This week is a huge one for fight fans with a host of title fights taking place over 2 days, and 4 shows, in Japan. For those interested in those shows we have collated the TV details for all of those cards. Please that all times are in Tokyo time, which is +9 UTC. You will sadly have to convert the times in to your local times, however putting "tokyo time converter" into google should do the hard work for you.
Fuji TV 18:00-20:54
The first of the cards set to be aired comes on Friday and will have 3 bouts from it televised. The bouts set to be aired are the WBO Super Flyweight title bout between defending champion Naoya Inoue (11-0, 9) [井上 尚弥] and Japanese challenger Kohei Kono (32-9-1, 13) [河野 公平], the IBF Light Flyweight title bout between Akira Yaegashi (24-5, 12) [八重樫 東] and Thai challenger Samartlek Kokietgym (33-5, 11)* [สามารถเล็ก ปูนอินทรียิม] and the Middleweight bout between 2012 Olympic gold medal winner Ryota Murata (11-0, 8) [村田 諒太] and once beaten Mexican fighter Bruno Sandoval (19-1-1, 15).
CBC / Online 15:00-15:57
The second card to get some television attention is the Hatanaka card from Gifu. The only televised bout from this card will be the WBO Light Flyweight title bout between Kosei Tanaka (7-0, 4) [田中恒成] and Moises Fuentes (24-2-1, 13). The bout is arguably the best looking of the day's world title fights and is a really interesting match up between two former world champions. Not only CBC showing this in Chukyo but they have also organised a free and legal stream for the bout, which will be on the link featured below.
A second stream, with Japanese commentary, will be available here: http://hicbc.com/tv/soulfighting/
The second of the shows to be broadcast on New Year's Eve will be the Woz promoted card from Hyogo. The card is set to be featured as part of TBS's KYOKUGEN 2016, a huge end of year TV extravaganza that typically features various celebrities and sports stars. The card was originally set to be aired a triple title show but follow the pull out of Lee Haskins we'll only be getting two bouts. They will see a WBA Flyweight title bout between regular champion Kazuto Ioka (20-1, 12) [井岡一翔] and interim champion Stamp Kiatniwat (15-0, 6) [แสตมป์ กระทิงแดงยิม] and an IBF Super Bantamweight title bout between Yukinori Oguni (18-1-1, 7) [小國 以載] and defending champion Jonathan Guzman (22-0-0-1, 22).
A thing to note about this card is that it won't be for the 5 hour window, instead it will be contained within the 5 hour time frame, with TBS unwilling to schedule it for a set time and allowing it to float inside the KYOKUGEN slot.
TV Tokyo 21:30-23:30
The final show of the year is the TV Tokyo shown “The best of Best” and features another world title double header. The bouts here will be a WBA Light Flyweight title bout between reigning Ryoichi Taguchi (25-2-1, 11) [田口良一] and the unbeaten Carlos Canizales (16-0, 13) and the anticipated rematch between WBA Super Featherweight "super" champion Jezreel Corrales (20-1-0-1, 8) and Takashi Uchiyama (24-1-1, 20) [内山 高志]. Sadly given the time slot it seems unlike that we'll get the chance to see the brilliant match up between Masayuki Ito (19-1-1, 9) [伊藤 雅雪] and Takuya Watanabe (30-6-1, 16) [渡邉 卓也], who fight to unify the OPBF and WBO Asia Pacific Super Featherweight titles.
Last week we reported that Japanese promoter Woz boxing were set to pomote a world title triple header on December 31st in Kyoto. During our report we suggested that one of those fighters could featuring Woz'svery own Shohei Omori (17-1, 12) [大森 将平], though at the time there was nothing being confirmed from either the team of Omori or the world champions that Omori could have been fighting.
