Earlier today saw the announcement that Japanese Light Middleweight champion Takeshi Inoue (10-0-1, 5) [井上 岳志] would be making his first defense of the title on August 10th, with his challenger set to be #1 ranked domestic challenger Riku Nagahama (7-0-1, 3) [長濱 陸].
Inoue, who won the title back in April when he stopped veteran Koshinmaru Saito for the vacant title, has had a great year already with wins over Saito and Akinori Watanabe and looks like a man with a very bright future ahead of him. This however is a tough first defense against a fellow unbeaten. If Inoue retains than he has a good shout to have had one of the best years of any Japanese domestic level fighter this year.
Nagahama, a member of the Shirai Gushiken gym, began his career with a draw, like Inoue rather strangely, but quickly impressed and won the 2015 Rookie of the Year at Middleweight. In 2016 he moved down in weight and seemed much more suited to the 154lb limit, where he has now scored a trio of stoppages and looked pretty potent.
The bout will headline a Diamond Glove card, which means Fuji TV will show the bout, but as of yet the rest of the card is a mystery with the bout being the only one announced so far.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
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