Earlier today DAZN Japan released a press release to confirm that they would be the Japanese distributor for 2 major international bouts featuring Japanese fighters. In fact not only will DAZN Japan show the bouts but also the cards the bouts are on.
The first of those cards comes later this week, and will be the Matchroom promoted show from Madison Square Garden Theater, in New York.
The Japanese interest here is the IBF Super Bantamweight title fight between Japanese challenger Ryohei Takahashi (15-3-1, 6) [高橋竜平] and current champion TJ Doheny (20-0, 14). As well as that title bout the card will also feature Japanese interest in the form of Teiken promoted Jorge Linares's (45-4, 28) bout against Pablo Cesar Cano (31-7-1, 21). The card will also feature Demetrius Andrade (26-0, 16) defending the WBO Middleweight title against Artur Akavov (19-2, 8).
This card will be on Friday 18th of January in the US but in Japan it will be shown at 11:00 AM on Saturday morning, with the main event expected to be shown at 1:00 PM.
Just over a week later we'll get a Golden Boy Promoted card from Texas, headlined by Takeshi Inoue (13-0-1, 7) [井上 岳志] challenging WBO Light Middleweight champion Jaime Munguia (31-0, 26). That card will also feature a WBA "regular" Featherweight title bout between defending champion Jesus M Rojas (26-2-2-1, 19) and Chinese challenger Can Xu (15-2, 2) [徐灿].
As with the New York card this will be aired in the morning in Japan, with the broadcast beginning at 9AM local time, and the main card set to begin at 11AM.
Related-Preview: Doheny Vs Takahashi
(Image courtesy of DAZN Japan)
On January 10th the JBC, along with members of the Tokyo Boxing Press, announced the nominations for the 2018 Japanese boxing awards.
The highest award is the Best Fighter, or MVP, award. The nominations for this award are:
Naoya Inoue (17-0, 15) [井上 尚弥] - The current WBA "regular" Bantamweight champion
Kosei Tanaka (12-0, 7) [田中恒成] - The current WBO Flyweight champion
Kenshiro (15-0, 8) [拳四朗] - The current WBC Flyweight champion
and Masayuki Ito (25-1-1, 13) [伊藤 雅雪] - The current WBO Super Featherweight champion
The Skills Award again includes Kenshiro and Tanaka but also:
Tomoki Kameda (36-2, 20) [亀田和毅] - The current WBC "interim" Super Bantamweight champion
Hiroto Kyoguchi (12-0, 9) [京口 紘人] - The current WBC Light Flyweight champion
and Jorge Linares (45-4, 28)
The Special award sees Ito and Tanaka being nominated
The KO award see's Naoya Inoue being joined by:
Satoshi Shimizu (8-0, 8) [清水 聡] - The current OPBF Featherweight champion
and Kazuto Takesako (10-0, 10) [竹迫司登] - The current Japanese Middleweight champion
The Newcomer award has seen a nice number of candidates, the nominees here are, Takesako along with:
Tsubasa Koura (14-0, 9) [小浦 翼] - The current OPBF Minimumweight champion
Hiroaki Teshigawara (18-2-2, 11) [勅使河原 弘晶] - The current OPBF Super Bantamweight champion
Shuichiro Yoshino (9-0, 7) [吉野 修一郎] - The current Japanese Lightweight champion
Ryota Yada (18-4, 15) [矢田良太] - The current Japanese Welterweight champion
The "strive", which appears to be an achievement type of award, has seen the following nominations:
Masayoshi Nakatani (18-0, 12) [中谷正義] - The current OPBF Lightweight champion
Valentine Hosokawa (24-6-3, 11) [細川バレンタイン] - The current Japanese Light Welterweight champion
Masayuki Kuroda (30-7-3, 16) [黒田 雅之] - The former Japanese Flyweight champion
and Tetsuya Hisada (33-9-2, 19) [久田 哲也] - The former Japanese Light Flyweight champion
The best fight, at world level has seen 3 bouts being nominated:
Sho Kimura [木村翔] Vs Kosei Tanaka [田中恒成] - WBO Flyweight title fight
Jorge Linares Vs Vasyl Lomachneko - WBA "super" Lightweight title fight
and Naoya Inoue [井上 尚弥] Vs Juan Carlos Payano - WBA "Regular" Bantamweight title fight
The best fight that wasn't at world level has 4 nominations:
Yusaku Kuga [久我勇作] Vs Shingo Wake [和氣 慎吾] - Japanese Super Bantamweight title fight
Valentine Hosokawa [細川バレンタイン] Vs Vladimir Baez - Japanese Light Welterweight title fight
Hironori Mishiro [三代大訓] Vs Masaru Sueyoshi [末吉 大] - OPBF / JBA Super Featherweight unification bout
Hikaru Nishida [西田 光] vs Kazuto Takesako [竹迫司登] - Japanese Middleweight title fight
The female Fighter of the Year nominations are:
Tenkai Tsunami (26-12, 15) [天海 ツナミ] - The current WBO female Light Welterweight champion
Etsuko Tada (18-3-2, 5) [多田悦子] - The current WBO female Minimumweight champion
Naoko Fujioka (18-2, 7) [藤岡 奈穂子] - The current WBA female Flyweight champion
The female Fight of the Year nominations were:
Tenkai Tsunami [天海 ツナミ] Vs Chaoz Minowa [チャオズ箕輪]- WBO female Light Flyweight title fight
Nao Ikeyama [池山直] Vs Mika Iwakawa [岩川美花] - WBO Atomweight title fight
Naoko Fujioka [藤岡 奈穂子] Vs Irma Sanchez - WBA female Flyweight title fight
Kayoko Ebata [江畑佳代子] Vs Etsuko Tada [多田悦子] - WBO female Minimumweight title fight
Voting will take place in January with the winners being awarded at a ceremony on February 8th.
