Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan
This coming Thursday we get two Japanese shows in Tokyo, albeit in different venues, with the Shinjuku FACE putting on a third show in as many days and the Korakuen Hall also hosting a card, a more notable card in fact, promoted by Hideki Todaka.
The most notable bout on the card is an 8 round Super Flyweight bout between JBC and WBO Asia Pacific ranked fighters, as Mirai Imagawa (12-5, 4) and Ryuto Oho (13-5-2, 5) clash. Of the two men Imagawa enters as the higher ranked man, by both the JBC and the WBO regional body, though he also enters the bout having been out of the ring since July 2021. Imagawa has shown a lot to like, and has won his last 4 include good wins over Kento Yabusaki and Yuji Okinori, however he has only fought once since the start of 2020, and his inactivity is a major issue coming in to this bout.
Another JBC ranked fighter on this card is Shinnosuke Hasegawa (13-4-1, 9), who will be facing off with Daichi Matsuura (7-6-3, 3). The 30 year old Hasegawa was on the very of a Japanese title fight last year, on the back of a 12 fight winning streak, but has unfortunately lost his last 2 bouts, and another loss here will essentially end any hopes of him getting a title fight. In the ring Hasegawa is a decent boxer, with heavy hands, and wins over the likes of Kazuma Sanpei and Shota Suito show he can fight, but a 2nd round TKO loss to Tsubasa Narai does leave some questions about whether he's on the slide or not. As for Matsuura, his career once promises a lot, but those days are well in his past, and he has lost 3 of his last 5 by stoppage. Given that recent form we expect another early loss for Matsuura here.
A third Japanese ranked fighter on the show is Ryohei Arakawa (8-4-1, 4), who takes on Shisui Kawabata (2-4, 2). On paper this is a total mismatch, however Kawabata might well be the best 2-4 fighter in the sport. Arakawa is best known for reaching the All Japan Rookie of the Year in 2018, losing in the final to Yoshiki Minato, and despite losing to Aran Dipaen in 2019 he has won his last 2 bouts and built some momentum. Kawabata on the other hand turned professional following a solid amateur career, and has sparred with some of the top domestic talent in Japan. As a professional things haven't clicked for him, but he has been matched hard, and has lost two bouts against Rikito Shiba, with other losses coming to Yuki Nakajima and Akira Hoshuyama. This might look like a mismatch but we genuinely expect this one to be hotly contested.
Shinjuku FACE, Tokyo, Japan
For a third day in a row we get East Japan Rookie of the Year action at the Shinjuku FACE.
One of the bouts worthy of note on this show will be at Lightweight, where we're not expecting to hear the final as Shota Mitani (1-3, 1) and Takara Kawaguchi (2-0, 2) face off. Through 6 combined fights these two men have competed in a combined 12 rounds, and have never seen the final bell. Mitani is the more experience man in terms of fights, but has proven to be a glass cannon, and all 3 of his losses have come in the first round. As for Kawaguchi, who will be the favourite, his wins have come in 2 and 4 rounds, and he will feel confident of picking up a win here to move to 3-0 (3).
Another bout we want to flag will be at Minimumweight, where 26 year old Masaki Shinotsuka (2-3-1, 2) will be taking on unbeaten 20 year old hopeful Kenta Kawakami (2-0). Shinotsuka debuted in 2020 and has had very mixed results since then, but does have experience on his side coming into this one. Kawakami on the other hand debuted late last year and was forced to answer some questions last time out, when he narrowly squeaked past Takato Fukuda back in March.
Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan
The action for the month kicks off in Japan with a show from former world champion Hideki Todaka. The show is certainly not a huge one, but it does have two very interesting 8 rounders at the top of the card.
The first of those bouts will see JBC ranked Featherweight Shinnosuke Hasegawa (13-3-1, 9) take on former All Japan Rookie of the Year winner Tsubasa Narai (7-1, 6), in what should be a very explosive clash. For Narai this will be his first bout since suffering a KO loss to Kyonosuke Kameda in a Japanese Youth title fight last year, and he'll be wanting to bounce back with a win, especially given that loss, but there will be question marks over his chin. As for Hasegawa, he'll be risking his JBC ranking, and comes into the bout on the back of a split decision loss to Kanehiro Nakagawa, who was himself rewarded for that win with a Japanese title fight later this month. Hasegawa will, rightfully, be the favourite, but this is certainly not a gimme for him.
