On New Year's Eve the Ota City General Gymnasium played host to a show with a staggering 6 title bouts on it. Sadly only two of those were shown live on Japanese channel TBS.
That meant that we never got the chance to see the WBO Asia Pacific Minimumweight title fight, featuring unbeaten champion Ginjiro Shigeoka (5-0, 4) [重岡銀次朗] defending against former world title challenger Rey Loreto (25-15, 17), or the WBO female Super Flyweight title bout, between Miyo Yoshida (14-1) [吉田 実代] and Chinese challenger Li Ping Shi (5-3, 2).
Thankfully we now know when those bouts will be televised, with TBS set to air them in just over a week's team on a tape delay basis as part of their semi-regular Guts Fighting series.
From the TBS website the bouts will air on January 20th at 2:05, though from a Japanese TV guide it appears the bout will actually be shown on the 21st at 2:05. It's unclear if they will be shown in full, though given how long they went it wouldn't be a surprise to see both aired in an unedited form during a 1 hour broadcast slot.
Although they'll have taken 3 weeks to be aired, we suspect the wait will be worth it, with the fan cam footage of Shigeoka's making it seem like that was a very fun fight.
At the moment it's unclear whether TBS plan to air the WBO Asia Pacific Super Bantamweight title bout between Yusaku Kuga (19-4-1, 13) [久我勇作] and Filipino fighter Jhunriel Ramonal (17-8-6, 10), though given how short that was it would be no surprise to see them slip it on to this broadcast.
Today saw the shortlists being released from the Japanese Boxing Commission and the Tokyo Sports Press Club for the annual Japanese boxing awards, celebrating the best of Japanese boxing in 2019.
Unsurprisingly Ryota Murata, Kazuto Ioka, Kosei Tanaka, Kenshiro Teraji and Naoya Inoue were in multiple categories following a solid for all 5 men.
Below are the short lists for this years awards, ahead of the annual ceremony, which will take place on February 7th in Tokyo.
Naoya Inoue (19-0, 16) [井上 尚弥]
Kazuto Ioka (25-2, 14) [井岡一翔]
Ryota Murata (16-2, 13) [村田 諒太]
Kosei Tanaka (15-0, 9) [田中恒成]
Kenshiro Teraji (17-0, 10) [寺地 拳四朗]
Ryosuke Iwasa (27-3, 17) [岩佐 亮佑]
Keita Kurihara (15-5, 13) [栗原 慶太]
Shuichiro Yoshino (11-0, 9) [吉野 修一郎]
Hiroaki Teshigawara (21-2-2, 14) [勅使河原 弘晶]
Ginjiro Shigeoka (5-0, 4) [重岡銀次朗]
Koki Inoue (15-0, 12) [浩樹井上]
Junto Nakatani (20-0, 15) [中谷 潤人]
Yuki Nonaka (33-11-3, 10) [野中 悠樹]
Akinori Watanabe (39-7-1, 33) [渡部あきのり]
Yuki Nagano (17-2, 13) [永野祐樹]
Norihito Tanaka (19-7, 10) [田中教仁]
Best Fight of the Year (World title Bout)
Naoya Inoue Vs Nonito Donaire
Naoya Inoue Vs Emanuel Rodriguez
Kazuto Ioka Vs Aston Palicte
Ryota Murata Vs Rob Brant II
Best Fight of the Year (Non-world title)
Kazuto Takesako Vs Shuji Kato 加藤収二]
Yuki Beppu [別府優樹] Vs Ryota Yada [矢田良太]
Toshiya Ishii [石井渡士也] Vs Haruki Ishikawa [石川春樹]
Tenkai Tsunami (27-12-1, 16) [天海 ツナミ]
Kasumi Saeki (4-0, 3) [佐伯霞]
Miyo Yoshida (14-1) [吉田 実代]
Female Fight of the Year
Naoko Fujioka [藤岡 奈穂子] Vs Tenkai Tsunami
Kasumi Saeki Vs Elizabeth Lopez
Monseratt Alcaron Vs Ayaka Miyao [宮尾 綾香]
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
To open today's big show in Japan fans at the Ota City General Gymnasium saw WBO Asia Pacific Minimumweight champion Ginjiro Shigeoka (5-0, 4) [重岡銀次朗] score his first defense, and do so in style!
