Last Friday Fuji TV, and affiliate Kansai TV, showed a world title double header. The card saw Ryota Murata (15-2, 12) [村田 諒太] reclaim the WBA "regular" Middleweight title, as he stopped Rob Brant (25-2, 17) in 2 rounds, and also saw WBC Light Flyweight champion Kenshiro (16-0, 9) [拳四朗] stop mandatory challenger Jonathan Taconing (28-4-1, 22).
Following those bouts there was a rather long wait for the TV numbers to be released, with that wait ending today. And boy were the numbers impressive!
Kenshiro, who has often missed out on live TV chances with Fuji, drew an average audience of 8.4%, a huge number for a guy that had been so over-looked.
Despite the Light Flyweight champion doing impressive numbers his fight was dwarfed by Murata, who averaged 11.9% in the Kanto region and 12.9% in the Kansai region, and peaked at 14.9% in Kanto and 20.8% in Kansai.
Whilst transferring the % to raw numbers isn't totally accurate it does give us some us fairly rough numbers to be blown away by.
The rough average is a little over 7,000,000 people watching Murata, with a peak of around 11,000,000. A figure that is frankly staggering for a fight, though may end up paving the way for more bouts in Japan to take place on a Friday.
Taro Takeuchi, a producer at Fuji TV, praised the numbers and Murata and made it clear that boxing was getting great figures on Fuji TV, and it seems clear that they are expecting the numbers to continue to grow.
Of course it's not only Murata and Kenshiro who are big names affiliated with the channel, with Naoya Inoue (18-0, 16) [井上 尚弥] also fighting on the channel, and his WBSS final with Nonito Donaire (40-5, 26) will expected to do incredible numbers of Fuji later int he year.
Thursday next week Japanese fans at the Korakuen Hall will get the next Diamond Glove card. The show will be headlined by Hiroaki Teshigawara (18-2-2, 11) [勅使河原 弘晶], defending the OPBF Super Bantamweight title against Yuki Iriguchi (10-2-1, 4) [入口裕貴], and will also feature Kenichi Horikawa (38-15-1, 12) [堀川 謙一] battling with Satoru Todaka (9-2-4, 3) [戸髙達] for the Japanese Light Flyweight title.
Over the last day or so Fuji TV have revealed that the show will be aired the following weekend, on Saturday night/Sunday morning, as their next "Diamond Glove" broadcast.
As is typical for these Diamond Glove shows it will have a 1 hour time slot, beginning at 27:10 Saturday night, or 3:10 Sunday morning, meaning we'll likely only get TV edited highlights of the bouts unless they finish early.
Whilst we're not fans of delay footage, we are glad that this does have a scheduled air date, and is only a few days after the bouts take place.
Teshigawara looks to defend OPBF crown against Iriguchi!
Horikawa and Todaka battle for vacant Japanese crown!
This coming Sunday Japanese fight fans will be able to see a major card thanks to Fuji TV who are showing a card from the Ota City General Gymnasium.
For those wanting to watch the card on Fuji TV the broadcast is set to being at 7PM local time, which is 10AM in the UK and is set to show two bouts live.
The first of those live bouts will be the WBC "interim" Bantamweight bout between Takuma Inoue (12-0, 3) [井上 拓真] and Petch Sor Chitpattana (48-0, 33) [เพชร ซีพีเฟรชมาร์ท], with Takuma looking to join brother Naoya Inoue as a world champion.
The second live bout will see WBO Super Featherweight champion Masayuki Ito (24-1-1, 12) [伊藤 雅雪] defending his belt for the first time, and taking on mandatory challenger Evgeny Chuprakov (20-0, 10). This is the main event of the show and is a really exciting match up, especially given that the Super Featherweight division is one with a number of notable names in it.
Unfortunate the WBC Light Flyweight bout between Kenshiro (14-0, 8) [拳四朗] and Saul Juarez (24-8-2, 13) is not set to be shown live, though could be used to fill time in the event of early finishes in the other two bouts. For fans in the venue this will be the first of the three world title fights on the show, so the result will likely be out there before the broadcast is shown.
Despite not being shown live the Kenshiro Vs Juarez bout is expected to be shown in full in 2019 on a Fuji or Fuji BS broadcast. The Kenshiro bout is also expected to be squeezed on the ESPN+ broadcast, if the other two bouts finish early. That ESPN+ broadcast is set to begin at 5AM ET.
Related- Masayuki Ito faces mandatory Evgeny Chuprakov
Petch Sor Chitpattana and Takuma Inoue clash for WBC interim title!
Kenshiro seeks 5th defense, takes on Baby Juarez
(Image courtesy of Fuji TV)
Next Sunday we'll see the attention of the boxing world turn to Yokohama as the WBSS tournaments at both Bantamweight and Light Welterweight kick off. Not only that but the show they kick off on will also feature a brilliant WBC Light Flyweight world title fight in a brilliant triple header.
For Japanese fans the card will be televised live on Fuji TV, at least partly.
It appears that the Japanese broadcaster will begin their televised broadcast at 8PM local time and will run it to around 10PM local time. Sadly that is only time for 2 of the three bouts.
The official line from Fuji seems to be that they will show the Bantamweight bout between WBA "regular" champion Naoya Inoue (16-0, 14) [井上 尚弥] and Juan Carlos Payano (20-1, 9) but they will not be showing the other WBSS bout.
That means fans watching on Fuji will miss out on the contest between WBA Light Welterweight champion Kiryl Relikh (22-2, 19) and Eduard Troyanovsky (27-1, 24). They will however get the WBC Light Flyweight title bout between Kenshiro (13-0, 7) [拳四朗] and former IBF champion Milan Melindo (37-3, 13), which will take up the first part of the live broadcast.
Sadly it appears that the Relikh Vs Troyanovsky bout also won't be televised on a Fuji sister channel, meaning Japanese fans will require an alternative method to watch the bout, despite the fact it takes place on their turf.
It should be noted that Fuji's affiliate channel Kansai TV, or KTV, will show the same as Fuji TV giving the show a chance to appeal to the second biggest Japan market, alongside the Kanto market.
As had become the disappointing norm in Japan for non-world title bouts, we have today been informed that the September 11th clash between Takuma Inoue (11-0, 3) [井上 拓真] and Mark John Yap (29-12, 14), who face off in a WBC Bantamweight world title eliminator, will not be shown live in Japan.
Sadly the bout, one of the most significant none-WBSS Bantamweight bouts this year, will be held off until Fuji TV air it the following weekend.
The tape delay broadcasts of the bout will take place on Sunday night, not the usual Saturday night, and will be aired on their standard terrestrial channel.
The broadcast is expected to be around 1 hour long and will likely feature the main event in full, along with some potential highlights from the card and some build up to the October 7th Fuji card featuring Takuma's older brother Naoya Inoue (16-0, 14) [井上 尚弥] kicking off his WBSS campaign against Juan Carlos Payano (20-1, 9). That card will be live, though full TV details haven't yet been announced by Fuji TV and neither has the full card, with only the three world title bouts from the show being confirmed so far.
Although Fuji have found success with their tape delay broadcasts we do wonder why they don't trial putting the fights live on one of their sister channels, before a terrestrial tape delay broadcast. Fingers crossed things will change there in the future, but we're glad it is getting the TV exposure that the fight seriously deserves.
Related - A full preview of Inoue Vs Yap by our good friend George Delis can be read here- Takuma Inoue and Mark John Yap clash in WBC Eliminator!
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