Central Gym, Kobe, Hyogo, Japan
This coming Saturday isn't a big day for fight fans in the East, but fans in Kobe do get a pretty interesting show thanks to Shinsei who will be putting on a 5 fight card, with several good looking bouts, one of which includes a really interesting prospect that we're high on.
The first of three bouts deserving of attention here is a 6 rounder between former amateur standout Kazuki Anaguchi (0-0), who's making his debut at the age of 21, and Atsushi Takada (6-2-3, 3), in an all southpaw bout. The talented Anaguchi went an incredible 68-6 in the unpaid ranks, and really shone in the 2019 Kansai Student League, winning all 5 of his bouts despite being younger than many of his foes. He's regarded as one of the best youngsters in Japan and will be looking to show what he can do here against Takada. Takada on the other hand is ending a break from the ring of almost 2 years, and it's now more than 3 years since the now 24 year old last scored a victory. Takada can't afford a loss, though he may well be in with a future star of the sport here.
In the chief support slow we'll see the charismatic and enigmatic Takahiro Tai (2-0, 2) take on young veteran Joe Tanooka (15-8-5, 1) in a major step up. Tai is one of the most interesting prospects in Japan, with a switch hitting style, and a real flair for excitement. He's the sort of fighter who catches the eye quickly with his powerful shots and show boating nature, but will need to keep his cool here against the slippery and light punching Tanooka. Tanooka is certainly not a dangerous fighter to go up again, but he's got good ring craft, a smart boxing brain and can certainly pose questions to the novice. We expect Tai's power to be too much in the end, but don't be surprised if the youngster needs to work for a win here.
The main event will see the once touted Tetsuro Ohashi (7-2-1, 2) take on the JBC ranked Isao Aoyama (12-8-1, 3). Ohashi was hotly tipped as we went in 2019, following an All Japan Rookie of the Year win in December 2018, but since then he has gone 1-2 and really needs to get his career back on track, and get some momentum building following losses to Suzumi Takayama and Hiroyuki Kudaka. As for Aoyama his record isn't great but he's much, much better than the numbers suggest and if he's hungry he could have the tools to defeat Ohashi and take another step towards a potential Japanese title fight. This one is expected to go the distance, as neither is a puncher, but should still be a very interesting bout as both men will be desperate for a victory given recent set backs.