a press conference for the show this morning Okumoto explained that a conversation with his 8 year old son talking him out of retiring from the sport, and he admitted that he was surprised to be headlining the card, like assuming the headline bout would go to Shimomachi as the rising star of the gym. The promoter, Masaya Motoishi, however explained that he was confident Okumoto would become a champion again explaining that that played a part in his choice to have Okumoto lead the show.
Shimomachi revealed that he sees his bout as a passing point before an eventual title fight. It's expected he'll not be in with someone too testing here, and instead will be using the bout to stay sharp, rather than testing himself and his abilities too much.
Notably Maeda explained that whilst he can challenge for a Japanese title, given his JBC ranking, he feels he's not ready for a shot. And credit to him for being honest on that, as his last performance showed there is still a lot of work for him to do before he faces a title level fighter. We're not sure Azuma will prepare him for a title fight, but he does need more experience.
Another fighter who was mentioned at the press conference was Ryota Yada (20-7, 17) [矢田良太], who was said to have turned down a fight on this show as he's hoping to get a fight at Korakeun Hall later in the year instead, and could find himself in a major domestic show down, rather than a relative low key bout in Hirakata City, on this show.
Over the weekend it was confirmed that Takafumi Shibata [柴田尊文] had passed his B-License pro-test ahead of his professional debut.
The 22 year old, who will be fighting as a Green Tsuda fighter, was a solid amateur on the domestic scene, where he fought in the Light Welterweight division. As an amateur he served as the team captain in his High school team, and came third in the 2018 All Japan championships. In total he ran up a solid 38-16 (13) amateur record and was a solid fighter, without ever being a standout.
After finishing university in Spring he got offered a job in a sushi store but decided to chase his boxing dream, and spoke to an advisor of the Green Tsuda gym who opened the door for his professional boxing career.
In his pro-test bout Shibata sparred 3 round with the "Naniwa Terminator" Ryota Yada (20-7, 17) [矢田良太] and he looked really good. He looked sharp, heavy handed, had good movement, a lovely heavy jab and mixed body shots in well with his head shots.
The plan now is for Shibata to make his debut in Osaka on August 8th, though his potential opponent hasn't yet been announced.
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