Earlier today we had one of the strangest ever editions of Dynamic Glove. The long running series, held in conjunction with TV channel G+, was originally scheduled to feature 5 bouts, but due to injuries and Covid19 those 5 bout ended up reduced to just 2 contests, with the planned main event and planned chief support bout being cancelled in the weeks leading up to the show.
Due to the TV commitments, and the late notice cancellation of the main event, the promoter, Teiken, went on to hold the show, but refunded the cost of tickets to all the fans as an apology.
Despite only two bouts taking place the event was a notable one as both fights had genuine significance.
The first of the two contests was an East Japan Rookie of the Year contest between Eigoro Akai (0-1) [赤井英五郎] and Yasunori Okamura (1-0, 1) [岡村弥徳]. By it's self this was notable due to the Rookie of the Year aspect, but it was even more notable as it featured Akai, the son of the very popular Hidekazu Akai, who was a massive fan favourite back in the 1980's, before later becoming a successful actor following an in ring injury.
Sadly for Eigoro he was unable to take home a victory, and was instead stopped after just 84 seconds as Okamura's power was too much. Eigoro was rocked and hurt before being saved by the referee.
The second bout was a Japanese Welterweight title eliminator, as a rematch between Yuki Nagano (19-3, 15) [永野祐樹] and Yuki Beppu (21-3-1, 20) [別府優樹]. These two had fought back in 2018, when Nagano took a decision win over Beppu. Following their first bout both men had achieved their biggest success, with Nagano winning the Japanese national title and Beppu winning the WBO Asia Pacific title, but both had also suffered stoppage losses since their 2018 clash, and both had certainly taken a lot of punishment in recent contests. Coming in it seemed less of a case of who was the better fighter, but who had more left in the tank.
The first round started slowly, with both men looking to feel the other out in the opening round, and in round 2 Beppu seemed to find his groove before Nagano, with Beppu using his legs well to control the tempo and distance. Sadly for Beppu his success didn't last long, and in round 3 a straight left hand dropped him, really late in the round. Beppu came out for round 4 looking to get momentum back on his side, but he struggled to break through the guard of Nagano. In round 5 a right hook from Nagano saw him dropping Beppu for the second time. Beppu beat the count but was under intense pressure immediately, and was down again just moments later, and then down again, for a 4th time in the fight. That was it, with the referee finally stoppign the action and saving Beppu.
With the win Nagano has earned himself a Japanese title fight for next year, whilst Beppu, who has taken a lot of punishment in his last 3 fights, maybe needs to consider retiring from the sport on grounds of his physical well being.
On Saturday in Japan we were expecting to see a new Japanese Light Flyweight champion being crowned as Rikito Shiba (5-1, 3) [芝力人] and Shokichi Iwata (6-0, 4) [岩田翔吉] were set to face off for the currently vacant title.
Sadly that bout was cancelled today when Iwata's PCR test came back as being positive for Covid19, forcing the contest to be pulled from the show at the 11th hour.
Upon the announce Iwata gave comment to the media, stating: "I received a positive coronavirus test in the PCR test the day before the match. I'm really sorry to everyone who was planning to come to the venue to support me. I sincerely apologize for the inconvenience and concern. "
This was the second notable bout to be pulled from the show, following Juiki Tatsuyoshi (13-0-1, 9) [辰吉寿以輝] pulling out of a scheduled bout against Norris Yano (6-2-1, 1) [矢野乃莉守], with that bout falling through in late August.
As a result the show has been left with just 2 bouts, a Japanese Welterweight title eliminator between Yuki Nagano (18-3, 14) [永野祐樹]and Yuki Beppu (21-2-1, 20) [別府優樹], and an East Japan Rookie of the Year bout between Eigoro Akai (0-0) [赤井英五郎] and Yasunori Okamura (0-0) [岡村弥徳].
Due to the very poor quality of what's left of the card it's been confirmed that those with tickets will be refunded, and are still allowed to attend the event.
Yesterday news from Japan broke regarding Juiki Tatsuyoshi (13-0-1, 9) [辰吉寿以輝], the son of the iconic Joichiro Tatsuyoshi, who was supposed to return to the ring on September 11th as part of the Dynamic Glove show at Korakuen Hall.
The flawed, but fun to watch and unbeaten, Tatsuyoshi was supposed to face off against Norris Yano (6-2-1, 1) [矢野乃莉守] in a scheduled 8 rounder at Super Bantamweight. That bout is however off as Tatsuyoshi has suffered an injury in training.
Further details about the injury haven't been made available at the moment, but it is known that the bout is off, and Tatsuyoshi will need time to recover.
