Earlier today at the EDION Arena Osaka fight fans saw former 3-time world champion Etsuko Tada (19-3-2, 6) [多田悦子] take a huge step towards becoming a grand slam champion today, when she became the mandatory challenger for the WBC Female Minimumweight title.
The Japanese veteran was up against Thai youngster Kanyarat Yoohanngoh (6-3, 3), who had recently won the OPBF silver Minimumweight title with a stoppage win over Umi Ishikawa. On paper this was top class veteran against a youngster who had just had her best performance. In the ring however it was a straight forward assignment for Tada, who vacated the WBO female Minimumweight earlier this year.
Tada's experience was on show early on, as she intelligently applied pressure, backing up the Thai and enforcing her will on the bout. Tada found a home early on for her straight left hand and forced the Thai to back up, hold and fight off the ropes.
After 4 rounds the Japanese fighter was leading 40-36, and looked in total control whilst Kanyarat was struggling to create any breathing space to work from. The pressure of Tada finally broke through in round 6, as she dropped forced the Thai in to total survival mode, with Kanyarat being deducted a point for holding. That was the start of the end for the Thai who was stopped the following round, after being dropped by a right hook.
Tada will now look to target WBC champion Tina Rupprecht, in a bout that could take place in summer.
Over the past few weeks we've seen various rumours and stories break from the Shinsei Gym, including yesterday's reveal on their website of Real Spirits 63.
For those unaware Realy Spirits 63 was on their website and revealed that the unbeaten Kasumi Saeki (3-0, 2) [佐伯霞] would face Mexican Elizabeth Lopez (6-1-4, 1) for the WBO female Minimumweight title.
That title had become vacated when Saeki's stablemate Etsuko Tada (18-3-2, 5) [多田悦子], vacated to pursue a WBC world title, with Tada fighting Kanyarat Yoohanngoh (5-2, 3) in a WBC eliminator. Both of those bouts will be on the same card, and will take place at the EDION Arena Osaka, on April 27th.
Today both of those bouts were officially announced at a press conference by the Shinsei who also confirmed that Reiya Konishi's (17-1, 7) [小西伶弥] battle against IBF Light Flyweight champion Felix Alvarado (34-2, 30) would take place on May 19th in Kobe, at the Portopia hotel.
This bout had been in the works for months, and was originally rumoured to be on the April card, before being pushed back to the following month. It will be Alvarado's first defense of the title and Konishi's second world title bout, following a loss to Carlos Canizales in 2018.
The head of the Shinsei Gym, Masato Yamashita, began the press conference:
“My main character Saiki will participate in the WBO Women's World Minimum Class Championship at the main event on April 27. This title was given by Atsuko Tada 3 Tada will be on the 20th, and Tada will hold the WBC World Women's Minimum Class Challenger, aiming for a four-group victory on the same day, and on May 19 Minoru Konishi will challenge the IBF world title match It was decided by the nomination challenge as it is the only one who will play the world title in Kansai, and both men and women will do their best so that they can continue so as not to light the light of the world war in Kansai. All three of us are welcome to take the win, as they may be muddy" [Google translated]
Konishi, who is in really tough told reporters “I am grateful to the chairman for the second chance, and I am practicing and thinking about what I am missing after losing to the world match, by trial and error. I have not made boxing yet, but now I am the strongest. I think it will be a tough match, but I will take on a strong feeling to capture," [Google translated]
Saeki stated: "I didn't think I could get a chance so quickly," adding "I want to get a good chance to be a world champion here." and "This time the other party is smaller than myself. I would like to defeat my boxing and win" [Google translated]
As for Tada "Now, the condition is very good. I think that the other party has a difference in power, so I want to win well and go to the world,"[Google translated]
It's also worth noting that the Kobe card has a notable chief support bout, as Kenichi Horikawa (39-15-1, 13) [堀川 謙一] defends his Japanese Light Flyweight title against Masashi Tada (13-5-3, 8) [多田雅].
What hasn't yet been confirmed is the broadcast information of the two shows. It's been rumoured that WOWOW will show the May card, though the April show may end up Boxing Raise.
Related-April 27th Shinsei Card gets announced! Saeki gets world title fight in 4th bout!
Reiya Konishi and Felix Alvarado to clash in May!
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Back in February Masatao Yamashita revealed that young protege Kasumi Saeki (3-0, 2) [佐伯霞] would be getting a world title fight on April 27th, revealing the fight at a special event where Saeki spoke in regards to her studies. Things went quiet on the details for that, but we have now been informed of the show and it's two main bouts.
