Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan
This coming Thursdays action returns to Korakuen Hall for the latest show in the Diamond Glove series of events. It's not a massive one by any stretch, but it is an interesting one, with a compelling main event, a very even looking supporting bout, and two talented former amateurs clashing in another supporting bout.
The main event of the show will see former Japanese Featherweight champion Ryo Sagawa (10-2, 5) look to bounce back from his title lose, earlier this year to Hinata Maruta, as he takes on Retsu Kosaka (10-6, 4). On paper this doesn't look a great bout, though it's worth noting that these two men do have history, with Kosaka giving Sagawa his first loss, very early in Sagawa's career. Sagawa will obviously be looking to avenge that defeat, but Kosaka will be full of belief, knowing that he stopped Sagawa in the past and can, potentially, do it again here.
In a really good looking supporting bout we'll see the in form Kanehiro Nakagawa (10-6, 5) take on Shinnosuke Hasegawa (13-2-1, 9) in a Japanese title eliminator at Super Featherweight. On paper this looks a 50-50 bout, or one that maybe leans towards Hasegawa, but coming in Nakagawa has a lot of momentum, having won his last 5, including big domestic victories over Seiichi Okada, Ken Osato and Taiki Minamoto. Although Nakagawa has been in great form, and is ranked #1 by the JBC coming into this, Hasegawa is ranked #2 by the JBC and is in impressive form himself, with 12 straight wins, and will feel he's the man with momentum behind him. This really could be something very special, and we expect something very brutal here.
In another supporting bout we'll see the unbeaten Go Hosaka (5-0, 3) take on Ryo Nakai (2-1-1, 1) in what should be a brilliant tactical match up between two fighters who were very good amateurs. Hosaka began his professional carer in the Philippines and since return to Japan, following the decline of the ALA Gym, hasn't really shown the promise he did back in the Philippines, though it's clear he has a lot of potential and the skills to go a long way, if he can put the performances together. Nakai on the other hand was matched tough on debut, fighting to a draw with Jay Lloyd Quidlet, and was unlucky last time out, losing a close decision to Shu Utsuki. On paper his record is under-whelming, but he has been matched incredibly tough and is much, much better, than his 2-1-1 record suggests. This could be a very over-looked fight, but one that promises
This coming Thursday sees Dangan put on a really low key but very interesting card stacked with B license fighters, in really well matched bouts as well the ring return of a former world champion.
The best of the bouts on this card will see the very promising Junpei Inamoto (1-0, 1) take on the promising Taiga Higashi (5-2, 2) in a really mouth watering bout B class tournament bout at Bantamweight. We caught Inamoto's debut last year and were immediately raving about the teenager, who appeared to have the aura of a star in the making and the confidence of someone who would be fast tracked. This is however a very tough assignment for Inamoto give than Higashi's two losses were very close bouts, to good fighters, in the form of Matcha Nakagawa and Kazuki Nakajima. The winner of this is scheduled to take on Seiya Tsutsumi later this year, in another fantastic bout.
Another of the B Class tournament bouts, this time at Featherweight, will see 20 year old Tasuku Suwa (5-2-1, 1) battle against out form 22 year old Nakagawa Kanehiro (4-5, 3). Suwa has lot 2 of his last 3, but strangely he has never lost a bout scheduled for less than 6 rounds, being 4-0-1 in 4 rounders and 1-0 in 5 rounders, which is notably here given that this bout will be fought over 5 rounds. Coming in to this Kanehiro has lost his last 3, and 4 of his last 6, but could see this as a chan e to get back to winning ways. It's a really good match up between two men who will both feel like they can win here. The winner of this bout will be facing Ren Sasaki in the tournament final.
The least interesting looking of the B class tournaments bouts is at Flyweight and feature Yasuhiro Tanaka (4-3-2) battling namesake Satoshi Tanaka (4-4, 1). The 26 Satoshi Tanaka has lost his last 3 bouts, and can be hurt, with a couple of stoppage losses against him. Yasuhiro Tanaka has also lost his last 3, bit has really struggled more generally, winning just 2 of his last 7. These is by far the weakest of the B class tournament bouts, but both men will feel they can score the win here, and it should be competitive, even if it does perhaps lack in term of quality. The winner of this is set to battle former amateur stand out Rikito Shiba.
One of the most intriguing bouts on this card will see former amateur stands collide. In one corner will be Watanabe gym's Shu Utsuki (1-0, 1) whilst the other man will be Kadoebi debutant Yoji Saito (0-0), with the two men clashing in a 6 rounder. Utsuki had a reported amateur career of 81-27 and is tipped to be a star of the future. We've not been given Saito's amateur record, but we have been informed that he was also very accomplished in the amateur ranks which makes this a really baffling bout, but one we're really interested in and can't wait to see.
Another really interesting bout will see 2017 Super Flyweight Rookie of the Year Mirai Imagawa (8-3, 2) battle for the first time since his Rookie of the Year win over Katsuki Matsuura. The 22 year old Imagawa will take on Koya Sato (10-4-1, 2), who has won his last 3 and started to turn his career around following a 4 bout losing streak. This is a good test for Imagawa but one that he should be able to pass, if he's as good as the Rookie win suggests.
Also on this card will be former female world champion Ayaka Miyao (21-7-1, 5), who returns to the ring for the first time since being stopped against Nao Ikeyama. The former WBA Atomweight champion suffered a serious leg injury in that bout, back in December 2016 and has been out of the ring ever since. Her return will see her battle against Filipino foe Aisah Alica (7-8, 5), who has lost in 7 of her last 9, including a stoppage loss to the then WBC Atomweight champion Momo Koseki. This should be a easy match up for Miyao, but we can't begrudge her that after the injury she suffered.