It's fair to say that the WBC have faced some ire in recent weeks for their slow and frustrating reaction to the drug test failure from current Bantamweight champion Luis Nery (24-0, 18). Nery tested positive for Zilpaterol, which is found in beef in Mexico, is similar to a number of other performance enhancing chemicals and in the WADA list of banned substances.
Rather than condone Nery the WBC blamed the cows, turned a blind eye to Nery's actions and seemingly let him off without a punishment, despite reports suggestng that the amount of the chemical in his body being much more significant than one would have had just from typical beef consumption. Nery explained that as being a result of having "inghested substantial amounts of beef and beef consommé".
Although the WBC have let Nery keep his title, and really put a big black mark on their own Clean Boxing Program, they have ordered a rematch Nery and the man he beat for the title Shinsuke Yamanaka (27-1-2, 19) [山中慎介].
Yamanaka was stopped in 4 rounds by Nery earlier this year and had strongly pondered retirement, though today he announced he was going to pursue the rematch with Nery and continue his career. The plan from the Japanese fighter is to try and get the rematch sorted for January or February next year, and it seems like they are hoping to getthe rematch sorted for Japan.
The WBC released a number of fidings from the whole saga, and they make for worrying reading. Including the fact Nery's failed test was from a sample collected on July 27th and the WBC were aware of it on August 22nd. The WBC also stated that they will track Nery's diet for the next 6 months or until the rematch takes place, though it seems to be a short sighted plan, that really doesn't help track Nery's behaviour over the long term, essentially covering him for just a single fight.
(Image courtesy of www.sponichi.co.jp)
Earlier this year we saw Japan's Teiru Kinoshita (25-2-1, 8) [位帝里 木下] come up short in his second world title bout, being on the recieving end of a 1-sided stoppage loss to IBF Suoer Flyweight champion Jerwin Ancajas, who used the opportunty of fighting on a hight profile under-card to make himself a bigger name in the world of boing. Sadly the loss for Kinoshita showed he was still a long way from being able to win a world title, and in fact the loss to Ancajas was even more one-sided than his decision loss to Zolani Tete, which was also for the IBF title at 115lbs.
The loss was a major set back for Kinoshita, but isn't the end with the southpaw now set to return to the ring on December 16th.
There is no opponent named for Kinoshita's comeback, though it does seem likely that he will be facing a low key foe in a pretty basic home coming win, before looking to step up his competition in 2018.
As well as Kinoshita we also know that the under-rated Ryoki Hirai (9-4-1, 4) [平井亮輝], who fights for just the second time this year, will be in action. The 26 year old is with out an opponent at the moment, but it'll just be great to see him in action following an injury earlier this year which prevented him from competing in a Japanese title eliminator.
This past weekend we saw Japan's Sho Ishida (24-1, 13) [石田 匠] suffer his first professional defeat, as he lost a unanimous decision to WBA Super Flyweight champion Khalid Yafai (23-0, 14) in the UK, in what was a thoroughly forgettable bout. The bout had moments where Ishida looked top class, but in the end he was far too passive and negative on foreign soil to ever really give himself a chance against.
Today he arrived back in Japan and stated that he wasn't able to make excuses because he lost but that he was going to continue to fight on, and it was obvious that he feels he's good enough to become a world champion down the line.
Unfortunately Ishida's performance against Yafai failed to really impress, as he would have hoped to. Despite that it was very obvious he does have a lot of talent, with his confidence and general pacing needing improvement. Hopefully the loss will help him develop on those flaws, as it was obvious that he troubled Yafai with his his speed and size, but lacked the power and belief to beat the Englishman, who had been an almost unbackable favourite.
There is no news on when Ishida will return, but he didn't seem to take much damage against Yafai and could well return either vey late this year or very early in 2018, as he begins to his journey toward a second world title bout.
Earlier today the Green Tsuda gym held a notable press conference to talk about their potential female star of the future, and a former female world champion who announced their retirement.
The rising star was school girl fighter Fuka Komura (5-0, 2) [小村楓香], who was there to talk about her November 20th bout with fellow unbeaten Jun Yabuki (8-0,4) [矢吹純]. The bout, for the Japanese female Minimumweight title, will see a new champion being crowned, and will push the winner as one of the faces of female boxing in Japan.
The young Komura seemed confident at today's event, a long way from the young teenage who rose eye brows a few years ago when she debuted and seemed a bit of an emotional mess. She seems to have grown as a woman and a fighter and looked very much like a fighter looking to really announce her self to a wider audience. The bout with Yabuki isn't a career maker, but it's a major bout all the same, and will be a bout which will push her towards a potential world title fight.
As well Komura there was also an appearance from former WBC female Flyweight champion Shindo Go (16-4, 11) [真道ゴー], who now goes by the name Masaru Hashimoto. The former female fighter, who has under-gone gender realignment and is now a man, announced that they had retired from boxing, but didn't call a total end on their career, stating that he now has a dream of fighting as a man. The reality is that Go knows a win against a professional man whould be an achievement, and it seems like it's a dream that is seriously in play, but just not at the moment. He stated that they don't think they can beat a man, but he won't know without trying and want to go up against the challenge.
Although retired there is still hunger for the sport, whilst helping run a company whilst attempts to improves the lives of disabled children, and a comeback cannot be ruled out for the 30 year old.
(Image courtesy of daily.co.jp)
We've kown for a while that Hiroyuki Kudaka (25-17-1, 11) [久高寛之] would be facing Go Onaga (28-3-3, 19) [翁長 吾央] on December 11th in a Japanese title eliminator. Sadly though other details in regards to the card hadn't been revealed, until today, when we got details of several other bouts from the show, which we now know will be Dangan 203.
Firstly the biggest reveal today was the show's main event, which will see Japanese Super Flyweight champion Ryuichi Funai (28-7, 19) [船井 龍一] make his second defense of the title, as he takes on recent OPBF title challenger Shota Kawaguchi (21-8-1, 9) [川口勝太]. Funai won the title earlier this year, stopping old school friend Kenta Nakagawa in March, and made his first defense in July with a technical decision win over Takayuki Okumoto. For Kawaguchi the bout will be his second bout since April's split decision loss to Rene Dacquel.
Another big match announced for the card will see former Japanese Flyweight champion Takuya Kogawa (28-5, 14) [粉川 拓也] return to the ring for the first time since losing the title to Masayuki Kuroda back in June. The world ranked Kogawa will go up against domestic foe Naoto Fujimoto (9-7-1, 4) [藤本直人], in what should be a straight forward win for the always fun to watch Kogawa.
From what we under-stand the card will be included on Boxingraise and should be a great domestic action show just 2 weeks before Christmas.
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