Yesterday Taisei Gym announced that they had postponed their next show, which was originally planned for June 6th, and have pushed it back to July 23rd due to the issues that are still affecting Osaka in regards to the on going State of Emergency. As a result the show now falls on a holiday, but no changes, other than date, have been made to the event.
The card is a genuinely solid double header. One of the main bouts will see Riku Kano (17-4-1, 8) [加納 陸] defending the WBO Asia Pacific Light Flyweight title against the once touted Takumi Sakae (22-3-1, 16) [榮拓海], in a solid match up between two men tipped for big things, who haven't yet managed to deliver on early promise. The other will see WBO Asia Pacific Middleweight champion Yuki Nonaka (33-11-3, 10) [野中 悠樹] defending his title against Koki Koshikawa (9-2, 6) [越川孝紀], in what is a must win bout for both men.
As was originally planned, the show will take place at EDION Arena Osaka, and will be shown online via the TVOsaka YouTube channel.
Sadly this could be a sign of things to come and their may, still, be shows set for June in Osaka that could end up needing to be postponed due to the current situation in Japan.
Earlier today Taisei Marumoto, the chairman of the Taisei Gym, held a press conference to announce the next show he would be promoting, and credit to him as he has managed to put together a pretty solid show for June 6th including two WBO Asia Pacific title fights.
The main event of the show will see Taisei promoted youngster Riku Kano (17-4-1, 8) [加納 陸] make his first defense of the WBO Asia Pacific Light Flyweight title, as he takes on the once touted Takumi Sakae (22-3-1, 16) [榮拓海].
Kano won the title last year, with a narrow decision win over Ryoki Hirai (13-7-1, 4) [平井亮輝] in November. It was among the biggest wins for Kano, who turned professional at a young age and was groomed for success, though has failed to come close to the heights expected of him. Although he's not gone all the way, as many had expected, he is still only 23 and has scored notable wins over the likes of Hirai, Merlito Sabillo and Pigmy Kokietgym.
Sakae impressed early in his career, winning the 2013 All Japan Rookie of the Year, and seemed to be getting groomed as the next big star from Fukuoka. Sadly however his unbeaten run came to an end in 2016, when he lost to Tatsuya Fukuhara in a bout for the Japanese national title. Since that loss he has gone 8-2-1, including losses to Ryoki Hirai and Norihito Tanaka. Notably he hasn't been seen in the ring since beating Stevanus Nana Bau way back in September 2019 and it will be around 21 months between that fight and this one one with Kano.
The other WBO Asia Pacific title bout will see veteran Yuki Nonaka (33-11-3, 10) [野中 悠樹] defending his WBO Asia Pacific Middleweight title against Koki Koshikawa (9-2, 6) [越川孝紀].
The 43 year old Nonaka, the oldest male boxer in Japan, has been out of the ring since September 2019, when he successfully defended his title against Korean challenger Hyun Min Yang. The following month he signed with American promoter Greg Cohen, but plans to fight in 2020 were dashed by the Covid19 pandemic, essentially costing Nonaka a potentially huge bout in the US. At his best he was a fantastically talented and relaxed boxer, but it's hard to know what he'll have after 21 months out, and aged 43.
Koshikawa on the other hand was a former amateur standout who turned professional with a decent amount of buzz but his career stumbled early on and now, aged 30 he desperately needs a break out win. He started his professional career under the guidance of former world champion Celes Kobayashi and in 2019 he challenged Japanese Light Middleweight champion Hironobu Matsunaga [松永 宏信], being stopped by the under-rated Matsunaga. Since then he has transferred from the Celes gym, and this bout will be his first since joining the Ichiriki gym in February.
As well as the two title fights this card will also feature 5 under-card bouts.
As with the last Taisei Show, from back in November, this show will be streamed in full on TV Osaka's official YouTube channel.
(Image credit - Boxmob.jp)
Earlier today news broke that Japanese Minimumweight champion Norihito Tanaka (19-7, 10) [田中教仁] had vacated his title, ahead of the Champion Carnival, to begin a pursuit of a world title fight.