Despite this bout being cancelled the card is still a really good one, headlined by a brilliant Japanese title fight between Rikito Shiba (5-1, 3) [芝力人] and Shokichi Iwata (6-0, 4) [岩田翔吉], who clash for the Japanese Light Flyweight title, and has a stellar chief support bout between Yuki Nagano (18-3, 14) [永野祐樹]and Yuki Beppu (21-2-1, 20) [別府優樹], who clash in a Japanese title eliminator.
At the start of July we reported that WBC Light Flyweight champion Kenshiro Teraji (17-0, 10) [寺地 拳四朗] would be making his next defense in September, when he takes on fellow Japanese fighter Masamichi Yabuki (12-3, 11) [佐藤政道] in Kyoto City. At that time of that news Yabuki was the Japanese national champion and it was unclear what was going to happened to the Japanese title.
Today there was some clarity on that title picture with Yabuki vacating the title to focus on the Kenshiro bout. There was also clarity on what would be happening to fill the vacancy.
It's been confirmed that just a day after Kenshiro and Yabuki battle for the WBC title in Kyoto the Korakuen Hall in Tokyo will play host to a bout between Rikito Shiba (5-1, 3) [芝力人] and Shokichi Iwata (6-0, 4) [岩田翔吉] to fill the vacancy left by Yabuki, with the bout serving as the main event of a Dynamic Glove card on G+.
The bout has been put together after Daiki Tomita (16-2, 5) [冨田大樹] was unable to face Shiba, due to an injury.
For Shiba this will be a his second fight for a title, having previously held the Japanese Youth title back in 2019. Notably however he lost in a Japanese title eliminator just 3 months after that youth title win, losing in 4 rounds to Yabuki. As for the the highly touted Iwata, who has been eyed as a potential world champion since his debut, this will be his first career title bout of any kind.
The chief support bout on the Korakuen Hall card is another bout that promises real excitement as former Japanese Welterweight champion Yuki Nagano (18-3, 14) [永野祐樹] battles former WBO Asia Pacific Welterweight champion Yuki Beppu (21-2-1, 20) [別府優樹] in what is essentially a Japanese title eliminator. These two men are fighting for the second time, with Nagano giving Beppu his first loss when the men clashed back in 2018. Nagano will be looking for a repeat of that win whilst Beppu will be looking to avenge that loss.
Earlier today we got a midweek treat from G+ who televised the latest in their Dynamic Glove series of shows. The event was a special show, celebrating the 600th Dynamic Glove event and mixed in the live fights with a lot of archive footage, adding the sense of the event being something genuinely worth watching.
Sadly the in ring action wasn't as good as we've seen in the past from the Dynamic Glove series, but it was certainly not a bad show, even if we did end up with just 4 televised bouts.
Unfortuntely the originally scheduled show opener, a 4 rounder between Teiken fighter Munetaka Kihara (3-2-1, 1) [木原 宗孝] and the unbeaten Reiji Kodama (2-0, 1) [兒玉 麗司 was cancelled, due to Kihara pulling out. Despite that we still ended up getting a really, really good show.
The event kicked off with a much anticipated 6 round bout between the debuting Junya Shimada (1-0) [嶋田 淳也] and the touted Shigetoshi Kotari (2-1, 1) [神足 茂利], both of whom were solid amateur fighters and both of them were out there looking to make an impression in what looked like a very tough match up on paper. At least if you were aware of their amateur pedigree.
The bout lived up to the expectations, despite a rather ugly and slow paced opening round. From 2 to round 6 this was thoroughly entertaining action with Kotari trying to box and move, using his more fluid and natural looking boxing skills, to try and neutralise the pressure and aggression of Shimada. The pressure of Shimada began to have success in round 2 and from there on his pressure always looked like it was chipping away at Kotari who held up close and looked to try and create space to work. Altough he wasn't able to fight his fight Kotari did land some gorgeous uppercuts, but was never able to sustained things for long. Instead we saw him being chipped away at by Shimada's nasty body shots, especially in round 4, and he never really managed to turn things around afterwards.
For fans who missed this one it is, genuinely, worthy of a watch. A very, very entertaining 6 rounder, fought at a good pace, with styles that gelled really well.
Sadly the second bout was a much different affair to the first bout. Whilst the first was high tempo, exciting battle the second was a rather tedious, slow paced contest that saw the heavy handed but vulnerable Junpei Tsujimoto (8-2-3, 6) [辻本 純兵] easily defeat Hideo Mikan (9-14-2, 2) [美柑 英男] in what was a bout that struggled to come alive. Mikan was there to win early on, but had nothing to really test Tsujimoto with, whilst Tsujimoto seemed determined to not give Mikan chances to land anything clean.
For 2 rounds it was slow paced but competitive. In round 3 however Tsujimoto landed some big body shots and Mikan never really showed too much ambition afterwards, as Tsujimoto controlled the bout and came close to dropping his man in round 5. Mikan some how survived but seemed about done and in round 6 the referee stepped between the two men. It was an oddly timed stoppage, but one Mikan didn't complain about, and one that seemed to end what was a very dull one sided bout.
