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Fighters make weight for Koki Kameda promoted card in Nagoya

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Tomorrow in Nagoya we get the latest show from Koki Kameda. The card for the event has certainly been “subject to change” but now it appears the card is sorted and today the fighters took part in their weigh in, and thankfully no more, late, changes were required for the show.

The first bout on the show will be the second professional bout for former amateur standout Ei Go (1-0, 1) [斎藤英豪] who battles against Koshin Takeshima (7-3-1, 4) [竹嶋宏心] in a bout at Lightweight. On the scales today both men were comfortably under the limit, with Takeshima coming in around 134.glbs and Go a little bit heavier at around 134.75lbs. Go isn’t the only professional novice on the card, as 19 year old debutant Ryusei Morikawa (0-0) [森脇流星] faces Thai visitor Pakphum Tawinram (9-6-1, 6) in a Bantamweight bout. On the scales for that bout Morikawa was bang on the limit whilst the visitor was well under, at 115;5lbs, and it seemed like he could have made Super Flyweight if he needed to.

The first of the title fights on the card is a bout for the Japanese and WBO Asia Pacific Middleweight titles as Japanese champion Riku Kunimoto (10-1, 4) [国本陸] takes on mandatory challenger Eiki Kani (8-3-3, 4) [可兒栄樹], in a Champion Carnival bout originally announced as part of the now canceled Prize Fighter section of the show. Riki was bang on the limit, as he has been consistently through his career, whilst Kani had some wiggle room, at 159.75lbs. Both looked in good shape, though it was clear that Kunimoto was the more natural Middleweight and he seemed to tower over Kani, who will need to find a way to get close to have any real success against the champion

The second of the higher profile bouts on this card is essentially a Bridgerweight bout, as the explosive but usually rotund Mitsuro Brandon Tajima (10-0, 8) [但馬ブランドン ミツロ], takes on Romanian veteran Alexandru Jur (20-5, 8), in a major step up. This was one where the scales were going to be interesting as Tajima was going to have to lose almost 30lbs from his last fight, which came in October and saw him weigh in at 252.75lbs for that bout. Amazingly he dropped the weight and came in at a ready 224lb, slightly heavier than Jur who was 221.5lbs. Whilst it would still be amiss to say that Tajima was in “impressive shape”, credit goes to him for losing the weight, and hopefully he manages to stick around at the lower, more healthy, weight, and does become a player at either Cruiserweight or Briderweight.
 
In the first of two world title fights IBF Minimumweight champion Ginjiro Shigeoka (10-0-0-1, 8) [重岡銀次朗] will take on Filipino challenger Jake Amparo (14-5-1, 3), who took the bout at very late note when Shigeoka’s original opponent had to pull out due to illness. On the scales Ginjiro was 104.75lbs, and despite the change in opponent he seemed incredibly confident, and almost like he was going to punish the challenger. Amparo on the other hand was well under the limit, coming in at 104.25lbs for the bout, and explained that he grateful for the world title opportunity, and always kept himself in good shape, seemingly aware that opportunities like this do come around every so often and it's best to be able to take them if offered.
 
The chief support bout for the card will see former world champion Tomoki Kameda (40-4, 22) [亀田和毅] battle a late replacement himself, as he takes on Kevin Villanueva (22-4-3, 15) in a 10 round Featherweight bout. On the scales both men came in pretty much on the limit of 126lbs. At the way in Villanueva explained that he was honoured to be Kameda's opponent for the bout, which he got when Kameda's original opponent got ordered to fight in a world title eliminator. As for Kameda, who has previously said he'd retire if he lost, he mentioned fighting in an "old mans style", perhaps more cautious that his shots don't have much power at 126lbs, and that he needs to rely on being crafty, rather than using his physical traits. He also explained that he was disappointed to be denied a chance to avenge his 2023 loss to Lerato Dlamini (20-2, 11), his original opponents for this show.
 
The main event of the card sees WBC Minimumweight champion Yudai Shigeoka (8-0, 5) [重岡優大] defending his title against former WBO champion Melvin Jerusalem (21-3, 12). On the scales Shigeoka, the older brother of the aforementioned Ginjiro Shigeoka, came in bang on the limit, and explained that he thought he had advantages in terms of speed, power and mentality. As for Jerusalem he was well under the limit, coming in at 104lbs. Despite coming in so light he came across as confident, saying he was in 100% condition and was aiming to KO Shigeoka, something he interestingly did to Shigeoka's gym mate Masataka Taniguchi the last time he challenged for a world title in Japan.
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