Worrying news for Japanese boxing is being reported by the Asahi Shinbun, suggest the JBC could be on the verge of bankruptcy due to a lawsuit brought against it by the Kameda brothers.
Several years ago the Kameda's brought a ¥660 million lawsuit against the JBC. It seems unlikely the court will side in the Kameda's to the full amount, but those involved in the situation are reporting that the JBC may be ordered to pay ¥40 million by a district court. That would be more than the JBC could afford, at least given their net worth in 2018 was a reported ¥6.2 million.
At the moment the full settlement hasn't been made official, with the settlement expected to be made on January 31st. It's then expected to be appealed to a high court down the line.
If the court rules in the way that is being reported it will leave the future of the JBC in a very tough place, and could either see the JBC declared bankrupt or have a long term payment arrangement put in place with the Kameda's to repay the full amount.
The ruling is likely to be appealed to a higher level of court down the line.
Last week the JBC issued a lengthy statement regarding a change in rules for Indonesian fighters fighting in Japan, after a number of inadequate fighters have fought in the country. The changes are actually rather serious and will have an effect not just for the Indonesian fighters themselves but also for the Japanese promoters, who will need to look elsewhere for record padding opponents.
Firstly, the big change, an invitation will be limited to Indonesian fighters who are ranked in the top 15 of any of the 4 major world title bodies (IBF, WBA, WBC and WBO), or the two major regional bodies (OPBF and WBO Asia Pacific). From reading the statement if an Indonesian isn't listed in one of the top 15, and weren't within the last 2 months, they will not be able to compete in Japan.
The JBC will also not accept fighters who's records look suspicious, or they have serious doubts about, or have been modified. It's unclear how this will be done in reality, and why it's not already been done. The decision to allow or not allow a fighter to compete will be based on official results, though with Indonesia having several different boxing boards it's again unclear how this will be put into effect. If a record has been modified after application the JBC may cancel the approval of the match up.
The third part of the statement reveals that the rules will come into effect on February 1st 2020. The policy has been brought in to improve the credibility and social status of boxing in Japan.
We'll be interested in seeing how all this works. We do tend to see very poor Indonesian imports brought over to Japan and stopped in a round or 2, which adds nothing to the sport, but for novices it's going to be potentially tough to rebuild their records.
Last week we reported that former WBC Flyweight champion Daigo Higa (15-1, 15) [比嘉 大吾] had requested that the Japanese Boxing Commission (JBC) consider lifting his suspension, after close to 18 months. Before it could be lifted however there had to be a hearing and official decisions made regarding any decision.
Today that hearing took place, and as widely assumed, the suspension of Higa's JBC licenses has been lifted, leaving the door open to the aggressive and exciting former world champion to return to the ring.
Higa was hit with an indefinite suspension to his license following his his bout with Cristofer Rosales, which had seen Higa fail to make weight and lose the world title on the scales. It was the first time a Japanese fighter had ever lost a world title in such a manner, and the JBC, who had seen a spate of weight failures on the domestic scene, had seemingly had enough making an example of Higa as a way to try and prevent other fighters from missing weight going forward.
At the hearing today Higa revealed he had been training for the last 6 months, and had typically been doing so for 6 days a week, to get in and remain in fighting shape.
Going forward, at least in the immediate future, Higa will not be allowed to fight at a lower weight than Bantamweight due to the issues he had at Flyweight, but is welcome to return to the ring, and is eyeing a bout before the end of the year.
At the moment it's unclear on the when, where and who against, but it's likely he will continue his affiliation with Fuji TV, and if, or when, he returns to world level it's almost certain that Fuji TV will be showing his world title bouts. With that in mind there's a good chance his return may be tucked away on the non-televised part of their yet to be announced late December card.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Earlier today we were informed that the Japanese Boxing Commissions (JBC) had changed their licensing rules, when it comes to an agreement between fighters and their gyms, changing to what is being term a "Unified contract".
The contracts in the past have allowed a gym to sign a fighter for up to 3 years, and at the end of that 3 year term a fighter was then able, in theory, to transfer to an other gym if they wanted. The issue however is that things weren't usually that simple, with the gyms not wanting to give up the promotional rights they had to fighters, causing some strained relationships. The fighters would then either find themselves stuck in limbo, or going back to their former gyms in what was a messy situation that could hold back a fighters career.
The new rules, which had been decided back in February at a board meeting but only came in to effect from today, changes things quite significantly.
Now if a fighter wishes to leave their current gym they are to give 2 months notice before their contract expires. That will then begin a negotiation period, and if no agreement is made it will be resolved by arbitration, with the JBC arbitration committee making a ruling.
The JBC have gym chairman across Japan to understand the change, which seems to favour the fighters, and not the gyms, as it has in the past.
According to sources in Japan the JBC may be set to throw in the towel on throwing in the towel.
Our sources have got through a recent rule from the JBC which is set on removing the act of throwing in the towel by the corner, and instead to have the seconds get the attention of the referee if, and when, they wish to stop the fight.
The new roughly translates as "The second will display their intention to stop the bout by getting on the apron and signalling the referee".
The rule was explained as being for several reasons, including towels slowly losing their purpose in other parts of the world, the towels getting stuck in ring ropes, towels failing to actually get into the ring and the confusion caused in the unlikely event of a crowd member throwing one.
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