Earlier today fight fans at Korakuen Hall had the latest show in the Dynamic Glove series of shows, with this show set to be aired in May on G+. The card featured several bouts of note, including a Japanese Light Middleweight title bout, between Hironobu Matsunaga and Rei Nakajima.
For those wanting to watch this, as live, when it's finally aired, we have included this spoiler warning introduction. Please note that spoilers will begin in the next paragraph, starting with the the first under-card bout, and then moving on through the other bouts on the show. If you wish to avoid those spoilers, please stop reading now.
The show began with a 4 round bout between unbeaten novices Taichi Mano (1-0-2) [真野 泰地] and Kanta Kawamura (1-0-1, 1) [川村 栞汰], who both managed to remain unbeaten as they fought to a 4 round split decision draw. This was a good back and forth to kick the show off, and neither man ever really seemed to take control. A good, solid, honest bout to kick off the event, and one that neither man deserved to lose.
The second bout saw teenage Kai Watanabe (1-0) [渡邉 海] kick off his professional career in successful manner, as he out pointed 33 year old Hikaro Sato (2-6-1) [佐藤 光] over 4 rounds. Watanabe was too good from the off. He backed well behind his long reach and whilst Sato tried to turn things around he just walked into shots, taking a lot of punishment, and being cut in round 2. This really was a one sided show case of Watanabe's ability, and a very solid performance from the teenager.
The final 4 rounder saw Teppei Saito (4-1, 2) [齋藤 哲平] take a majority decision against Ayumu Komoto (2-2-1, 2) [河本 歩夢]. Like the bout that opened the event this was really competitive, but it always seemed that Saito was just a touch more eye catching with his work in the first 3 rounds. Komoto was always in the bout, but didn't do quite enough to earn the draw.
The first of 3 notable bouts saw Reiya Abe (21-3-1, 9) [阿部麗也] take a technical decision win over Koshin Takeshima (4-2-1, 3) [竹嶋宏心]. Takeshima started well, and seemed to take the first round, but he was cut in round 2 from an accidental headclash and never seemed to settle after that. In fact Abe seemed to build from knowing Takeshima was a wounded fighter, and he dropped Takeshima in round 3. Takeshima would then suffer another cut, again from an accidental headclash, as his face became a genuine mess.
Knowing he was behind Takeshima tried to turn things around in round 4, and has some success, but Abe's clever boxing saw him take rounds 5 and 6. In round 7 Takeshimna was deducted a point for holding, and late saw the bout being stopped due to his cuts.
At an official time of 2:42 in round 7 the bout was stopped with Abe taking the decision thanks to scores of 67-64, 68-64 and 68-63.
In the second notably bout Japanese Youth Minimumweight champion Kai Ishizawa (8-1, 7) [石澤開] successfully defended his title with a majority decision win over Yuni Takada (8-7-2, 3) [高田勇仁]. This was surprisingly competitive, with Takada really performing much better than expected.
Early on Takada used his speed well and let his hands go whilst moving and stopped Ishizawa from setting his feet. It was the perfect game plan to neutralise Ishizawa's pressure. Sadly however that was an energy sapping gameplan from Takada and one that was not going to be easy to do for 8 rounds against someone as aggressive, strong and powerful as Ishizawa.
In the later rounds Ishizawa's pressure finally started to break through as he got cl0se and got his shots off, doing what he needed to win. After 8 rounds we went to the scorecards with scores of 76-76, 78-74 and 79-73, giving Ishizawa his first decision wins as a professional.
In the main event Japanese Light Middleweight champion Hironobu Matsunaga (18-1, 11) [松永 宏信] recorded his third defense, but really hard to work for it as he narrowly over-came Rei Nakajima (4-1) [中島玲].
Nakajima made the most of his speed advantage early on, and seemed to look confident in the early round, but Matsunaga did what he has been doing for years, and began to find his rhythm in round 2, coming forward behind his jab. In rounds 3 and 4 he began to force his fight, and Nakajima really was made to feel somewhat uncomfortable due to the aggression and pressure of Matsunaga.
