Earlier today fans were able to see the 88th All Japan National Championships, with 8 national champions being crowned in what was an incredible show of high level amateur boxing. For fans at the venue the show was brilliant, whilst those watching on TV, courtesy of NHKBS1 got guest analyst work from WBA "Regular" Bantamweight champion Naoya Inoue.
The lowest weight on the show was the Light Flyweight division, which saw Yudai Shigeoka [重岡優大], the older brother of touted professional prospect Ginjiro Shigeoka, take a 5-0 decisions over Daichi Hasebe [長谷部大地]. The bout was a high skilled, fast paced contest that really kicked the show off in an amazing fashion.
The Flyweight bout was another amazing contest, which saw Tosho Kashiwazaki [柏崎刀翔] taking a 4-1 decision over Ryomei Tanaka [田中亮明], the older brother of 3-weight world champion Kosei Tanaka. This was was tightly fought, but Kashiwazaki always looked like the aggressor, and it seems like that extra offensive mentality was the difference between the two men.
At Bantamweight 2014 Youth Olympics bronze medal winner Subaru Murata [村田昴] over-come Keisuke Matsumoto [松本圭佑], the son of former world title challenger Koji Matsumoto. Murata was cut around both eyes but took the decision win, thanks in part to an amazing effort in the final round, where he really put Matsumoto on the back foot to claim a 3-0 win.
The Lightweight bout saw 2016 Olympian Arashi Morisaka [森坂嵐] narrowly over-come Kenji Fujita [藤田健児] in a 3-2 decision. This was a messy bout at time, with the styles not quite gelling as the earlier bouts, but was very competitive and hard to take your eyes off as both men did all they could to try and take the win.
In the Light Welterweight final we saw the highly established Daisuke Narimatsu [成松大介] claim his latest title as he defeated Yuta Akiyama [秋山佑汰]. This was Narimatsu's 8th All Japanese title, and it seems like his intention is to go to the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. If boxing is however removed from the Olympics we could imagine promoters scrambling over each other to become his professional promoter.
The Welterweight crown was won by Sewon Okazawa [岡澤セオン], who took a 5-0 decision over Kanjo Taiyo [金城大明], in what was an another entertaining contest with Okazawa making his claim to be pushed towards some notable international competitions, potentially including the Olympics.
At Middleweight Yuito Moriwaki [森脇唯人] continued his great run on the domestic scene, as he defeated Kyohei Hosono [細野恭兵] 5-0. This win saw Moriwaki retain the title he won last year, and claim the MVP award for the show, as he continues to thrive and really make his mark.
The heaviest weight class on the show as the Light Heavyweight division, which saw Takuro Kurita [栗田琢郎] take a 3-2 win over Takahito Nitta [新田隆人] to take the crown.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
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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