About an hour ago we brought you the news that Hisashi Amagasa (28-4-2, 19) had had his bout with Cuban sensation Guillermo Rigondeaux (14-0, 9) officially announced by Kyoei. We can now add to that information by bringing you the official poster for the show, which looks like being a fantastic one overall, even if one of the main bouts was disappointing when that first announced.
The poster features, at the top, former 2-weight world champion Kazuto Ioka (15-1, 9) who will be fighting against former WBA interim Flyweight champion Jean Piero Perez (20-7-1, 14). We brought you the news of this fight last month and confessed to it being a poor match up though it does come with the follow up news that Ioka is expecting a world title bout in Spring 2015 if he wins here.
In the middle of the poster we get possibly the most notable bout from an international stand point as Rigondeaux and Amagasa are pictured closely together. Amagasa, pictured with the OPBF Featherweight title, will be dropping a weight to challenge Rigondeaux for the WBO and WBA "super" titles at Super Bantamweight and despite being a clear under-dog this is a bout that will see Amagasa spoken about around the world come the end of the year.
At the bottom part of the poster is multi-time world champion Katsunari Takayama (27-7-0-1, 10) who will be fighting compatriot Go Odaira (11-3-3, 1) for the vacant IBF Minimumweight title. For Odaira this is his first world title bout whilst for Takayama it will see him attempting to reclaim the title he held at the start of the year.
It seems likely that these will be the only bouts aired on TBS on the day though that's still a trio to be excited about and to look forward to. For fans in attendance however they are in for a few more bonus bouts including a Japanese Super Flyweight title bout between the unbeaten Sho Ishida (17-0, 9) and Masasto Morisaki (9-3-1, 5), an 8 round bout involving former WBA Minimumweight champion Ryo Miyazaki (21-1-3, 12) and a bout involving female boxing beauty Tomomi Takano (6-1, 5), none of whom are on the poster.
(Image courtesy of Keiichiro Kanehira's blog)
After days of waiting we are proud to bring you the official news that Hisashi Amagasa (28-4-2, 19) will be challenging Cuban sensation Guillermo Rigondeaux (14-0, 9) on New Years Eve at the Bodymaker Colosseum in Osaka.
Amagasa, the OPBF Featherweight champion, will be dropping 4lbs to compete at Super Bantamweight and will be attempting to dethrone the Cuban who currently holds the WBA "super" and WBO titles at 122lbs. It will be Amagasa's first bout at the weight in his career however it seems his team are confident that he can make it.
For Amagasa the biggest isn't how he will make weight but how he will cope with the sensational ability of Rigondeaux. The unbeaten Cuban isn't just a unified champion in the professional ranks but was one of the greatest amateurs in history winning 2 Olympic medals before defecting from Cuba. As a professional he has been an avoided man who has had very few men even utter his name since he defeated Nonito Donaire back in April 2013.
Although Amagasa is moving down in weight and stepping up in class he does have some advantages over the slick Cuban. Firstly he is significantly taller and rangier than Rigondeaux, who is naturally a small guy at Super Bantamweight. He will also have home advantage with the Cuban travelling to Japan for his first bout in the country, and he will also have activity in his favour with Rigondeaux having only fougth 3 bouts for 25 rounds in the last 2 years whilst Amagasa will have fought 6 times in the 24 months prior to the bout, for a combined 58 rounds.
Although the contest was "the worst kept secret in boxing" we had been awaiting the official announcement for several weeks. Thankfully it has come, in fact it came just moments ago, confirming the story we had been reporting for weeks.
For now we're still awaiting to hear about who Tomomi Takano (6-1, 5) will be fighting though she too was at the press conference alongside Amagasa and Kyoei chairman Keiichiro Kanehira.
For those who will be wanting to watch the fight it will be screened on TBS in Japan.
(Image courtesy of Keiichiro Kanehira via twitter)
From what we understand this Saturday's bout between WBO Asia Pacific Super Featherweight champion Juan Martin Elorde (16-1-1, 7) and Japan's Hirotsugu Yamamoto (16-10-2, 2) has been cancelled at the last minute.
