Earlier today Teiken announced that Masayoshi Nakatani (19-2, 13) [中谷正義] would be returning to the ring on June 13th, in what will be his first bout since losing to Vasyl Lomachenko last June. The tall and rangy Japanese Lightweight will be taking on Filipino foe Harmonito Dela Torre (22-3, 14), in a 10 round bout at a contracted 137lbs at Korakuen Hall.
The bout isn't just Nakatani's return to the ring following the loss to Lomachenko, but also marks the first time he has fought in Japan since a 2018 win over Hurricane Futa, and his first bout at Korakuen Hall since his 2014 win against Yoshitaka Kato. In fact this is the first time he has fought in Japan since signing with Teiken in 2019.
Talking about the bout Nakatani has explained that he is happy to have a fight in Japan, he also seemed happy to be fighting someone dangerous, like Dela Torre.
As for the Filipino fighter, this will see him return to Japan for the first time since October 2019, when he was stopped inside a round by Yuichiro Yoshino. Despite that loss Nakatani isn't looking past the Filipino who is very much a dangerous fighter himself. Since the loss to Yoshino he has scored two wins, but this is a huge step up from those bouts.
The bout will serve as the main event of a Dynamic Glove card, with the card also featuring a Japanese Welterweight Interim title bout, between Yuki Nagano (19-3, 15) [永野祐樹] and Takeru Kobata (11-5-1, 4) [小畑 武尊].
Back on March 29th Japanese Welterweight champion Keita Obara (25-4-1, 22) [小原 佳太] was forced to pull out of a scheduled defense against former champion Yuki Nagano (19-3, 15) [永野祐樹] due to a leg injury suffered in training.
With Obara out for a yet to be determined amount of time the JBC have the title situation to continue to develop, and today Teiken, who promote Nagano, have announced that their man will be returning to the ring on June 13th to face Takeru Kobata (11-5-1, 4) [小畑 武尊] for the interim title.
The bout, which will be held at Korakuen Hall as the main event of June's Dynamic Glove show, will see the top two ranked contenders for the title clash, in what should be an explosive and exciting clash.
The 32-year-old Nagano explained "The interim championship is different from the real champion, so it feels like I'm going to play the challenger deciding match again. I know that the opponent is a southpaw, but I watch the game too much. I've never done it before, so I'd like to check the style of the other party and take measures."
As for Kobata, the 23-year-old won the Japanese Youth title last year, and is really stepping up in class here. He's aggressive and exciting, with good combinations and body work, but he will be very much the under-dog. Talking about the fight he stated "I will do my best to defeat former champion Nagano with respect so that I will not miss this chance.
At the time of writing no other bouts for this show have been announced.
Earlier today at Korakuen Hall we got the latest show from the Ohashi Gym and it's was a much anticipated one with several notable bouts on the show including a Japanese Youth Super Flyweight title bout, a bout between two Rookie of the Year winners, a bout with a destructive Japanese ranked Featherweight and a Japanese Youth champion in action.
The card began with two low key 4 round bouts. The first of those saw Fubuki Sakata (1-0) [酒田 風吹] take a 4 round decision win over Hideaki Kobayashi (0-3-1) [小林 英明], and the bout was a pretty one sided one with Sakata pretty much winning every minute, of every round, of the 4 rounder.
The second 4 rounder almost went the distance, but ended when Rei Atsuchi (1-0, 1) [厚地 嶺] poured on the pressure late in round 4, forcing the referee to save Yuki Kajitani (2-3, 2) [梶谷 有樹], with just over 30 seconds of the bout left.
The first of the really interesting match ups pit the 2019 All Japan Minimumweight Rookie of the year against the 2020 winner as Katsuki Mori (9-0, 2) [森 且貴] clashed with Ren Kojima (6-2-2) [小島 蓮]. Through the early stages the men were relatively even, but that changed when Mori began to find a home for his left hand to the body of Kojima late in round 2. From there on Mori really did a number of Kojima's body, which weakened Kojima for head shots later in the bout. In round 5 Kojima was being used for target practice, with Mori not closing the show until the final minute of the bout. The polished performance from Mori was very good and this is the first time he's stopped someone since scoring a stoppage in his debut.
In another notable bout Japanese Youth Welterweight champion Takeru Kobata (10-5-1, 4) [小畑 武尊] defeated Tetsuya Kondo (6-3, 4) [近藤 哲哉] in a very competitive 8 rounder. Kobata, who wasn't defending his title here, seemed to settle into the bout well, but Kondo managed to get his man's attention towards the end of round 1, and again in round 3, leaving Kobata feeling a bit worse for wear. From there on it was a battle of attrition, with Kondo running out of stamina down the stretch. To his credit Kondo gave everything he had left in the final round, but it wasn't enough and Kobata took the 8 round decision.
