Earlier this month 18 year old Eruka Hiromoto (5-0) [廣本江留香] claimed the OPBF female Minimumweight title, as she over-came Korean fighter Chan Mi Lim (4-7-1, 4).
Yesterday Hiromoto got to show off her shiny new belt as she met Hidehiko Yuzaki, the governor of Hiroshima Prefecture.
The local political figurehead congratulated Hiromoto on becoming the region's first OPBF champion.
The champion, who revealed that she was nervous meeting Mr Yuzaki, revealed she was planning her first defense of the title for November 10th, though specific details weren't revealed. It's assumed she'll defend in Hiroshima, likely at the NTT Cred Hall, where she won the title and has fought 4 of her 5 professional bouts.
Manny Pacquiao will fight for the WBA (Super) Welterweight Championship on July 20, when he takes on the current champion Kevin Thurman in what is being billed as one of the showdowns of the year in boxing.
Pacquiao became a world champion once again last year, stopping Lucas Matthysse in the seventh round to pick up the WBA (Regular) welterweight crown. Pac-Man then defended that belt back in January with a unanimous points’ victory over Adrien Broner, earning the opportunity with the WBA to face their super champion.
At the age of 40, Pacquiao is not far away from his farewell fight in the sport. When he lost his WBO title to Jeff Horn in July 2017, many felt it was the end of the road for the Filipino. However, the eight-division world champion decided to carry on.
Pacquiao’s professional debut came all the way back in 1995. He won his first world title in the flyweight division in 1998. In the early stages of his career, Pac-Man had thrilling battles with Marco Antonio Barrera, Juan Manuel Marquez and Erik Moralez - the latter he was involved in a trilogy with, winning his last two fights with the Mexican.
At one stage, it looked like boxing fans were going to miss out on the ‘fight of the generation’ between Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather. However, that contest did materialise in May 2015 but did not go the way of the man from the Philippines as he was well beaten on points by the American.
Victory in July, where the 40-year-old is 6/5 in the Thurman v Pacquiao betting on the fight, would really help cement his legacy as one of the greatest boxers in history. It would also put him in line for a unification contest with Shawn Porter, Errol Spence Jr or Terence Crawford later this year.
Thurman Has Opportunity to Enhance His Pound-For-Pound Ranking
Thurman, who is unbeaten with a 29-0 (22 KOs) record, is the longest reigning welterweight world champion. The American won the interim belt with the WBA after defeating Diego Chaves in July 2013. He was then promoted to regular champion in early 2015.
The boxer, who is nicknamed 'Part Time', has not fought very often over the last three years. However, his victories have been impressive. He was too good for Porter in June 2016 where all three judges scored it in his favour. Thurman then added the WBA title following success against Danny Garcia while, more recently, his arm was raised after 12 rounds with Josesito Lopez.
The WBA (Super) champion is currently just outside the top 10 pound-for-pound list with the Ring. Victory over Pacquiao, though, may just be enough to push the American up the order. The top 10 list includes WBO champion Crawford and IBF titleholder Spence Jr, and Thurman will have his eye on a clash with either of those two men if he comes through the Pacquiao test.
Although Thurman is the home fighter when the pair meet at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Nevada, Pacquiao will have plenty of support as the Filipino always has an army of fans wherever he fights around the world, and this is a contest they will not want to miss.
Tomorrow we'll see a solid Japan Vs Korea show at the Korakuen Hall.
For us, the most interesting of the bouts on the card features Korean teenager Jeong Han Cha (5-0, 5) [차정한] taking on Japan's Takahiko Kobayashi (8-3, 6) [小林孝彦]. On paper both of these guys can punch, both are exciting and both come to fight. Whilst they each have their limitations they should make for a fantastic, fan friendly contest between themselves when they get in the ring.
Today the two men took part in their weigh in and both men made the 140lbs Light Welterweight limit.
On the scales the local was the heavier man, coming in around 139.7lbs whilst the Korean visitor was slightly lighter, at a little over 139.3lbs.
Both fighters looked in good condition, both seemed to be confident and it seems like both will be going for an early finish. Kobayashi suggested he would finish the bout within 2 rounds, whilst Cha hasn't got a reputation as exciting puncher for no reason, so we may well end up with something very, very special here.
Related - Jeon Han Cha - The Teenage Hope of Korea
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Tomorrow fight fans at Korakuen Hall will see Japanese female Minimumweight champion Chie Higano (8-8-1, 2) [日向野知恵] looking to defend her title. In the opposite corner to the champion is touted former amateur stand out Mizuki Chimoto (1-0, 1) [千本瑞規], who looks to leave her stamp on the sport very early in her career.
Today the two ladies took part in their weigh in and both, thankfully made weight for the bout at 105lbs.
The champion was the lighter fighter, with Higano hitting the scales at around 104.5lbs and looking in great shape. The challenger, also in great shape, was slightly heavier at around 104.75lbs.
Higano spoke confidently and showed a real fire in her words, almost like a loss was unthinkable here against Chimoto. Chimoto on the other hand spoke more like a fighter who knew the tactics she was going to use, explaining that she had to be sharp and it seems like she's accept she will be fighting off the back foot against a typically aggressive Higano.
If Chimoto wins she will set a Japanese title record, fewest fights to a Japanese title, and tie Eri Matsuda's Japanese record of fewest fights to any title, which Matsuda set when she won the OPBF Atomweight title last year.
Related-Chimoto goes up against Higano in Japanese title fight!
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Despite the IBF Super Featherweight world title eliminator between Kenichi Ogawa (23-1-0-1, 17) [尾川 堅一] and South African Azinga Fuzile (14-0, 8) needing to be rearranged from the originally planned July 6th date, due to Fuzile failing to secure an eliminator in time for the set date we've known that Ogawa would remain on the card. What wasn't known, until earlier today, was who he would be up against.
Today we've been informed that Ogawa would be facing off with Filipino visitor Glenn Medura (10-5-1, 6) a 23 year old who has gone 0-4 in visits to Japan. In fact not only is Medure 0-4 in the Land of the rising Sun but he has been stopped in all 4 of those defeats, being stopped in 3 rounds by Ryosuke Iwasa, 5 round by Coach Hiroto, 1 round by the limited Toshiya Yokogawa and 4 rounds by Kazuhiro Nsihitani.
Given that Ogawa's bout with Fuzile looks like it will be rearranged for September it seems clear that they have found a very safe opponent for Ogawa, though one that doesn't make compelling viewing for a main event of a show at Korakuen Hall. Thankfully the card it's self is decent, and we can understand Ogawa having an easy match up, it's just a shame it's set to be against someone who is much smaller and doesn't really seem to stand up to much when fighting in Japan.
News! We try and give you the most interesting news stories from the Asian boxing world!