We get the next Diamond Glove show this coming Thursday from the Korakuen Hall, which features a couple of title bouts.
The main event of the card will see Japanese Lightweight champion Shuichiro Yoshino (10-0, 8) take on Filipino foe Harmonito Dela Torre (20-2, 12) in a bout for both the OPBF and WBO Asia Pacific Lightweight titles. The unbeaten Japanese fighter has looked fantastic in recent bouts, stopping his last 6 foes and running up 4 defenses of the Japanese title. Although this is his first bout above domestic level the view is that he will be strongly favoured and is expected to become a triple champion, before moving on wards and upwards to potential world title fights down the line. Dela Torre was once a hotly tipped young Filipino prospect, but with 2 losses in his last 3 and only 1 win in the last 2 year his rise has hit a brick wall. Dela Torre has got skills but this looks like too much of a step from his last win, which was a decision over domestic journeyman Richard Betos last December, to be competitive with Yoshino here. Our full preview of this bout can be read here - Yoshino and Dela Torre battle for regional domination
A second title fight on this show will see Kenichi Horikawa (40-15-1, 13) defending his Japanese Light Flyweight title against Yuto Takahashi (10-4, 5). This is a really interesting match up between two flawed, yet determined fighters at very different stages of their career's. The 39 year old Horikawa is in the Indian summer of his career and has reeled off 8 wins since losing in 2017 to Tetsuya Hisada. Coming in to this Horikawa has already made 1 defenses this year and will know another win will guarantee him a fight at the Champion Carnival next year. On the other hand Takahashi is 26, just reaching his physical prime and comes into the bout on the back of solid performance against Tatsuya Fukuhara, Ryoki Hirai and Yuta Nakayama. Takahashi could well be getting to Horikawa at the perfect time. Our full preview of this bout can be read here Horikawa defends Japanese title against Takahashi in a battle of circumstance
Also on this card is the second bout of novice professional Kazuhiro Imamura (1-0, 1), who takes on the frustratingly fragile Kiyohei Endo (3-2, 3). Originally Endo was tipped as one to watch, following a 42-18 amateur career. Sadly however he was stopped by a journeyman on debut and has never managed to really get going, and a loss in his third bout to Toshiki Shimomachi didn't help. On the other hand Imamura debuted back in March following a 32-20 amateur career, and he'll be hoping to build on his debut win. This is an interesting fight, given given that neither can really afford a loss. Saying that however we don't think Endo will have toughened up, and if Imamura puts it on him we see Endo being stopped again here.
We get the next A Sign Bee card this coming Tuesday, which will feature a former 2-time world title challenger in the main event, and a couple of decent looking low level domestic bouts.
The former 2-time world title challenger on this card is Ryo Akaho (33-2-2, 22) who takes on southpaw Hyuma Fujioka (10-7-1, 1) in the main event. On paper this looks to be a total mismatch, though the focus has been on Akaho improving his skill set against southpaws, with Akaho admitting he's not good against lefties. It's unclear what Akaho is aiming for in the future though it should be noted that Japan has a host of notable southpaws at 122lbs, including Shingo Wake and Shohei Omori. Fujioka is no world beater though could be more competitive than his record suggests.
The chief support bout will see Yuta Nakayama (6-2-1, 3) take on JBC, OPBF and WBO Asia Pacific ranked fighter Yuto Takahashi (9-4, 4). Last time out Nakayama was stopped by Ryuto Oho, in a Japanese Youth title fight, and he will be looking to bounce back from that set back. Takahashi on the other hand will be looking to build on a good win over Ryoki Hirai. Although Takahashi does has 4 losses, he has mixed with good company and he's lost to the likes of Tsubasa Koura, Norihito Tanaka and Tatsuya Fukuhara.
Another good looking competitive bout will see Ryuta Wakamatsu (11-14-1, 8) take on Masatoshi Nakamura (7-9, 4) in a very competitive looking contest. Wakamatsu has gone 2-6-1 in his last 9 whilst Nakamura on the other hand has won just 1 of his last 5 and it's clear that both will feel like this is a great chance to pick up a win.