In the chief support bout the huge punching Tsuyoshi Tameda (22-6-2, 20) [溜田 剛士] got back to winning ways as he destroyed Soreike Taichi (7-5, 5) [それいけ太一] in the second round. The first round was a good one for Tameda, who dropped his man, who recovered to his feet. In round 2 however a huge counter right hand from Tameda absolutely detonated on Taichi, send him down hard and forcing the referee to wave the bout off.
We then get on to the main event, which was a Japanese Youth Super Flyweight title bout between former amateur standout Ryutaro Nakagaki (2-0-1, 2) [中垣龍汰朗] and hard hitting teenager Ayumu Hanada (6-0-1, 4) [花田 歩夢]. This bout had massive expectations on it going in, but exceeded those expectations in what was a brilliant 8 rounder that saw both men showing what was in their arsenal.
The first round was a scouting mission for both, but from then on the bout picked up, with Nakagaki finding his range in round 2 and Hanada finding room for his right hand in round 3. They they began to showcase sensational boxing skills, with quick sharp jabs, excellent defensive skills and counter boxing. Then we got to the middle of the fight and the pace from both began to increase, and increase giving us a brilliant final couple of rounds the moment shifted back and forth. Hanada managed to land several big right hands up top and lefts to the body, slowing Nakagaki down, before Nakagaki ended up getting a second wind in the final round.
After 8 rounds this was scored 78-74, Nakagaki, and 76-76, twice, resulting in a majority draw. A draw that leaves the title vacant and leaves both men unbeaten and both men seemed to be aware that they had areas to work on. Fingers crossed that down the line we'll get a second chapter in this rivalry between two of the brightest hopefuls in Japanese boxing.
Earlier tpoday Ohashi Gym announced their next Phoenix Battle show, Phoenix Battle 78, which will take place on July 8th at Korakuen Hall and it's a brilliant card with two Japanese Youth title bouts, as well as several other notable fighters on the lower end of the show.
The main event of the card will be a Japanese Youth Super Flyweight bout pitting two of the hottest young talented in Japan against each other, with former amateur standout Ryutaro Nakagaki (2-0, 2) [中垣龍汰朗] taking on explosive teenager Ayumu Hanada (6-0, 4) [花田 歩夢] for the vacant title, in what should be a genuinely spectacular contest.
For those who haven't seen these two Nakagaki is a brilliant pure boxer, who had issues with power in the amateurs but appears to have adapted to the professional ranks really well and is looking like a solid puncher, and a very special boxer. He was a stellar amateur and appears to be set for the hyper fast track to the top, and with his ability few can blame him for wanting to win titles as early as possible. Hanada on the other hand began his career in Mexico, where he looked exciting and talented, but incredibly young. He returned to Japan in 2019 and made his JBC debut in 2020, with an excellent performance against Ryukyu Nagamine. Hanada returned to the ring this past April, and although he wasn't punch perfect he over-came the very dangerous Mammoth Kazunori.
Whilst the men might only have 8 bouts between them this is a genuinely brilliant match up and he sort of thing that the Japanese Youth title has been giving us over the last few years.
The other Japanese Youth title bout will see Takeru Kobata (9-5-1, 4) [小畑武尊] make his first defense of the Japanese Youth Welterweight title, as he takes on Tetsuya Kondo (6-2, 4) in what should be an explosive enounter.
The under-rated Kobata won the title in March, with a big upset win against Rikuto Adachi, and will be looking to build on that win here as he returns to Korakuen Hall for just the third time in his career. A win for him would show that his victory over Adachi wasn't a fluke and was instead a sign that he's a legitimate prospect and someone to keep an eye on, despite his 5 losses. Kondo on the other hand will be getting his first title bout and continues to rebuil his career following an opening round TKO loss in 2019 to the destructive Jin Sasaki. That loss aside Kondo hasn't been stopped before but is expected to be giving natural size to Kobata.
Lower down the show we'll see hard hitting Japanese ranked Featherweight Tsuyoshi Tameda (21-6-2, 19) [溜田剛士].battle against Soreike Taichi (7-4, 5) [木村太一], as both men desperately look to bounce back from recent back to back stoppage defeats. We'll also see Japanese ranked Minimumweights collide as Katsuki Mori (8-0, 1) [森且貴] clashes with Ren Kojima (6-1-2) [小島 蓮], in a battle between two men who have won the All Japan Rookie of the Year, with Mori winning in 2019 and Kojima winning in the latest edition of the tournament.
