Earlier today at Korakuen Hall fight fans got the latest show under the Diamond Glove banner of shows. The card was a pretty notable one with several bouts of note on it, including a Japanese title eliminator and a Japanese title fight.
The first of the notable bouts on this card saw second generation fighter Jinya Yamaguchi (2-0, 2) [山口 仁也] score a 4th round win over Filipino visitor Argelo Samson (4-2, 4). Yamaguchi started slowly, and was dropped early in the bout by a right hook. Despite being knocked down Yamaguchi recovered well and then opened up in round 3, wobbling Samson late in the round, before dropping his man in round 4. Samson beat the count but was stopped soon afterwards as Yamaguchi unloaded on him with a flurry.
The second bout of note saw Mikyo Watarai (2-0, 1) [渡来 美響] score his second professional win, as he took a 6 round shut out win over Filipino visitor Romer Pinili (5-2-1, 4). Watarai dominated the bout, but he was unable to stop Pinili, who showed real grit, determination and toughness to see out 6 rounds. Credit needs to go to Pinili for surviving, but he didn't come close to being competitive, and really was relying on his grit, especially in the later rounds.
The third bout of some real note saw another prospect pick up a win as Josuke Nagata (4-0) [永田 丈晶] out boxed and out pointed the explosive Yuki Nakajima (5-2-2, 5) [中嶋 憂輝] over 8 rounds to claim his fourth win, and his most notable to date. The talented Nagata controlled swathes of the bout behind his accurate punching and combinations, which forced Nakajima on to the back foot, somewhere he's never been comfortable. The smart up and down combinations and intelligent defense from Nagata saw him make this look easy, as he shut out Nakajima on two cards, whilst the third judge saw a wat to find a round for Nakajima.
In the chief support bout we saw a Japanese Lightweight title eliminator as Shuma Nakazato (12-2-3, 7) [仲里周磨] defeated Ken Koibuchi (8-5-1, 7) [鯉淵健] over 8 rounds. This was a genuine war with both landing big shots, and head clashes also being a factor, with Nakazato suffering several cuts from head clashes. Despite the head clashes Nakazato did enough to take home the win, though had to take some serious punishment along the way, particularly in round 7 as Koibuchi dug hard and looked to core a late stoppage. After 8 rounds the score cards were 78-74, 77-75 and 76-76 giving Nakazato the majority decision win.
In the main event we saw Japanese Welterweight champion Keita Obara (26-4-1, 23) [小原 佳太] over-come interim champion Takeru Kobata (12-6-1, 5) [小畑 武尊] in 3 rounds. On paper this one always seemed like a mismatch, despite the good recent form from Kobata, though the opening round was tense with both men showing a lot of respect to each other. In the second round Obara seemed to find his groove, though only landed a single notable right hand, which was essentially a warning shot. In round 3 he managed to land another right hand, which sent Kobata down. Although Kobata did recover his feet he staggered forcing the referee to wave the bout off.
By: Sanman Boxing
WBA/WBC World Bantamweight Champion Reymart Gaballo (W24 KO20 L1) will be back on the ring on October 29 at the Sanman Gym in General Santos City. He will face tough opposition in Ricardo Sueno (11-6-4) of the famed Elorde Stable. At stake will be the WBO Oriental title. It will be Gaballo’s comeback fight after his well fought loss against countryman Nonito Donaire Jr. In the co-featured bouts, unbeaten boxer Ian Sampan, Froilan Saludar and Jenel Lausa will each fight yet to be announced opponents.
Sanman CEO Jim Claude Manangquil once again guarantees action-filled entertainment in this segment. Events like this has slowly gone back to allowing live audience to attend such events. Thus, all boxing fans from the nearby area are invited to see the Sanman boys in action.
Obara and Kobata make weight
Tomorrow at Korakuen Hall we'll see regular Japanese Welterweight Keita Obara (25-4-1, 22) [小原 佳太] battle against interim champion Takeru Kobata (12-5-1, 5) [小畑 武尊]. Today, ahead of that bout, the two men took part in their weigh in, and both men made the 147lb limit without any real issues.
