Yesterday the Ohashi Gym held an event with the gym supporters, of which around 500 attended. The end wasn't a massive one for those who just like to watch fights, but was a pretty interesting one for those who follow the Ohashi Gym and their fighters.
The gym chairman, Hideyuki Ohashi, stated that he was looking to mass produce world champions at the gym and it does seem like he's making positive signing to try and do that, with a host of top Japanese prospects currently fighting out of the gym.
Talking about world champions the event also saw WBA Bantamweight "regular" champion Naoya Inoue (16-0, 14) [井上 尚弥] speak. The "Monster" stated that he wanted to no only win the WBSS and claim the prize money from the competition, but also wanted to to help develop the gym, and seemed to be clearly pushing for the gym to get a swimming pool, to help the fighters cool down after a hard summer work out.
Inoue stated that he will resume sparring next week as he begins to prepare for the WBSS, and there was also comments at yesterday's event that Inoue would like to face Nonito Donaire (38-5, 24) in the competition.
Notably Inoue is one of 2 fighters from the Ohashi gym to have won "world" titles at 3 weights and it does seem liek the gym are wanting to build on that success.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
Earlier today the Ohashi gym held a press conference to announce that they were to begin crowd funding, in an attempt to raise money for world title fights going forward.
The press conference saw Mr Ohashi, along with former 3-weight world champion Akira Yaegashi (25-6, 13) [八重樫 東] and 2012 Olympic bronze medal winner Satoshi Shimizu (3-0, 3) [清水 聡], announce that fans would be able to contribute via crowd sourcing site https://www.makuake.com, allowing fans put money towards getting an Ohashi fighter a world title fight.
Fans are able to support one of 5 Ohashi gym fighters, with current world champion Naoya Inoue (13-0, 11) [井上 尚弥] being the most notable, along with his younger brother Takuma Inoue (8-0, 2) [井上 拓真], rising youngster Ryo Matsumoto (20-1, 18) [松本亮] along with Yaegashi and Shimizu.
For fans willing to pledge money there is various rewrds, from shirts to special training sessions and events with the fighters. There is however a question as to how successful this will be going forward, and it certainly wasn't a succes when Korean Hyun Mi Choi (14-0-1, 4) [최현미] attempted it, raising just 6% of her target. On the other hand, the Ohashi stable are much higher profile than Choi and have a much bigger fan base than the Korean fight.
For those interested the Ohashi gym project is here https://www.makuake.com/project/ohashi-gym/.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Earlier today it was revealed that former Japanese amateur stand out Katsuya Yasuda [保田克也] was the latest fighter to sign with the Ohashi Gym.
The former national champion, who won an amateur domestic title in 2013, ran up an impressive 64-12 (30) record in the unpaid ranks and is planning his debut towards the end of August, with his protest to take place not too much earlier.
The signing of Yasuda might not be a huge one internationally, yet, but is another big signature domestically for the Ohashi gym who look like they really are building for the future. They already have some of the hottest young talents in Japan, with the likes of Naoya Inoue, his younger brother Takuma Inoue, their cousin Koki Inoue, Ryo Matsumoto, Kazuki Nakajima and Andy Hiraoka, and appear to be building their future are the new wave of talent.
Whilst the likes of Satoshi Hosono and Akira Yaegashi are coming to the end it's fair to say the gym it's self is future proofing, and that's certainly exciting to see.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Earlier today, after months of speculation, Japan's Satoshi Shimizu [清水 聡] finally signed his professional papers and officially joined the incredibly influential Ohashi gym in Yokohama.
The fighter had been linked to the gym from the moment he failed to defeat Daisuke Narimatsu [成松大介] back in January, with Narimatsu earning a birth at the Asian Olympic qualifying event. Although he had been linked with a move to turn professional he did hold back, having been selected as the "alternate" if Narimatsu failed to impress at the qualification event.
In March the rumours picked up speed that Shimizu was looking to end his days as an amateur which he officially did over the weekend.
Originally the rumour was that Shimizu was going to be looking to become a world champion at record speed but it seems that Mr Ohashi and the team at the Ohashi gym have convinced Shimizu to go for a 2 year time frame to move towards a world title.
Having signed with Ohashi the plan now is for Shimizu to under-go his B license test on July 29th before debuting on the much spoke about September Ohashi card, rumoured to be September 4th. That bout is expected to see Shimizu fighting at Featherweight and will likely be a 6 rounder, though their is a chance he will follow in the footsteps of new stablemate Naoya Inoue [井上 尚弥] and take part in an 8 round debut bout.
Satoshi Shimizu finally ends amateur days!
