Earlier today the East Japan Boxing Association announced the monthly award winners for September, naming an MVP, a Fighting Spirit award winner and a Newcomer award.
The MVP was, unsurprisingly, triple crown winner Shuichiro Yoshino (13-0, 10) [吉野 修一郎]who successfully defended his JBC, OPBF and WBO Asia Pacific Lightweight titles and over-came gutsy veteran Valentine Hosokawa (25-8-3, 12) [細川繁]. The win saw Yoshino successfully defending all 3 titles and take one more step towards a world title fight.
The Fighting Spirit award was won by the hard hitting Kazuki Nakajima (9-0-1, 8) [中嶋一輝], who stopped Kenta Nomura (7-4, 3) [野村健太] in 3 rounds to advance a step closer to his first title fight. Although Nakajima's wasn't perfect it was rather exciting, and again showed he is a legitimate puncher, albeit a flawed one who has still got work to do.
Talking about flawed punchers it's worth noting that Yasutaka Fujita (6-1, 6) [藤田裕崇] won the Newcomer award, following his 19 second blast out win over Kensuke Nakamura (4-9-2) [中村 堅亮]. Although still a flawed fighter it's hard to dislike Fujita's aggression and power, and hopefully we see more of him in the near future.
Unlike normal awards the winners will not be given an in ring award ceremony at Korakuen Hall. They will be certificated and prizes and will have comment videos posted online.
Due to the fact some fans will not be wanting to know the result of today's Japanese, OPBF and WBO Asian Pacific Lightweight title bout between defending champion Shuichiro Yoshino [吉野 修一郎] and veteran challenger Valentine Hosokawa [細川繁] we will begin this with a paragraph of text to act as a spoiler warning. Please be aware this is a 1-off paragraph designed to not ruin the bout for those who have accidentally stumbled on this page ahead of the TV broadcast of the bout this coming weekend on Fuji TV. This is something we are only going to be doing when we know that a bout will be televised on delay and will only ever be a 1 paragraph thing, with the idea of allowing fans to watch events as live. With that in mind we'd just like to remind everyone this bout will be aired on Saturday night/Sunday morning in Japan and can be watched as live as part of the Diamond Glove event.
With that spoiler warning out of the way we'll start by discussing the sole under-card bout, which was a blink and you miss affair. The one under-card bout on the show saw Yasutaka Fujita (6-1, 6) [藤田裕崇] blast out Kensuke Nakamura (4-9-2) [中村 堅亮] in just 19 seconds!
Fujita, who lost in the all Japan Rookie of the Year final last year, was fighting for the first time since transferring to the Misako gym earlier this year. Within seconds of the bout started he landed a huge left hand that dropped Nakamura. To his credit Nakamura managed to get to his feet, but was out of it. This really was the perfect start for Fujita as a Misako gym fighter.
The main event of the show saw the JBC, OPBF and WBO Asia Pacific Lightweight champion Shuichiro Yoshino (13-0, 10) [吉野 修一郎] retain his titles as he took a clear decision over veteran Valentine Hosokawa (25-8-3, 12) [細川繁].
Yoshino seemed to be dialed in early on, showing respect to Hosokawa and boxing safely. He was likely aware of the strength and physicality of Hosokawa, and felt that that wasn't a type of fight he wanted. Instead Yoshino used his jab, boxed, kept it at range when he could and used his speed. To his credit Hosokawa was hungry and tried to pick up the pace in rounds 3 and 4. After 4 rounds the judges all had Yoshino in the lead, with scored of 40-36, and 39-37, twice.
In the middle rounds Yoshino picked up his own pace, though Hosokawa stood his ground and fought back, particularly in round 6, when he did that Yoshino got back on the move, using his feet to control the tempo and range of the fight, whilst keeping himself safe. It was a simple use of a clear advantage he had against a smaller, older, slower man. The speed and movement of Yoshino helped him extend his lead, and after 8 rounds he was up 80-72, and 79-73, twice.
