Earlier today at the Sangyo Hall, in Kanazawa, Japanese fight fans get a special treat as two world class fighters took part in a 3 round exhibition event. The fighters in question were WBA "regular" Bantamweight champion Naoya Inoue (16-0, 14) [井上 尚弥] and former WBO Featherweight world title challenger Genesis Servania (31-1, 14).
The two men, who have sparred together regularly in recent years, gave the fans a real show with a high tempo and hotly contested spar that saw the two fighters grab the attention of all the fans, despite the fact it was essentially a glorified spar.
Despite the "irrelevance" of the exhibition it was something that both seemed to enjoy and it's clear that it's part of Inoue's preparation for his upcoming participation in the World Boxing Super Series, as well as helping Servania stay sharp ahead of any opportunity he might be getting later in the year, or early in 2019.
Although Servania's next bout isn't set as of yet it does seem clear that he's still looking to get a second world title fight, following his unexpectedly competitive 2017 loss to Oscar Valdez, in a bout that saw both men being dropped.
After the exhibition Inoue was offered the microphone and had the chance to speak to the crowd.
He thanked them for their support, spoke about eating Sushi from Kanazawa and revealed that his bout with Juan Carlos Payano (20-1, 9) would be taking place in October, more about that in a moment.
Speaking about the WBSS, Inoue revealed that it wouldn't be easy but that he would do his best to win. He gave props to both his team, at the Ohashi gym, his manager Hideyuki Ohashi and the fans who were supporting him and would likely be there to support him through the WBSS. When he finished the crowd gave him a round of applause, partly for the spar and partly for the time he had taken to speak to them.
The confirmation of an October date matches up with what with Leon Margules revealed to Russian news agency TASS in regards to Kiryl Relikh (22-2, 19) facing Eduard Troyanovsky (27-1, 24) in Yokohama on October 7th, also in the WBSS, with Inoue against Payanao expected to be on the same show.
Both Relikh Vs Troyanovsky and Inoue Vs Payano are expected to be officially announced in the coming days.
(Images courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Earlier this week it was announced by Kashimi gym that WBA "regular" Bantamweight champion Naoya Inoue (16-0, 14) [井上 尚弥] would be back in the ring on August 19th, as he takes part in a 3 round exhibition with former WBO Featherweight world title challenger Genesis Servania (31-1, 14) in Kanazawa.
The show, dubbed the "Asian Boxing Classic", is being put on by Servania's team at the Kashimi gym and follows previous exhibitions and sparring sessions between the two world class fighters.
Inoue is currently taking part in a training camp and has expressed some frustration about how slowly things are being sorted for the Bantamweight World Boxing Super Series (WBSS), which is expected to begin in the fall. This bnout with Servania will likely be part of his preparation for that contest and will see him getting a good work out with someone naturally bigger, and someone he seems to enjoy sharing the ring with.
As for the Japanese based Filipino born Servania, who was last seen fighting in the Philippines earlier this year, the exhibition is going to help him increase his profile and continue hiw working relationship with both the Kashimi gym and with Inoue, and the Ohashi gym.
At the moment not much else about the show is knonw, though Hurricane Futa (24-7-1, 15) [中岸風太] is also on the show returning to the ring for the first time since he brilliant KO win over Vage Sarukhanyan in February. The hard hitting Futa is always good value for money and should be in a fun to watch bout here, though we are waiting for his opponent to be announced.
Just moments ago fight fans around the world were able to see unbeaten Filipino sensation Mark Anthony Barriga (9-0, 1) put on a masterclass of boxing to dominate hard hitting Colombian Gabriel Mendoza (29-6-2, 23) and become the IBF mandatory challenger at Minimumweight.
From the first round it was clear that Barriga was several levels above the Colombian, who had fought for a world title only a year ago and it never really changed as Barriga controlled round after round with his excellent movement, counter punching. The Colombian struggled to ever connect cleanly and instead he was being tagged by regular counters, jabs and combinations.
The one saving grace for Mendoza was his toughness, and despite being stung a few times he never looked like he was going to be stopped. It was possible that Mendoza's survival had a lot to do with Barriga's relative lack of power, but it scarcely mattered with the Colombian looking gun shy for the most part, knowing that he was going to be tagged as and when he let his own hands go. With Mendoza throwing less as the bout went on Barriga went on the offensive more, and left Mendoza with a swollen right eye.
At the end of the contest there was no doubting the winner, with Barriga taking the decisions thanks to scores of 120-108, twice, and 119-109, with one judge managing to find a sympathy round for Mendoza.
With this win Barriga will likely face either Hiroto Kyoguchi or Vince Paras, who fight later this month in an IBF world title fight.
On the under-card of the show, which was an incredibly long one, fans saw former WBO Super Flyweight champion Marvin Sonsona (21-1-1, 15) out point Arief Blader (23-28-2, 8) in what was a dreary performance from both men, Genesis Servania (31-1, 14) score a stoppage over Jason Butar Butar (27-24-1, 18), with a brutal body shot, a wide US win for AJ Banal (36-2-1, 23), who easily out pointed Master Suro (12-14-1, 2) in what was a dire bout.
Last week saw the announcement that Naoya Inoue (15-0, 13) [井上 尚弥] would be moving up in weight to take on WBA "regular" Bantamweight champion Jamie McDonnell (29-2-1-1, 13) on May 25th. Today saw two men arrive in Yokohama to begin the unenviable task of becoming two of Inoue's key sparring partners.
The men in question were former world title challenger Genesis Servania (30-1, 13), who is best known for his thrilling bout with Oscar Valdez from last September, and world ranked Chinese Featherweight Can Xu (13-2, 1) [徐灿].
Servania isn't there to replicate the style or physical threat of McDonnell but is a very highly skilled fighter who has sparred with Inoue in the past and will keep the Japanese youngster sharp and hone his skills. Xu on the other hand does represent a more stylistic comparison to the Englishman, and is physically very similar with long arms and a tall body.
The two men will begin sparring with Inoue from tomorrow, and will be joined in April by two more sparring partners, both of whom are from Europe and expected to better match the style and stature of McDonnell, who will always pose some real problems phsyically for opponents at Bantamweight.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
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