Earlier today the East Japan Boxing Association announced their monthly award winners for the month of May, with only two awards being won this month.
The MVP award was won by Light Welterweight champion Valentine Hosokawa (23-6-3, 10) [細川バレンタイン] due to his brilliant stoppage victory over mandatory challenger Vladimir Baez back on May 7th. The win was Hosokawa's first defense of the title and showed, at the age of 37, there is still a lot left for him in the sport.
The other award winner was Yuki Nagano (14-2, 11) [永野 祐樹] following his May 30th win over Riku Nagahama, which came courtesy of a 5th round TKO. The win for Nagano saw him claim the Fighting Spirit award, and also move a huge step closer to getting a title fight, which may well come later this year.
Sadly there was no suitable fighters for the Newcomer award, which won't be award for May.
The two awarding winning fighters will be given their awards on July 9th at the upcoming "Slugfest" card, at the Korakuen Hall.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
On Monday the East Japan Boxing Association announced their award winners for the month of October.
The MVP for the month was the newly crowned OPBF Featherweight champion Satoshi Shimizu (4-0, 4) [清水 聡], who shone as he ripped the title from Korean fighter Sa Myung Noh (11-4, 4) [노사명] in 5 one-sided rounds. The win for Shimizu saw him claim his first title, and move a long way towards getting a world title fght.
The Fighting Spirit Award was won by veteran Hidenori Otake (30-2-3, 13) [大竹 秀典], who retained his OPBF Super Bantamweight title with a victory over the very highly regarded youngster Hinata Maruta (5-1, 4) [丸田 陽七太]. Otake is now eying up a potential second world title fight, and could well build on the win over Maruta in the very near future.
The new comer award was won by 24 year old puncher Kai Chiba (7-0, 6) [千葉開], who scored a 5th round TKO win over Ryo Matsubara (7-2, 7) [松原陵], and really put himself on the map domestically.
The fighters will recieve their awards on December 14th as part of the Diamond Glove show at the Korakuen Hall.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
So, 2016 has finally come to an end and we are now at the start of 2017. At last. With the new year now here it's time for us to look back over some of most notable parts of 2016 and do our annual awards. As is usually the case with this site these awards are only encompassing bouts that took place in Asia, or featured an Asian fighter
Fighter of the Year -Manny Pacquiao
Whilst Pacquaio didn't set the world on fire this year he did score two really notable wins over Timothy Bradley and Jessie Vargas. Although he announced his retirement part way through the year he did end that retirement relatively quickly and second yet another world title,as he reclaimed the WBO Welterweight crown.
Knockout CP Freshmart – Knockout went 3-0 during the year and scored big wins over Carlos Buitrago and Byron Rojas as well as a year ending win over Shin Ono.
Shinsuke Yamanaka – Yamanaka scored notable wins over Liborio Solis and Anselmo Moreno to secure his place as the top Bantamweight on the planet.
Prospect of the Year – Hinata Maruta
One of the toughest categories this year was the Prospect of the Year category with some many brilliant contenders. For us though Hinata Maruta was the fighter than stood out that little bit more than the others. The teenager went 3-0 (3), claimed the WBC Youth title at Bantamweight, was crowned WBC Youth Fighter of the Year. Although he didn't “break out” in 2016 we do expect him to next year.
Azizbek Abdugofurov-Uzbek destroyer Abdugofurov fought only 8 rounds during the year but went 3-0 (3) and scored wins over fighters with a combined 52-14-1 record. He's expected to be fast tracked next year too and could be in some major bouts very soon.
Nursultan Zhanabayev-Debuting in October in a 10 rounder Zhanabayev really impressed taking a win over Xing Xin Yang, he then added a stoppage over the experienced Joel Dela Cruza and finished the year as a man to watch,
Move improved fighter of the Year - Tatsuya Fukuhara
In December 2013 Fukuhara lost to a then debuting Takuma Inoue and it seemed like a good debut win for Inoue. Since then however Fukuhara has gone from strength to strength and 2016 was a break out year for the Kumamoto man, who scores notable wins over Takumi Sakae and Genki Hanai whilst recording 3 defenses of his Japanese title. A really outstanding year!
Ricky Sismundo-Filipino fighter Sismundo went 1-1-1 for the year but could easily have gone 3-0 for the year. Those numbers aren't impressive but when you consider those bouts all came on the road against world level fighters with a combined 79-5-1 record things are a little more impressive.
Fight of the Year – Kenji Ono Vs Jun Takigawa
For us the fight of the year was a category that was full of great contenders, though one rather obscure fight stands out as the best of the year. That was the February 6th bout between Kenji Ono and Jun Takigawa that saw the two men trade multiple knockdowns in a bout that will last long in the memory of those that saw it. Sadly it seems this bout has been lost with no video being available at the time of writing, but it really was a special fight.
Dexter Alimento Vs Chanachai CP Freshmart
Marlon Tapales Vs Pungluang Sor Singyu
Shinsuke Yamanaka Vs Anselmo Moreno II
Tomohiro Ebisu Vs Makoto Fuchigami
Upset of the Year-Yukunori Oguni Vs Jonathan Guzman
One of the final bouts of the year also gave us the Upset of the Year as little known Oguni dropped IBF Super Bantamweight champion Jonthan Guzman en route to a decision victory. Guzman had been unbeaten with a 22-0 (22) record and was almost unbackable going into the bout but Oguni gave him, and pretty much everyone else, a genuine shock.
