Earlier today Japanese hopeful Keisuke Matsumoto (1-0, 1) [松本圭佑] announced the details of his second professional bout.
The talented, third generation fighter, confirmed his next fight would be taking place on January 14th at Korakuen Hall. That was pretty much the only thing we already knew, as Hideyuki Ohashi had previously confirmed the date and venue of the show. But Matsumoto then went on to add more details.
The bout will be at a contracted 58KG, which is 127.8lbs, and he will be up against 34 year old domestic foe Bejita Ishikawa (3-12-2, 1) [石川一彦]. That's a man best known as being a cosplayer boxer, who often comes to the ring dressed as a character from Dragon Ball Z.
On paper Ishikawa isn't likely to pose much of a threat to Matsumoto, especially given his recent form which has included 4 straight losses by stoppage and 6 losses in 7 bouts, but we suspect the hope is that Matsumoto gets some rounds, get to show some of the things he's been working on in the gym and gets to show that he's polished his skills a little bit since his debut.
Given he's only 21 it's hard to criticise Matsumoto for having a few easy bouts, and a fight like this, designed to keep him busy and help him develop, is certainly not a bad thing at this early stage in his career.
Interestingly the bout is scheduled for the under-card of the OPBF Bantamweight title out, between defending champion Keita Kurihara (15-5, 13) [栗原慶太] and former WBC "interim" champion Takuma Inoue (13-1, 3) [井上拓真], which is a bout are very much looking forward to.
At the end of October we'll see the "Monster" return, with Naoya Inoue (19-0, 16) [井上 尚弥] defending his WBA "Super" and IBF Bantamweight titles against Australian challenger Jason Moloney (21-1, 18) in Las Vegas.
Today the Japanese sensation arrived in Las Vegas as he began to put the final touches to his preparation for the bout with Moloney.
Inoeu arrived in Las Vegas at earlier today and a few hours later was shadow boxing and running as he continues to keep his weight down, adapt to the US conditions and get ready for his Top Rank debut.
From tomorrow Inoue will tweak training, and begin working out with younger brother Takuma Inoue (13-1, 3) [井上拓真], who has flown over to Japan to help Naoya with last minute sparring and training.
Although this bout has, repeatedly, been called Inoue's US debut it won't be. He beat Antonio Nieves in Carson, California in 2017. It will, however, be his Las Vegas debut.
(Image credit - Ohashi Gym)
On October 31st we'll get the chance to see the "Monster" return as Naoya Inoue (19-0, 16) [井上 尚弥] defends his WBA "Super" and IBF Bantamweight titles against Australian challenger Jason Moloney (21-1, 18) in Las Vegas.
The bout, which will be Inoue's Las Vegas and Top Rank debut, but not his US debut, is the final big bout of October and one of the most anticipated lower weight bouts of the year.
Today Inoue left Japan, heading to the US where he will quarantine and put final touches to his preparation for the upcoming contest.
Before leaving Japan, along with his father and trainer Shingo Inoue, brother, Takuma Inoue (13-1, 3) [井上拓真] and cousin, Koki Inoue [浩樹井上], he spoke with the media at Haneda airport.
At the airport Inoue revealed he wasn't sure of how many rounds of sparring he had done in total for Moloney, but did admit it was less than usual. However he added that he been sparring for Casimero earlier in the year and has amassed a lot of sparring this year.
As for his condition he stated it was the same as usual, and that he isn't feeling stressed about not fighting recently, stating that the important thing was recovering from injuries, and that he feels it's only really been half a year since he last fought. In regards to his it appears it's completely on line with what he and his team were expecting.
In regards to fighting in Las Vegas he has revealed there's no anxiety about his Las Vegas debut, and spoke about his previous fights on the road, having fought in Glasgow and LA. It also appears he's not too bothered about a lack of crowd, something he's strangely experienced from outside of the ring having attended fan-less events as part of the Ohashi Gym earlier in the year.
(Image credit - Ohashi Gym)
At the end of the month WBA "Super" and IBF Bantamweight champion Naoya Inoue (19-0, 16) [井上 尚弥] will be stood in a ring, in Nevada defending his titles against Australian challenger Jason Moloney (21-1, 18). What few are perhaps aware of is that he's still, currently, in Japan.
Earlier today Inoue took part in his last sparring session at the Ohashi Gym, as he sparred with youngster Keisuke Matsumoto (1-0, 1) [松本圭佑].
Following the session Inoue sent a message to the media through promoter Hideyuki Ohashi explaining:
"I was able to finish the final sparring with convincing results. This time it is an unknown world with no spectators in Las Vegas, but I am very excited" [Translated]
Inoue's father, and trainer, Shingo Inoue also commented to the media stating:
""I've been practicing the best. The content is perfect with attack power, defense, speed of entry and exit. Just enter Las Vegas to adjust weight and relieve fatigue. The sparring was also good," [Translated]
Inoue and team will leave Japan tomorrow, and will head straight to quarantine in the US ahead of the Moloney bout. He will be accompanied by his brother, Takuma Inoue (13-1, 3) [井上拓真], who will be there for last minute in Las Vegas, and by cousin Koki Inoue [浩樹井上], who will reportedly be in the US for companionship.
For those wondering, Inoue has had a PCR test, and it has come back negative.
(Image below courtesy of Ohashi Gym)
Yesterday we reported that OPBF Bantamweight champion Keita Kurihara (15-5, 13) [栗原慶太] make his second defense of the his title on January 14th when he takes on former WBC "interim" Bantamweight champion Takuma Inoue (13-1, 3) [井上拓真]. At the same time we also reported that the unbeaten Taku Kuwahara (7-0, 4) [桑原拓] was going to feature on that card.
Originally Kuwahara didn't have an opponent named on Hideyuki Ohashi's social media post about the show. Today however we have seen Kuwahara's opponent being confirmed for the show.
We now know that the touted and unbeaten Ohashi Gym prospect will take on 2018 All Japan Rookie of the Year winner Yoshiki Minato (9-3, 4) [湊義生], who scored a career defining win this past weekend when stopped former Japanese champion Kohei Oba (36-4-1, 14) [大場浩平], with that bout being viewable below.
For Kuwahara the bout will bee his third against a domestic foe, and will keep him fighting at a decent level, though it will, sadly, be his first bout since December 2019, when he beat Ricardo Sueno. As for Minato he didn't really take any punishment at all against Oba and according to Boxmob he "was offered several fights", taking the Kuwahara one and noting it was the toughest that he was offered.
The bout is set to be an 8 round contest at Super Flyweight. It will see Kuwahara moving up in weight, and will also allow Minato to split the difference between his normal weight, which has been Flyweight, and his last bout, which was at Bantamweight. The fight will also serve as the chief support bout to the Kurihara Vs Inoue contest.
News! We try and give you the most interesting news stories from the Asian boxing world!