Earlier this week WOWOW announced some of their scheduled for May and they already have two interesting international cards, featuring Japanese fighters, booked.
The first of those is the WBSS Semi final bout, which pits WBA "Regular" Bantamweight champion Naoya Inoue (17-0, 15) [井上 尚弥] against IBF champion Emmanuel Rodriguez (19-0, 12). The channel will be airing this live, from 4:30am local time on Sunday May 19th.
A week later they will be showing Masayuki Ito (25-1-1, 13) [伊藤 雅雪] defending his WBO Super Featherweight title. At the moment his opponent hasn't been announced, neither has the venue, though WOWOW do say his bout will be an "overseas" match. His opponents have been rumoured to be Jamel Herring (19-2, 10), who the WBO have previously said no to, and Jonathan Oquendo (30-5, 19), among others.
There rumours at the moment are that they will also be the channel airing IBF Light Flyweight title fight between hard hitting champion Felix Alvarado (34-2, 30) and Japanese challenger Reiya Konishi's (17-1, 7) [小西伶弥], though that hasn't yet been announced by the channel. That would, if the stories are all correct, also take place on May 19th, though at a more regular time in Japan.
Yesterday WBA "Regular" Bantamweight champion Naoya Inoue (17-0, 15) [井上 尚弥] began to spar again, as his training preparation for his May 18th bout with IBF champion Emmanuel Rodriguez (19-0, 12) picks up.
The fighter revealed that he had had a 3 week break from sparring following a training came in Guam last month, deciding to rest instead.
The spar yesterday was a 4 round ne with an amateur foe from the Lightweight division, we've not been given their name though we do know they were naturally bigger than Inoue. Early part of the sparring saw Inoue figure out the distance before upping the pace and beginning to hammer the body of his poor sparring partner.
Despite the break from sparring he looked sharp, and not like a man who has been away from the ring for a few weeks. Even the "Monster" himself described the session as "good". There was a little bit of negativity from Inoue who admitted to struggling with motivation at times, though it does now seem like that motivation is back, like many he seemed to have getting frustrated at the stalling of the WBSS, which had been expected to continue in March, and not keep him out of the ring until May.
Whilst yesterday was his first sparring in 3 weeks the sparring is set to step up massively with two Filipino sparring partners expected to join Inoue in the coming days.
(Image courtesy of Nikkan Sports)
To prepare for his upcoming WBSS semi final bout at Naoya Inoue (17-0, 15) [井上 尚弥] has taken part in a training camp in Guam, that ended today.
The WBA "regular" Bantamweight champion, who will face IBF champion Emmanuel Rodriguez (19-0, 12) in May in Scotland, was in Guam for a few days, and returned to Japan, landing at Narita Airport before talking to the press.
Inoue's training in Guam was no joke and he was doing a lot of intensive stamina work, running significant amounts, apparently the most he's ran before. Not only was he running, around 20KM a day, but he did so with a low oxygen mask and ran with a 1KG dumbbell at times, to further intensify the work. Some of that running was done on the soft sand of Guam's beaches, to make the running even more difficult, and to try and prevent injury, with the fighter revealing that he was doing 8.5KM on the beaches in every day and 12KM on grass.
Back in Japan the plan is to begin serious sparring from early March before ramping up the training in a second training camp at some point in April in Japan, likely in Atami where the Inoue clan have trained before.
It should be noted that whilst there was a lot of running, the camp did have some fun, and Inoue, his father Shingo and his brother Takuma Inoue (13-0, 3) [井上 拓真] did go on a bit of a shopping spree at a designer outlet before returning to Japan.
Last week the official announcement of the WBSS semi final bout at Bantamweight between "WBA" regular champion Naoya Inoue (17-0, 15) [井上 尚弥] and IBF champion Emmanuel Rodriguez (19-0, 12).
Today Inoue took part in an event in Japan talking about the bout, along with his team, as well as doing a public work out with former world title challenger Sho Ishida (27-1, 15) [石田 匠].
Inoue spoke at the event and seemed to be excited about the bout, which seemed to be summed up as a tough match, with a champion and that he was looking forward to a battle of skill. He also mentioned that he was relieved that he could prepare for Rodriguez. When speaking about fighting Scotland, he said "I have the game in the previous Los Angeles, l'm looking forward to the first time first on in a new country and boxing appears to be popular in Britain" [Translated].
It was explained that Inoue will be heading to Guam from February 17th to February 21st, for a training camp. In regards to training promoter, Hideyuki Ohashi, stated "Although the schedule changed significantly from the beginning in March, we can do a dense exercise accordingly," [Translated] and added "There is no doubt that it will be an impressive skill fight with the same distance to bring out strength." [Translated]. Showing that he expects both men to show smart boxing skills, rather than turn out for a war. Shingo Inoue also expressed his thoughts that the bout would involve skills, "Physical and concentration is the key, it will not be as easy as it is to who will hit first." [Translated]
After speaking to the press Inoue took part in a 4 round sparring session with Ishida, who notably has experience of fighting in the UK and will likely have been selected as a training partner due to that experience.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
Last week saw news break that the WBSS Bantamweight semi final bout between "WBA" regular Bantamweight Naoya Inoue (17-0, 15) [井上 尚弥] and IBF champion Emmanuel Rodriguez (19-0, 12) was being eyed for May 18th in Scotland, at the SSE Hydro in Glasgow.
Just moments ago that story was confirmed, with Sauerland's announcing the contest over Twitter.
The bout will make the show a WBSS double header, with the Light Welterweight bout between Josh Taylor (1-4, 12) and Ivan Baranchyk (19-0, 12) acting as the main event bout.
The contest will see the winners from both bouts move into the WBSS finals which are to take place later this year.
For Rodriguez the bout will see him return to the UK, where he won the IBF title, whilst Inoue will be fighting in Europe for the first and will be looking to create history as the first Japanese fighter to score a win in a world title bout in Europe. That's something a number have tried, but all have to accomplish.
We are still awaiting to hear about the other Bantamweight semi final, which features Filipino fighter WBA "super" champion Nonito Donaire (39-5, 25) and WBO champion Zolani Tete (28-3, 21), with the winner of that to face the Inoue Vs Rodriguez winner.
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