Earlier today fight fans at the Mielparque Hall in Osaka got an absolute treat as Japanese Super Featherweight champion Kosuke Saka (22-6, 19) [坂晃典] retained his title thanks to a come from behind win against Tsubasa Narai (8-2, 7) [奈良井 翼] in a bout that lived up to all expectations. And then some.
The bout, which was promoted by KWorld3, promised a lot going in to the event but few would have expected what we got. A genuine Fight of the Year contender.
The opening round saw the first of 4 knockdowns, with Narai, the challenger, dropping Saka with a straight right inside the first minute. He would drop Saka again in round 4, as his power, and tenacity seemed to be too much for the always fun to watch, but horribly inconsistent, Saka. Saka barely made it through round 4, which ended when both men spilled out of the ring. At that point it seemed it seemed like we were heading towards a new champion, as Saka's shots seemed unable to thwart the aggression of Narai who looked like a man rising to the occasion. Notably however the two men went to their corners at the end of the round it appeared that Narai was the one feeling the pace, and took the hard of the falls to the outside.
Sadly for Narai however his opportunity to close the show in round 4 was to be the start of the end for him. With Saka only just surviving the round it was clear he needed to turn things around, and he did just that in round 5, putting Narai down with a body shot. The knockdown gave Saka something of a life line, though Narai responded with a huge assault late in the round.
Although Saka had had scored a knockdown in round 5 he was down 47-45 on all 3 cards at the end of the round. Remarkably however Saka some how managed to drop Narai again early in round 6 before closing the show soon afterwards, with Narai taking shots against the ropes.
With 4 knockdowns, both men being hurt numerous times, and intense exchanges, this was something amazing to watch, but was sadly, like many Japanese shows in recent times, hidden behind a paywall, with Abema TV having the fight. What should have been a great international advert for Japanese boxing, is sadly another bout that has been hidden away making so many miss out on what was, genuinely, something very, very special.
Onn the under-card we saw Mizuki Chimoto (5-0, 1) [千本瑞規] retain her OPBF female Minimumweight title, though she had a surprisingly tough test as Hye Soo Park (6-9-3, 1) pushed her all the way in a hotly contested 8 rounder. Chimoto did enough to win the bout on two of the cards, but looked underwhelming in her second defense of the title. Park, the naturally bigger fighter, put in a performance that suggested she's much better than her record, but Chimoto also under-performed and should have made this a much clearer win than she did.
Earlier today the KWORLD3 Gym, headed by Koki Kameda, announced a show set for September 17th at the Mielparque Hall in Osaka.
The big talking point from the announcement was the main event, which will see hard hitting Japanese Super Featherweight champion Kosuke Saka (21-6, 18) [坂晃典] defending his title against 22 year old youngster Tsubasa Narai (8-1, 7) [奈良井 翼]m who gets his first title bout.
The announcement, which came at a press event, saw Kameda do something we don't often see in Japan, and reveal the purses for the fighters on the show. He explained that the fighters in the 4 round bouts on the under-card will be getting 120,000 Yen, double what a fighter would usually get.
As for the main event fighters, Narai, as the challenger will get 1,000,000 Yen and Saka will get 4,500,000 Yen. This is double of what both men would typically be paid for a Japanese title fight, and Kameda added that he wanted to see Japanese champions earn 10,000,000 Yen per year, over 3 fights.
Notably Saka didn't attend the press event today, however Narai was there in person and admitted that he was surprised at getting this shot so early, and it's hard to argue with him especially given he suffered a loss to Koki Kameda's cousin just 2 fights ago. If he wins he would become the second fighter from the RK Kamata Gym to win a Japanese title. As for Saka this bout will serve as his second defense of the Japanese Super Featherweight title
(For comparison purposes 100 Yen = $0.74 or £0.64)
Earlier today at the EDION Arena Osaka, in Osaka City, Osaka Prefecture, fight fans saw a Japanese Youth Featherweight title bout between Kyonosuke Kameda (7-2-1, 6) [亀田 京之介] and Tsubasa Narai (7-1, 6) [奈良井 翼]. On paper this was a mouth watering match up to end an Harada promoted card, as it featured two hungry youngsters each looking to claim the first title belt of their careers.