We've not yet been given the explanation as to why this has happened but it does seem to a very disappointing move given that the fight was just a day away. From what details we have been given however we do understand it was the decision of the Filipino title holder.
As far as we are aware the rest of the card will go on as advertised though that leaves a very weak looking card with nothing major to look forward to. That's not to say the action wont fun to watch but it's certainly got very little significance and the main event will now feature Juan Miguel Elorde (16-1, 8), who we suspect will be fighting against Indonesian visitor Oke Haryanto (5-4-1, 2).
A few moments ago huge news broke from Japan regarding the December 30th bout between the unbeaten Ryo Matsumoto (12-0, 10) and world ranked Thai Rusalee Samor (25-5-2, 11). What was originally expected to be an 8-round non title bout between the two men has suddenly become a contest for the vacant OPBF Super Flyweight title.
This development has arisen after Arthur Villanueva (16-0, 14) vacated the belt. Villanueva, who has held the title since December 2012, hasn't defended the bout in more than 18 months and it appears his intentions are to move on to world title bouts rather than to defend the belt again.
What it really means is we now have 4 title bouts on the show, with this bout offering support to a trio of world title bouts. It also speeds up the plans for Matsumoto who was expected to move in to title bouts in 2015. The change might not be a major on in some ways but it is huge in other ways with Matsumoto suddenly going from fighting in 8 round bouts to 12 round bouts in one fell swoop.
For Villanueva, who is world ranked by the IBF, this is a great opportunity to claim another title to add to his IBF Asia title however this will be one of his toughest bouts given that Matsumoto is himself a world ranked fighter and a man who is showing real signs of being a world class prospect.
We suspect that if Matsumoto wins and looks good in doing so then he'll be moved into the world title mix quickly. Effectively this bout could fast track him into a world title bout by the of 2015 if his team feel confident enough in him doing so, and lets be honest with his team by Ohashi gym they'll be confident in their talented young fighter.
(Image of Matsumoto courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
...the fight is a done deal with Rigondeaux's promoters Gary Hyde confirming what Keiichiro Kanehira, the head of Kyoei promotions, had already mentioned. Hyde also echoed that the bout would be in Osaka, not Tokyo as some other sites had incorrectly reported.
For those who haven't been following the story, it's been a bit of a frustrating yet interesting tale that has been relatively slow to progress though now appears the reaching it's conclusion.
On November 17th Rigondeaux's co-promoters Promotion Caribe announced the fight between the Cuban sensation (14-0, 9) and Japanese fighter Amagasa (28-4-2, 19). At the time it was hinted at that Amagasa was moving up to Featherweight, where Amagasa usually competes, to test the water at a new weight.
The following day Tomomi Takano (6-1, 5) announced she would be featuring in an 8 round bout on New Year's Eve in Osaka. For those who aren't aware Takano and Amagasa are very close friends and it seemed like there was another hint towards the fact that Amagasa was going to be in action on December 31stin Osaka.
The very next day, November 19th,we saw an official announcement from Ioka boxing regarding their New Year's Eve show. It was assumed that the announcement would also have included a mention of the Amagasa/Rigndeaux fight though instead was just a simple announcement regarding Kazuto Ioka and his opponent. It was a disappointing announcement and began a few days of silence regarding the much spoken about contest.
Thankfullythe silence was broken on November 24th when Mr Kanehira stated that the bout was on and that Amagasa was in training for Rigondeaux. At the time we senses an official announcement to the press was imminent however nothing was forthcoming with fans told to wait. Of course Mr Hyde's comment on November 26th, see above, doesn't actually count as a "formal" announcement, nor does it explain which channels, if any, will be carrying the fight though it is, as good as we can get right now to the bout being confirmed.
An official announcement can only be days away. Hopefully when that happens we will get TV confirmation, though all suspicions hint at TBS carrying the fight, a great thing for all fans with the station being a free to air one in Japan and one that international fans can stream relatively easily.
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