Yoshino put his foot on the gas in round 10, as he looked to try and put an exclamation mark on the bout, but Hosokawa's toughness showed through as he refused to just accept defeat, and looked to turn things around. Sadly for him it wasn't to be, with Yoshino continuing to dictate the bout through to the bell.
After 12 rounds there was no doubting the outcome, with Yoshino taking the decision 119-109, twice, and 120-108.
Following the contest Yoshino spoke about the contest, and revealed that getting 12 rounds experience against a veteran like Hosokawa was a positive, and that he was glad to be able to defend his triple crown. He's aiming for a world title fight and a bout like this will clearly help him prepare for it.
As for Hosokawa it's unclear what his future brings. He was clearly beaten here, but Yoshino is a real talent who's style, today, was one that neutralised Hosokawa for the most part. Fingers crossed that this won't be the end for him, as he really does have so much more to give the sport, and he will be a handful for any of the top domestic contenders.
Earlier this month we reported that JBC, OPBF and WBO Asia Pacific Lightweight champion Shuichiro Yoshino (12-0, 10) [吉野 修一郎] would be defending his title against Valentine Hosokawa (25-7-3, 12) [細川繁] on September 3rd. That would be part of a small Misako card featuring just two bouts, the Yoshino bout and a low key contest between Yasutaka Fujita (5-1, 5) [藤田裕崇] and Kensuke Nakamura (4-8-2) [中村 堅亮].
Now we've learned there is actually more to this show.
As well as the two official bouts the show will also feature a public spar between WBC Light Flyweight champion Kenshiro Teraji (17-0, 10) [寺地 拳四朗] and OPBF Super Bantamweight champion Hiroaki Teshigawara (21-2-2, 14) [勅使河原 弘晶].
The two men will be participating in a 2 round spar as they both work towards ring returns.
At the moment neither man has had their next bout announced, though both are looking to return to the ring later in the year with their eyes on big fights. Kenshiro is hoping to make his 8th world title defense later this year whilst Teshigawara is looking to move a step closer to an IBF world title fight.
Whilst this isn't a huge story it's a sign that both men are wanting to give back to fans, and both are getting closer and closer to full fighting fitness. With that in mind we suspect both men are getting closer and closer to having their next bouts decided.
According to the ever reliable JBC Official Supporters Club Misako have quietly put together a small show for September 3rd at Korakuen Hall. It appears the show will only have two bouts, but they will both be pretty notable contests, and we hope they will be held as part of the Diamond Glove series on Fuji TV.
The lesser of the two bouts will see the all action Yasutaka Fujita (5-1, 5) [藤田裕崇] take on Kensuke Nakamura (4-8-2) [中村 堅亮].
For Fujita this bout will be his first as a Misako gym fighter and his first since losing in the 2019 Rookie of the Year final to Kodai Honda, in what was a sensational bout at Korakuen Hall in December. For those that missed that war we've included it at the bottom of this article.
Fujita truly is a must watch fighter who comes out throwing bombs and is a destructive, exciting, but flawed warrior. It seems like this bout, against the usually durable Nakamura, is set up to test Fujita's stamina and should make for a test of the youngster.
The other bout is significantly more interesting and will see JBC, OPBF and WBO Asia Pacific Lightweight champion Shuichiro Yoshino (12-0, 10) [吉野 修一郎] defending his two regional titles against former Japanese Light Welterweight champion Valentine Hosokawa (25-7-3, 12) [細川繁], in a bout that has the ingredients to be a special bout.
Of the two men Yoshino certainly has the edge in power, speed and traditions skills but Hosokawa is a real nightmare to fight, with an excellent work rate, a gritty toughness and freakish physical strength. At range Yoshino should have plenty of success but up close Hosokawa's hunger and aggression will be a major issue.
At the time of writing Yoshino is ranked in the top 15 at Lightweight by the WBC, IBF and WBO, though is a long way from a world title fight. A loss here would be a major set back in his hopes of fighting for a world title any time soon. On the other hand Hosokawa is 39 and another loss could mark the end of his long, and successful, career.
The main event of this card, Yoshino Vs Hosokawa, has now been given the green light to be a triple title fight, with Yoshino also risking his Japanese title against the veteran.
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