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)
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 earlier today and there was several more Asian fighters in action, with mixed successes.
In an absolutely barn storming bout Japan's Daisuke Narimatsu came up short against American sensation Carlos Balderas. The bout was fought at an incredible pace up, close with punches being thrown non-stop in a toe-to-toe war. In the end however the more classy work came from the American who looks like a very special talent for the future, and maybe these two will clash again in the professional ranks in the future. Given the quality of this fight we'd love to see them go again over 12 rounds!
In the second fight to feature an Asian we saw Uzbek fighter Hurshid Tojibaev over-come British fighter Joe Cordina, with a majority decision in a 75KG bout. The touted Cordina seemed to concentrate more on moving with his hands down than actually fighting, yet one judge manage to give him a share of the fight, whilst the Uzbek actually came for a fight and landed almost all the notable blows to claim a well earned win, despite a very harsh point deduction.
Sadly things weren't as good in the third bout as Tajikistan's Anvar Yunusov was forced to retire at the start of the second round against home fighter Robson Conceicao. Yunusov had injured his right arm in his previous bout and was unable to through it during this bout, retiring as a result.
Staying in the 75KG division was saw Azeri fighter Kamran Shakhsuvaerly over-come China's Zhao Minggang with a decision in what was a rather 1-sided bout, with the Azeri looking several levels above the brave but out-classed Chinese fighter.
The 2016 Olympics has kicked off and today we saw the start of the boxing with several Asian fighters in action during the first session.
The first of those Asian fighters was Japanese Lightweight Daisuke Narimatsu [成松大介] , who had earned a place at the Olympic at the expense of 2012 Olympic medal winner Satoshi Shimizu. The aggressive Narimatsu managed to come through his first round bout with a split decision win against very talented Venezuelan Luis Cabrera. The opening round saw the skills of Cabrera look like they would be the key to the bout but in rounds 2 and 3 the judges were won over by the aggression of the Japanese fighter who simply out worked his foe to claim a split decision.
The win has seen Narimatsu move into the round of 16 and take a huge step towards winning a medal though we suspect he will have much more success when he turns professional given that he already seems to have a very pro-ready style.
Sadly things didn't go as well for Kazakh Berik Abdrakhmanov, who was also competing at Lightweight. The Kazakh, regarded as one of the weakest of the Kazakh fighters to qualify, was out boxed by American skillster Carlos Balderas Jr who looked like a real talent.
Abdrakhnanov was given the first round, a surprise to many, but was dominated in round 2. A close third round, which many thought the Kazakh deserved, actually went to the American, leaving us with the right result but the wrong way of getting there.
There will be several more Asian fighters in action later today as we get the second session of boxing, included in those is Filipino fighter Charly Suarez, who unfortunately got drew against one of the medal favourites Joe Cordina.
Sunday saw the Japanese Boxing Federation (JBF), who are in charge of amateur boxing in Japan, honour their top fighters with an awards ceremony based on the past year's achievements.
Among those honoured was stand out Ryomei Tanaka [田中亮明], who was awarded the MVP award following his gold medal at the Rio Olympic test event last year.
The fighter, the brother of WBO Minimumweight champion Kosei Tanaka (6-0, 3) [田中 恒成], said that he was hoping to got through the upcoming qualification event for the Olympics and is eyeing up a medal at Rio later this year.
Tanaka wasn't the only 2016 Olympic hopeful being given an award with the talented Daisuke Narimatsu [成松大介] also picking an honour, and also sounding positive about the upcoming Olympic qualification event. He's also confident of getting through to the Olympics and appears to be riding a high right now following a great run of results, including a recent win over Satoshi Shimizu [清水 聡] .
(Image courtesy of hochi.co.jp)
News! We try and give you the most interesting news stories from the Asian boxing world!