Late last week Indonesian fighter Daud Yordan (38-3-0-1, 26) took part in a press conference with his promotional team and confirmed that they were indeed chasing a world title fight later this year. Not only that but they finally revealed who they were looking to face and what belt they were chasing.
The press conference saw Yordan and his team state they were attempting to secure a match up with Venezuelan Jorge Linares (44-4, 27). The intention from Yordan's team is for Yordan, who is ranked #2 by the WBA, to face #1 ranked Linares for the vacant WBA "regular" Lightweight title, in early November.
The bout hasn't been set in stone, but according to Raja Sapta Oktohari from Mahkota Promotion the teams are negotiating for the bout and both teams appear to want the match to be made sooner rather than later. Oktohari also admitted that the bout would be very unlikely to take place in Indonesia, though it does seem there are several countries in the running to host the contest, likely including the USA and Japan, both of whom have strong ties to Linares.
Linares was last seen losing the WBA "super" title at Lightweight to Vasyl Lomachenko, and left the "regular" title vacant, which the WBA will likely be hoping to fill as soon as possible. That loss ended his reign which had began in September 2016, when he beat Anthony Crolla, and had seen him record 3 successful defenses. Yordan on the other hand was last seen back in April scoring an upset win over the previously unbeaten Pavel Malikov in Ekaterinburg, Russia.
(Image courtesy of tempo.co)
Later today we'll see Teiken promoted Venezuelan star Jorge Linares (43-3, 27) defending his WBA, Ring Magazine and WBC “Diamond” titles as he battles once beaten Filipino foe Mercito Gesta (31-1-2, 17). Yesterday the two fighters took part in their weigh in for the contest, and both figters made weight.
The champion was bang on the limit of 135lbs and looked in really good shape, as he always does. Although his focus, work ethic, and heart has been questioned by some, notably by former trainer Freddie Roach, he looked very focused and determined at the weigh in, and was looking down on Gesta, who was several inches shorter than the Venezuelan.
Gesta was under the limit at 134.8lbs, but looked like a man who has trained hard, is determined to make the most of his chance and will have had it drilled into him that he has a chance here. He will know that this could be his final shot at a title, and he is entering the bout as a huge under-dog, with next to no one giving him a chance to over-come the silky smooth Linares. But Roach is in his corner and seems to feel he has the mental edge over Linares, and Linares' trainer Ismael Salas.
The bout will be an interesting one and could potentially make, or break, Linares' hopes of having big dream fighters later in the year with Vasyl Lomachenko and Mikey Garcia.
(Hogan Photos / Golden Boy Promotions)
Earlier this month we reported that Yoshihiro Kamegai (27-4-2, 24) would be facing the the once beaten Daquan Arnett (16-1, 9) on January 27th. Sadly that bout was cancelled today, as Kamegai suffered a reported shoulder injury, reinjuring the shoulder he damaged in his 2017 bout against Miguel Cotto.
Although it's currently unclear how serious the injury is, it has caused the Arnett bout to be cancelled and could see Kamegai outof the ring for a further 2 to 3 months, meaning he could potentially return on the same card as stablemate Ryota Murata (13-1, 10) [村田 諒太] which is pencilled in for April.
Sadly the news is bad for fans of Kamegai, and whilst the show will still go on, and still promises a lot, it is still a loss and means fans miss out one of the sports most fan friendly fighters in the sport.
Despite the injuryt to Kamegai the card will still feature a Teiken fighter, with Jorge Linares (43-3, 27) defending his WBA, WBC Diamond and Ring magazine titles against once beaten Filipino Mercito Gesta (31-1-2, 17), in one of the shows two main event bouts.
(Image courtesy of Boxmob.jp)
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