Although not a monster card, set to get massive international attention this is an incredibly good domestic card, with a number of really good bouts and a chance for the young talent in Japan to shine. The main event is a genuinely amazing bout, the co-feature should be exciting, Tameda and Taichi should be explosive and it's always a job to see Mori and Kojima in action. This is a fantastic line up from Ohashi and we really hope nothing forces any changes to what looks set to be a strong domestic card.
Earlier today fight fans at Korakuen Hall had the latest show in the Ohashi promoted Phoenix Battle series of shows, which will be aired this coming weekend on Fuji TV. The card featured 5 bouts in total, a Japanese Youth Welterweight title bout between Rikuto Adachi and Takeru Kobata, a the professional boxing debut of Yoshiki Takei and an interesting match up between Taku Kuwahara and Yoshiki Minato.
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 the first under-card bout, which is unlikely to be televised at all, and then moving on through the other bouts on the show. If you wish to avoid those spoilers, please stop reading now.
The opening bout on the show saw teenage hopeful Yushin Uchida (2-1, 2) [内田 勇心] score an opening round win over Shunsei Sawada (0-1) [澤田 春聖]. This bout, which lasted 161 seconds, saw Uchida drop his man twice to secure the victory.
Amazing the Japanese Youth Welterweight title bout lasted even less time than the opening bout on the show, and this ended with an upset! The much unfancied Takeru Kobata (9-5-1, 4) [小畑武尊] managed to destroy the once touted Rikuto Adachi (14-3, 11) [安達陸仁] in just 123 seconds! Adachi landed the first shot of note, a good body shot, but that seemed to kick start Kobata who pressured afterwards and landed a huge straight left. The shot dropped Adachi an the referee quickly waved off the bout.
For Kobata this is a massive win, a huge upset, and a career defining result up to this point in his career. As for Adachi, it's a second stoppage loss in 4 bouts, and not the return to the ring he would have wanted after more than a year out of the ring.
The third bout on the card ended up being the most competitive, though that wasn't saying a lot. That saw unbeaten hopeful Taku Kuwahara (8-0, 4) [桑原拓] take a wide 8 round decision over Yoshiki Minato (9-4, 4) [湊義生]. From the off Kuwahara was too quick, too sharp, too accurate and too good for Minato who gave a solid effort, but was second best in every facet of his game.
After 8 rounds the scores here were 80-72, twice, and 79-73 to Kuwahara. To his credit the winner did give Minato props, stating that he was strong and good at closing the distance, though the bout was still a clear win for the talented Ohashi gym prospect.
The chief support bout saw former K-1 champion Yoshiki Takei (1-0, 1) [武居由樹] begin his professional career, and do so in impressive fashion as he took out Kazunori Takai (6-8-3, 3) [高井一憲] in the shortest bout on the show. In fact this one lasted just 103 seconds! Takei pressed from the off and backed Takai on to the ropes, where he landed a good right hook and then brilliant combination to drop his man. Takai got back to his feet but was dropped again from a straight left hand just moments later. After the win Takei stated that he wanted to "become a fighter who can carry Japan on my back" an on the back of this performance he may well be able to do just that.
As a K-1 kickboxer Takei was a star and it seems like he has the tools to be a big star in boxing, having been responsible for a huge number of ticket sales on this event. That crossover appeal, added to his clear talent, makes him one of the most interesting prospects in Japan right now, and someone we suspect will be fast tracked.
In the main event fans saw unbeaten hopeful Andy Hiraoka (17-0, 12) [平岡アンディ] take a 3rd round TKO win over Fumisuke Kimura (9-7-1, 6) [木村 文祐], in what was a second bout between the two men. Hiraoka, who hadn't fought in Japan for well over a year, was in charge from the off, pressing the action and backing up Kimura. To his credit Kimura showed his toughness in the first 2 rounds, but in round 3 the referee had seen enough and stepped in, saving Kimura from further punishment.
Interestingly these two men fought back in 2018, and Kimura managed to last 8 rounds with Hiraoka, so this result was an improvement from the youngster. It was also his first main event, and the first time a show has been sold around him. It is however a clear sign that Hiraoka needs to step up now, and title bouts should be sooner rather than later. There's no reason for his team to hold him back, and Japanese, OPBF and WBO Asia Pacific title fights should be on his radar for later in the year.
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