Earlier today 4 champions from the Shinsei Gym took part in a public interview to speak about their futures, and their recent bouts, which all took place on December 1st.
The event wasn't a massive press conference, but was notable, as the Shinsei Gym is essentially the biggest in Hyogo and with 4 title holders currently there the future is a bright one for the gym, especially as we head into what could be a massive 2019 for them. The gym isn't as well known as their Tokyo counterparts but is still a very major gym in Japan.
The most senior of the champions at today's event was Etsuko Tada (18-3-2, 5) [多田悦子], who recently won the WBO female Minimumweight title to become a 3-time champion. Tada, who has now won the WBA, IBF and WBO titles during her long career made it known that she wants to win another. It seems plausible that she would want the WBC title, currently held by German Tina Rupprecht (8-0, 3), to complete the "grandslam", but she didn't explicitly state and there has been talk of a third bout with WBA champion Anabel Ortiz (28-3, 4), who she has lost two close decisions to.
The one male at the event was former world title challenger Reiya Konishi (17-1, 7) [小西伶弥], who retained the WBO Asia Pacific Light Flyweight title at the start of the month. Konishi stated that this year, 2018, has been a big one for him. He lost in his first world title bout, coming up short against Carlos Canizales, but won and defended the WBO Asia Pacific title. He's looking to get a second world title fight in the new year, but seemed like he's willing another defense of his regional title fight to prepare for a world champion.
Japanese and OPBF female Featherweight champion Wakako Fujiwara (7-2-2, 2) [藤原芽子] didn't talk too much about her plans, but did state she had learned from her recent bout with Kimika Miyoshi [三好喜美佳], and clearly understands that she had major issues in that bout with stamina, something she'll work on before her next bout.
The unbeaten Kasumi Saeki (3-0, 2) [佐伯霞], who claimed the WBO Asia Pacific female Minimumweight title at the start of the month, spoke about moving up through the classes and fighting for a world title in the new year. Saeki seems like the type of fighter who needs to be tested, and we suspect that Shinsei know she needs better opponents, which given her amateur background she should be able to deal with without too many problems.
It's unclear when Shinsei will be holding their first show of 2019 but we would expect to see at least one of these fighters on that card with the others having big bouts through the year.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Earlier today fight fans at the EDION Arena Osaka, saw WBO Asia Pacific Light Flyweight champion Reiya Konishi (17-1, 7) [小西伶弥] successfully retain his and make his first defense, as he defeated Filipino challenger Richard Rosales (13-8-2, 7) in 8th rounds.
The challenger, was put on the back foot early on, with Konishi putting bringing the pressure. To his credit Roales fought back, but was unable to get the respect of Konishi who just kept applying the pressure. The close combat lead to both men being deducted points, with Rosales being penalised in both round 3 and in round 7, with the second deduction coming as he held and wrestled and began to appear like a tired and beaten fighter.
The scorecards weren't going to be needed with Rosales' taking more and more punishment and in round 8 his team threw in the towel, with 2 minutes 32 seconds of round 8 gone.
Despite the win Konishi really didn't shine, even apologising to the crowd for the bout. Rosales made for a frustrating style match up for Konishi, and the spoiling, fouls, wrestling and defense of the Filipino made life tough for the Japanese fighter, who is wanting to get a second world title fight in the new year. Given this performance it may be better for him to continue his development before facing a world level fighter. Konishi is a handful for anyone at 108lbs, but he seems to lack the class needed to move a handful to a serious threat, and he's too predictable too really be favoured over any of the top fighters in the division.
For Rosales we really wonder what his future has in store. He looks like a fighter resigned to losing, and this is his 5th loss in 7 bouts. He can be a nightmare for fighters at Oriental level when he shows desire, but we suspect that desire has been beaten out of him now, due to his recent form.
Tomorrow at the EDION Arena Osaka fight fans will be able to see WBO Asia Pacific Light Flyweight champion Reiya Konishi (16-1, 6) [小西伶弥] make his first defense, as he faces off with Filipino challenger Richard Rosales (13-7-2, 7).
