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)
We are all expecting huge things form former Japanese Flyweight champion Junto Nakatani (20-0, 15) [中谷 潤人] in 2020, as he looks to build on last year's win over Milan Melindo (37-5, 13), and if he doesn't win a world title in 2020 we'll admit we'd be surprised.
The youngster from the MT Gym has been enjoying a busy new year so far, and has been training in the US at the Maywood Boxing Gym, where he has been taking a chance to spar with a true world class fighter.
The unbeaten Japanese contender has been getting ring time with Danny Roman (27-2-1, 10), the current WBA and IBF Super Bantamweight champion, as Nakatani looks to develop ahead of his first bout of the year.
The two have sparred before but Nakatani seems more impressed with Roman this time around, explaining that the unified champion is hitting harder and hitting the body better.
Although Roman is obviously using Nakatani to help prepare for his upcoming world title defense against Murodjon Akhmadaliev (7-0, 6) [Ахмадалиев, Муроджон Кахарович], set for January 30th, Nakatani will be taking a lot from this camp and develop a lot from training alongside such a seasoned world champion as Roman.
On thing that was rather notable was the fact Nakatani towered over Roman. Nakatani, a Flyweight, looked significantly bigger than Roman, a Super Bantamweight. Whilst the 22 year old Nakatani clearly hasn't yet full matured, it's clear that he is a freakish Flyweight. He's actually also taller than Akhmadaliev, though like the Uzbek he's a southpaw and will be giving Roman some southpaw looks to help him prepare for former Uzbek amateur standout.
Related - 20 for 20 - #3 Junto Nakatani
Earlier today at Korakuen Hall the Japanese award ceremony for October took place, with all 3 award winners taking part in the event, as well as one other fighter who we'll get on to a little bit later.
The main awards for the month was won by Shuichiro Yoshino (11-0, 9) [吉野 修一郎], who claimed the MVP award for his his excellent KO win over Filipino fighter Harmonito Dela Torre (20-3, 12) for OPBF and WBO Asia Pacific Lightweight titles.
The other two awards were both Fighting Spirit Awards, awarded to former Japanese Flyweight champion Junto Nakatani (20-0, 15) [中谷 潤人], for his win over -Milan Melindo (37-5, 13), and the newly crowned Japanese Light Flyweight champion Yuto Takahashi (11-4, 5) [高橋悠斗], for his upset win over Kenichi Horikawa (40-16-1, 13) [堀川 謙一].
The fourth man to turn up at the event was Izuki Tomioka (7-2-1, 2) [富岡樹], who we now know will definitely face Yoshino at the 2020 Champion Carnival.
Yoshino and Tomioka went face to face at today's event, and Yoshino announced that he would be making his mandatory defence of the Japanese title against Tomioka on February 13th at Korakuen Hall. The bout is the first of the 2020 Champion Carnival bouts to have had a date and venue set, though all the others will be announced in the new year.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Back in October we saw Junto Nakatani (20-0, 15) [中谷 潤人] score his biggest win to date, as he stopped former Light Flyweight world champion Milan Melindo (37-5, 13). Today Nakatani was honoured for what he's done in sport, at a local event in Kanagawa.
The fighter won the Sagamihara City Culture and Sports Award.
The fighter, from the MT Gym, has had a stellar year this year. He has not only scored the huge win over Melindo, but also won the Japanese Flyweight title and became the WBA #1 ranked Flyweight.
At the event today he was awarded a commendation letter from the local mayor who congratulated the 21 year for his promotion of sport in the city. That promotion looks likely to continue in the new year with Nakatani likely to fight for a world title in 2020.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
On Monday the East Japan Boxing Association announced their award winners for the month of October, with 3 winners.
The MVP won by Shuichiro Yoshino (11-0, 9) [吉野 修一郎] who became a triple crown champion when he stopped Harmonito Dela Torre (20-3, 12), unifying the Japanese OPBF and WBO Asia Pacific Lightweight titles. The golden man from the Misako Gym is set for big things in 2020 and after this win it's hard to see there being too much for left him to do on the regional scene.
Strange there was two Fighting Spirit Awards decided this month.
The most well known of those two winners was former Japanese Flyweight champion Junto Nakatani (20-0, 15) [中谷 潤人], who claimed a huge win over former Light Flyweight world champion Milan Melindo (37-5, 13). The win for Nakatani wasn't his most impressive performance to date, with Melindo looking past his best, but was, by far, the biggest of his career so far.
The other Fighting Spirit award winner was Yuto Takahashi (11-4, 5) [高橋悠斗], who scored a huge upset win over Kenichi Horikawa (40-16-1, 13) [堀川 謙一] to become the new JBC Light Flyweight champion. This was a genuinely massive win for Takahashi, who dug deep to see out the storm and take his first professional title.
Notably there was no Newcomer award winner.
The winners will be able to attend an award ceremony at Korakuen Hall on December 12th, at the Diamond Glove taking place that day.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
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