The highly regarded Ohashi Gym, run by former world champion Hideyuki Ohashi, has announce that the gym will be closed from April 7th to try and help battle the on going global issues that is now effecting the planet. The gym has announced that it hopes to open on May 1st, though of course the issue is still pretty much a developing one and could remained closed beyond that date if it needs to.
The gym is a major one in Japan, and is based in one of the most heavily populated areas in the country, so it closing it's doors is a excellent decision. Even more so given no one at the gym has shown any health issues at the moment, rather than waiting for someone to get sick before choosing to lock the doors.
For fans unsure of which fighters this will affect current Ohashi gym fighters include the likes of former 3-weight world champion Akira Yaegashi (28-7, 16) [八重樫 東], the unified Bantamweight champion Naoya Inoue (19-0, 16) [井上 尚弥], his brother Takuma Inoue (13-1, 3) [井上 拓真], Japanese Light Welterweight champion Koki Inoue (15-0, 12) [浩樹井上], former world title challenger Ryo Matsumoto (23-3, 21) [松本亮] and prospects such as Taku Kuwahara (7-0, 4) [桑原拓], 2019 All Japan Rookie of the Year winner Katsuki Mori (6-0,1) [森且貴] and Ryutaro Nakagaki [中垣 龍汰朗] and Keisuke Matsumoto [松本圭佑], who were both pencilled in to debut in late May.
Usually closing a gym with this level of talent is likely to have major knock ons for big fights, however with the current climate we don't imagine this decision will cause too many issues, and is actually a very smart move from the gym that is trying to look after it's fighters and staff.
On March 16th we were expecting to see Japanese Light Welterweight champion Koki Inoue (15-0, 12) [浩樹井上] defending his title in a mandatory defense against Daishi Nagata (14-2-1, 5) [永田大士], as part of the Champion Carnival.
Today however that bout was pushed back, by over 2 months.
It was revealed that Inoue had been injured and as a result he wouldn't be ready in time for the March card. Instead the bout will take place on May 28th, at Korakuen Hall.
Despite the rescheduling the bout will still serve as an interesting Champion Carnival bout, and a good, solid second defense for the champion, who is expected to go on to big things in the coming years.
As for Nagata the rescheduling will give him extra time to come up with some sort of a gameplan to defeat the excellent champion, who will be seen as the clear favourite despite the injury.
As a result of this rescheduling the March show will now be headlined by fast rising Japanese prospect Taku Kuwahara (7-0, 4) [桑原拓], as he takes on Filipino foe Jaysever Abcede (20-9, 12) in an 8 rounder.
The Ohashi Gym Chairman, Hideyuki Ohashi, took to social media to apologise for the rescheduling of the bout.
Earlier today news broke of the next Ohashi promoted show, "Phoenix Battle 71", which will take place on March 16th at Korakuen Hall and will feature not only a Champion Carnival bout but also a number notable Japanese hopefuls.
The main event will see Japanese Light Welterweight champion Koki Inoue (15-0, 12) [浩樹井上] defending his title against mandatory challenger Daishi Nagata (14-2-1, 5) [永田大士]. The unbeaten champion will be looking to make his second defense, after winning the belt last April, and if he wins the expectation is that he will likely vacated in pursuit of a world title fight down the line. As for Nagata he's gotten this shot following a decision win over Cristiano Aoqui back in October.
The chief support bout will see fast rising Japanese prospect Taku Kuwahara (7-0, 4) [桑原拓] take a a really good step up in class to take on rugged Filipino foe Jaysever Abcede (20-9, 12). This will be the third straight Filipino fighter that Kuwahara will be up against and is a good quality of opponent form the youngster. As for Abcede this will be his third visit to Japan in 5 fights, after a win over Seigo Yuri Akui in October 2018 and a very competitive loss to Kento Hatanaka last August. A win here should put Kuwahara in line for a big fight later in the year, but a win is certainly not a given.
Another supporting bout will see former world title challenger Ryo Matsumoto (23-3, 21) [松本亮] take on unbeaten Japanese fighter Koshin Takeshima (4-0-1, 3) [竹嶋宏心]. On paper this is a mismatch, but Matsumoto is still rebuilding after a disastrous 2018 and a bout like this will certainly be a step up from his recent bouts.