Obara, who weight in first, came in bang on the limit for what will be his first bout in 10 months. He was scheduled to fight back in April, against Yuki Nagano, but was forced to pull out of that bout due to an injury to his right leg. Notably he stated that he hasn't really used his legs to train, and instead rested them as much as he could. Despite that he did say training had gone well, but was a "little worried psychologically". He also admitted that Kobata was taller than expected but that his own experience was going to be key here. If he wins he intends to move onwards and upwards and fight world ranked opponents from overseas next.
As for Kobata he was well under the limit, at 146.5lbs. He explained that he had sparred a lot, and that he was relying on scoring a stoppage here, admitted "so I can't see a vision of winning by decision. I'm aiming for KO."
Related - Obara and Kobata battle for unified Japanese crown
Ioka Vs Franco for New Year's Eve?
Over the weekend Levin Luna, the sports director for Nicaraguan TV channel Canal 8, reported that there talks for WBO Super Flyweight champion Kazuto Ioka (29-2, 15) [井岡一翔] to defend his title against WBA champion Joshua Franco (18-2-2-1, 8) in December, lining up with Ioka's now traditional New Year's Eve bout, in what would be a big unification bout between the two champions.
If the bout goes ahead, it would see Ioka, the first Japanese man to win world titles over 4 weight classes, seeking his 6th defense of the WBO title and build on recent defenses against the likes of Kosei Tanaka, Francisco Rodriguez Jr and Donnie Nietes. It would, if the bout takes place on December 31st, see him fight on New Year's Eve for the 11th time. It would also see him competing in his second unification bout, and see him fighting in a unification bout a year after a planned bout with the then IBF champion Jerwin Ancajas fell apart due to Japanese rules on visitors coming in to Japan.
As for Franco the bout would be his first since August 2021, when he won a unanimous decision in his third bout with Andrew Moloney. That bout was his second defense, with his first being a No Decision against Moloney in November 2020. If the bout takes place in Japan, as expected, the bout would also mark his first outside of North America and only his second outside of the United States, with the other bout taking place in Puerto Rico. For him it would be a huge chance to make a big statement on the top tier of the sport, though he would come into this as the under-dog if it does get staged in Ioka's homeland.
Earlier today the Sumiyoshi Ward Center in Osaka played host to the latest show from the Mutoh Gym. The card wasn't a huge one but it was a notable one, with a notable debut, a touted prospect and a regional title fight.
The regional title fight saw the world ranked Ryosuke Nishida (6-0, 1) [西田凌佑] successfully defend the WBO Asia Pacific Bantamweight title, as he shut out Filipino challenger Aljum Pelesio (11-2, 6) over 10 rounds.
On paper the bout looked interesting but in the ring it proved to be little more than a show case of boxing from Nishida, who controlled large swathes of the bout behind his southpaw jab and clean right hands. He never really seemed to go into top gear as he simply never needed to. Pelesio did have moments, but they were few and far between, with little coming from them, such a right hand in round 2 that never seemed to trouble Nishida, despite landing well. By round 4 Pelesio was looking frustrated with the fact Nishida was controlling the range, and he clearly wanted things to change, but Nishida refused to change the game plan and continued to land as and when he wanted, whilst neutralising Pelesio. As the rounds ticked by Pelesio became more frustrated and in round 10 he finally had enough as he began to through caution to the wind, though still struggled to tie down the talented champion.
After 10 rounds the judges all turned in identical 100-90 scorecards. After the bout Nishida's team suggested he would be back in action in Spring and were considering fighting overseas.
Prior to the main event Kaito Yamasaki (4-0, 2) [山崎海斗] made light work of Thai visitor Adirek Meesrida (2-1, 2), with the Thai being stopped in 74 seconds, following a knockdown by Yamasaki. Fans also got the chance to see the debut of Takeru Inoue (1-0, 1) [井上彪], who broke down Piya Chaichot (1-1) in 6 rounds. The Thai put up a good effort early on, and showed some real grit and toughness, but in rounds 5 and 6 he was taking a beating and the referee stepped in after a big assault from Inoue.
News! We try and give you the most interesting news stories from the Asian boxing world!