Over the past few days world famous boxing manager Sampson Lewkowicz and WBC head honcho Mauricio Sulaiman announced the "The Jose Sulaiman Cup: WBC Super Welterweight Tournament", an 8 man tournament set to take place over the next 13 months or so.
Whilst the tournament isn't mouth watering it does feature an Asian connection with Filipino fighter, and current OPBF champion, Dennis Laurente (49-5, 30) who will begin the tournament by fighting John Jackson (19-2, 15) of the US Virgin Islands.
The winner of the Laurente Vs Jackson bout will fight against the winner of a contest between Yudel Johnson (16-1, 9), of Cuba and Mexico's Jorge Cota (24-1, 22). The bout between the winners will decide of the finalists.
On the other side of the tournament fans will get the chance to see the much touted Sergey Rabchenko (25-1, 18), of Belarus, battle against Argentinian Luciano Cuello (35-3, 17) with the winner of that bout set to fight the winner of the 4th bout, a contest between Domonique Dolton (15-0, 8), of the USA, and Poland's Lukasz Maciec (22-2-1, 15)
The competition is set to kick off in April or May with the participants all being paid $50,000 for taking part. The semi finals are set to be fought in September, and anyone reaching the semi final will receive a payment of $100,000. The final is then expected next February with the final being worth $200,000 to each fighter.
If the tournament is successful it's then expected that other divisions will feature similar tournaments.
Earlier today at the Korakuen Hall fans got the chance to see "Dangan 118". The show had several notable bouts on it thought the stand out contest, by far, was the main event which pitted two highly regarded fights against each for OPBF title glory. One of those men was former 5-weight Japanese national champion Tadashi Yuba (46-10-2, 33) who, despite his success nationally, had never previously won an OPBF title. Yuba was hoping it would be 3rd time lucky. The other man was Filipino veteran Dennis Laurente (49-5-5, 30), a former OPBF and PABA champion at Lightweight, who was looking to score his 6th straight stoppage.
On paper it was an excellent match up. Not only were both veterans with impressive records but both were highly ranked by the OPBF who had Yuba at #4 and Laurenta at #1. Even with out the title it would have been a bout of real value, though one that would likely have sent the loser into retirement. Sadly for Yuba he was the one who came up short.
Laurente went on to the offensive quickly and seemed to be able to force Yuba on to the back foot at will. Those who have seen Yuba will likely be aware that when he's not got space to work he really struggles and Laurente wasn't going to allow him to have the space he needed to get his powerful straights into the bout. Laurente's aggressiveness allowed him to easily neutralise the 4" height advantage that Yuba had and get shots off on the inside where Yuba really couldn't work. It didn't help that Yuba himself looked heavy legged from early on making life even easier for the Filipino.
With Laurente looking in charge it seemed like Yuba would need something special. Today however wasn't his day and a barrage from Laurente in round 6, punctuated by a clean uppercut and a spiteful right hook, sent down the Japanese fighter down. The referee had immediately seen enough and stopped it there and then.
Sadly for Yuba this was almost certainly his best, and final, chance to become an OPBF champion. For Laurente however this seems him winning his second OPBF title more than 13 years after he won his first, defeating Yosuke Otsuka in November 2001 for the Lightweight title.
We're hopign that Laurente will be defending his belt in the new year and, there are several interesting opponents out there for him, such as Charlie Ota, Yuki Nonaka and Akinori Watanabe. Then again Laurente is 37 and may well be thinking about either retirement or chasing a big fighter in the US, and who can blame if an opportunity opens up for him.
Yuba and Laurente make weight for OPBF title fight, Kyotaro has 20lbs weight advantage against Radeff!
Earlier today saw the official weigh ins for tomorrows big card from the Korakuan Hall, "Dangan 118". The show, thankfully, saw all the men making their contracted weight.
Among those at the weigh were two men competing in the show's main event, a bout for the currently vacant OPBF Light Middleweight title. The bout, which pits Japanese 5-weight champion Tadashi Yuba (46-9-2, 33) against world ranked Filipino Dennis Laurente (48-5-5, 29), is genuinely a great on paper and one we're excited about.
Of two men involved in the big bout it was Yuba who was the heavier man weighing in at 153.75lbs, just under the divisional limit of 154lbs. Yuba will have more than a 1lb advantage over his Filipino foe who was 152.5lbs on the scales.
The OPBF title bout isn't the only one worthy of note. The other really notable bout is the Heavyweight clash on the card which will see Japanese Heavyweight champion Kyotaro Fujimoto (10-1, 6) battling against French visitor David Radeff (5-8-2, 2). Going into this bout Fuimoto has a huge advantage over his foe. The Japanese fighter hit the scales at 231lbs exactly. That will give him an advantage of more than 20lbs over Radeff who was 209.5lbs. Interestingly Radeff is 8.5lbs heavier than he was in his last bout, a decision loss to Nobuhiro Ishida back in September.
