Back in early May news broke that Frenchman Nordine Oubaali (14-0, 11) had signed to face unbeaten Thai hopeful Petch Sor Chitpattana (46-0, 31) [เพชร ซีพีเฟรชมาร์ท] in a bout for the currently vacant title WBC Bantamweight title. The bout had been pencilled in for June 23rd and was set to take place in Paris.
Now however that is all set to change, as the French Television company who were set to show the contest have failed to come up with the money needed for the bout on time, leaving the promoter struggling to meet the financial demands of the bout.
From what we understand there will be a purse bid ordered for the bout if an agreeemnt can't be made shortly for the bout to be re-arranged. That purse bid is expected to to take place in the next 7 days or so, showing just how much the WBC want this to be sorted
Reports are suggesting that the delay of the bout could be a pretty significant one, postponing the bout until after the world cup, when more time will be available for the bout and where rating won't be hit by the football in Russia.
It's worth noting that the bout could also end up being part of the Bantamweight WBSS, giving the two men the fight and not delaying the tournament, though that may depend on other fighters. This will also have knock ons, longer term, with the WBC title picture, and slow down the title dreamds of the likes of Michael Dasmarinas, and a rumoured WBC world title eliminator between Marjohn Yap and Takuma Inoue, who are said to have agreed to have an eliminator set for later this year.
(Image courtesy of Thairec.com)
Late on Thursday in Japan saw a notable announcement being made by WOZ Boxing who announce a Japanese title double header for December 16th.
The bouts in question will see both of the WOZ Boxing champions defending their titles. That means a second defense for exciting Bantamweight prospect Shohei Omori (15-0, 10) and hard hitting Lightweight champion Kota Tokunaga (16-2, 11).
Omori, one of the most exciting talented in the Bantamweight division, had his opponent for the bout named as Japanese based Filipino Mark John Yap (22-12, 10), who has seemingly cancelled a rematch with Tatsuya Ikemizu to land this fight. On paper this is a mismatch in favour of the unbeaten fighter however Yap is significantly better than his record suggests and he really could be a great warm up opponent for Omori before a prospective world title fight in 2016.
Whilst Omori's opponent is known there has been no announcement regarding Tokunaga's foe, instead we've been told to wait until mid October for that one.
The bouts will take place at the Shimazu Arena in Kyoto City and will, from what we've been told, be aired on MBS.
(Image courtesy of the Woz boxing blog)
We've known for a while that Japanese hopeful Hinata Maruta (0-0) would be making his professional debut on November 22nd at the Sumiyoshi Ward Center in Osaka. We've also known, for almost 2 weeks, that Maruta's debut would see him facing off against the world ranked Jason Canoy (24-5-2, 18).
What we didn't know was what else would be on that card.
Today saw a big announcement from Mutoh gym chairman Takashi Edagawa who announced a number of bouts for the same card, including the bout that will act as the technical "main event" of the show.
That main event will be an OPBF title fight between currently Light Middleweight champion Dennis Laurente (49-6-5, 30) and IBF world ranked fighter Takayuki Hosokawa (27-10-4, 9).
The bout, which will be Laurente's first defense since winning he belt last December with a stoppage victory over Tadashi Yuba, has come about after talks of rematch between Hosokawa and Japanese champion Yuki Nonaka fell apart, following their draw earlier this year and on paper it looks a really good match up. Laurente, a real tough guy from the Philippines, will likely go into this bout as the favourite and although he took a bit of a beating last time out, at the hands of John Jackson, he should have the strength, power and will to win to give Hosokawa a real headache for 12 rounds. For Hosokawa a win here could help him move towards an IBF world title bout in 2016 though a loss would likely be the end of his interesting career, which began 2-3 and was once 9-6.
The main event wasn't the only bout announced for the show. There will also be a rematch between Japanese based Filipino Mark John Yap (22-12, 10) and Tatsuya Ikemizu (12-1, 5), with Ikemizu looking to avenge a loss suffered to Yap back in April. The card will also feature world ranked Super Featherweight puncher Masao Nakamura (20-3, 19), who is fighting for the first time since his 2015 FOTY contender against Daki Kaneko, and Satoru Sugita (10-2-1, 6) who have yet to have their opponents named.
The show will also feature the retirement ceremony of former Japanese and OPBF Middleweight champion Tetsuya Suzuki (29-12, 17).
What was seemingly supposed to be an introduction to the professional ranks for the "#1 Hope" has suddenly become a very interesting card.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
Filipino fighters can often prove to be a lot better than their records indicate. One such fighter is Marjohn Yap (20-12, 10) who proved his record was misleading earlier today as he defeated the previously unbeaten Tatsuya Ikemizu (12-1, 5) in an 8 round bout at Bantamweight.
Ikemizu had entered the bout as the #13 ranked Japanese Bantamweight and although he had been pushed hard by Satoshi Niwa he had come through all his tests so far, and also won the All Japan Rookie of the Year in 2013. This however was a big step up against a fighter known for giving young prospects real tests and "exposing" those who weren't as good as promoters had hoped. This had been seen in wins, in Japan, against Akihiro Matsumoto and Ryotaro Kawabata as well as a win over faded Thai Pramuansak Posuwan.
From the opening round this bout was fun with both guys going for it and from the second round onwards it seemed clear Yap was there to win rather than just make up the numbers. This resulted in a brilliant tear up between two men who took it in turns to hit each other before a tired looked Ikemizu was put into survival mode late on. Yap fought like a man who felt he needed a stoppage though in the end the judges got it right giving him a very narrow, but very well earned, decision with scores of 77-75, twice, and 77-76. Notably this ends a 3 fight losing run in Japan for Yap who is now fighting out of Japan and has a professional contract with a Japanese promoter, Muto Gym.
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