After 5 rounds Matsunaga was leading on all 3 cards, 48-47, twice and 49-46.
Knowing he was behind Nakajima looked to change things around, but Matsunaga wasn't having it and looked to tighten his stranglehold on the action. That was despite some really good moments from Nakajima, who really tried to change the tide of the bout, especially in round 9.It was, however, too little too late.
After 10 rounds the two men seemed to have some real respect for each other, following what was a well contested bout. Sadly for Nakajima however he did come up short on all 3 cards, with scores of 97-93, twice and 96-94 all in favour of Nakajima.
Again for those wanting to watch, the show will be televised on G+ on May. A disappointingly long wait for a show that took place with more than a week of April still remaining.
Tomorrow at Korakuen Hall we'll see Japanese Youth Minimumweight champion Kai Ishizawa (7-1, 7) [石澤開] make his first defense, as he takes on Yuni Takada (8-6-2, 3) [高田勇仁]. The bout sees Ishizawa defending the title he's held since 2018, and defending it before he has to vacate it, which he has to do before he turns 25.
Today the two men took part in their weigh in for that bout earlier today and both men made the 105lbs weight limit.
On the scales Ishizawa was bang on the limit and looked in fantastic condition. He looked ripped and ready to go whilst Takada was well under the limit at 104.3lbs, and looked good but not as ripped as the champion.
At the weigh in Ishizawa made it clear that his days at 105lbs are numbered, explaining "It's not easy to lose weight, but I'm relieved that I was able to lose it firmly. I'm going to recover and prepare for tomorrow's game." He also promised a really exciting bout and stated "I want to show what is different from other minimum-class players. It's best to win, but if possible, I will win with an aesthetic KO."
Takada seemed to be aware he was the under-dog but also promised a good fight, stating "I'll just fight hard tomorrow. I want to show a game where the customers are excited. If there is a meeting, I want to face it head-on."
For fans hoping to watch this one, unfortunately we need to wait until May 10th when the event will be shown on tape delay on G+, unless you have a ticket to the venue for the bout tomorrow.
Related - Ishizawa takes on Takada in Japanese Youth title defense
(Image credit - Yokohama Hikari Gym)
Over the last 24 hours or so the schedule on the JOSC (JBC Official Supporters Club) website has revealed a new bout set for April 21st, as part of a Yokohama Hikari show at Korakuen Hall.
The bout in question will see Japanese Youth Minimumweight champion Kai Ishizawa (7-1, 7) [石澤開] defending his title, for the first time, as he takes on Yuni Takada (8-6-2, 3) [高田勇仁], in a bout scheduled for 8 rounds.
The talented and hard hitting Ishizawa won the belt back in 2018, when he stopped Yuga Inoue in a sensational bout. The following year the title seemed to be forgotten as Ishizawa focused on securing a Japanese title fight, losing in an eliminator against Masataka Taniguchi. Sadly 2020 was a bit of a write off for Ishizawa, who only squeezed one bout into the year, though did shake off some ring rust with a TKO in over Masashi Tada.
On paper Takada looks like a poor challenger, especially given that he's win-less in his last 3 and is 2-4-1 in his last 7, however he's not a push over. Last year he fought to a draw with Hizuki Saso and suffered a competitive loss to former Japanese champion Norihito Tanaka, and in 2019 he gave the exciting Toshiki Kawamitsu arguably his toughest bout to date.
Ishizawa should have too much for Takada, but we certainly won't be complain about seeing the heavy handed youngster back in action, with bigger and better things surely on the horizon for him.
The bout will be on a show, headlined by Japanese Light Middleweight champion Hironobu Matsunaga (17-1, 11) [松永 宏信] defending his title his title against Rei Nakajima (4-0) [中島玲] and will also feature Reiya Abe (20-3-1, 9) [阿部麗也] battling Koshin Takeshima (4-1-1, 3) [竹嶋宏心].
