Earlier today Shinsei Gym put on their latest show under the Real Spirits line of events, with the show taking place at the EDION Arena Osaka, in Osaka City. The card, was an all-female show, featuring 3 notable title fights.
The first of the three title bouts saw Kaoru Iga (6-2-1) [伊賀薫] claim the Japanese Atomweight title as she took a 6 round majority decision win again Natsuki Tarui (4-9-2) [樽井捺月]. Iga took control of this one very early on, dropping Tarui in the opening round with a right hand and establishing herself. Tarui gritted her teeth and battled back hard, getting a toe hold on the action in round 2, but was dropped a second time in round 4 and with two knockdowns in a 6 rounder it was always going to be incredibly tough for Tarui to over-turn the deficit. After 6 rounds the judges had this one 58-54, twice, and 56-56.
The second title bout saw Kanako Taniyama (5-1-1, 1) [谷山佳菜子] retain her Japanese female Bantamweight title, with her first defense, as she easily over-came Miki Mitsuda (5-8, 4) [満田美紀]. From the off Taniyama looked determined to control the bout, and dictate the action. She got behind her jab, kept the fight at range, and whilst Mitsuda had moments of success with her hooks, she could never keep it up whilst Taniyama upped the tempo round after round, and easily did enough to earn the decision, retaining her title and scoring a shut out win. The result her is quite telling as the two fought in 2020, with Mitsuda really pushing Taniyama all the way, with Taniyama sneaking a majority decision, but she really was in total control here.
The third title bout on the show saw Aka Ringo (3-0, 2) [中井麻美] win the WBO Asia Pacific Female Bantamweight title with a TKO win over tough veteran Yuko Henzan (8-12-4, 2) [平安山裕子], who had never previously been stopped. Ringo dropped Henzan in the first round, as she looked to make a statement, and then hurt her in the second round, showing off her power, and forced the referee to step in and save the veteran. This was a showcase from Ringo who was taking a step up, and looked sensational, with a win that should boost her to the fringes of a WBO world title fight in the next year or two.
Earlier today at Korakuen Hall fight fans got a short, but very notable, show featuring a trio of bouts, all of which were title contests, thanks to Dangan and Watanabe.
The first bout on the show saw former kick boxer Kanako Taniyama (4-1-1, 1) [谷山佳菜子] defeat Yuko Henzan (8-11-4, 2) [平安山裕子], via a 4th round technical decision, to become the new Japanese female Bantamweight champion. From the off Taniyama looked to make a good start, getting behind her jab whilst Henan looked to apply some pressure. Sadly in round 3 a clash of heads left both cut. The cuts got worse quickly and in round 4 Henzan's cut forced the bout to end early.
At the mark of 1 minute into round 4 the bout was halted with Taniyama getting the nod 40-36, 40-37 and 39-37. After the bout Taniyama explained that she wasn't happy about how much of the fight was fought inside, but did show that she had learned a lot heading into this bout, and her style has certainly changed, as she's become more of a boxer, and less of a fighter.
A second new champion to be crowned was former amateur standout Mizuki Chimoto (3-0, 1) [千本瑞規], who became the OPBF female Minimumweight champion with an 8 round majority decision over former world champion Yuko Kuroki (17-7-2, 8) [黒木優子]. The early round saw this being a technical bout, with Chimoto trying to get a read on the southpaw style of Kuroki, and Kuroki boxing behind her 1-2's. Kuroki tried to up her tempo in round 4, but that resulted in her taking some very good left hooks from Chimoto who as looking to get Kuroki's respect.
After 4 rounds we went to the open scoring and Chimoto was up 39-37 on two of the scorecards, and the fighters were even on the third card.
In the second half of the fight the action got a little bit messy, but Chimoto continued to pick her shots well, especially in round 7, before Kuroki put it all on the line in round 8, closing the distance and letting her shots fly. By then however it was too little, too late for Kuroki who was trying to dig herself out of a hole.
After 8 rounds the judges turned in scores of 78-74, twice, to Chimoto and 76-76 level, to give Chimoto the majority decision win.
Before the main event we had WBA Light Flyweight "Super" champion Hiroto Kyoguchi (15-0, 10) [京口 紘人] compete in a short exhibition bout with Watanabe Gym stablemate Sonin Nihei (10-5-2, 2) [仁平宗忍]. The exhibition was Kyoguchi's first performance at Korakuen Hall in years and was very much some fan service ad a chance for him to have a run out before his next world title defnse later in the year. Notable he seemed to suggest that his next bout wasn't yet agreed, however he did state that he thought it would be a big match, and appealed to the local fans to get behind him.
