Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan
This coming Thursday we'll get live televised action from Japan, as Teiken put on a show case of young talent live on G+ under the Dynamic Glove banner. The card isn't a major one, in fact if we're being honest it's a rather small one, but it's an interesting one with 4 intriguing match ups on it.
The main event of the card will see former amateur standout Gonte Lee (2-0-1, 1) take on the always fun to watch Aso Ishiwaki (8-3-1, 6). The talented Lee turned professional with high expectations but has been unable to deliver on those expectations so far, though that is partly due to being unfortunate and being out of the ring for the entire of 2020 due to the Covid19 pandemic. He's a real talent, but things do need to kick on for him and it's Teiken know that he needs to be matched hard. As for Ishiwaki he's a fun, talented fighter with an aggressive style, though he was, notably, battered at the end of last year, when Jin Sasaki smashed him in 3 rounds for the Japanese Youth title, and he'll be looking to bounce back from that loss. This could be a very, very good match up, as the skills of Lee go up against the pressure of Ishiwaki.
In the chief support bout we'll see veteran Tatsuya Takahashi (32-9-6, 21) take on Ryotaro Kawabata (12-4-2, 6), in a rescheduled that was first pencilled for January. With 47 bouts to name Takahashi is one of the most experienced fighters in Japan, but he's never been a very polished fighter and he can be out boxed, with opponents taking advantage of his various limitations and flaws. Despite his flaws he comes to fight and tends to give anyone a good test due to his tenacity and fighting spirit. As for Kawabata he is limited himself, as we saw last September against Tsubasa Murachi, but a more polished boxer than Takahashi. Sadly for Kawabata he has scored just a single win in the last 5 years.
In a really mouth watering clash the unbeaten Katsuya Fukui (2-0, 2) will be up against Hiroki Hanabusa (8-1-3, 3). The talented Fukui has looked really exciting and promising, with two quick blow out wins so far, but his competition has been limited and this will be his first bout against a domestic opponent and it'll be interesting to see how he copes with a fellow Japanese fighter who's looking to move his own career forward. The 22 year old Hanabusa is a talented fighter, who impressed in 2018 Rookie of the Year and was unbeaten until last August, when he was stopped in 5 rounds by the fantastic Toshiki Shimomachi. With that loss in mind we suspect Hanabusa will be more determined than ever to pick up a win here. Although not a huge bout this one could be very interesting.
Arguably the most interesting match up on the card is the professional debut of former amateur standout Kenji Fujita (0-0), who we've been waiting to see in the professional ring for almost a year now. The talented Fujita was a genuine amateur standout and he should be looking to make an impression here as he takes on Motosuke Kimura (3-5-2, 1) in a 6 rounder. Kimura has lost his last 3, and 4 of his last 5, but is better than those numbers suggest and he should ask questions of Fujita, though it'd be a massive upset if Kimura won.
The month of February kicks off this coming Saturday, and we start to see action return to normal with the second Dynamic Glove card of the year, and a Kazakh prospect in action in the US.
Toyko, Korakuen Hall
The Dynamic Glove card is an interesting one, with a ring return of a fighter who has served a year long suspension, a Japanese title fight and the second bout of a very highly regarded prospect.
The returning fighter is Kenichi Ogawa (22-1-0-1, 17), who will be fighting for the first time since December 2017 when he faced Tevin Farmer. The former Japanese Super Featherweight champion has served a 12 month ban for testing positive for illegal substance and will be looking to put that year behind him as he takes on Filipino foe Roldan Aldea (12-6-1, 6). The Filipino has lost his last 2, but did become the first fighter to take the exciting Shawn Oda the distance, doing that last April, and will be looking to have another solid performance here, even if he does end up coming up short again.
The Japanese title fight will see the unbeaten Junto Nakatani (17-0, 12) look to enhance his growing reputation as he takes on Naoki Mochizuki (15-3, 8) for the vacant Japanese Flyweight title. The title was vacated in late 2018, as Masayuki Kuroda put his focus on preparing for a world title fight, allowing Mochizuki to face Nakatani in the Champion Carnival. The unbeaten Nakatani is a former Rookie of the Year and Japanese Youth Champion who has already broken into the world rankings and is expected to go a very, very, long way. Mochizuki on the other hand is underrated due to his losses, with 2 of those being very competitive and one of those being suffered early in his career. Mochizuki has proven to be tough, have a good work rate and could well spring the upset over the much fancied and very highly regarded 21 year old Nakatani, but many will be tipping the youngster. We've previewed this bout here Nakatani and Mochizuki battle for Japanese title!
Another notable name on this card will be former WBA "interim" Flyweight and OPBF Super Flyweight champion Koki Eto (23-4-1, 18), who will be up against Filipino visitor Rommel Oliveros (9-4-1, 4). This looks like it will be little more than a tune up bout for Eto who is wanting to fight for a world title this year, though is likely to continue just ticking over, as he has done since facing Carlos Cuadras way back in 2015.
Also on this card is the second professional bout of former amateur standout Mikito Nakano (1-0, 1) and the professional debut of Gonte Lee (0-0), also an amateur standout. These two Teiken prospects will be up against Thai visitors in what we expect will be little more than show case bouts for the novices, who are expected to achieve great things in the near future, as the Teiken gym rebuild after a few disappointing years.
As well as the Japanese action fight fans will also get the chance to see touted Kazakh fighter Janibek Alimkhanuly (4-0, 1) take on Steven Martinez (18-4, 13), in a dangerous looking bout. We were excited to see Alimkhanuly goo full on professional last year, and sign with Top Rank, though his performances in 2018 left us wondering whether he really is suited to the professional ranks. He is very talented, sharp and accurate, but there is a feeling that something hasn't yet clicked, though in fairness he has been matched hard and there is incredibly high expectations on his shoulders. Martinez is a 28 year old who is tough, having never been stopped, but has been beaten by his most notable opponents, such as Terrell Gausha, Denis Douglin and Christopher Pearson. This should be a very good test for the Kazakh.