The 4 undercard bouts also saw everyone make weight.
(Image courtesy of http://www.kadoebi.com)
Earlier we broke the news that Tadashi Yuba (46-9-2, 33), the first ever fighter to win Japanese titles in 5 weights, would be returning to the ring on December 18th to battle against world ranked Filipino Dennis Laurente (48-5-5, 29) in an OPBF Light Middleweight title bout. At the time we suggest the bout was set to be formerly announced and that we would be awaiting announcements of the under-card.
Just a few hours after we broke the news of Yuba Vs Laurente the full card was formerly announced with the show making up Dangan 118 and om paper it looks a really interesting card with 3 of 4 bouts of note. Sadly however it also features a very disappointing return to the ring for Japanese Heavyweight champion Kyotaro Fujimoto (10-1, 6).
We had hoped that Fujimoto would be fighting Nobuhiro Ishida for a second time this year though those hopes were dashed when Fujimoto announced he was wanting to fight an international opponent a few weeks ago. He was subsequently offered a bout for the OPBF title against Joseph Parker though turned that down and will now be fighting Frenchman David Radeff (5-8-2, 2), a man best known for losing to Ishida earlier this year. Interestingly Fujimoto Vs Radeff will come just over a week before Ishida's next bout, a contest that will see Ishida fighting against Kotatsu Takehara. Whilst Ishida beat Radeff in his last bout Fujimoto actually beat Takehara in his most recent contest and it appears likely the both are trying to out do the other in bouts that may act as a precursor to the two top Japanese Heavyweights battling in 2015. Sadly though we do need to say that this is a poor match up for Fujimoto considering he knew what the fans wanted to see.
Of the undercard bouts we really like the other 3 bouts announced. The best of which appears to be a cross roads fight at Flyweight between the unbeaten Katsunori Nagamine (9-0, 6) and the once beaten Ryuto Oho (6-1-1, 2) however a second Flyweight bout, between Yuta Matsuo (6-1-1, 4) and Yota Hori (12-2-2, 7) does give it a good run for it's money. The other bout we've seen announced will see former Japanese Super Bantamweight champion Masaaki Serie (25-7, 10) battle against former Japanese Bantamweight title challenger Kinshiro Usui (21-4, 10). For Usui this will be his first bout in more than 3 years though it's fair to saw Serie has also waved good by to his prime and the loser her may end up looking at retirement.
(Image courteys of Kadoebi Boxng)
Tadashi Yuba to fight Dennis Laurente for the vacant OPBF Light Middleweight title on December 18th!
Earlier today Japanese domestic legend Tadashi Yuba (46-9-2, 33) announced over his personal blog that a deal had been reached for him to fight Filipino fighter Dennis Laurente (48-5-5, 29) in a bout for the vacant OPBF Light Middleweight title. The title became vacant recently after the heavy handed Koji Numata announced his retirement from the sport just a few weeks after stopping Takehiro Shimokawara to win the belt.
Going into the bout Laurente enters as the #1 ranked OPBF challenger for the vacant belt and a man ranked #12 by the WBC having held the WBC Asian Boxing Council Light Middleweight title for over a year and recording 2 defenses of the belt. Although relatively unknown outside of the Philippines he did call for a fight with Floyd Mayweather earlier this year, a call that clearly fell on deaf ears considering that he is now lined up for the OPBF belt.
Laurente is currently in great form having won his last 5 bouts by stoppage, in a combined 11 rounds, and has lost just 1 bout in the last 9 years going 24-1 in that stretch. Sadly however his opposition has been questionable during that time with the most notable opponents being Zaid Zavaleta, Ben Tackie and Ayi Bruce.
Whilst Laurente is the top contender for the belt Yuba is closely ranked behind and currently holds a #4 ranking with the OPBF behind New Zeland's Beau O'Brien and Japanese national champion Yuki Nonaka, who recently announced that he would be defending his belt against Charlie Ota on December 28th. For Yuba this will be his third shot at the title having twice fallen short against Ota.
The free swinging Yuba, who really is a fun but wild fighter, is best known for his incredibly achievements on the Japanese domestic scene which has seen him winning 5 divisional titles claiming belts from Lightweight to Middleweight and seen him beating the likes of Yoshinori Takenaka, Akinori Watanabe, Takayuki Hosokawa and Tomohiro Ebisu among others.
Whilst this might not be the best Light Middleweight bout we see this year it is guaranteed fireworks as we expect to see every time we see Yuba in the ring.
From Yuba's blog entry we understand that the bout will take place at the Korakuen Hall though an official announcement is due soon with the undercard set to be announced as well
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