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!
Back in mid-February we saw the announcement of a world title triple header for April 15th. That original announcement saw WBA Middleweight champion Ryota Murata (13-1, 10) [村田 諒太] being matched with Italian veteran Emanuele Felice Blandamura (27-2, 5), WBC Flyweight champion Daigo Higa (15-0, 15) [比嘉 大吾] taking on Nicaraguan Cristofer Rosales (26-3, 17) and WBC Light Flyweight champion Ken Shiro (12-0, 6) [拳 四朗] battling former champion Ganigan Lopez (28-7, 17).
Now however it's been revealed that the Light Flyweight title bout has been removed from the card, where it would have likely been on a delay broadcast and not seen by a live TV audience.
The good news is that fans won't need to wait too long to see the fight take place, as it's been rescheduled to May 25th, and will join the Fuji TV broadcast for the card headlined by Naoya Inoue (15-0, 13) [井上 尚弥] battling Jamie McDonnell (29-2-1-1, 13) for the WBA "regular" Bantamweight champion.
As a result of the change we now end up with two live world title double headers on Fuji TV, with no bouts being shown on a delay.
The reason for this change isn't totally clear, with speculation being that Fuji wanted to do two double headers or that Ohashi failed to secure a second world title bout of their own, and have had Ken Shiro fill in as a result. There is also the possibility that Ohashi may have plans that now run into June or July for another big fight featuring one of their big hopes, and have removed them from any plan for the May card to help complete negotiations.
For fans who are unable to make it to either event this is great news and will let you see all 4 bouts on TV, for fans who have tickets for the April card this might be a bit of a disappointment, but the card is still a strong one.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
Next Sunday we'll see WBC Flyweight champion Daigo Higa (14-0, 14) [比嘉 大吾] make his next defense of the title, as he takes on former WBO Minimumweight champion Moises Fuentes (25-4-1, 14) in Okinawa. The bout is already a sell out and has been massively anticipated in the region, as Higa makes a home coming defense in front of friends and family.
With it being a sell out it obviously means a lot of fans will be dependent on television coverage for the fight and we now have all the details about the Japanese television coverage.
As mentioned a while back the fight will be aired live from 8PM local time on Fuji TV. Fans outside of the Fuji TV reach needn't be concerned however as the show will broadcast across the country on Fuji affiliated channels, including Kansai TV 1 in Osaka, Okinawa TV for the fans in Okinawa who weren't able to secure tickets for the fight. As with Fuji the broadcasts on the affiliates will be live from 8PM.
Sadly for fans hoping to see more from the under-card it does seem like the telecasts will only show the main event, and a 1 hour time slot has been put aside for the world title bout. We don't expect the fight to go the full 1 hour, afterall Higa has never seen the final bell and has himself predicted a stoppage in the first half, but the telecast will also likely be used to help promote the upcoming WBA Middleweight title. That bout will see champion Ryota Murata (13-1, 10) [村田 諒太] battle Italian veteran Emanuele Felice Blandamura (27-2, 5) on April 15th, and may also be used to give fans an update on several other Fuji TV based fighters.
Back in August we saw the announcement of the rematch between Ryota Murata (12-1, 9) [村田 諒太] and WBA Middleweight champion Hassan N'Dam N'Jikam (36-2, 21), with that bout set for OCtober 22nd. Soon after that announcement it was revealed that WBC Flyweight champion Daigo Higa (13-0, 13) [比嘉 大吾] would be defending his title against Frenchman Thomas Masson (17-3-1, 5).
Over the last 24 hours it has been reported that the show will now be a triple-header with the addition of a WBC Light Flyweight title bout between defending champion Ken Shiro (10-0, 5) [拳 四朗] and former champion Pedro Guevara (30-2-1, 17), who will enter the bout as the mandatory challenger.
For the champion the bout will be his first defense, and sees him teaming upon a poromotional level with Murata, Higa and Fuji TV for a second time this year year, following their show together in May which saw Murata lose to N'Dam and both Higa and Ken Shiro claim their world titles, beating Mexican champions for titles.
The Japanese youngster, a former OPBF, Japanese and WBC Youth champion, narrowly over-came Ganigan lopez to win the title in May and will be looking to claim a big win here to help set up potential unification bouts in the near future. As for Guevara this bout will be his third in Japan, where he won this very title a few years ago against Akira Yaegashi and then lost it soon afterwards to Yu Kimura. Interestingly Guevara's only other loss was to Johnriel Casimero, in a bout for the IBF Light Flyweight title.
At the moment it's unclear if the bout will be televised live, but it does look like a really fantastic match up, and could be the bout of the show.
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