The long awaited WBO Flyweight title bout between Junto Nakatani (20-0, 15) [中谷 潤人] and Giemel Magramo (24-1, 20), who are fighting for the vacant title, has seen it's scheduled date slip once again. Thankfully however it does appear that this will be the final change in date for a bout that was supposed to take place in April, before all shows in Japan were put on hold.
The bout, which has had dates pencilled in for April, May and July now appears set in stone for August 21st, at Korakuen Hall on a Teiken promoted card. That's 20 days later the previously reported date, but we do have more details regarding the event and the bout won't be the only one of note on the show.
The show was announced by Teiken earlier today on their website, confirming the show would be a Dynamic Glove Special, suggesting that G+ will be televising the bout live. That may leave the door open for two different G+ cards in the month, which is something we have seen rumoured for the rest of 2020 given the backlog of fights and the very limited TV dates typically available.
As well as the much anticipated, and repeatedly rescheduled, main event we also now know that the card show will feature Kenichi Ogawa (24-1-1-1, 18) [尾川 堅一] and Hayate Kaji (14-0, 9) [梶颯]. Both men were pencilled in for the original April show, but due to the on-going global situation that card was postponed. Sadly neither man has yet had their opponents for the show confirmed.
It's unclear what has caused this delay, but giving the two men around 3 weeks extra to prepare after lengthy lay offs due to the world situation doesn't appear to be a bad thing, and could serve both fighters well. At the time of writing it's unclear whether the show will be allowing fans or note, though that may explain the postponement of the bout.
It should be noted that the WBO title is currently vacant, and has been since Kosei Tanaka (15-0, 9) [田中恒成] gave it up earlier in the year when he moved up in weight.
Earlier today the Japan Boxing Commission (JBC) and the Japan Professional Boxing Association (JPBA) confirmed what we had begin to expect, the suspension of boxing in Japan would be extended beyond the month of March.
At the moment the suspension of boxing in Japan is set to be extended up to, and including April 15th, with scheduled shows set to be postponed to beyond that date to try and prevent the spread of Coronavirus in the country.
At the moment it's unclear when the shows which were pencilled in for each April will take place, though it seems far, far too early for anyone to make plans given there will be another meeting later this month to decide on whether shows in the second half of April will be delayed as well.
The one exception to the new suspension will be the April 5th East Japan Rookie of the Year preliminary bouts, which will be held in an empty Korakuen Hall. This show will take place in 2 parts, and there is still speculation that it will be streamed on YouTube.
As part of a press release today it was announced that there would be a new group set up, the Coronavirus Countermeasures Liaison Council, which will work with the JBC and JPBA to try and take measures to prevent Coronavirus spreading. This council will meet on March 13th to decide what happens with shows set for the second half of April.
Sadly this announcement will effect the previously announced WBO Flyweight title bout between Junto Nakatani (20-0, 15) [中谷 潤人] and Giemel Magramo (24-1, 20), which was set for April 4th. At the moment the future of this bout really is unclear. It could, potentially, be staged outside of Japan, though seems more likely to be indefinitely postponed until Coronavirus has ran it's course in Japan.
Earlier today in Japan Mika Iwakawa (9-5-1, 3) [岩川 美花] announced her first defense of the WBO Atomweight title, which will take place on March 17th at Korakuen Hall. This will see Iwakawa defending her title for the first time since winning it in July 2018, when she beat Nao Ikeyama.
In the opposite corner to Iwakawa will be former Japanese national champion Nanae Suzuki (10-3-1, 1) [鈴木菜々江], who gets her first world title fight.
The press conference today was a pretty interesting one.
It was revealed that Iwakawa team had been desperate to secure a unification bout, and had hoped to unify with the IBF champion, who happens to be fellow Japanese fighter Saemi Hanagata (16-7-4, 7) [田中冴美]. As a result of not being able to secure a unification fight Iwakawa has taken this bout instead, though it was clear she didn't really want to defend in a lower level match up like this, but was "sure to keep the belt".
This bout comes as the second title bout on an already interesting card headlined by OPBF Minimumweight champion Lito Dante (16-11-4, 8) battling against Masataka Taniguchi (12-3, 7) [谷口将隆], for both the OPBF and Japanese titles Minimumweight titles, and also features Yudai Shigeoka (2-0, 1) [重岡優大] and Suzumi Takayama (3-0, 3) [高山 涼深].
(Image courtesy of Daily.co.jp)
Earlier this week we reported that Filipino sources had informed us that April 4th would be the day that we'd see Giemel Magramo (24-1, 20) and Junto Nakatani (20-0, 15) [中谷 潤人] clash for the vacant WBO Flyweight world title. Today that date, and other details of the bout, were confirmed, thanks to a press conference in Tokyo.
The press conference saw Nakatani, his trainer and his manager, attend the press event to announce the bout officially and to talk about not only the fight, but Nakatani's development as a fighter.
The full do coincide with what we did mention earlier in the week.
It will be April, at Korakuen Hall, in Tokyo, and it will be taking place as part of the Diamond Glove series of shows, meaning it will be televised across Japan on pay TV service G+. At the moment no other bouts for the card have been confirmed, but for a G+ card, in 2020, this is a huge coup for the channel and we suspect we'll get several decent domestic level fighters or prospects on the show.
Despite neither Nakatani or Magramo being Teiken fighters Teiken are said to be leading the event, though that was little surprise with Nakatani's Gym, the MT Gym, not really being too experienced at this level.
The 22 year old Nakatani, who has been a professional since he was 17, stated "I'm excited to finally be on the stage. I'm excited now that I can get the best title in the world," In regards to Magramo the unbeaten Japanese fighter stated the Filipino "had strong punches" and that his own game place was going to revolve around "keep a distance" .
Takahashi Okada, Nakatani's trainer and the man on the right of the photograph, "I think it's my role to be able to send out everything that Nakatani has accumulated for ten years since boxing began to the ring in perfect condition. He can show the best performance I will continue to support you as much as possible. "
Earlier in the year Nakatani had spent a month in the US, sparring 100 rounds stateside, including some with the then IBF and WBA "super" Super Bantamweight champion Daniel Roman. The plan for his preparations is to have a camp in Atami and then head back over to Los Angeles from early March. Part of the focus is on losing weight to make Flyweight, something he's not done in his last 2 fights though it's not something that's expected to be a problem.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
According to sources in the Philippines a date has now been set for the previously reported WBO Flyweight world title bout between Giemel Magramo (24-1, 20) and Junto Nakatani (20-0, 15) [中谷 潤人].
According to the ever reliable sources the bout, which was originally rumoured for a March date, is now set for April 4th in Japan.
It's worth noting that April 4th would match up with the date that we'd expect the April version of Dynamic Glove, with Dynamic Glove shots typically taking place on the first Saturday of the month. It's worth noting that, at the time of writing, nothing has been announced for the date in Japan, yet, and there's a good chance that the reason nothing has been announced is the fact the teams were putting together this bout before announcing the card.
If it does end up being the headline bout of the April Dynamic Glove event, as expected, it would be at Korakuen Hall and would be the first world title fight on Dynamic Glove show in quite a while. It would also, likely, be available live on G+, giving it a well deserved live TV slot.
The fact the world title is on the line, as opposed to the original of fighting for a regional, could well explain the change in date from "March" to "April 4th", giving the bout the TV slot it deserves.
Given the information the sources have revealed we would expect this to be officially announced in the coming days, giving time for the show to be put together. When that happens we expect to see whether or not the bout will headline the Dynamic Glove card, as we now expect.
News! We try and give you the most interesting news stories from the Asian boxing world!