We knew that one of those 3 world title bouts would see Yukinori Oguni (18-1-1, 7) [小國 以載] challenger IBF Super Bantamweight champion Jonathan Guzman (22-0-0-1, 22) and we knew another would see WBA Flyweight champion Kazuto Ioka's (20-1, 12) [井岡一翔] defending his titleagainst Thai teenager Stamp Kiatniwat (15-0, 6) [แสตมป์ กระทิงแดงยิม].
Today it was revealed that the third bout would indeed feature Omori, in his first world title fight, with the Demon's Left taking on IBF Bantamweight champion Lee Haskins (34-3, 14), in what will be Haskins' third world title defense.
For Haskins, who won the title in June 2015 when he stopped Ryosuke Iwasa, the bout sees him fighting in Asia for the first time and facing a Japanese opponent for the second time. Although well travelled with bouts in Monaco, Belgium, Morocco, and Spain, this will be Haskins' first bout in Asia
For Omori the bout will be his third of the year and sees him stepping back in class after two wins against limited foes. This will be his most significant bout so far, and will over-shadow his 2015 loss to Marlon Tapales in a WBO world title eliminator. At the time his loss to Tapalese, a 2nd round TKO loss, was a real eye opener and a very dissappointing result for Omori however Tapales has since gone on to claim the WBO wold title, making it a less bad loss in retrospect.
It seems like Omori and his team have looked at Haskins and are aware of his unique style, mentioning his tricky movements at today's press conference to announce the fight, but were still confident with Omori himself admitting that he would be hunting a KO win for the fans in Kyoto.
The card is a genuinely brilliant one, and the rumour now is that British TV may air the card, a real rarity in recent years, with MBS likely to provide a feed for British TV to carry the bout. Although not yet confirmed the runmour is that Boxnation may carry the card either live or on a same day delay. For Japanese fans the show is expected to be aired on MBS and TBS along with the other two world title bouts, in what will be a bumper day for fans int he land of the rising Sun.
(Images courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Earlier today Watanabe held an event that served a dual purpose. One of those purposes was to celebrate Kohei Kono's recent win over rival Koki Kameda, a win that was very well taken by Japanese fans who had long tired of the Kameda's and their actions, the other purpose was to announce two world title bouts.
Those bouts featured world champions that had been penciled in to be in action on December 31st, as part of a TV Tokyo show from the Ota City Gymnasium.
One of those fighters was long reigning WBA Super Featherweight "super" champion Takashi Uchiyama (23-0-1, 19) who had his bout with Nicaraguan challenger Oliver Flores (27-1-2, 17) confirmed. The bout was strongly rumoured with Latin American sources, such as Notifight, already confirming the story. Sadly it's a disappointing foe for Uchiyama who will be making the 11th defense of his title, and continue to slowly move towards the Japanese record of 13 world title defense held by Yoko Gushiken. This should be a straight forward defense though will hopefully be followed in Spring with a big name fight, possibly against Javier Fortuna, Takashi Miura or Yuriorkis Gamboa, who have all been linked to Uchiyama in the past.
Whilst Uchiyama's opponent is disappointing it's probably fair to say that stablemate Ryoichi Taguchi (22-2-1, 9) has got an even more disappointing assignment as he'll be defending his WBA Light Flyweight title against against Colombian challenger Luis De la Rosa (24-5-1, 14). Coming into this one De la rosa hgas lost 4 of his last 7, including a decision loss to Zou Shiming and stoppage losses to Merlito Sabillo, Moises Fuentes and Alexis Diaz, with Diaz and Fuentes both stopping him inside a round. To say Taguchi should be in a better bout is a massive under-statement.
Sadly for TV Tokyo it seems likely that they will against have numbers that are dwarfed by rival TBS, who have secured the Kazuto Ioka Vs Juan Carlos Reveco rematch as well as Kosei Tanaka's bout with Vic Saludar, both of which are more interesting than the offerings from Watanabe.