We would complain about this one, but it seems that Tsujimoto was working on being more cautious after two damaging bouts in 2020, a loss to Nath Nwachukwu and a shoot out with Daiki Ogura. We can't begrudge him an easy one after the punishment he took in those bouts.
We ended up getting the chance to see some dynamite in the third bout as Masaya Tamayama (14-2, 8) [玉山 将也] destroyed veteran Hisashi Kato (10-10-2, 6) [加藤 寿] in 2 rounds.
This started slowly, with Kato getting on his bike, moving around the ring, trying to use his southpaw jab and legs to create space. Tamayama on the other hand pressed forward, looking to break Kato down with body shots and take his legs away. In round two the firepower of Tamayama was on show, as he dropped Kato with gorgeous uppercut. Kato beat the count but was dropped again soon afterwards, with the referee immediately waving this off following crisp counter left hook that dropped Kato hard.
We were legitimately expecting an all out war in the main event as OPBF Welterweight champion Ryota Toyoshima (14-2-1, 9) [豊嶋亮太] faced off with WBO Asia Pacific champion Yuki Beppu (21-2-1, 20) [別府優樹] in a unification bout of their titles. Sadly this never really caught fire as expected, though was still a solid bout, if somewhat one sided.
The opening couple of rounds were well contested and pretty evenly fought. Beppu used his footwork well, picked his spots and landed some really nice single shots, whilst Toyoshima pressured and landed some of his own single shots. The tempo was strangely low and neither man seemed to put any shots together at all, it was all single shots, with no real risks being taken. Despite the low tempo of the action there was a strange tension, as if something big could happen.
In rounds 3 and 4 Toyoshima began to take control of the action, landing some really good left hooks, and body shots. It was still a low tempo affair, but it was picking up, and Toyoshima was starting to look a lot more consistent with his shots, especially his body work and jab. In fact it was that jab of Toyoshima's that began to really unsettle Beppu, and make the "Tyson of Kyushu" a lot more apprehensive, allowing Toyoshima to have an easier time in controlling his foe. That showed particularly well in round 4, as he began to physically deflate in front of our eyes.
After 4 rounds the open scoring kicked in and had Toyoshima up 40-36, twice, and 39-37. The shut outs seemed very harsh but it was clear that Toyoshima was starting to take over, and the first two rounds were close in fairness to the judges.
Toyoshima seemed to slow down in round 5, cruising at times, but Beppu failed to make him pay. In fact if anything Toyoshima managed to win the round by doing very little. What he did well was land the eye catching shots late in the round, notably a good jab and a couple of good body shots. Beppu seemed to be running out of ideas an that was particularly notable in rounds 6 as he began to look tired, was falling well behind on the scorecards, and was unwilling, or unable, to sell out and go for it. The body shots had taken some of the fight out of him, and the jabs had repeatedly take the play away from him when he did manage to have moments.
In round 7 things went from bad to worse for Beppu who was dropped from a fantastic uppercut. Prior to which he had taken more body shots, and looked to be a man physically wilting, and being broken down. He got up from the knockdown, but seemed hurt again late in the round, as Toyoshima's body work continued.
Beppu tried to turn things around in round 8, but it was too little too late and he really didn't come close to doing enough to take the round from a man who looked bigger, stronger, fresher, hungrier andmore powerful than himself. In fact if anything Beppu looked like he was needing to work incredibly hard for any success, whilst Toyoshima seemed to be relaxed, landing at will and having more consistent success.
After 8 rounds we saw the open scoring again, with scores of 80-71, twice, and 78-73, all in favour of Toyoshima who was in complete control of the bout and was bossing it with ease.
Toyoshima seemed to take round 9 off, not doing much at all, and allowing Beppu the chance to let his shots off. It was clear that Beppu needed to massively turn things around and it seemed a good idea from Toyoshima to not take any risks if he didn't need to. He was going to win as long as he stayed on his feet and Beppu had to gamble. And gamble he did, with Beppu trying to turn things around in rounds 9 and 10. Sadly however Beppu's gamble failed to payoff and in round 10 he was broken up by body shots, badly hurt, and forced on to the retreat. A jab forced Beppu to stumbles towards his own corner, and a left hook followed, sending Beppu down. To his credit Beppu managed to get to his feet, but the referee finished the count, saving Beppu from further punishment.
What promised to be a great fight heading in, was strangely one sided, and it seemed clear that Beppu's problems, including a lack od sparring a late flight to Tokyo and more than a year of inactivity, did him no favours at all here. As for Toyoshima this is a second big win for him in 2021 and he has really been one of the few big success stories from Japan this year, due to a very scattered calendar of fights. There's a good chance he'll squeeze in another and could be one of the run away fighters for Japanese domestic fighter of the year at this rate.
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