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)
Earlier this year we reported that former world champion Nana Yoshikawa (8-2, 4) [好川 菜々] had announced her retirement form boxing, having been an active fighter for most of her adult life.
Today the fighter and her husband announced their next venture, as they officially opened the Diamante Boxing and Fitness Gym in Sakai, Osaka.
As a fighter Yoshikawa was an amateur standout, winning 55 of 77 contests and becoming a 3 weight nationa champion, before turning professional and claiming the OPBF female Light Flyweight title, along with the WBO and WBC interim female Flyweight titles.
Yoshikawa has felt indebted to Mexico for her success as a fighter and explained that that was why the gym had a Spanish name, with the choice of name also relating to the fact that they want find gems and get them to riase through the ranks and shine like diamonds.
The gym seems to not be focusing on professional boxing to begin with, but the long term aim certainly seems to be on developing top tier Japanese professional fighters in the Osaka region.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Ealier today the press in Osaka were invited to a press conference featuring Japanese female fighter Nana Yoshikawa (8-2, 4) [好川 菜々], who announced that after 18 years as a boxer, she was retiring.
The 39 year old spoke about her long amateur career, which saw her have a 14 year career in the unpaid ranks, before making her professional debut in August 2013. By the end of her amateur career she had fought 77 times, winning 55 and had claimed Japanese amateur titles in 3 weight classes.
When she turned professional, at the age of 35 she was put on a bit of a fast track, and claimed the OPBF female Light Flyweight title in just her third professional bout. In 2015, in what was Yoshikawa's 5th professional bout, she challenged WBA female Minimumweight champion Anabel Ortiz, but came up short to the excellent Mexican, being made to look out of her depth at that point. The following year, in her second world title shot, Yoshikawa claimed the WBO female Flyweight title, out pointing Eun Hye Lee for the then vacant title.
Sadly Yoshikawa's WBO reign was short lived, and she lost the title just 6 months later, losing to Monserrat Alarcon.
Yoshikawa's final bout came last year, when she defeated Delia Lopez and claimed the Interim WBC female Flyweight title
The fighter thanked the gym and the support she has recieved through her career whilst her trainer, and husband, thanked Nana for her career and the support the gym had given the pair of them to acheieve the dream of becoming a world champion and having a big fight on the international stage.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
The WBC have been known for their confusing and often inconsistent decisions. These have included things like their bizarre treatment of Graciano Rocchigiani back in the late 1990's, the inexplicable creation of the Huichol belt and various other decisions that have left fans, fighters and comission wondering what they were doing.
The latest chapter in the long history of the WBC's ridiculous decisions was revealed earlier today when they decided to disreagrd their own WBC "interim" female Flyweight title.
The belt was won by Japan's talented Nana Yoshikawa (8-2, 4) [好川 菜々] back in December, when she travelled to Mexico and defeated Delia Lopez (10-7-2, 5) with a split decision in Tecamac, Mexico.
In the days that followed Yoshikawa made a donation to the Mexican earthquake appeal, giving $12,000 (Mexican Peso's) to the appear and the WBC sent out one of their many emails saying "champion Nana Yoshikawa". It seemed clear, at the time, that the WBC saw her as a champion and that the bout between herself and Lopez was a bout for the interim title, with WBC Prsident Mauricio Sulaiman even attending the announcement of the bout!
Today however they have decided that that bout doesn't matter, and that Yoshikawa's win wasn't really for the title, or even for the position as a mandatory for the full title.
The regular title has recently become vacant, with Jessica Chavez vacating the belt due to pregnancy and becoming the "Chamoion in Recess". The assumption was that Yoshikawa would be upgraded to the full champion following Chavez's decision but instead the WBC have told Yoshikawa and the JBC that the vacant title is vacant, and that the bout between Yoshikawa and Lopez was a non-title bout. That has been reported alongside a request from Osvaldo Küchle of Promociones del Pueblo to try and get the vacant title to be contested in a bout between Ibeth Zamora Silva (28-6, 12) and Melissa McMorrow (10-6-3, 1).
The JBC have been in touch with the WBC who have stated that the Yoshikawa Vs Lopez bout wasn't for a title afterall. The JBC have asked for an explanation, and with good reason given that the WBC themselves ran a number of stories themselves regarding the bout.
On December 11th, several days before the Yoshikawa/Lopez bout, the WBC stated on their own website that "Japan's Nana Yoshikawa fights Mexican Delia Lopez for the World Boxing Council interim super flyweight title" a clear indicator that the title was on the line going into the contest. Less than a week later they posted an article titled "NANA YOSHIKAWA NEW WBC INTERIM CHAMP", which stated "Japanese fighter Nana Yoshikawa traveled all the way from Japan to the State of Mexico to fight for the WBC interim super flyweight female championship" and "Nana, who had trained long and hard in her homeland, won this prized WBC championship."
From what we understand the JBC have requested more details from the WBC, and some form of an explanation for their decision to not honour their own interim title. The bout between Silva and McMorrow hasn't yet been officially announced by the WBC but does look like it will be taking place later in March, with Televisa reporting it as if it was a done deal. If does occur for the title there will have to be some serious questions asked of the WBC, their "interim" title process and whether or not they even regard their own titles with any value.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp
Last night fight fans in Mexico saw an "Interim" WBC female Flyweight title fight, as Japan's talented Nana Yoshikawa (8-2, 4) [好川 菜々] battled against Mexico's very own Delia Lopez (10-7-2, 5).
The bout was a hotly contested one, with Yoshikawa looking for her biggest win away from home and Lopez looking to claim her biggest career win. This showed in the ring as neither fighter ever looked capable of establishing themselves as the boss of the bout.
The competitive back and forth saw the cards being razor thin at the end of the 10 round though they did favour Yoshikawa with scores of 96-94 and 96-95 in her favour, whilst the third judge favoured Lopez 96-94.
After the fight Yoshikawa stated she had intended to use her speed, but instead got herself caught up in a fight up close and personal. It was due to letting the fight get close that the bout was so close. Although she clearly had the skills to win she let those skills fall to the wayside and admitted she was relieved to have gotten the decision, admitting that it could easily have gone against her.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
News! We try and give you the most interesting news stories from the Asian boxing world!