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Tetsuya Yamato, S. Miyakoshi vs Kenta Headline Big NJKF/WBC Japan Card on 9/22

  • Written by Dave Walsh

New Japan Kickboxing Federation has a big card planned for September 22nd at Korakuen Hall.

The headliner for the card is WBC Japan Super Lightweight champ Tetsuya Yamato against a yet to be determined opponent in a fight for the WBC International Super Lightweight Title. Yamato (28-9-1, 22 KO) most recently knocked out Seiji Takahashi to take the WBC Japan title and was, at the time, set to face Liam Harrison, but the release sent out currently has Yamato against an undetermined opponent. Harrison is still the WBC International champ, so unless WBC stripped him, I'd imagine he is still Yamato's opponent.

In a fight for the WBC Japan Super Welterweight title, reigning champion Soichiro Miyakoshi looks to pick up another big win against NJKF champ Kenta. Since losing his WBC Japan title at Welterweight to Yuya Yamato, Miyakoshi (18-9-1, 9 KO) is 2-1, winning the Super Welterweight title over Yutaro Yamauchi and winning the J-Network Welterweight title over then-undefeated champ Masato Otake. Most recently, he lost to Danilo Zanolini at the Hoost Cup in May. Kenta (24-10-3, 9 KO) is currently at a rough spot in his career after his best year in 2011 which saw him win the Krush 70kg tournament and take out Yasuhiro Kido in the opening round of the last K-1 MAX Japan tournament before falling in an extremely close and entertaining fight with Yuya Yamamoto in the semifinals. He followed that up with an upset loss to TOMOYUKI and then lost his Krush title to Yasuhiro Kido. He bounced back in June with an easy win over Shu Kiire, but a win here would be huge for him. Despite his setbacks, I would favor Kenta here as Miyakoshi, despite beating Yamauchi and Otake, hasn't been as successful in consistently beating top competition.

In a fight for the WBC Japan Super Featherweight title, champion Yoshinori Nakasuka will defend against MA Kick Super Featherweight champion Hikaru Machida. Nakasuka has yet to fight this year, but went 1-2 in 2011, defending his title against Naoki Ishikawa, but losing to Yosuke Mizuochi and most recently Australia's Joseph Concha. Machida is 1-0-2 on the year, with draws against Keijiro Miyakoshi and Kanongsuk Weerasakreck while his sole win was a one-sided beatdown of J-Network champ Kentaro Kimura. I would favor Machida as he seemed to be very impressive in his win and his two draws were against two of the better fighters around 60kg.

In another MA Kick vs WBC Japan fight, WBC Japan and WPMF Japan Super Bantamweight champ Ryuya Kusakabe will make his first defense against MA Kick Super Bantamweight champ Keisuke Miyamoto. Since losing to Shota Takiya in the finals of the Krush 55kg tournament, Kusakabe (13-1-0, 5 KO) has won three straight, winning the WBC Japan title over Arato and then running through Sota Ichinohe and Yusuke Shimizu to win the WPMF Japan title. Miyamoto (13-1-1, 6 KO) also holds a recent win over Arato and most recently fought former Lumpinee champion Pinsiam Maki to a draw. I favor Kusakabe in this fight as I feel that he, Takiya and Kenji are the clear top 3 guys at 55kg, however a win by Miyamoto would certainly shake things up.

In the final fight with WBC Japan implications, Keijiro Miyakoshi will square off against WPMF Japan Lightweight champ Yosuke Mizuochi in a fight that I believe is to determine Rashata's next challenger, though he could possibly have vacated the title and this could be for the vacant title. Miyakoshi is 4-0-1 since the start of 2011, winning the NJKF Lightweight title and a WBC Japan eliminator to round out 2011, then beginning 2012 with a draw against Hikaru Machida and most recently scoring a huge upset over Koya Urabe back in April. Mizuochi is riding a 6 fight win streak which saw him take the WPMF Japan Lightweight title and most recently squeak out a split decision over Yoyutto Senchaigym in June. I would favor Miyakoshi in this matchup, though the possibility for a letdown after a career-best win over Urabe is possible.

This card also features two finals and four semifinals in the New Japan Wars 2012 series. In the Super Welterweight final, Hiroki Yamamoto will take on Takenaka Shirakami for the right to challenge current champ Kenta. In the Super Bantamweight final, Hiroshi Senchaigym will rematch Hiroya Haga after Haga defeated Hiroshi back in June which likely earned him this second fight as opposed to Hiroshi immediately being given a rematch with current champ Arato, who he fought to a close split decision loss. In one Super Lightweight semifinal, Marimo takes on AKIRA while in the other, Kazushige Sugama takes on Noriyuki Miyajima. In a welterweight semifinal, Baku Senchaigym takes on Tae-yong with the winner set to fight Soichiro Miyakoshi in the finals. Finally, in a Super Featherweight semifinal, Daichi Yamato takes on Shoya Suzuki. 

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