(Image courtesy of www.hochi.co.jp)
A few days we were informed that the promising Takeru Kamikubo (7-0, 4) had officially been added to the New Year's Eve show in Osaka. The 18 year old Kamikubo, the next in the conveyor belt of talented youngsters coming from the Ioka gym, debuted earlier this year and has impressively run up a 7 fight winning streak since February, when he debuted.
Although footage of the youngster is somewhat scare we did manage to find a video of his most recent bout, a 6 round decision win against Masaki Hirai, and in that contest he did show some of the traits that we're seeing a lot of in the Ioka prospects, such as Sho Ishida and Masayoshi Nakatani. That fight, which can be seen below, showed off Kamikubo's speed, movement, jab and ability to box on the move, a skill so many fighters never learn.
Our source has informed us that Kamikubo will be fighting a Thai opponent though unfortunately no name has been given to us.
Talking about Thai opponents we've also been told that former WBA Minimumweight champion Ryo Miyazaki (21-1-3, 12) will be facing a Thai visitor for his 8 round bout on this card. Sadly we've again not been given the Thai's name though we're not expecting anything better than stay busy opponent for Miyazaki who was last seen in the ring stopping Ichal Tobida back in September. The same also applies in two other bouts with the heavy handed Takahiro Yamamoto (14-3, 11) and rising female prospect Terumi Nuki (5-0, 2) both facing unknown Thais on this card.
Of course at the top of this card we get world class action as Guillermo Rigondeaux (14-0, 9) defends his WBO Super Bantamweight title against Hisashi Amagasa (28-4-2, 19). Overall this is really looking like the better of the two New Years Eve cards especially for those able to get to the fights in person. For those who can't get to the venue TBS is expected to show several fights from the show, including the Super Bantamweight title fight, the 10 round contest between Kazuto Ioka (15-1, 9) and Jean Piero Perez (20-7-1, 14) and an IBF Minimumweight title bout between former champion Katsunari Takayama (27-7-0-1, 10) and Japanese national champion Go Odaira (11-3-3, 1)
(Video courtesy of nov K)
About an hour ago we brought you the news that Hisashi Amagasa (28-4-2, 19) had had his bout with Cuban sensation Guillermo Rigondeaux (14-0, 9) officially announced by Kyoei. We can now add to that information by bringing you the official poster for the show, which looks like being a fantastic one overall, even if one of the main bouts was disappointing when that first announced.
The poster features, at the top, former 2-weight world champion Kazuto Ioka (15-1, 9) who will be fighting against former WBA interim Flyweight champion Jean Piero Perez (20-7-1, 14). We brought you the news of this fight last month and confessed to it being a poor match up though it does come with the follow up news that Ioka is expecting a world title bout in Spring 2015 if he wins here.
In the middle of the poster we get possibly the most notable bout from an international stand point as Rigondeaux and Amagasa are pictured closely together. Amagasa, pictured with the OPBF Featherweight title, will be dropping a weight to challenge Rigondeaux for the WBO and WBA "super" titles at Super Bantamweight and despite being a clear under-dog this is a bout that will see Amagasa spoken about around the world come the end of the year.
At the bottom part of the poster is multi-time world champion Katsunari Takayama (27-7-0-1, 10) who will be fighting compatriot Go Odaira (11-3-3, 1) for the vacant IBF Minimumweight title. For Odaira this is his first world title bout whilst for Takayama it will see him attempting to reclaim the title he held at the start of the year.
It seems likely that these will be the only bouts aired on TBS on the day though that's still a trio to be excited about and to look forward to. For fans in attendance however they are in for a few more bonus bouts including a Japanese Super Flyweight title bout between the unbeaten Sho Ishida (17-0, 9) and Masasto Morisaki (9-3-1, 5), an 8 round bout involving former WBA Minimumweight champion Ryo Miyazaki (21-1-3, 12) and a bout involving female boxing beauty Tomomi Takano (6-1, 5), none of whom are on the poster.
(Image courtesy of Keiichiro Kanehira's blog)
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