The 34 year old veteran, who claimed the title last year when he stopped Shin Ono, is one of the very few fighters to have a world ranking with all 4 world title bodies.
At the moment the IBF champion, Pedro Taduran (14-2, 11), and WBO champion, Wilfredo Mendez (15-1, 5), have apparently got fights in the works for early in the year however Tanaka could be viewing up fights for either the WBC or WBA champions. They, of course, as the Thai pairing of Wanheng Menayothin (54-0, 18) [วันเฮง ไก่ย่างห้าดาวยิม], who Tanaka has long been rumoured to face, and Knockout CP Freshmart (20-0, 7) [น็อคเอาท์ ซีพีเฟรชมาร์ท].
Although no opponent has yet been named publicly for Tanaka it does seem likely we'll hear something soon for the man from the Misako Gym.
Interestingly this leaves the Japanese Minimumweight title vacant for the Champion Carnival, where we know Masataka Taniguchi (12-3, 7) [谷口 将隆] will fight for the belt. His opponent isn't yet confirmed, but will be a highly ranked domestic contender. That could mean a potential showdown between Taniguchi and Ryoki Hirai (13-6-1, 4) [平井亮輝] or Takumi Sakae (22-3-1, 16) [榮拓海], who are both expected to be looking for title fights in 2020.
We'll find out who is next for Taniguchi shortly, when the full line up for the Champion Carnival is announced, later this month.
(Image courtesy of Misako Gym)
Heavy hitting Japanese Welterweight Yuki Beppu (20-1-1, 19) [別府優樹] got back to blowing opponents away today after having taken his first decision win back in April.
The exciting Beppu headlined a card in Fukuoka and faced off with former world title challenger Roy Mukhlis (29-11-4, 22), from Indonesia. Sadly for fans expecting to see Beppu to be tested this wasn't close to competitive. In fact Mukhlis was stopped after just 68 seconds.
Beppu dropped Mukhlis with a body shot, a straight right hand to the midsection, dropping the visitor for the 10 count.
After the bout Beppu stated he was intending to fight for the WBO Asia Pacific Welterweight title, on December 8th in Osaka against former Japanese national champion Ryota Yada (19-5, 16) [矢田良太].
Also on the card was the once touted Takumi Sakae (22-3-1, 16) [榮拓海], who scored a 4th round stoppage win over Indonesian journeyman Stevanus Nana Bau (9-12-2, 2). Sakae used his body attack to break down Bau, who was totally out classed form the start to the end.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
Earlier today in Fukuoka we had the Japanese Minimumweight title decider bout, as once touted Takumi Sakae (19-3-1, 13) [榮拓海] battled with tough veteran Norihito Tanaka (17-7, 9) [田中教仁] for a place in the 2019 Champion Carnival.
It was Tanaka who managed to dictate the early distance,by closing the distance and getting in to the fact of the youngerman. Sakae,to his credit, managed to create some space, using his sharp jab and quicker feet, but it was clear that he had to work incredibly hard to create distance. On the inside Tanaka worked away well, damaging Sakae with body shots in round 2.
Sakae would manage to rebuild, and would begin to find a foot hold in the bout, soon afterwards as he started to be more active than Tanaka and use his younger, fresher, legs. Unfortunately for him however he struggled to discourage Tanaka who came on strong in the final two rounds, particularly round8, and he tried to put the but beyond doubt. Sakae saw off the storm and avoided the bigger shots from Tanaka but was unable take the rounds, which is what he really needed to do.
In the end we went to the scorecards, with the judges favouring Tanaka in a split decision. The scores were 76-75 and 77-76 in favour of Tanaka, whilst the dissenting judge, turned in a score of 77-74 for Sakae, who is a local fighter from Fukuoka.
With the win Tanaka bounces back perfectly from his recent loss to OPBF champion Tsubasa Koura, and secures himself a third title bout. For Sakae this was another setback in a mjor bout, with his other losses coming in another Japanese title eliminator and a Japanese title fight. He may rebuild, but questions still need to be asked about his future, and potentially we could even see him move up in weight to continue his career development.
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