Back in December we reported that Takuma Takahashi (2-0, 2) [高橋拓磨] and Masahiro Suzuki (1-0, 1) [鈴木雅弘] had been added to the March 2nd show headlined by a Japanese Middleweight title bout between Kazuto Takesako (10-0, 10) [竹迫司登] and Shuji Kato (10-1-1, 6) [加藤収二].
At the time neither Takahashi or Suzuki had their opponents named, today however both had opponents confirmed.
Takahashi will be having his first 8 round bout as he takes on 21 year Filipino Jonel Dapidran (10-3, 6). On paper this looks like a serious test for Takahashi, though it should be noted that Dapidran is 3-3 in his last 6, and was stopped in 3 rounds by Rikuto Adachi last October, in what was Dapidran's first, and so far only, bout in Japan.
As for Suzuki, who impressed on his debut against Antonio Siesmundo, he will be up against Kelvin Tenorio (4-4-, 2). Tenorio is a 26 year old from the Philippines, who will be making his international debut.
Sadly we've also been informed that this show will not be shown live, but will instead be on tape delay on G+, with the first airing coming on Monday March 4th.
Over the last couple of hours we have looked at some individual award winners at today's Japanese boxing awards, held in the amazing Tokyo Dome Hotel. For those who just want to see the winners in a list here we go:
The MVP was:
Naoya Inoue (17-0, 15) [井上 尚弥]
The Skills Award was won by:
Kosei Tanaka (12-0, 7) [田中恒成]
The KO Award was won by:
Naoya Inoue (17-0, 15) [井上 尚弥]
Special Award was won by:
Masayuki Ito (25-1-1, 13) [伊藤 雅雪]
The Effort Award was won by:
Masayoshi Nakatani (18-0, 12) [中谷正義]
The Newcomer Award was won by:
Kazuto Takesako (10-0, 10) [竹迫司登]
The Best World title Fight:
Sho Kimura [木村翔] Vs Kosei Tanaka [田中恒成]
The Best Japanese Domestic fight:
Yusaku Kuga [久我勇作] Vs Shingo Wake [和氣 慎吾]
Female fighter of the year was:
Tenkai Tsunami (26-12, 15) [天海 ツナミ]
Female Fight of the Year was:
Kayoko Ebata [江畑佳代子] Vs Etsuko Tada [多田悦子]
Trainer of the Year was:
Shingo Inoue [井上真吾]
A Special Achievement Award was won by:
Shinsuke Yamanaka [山中慎介]
Special Prizes were given to:
Toshiyuki Igarashi [五十嵐 俊幸]
Naoko Shibata [柴田 直子]
Nana Yoshikawa [好川 菜々]
Ryuya Yamanaka [山中 竜也]
And Momo Koseki [小関 桃]
A social Contribution prize was given too:
Naoko Fujioka (17-2, 7) [藤岡 奈穂子]
JBC Service Achievements were won by
Akira Tabata, who has served as a timekeeper, and Hiroyuki Tokuzaki, a referee who sadly passed away in October.
Several other officials earned awards for their roles in the sport as well, as did Atsushi Sato, a producer at WOWOW.
It's also worth noting that every male fighter who held a world title at some point during the year won an Outstanding Fighter Award, this is a normal thing to recognise all champions. We won't list them all here though they obviously included Kenshiro [拳四朗] and Hiroto Kyoguchi [京口 紘人] among others.
As for amateur awards, the best male fighter was:
Daisuke Narimatsu [成松大介]
and the best female fighter was:
Tsukimi Namiki [並木月海]
(Image courtesy of Boxingnews.jp)
On March 2nd we'll see unbeaten Japanese Middleweight champion Kazuto Takesako (10-0, 10) [竹迫司登] defending his title against mandatory challenger Shuji Kato (10-1-1, 6) [加藤収二] on March 2nd at the Korakuen Hall.
We had previously reported that two highly regarded prospects would be on the card Takuma Takahashi (2-0, 2) [高橋拓磨] and Masahiro Suzuki [鈴木雅弘] (1-0, 1), who are both stablemates of Takesako.
We can now confirm that they will be joined by another top prospect, this time Celes gym's Jin Minamide (2-0, 2) [南出 仁], who went 43-22 (15) in the unpaid ranks.
Notably Minamide has had his opponent for the show announced, unlike Takahashi and Suzuki. The unbeaten hopeful is set to take a big step up to take on Filipino foe Marjun Pantilgan (18-7, 14), in an 8 round bout at Bantamweight.
To date Minamide has has fought just over 3 minutes as a professional, stopping Anthony Holt and Conrado Tanamor both in the opening round. He has looked great but clearly needs to take a step up, and that's exactly what this is.
Pantilgan on the other hand, has faced tough competition, with notable bouts against the likes Sonny Boy Jaro, Robert Onggocan, Ryusei Kawaura and Masayoshi Hashizume. Although he's lost to those 4 foes he has proven to be tough, and a very good test, likely explaining why Minamide's team have matched their man against him.
This card, for those interested, will be aired live on G+ as part of the Dynamic Glove series of shows.
We are just over a week away from Takeshi Inoue (13-0-1, 7) [井上 岳志] huge bout with WBO Light Middleweight champion Jaime Munguia (31-0, 26) in Houston, Texas.
Today, ahead of that bout, Inoue took part in a public work out and spoke to the press about his upcoming bout.
It seems that Inoue and his team have spent time scouting Munguia, and aware of Munguia's flaws, though also seem very aware that he's a very strong and powerful fighter with huge size advantages over Inoue. With that in mind it seems like Inoue's gameplan is is to get inside, and today he spoke about breaking Munguia's heart. It seems a risky tactic, but a better one than trying to box with the bigger, longer man.
To prepare for the bout Inoue has done around 180 rounds of sparring with top Japanese domestic fighters, including Hiroki Okada (19-0, 13) [岡田 博喜], Keita Obara (20-3-1, 18) [小原 佳太] and Kazuto Takesako (10-0, 10) [竹迫司登]. There was more sparring today with Inoue sharing the ring with Takesako and former Japanese amateur stand out Masahiro Suzuki [鈴木雅弘] (1-0, 1), doing 4 rounds with each man.
As the sparring with Takesako and Suzuki the unbeaten Japanese hopeful also did 4 rounds of mitt work with the president of the World Sport boxing gym, and he worked up a serious sweat.
Interesting Inoue seemed to suggest that he was looking to make some comments in English when he's in the US. He also revealed that he is 2.5KG's, or around 5.5lbs, over the Light Middleweight limit and that he was going to be travelling on January 20th, less than a week to fight night. So whilst his weight is not likely to be a problem we do wonder about how jet lag may effect him, in what was always going to be a very tough bout against a very good champion.
Related - Inoue looks to upset WBO champion Munguia!
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
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.
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