Reliable sources in Japan have informed us that Shinsei Gym are targeting a stacked card for April 27th, with details for the show still being kept relatively quiet.
Today it was announced that Kasumi Saeki (3-0, 2) [佐伯霞], who claimed the WBO Asia Pacific female Minimumweight title last year, would be on the show in a world title bout, against a yet to be named opponent. It's since been rumoured that the show will also feature Reiya Konishi's (17-1, 7) [小西伶弥] long speculated bout with IBF Light Flyweight champion Felix Alvarado (34-2, 30).
Konishi Vs Alvarado, has been in talks for a while, as the IBF mandatory title fight at 108lbs. Alvarado has made it known that he is expecting the bout to take place in Japan, before a return in the summer to unify with WBO champion Angel Acosta (19-1, 19). That however is not a given, and Konishi is no push over, having given Carlos Canizales a much tougher bout than most. It will be an action packed bout, given the styles of the two men, and could end up be a fight of the year contender.
The bout had long been rumoured for "March or April" and it would appear to make sense to have it on this card, which could also feature the ring return of Shun Kubo (13-1, 9) [久保隼], who has been out of the ring since April 28th 2018, when he beat Hiroshige Osawa. Kubo was unfortunately forced to pull out of a December bout, but will eager to get back in the ring.
Another expected to be on this card is WBO female Minimumweight champion Etsuko Tada (18-3-2, 5) [多田悦子], though as a stablemate of Saeki she won't be defending her about against the unbeaten upstart.
More details on this show are expected to be revealed shortly, but it does appear almost certain to be a stacked card.
Earlier today Kasumi Saeki (3-0, 2) [佐伯霞], the WBO Asia Pacific female Minimumweight champion, attended an event held in Osaka with her alma mater.
The fighter stated the she would win a world title this year, with her promoter, Masato Yamashita, stating the plan was to fight for a world title on April 27th. Telling Saeki and her trainer to begin preparing for the bout. Interestingly Saeki seemed to be unaware a date was set for her next bout until Yamashita's announcement.
What wasn't revealed was which world title Saeki would be fighting for, or who she would be facing for the title. That however seems likely to be revealed in the near future, along with several other major bouts.
Interestingly former WBA Super Flyweight champion Nobuo Nashiro also spoke at the event, as he's now a trainer, and stated "I have been teaching Kasumi for 3 years during my college years, and I have a superb talent among female boxers I am going to work hard so that the boxing department of Kinki University is not defeated, because Kasumi who became a professional aims at the world. " (Translated)
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
The rise of female boxing since the 2016 Olympic has been fantastic, and whilst there is still a very long way to go for females fighters to get the respect and attention of their male counterparts we are on the right track. The media are finally getting behind the fighters and promotional outfits like Watanabe, Futur and DiBella Entertainment are helping push female boxing in a big way.
With the rise in female boxing comes more and more attention on the next generation of female fighters, the potential for female boxers to become stars and to make a name for themselves.
For us the female fighter who proved to be the best prospect in 2018 was 22 year old sensation Kasumi Saeki [佐伯霞].
Saeki debuted in May and fit 3 fights into the year, winning the WBO Asia Pacific Female Minimumweight title in the third of those bouts, stopping Wassana Kamdee on December 1st for the belt. In all 3 of her contests she looked fantastic, with ultra sharp movement, a clever understanding of the ring, and very crisp punching. She was defensively smart, aggressively exciting and didn't look like she rushed anything. In fact she was making her opponents look like they were in slow motion to her as she out skilled, out boxed and outsped them whilst putting herself firmly on the map as a female fighter to watch.
Although Saeki was the winner of those award Eri Matsuda does deserve an honorable mention, having gone 2-0 in the year and claimed the OPBF female Atomweight title in her very short career. She's looked impressive but was pipped by Saeki who just looked that bit more natural in the ring, with things appearing effortless to her. Together they look set to be the long term faces of female boxing in Japan.
Earlier today 4 champions from the Shinsei Gym took part in a public interview to speak about their futures, and their recent bouts, which all took place on December 1st.
The event wasn't a massive press conference, but was notable, as the Shinsei Gym is essentially the biggest in Hyogo and with 4 title holders currently there the future is a bright one for the gym, especially as we head into what could be a massive 2019 for them. The gym isn't as well known as their Tokyo counterparts but is still a very major gym in Japan.
The most senior of the champions at today's event was Etsuko Tada (18-3-2, 5) [多田悦子], who recently won the WBO female Minimumweight title to become a 3-time champion. Tada, who has now won the WBA, IBF and WBO titles during her long career made it known that she wants to win another. It seems plausible that she would want the WBC title, currently held by German Tina Rupprecht (8-0, 3), to complete the "grandslam", but she didn't explicitly state and there has been talk of a third bout with WBA champion Anabel Ortiz (28-3, 4), who she has lost two close decisions to.
The one male at the event was former world title challenger Reiya Konishi (17-1, 7) [小西伶弥], who retained the WBO Asia Pacific Light Flyweight title at the start of the month. Konishi stated that this year, 2018, has been a big one for him. He lost in his first world title bout, coming up short against Carlos Canizales, but won and defended the WBO Asia Pacific title. He's looking to get a second world title fight in the new year, but seemed like he's willing another defense of his regional title fight to prepare for a world champion.
Japanese and OPBF female Featherweight champion Wakako Fujiwara (7-2-2, 2) [藤原芽子] didn't talk too much about her plans, but did state she had learned from her recent bout with Kimika Miyoshi [三好喜美佳], and clearly understands that she had major issues in that bout with stamina, something she'll work on before her next bout.
The unbeaten Kasumi Saeki (3-0, 2) [佐伯霞], who claimed the WBO Asia Pacific female Minimumweight title at the start of the month, spoke about moving up through the classes and fighting for a world title in the new year. Saeki seems like the type of fighter who needs to be tested, and we suspect that Shinsei know she needs better opponents, which given her amateur background she should be able to deal with without too many problems.
It's unclear when Shinsei will be holding their first show of 2019 but we would expect to see at least one of these fighters on that card with the others having big bouts through the year.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Earlier today at the EDION Arena Osaka fight fans saw Kasumi Saeki (3-0, 2) [佐伯霞] win her first professional title, as she dominated, and stopped, Thai visitor Wassana Kamdee (3-5, 2) and claimed the WBO Asia Pacific female Minimumweight title.
The Japanese former amateur standout shined from the opening seconds and put Kamdee down with a a right hook only moments into the bout. It wasn't a shot of raw power, but was incredibly quick, sharp and crisp.
Kamdee did well to recover from the knockdown, and made her way through round 2, though it was clear that the stoppage was coming, and she was thoroughly outclassed by Saeki, who was hungry for the stoppage. A stoppage that came part way through round 3, after Kamdee was dropped for the second time.
After the bout Saeki stated that she was looking to fight for a world title in 2019, something that promoter Masato Yamashita, from the Shinsei gym, stated was in his plans. For Kamdee this was never going to end well, and it was clear that she was even close to the level of Saeki, who looked sensational.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
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