Earlier today, Tuesday, the East Japan Boxing Association announced their 3 award winners for the month of November.
The MVP for the month was Watanabe Gym's Ryuichi Funai (31-7, 22) [船井 龍一] who became the IBF Super Flyweight mandatory challenger due to his win over Mexican fighter Victor Olivo (15-3-1, 7). That win netter Funai the MVP award as well as the IBF title shot.
The Fighting Spirit award went to 20 year old Japanese-Afghan fighter Kudura Kaneko (9-0, 6) [クドゥラ金子] who looked fantastic, as he stopped former Japanese Welterweight champion Toshio Arikawa (15-6, 13) [有川 稔男] in a real break out win. That win has immediately put him in the mix for a title fight and we're expecting a huge 2019 for him.
The New Comer award, or State of the Art award, was won by Shuji Kato (10-1-1, 6) [加藤収二] who became the mandatory challenger for the Japanese Middleweight title, following his win over Hikaru Nishida (17-10-1, 8) [西田光].
The award ceremony for the 3 winners will be held at the Korakuen Hall on January 12th.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
Earlier today at the Korakuen Hall fans had the chance to see 20 year old Japanese-Afghan fighter Kudura Kaneko (9-0, 6) [クドゥラ金子] score his biggest win to date, stopping former Japanese Welterweight champion Toshio Arikawa (15-6, 13) [有川 稔男] in 3 rounds!
Last time out we saw Arikawa lose the Japanese Welterweight title to Ryota Yada, being stopped in 5 rounds, and he was looking to bounce back from that loss today. Sadly for the hard hitting Arikawa he struggled with the speed, movement and youth of Kaneko, who's composure for such a young fighter was genuinely impressive. Kaneko used his speed in the opening round to drop Arikawa with a wonderful shot, that would have seen off lesser fighters. To his credit however Arikawa wasn't done, and got up to take the fight to Kaneko.
The youngster was put under pressure, but fought calmly, boxing well and avoiding getting into a war with the hard hitting Arikawa. Instead of getting into a slugfest Kaneko boxed behind his jab and went to the body well, slowing the former champion down.
In round 3 Kaneko closed the show, cornering his man and unloading on Arikawa, who was eventually dropped for the second time. This time the towel was thrown in, with Arikawa's team knowing their man was a beaten man, with little to offer against the faster, smarter, younger Kaneko, who looked like a man fighting to make a statement.
Given his performance Kaneko will almost certainly be looking to get himself involved in the domestic title picture next year, and has already stated that he wants to pay for a school in his native Afghanistan from his fight earnings, in the future. For Arikawa however the end looks close. He's 34 in January and it's really hard to see him bouncing back from successive stoppage losses at this stage of his career.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Tomorrow fight fans in Tokyo will get the chance to see a brilliant Welterweight match up the rising prospect Kudura Kaneko (8-0, 5) [クドゥラ金子] takes on former Japanese champion Toshio Arikawa (15-5, 13) [有川 稔男].
Today the two fighters took part in their weigh in for the bout, and both fighters made the 147lb weight limit.
On the scale Arikawa was bang on the 147lb limit and looked in good shape. This will be his first bout since losing the Japanese title earlier this year to Ryota Yada and he will know that another loss could leave his career hanging by a thread. A win however put him straight back into the title mix.
Kaneko on the other hand was comfortably under the limit, weighing in at 146lbs for what is a huge step up in class for the Japanese Youth Champion. A win here immediately puts him in the title mix, and will open doors for potential shots at the Japanese, OPBF or the WBO Asia Pacific title.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Earlier this year we saw 24 year old prospect Ryusei Kawaura (4-0, 3) [川浦 龍生] take a notable step up in class, as he defeated Marjun Pantilgan, scoring an 8 round decision win over the Filipino in April. Since then Kawaura has sadly been out of the ring, and not building on that victory. Sadly it's been inactivity has been a problem through Kawaura's career so far, with the youngster debuting in November 2016 but never really being active enough to make a mark since.
Today we were informed that Kawaura would be back in the ring on November 22nd as he continues to move towards a title fight.
Sadly the opponent for Kawaura's next bout looks to be a step backwards as he takes on Japanese foe Yuki Yoshimura (8-3-4, 2) [吉村祐紀].
Talking about inactivity Yoshimura made his debut aged 21, way back in 2005, but has had his career halted by notable breaks, including almost 2 years out of the ring from 2008 to 2010 and a year break from 2010 to 2016. Had he been active he could well have made a mark on the domestic scene but it feels like he really has wasted his best years.
This bout will be the chief support bout on the show, supporting the brilliant Welterweight main event between Kudura Kaneko (8-0, 5) [クドゥラ金子] and former Japanese champion Toshio Arikawa (15-5, 13) [有川 稔男].
At the moment no other details of the show have been revealed but we suspect there will be at least one more notable fighter on the card.
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