Satoshi Shimizu to sign with Ohashi?
Satoshi Shimizu likely to turn professional and be on the fast track to the top!
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
Earlier today in Tokyo the Japanese media had the chance to attend a long awaited press conference to announce the next big Ohashi Gym card. The announcement had been anticipated for several week and is likely to be one of the few Japanese announcements to have fight fans around the world paying attention to it.
The reason it was so anticipated is due to the fact it related to the return of Japanese sensation Naoya Inoue (9-0, 8) [井上 尚弥], and his first bout of 2016. The youngster is one of the few Asian fighters who can generate a buzz in the west and is a man that is very much seen as part of the future of world boxing, with both Boxnation and HBO mentioning his name in recent months.
The announcement of who Inoue,the WBO Super Flyweight champion, was set to face was no shock, it's long been known that he would be up against WBO mandatory challenger David Carmona (20-2-5, 8). The opponent wasn't the most exhilarating or anything like that but it was a mandatory that the WBO had ordered at the start of the year.
Whilst the match up was no surprise, and was very well known about, what was news was the date of the bout and the co-feature bout.
The bout will take place just outside the "Golden Week" with the date now set for May 8th, which is the second Sunday in May. It is slightly than expected but came within the "window" that many has expected the bout to come in. With Inoue's team stating "late April or early May" on more than one occasion prior to today's announcement.
Carmona has "earned" his opportunity by fighting to a draw last year in an interim title fight against Warlito Parrenas. Parrenas, as you may remember, was very unlucky to only earn a draw against Carmona in a bout that he seemed to win pretty clearly. Although the bout resulted in a draw Parrenas got a shot at Inoue last year, being stopped in 2 rounds by Inoue in December, with the "Monster" showing the gulf in their abilities. It'd be a shock to see Carmona last much longr with Inoue who has been simply untouchable since moving to 115lbs at the end of 2014.
For Inoue the defense will be his second of the WBO Super Flyweight title and is likely to be his final bout in Japan before making an international debut in the US later this year. Although the youngster didn't confirm that story there were quotes from him staying that he wants to win by KO to help secure big matches in the future, with of course a potential showdown with Roman Gonzalez firmly on his, and everyone elses, mind.
Contrary to rumours from a UK promoter Inoue is not known to be suffering with any problems from making 115lbs and appears to have no intention of vacating his title any time soon. Bad news of course for Frank Warren and a couple of his fighters who appear unlikely to rush to face Inoue.
Of course Naoya won't be the only man in action and it was announced that stablemate Akira Yaegashi (23-5, 12) [八重樫 東] would be defending the IBF Light Flyweight title on the same show, with the hugely popular Yaegashi set to face Mexico's heavy handed Martin Tecuapetla (13-6, 10).
On paper the co-feature isn't as exciting as the main event, which features one of the sports best fighters, however looking a little further it may actually be a much more fan friendly and competitive bout.
The exciting Yaegashi is rarely in a dull contest and that's not likely to change here, in what will be his first defense of the Light Flyweight crown he won last year, when he upset Javier Mendoza. His warrior mentality is likely to bring the best out of Tecuapetla who holds wins against the likes of Saul Juarez, Gilberto Para and Ronald Ramos. Although not the most talented he is heavy handed and has mixed in very respectable company, facing the likes of Juarez, twice, former Yaegashi foe Oscar Blanquet, current world champion Jose Argumedo, and Milan Melindo, who he fought to a razor thin decision in 2014.
Like Inoue we've also seen Yaegashi suggest he would be looking for a KO though it should be noted that Tecuapetla hasn't been stopped in around 4 years, in what was his first bout to go beyond 8 rounds. Yaegashi described the Mexican as being "belligerent", and it's a world that many would also use to describe Yaegashi himself.
For fans interested in attending the card will be held at the Ariake Colosseum in Tokyo whilst others will be able to watch the bout on Fuji TV, who will continue to broadcast shows featuring Inoue, their rising star.
As for the under-card it's been confirmed that both Takuma Inoue (6-0, 1) [井上 拓真] and Ryo Matsumoto (17-0, 15) [松本 亮] will be in action, though their opponents haven't yet been named. Nothing really is known about Matsumoto's opponent, though we have been informed that Takuma will be defending his OPBF Super Flyweight title, in a bout that comes just weeks after an interim title fight in the Philippines. It's unlikely their bouts will air on Fuji TV, though there is some possibility that they will have highlights aired on the channel, or be shown on Fuji's subscription sister channel on tape delay.
(Image courtesy of daily.co.jp)http://daily.co.jp
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