Earlier this month Dangan announced that their plans to hold 3 shows over a single weekend at the Sumida City Gymnasium in Tokyo, had to be cancelled due to the gym being closed as a result of the on going state of emergency in Tokyo.
Today Dangan announced that a number of those planned bouts had now been re-arrranged for a co-promoted show, along with Watanabe Gym, for June 7th.
The bouts that have been announced for the June show, which will take place at Korakuen Hall, included 3 titles bouts that had been arranged for May 22nd and May 23rd originally.
One of those is the Japanese Minimumweight title bout between Masataka Taniguchi (13-3, 8) [谷口将隆] and Tatsuro Nakashima (11-1-1, 7) [仲島 辰郎], with Taniguchi making his first defense and Nakashima getting his first shot at this level.
The other two title bouts are both vacant female title bouts, with Kanako Taniyama (3-1-1, 1) [谷山佳菜子] battling Yuko Henzan (8-10-4, 2) [平安山裕子] for the vacant Japanese female Bantamweight title and Yuko Kuroki (17-6-2, 8) [黒木優子] facing Mizuki Chimoto (2-0, 1) [千本瑞規] for the vacant OPBF female Minimumweight title.
We're glad these bouts have been re-arranged, especially for early June rather than being a long wait away, though it is worth noting that there are still 4 title bouts from those cancelled shows yet to be re-arranged, or maybe more accurately yet to have their rescheduled dates announced. Fingers crossed those announcements will come sooner rather than later.
Yesterday we reported that the planned WBA Light Flyweight "Super" title bout, between unbeaten champion Hiroto Kyoguchi (14-0, 9) [京口 紘人] and Thai challenger Thanongsak Simsri (14-0, 12) would not be taking place this year. Today that was confirmed by Watanabe Gym who have explained things from their side.
The gym had been hoping to fit the bout in December, after needing to cancel the contest in November due to Kyoguchi suffering from Covid19. The champion took time away from the gym to isolate before getting back to training. He then took further time away from the gym when he was feeling unwell in mid-November.
Watanabe have stated that due to new changes from the JBC and JPBA, which have been brought in to strengthen the response to covid19, the bout has been impossible to rescheduled.
The Tokyo based Watanabe gym have released the following statement:
"Thanks to Tanongsak Simsri and his Seconds, who came to Japan from Thailand in October to overcome the difficult isolation life, and Masaya Motoishi, the Chairman of Green Tsuda Boxing Gym, who worked hard every day. We apologize for the inconvenience. We have already paid the cancellation fee and expenses to the other party, and in the future, after making a firm agreement between the two parties, the players will return to Thailand." [Translated]
Following Komthai's article on Monday it appears the two sides have now come to an agreement on payments and the hope still seems to be to reschedule the bout for 2021. Sadly though, it's very unclear on whether the new changes from the JBC and JPBA will actually even allow notable, big scale boxing events in the new year, and what we may end up seeing is a lot of promoters putting shows off for the foreseeable future. Several promoters have shown concern for the changes, and we suspect there may be pushback in the new year from several gyms who will struggle through the new changes.
Earlier this week the Watanabe Gym announced that their gym had been fully disinfected, and cleaned following a break out of Covid19 at the gym. Sadly whilst is disinfected it isn't yet re-opened, and cases relating to the gym have continued mount, with several cases since that of WBA Light Flyweight "Super" champion Hiroto Kyoguchi (14-0, 9) [京口 紘人], who had to cancel a scheduled world title fight.
Last week the gym announced that their plan was to reopen on November 16th. It still seems like that is the plan, but with an on going investigation in to how Kyoguchi got infected there is a chance the gym will end up needing to change those plans.
Earlier this month we reported that there would be a Japanese Minimumweight title bout between #1 ranked Masataka Taniguchi (12-3, 7) [谷口将隆] and the #3 ranked contender Hizuki Saso (12-6-2, 4) [佐宗 緋月]. We also mentioned how that bout would be taking place on December 3rd at Korakuen Hall.
Today it was confirmed that that bout will be one of two of the show, with a supporting bout announced as being a female OPBF title bout at 105lbs between defending champion Sana Hazuki (8-4-1, 2) [葉月さな] and former Japanese national champion Mizuki Chimoto (2-0, 1) [千本瑞規].
For Hazuki, who won the belt in in November with a win over Eruka Hiromoto, this will be her first defense and at 36 years old who really can't afford a loss if she intends to remain in the title mix. As for Chimoto the bout is the next step forward after a very short reign as the Japanese national champion. She was a former amateur standout before turning professional and will, if she wins the OPBF title, likely be fast tracked to a world title fight.
Sadly no other bouts for this card have been confirmed yet, but with the show already being a title double header it's already worthy of some serious interest for those in Tokyo in early December.
The ever useful Watanabe Gym fight scheduled has been a valuable source of information regarding future bouts in recent weeks. One of the more notable recent additions is the next bout of talented Shu Utsuki (6-0, 5) [宇津木秀] and female hopeful Kanako Taniyama (2-1-1, 1) [谷山佳菜子], who are now both pencilled in for a Korakuen Hall show on October 30th.
Utsuki's opponent is set to be Takayuki Sakai (9-2-2, 6) [酒井 孝之], in what looks a pretty decent bout given that Utsuki will have been out of the ring for exactly 12 months, the long period of in activity in his career. The hope had been for him to fight for a title in 2020, though that's now clearly looking like an impossibility.
Utsuki is very highly touted, and is seen as one of the many promising prospects at the Watanabe gym. He's shown himself to be very heavy handed, technically solid and has scored 4 stoppages in a row, including wins over Da Xu, Jerry Castroverde and Omrri Bolivar.
Sakai on the other hand has been a professional since 2015 and had been riding an 8 fight unbeaten streak until being stopped in 4 rounds by Yuichiro Kasuya last August. Although not tipped as a star he's certainly a capable fighter and scored a good win over Pharanpetch Tor Buamas in December 2018.
As for Taniyama her opponent will be Rena Koizumi (3-2, 2) [小泉 礼奈].
Taniyama turned professional in 2018 with some expectations on her shoulders after a success amateur career. After winning her first two professional bouts she has failed to win either of her last two, having a controversial and a razor thin technical decision loss, both to Tomoko Okuda.
Koizumi on the other hand is riding a 2 fight winning streak at the moment, but will be regarded as the under-dog here.
As with all bouts right now, things are subject to change, and these may end up being cancelled, but it is something to look forward to, with Utsuki in particular being one to watch.
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