Earlier today the Green Tsuda Gym announced their next card under the "Crash Boxing Banner" and it's set to be an interesting one on December 27th from the Hirakata City Gymnasium in Osaka, with 7 bouts announced for it. Notably several of the fighters set for the card had originally been pencilled in to fight on November 3rd, before that show was cancelled due to Hiroto Kyoguchi (14-0, 9) [京口 紘人] testing positive for Covid19.
Not only have all 7 bouts been announced but also a serious step up in how the show will be ran in regards to making the event more covid safe than any other in Japan.
The first will all be given PCR tests 4 weeks before the fight, and 10 days before the fight, as well following the usual rules of a PCR test on the day of the weigh in. The venue, which can be set up to take 3,5000 people in a normal event, is expected to have between 1,300 and 1,500 fans in attendance along with 30 guards and 10 medical staff.
The day before PCR tests will be carried out at a local hospital, with space being rented for the testing and weighing, and fighters will then be bussed to a hotel, with cafeteria's only available to those involved in bouts. A bus will also be prepared to take fighters from the hotel to the venue, with Masaya Motoishi, the promoter, clearly wanting to lead the way in how to have more covid safe events.
As for the bouts, the main event will see "Naniwa Terminator" Ryota Yada (20-6, 17) [矢田良太] battle against Yuichi Ideta (13-15-1, 7) [出田裕一] in an 8 round Welterweight bout, with the plan being for Yada to essentially tune up ahead of an OPBF title fight next year. On paper this really should be little more than a stay busy bout for the hard hitting Yada.
In the co-feature former Japanese Super Flyweight champion Takayuki Okumoto (23-9-4, 11) [奥本貴之] will take on Akio Furutani (8-4, 3) [古谷昭男], in an 8 round bout fought at a contracted 53KG's, which is around 116.9lbs. For Okumoto this will be his first bout since losing the Japanese title in December 2019 whilst Furutani will be looking to build on an October 2019 upset win over Keisuke Nakayama.
The only title bout on the show will see Japanese Youth Super Bantamweight champion Toshiki Shimomachi (12-1-2, 8) [下町俊貴] seek his second defense as he takes on Satoru Hoshiba (7-4, 2) [干場 悟]. The 24 year old Shimomachi will, if he wins, need to vacate the title due to his age, though given his recent performance we're really excited to see him moving into the main Japanese title mix. As for Hoshiba he'll be coming into this bon the back of successive victory and will be a live under-dog, albeit a very clear under-dog.
Staying with youngsters we'll also see the brilliant Jinki Maeda (5-0, 3) [前田稔輝] face off with Kaito Okubo (5-1, 2) [大久保海都], in a bout that has been rescheduled from November 3rd. Although relatively deep down the card this could end up being the show stealer. We've been really impressed by Maeda, who won Rookie of the Year in 2019, but Okubo is no push over and should pose a genuine test for Maeda.
The other 3 bouts on the card are all 4 rounders including the debut of Ryuicho Kitazono (0-0) [北園 龍一] and a bout featuring unbeaten 35 year old female fighter Rin Murai (1-0-2) [村井 理].
With very few events in Japan hosting a crowd, and those that do only having limited crowds, one thing we've started to see is promoters beginning to have events streamed live on YouTube. We saw this twice in July and we're now set to get it this coming weekend with Green Tsuda today announcing some of their event "Crash Boxing Vol 20 in Hirakata" was being live streamed on August 9th.
The announcement revealed that the "BOXING REAL" channel on YouTube will show the 2 main bouts live, and one under-card bout, and will then host the under-card bouts the following day.
The bouts which will be streamed live will be the main event bout between Ryota Yada (19-6, 16) [矢田良太] and Takuya Fuji (7-5, 3) [藤井 拓也], the chief support bout, between Japanese Youth Super Bantamweight champion Toshiki Shimomachi (11-1-2, 7) [下町俊貴] and Hiroki Hanabusa (8-0-3, 3) [英洸貴] and a mouth watering match up between Jinki Maeda (4-0,2 ) [前田稔輝] and Arashi Iimi (7-2, 7) [飯見嵐],
For Yada the bout will be his first since his 2019 epic with Yuki Beppu, that saw both men being dropped, hurt, rocked and Yada being, eventually, stopped. On paper he will be the big favourite, but it's fair to say that the bout with Beppu is one that could leave him a damaged fighter. Fuji on the other hand is fighting for just the second time since 2015.
As for the title bout the contest will be Shimomachi's first defense of the title and will see Hanabusa looking to claim his first belt. We've previewed this bout in a lot more detail here "Shimomachi takes on Hanabusa in Youth title defense!"
The bout between Maeda and Iimi will see Maeda look to build on his 2019 Rookie of the Year triumph, in which he beat Kyonosuke Kameda, whilst Iimi will be hoping to bounce back from a loss last year to Kenta Nomura. For those wanting to know more about Maeda he was actually the focus of this week's "Introducing" article, which can be read here Introducing... Jinki Maeda
For those needing a link to the channel that's here, and they currently have videos from the "REAL Spirits Vol 67" show they streamed in July, for those wanting to know what the quality is going to be like.
