Earlier today the Ohashi Gym Supporters Association held an event to celebrate their first anniversary.
The event, which was held in Yokohama, saw the head of the gym, Hideyuki Ohashi, as well as a number of the Ohashi Gym fighters taking part and saw a number of stories coming out of the event, including the fact the WBSS Bantamweight final will be in November and will be a double header.
We won't go into too much depth about the event but will look at a few of the main stories.
WBSS Final in November
The main story was that the WBSS Bantamweight final between Naoya Inoue (18-0, 16) [井上 尚弥] and Nonito Donaire (40-5, 26) is going to be taking place in November. No venue was named at today's event but the suggestion is that it was going to be on an Ohashi card in Japan. Ohashi stated that his charge would be stepping up his training in August for the bout, and it does appear that more details will be announced in the near future.
WBSS Final card to be a Double Header
Mr Ohashi not only revealed that Inoue and Donaire would be in November but that the card would also feature the much anticipated WBC Bantamweight title bout between interim champion Takuma Inoue (13-0, 3) [井上 拓真] and regular champion Nordine Oubaali (16-0, 12). If both Inoue's win on the card they will hold 3 of the 4 major titles at Bantamweight, though of course neither bout is a given.
Plans for Yaegashi are under-way
Former 3 weight world champion Akira Yaegashi (28-6, 16) [八重樫 東] also has big things being planned and Ohashi revealed that they are still trying to secure Yaegashi a Super Flyweight world title bout. The full details of who and when were unclear, though it's obvious that Mr Ohashi and Yaegashi have got their eyes on one more world title fight before the veteran walks away from the sport.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
This coming Saturday in Glasgow we'll see Naoya Inoue (17-0, 15) [井上 尚弥] and Emmanuel Rodriguez (19-0, 12) get in the ring, for their WBSS semi final bout.
Today, ahead of their bout, the two men attended a press conference and it was a bit of a tetchy one, despite the fighters clearly having respect for each other.
Both men stated they'd win, Inoue stating that he will aim for the KO, but did add that Rodriguez is a champion and it seems clear that he's not over-looking the Puerto Rican.
Rodriguez on the other hand stated that he would still be a champion after the bout, and seemed rather relaxed, despite seemingly disliking the Japanese media, apparently refusing to give interviews to either WOWOW or Fuji TV.
Inoue has stated that he's suffering any jet lag at the moment, which was a worry and part of the reason he travelled over to the UK so early though did admit he was running out of the Japanese food he had brought with him to the UK. Thankfully for him more members of the Inoue family are joining him in Glasgow and have been told to bring more food with them.
On the subject of food Inoue's manager Hideyuki Ohashi has reportedly tried at least one Japanese restaurant in Scotland, and wasn't a fan. In fact he's quoted as saying it was "awful". It's not just been the food that has frustrated the former 2-time world champion but also the actions of the Rodriguez team, following the media work out yesterday, and Ohashi has compared Rodriguez's team pushing Shingo Inoue to Jamie McDonnell turning up incredibly late for the weigh in against Inoue last year. It's worth noting that McDonnell was punished by Inoue and stopped within a round.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Boxing fans in the Korean ward of Yeoksam-dong will be getting a small treat this coming weekend when former world champion Hideyuki Ohashi along with 2-time world title challenger Koji Matsumoto, both from the Ohashi Gym, hold a boxing seminar alongside The Won Promotion.
the event will only be attended by around 50 people but will include a Q&A, with Mr Ohashi and Mr Matsumoto expected to be asked a number of questions regarding Japanese boxing and the current crop of Ohashi gym fighters, including the sensational Naoya Inoue and current OPBF Featherweight champion Satoshi Shimizu.
The seminar will last around 3 hours, from 3:30PM to 6:30PM and will cost around 90,000 won per person.
Notably both men are known in Korea for facing local favourites, with Mr Ohashi losing to Jung Koo Chang and and Mr Matsumoto losing to Yong Soo Choi.
Earlier today Naoya Inoue (17-0, 15) [井上 尚弥], the current WBA "regular" Bantamweight champion, returned to Japan following his time in the US this past weekend to watch the WBSS quarter final bout between IBF champion Emmanuel Rodriguez (19-0, 12) narrowly over-come Australian Jason Moloney (17-1, 14). With that win booking Rodriguez a semi-final bout with Inoue.
On his return to Japan the "Monster" spoke to the Japanese press, with Inoue seeming to suggest that Rodriguez would be a better opponent than he has faced in the past, given that he has speed and is the same age as himself, suggesting he too is a prime fighter.
Inoue also revealed that he was expecting the bout with Rodriguez to take place in the US in Spring. That was echoed by promoter Hideyuki Ohashi, who not only echoed the idea of the bout taking place Stateside in Spring 2019 but also the Rodiguez was a good fighter with good skills, though state he had seen flaws with Rodriguez. The promoter also suggested that he was expecting the bout to be a technical warfare.
Inoue was quoted as saying Puerto Rican fighter uses angles and timing that he hasn't faced before, and it does seem like he is excited to face someone who is a suitable opponent, after scoring back to back blow out wins, since moving to Bantamweight.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
Earlier this month we saw WBA "regular" Bantamweight champion Naoya Inoue (17-0, 15) [井上 尚弥] defend his title, with a 70 second win over Dominican challenger Juan Carlos Payano (20-2, 9), and book his place in the World Boxing Super Series (WBSS) semi final.
This weekend we will find out who Inoue's opponent in that semi-final will be, as IBF champion Emmanuel Rodriguez (18-0, 12) and Jason Moloney (17-0, 14) meet in their quarter final in Orlando. And the bout will have a couple of very interested parties.
Today Inoue, along with promoter Hideyuki Ohashi left Japan to attend the bout this weekend, to scout Inoue's next opponent.
Before leaving Inoue predicted a win for Rodriguez, though it's fair to say that Moloney is certainly a live under-dog here. There was also a suggestion that Inoue may be invited do an in ring face off with the winner to help build up the hype of their future bout.
(Image courtesy of boxing news.jp)
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