Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan
We return to Korakuen Hall this coming Wednesday for the next show in the Japanese capital and this is an interesting one, with a Japanese title fight, the notable debut of a very promising young fighter and female bout. In total the card only has 3 bouts so for this, as we did with the Ohashi card last week, we'll look at all the bouts on the show.
The female bout, which we believe is the first Japanese female bout up on the countries boxing restart, will see 20 year old youngster Nanako Suzuki (3-2, 1) take on 36 year old Aoi Watanabe (2-2, 1). Coming into this it seems like both fighters do have limited potential, but may be able to make a mark on the domestic title scene and both are in the top 10 of the Japanese female Flyweight rankings. Of the two Suzuki is the one with the more upside, and despite losing last time out to Renz Dacquel she did some nice skills as she battled back from a knockdown. For Watanabe this will be her first bout in the capital and only the second she'll have faced someone not making their debut.
The big debut is that of Rentaro Kimura (0-0), who has been tipped for huge things by those in the know in Japan. Kimura has spoke about getting a world title fight within 10 fights, is managed the Suruga Boys gym and trains at the Misako gym, alongside a number of Japanese champions and world champion Kenshiro Teraji. The expectation is on the 23 year old to shine as he takes on Yuya Azuma (5-3-1, 1), however Azuma is no push over and has won his last 3 in a row. In fact Azuma's last two losses have both meen razor close and had he had a bit of luck on his side he could easily have an 8-1 record. This might look like an easy debut for the very talented Kimura but in reality this should be regarded as a very serious debut for former amateur standout.
In the main event we'll see a Champion Carnival bout as Japanese Super Flyweight champion Kenta Nakagawa (18-3-1, 12) defends his title against mandatory challenger Yuta Matsuo (15-4-2, 8). On paper this is likely to be a much, much better fight than the records of the two men suggest. Nakagawa is a very solid punching boxer-puncher, who has notable domestic wins against the likes of Hayato Kimura, Ryosuke Nasu and Takayuki Okumoto, but with his 35th birthday just a few weeks away we do wonder what he has left in the tank. He look great in December, beating Okumoto, but at his age a fighter can get old over-night. Matsuo on the other hand is a pressure fighter, with an exciting style and a point to prove following back to back set backs. Despite failing to win a bout last year Matsuo is hungry and could end up having the desire needed to over-come the champion. This is the sort of bout that the Champion Carnival gives us, and is one of the best match ups for the month of July. Our full preview of this bout can be read here Nakagawa takes on Matsuo in first defense!