March 8th-Nakajima and Kuwahara look to bounce back, Ishikawa seeks first defense
Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan
This coming Tuesday we get the next show from Hideyuki Ohashi, as the former world champion and current promoter of Naoya Inoue, gets the chance to show case some of the bright young talent coming through the Japanese ranks, including several fighters desperate to bounce back from recent losses.
One of those fighters looking to bounce back from a recent loss is former OPBF Bantamweight champion Kazuki Nakajima (10-1-1, 8), who was last seen being stopped by Keita Kurihara. He'll be hoping to get back to winning ways here as he takes on the pout of form Shohei Kawashima (18-6-2, 4), who has lost 4 of his last 5 and been stopped in his last 3. Although we'd understand Nakajima being low on confidence his team really couldn't have matched him with a made "made to order" opponent, given the recent form, and questionable durability, of Kawashima. A smart bit of match making from the Ohashi team, and a good to get their hard hitting fighter his 11th win.
Another notable Ohashi Gym fighter looking to get to winning ways is Taku Kuwahara (8-1, 4), who lost last year in a Japanese Flyweight title bout against Seigo Yuri Akui. The talented Kuwahara gave Akui a really good fight last year, and is getting a chance to rebuild as he takes on the limited Takashi Hisano (6-5-1, 3), in what is a massive step up for Hisano. This, much like the Nakajima fight, is about getting the talented Ohashi man back to winning ways, before bigger and better fights in the near future.
The most noteworthy bout on the card is, oddly, somewhat buried in the middle and that's a bout which will see Japanese Youth Super Bantamweight champion Haruki Ishikawa (9-3, 7) defending his title, for the first time, as he takes on Ryuya Tsugawa (8-1, 4) in a very good looking bout. Although no world beater Ishikawa is an exciting fighter, with nasty power, and a really fun, aggressive style and will be looking to take out Tsugawa. Tsugawa on the other hand has gone on a really run recently, winning 4 in a row, 3 by TKO, and will feel this is his chance to shine. Our in depth preview of thius bout can be read here Ishikawa takes on Tsugawa in first title defense
Interestingly both of the men from the fight above have lost to Yusie Fujikawa, in fact Fujikawa beat them in back to back fights in 2018, before seemingly vanishing from the sport afterwards leaving us wondering what could have been for him, and his career.
One final bout worth talking about is a bout between the touted Rikuto Adachi (15-3, 11) and Middleweight veteran Toshihiro Kai (6-13-3, 2). Adachi was once regarded as a genuine hopeful, but with stoppage losses in 2019, to Kudura Kaneko, and in 2021, to Takeru Kobata, there is a real worry about his future and it's going to take time for him to mature physically and develop his boxing. A bout like this has clearly been put together for Adachi to not only get a win, but also get some rounds against a naturally bigger man who's also a southpaw. As with the Nakajima and Kuwahara bouts this is smart matchmaking, but not the type of bout that will make for anything too competitive.
This card was also supposed to feature a bout featuring the very highly regarded prospect Ryutaro Nakagaki (2-0-1, 2), who was supposed to take on the experienced but light punching Toma Kondo (8-7-1, 1), but this one was sadly cancelled back in mid February.