One other fighter announced for this card is 2019 All Japan Rookie of the Year winner Katsuki Mori (6-0,1) [森且貴], who looks to kick off his 2020 campaign and build on an excellent year. The 19 year old shined through out the Rookie of the Year and looks like the skilled type of fighter who could go a very, very long way with Ohashi's guidance and backing. A genuine one to watch.
Earlier today at Korakuen Hall fight fans were given an interesting card, with a very notable under-card, featuring a former world title challenger and two talented youngsters expected to make a lot of noise in 2020.
One of the youngsters was Japanese ranked Flyweight Taku Kuwahara (7-0, 4) [桑原拓], who impressed once again. The unbeaten fighter, dubbed "Ioka II" in some circles of the Japanese press, did everything but stop Filipino visitor Ricardo Sueno (10-4-4, 3), in a very 1 sided contest.
From the opening bell Kuwahara was too sharp, too crisp and too skilled for the visitor, who struggled to ever get going. Kuwahara fought like a man who wanted a KO win, and wanted to earn it with his boxing, however Sueno's toughness kept him fighting back, even after being dropped. This wasn't competitive, and was a 1-sided beating, but credit to Sueno for lasting the 8 rounds en route to a very clear loss.
Another bout on the card saw former world title challenger Ryo Matsumoto (23-3, 21) [松本亮] get the stoppage against the game, but out matched, Jinya Ito (8-6-1, 3) [伊藤 仁也]. This was a a lot more entertaining than the records would suggest and Ito came for the upset, fighting tooth and nail with Matsumoto at times. Sadly for Ito he was unable to hurt Matsumoto who's power, and crisper punching proved to be the difference, and in round 4 the referee saved a bloodied and shaken Ito from further punishment.
In a much less competitive bout, the well touted Katsuya Yasuda (6-0, 4) [保田 克也] battered Indonesian visitor Rengga Rengga (8-5, 2) in 2 rounds. This was a mismatch from the moment it was signed and Rengga was downed twice as the local picked up his latest win.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Back in September we reported that Japanese Light Welterweight champion Koki Inoue (14-0, 11) [浩樹井上] would be back in the ring in December, when he faces hard hitting Filipino Jheritz Chavez (9-3-2, 7) for the WBO Asia Pacific Light Welterweight title. At the time no under-card bouts for the show were announced, and in fact no one was even announced for the under-card.
Today that changed and we saw a number of bouts for the card, set for December 4th at Korakuen Hall, being announced.
The chief support bout has been confirmed as being an 8 round Flyweight bout between Japanese ranked Flyweight Taku Kuwahara (6-0, 4) [桑原拓] and Filipino visitor Ricardo Sueno (10-3-4, 3). On paper this looks good, and another test for Kuwahara who scored a fantastic win earlier this year against Jonathan Refugio, however it does need ton be noted that Sueno was blasted out in a round last time he fought in Japan, being stopped by Thai teenager Thanongsak Simsri in just 66 seconds. We suspect this will be seen as little more than a stay busy fight for the excellent Kuwahara.
Another supporting bout will see former world title challenger Ryo Matsumoto (22-3, 20) [松本亮] take on Jinya Ito (8-5-1, 3) [伊藤 仁也] in an 8 round bout at Featherweight. For Matsumoto this will be his second bout since being stopped by Ryo Segawa in 2018, as he looks to rebuild from that loss and get his career back on track. For Ito the bout is almost a reward for an opening round win, in July, over Matsumoto's stablemate Sho Nakazawa. It should be noted however that Ito has lost 2 of his last 3 and is clearly being picked as someone Matsumoto can score a win against.
Also on the card in an 8 rounder is the touted Katsuya Yasuda (5-0, 3) [保田 克也], who will also be in an 8 rounder at Featherweight, though his opponent is yet to be confirmed.
It might not be a stacked under-card, but it does give fans a real reason to come in well before the main event, with the chance to see 3 very talented Ohashi gym fighters who are all going to be in mix for titles over the coming years.
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