Earlier today the Korakuen Hall played host to a joint promoted Watanabe and Dangan card that was short in terms of bouts, with just 5, though did have a number of very interesting match ups on it including the debut of a promising youngster, a very interesting looking regional title bout, a compelling 8 round chief support between unbeaten hopefuls, and a bout between two Hamaguchi's.
The show began with a 6 rounder at Bantamweight, with 24 year old debutant Kyotaro Yoshida (1-0) [吉田 京太郎] taking a unanimous decision win against the hard hitting, but limited, Hiroki Kinjo (5-2, 4) [金城 寛季]. Yoshida started well but got better as the bout went on, taking the power of Kinjo and firing back with better shots of his own, forcing Kinjo to respect him, and later give ground before being dropped in round 6. Credit to Kinjo for always trying to fight back, but he really was second best through out much of this bout. After 6 rounds the judges turned in scores of 59-54, and 58-55, twice, to give Yoshida the unanimous decision win.
In the second bout on the show we saw the battle of Hamaguchi's with Daiju Hamaguchi (5-5, 3) [濱口 大樹] coming out on top against Ryosei Hamaguchi (6-8, 2) [濱口 稜生]. Daiju started well, pressing the action and managed to drop his man with a big right hand. Ryosei beat the 10 count, but was left cut later in the round and his corner withdrew him before the start of second round, giving Daiju an opening round TKO win.
The third bout on the show was a very interesting match up between talented southpaws, as Fumiya Fuse (10-1, 1) [富施 郁哉] took a decision over JBC ranked foe Fuya Tomita (6-3, 2) [冨田 風弥]. On paper this was a really interesting match up as the men were 2017 and 2020 All Japan Rookie of the Year winners, and both were regarded as genuinely bright prospects heading into the bout. In the end however Fuse's ring IQ and higher level experience played a decisive role, as he out boxed, out pointed and out landed the less polished Tomita. After 6 rounds Fuse was a clear winner, taking a wide decision, though we suspect Tomita will actually improve on the back of this defeat.
The scorecards, for those interested, were 58-56, 59-57 and 60-54, all for Fuse.
The chief support bout was a fantastic match up between Shu Utsuki (9-0, 7) [宇津木 秀] and Ryo Nakai (2-1-1, 1) [中井 龍], and this one lived up to all expectations. From the off these two showed some nice boxing skills, before a Nakai dropped Utsuki in the opening round. Utsuki managed to recover, though was in a hole, and had to take risks, pressing more in round 2 and 3, with some fantastic body shots, trying to take the legs from Nakai. Nakai however wasn't there to be outdone and and fought back, picking up his own pace in rounds 4 and 5 as he looked to sniff out the Utsuki comeback.
Just as Nakai seemed to be getting on top of things Utsuki then changed things up, pressing more, getting inside and working the left side of Nakai's body, whilst also thudding home some great 1-2's. Nakai wasn't to be out done and got boxing on the move in round 7 before both men unloaded bombs on each other in the final round, sending the crowd into an eruption of applause.
Despite scoring the knockdown it wasn't enough for Nakai to get the decision, instead Utsuki took the win with scores of 76-75, twice, and 77-74. For Utsuki the future seems to be for him to move onto title bouts, though we dare say that this isn't a major set back for Nakai, who can certainly come again.
Then we got to much anticipated main event between WBO Asia Pacific Minimumweight champion Ginjiro Shigeoka (6-0, 5) [重岡銀次朗] and the hungry challenger Toshiki Kawamitsu (6-1, 3) [川満俊輝. On paper this looked like a brilliant match up, made even more compelling by the fact Shigeoka had been out of the ring for well over a year, and Kawamitsu had looked really good in his most recent bouts. Sadly however this was not the compelling test for Shigeoka we had expected.