Takashi Uchiyama Vs Jezreel Corrales – The first bout between Uchiyama and Corrales was a shock both in terms of the under-dog, Corrales, winning and the manner of the victory, Corrales blasting out Uchiyama early doors.
Jerwin Ancajas Vs McJoe Arroyo- Little known Filipino Ancajas was supposed to be a straight forward mandatory for Arroyo but proved to be a hungry young lion dropping Arroyo in round 8 and claiming a wide decision to claim the IBF Super Flyweight title.
Robbery of the Year-Evgeny Tishchenko Vs Vasily Levit
The 2016 Olympics was full of questionable judging but few decisions were as outright wrong as the one that decided the Heavyweight final and saw Kazakh Vasily Levit being robbed of a Gold medal. The Kazakh dominated the Russian and everyone seemingly saw it but the judges who gave the Russian the gold medal. The decision lead to worldwide criticism and rightfully so.
Hiroki Okada Vs Valentine Hosokawa- Probably the worst decision in Japan this year saw Light Welterweight champion Okada retain his title in a bout that he scarce won a round in. Hosokawa out fought and out worked Okada in pretty much every rounds yet came up widely short on the score-cards. A terrible injustice.
Junior Granados Vs Aston Palicte- Mexico saw several Asian fighters being robbed. One of those was Filipino slugger Palicte who seemed to out work Granados through much of their March bout only to come out on the wrong side of a split decision.
Jessica Chavez V Naoko Fujioka- Another Mexican robbery saw Chavez defeat Fujioka in a out that saw Chavez continually hold, spoil and even score a knockdown from a headclash. The bout had high expectations but Chavez's negativity prevented any kind of a fight.
Comeback of the Year- Marlon Tapales Vs Pungluang Sor Singyu
Fighters rarely come back from a 10-7 round but that's exactly what Marlon Tapales did in July when he won a sensational bout with Pungluang Sor Singyu. The Filipino was dropped twice in round 5 and looked done as Pungluang battered him to the bell. It seemed almost a given that Tapales would be stopped but instead he gutted out the storm and eventually stopped Pungluang in round 11. At the time of the stoppage Tapales was officially losing a split decision with scores of 94-93 and 96-91 in favour of the Thai, and 95-92 in his favour.
Comeback Fighter of the Year-Hozumi Hasegawa
In 2014 Hozumi Hasegawa was battered into defeat by Kiko Martinez, in December 2015 he was dropped twice as he narrowly over-came Carlos Ruiz. When he stepped foot into the ring with Hugo Ruiz most expected the 35 year old veteran to be dropped, battered and beaten. Instead he rolled the clock back and stopped Ruiz, who retired after a brutally brilliant 9th round. Sadly Hasegawa would retire later in 2017 but few can argue with the value of his win over Ruiz.
Shohei Omori-In December 2015 Shohei Omori was dropped for fun by Marlon Tapales on route to a 2nd round TKO loss. Since then however he has bounced back with a trio of stoppages, including a win over former world title challenger Rocky Fuentes. Whilst he didn't claim a world title during the year he is expected to get a world title fight in 2016.
Earlier today Japanese fans in Tokyo saw the East Japan Rookie of the Year finals, part of that show also saw the Japanese awards for October being handed to the winning fighters.
Those awards were given to three men, including currenrt Japanese Super Bantamweight champion Yasutaka Ishimoto (29-8, 8) [石本 康隆], who claimed the MVP award after scoring a thrilling victory over Gakuya Furuhashi on October 1st. The performance saw Ishimoto scoring his second win over Furuhashi and setting up a titledefense for next year.
Interestingly Ishimoto's next defense will come against The Fighting Spirit Award winner Yusaku Kuga (13-2-1, 9) [久我 勇作], who stopped Jonathan Baat on October 22nd to secure a mandatory title shot at Ishimoto in 2017. Kuga really did put on a brilliant performance to win the award as he battered Baat into submission in 4 rounds and will almost certainly be a handful for Ishimoto when the two men meet again next year
The third award was the "State of the Art" award which was won by Masataka Taniguchi (5-0, 4) [谷口 将隆], who scored a split decision win against Dexter Alimento. With the win Taniguchi moved into title contention with the win and proved his ability as a genuine prospect.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Earlier today the winners of the Japanese awards for November were named.
The winner of the MVP award, the highest of the honours, was Japanese and OPBF Middleweight champion Akio Shibata (27-8-1, 13), who defended his titles on November 9th with a dominant victory over Koki Tyson Maebara, who was stopped in the 7th round. The bout was Shibata's 5th defense of the OPBF title and 4th defense of the Japanese title. It was also his 4th successive stoppage continuing a run that began last December.
The fighting Spirit award was won by Welterweight slugger Toshio Arikawa (12-4, 10) who scored a career defining victory on November 2nd, when he defeated Akinori Watanabe at the Strongest Korakuen. The win saw Arikawa secure himself a title fight for 2016 whilst putting in a thrilling performance that saw the crowd on their feet.
The State of the Art award was won by Ryosuke Takami (8-1, 7) who scored a 7th round TKO win over fellow puncher Yuichi Yokoyama, on November 7th. This was, by far, the best win for the 22 year old Takami who will be hoping to build on the win in 2016.
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