The bout started slowly, with Kameda pressuring an using his reach and height well, whilst making Narai miss, fall short and struggle to really pin him down. It wasn't a dominant round for Kameda, but he clearly did enough to win it, whilst getting a good read on Narai.
In round 2 we saw both men being more aggressive, though sadly for Narai that came at a cost, and despite having some success in the middle of the round he ended up tasting the power of Kameda, who detonated a number of right hands on him as the round went on. Narai tried to respond to fire with fire of his own but as they exchanged he took the worst of it, with a left hook rocking Narai who was down just moments later from a left hook an right hand.
Narai tried to beat the count, and was up before the 10 count, but was all over the place leaving the referee with no option but to stop him.
For Kameda this is a huge win for his career netting him his first professional title and putting him only a few fights away from a potential Japanese title fight, which could happen in 2022 or 2023. As for Narai, he'll feel angry with himself for taking so many risks so early, and he really should have held back a little bit, but it was certainly a learning experience for him, and one he can bounce back from.
For fans who missed this one it is now available, on demand, on Boxing Raise.
Tomorrow at the EDION Arena Osaka we'll see a new Japanese Youth Featherweight champion being crowned as Tsubasa Narai (7-0, 6) [奈良井 翼] and Kyonosuke Kameda (6-2-1, 5) [亀田 京之介] battle for the vacant title in a potentially very explosive clash.
Today the two men took part in their weigh in for the bout and neither man had any issues at all with the scales whilst also getting negative PCR tests.
Kameda, the taller man, was under the limit with a little bit of room to spare, hitting the scales at around 125.7lbs. He explained that despite the bout being postponed, having originally been scheduled for June, he was able to stay in good shape, and that he has made weight without any issues. He explained to boxmob that he was confident heading into the bout, and it really did seem like he had his eyes firmly set on the title.
Narai, who won the All Japan Rookie of the Year at Super Featherweight before moving down in weight for this bout, was even lighter on the scales, coming in at around 125.5lbs for the contest. He stated that Kameda wasn't as tall as he expected, and in fairness we expected a much bigger height difference as well. Like Kameda he came across as really confident and it almost seemed like the delay to the bout has helped him, as he's seen sparring mate Haruki Ishikawa show what he could do, with Ishikawa stopping Tom Mizokoshi in late June to claim the Japanese Youth title at 122lbs.
For fans wanting to watch this one it will be shown On Demand on BoxingRaise, though will not be shown live.
Related - Narai and Kameda battle for Youth honours!
Yesterday we reported that the planned Shinsei promoted show set to take place next weekend at the EDION Arena Osaka, headlined by Rikito Shiba (4-1, 2) [芝力人] battling Hideyuki Watanabe (8-13-3, 6) [渡邉秀行], had been re-arranged from June 5th to June 6th and was now set to take place in Hyogo and not Osaka. That was a result of the EDION Arena Osaka not being open due to the ongoing State of Emergency in Tokyo.
It's now been confirmed that another show, which was also planned for June 5th at EDION Arena Osaka, has also been re-arranged.
That show, an Harada boxing promoted event headlined by Tsubasa Narai (7-0, 6) [奈良井 翼] and Kyonosuke Kameda (6-2-1, 5) [亀田 京之介] clashing for the Japanese Youth Featherweight title, will now be taking place on July 23rd, though will remain at EDION Arena Osaka.
As of now no changes, other than the date, have been announced for this show, with the card it's self expected to remain exactly the same as it was, however we have been informed that new tickets will be sold for the event.
Interestingly this re-arrangement, again sees us with two events on the same day at the EDION Arena Osaka, with the Narai Vs Kameda card starting after a Taisei promoted double header earlier in the day, making it a potentially huge day for Osaka fight fans.
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