From the opening moments Shigeoka closed the distance and began to hammer Kawamitsu, who tried to stand his ground and fire back. The entire first round was exhilarating toe to toe action, but it was not the style of fight that was going to favour Kawamitsu. In round 2 Shigeoka's power broke through, as he dropped Kawamitsu with a right hook. Kawamitsu beat the count but he was a wounded animal and Shigeoka smelled blood, going after him, claming picking his spots and then forcing the referee to save Kawamitsu after a straight left and a rook hook left Kawamitsu in no fit state to continue.
Tomorrow at Korakuen Hall we'll see WBO Asia Pacific Minimumweight champion Ginjiro Shigeoka (5-0, 4) [重岡銀次朗] take on Toshiki Kawamitsu (6-0, 3) [川満俊輝] in what is a hugely anticipated showdown between two very talented youngsters.
Today, ahead of their bout, the two men took part in their weigh in and both men managed to make weight with no issues at all.
On the scales Shigeoka came in under the 105lb limit, weighing in at around 104.8lb for the bout, and looked in tremendous shape. He looked ripped, confident and incredibly hungry. Despite making weight with easy Shigeoka did explain that things haven't been great for his career recently. He last fought in December 2019, beating Rey Loreto, and failed to get in the ring at all last year as Covid19 really limited activity of fighters under the Watanabe banner. He admitted "it was difficult to keep the motivation because the game was uncertain", however he explained that he was in perfect condition and he had been training alongside his brother, Yudai Shigeoka.
Regarding the bout it's self Shigeoka also sounded confident of stopping Kawamitsu, and score his first win against a fellow Japanese fighter.
Kawamitsu on the other hand came in even further under the limit, at around 104.3lb. Despite being the lighter man he was also the much taller and he towered over Shigeoka at the weigh in, looking few inches taller than the champion. He revealed that Shigeoka was small, but powerful and quick, and it seems clear that he's aware of just how good the champion is.
Interestingly Kawamitsu has not just been active in the covid19 era of boxing, but has really built his name on his last two wins, and has continued to develop away from ringside fans with sparring sessions against a number of notable fighters, including Junto Nakatani and Kenta Nakagawa.
For fans wanting to watch this it will be made available on demand on BoxingRaise.
Related - Shigeoka returns as he takes on unbeaten Kawamitsu!
Earlier today Dangan announed the new date for the WBO Asia Pacific Minimumweight title fight between Ginjiro Shigeoka (5-0, 4) [重岡銀次朗] and Toshiki Kawamitsu (6-0, 3) [川満俊輝], which was originally scheduled for May 23rd but will now take place on July 14th.
The bout was planned as part of a triple show weekend from Dangan over May 22nd and May 23rd, though those shows were cancelled when the Sumida City Gym was closed due to a state of emegency. Thankfully the wait for the bout is only another 2 months, but sadly that will mean Shigeoka has been out of the ring for close to 19 months by the time this fight comes around. As for Kawamitsu he fought once last year and once earlier this year.
Not only has the date for this bout been changed from May to July but it has also had it's venue changed, from the Sumida City to Korakuen Hall.
Other bouts set for the show include a brilliant lightweight match up between Shu Utsuki (8-0, 7) [宇津木 秀] and Ryo Nakai (3-0-1, 1) [中井 龍] and a good 6 rounder between Fumiya Fuse (9-1, 1) [富施郁哉] Fuya Tomita (6-2, 2) [冨田風弥].
Earlier today it was announced that the Dangan promoted shows, set for May 22nd and May 23rd at the Sumida City Gymnasium, Tokyo, have now been postponed, due to the on going state of emergency, which will mean the venue will not opened in time for the events.
The plan was to have 3 shows over 2 days, with 7 title fights, as well as a boxing festival to celebrate the sport and promoting boxing in the local area.
The plan now is to spread out the 7 title fights, as well as the other fights arranged for the shows, to dates in June or July. At the moment however no dates have been announced for the events, though we hope to hear dates being confirmed in the coming weeks.
Sadly this is the second this type of event has been cancelled, with Dangan planning something very similar for 2020, and seeing news of those shows being leaked, before the pandemic forced the plans to be cancelled.
