Earlier this year Ryo Akaho (31-2-2, 20) [赤穂 亮] vacated the Japanese Bantamweight title due to health issues. Originally it was feared that he was going to have to retire from the sport, though he did announce that he would be continuing to fight on, after taking some time to get over the medical problems.
Today we finally saw an announcement of when Akaho would return to the ring.
His return will take place on July 13th at the Korakuen Hall, on the next of the "A-Sign Bee" shows.
At the time of writing there has been no opponent announced for Akaho but his bout is pencilled in as an 8 round Super Bantamweight bout which will likely be the chief support bout for the card.
We say the bout will be the chief support contest as the main event has also been announced, with recent world title challenger Akihiro Kondo (30-7-1, 17) [近藤 明広] facing off with Quaye Peter (11-9-3, 6) in an 8 round contest at 140lbs. Although this is expected to be the main event it's fair to say that a lot of the focus will be on akaho and his ring return.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
On February 28th we'll get the chance to see the much touted Ryo Matsumoto (21-1, 19) [松本亮] challenge WBA Super Bantamweight champion Daniel Roman (23-2-1, 9) in a bout to be held at the Korakuen Hall. The bout ia a really good one, though rumours are that Fuji TV will not be airing it live but will instead have it as a tape delay broadcast to be aired the following weekend.
Until today a lot of the details of the card were completely unknown, however today saw Ohashi gym release a number of match ups from the under-card, and whilst it's not a stacked card, it does have plenty of notable and interesting names involved on it.
One bout will see Quaye Peter (10-9-2, 6) take on Yuichi Ideta (13-10-1, 7) [出田裕一] in what looks like a real 50-50 style match up and a potentially brilliant bout to put the fans on the edge of their seat. We're not going to suggest that either Peter or Ideta are amazing fighters, but that is part of what makes this bout so interesting, both men have real limitations and should match up well together.
In a less competitive looking contest we'll see Japanese Youth Light Welterweight champion Andy Hiraoka (11-0, 8) [平岡アンディ] battle against the tough Fumisuke Kimura (6-2, 4) [木村文祐]. Although a bit of a mismacth on paper, given that Kimura has gone 1-2 in his last 3 bouts and has only 1 win in the last 5 years, this should test Hiraoka's stamina and mental toughness, with Kimura unlikely to just go away, as some of Hiraoka's other opponents have done.
One other bout announced will see the heavy handed Kazuaki Miyamoto (5-1, 4) [宮本知彰] take on highly experienced veteran Seiichi Okada (20-6-1, 11) [岡田誠一]. The 35 year old Okada, who has now been a professional for close to 13 years, has won his last 2, but he is 4-5-1 in his last 10 and looks to be a fighter well past his best. For Miyamoto however the bout is a chance to give his career a huge shot in the arm and get things moving forward at an increased pace.
Earlier today saw Ohashi gym announce two bits of information regarding their March 27th card, "Phoenix Battle 59".
One of those those things was that Quaye Peter (9-8-2, 5) has seen his opponent for the show change. Originally the Japanese based Ghana born fighter was set to face the 32 year old Yusuke Konno (11-3, 5) in a relatively interesting match up. Now however Konno is out of the bout and in his place is recent Japanese title challenger Valentine Hosokawa (20-6-3, 9) [細川バレンタイン], who will be risking his JBC ranking as he takes on Peter.
The reason for the change wasn't announce but if we're being honest the move seems like a positive change with Hosokawa being a much bigger name than Konno, and also being a man who will be fighting with a point to prove following his controversial loss last year to Hiroki Okada. Peter is a decent fighter but a win over Hosokawa would be a huge ask for the Ohashi man.
The other announcement was the poster, which Ohashi put on their website. It's not an amazing poster by any means but it features the 6 Ohashi fighters on the show and makes it clear that this card is an Ohashi event where their fighters will be the key. The poster could have featured some of the opponents, such as Hideo Sakamoto (17-3-3, 5) [坂本 英生], Shogo Yamaguchi (10-2-1, 5) [山口 祥吾] or Mitsuyoshi Fujita (10-2, 3) [藤田 光良], but it didn't need to as the Ohashi gym members were the key selling point of the show, and they all have their faces on the poster.
It's notable that the poster doesn't confirm whether or not some of the show will feature on Fuji TV, though the expectation is that it will indeed be covered on a tape delay broadcast, either on Fuji or a sister channel such as Fuji BS, giving fans a chance to follow the careers of the hopefuls on the card, such as Ryo Matsumoto (18-1, 16) [松本 亮], Koki Inoue (6-0, 5) [浩樹井上] and Andy Hiraoka (8-0, 5) [平岡アンディ.
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