Today saw the annual award winners for the Champion Carnival being announced.
The MVP award, the most meaningful of the awards, was won by Japanese Middleweight champion Kazuto Takesako (8-0, 8) [竹迫司登], who earned the honour thanks to an opening round victory over Hikaru Nishida (17-9-1, 8) [西田 光], in a bout that saw Takesako claim the title in very impressive fashion. Takesako will now return to the ring this coming weekend to take on a Thai foe in a stay busy bout and sadly it does look like none of the domestic fighters will put up much of a fight for the destructive champion.
The Skill award was won by Japanese Super Bantamweight champion Yusaka Kuga (16-2-1, 11) [久我勇作], following his successful defense against Ryo Kosaka (15-4-1, 7) [小坂遼]. As with Takesako's win this was an opening round blow out, though unlike Takesako Kuga went into the bout as the champion. Notably Kuga will return on July 27th to defend his Japanese title against Shingo Wake (24-5-2, 16) [和氣 慎吾] in a mouth watering match up which will double as a world title eliminator, as well as a domestic title clash.
The Fighting Spirit award has gone to Japanese Light Welterweight champion Valentine Hosokawa (23-6-3, 10) [細川バレンタイン] following his excellent win over mandatory challenger Vladimir Baez (24-5-2-22). The champion, who is certainly a late bloomer in terms of professional boxing, had to pull himself off the canvas before stopping Baez, who fights as "Destino Japan", in the 7th round of a nail biter.
The final award was a Special Award, which was claimed by Ryota Yada (15-4, 12) [矢田良太], who won the Japanese Welterweight title with a stoppage win against Toshio Arikawa (15-5, 13) [有川 稔男]. The win put Yada on the proverbial map after some prior set backs, and he's now plannign to return to the ring in August to make his first defense.
At the moment there is no set date or venue for the award ceremony, but an announcement is expected shortly.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
*It should be noted that due to two different cancellations the Bantamweight title wasn't competed for during the Champion Carnival and there was no Heavyweight title bout either, due to a lack of suitable challengers.