The 20 year old was up against former world title challenger Rey Loreto (25-15, 17), and on paper this looked like a really tough first defense. Whilst Loreto is certainly not unbeatable he has proven to be a tough, rugged fighter, with heavy hands and a real desire to win, even if he does tend to come up short.
What few, other than Shigeoka himself, expected was an early win, though that's exactly what the youngster delivered.
Loreto tried to jab early on, and despite some success he felt the power and speed of Shigeoka and was dropped in the first round. As a response Loreto then began to stand his ground, trying to out man his younger opponent. That was a mistake, as Shigeoka, but a mistake though brought the veteran some success despite taking punishment himself.
In round 3 Loreto landed a good counter, but failed to land any sort of follow up as Shigeoka regrouped, and in round 5 he began to really pound the body of Loreto, hurting him, before dropping him with a hard left hand. Loreto was unable to beat the count, being counted out at an official time of 2:13 of round 5.
Amazingly this was only the second time in 40 fights that Loreto has been stopped, with the only other time coming back in 2011 to the then 13-0 Paipharob Kokietgym. For Shigeoka to take him out like this, was a genuine statement!
After the Loreto told the press that Shigeoka was strong and cleaver and seemed impressed by the youngster. As for Shigeoka, who sported some very clear bruising under his right eye, he was very analytical of his own performance. He seemed to suggest that his eardrum was damaged in round 2 and that he had damaged one of his hands, but didn't appear too worried about either injury. Instead he seemed to suggest that he wanted to fight for a world title next year.
Although no plans are set for Shigeoka's next in ring move he will be returning to Kumamoto in the new year for the coming of age ceremony in January.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Tomorrow at the Ota City General Gymnasium fans will get the chance to see WBO Asia Pacific Minimumweight champion Ginjiro Shigeoka (4-0, 3) [重岡銀次朗] make his first defense, as he takes on former world title challenger Rey Loreto (25-14, 17).
Today the two men took part in their weigh in for the bout and both came in comfortably under the 105lb limit, with both men hitting the scales at nigh on 104.75lbs, and both looked in good shape. If anything Shigeoka looked in slightly better shape, but both looked like they had made the weight with no issues at all.
At the weigh in both men seemed confident. Shigeoka said he was glad to be able to fight on New Year's Eve and stated that next year he wanted to return to the ring to fight in a world title fight. He stated that he had been told Loreto was string, but it sounded like he was confident in his speed and his own strength.
Loreto, a Filipino fight who now fights out of the Taisei Gym in Japan, seemed wary of Shigeoka's speed, but suggested that he would guard against it and work hard, in what will be his 40th professional contest. It seems likely his experience will be one of his biggest strengths here, but he is up against a man that many in Japan view as a major star of the future.
Related - Rising star Shigeoka defends regional crown against former world title challenger!
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
At the end of December Japanese fans get a treat with an incredible card feature a staggering 6 title bouts!
Today there was a small competition to get on that card, with 10 girls each trying to book their place on the show as one of the ring card girls.
Prior to today there was a screening process to a much bigger entry pool down to 10. Those 10 finalists were then whittled down to two by a panel of judges at today's event.
The event today saw the 10 posing in swimsuits for the judges, which included former world champion Ryoichi Taguchi (27-4-2, 12) [田口良一] and current female world champion Miyo Yoshida (13-1) [吉田 実代], who will feature on the card herself in a world title defense.
The two winners, who are both said to be boxing fans, will not only do the ring cards, but will also feature in a number of the build up events including the signing ceremony, the face and the weigh in.
Whilst the use of ring card girls have had a mixed response in the west in recent years, with some promoters doing away with them and some feminist groups complaining, events to select ring card girls do happen somewhat regularly in Japan. They usually aren't as high profile as they were for this particular show, but there isn't the same calls to ban ring girls are there are in the west.
The girls will get a huge chance to boost their modelling careers here with them appearing on a show that features Kosei Tanaka (14-0, 8) [田中恒成] and Kazuto Ioka (24-2, 14) [井岡一翔], as well as Yoshida, defending world titles and talented youngster Ginjiro Shigeoka (4-0, 3) [重岡銀次朗] also on the card.
(Images courtesy of Boxmob.jp)
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