Earlier today in Tokyo former world title challenger Norihito Tanaka (20-8, 10) [田中教仁] made a successful return to the ring as he out pointed youngster Yuni Takada (8-6-2, 3) [高田勇仁] at Korakuen Hall.
The bout, the main event of "GENKOTSU Vol 8", saw Tanaka look to establish his jab early on and he looked comfortable through out, however Takada wasn't there to make up the numbers and came out with some real purpose and ambition. Takada looked to work the body in round 1 and landed a lovely 1-2 in the second round. He continued to come forward, putting Tanaka under pressure but the wily veteran had the experience and know how to deal with it.
Sadly for Takada he every time he did get a foot hold on the action his success was blunted by the clean, accurate jab and the smart footwork of Tanaka who always looked like he was a step ahead of his younger rival.
By the later rounds Takada was one on the back foot, with Tanaka applying constant, but educated, pressure and out working Takada, who went beyond 6 rounds for only the second time in his career.
After 8 rounds there was no questioning who won, with Tanaka taking the decision on all 3 cards, 79-73, 78-74 and 77-75. The widest of those scores seemed a bit too wide for our liking, but the other two were pretty much spot on.
For Tanaka this was his first bout since March, when he lost to Knockout CP Freshmart, and there was a touch of ring rust there. Aged 35 he is old for a Minimumweight and it's fair to say time is ticking on his career, but he seemed to feel like their was still life in his legs and after the bout he spoke about getting a second world title fight in the future.
As for Takada he may have lost but credit to him for the performance he put in and the 22 year will certainly come again. He came off second before but don't write him off, he showed a lot to be proud of here. Even with 6 losses in 18 bouts he still has a promising future ahead of him, at least based on this performance he does.
For those wanting to watch this bout it is now available on subscription service Boxing Raise.
Earlier today at the Arena Tachikawa Tachihi we saw fans finally return to boxing for an event in the Kanto region. Whilst the show wasn't a massive one it was a notable one, not just for the fans, who had some really stringent rules on what they were allowed to do, but also for some of the fighters on the card. The event had two separate Japanese ranked fighters on it, and both of those were looking to move towards a potential Japanese title fight.
The first of those in action was #18 ranked Lightweight Shinnosuke Saito (7-3, 2)[齋藤 眞之助], who took a decision over active police officer Yuji Hashimoto (6-5, 4) [橋本 祐二], in a 6 rounder.
Saito, who won Rookie of the Year last year, was too busy and too active for Hashimoto, who looked rusty following a 13 year break from the ring. Hashimoto tried, and looked to make the most of his southpaw stance, but wasn't able to up the tempo, as Saito did in round 3. Saito again stepped on the gas in round 5 and in round 6 ending any doubt in regards to the bout.
After 6 rounds we went to the judges who all had Saito the winner, with scored of 59-55.
The second ranked fighter on the show was JBC #3 ranked Minimumweight Hizuki Saso (12-6-2, 4) [佐宗 緋月] who took on Yuni Takada (8-5-2, 3) [高田 勇仁] over 8 rounds in the main event. This turned out to be a lot, lost more competitive than the other bout, with Takada holding his own and earning a surprise draw against Saso, who is on the verge of a Japanese title fight.
From the off Takada pressed forward and Saso was forced to counter. Saso seemed to be dropped in round 2, though it was ruled a slip, as Takada's pressure continued to control the action. On the resumption from Saso going down he was rocked and forced to hold on, having a point deducted in the end for holding.
To his credit Saso bounced back well in round 3, doing enough to take the round, but he continued to struggle with Takada's pressure and work rate until the later stages, when Takada slowed down and Saso put his foot on the gas, with a gritty fight back. That fight back was enough to squeak Saso a split decision draw.
The scorecards for this were a bit all over the way. On one card Saso won 75-74, on another Takada won 77-75 and on the third score was 75-75.
Saso can feel himself very lucky to escape with the draw and Takada should feel hard done by here. His performance was solid and deserved more, and he should take the performance, and result, as a real confident booster going for ward.
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