In the main event we saw Japanese Minimumweight champion Masataka Taniguchi (14-3, 9) [谷口将隆] make his first defense as he defeated Tatsuro Nakashima (11-1-2, 7) [仲島 辰郎] in 5 rounds. Taniguchi looked sharp from the off, using his crisp jab in the early stages and firing off stinging left hands. The clean, accurate, and regular shots from Taniguchi saw Nakashima cut around the right eye as early as round 2. To his credit Nakashima tried to turn things around but was unable to match up with with Taniguchi who was too quick, too sharp and too smooth for the challenger, who was looking out of his depth by the end of round 4.
In round 5 the cut of Nakashima got so bad that the bout was stopped, and Taniguchi got the TKO win, to retain his title.
After the win Taniguchi thanked Kyoguchi for the advice he had given him before the bout, and he really did look like the title was helping instill a new confidence in him. He also spoke about fighting for the WBO world title, taking on Wilfredo Mendez, in a potential mandatory title fighter later in the year. Hitoshi Watanabe, Taniguchi's promoter, suggested that they would be looking to secure Taniguchi home advantage for that fight, but are happy to travel if they need to.
Tomorrow at Korakuen Hall we'll see a new Japanese female Bantamweight champion being crowned as Kanako Taniyama (3-1-1, 1) [谷山佳菜子] battles Yuko Henzan (8-10-4, 2) [平安山裕子] vacant title. The match, which not a big one, is an interesting one, and a must win for both women, if either expects to ever ge a world title fight down the line.
Today the two fighters took part in their weigh in and both fighters easily made the 118lb Bantamweight limit.
On the scales Taniyama was the heavier fighter, weighing in bang on the divisional limit. She looked the naturally bigger, stronger and thicker set fighter and is clearly the one many are tipping as the favourite. The former kick boxer turned boxer, was touted very highly when she turned professional, and despite two set backs, both against Tomoko Okuda who has since won a world title, is still expected to achieve title success in the pro ranks.
Interestingly Taniyama explained to Boxmob that she has rebuilt her style coming into this bout, and was still fighting too much in the kick boxing mindset in her other pro bouts. It'll be interesting to see what adjustments she has made for this bout.
Henzan, a true veteran of the ring, was well under the limit weighing in at just 117lbs for the bout. Although the under-dog it is worth noting that Henzan has previously won an OPBF title during her career and a win here would see her winning her second professional title. She stated that she was originally worried about her physical condition, though was fortunate that the bout was delayted by two weeks due to the on going pandemic. Interestingly this will be her first bout at Korakuen Hall in the better part part of a decade.
For fans wanting to watch this one it will be made available on demand on the Boxing Raise service.
Related - Taniyama and Henzan battle for Japanese female title!
(Image credit - Watanabe Gym)
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.
Earlier today it was announced that the Dangan promoted shows, set for May 22nd and May 23rd at the Sumida City Gymnasium, Tokyo, have now been postponed, due to the on going state of emergency, which will mean the venue will not opened in time for the events.
The plan was to have 3 shows over 2 days, with 7 title fights, as well as a boxing festival to celebrate the sport and promoting boxing in the local area.
The plan now is to spread out the 7 title fights, as well as the other fights arranged for the shows, to dates in June or July. At the moment however no dates have been announced for the events, though we hope to hear dates being confirmed in the coming weeks.
Sadly this is the second this type of event has been cancelled, with Dangan planning something very similar for 2020, and seeing news of those shows being leaked, before the pandemic forced the plans to be cancelled.
For those wondering the affected title bouts are the ones below, alongside the originally planned dates:
Masataka Taniguchi (13-3, 8) [谷口将隆] Vs Tatsuro Nakashima (11-1-1, 7) [仲島 辰郎] - Japanese Minimumweight title
Kanako Taniyama (3-1-1, 1) [谷山佳菜子] Vs Yuko Henzan (8-10-4, 2) [平安山裕子] - Japanese female Bantamweight title
Ryoji Fukunaga (13-4, 13) [福永亮次] Vs Takahiro Fujii (12-6-1, 3) [藤井貴博] - Japanese, OPBF and WBO Asia Pacific Super Flyweight titles
Jin Sasaki (10-0, 9) [佐々木尽] Vs Kaiki Yuba (7-0-2, 5) [湯場海樹] - Japanese Youth Light Welterweight
Ginjiro Shigeoka (5-0, 4) [重岡銀次朗] Vs Toshiki Kawamitsu (6-0, 3) [川満俊輝] - WBO Asia Pacific Minimumweight title
Kyosuke Sawada (14-2-1, 6) [澤田京介] Vs Ikuro Sadatsune (11-4-3, 4) [定常 育郎] - Japanese Bantamweight title
Yuko Kuroki (17-6-2, 8) [黒木優子] Vs Mizuki Chimoto (2-0, 1) [千本瑞規] - OPBF female Minimumweight title
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