Today the two men took part in their weigh in for the bout and both men made the 108lb limit, with some room to spare.
On the scales Konishi, who won the title earlier this year with a 12th round win over Orlie Silvestre, was 107.7lbs and looked in great shape. He spoke not so much about whether he would win, but how he looks, knowing that his performance is really important, especially if he wants a shot at a world title in 2019.
Rosales was even further under the limit, weighing 106.7lbs, and he looked tiny in comparison to Konishi. He not only looked small compared to the champion but also a bit fleshy, suggesting that he's only a Minimumweight when he's in tip top shape. Despite being the smaller man he sounded confident in comments to the media, but didn't look like a fighter who truly believed what he was saying.
Related - Konishi looks to end year with defense against Rosales
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Earlier today Shinsei gym held a press conference to announce their second card for December 1st, making it one of the most stacked days for Japanese boxing in 2018.
The bouts that were announced today included two regional title fights and the next bout of a former champion.
One of the bouts announced is a WBO Asia Pacific Light Flyweight title fight, which will see Reiya Konishi (16-1, 6) [小西伶弥] make his first defense, as he faces off with Richard Rosales (13-7-2, 7). The Japanese warrior won the belt earlier this year, beating Orlie Silvestre, and is always a fun fighter to watch. He will be favoured strongly, with Rosales not expected to really test him, but the bout could be very action packed.
A second WBO Asia Pacific bout will take place at Super Featherweight as Masao Nakamura (24-3, 23) [仲村正男] and Carlo Magali (23-10-3, 12) trade blows for the vacant title. Both men are former OPBF champions and both will know that a win here will take them closer to a world title fight. Nakamura, who lost to Masayuki Ito earlier in his career, is a massive puncher whilst Magali is a tough guy who presses the action, so we're expecting a real thriller here.
A third bout announced today sees former WBA Super Bantamweight champion Shun Kubo (13-1, 9) [久保隼] facing off with Indonesian journeyman Noldi Manakane (33-25-2, 18), in what appears to be a stay busy bout for Kubo ahead of a big 2019.
Prior to today's announcement Shinsei had announced a quadruple header of female title fights for December 1st, including an OPBF Atomweight title bout between Eri Matsuda (1-0) [松田恵里] and Minayo Kei (6-3, 1) [慶美奈代] , a WBO Asia Pacific female Minimumweight title bout between Kasumi Saeki (2-0, 1) [佐伯霞] and Wassana Kamdee (3-4, 2) and a WBO female Minimumweight title bout between Kayoko Ebata (12-7, 6) [江畑佳代子] and Etsuko Tada (17-3-2, 5) [多田悦子].
Notably these bouts won't be on a mega show, but will instead be two shows on the same day at the same venue, the EDION Arena Osaka, by the same promoter. But both shows look incredibly stacked. The female card is "Real Spirits Vol 60" whilst the male card will be "Real Spirits Vol 61".
Related - Shinsei announce quadruple header for December 1st!
Back in July we saw talented Japanese youngster Reiya Konishi (16-1, 6) [小西伶弥] battle hard to score a 12th round win over the determined Orlie Silvestre, to claim the WBO Asia Pacific Light Flyweight title. Since then we've not seen Konishi in the ring.
Thankfully it appears an announcement about his return is just around the the corner with the fighter revealing some details of his next bout.
The fun to watch fighter from the Shinsei gym revealed that he would be fighting again on December 1st at the Osaka Prefectural Gymnasium against a yet to be named opponent. The only details that he did really reveal was that the bout would be "important" to becoming a "world champion next year". Things like that suggest it could be a world title eliminator, and with Konishi having top 15 world rankings with the WBA (#5), WBO (#5) and WBC (#13) that's a very real possibility. However it could just as easily be a tune up bout for a world title fight in early 2019.
It appears that details will be revealed in the coming weeks as we continue to see the schedule for the end of the year fill out, and it's clear that December will be a packed month from start to end, even if announcements haven't yet been made for the biggest shows of the month.
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