The hype regarding the professional debut of former Japanese amateur standout Rentaro Kimura (1-0, 1) [木村蓮太朗] may not have been on the same levels as the debut of Naoya Inoue or Kosei Tanaka but it was big and the expectancy was on the 23 year old to shine today and look like a star in the making. Today that's exactly what he did as he destroyed Yuya Azuma (5-4-1, 1) [東祐也] in 2 rounds.
On paper Azuma didn't look an impressive opponent, but in reality he was better than his record suggested. That however didn't make a difference here against Kimura who just looked like a very special fighter.
From the off Kimura was sharp and aggressive. Azuma was game through the first round, but then in round 2 Azuma's resilience was broken and he was dropped from a vicious combination. The referee waved off the bout immediately, not even bothering to start the count.
After the bout Kimura stated that he had been working on defense before his debut and he still plans on racing to a world title within 3 years.
For fans wanting to see this bout it will be televised on Fuji TV over the weekend. Sadly for Kimura it was shown behind closed doors, meaning he debuted in front of no fans, though it does seem like he's going to generate a lot of buzz, very quickly, and venues are going to be packed for him as soon as crowds are allowed backed in Japanese venues.
(Image courtesy of boxmob)
Earlier today we were informed that the 3 bout card at Korakuen Hall would go ahead with no issues at all after the fighters, their chief seconds and the referees all tested negative for anything related to the "current situation".
The event, which will be behind closed doors, will feature Kenta Nakagawa (18-3-1, 12) [中川 健太] defending Japanese Super Flyweight title in a Champion Carnival bout against Yuta Matsuo (15-4-2, 8) [松尾雄太], as the main event. The bout will be televised at the weekend on Fuji TV.
As well the title bout the show will also feature the debut of amateur standout Rentaro Kimura (0-0) [木村蓮太朗], who is up against Yuya Azuma (5-3-1, 1) [東祐也], in a bout we suspect could be tougher than it looks.
The other bout on the card will see Nanako Suzuki (3-2, 1) [鈴木なな子] take on Aoi Watanabe (2-2, 1) [渡邉葵] in what will be the first female bout in Japan since the restart of boxing.
As mentioned all 6 fighters are clear of any issues relating to the ongoing crisis.
Related - Nakagawa takes on Matsuo in first defense!
Tomorrow at Korakuen Hall talented amateur standout Rentaro Kimura (0-0) [木村蓮太朗] will begin his professional career, as he takes on Yuya Azuma (5-3-1, 1) [東祐也]. Although the bout is being fought behind closed doors it is one that has got a lot of interest in Japan. The bout, one of just 3 to take place on tomorrow's Diamond Glove show, but is being looked at with a lot of interest as Kimura is a very highly touted prospect and has spoken about being raced to a world title fight within his first 10 fights.
Today the two men took part in their weigh in for the bout and both men made the 60KG (132.27lbs) contracted limit for the bout with no issues.
The touted Kimura, who went 72-16 in the amateurs, was 59.9KG's on the scales, bang on 132lbs. Originally he had planned to debut back in May in his home region of Shizuoka, but due to the on going issues with the world and the hiatus of boxing, his debut got pushed back to tomorrow. Unlike most top prospects in Japan he has turned professional with Suruga Boys in Shizuoka, who have never had a world champion. It is worth noting however that he will be training in Tokyo at the Misako Gym, a lot, and the two gyms will work together to take Kimura to the top.
Azuma was slightly lighter on the scales, coming in around 131.5lbs. Although his record is perhaps a little under-whelming for the debut opponent of a supposed super kid it is worth noting that Azuma has won his last 3 and been unlucky in a number of his losses. With some luck he would have been sporting an 8-1 record and been regarded as a very tough opponent by those who judge just by records. He is, rightfully, the under-dog but is a live one and we suspect he will ask real questions of Kimura when the two fighters clash tomorrow.
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