One bout that had been revealed for the card, other than Saeki's, was the contest between Etsuko Tada (18-3-2, 5) [多田悦子] and Thai youngster Kanyarat Yoohanngoh (5-2, 3). Originally this was reported as a WBO Minimumweight title bout, instead however Tada has vacated the WBO title and this will be a WBC eliminator, with the winner to get a shot at either Tina Rupprecht or Maricela Quintero, who face off on April 6th. Tada did revealed earlier in the year that she wanted to win a WBC title to complete the set, having held WBC, WBO and IBF titles during her career, and this option makes sense now, looking at things.
As for what happens with the WBO title that Tada held, well that will actually be the title that Saeki fights for, with the youngster pencilled in to fight Elizabeth Lopez (6-1-4, 1) for the belt. If Saeki wins, as those who have seen her will expect, then the world is her oyster. She's only 22 but looks to be one of the most gifted female fighters in the sport, with incredible technical skills and speed. A real joy to watch. A loss to Lopez wouldn't be the end, but would be very unexpected.
Earlier today we were informed that Etsuko Tada (18-3-2, 5) [多田悦子] would be back in the ring on the long rumoured April 27th Shinsei gym show. A show which is also set to feature Kasumi Saeki (3-0, 2) [佐伯霞] and is rumoured to be the target for Reiya Konishi's (17-1, 7) [小西伶弥] battle against IBF Light Flyweight champion Felix Alvarado (34-2, 30).
Not only were we told that Tada would be on the show, but also that she would be making her first defense of the WBO female Minimumweight title, against Thai youngster Kanyarat Yoohanngoh (5-2, 3), who won the OPBF Silver title in February when she stopped Umi Ishikawa in 3 rounds.
The champion won her title in December, when she beat Kayoko Ebata (12-8, 6) [江畑佳代子] in an absolute thriller, to become a triple champion, having previously won the WBA and IBF titles, and has stated a desire to win the WBC title in the future. The challenger on the other hand lacks any wins of note, other than the one over Ishikawa. In fact Kanyarat's only other bout of note was a stoppage loss to the aforementioned Seeki last year.
On the subject of Seeki her team are planning a world title fight for her here, but at the moment her opponent hasn't yet been named. Likewise we've not seen any confirmation of the Alvarado Vs Konishi bout, yet.
(Image of Tada courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Over the last couple of hours we have looked at some individual award winners at today's Japanese boxing awards, held in the amazing Tokyo Dome Hotel. For those who just want to see the winners in a list here we go:
The MVP was:
Naoya Inoue (17-0, 15) [井上 尚弥]
The Skills Award was won by:
Kosei Tanaka (12-0, 7) [田中恒成]
The KO Award was won by:
Naoya Inoue (17-0, 15) [井上 尚弥]
Special Award was won by:
Masayuki Ito (25-1-1, 13) [伊藤 雅雪]
The Effort Award was won by:
Masayoshi Nakatani (18-0, 12) [中谷正義]
The Newcomer Award was won by:
Kazuto Takesako (10-0, 10) [竹迫司登]
The Best World title Fight:
Sho Kimura [木村翔] Vs Kosei Tanaka [田中恒成]
The Best Japanese Domestic fight:
Yusaku Kuga [久我勇作] Vs Shingo Wake [和氣 慎吾]
Female fighter of the year was:
Tenkai Tsunami (26-12, 15) [天海 ツナミ]
Female Fight of the Year was:
Kayoko Ebata [江畑佳代子] Vs Etsuko Tada [多田悦子]
Trainer of the Year was:
Shingo Inoue [井上真吾]
A Special Achievement Award was won by:
Shinsuke Yamanaka [山中慎介]
Special Prizes were given to:
Toshiyuki Igarashi [五十嵐 俊幸]
Naoko Shibata [柴田 直子]
Nana Yoshikawa [好川 菜々]
Ryuya Yamanaka [山中 竜也]
And Momo Koseki [小関 桃]
A social Contribution prize was given too:
Naoko Fujioka (17-2, 7) [藤岡 奈穂子]
JBC Service Achievements were won by
Akira Tabata, who has served as a timekeeper, and Hiroyuki Tokuzaki, a referee who sadly passed away in October.
Several other officials earned awards for their roles in the sport as well, as did Atsushi Sato, a producer at WOWOW.
It's also worth noting that every male fighter who held a world title at some point during the year won an Outstanding Fighter Award, this is a normal thing to recognise all champions. We won't list them all here though they obviously included Kenshiro [拳四朗] and Hiroto Kyoguchi [京口 紘人] among others.
As for amateur awards, the best male fighter was:
Daisuke Narimatsu [成松大介]
and the best female fighter was:
Tsukimi Namiki [並木月海]
(Image courtesy of Boxingnews.jp)
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