For those wondering the affected title bouts are the ones below, alongside the originally planned dates:
Masataka Taniguchi (13-3, 8) [谷口将隆] Vs Tatsuro Nakashima (11-1-1, 7) [仲島 辰郎] - Japanese Minimumweight title
Kanako Taniyama (3-1-1, 1) [谷山佳菜子] Vs Yuko Henzan (8-10-4, 2) [平安山裕子] - Japanese female Bantamweight title
Ryoji Fukunaga (13-4, 13) [福永亮次] Vs Takahiro Fujii (12-6-1, 3) [藤井貴博] - Japanese, OPBF and WBO Asia Pacific Super Flyweight titles
Jin Sasaki (10-0, 9) [佐々木尽] Vs Kaiki Yuba (7-0-2, 5) [湯場海樹] - Japanese Youth Light Welterweight
Ginjiro Shigeoka (5-0, 4) [重岡銀次朗] Vs Toshiki Kawamitsu (6-0, 3) [川満俊輝] - WBO Asia Pacific Minimumweight title
Kyosuke Sawada (14-2-1, 6) [澤田京介] Vs Ikuro Sadatsune (11-4-3, 4) [定常 育郎] - Japanese Bantamweight title
Yuko Kuroki (17-6-2, 8) [黒木優子] Vs Mizuki Chimoto (2-0, 1) [千本瑞規] - OPBF female Minimumweight title
Earlier today WBA "Super" and Ring Magazine Light Flyweight champion Hiroto Kyoguchi (15-0, 10) [京口 紘人] took part in an online press conference, speaking to the press in Japan, with the event taking part before he began working out at the Watanabe Gym.
At the event Kyoguchi spoke about his last bout, which saw him score a TKO win over Axel Aragon Vega at the American Airlines Center in Dallas. He explained "I was able to do boxing differently in the previous bout, so I want to pursue it. I want to increase the withdrawal of offense and defense." Explaining that he was fighting at a mid range more than usual, and went on to explain he wanted to work on that in the future.
In regards to what the bout meant he explained "I'm in an environment where big matches can be realized, so I've broadened my horizons now. It's a good experience for me to be able to play in the United States".
After the win over Vega in March Kyoguchi flew back then went through 2 weeks of quarantine, due to the on going pandemic. When that was over he went to Osaka to visit his family and spend time with his father, who recently had surgery to treat cancer.
Following his time with family Kyoguchi returned back to Tokyo and has been helping Watanabe Gym stablemate Ginjiro Shigeoka (5-0, 4) [重岡銀次朗] prepare to defend his WBO Asia Pacific Minimumweight title against Toshiki Kawamitsu (6-0, 3) [川満俊輝], with that bout set for May 23rd.
In regards to what is next for Kyoguchi things are a little bit unclear, though it is known that the team of 20 year old Thai fighter Thanongsak Simsri (15-0, 13) is attempting to secure a fight with Kyoguchi. Longer term however Kyoguchi revealed he's interested in a unification bout with WBO champion Elwin Soto (18-1, 12). That bout became a lot more likely recently, when Soto signed with Matchroom, the same promotional stable that is now promoting Kyoguchi. In regards to that potential bout, Kyoguchi stated "I think the chances have become more realistic. I'm interested in the WBO belt because I haven't held it yet. I think it may happen by the end of the year."
Rather notably Kyoguchi downplayed a bout with the winner of the upcoming WBC Light Flyweight title bout, which will see champion Kenshiro Teraji (17-0, 10) [寺地 拳四朗] taking on Tetsuya Hisada (34-10-2, 20) [久田 哲也].
In regards to that bout he seemed to suggest that despite having not won the WBC title he has beaten Hisada and isn't particularly interested in facing the winner. Essentially putting the kibosh on a potential Kyoguchi Vs Kenshiro bout that lower fights have been clamouring for for several years now.
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