Today saw the shortlists being released from the Japanese Boxing Commission and the Tokyo Sports Press Club for the annual Japanese boxing awards, celebrating the best of Japanese boxing in 2019.
Unsurprisingly Ryota Murata, Kazuto Ioka, Kosei Tanaka, Kenshiro Teraji and Naoya Inoue were in multiple categories following a solid for all 5 men.
Below are the short lists for this years awards, ahead of the annual ceremony, which will take place on February 7th in Tokyo.
Naoya Inoue (19-0, 16) [井上 尚弥]
Kazuto Ioka (25-2, 14) [井岡一翔]
Ryota Murata (16-2, 13) [村田 諒太]
Kosei Tanaka (15-0, 9) [田中恒成]
Kenshiro Teraji (17-0, 10) [寺地 拳四朗]
Ryosuke Iwasa (27-3, 17) [岩佐 亮佑]
Keita Kurihara (15-5, 13) [栗原 慶太]
Shuichiro Yoshino (11-0, 9) [吉野 修一郎]
Hiroaki Teshigawara (21-2-2, 14) [勅使河原 弘晶]
Ginjiro Shigeoka (5-0, 4) [重岡銀次朗]
Koki Inoue (15-0, 12) [浩樹井上]
Junto Nakatani (20-0, 15) [中谷 潤人]
Yuki Nonaka (33-11-3, 10) [野中 悠樹]
Akinori Watanabe (39-7-1, 33) [渡部あきのり]
Yuki Nagano (17-2, 13) [永野祐樹]
Norihito Tanaka (19-7, 10) [田中教仁]
Best Fight of the Year (World title Bout)
Naoya Inoue Vs Nonito Donaire
Naoya Inoue Vs Emanuel Rodriguez
Kazuto Ioka Vs Aston Palicte
Ryota Murata Vs Rob Brant II
Best Fight of the Year (Non-world title)
Kazuto Takesako Vs Shuji Kato 加藤収二]
Yuki Beppu [別府優樹] Vs Ryota Yada [矢田良太]
Toshiya Ishii [石井渡士也] Vs Haruki Ishikawa [石川春樹]
Tenkai Tsunami (27-12-1, 16) [天海 ツナミ]
Kasumi Saeki (4-0, 3) [佐伯霞]
Miyo Yoshida (14-1) [吉田 実代]
Female Fight of the Year
Naoko Fujioka [藤岡 奈穂子] Vs Tenkai Tsunami
Kasumi Saeki Vs Elizabeth Lopez
Monseratt Alcaron Vs Ayaka Miyao [宮尾 綾香]
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
Earlier today at Korakuen Hall fans got the chance to see OPBF Light Middleweight champion Akinori Watanabe (39-7-1, 33) [渡部あきのり] successfully defending his title as he stopped Thai challenger Sitthidet Banti (12-6, 6).
The bout started with the two men looking to battle for position behind their jabs. The Thai looked like he had some ambition in the early moments but it was a brief and he was typically on the back foot with Watanabe marching him down.
The following round the pace picked up, and midway through it Watanabe landed a big right hand to the body that sent Sitthidet down in agony. Whilst down he spat out his gum shield before taking the 10 count.
After the bout Watanabe said he is aiming for the world, though given he is now 34 it does seem very unlikely that he will manage to get a world title fight.
For fans wanting to watch this bout, it is now available for subscribers on Boxing Raise.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Tomorrow at Korakuen Hall Kadoebi will be putting on their next card under the "Slugfest" banner. The show will be headlined by OPBF Light Middleweight champion Akinori Watanabe (38-7-1, 32) [渡部あきのり] defending his title against Sitthidet Banti (12-5, 6).
On paper this isn't a great match up, but in reality it's hard to complain too much about Watanabe having an easy first defense given the wars he has been in in recent years, and an easy first defense to close out the year will help set up big bouts in 2020.
Today Watanabe and Sitthidet took part in their weigh in and neither man had any issues making the 154lb weight limit for the contest.
On the scales Watanabe, who looked in good shape, was bang on the limit of 154lbs whilst Sitthidet was well under, at around 153.25lbs. Despite coming in well under the limit the challenger looked somewhat fleshy, and it's clear that if he wanted to make Welterweight he probably could, and could do so without taking much out of his body either.
For fans unable to make it to Korakuen Hall tomorrow the bout is scheduled to be added to the Boxing Raise Video on Demand service later this month.
Related-Does Watanabe get an easy first defense of OPBF crown?
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Earlier today the Boxing Raise service announced their line up for December, and sadly it has no live show available this month. Thankfully however the service is still set to get a lot of action during the month, ranging from some great fights at domestic level, to a world title eliminator, and various things in between.
Firstly they will get the On Demand rights of the November 17th Sanei Pro Fight Boxing, which will be uploaded on December 5th.
The next show they have is the December 8th Real Spirits card, headlined by a brilliant WBO Asia Pacific Featherweight title bout, pitting champion Musashi Mori (10-0, 6) [森 武蔵] against once beaten challenger Takuya Mizuno (17-1-1, 14) [水野拓哉]. The card after that will be the Green Dream show on December 15th, headlined by a bout between Kotatsu Takehara (15-12-3, 8) [竹原真敬] and Ryu Ueda (8-1-1, 5) [上田龍], who battle for the Japanese Heavyweight title.
The next card they will have will be the Kadoebi card from December 16th, headlined by OPBF Light Middleweight champion Akinori Watanabe (38-7-1, 32) [渡部あきのり] defending his title against Thai challenger Sitthidet Banti (12-5, 6).
Unsurprisingly the December 22nd Muto card will also be available on tape delay, with the card actually clashing with the Rookie of the Year final. This show is headlined by WBO Asia Pacific Bantamweight champion Yuki Strong Kobayashi (15-8, 9) [小林佑樹]defending his title against South Korean challenger Ki Chang Go (8-3, 4).
After Christmas we'll see a late present with the service bringing up the IBF Super Flyweight world title eliminator between Sho Ishida (28-1, 15) [石田 匠] and Israel Gonzalez (24-3, 11).
While it's disappointing to not have a live card this month, the quality of shows, overall, is solid and with all the other shows on television in December we are set to have a great run in to the end of the year!
Back in October we reported that OPBF Light Middleweight champion Akinori Watanabe (38-7-1, 32) [渡部あきのり] would be defending his title on December 16th. What wasn't known at the time was who the champion would be facing off against.
Today we were informed of Watanabe's foe, learning that it would be Thai fighter Sitthidet Banti (12-5, 6), in what really looks like an easy first defense for Watanabe.
The Japanese slugger won the belt back in August when he stopped Jung Kyoung Lee [이중경] in South Korea. That win saw him become a 2-weight OPBF champion, following a reign at Welterweight.
Sitthidet on the other hand is relatively unknown, but is a limited challenger who was himself stopped in August by Japanese prospect Takuma Takahashi.
Whilst this is a straight forward defense for Watanabe it's hard to complain about the veteran geetting an easy home coming defense bouts against Takeshi Inoue, Magomed Kurbanov, Nobuyuki Shindo and Jujng Kyoung Lee in recent years. He's a true veteran of the Japanese scene, and an easy first defense before a bigger bout next year is certainly not something we're going to criticise Watanabe for too much here
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