Earlier today the Japanese Boxing Federation (JBF) who look after Japanese amateur boxing, announced their award winners for last year, ahead o the award ceremony later this month.
Unsurprisingly the MVP for the year was the fantastic Hayato Tsutsumi [堤駿斗], who impressed for a second year running. The teenager looks like a nailed on star of the future, and had a 2017 to remember as he shone on both the international and domestic scenes. Although still some time off turning professional he will have every major promoter in Japan interested in snapping him up as soon as they can.
The Outstanding fighter award was shared 3 ways, with Arashi Morisaka [森坂嵐], Issei Aramoto [荒本一成] and Taiga Imanaga [今永虎雅] all being awarded the honour.
Another shared honour was the Skill Award, with Ryomei Tanaka [田中亮明], the older brother of Kosei Tanaka, and Ryusei Baba [馬場龍成] both winning here. The Fighting Spirit Award was won by the pairing of Daisuke Narimatsu [成松大介] and Ryutaro Nakagaki [中垣龍汰朗], the Effort award by Tomoya Tsuboi [坪井智也 whilst the new-come award was shared between 4 young fighters, including another fighter from the Tanaka clan.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Last week we reported on the Japanese boxing awards, awarded to the professional Japanese fighters. Today sees news of the Japanese Amateur boxing awards, and the big story of the day is that youngster Hayato Tsutsumi [堤駿斗] has been awarded the MVP award, despite only being a high school student, being the high school boxing to claim the MVP award.
In 2016 the 17 year old had a massive year, winning gold at both the the Asian Youth Championships and the AIBA Youth World Championships as well the national High School championships. Although they may have been at Youth level there was little to argue with his achievements and it's fair to say that if Tsutsumi looks to turn professional before Tokyo 2020 his signature will be one that all the major promoters will be after.
Other awards were won by Daisuke Narimatsu [成松大介] and Arashi Morisaka [森坂嵐], who shared the Excellent Fighter award, the Skills Award was won by Ryomei Tanaka [田中亮明], the Fighting award was won by Yusuke Yamauchi [山内祐季] whilst the Effort and Newcomers awards were both shared.
(Image courtesy of Boxingnews.jp)
The boxing at the Olympics continued today with a number of Asian's in action.
Unfortunately for Japanese fighter Arashi Morisaka he lost a split decision to Armenian Aram Avagyan in what was a thrilling bout at 56KG's. Although he came short we suspect most the Japanese promoters will be in contact with the 20 year old in the hope of snapping him up after the games, despite the lure of Tokyo 2020. The youngster showed an exciting style incredible body punching and an aggressive mentality but lacked some of the boxing IQ he needed to over-come the strong Avagyan.
In another 56KG bout Thailand's Chatchai Butdee took on the UK's Qais Ashfaq and came out on top. The first round was a close one with Butdee's experience winning him the round. The second round saw Butdee drop the British fighter to extend his lead. The British fighter had to secure a 10-8 final round but it never looked likely and the Thai took a comfortable unanimous decision.
At 64 KG's we saw Mongolian fighter Chinzorig Baatarsukh easily defeat Qatari Thulasi Tharumalingam. The Mongolian looked like a well schooled fighter through out whilst the Qatari lacked the skills to match his physical frame, which was long and rangy. The Mongolian easily took the first two rounds but the final round was competitive as he took his foot off the gas.
The Mongolian was joined in the next round by China's Qianxum Hu, who got a walk over against the much fancied Raul Curiel of Mexico.
At 91KG we Uzbek Rustam Tulaganov guarantee himself an Olympic medal as he got past Abdulkadir Abdullayev in the second of the quarter finals. Despite the win he sill have to score two solid wins to take home a gold medal.
The 2016 Olympics is just around the corner and the big news from Japan this week is that Bantamweight hopeful Arashi Morisaka [森坂嵐] is confident of a winning a medal after sparring with two of Japan;s finest young fighters.
According to the papers Morisaka has been at the Ohashi gym in recent weeks where has spent time sparring with both the WBO Super Flyweight champion Naoya Inoue (10-0, 8) [井上 尚弥] and, more recently, the former OPBF Super Flyweight champion Takuma Inoue (7-0, 2) [井上 拓真].
With both of the Inoue's starting their own camps towards their September bouts they likely weren't in 100% condition but given their quality the sparring will have helped benefit Morisaka significantly whilst also helping the Inoue brothers prepare for their bouts, with the spars likely to have been beneficial for all involved.
The 19 year old Morisaka may also have nailed his mast to a post for when he turns professional with complimentary words being said about the Ohashi Gym, which recently signed former Olympian Satoshi Shimizu, and if they can snap Morisaka after the Olympics it would be another excellent signing for one of Japan's premier gyms.
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