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 (3-0, 2) [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)
In late 2019 we did a number of short articles under "The Round Review" banner, covering 14 of the best rounds from 2019. Now we've selected one of those as our round of the year.
The round we selected was the brilliant second round from the Japanese Youth Bantamweight title between Toshiya Ishii and Haruki Ishikawa. The bout wasn't aired live anywhere though the bout got rave reviews from fans in the venue. When it was made available to watch, on tape delay, and even knowing the result we didn't expect the round too live up to the expectations we had. Amazingly it exceeded the expectations with the two men really hammering each other with bombs in a thrilling, round of action.
The round pitted two youngsters against each other, and whatever it is Japanese youngsters, facing off for Japanese Youth titles, do tend to provide thrilling action. They seems to want that Youth title to help launch their careers to bigger and better things. That was on show here.
Just seconds into the round we had a knockdown, not long after that the two men rocked each other with simultaneous left hooks as they stood and traded. A few moments of sloppy action, as both tried to get their senses back followed before the round rebuilt to give us an exceptional final 90 seconds or so.
This was a great example of Japanese officiating, with the referee not looking to interfere at every opportunity but letting fight on the inside. Yes the third man was involved a few times but his involvement was short, necessary and not there to break the action but to get it restarted.
This was drama, this was bombs away and this was the start of the end, with the bout ending in round 4 when Ishikawa was almost sent out of the ring.
We know fans will suggest that others rounds deserve this honour, notably the 11th round of Naoya Inoue Vs Nonito Donaire, and whilst that was an amazing, really it was, we preferred seeing Ishii and Ishikawa stumbling away from each other, rather than Ernie Sharif giving Inoue a body check. The best thing about 2019 however is that we had about 20 rounds that could all be spoken about in depth. Last year was an amazing year, and a year that should be celebrated for what it delivered!
It really seems like Japan is delivering great fight after great at the moment. On Sunday fans had the sensational war between Yuki Beppu and Ryota Yada, on Tuesday they had Hironori Mishiro taking on Yoshimitsu Kimura in a thriller and today fans at Korakuen Hall had a fantastic Japanese Youth Bantamweight title bout.
The bout in question saw teenager Toshiya Ishii (3-0, 2) [石井渡士也] over-come Haruki Ishikawa (8-2, 6) [石川春樹] in a thrilling 4 round shoot out.
From the off it was clear both men believed in themselves. Ishii however proved to have the early edge in speed, fighting well with his jab, coming in and out and having the early success. The opening round ended on a real high for the teenager, as he dropped Ishikawa in the final seconds.
Ishii tried to jump on his man at the start of round 2, and from there on the fight was a war, with neither man caring much about their defense. Both just went for it, in some dangerous back and forth sequences, including one that saw both men being rocked, and another that dropped Ishii. That intense action dropped off a bit in round 3, as Ishii got back behind his jab, used his skills and established himself as the better boxer.
Early in round 4 a counter from Ishii dropped Ishikawa, hard, with the referee immediately stopping the bout.
After the bout Ishii spoke about wanting to fight for the main Japanese title next year. Given the Japanese Bantamweight scene is a tough one, fighting like this will not be his best option to get to that title.
(Image courtesy of A. McGovern)
Tomorrow at the iconic Korakuen Hall fans will see a new Japanese Youth Bantamweight champion being crowned, as Toshiya Ishii (2-0, 1) [石井渡士也] and Haruki Ishikawa (8-1, 6) [石川春樹] battle for the vacant title in a very good looking 8 rounder.
Today, ahead of their bout, the two men took part in their weigh in and neither of the youngsters had any issues at all in making the 118lb limit, with both men hitting the scales around 117.7lbs, comfortably under the limit.
At the weigh in both men seemed incredibly confident. Ishii spoke about his desire to win the youth title in just his third professional bout, and stated that his experience of sparring with Ishikawa gave him the belief that he was quicker and had more power.
Ishikawa spoke highly of Ishii, stating that he thought this would be the title bout when the two men were put in a 4 man tournament for the belt. Despite speaking highly of Ishii he was confident he would take the belt, and the Japanese ranking of Ishii.
Related - Ishii goes for belt in third pro bout, faces hard hitting Ishikawa!
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
We've known for a while that the December 12th Diamond glove card was going to be a stacked card, with 2 title bouts having been confirmed for it a back in October.
Today we were actually informed there was a third title bout added to the show.
That bout will see Toshiya Ishii (2-0, 1) [石井渡士也] and Haruki Ishikawa (8-1, 6) [石川春樹] battle for the vacant Japanese Youth Bantamweight title, with both youngsters looking to claim their first professional titles.
The two men were part of a 4 man tournament to crown a champion, with Ishii beating Fumiya Fuse and Ishikawa stopping Atsushi Takada in what were essentially semi-final bouts.
The 18 year old Ishii is very highly regarded after a stellar amateur career that saw him going 30-14 (7) and his win over Fuse was a sensational victory for just a man in just his second professional bout. Ishikawa on the other hand went 2-3 (1) in the amateur ranks but has made his mark in the professional ranks, reaching the final of the 2018 Rookie of the Year and picking up 2 good wins already this year.
As well as this Youth title bout the card will be headlined with OPBF title action at 122lbs as Hiroaki Teshigawara (20-2-2, 13) [勅使河原 弘晶] defends his OPBF Super Bantamweight title against Shohei Kawashima (18-3-2, 4) [川島翔平] and a great supporting bout between Japanese Featherweight champion Ryo Sagawa (8-1, 4) [佐川遼] and Ryo Hino (13-1-2, 8) [日野僚].
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