One more thing to note bout this show is that the scheduled bout between Takayuki Okumoto (23-9-4, 11) [奥本貴之] and Tulio Kuwabata (3-1, 2) [桑畑凜生] will not be taking place, and was cancelled several weeks ago. This means the show will only have 4 under-card bouts, and not 5, as some sites list.
According to reports in Japan 3 bouts, scheduled to take place in August, were cancelled today. Rather notably all 3 bouts listed as being cancelled features fighters from the Muto gym in Osaka.
The first of those bouts expected to take place was an August 9th clash between former Japanese Super Flyweight champion Takayuki Okumoto (23-9-4, 11) [奥本貴之] and Tulio Kuwabata (3-1 2) [桑畑凜生]. This bout had been scheduled as an 8 round Bantamweight bout on a Green Tsuda promoted show at the City Sogo Gym in Hirakata City. This was going to be a comeback bout for both men, who lost in December, with Okumoto moving up in weight following the loss of the Japanese Super Flyweight title in on December 8th and Kuwabata looking to bounce back following a shock loss to Ken Jordan just 2 weeks later.
The other two bouts were both set for WOZ show on August 12th at the Rose Bunka Hall in Toyonaka.
One of these was a 4 round Lightweight bout, between Hibiki Yuasa (1-2) [湯浅響仁] and debutant Taime Ikeguchi (0-0) [池口大夢] whilst the other was the show's main event between Ryosuke Nishida (2-0, 1) [西田凌佑] and former world title challenger Shohei Omori (21-3, 16) [大森 将平].
Whilst we'll admit not much was made Yuasa Vs Ikeguchi, despite Ikeguchi having previously been a successful power lighter, there was some anticipation to see how Nishida would cope with Omori in what looked like a massive leap up in class.
Sadly Kuwabata, Yuasa and Nishida are all fighters from the Muto gym in Osaka. Whether this is related to an outbreak of the "on going global sitation" in an Osaka gym is unclear, though it does seem rather coincidental if the two things aren't linked in some way.
Back in December was saw Takayuki Okumoto (23-9-4, 11) [奥本貴之] lose the Japanese Super Flyweight title to Kenta Nakagawa (18-3-1, 12) [中川 健太], and suffer some pretty nasty cuts. It was unclear on what his future held at the time, but now we know that he's going to continue on in the sport, and has a date set for his return.
The fun to watch battler from the Green Tsuda gym will be involved on the April version of "Crash Boxing" on April 12th at the EDION Arena Osaka, though at the moment no opponent has been named.
Whilst Okumoto is the biggest name set for the show, he's not the only fighter confirmed for the event at the moment.
We also know that Japanese Youth Super Bantamweight champion Toshiki Shimomachi (10-1-2, 6) [下町俊貴] will be in action, as he defends his title against Hiroki Hanabusa (7-0-3, 2) [が英洸貴], as long as Hanabusa gets through his February 11th bout against Sorawit Bamrungrai without any issues.
One other man confirmed for the show, but without an opponent, is Japanese ranked Bantamweight fighter Kazuki Tanaka (11-3, 8) [田中一樹]
Today's double header at the EDION Arena Osaka, was one to forget for the team at Green Tsuda who saw two of their biggest names suffer serious set backs.
Following the up and down battle between Ryota Yada [矢田良太] and Yuki Beppu [別府優樹], more about that bout here, fans then got a Japanese Super Flyweight title bout, with defending champion Takayuki Okumoto (23-9-4, 11) [奥本貴之] trying to defend against former champion Kenta Nakagawa (18-3-1, 12) [中川 健太]. Sadly for Okumoto his reign came to an end, after 3 defenses.
Okumoto had gone into the bout with confidence and that confidence showed early on, as he pressed behind his jab, looking to keep Nakagawa at range and control the fight. The idea was a smart one, but it was a flawed one with Nakagawa setting an awkward rhythm and taking the lead at the mid-way point.
After 5 rounds, when the scores were announced, Nakagawa was leading on all 3 cards, 48-47, twice, and 49-46.
Despite the competitive start it was clear that Nakagawa was the one in charge, and his control over the bout tightened significantly in the second half. He was beginning to land right hands to the body, left hands up top and continually forced the issue, preventing Okumoto from getting back into things. Even when Okumoto did manage to build some success it was cut off quickly, and he was never able to dictate things for long.
Things went from bad to worse to Okumoto in round 9. With the score cards well and truly against him he was then cut, badly, on the right eye lid. He passed a doctors inspection, but it was still bad and he had to fight with a bloodied through the final round and a bit.
After 10 rounds there was no disputing the outcome, with Nakagawa winning 98-92, twice, and 99-92.
Nakagawa will make his fist defense at the 2020 Champion Carnival, when he faces either Hiroyuki Kudaka (26-18-2, 11) [久高寛之] or Yuta Matsuo (15-4-1, 8) [松尾雄太], who battle on December 22nd in their title eliminator.
As for Okumoto his future is less clear, though we suspect he'll bounce back with an easy win next year, then look to get back into the title scene as early as he can.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
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