The main event will see the explosive but flawed Jin Minamide (5-2, 4) take on the under-rated Takeshi Takehara (7-1, 2). Minamide is the more well known fighter, and has shared the ring with the likes of Kazuki Nakajima and Toshiya Ishii, but he's also shown himself to be something of a glass cannon, and his chin has let him down in both of his losses. Takehara on the other hand is well schooled fighter, who is naturally bigger than Minamide, and has shown good progress, with his 2012 win over Shohei Kawashima being the best of his career, by far. Notably both fighters are ranked by the JBC, though Minamide is ranked much higher and will be the clear favourite coming in to the bout. If Takehara can take his power though, this could get very, very for Minamide.
Jordal Idrettspark, Oslo, Norway
As well as the action in Japan there will also be a fight in Norway of some Asian interest. This bout will see Swedish based Azeri fighter Samo Jangirov (7-3-1, 1) battle against the unbeaten Simen Nysaether (10-0, 3), in a second bout between the men. Jangirov has fought his full career in Europe, with fights in Sweden, Finland, Norway and the UK, and is a former Swedish Cruiserweight champion. Notably all 3 of his losses have come when he's fought outside of Sweden. Nysaether on the other hand is a former Norwegian amateur who was slowly building a record for himself before the pandemic slowed his rise. Notably one of his 10 wins came in 2019, when he beat Jangirov in a 6 rounder. Jangirov will be seeking revenge here, whilst Nysaether will be looking to get his career going again with his first fight in more than 2 years.
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
Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan
For the first in more than 5 months we are expecting to see fans return to Korakuen Hall this coming Thursday for the next Diamond Glove show. The event isn't a massive one, with just 3 bouts set for the show , but does feature some pretty notable and interesting fights, with a Japanese title fight serving as the main event.
The main event of the show will see Japanese Featherweight champion Ryo Sagawa (9-1, 4) defending his title against Yuri Takemoto (8-1-1, 4). The bout isn't the bout we were expecting to see Sagawa in, with the talented champion being ordered to face Hinata Maruta before the who global situation, but isn't an awful substitution. For Sagawa this will be his second defense since winning the title last year, with a win over Reiya Abe, and will see him seeking a 9th straight win. As for Takemoto he did win Rookie of the Year in 2018, but it seems like he's taking a massive leap up in class here. Takemoto has a bright future, but for us Sagawa is fringe world class and will have far too much of everything for the challenger here. Our full preview of this bout can be read here Japanese champion Sagawa faces off with Takemoto!
In a good looking 8 round support bout Shinnosuke Hasegawa (11-2-1, 8) and Kazuma Sanpei (19-5, 8) will face off in a clash of JBC ranked Super Featherweights. Coming in to this Sanpei is ranked #5 by the JBC and has won 4 in a row, including wins against Tatsuya Otsubo and Toru Kiyota. Hasegawa on the other hand is ranked #16 and has won his last 10 in a row, though they haven't been against the stiffest of competition. This is an interesting match up, and a win for Hasegawa would be his best, by far, though Sanpei will be the betting favourite.
Another interesting bout on this show will see 2019 All Japan Rookie of the Year runner up Takeshi Takehara (5-1, 1) take on Beverly Tsukada (3-4-2, 2). The 25 year old Takehara lost a razor thin decision last December to Ryuya Tsugawa and will be looking to bounce back here with a win against the 31 year old Tsukada. Whilst this doesn't look great on paper it gets interesting when you scratch beneath the surface and realise Tsukada had lost his last and is winless in the last 24 months. This should be a simple win for Takehara.
Notably there was a fourth bout scheduled for this card, between Munetaka Kihara (3-2-1, 1) and the debuting Reiji Kodama (0-0), but this was cancelled when Teiken had to close due to Jorge Linares's recent PCR test.