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.
Earlier today sources in Nicaragua, namely Carlos A. Montealto of elnuevodiario.com, and Carlos Costa of Boxingscene, reported that a deal has been signed and sealed for the long awaited IBF Light Flyweight title fight, pitting hard hitting champion Felix Alvarado (34-2, 30) against Japan's Reiya Konishi's (17-1, 7) [小西伶弥].
The bout had long been linked to a late April date, though it's now been reported that the bout will instead take place the following month, with a May 19th date set for the fight.
As previously rumoured the bout will take place in Japan, in Kobe, Hyogo, which is where Konishi lives and his promoter Shinsei have their gym.
For Konishi this will be his second world title bout, following a close loss last year to heavy handed Venezuelan, whilst Alvarado will be making his first defense of the title he won last year, when he stopped Randy Petalcorin in the Philippines. This will also be Alvarado's second bout in Japan following a loss in 2013 ago to Kazuto Ioka.
Interestingly the bout is reportedly going to be shown on WOWOW in Japan. If it is indeed on the premium channel, it would be the first world title bout taking place in Japan to be shown on WOWOW in several years, we believe since the 2014 WOWOW Touch! event. That might not seem big news internationally, but could that WOWOW, and their Excite Fight series of shows, may begin to pick up more fights in the future.
Also it's interesting to think that WOWOW probably wouldn't be wanting to air this show unless there was more to it, with suggestions from Japan that the card may be a double header. It's worth noting that Konishi is advertised to be taking part in an exhibition with Tetsuya Hisada (33-9-2, 19) [久田 哲也] in April, and there is a chance that Hisada may be in a world title fight on the same show, with him long being linked to a world title fight of his own this year. Though that is just speculation for the time being.
Earlier today we were informed that former Japanese Featherweight champion Kosuke Saka (18-4, 15) [坂晃典] would be back in the ring on April 20th to face off with Japanese-Filipino Joe Noynay (16-2-1, 5) in a bout for the WBO Asia Pacific Super Featherweight title.
The title was recently vacated by Masao Nakamura, who announced his retirement this past week, leading to this mouth watering match up.
Saka is a crude but heavy handed puncher, who has wins over the likes of Ryuto Kyoguchi, Takafumi Nakajima and Shota Hayashi. The 23 year old Noynay on the other hand is a more technically sound boxer, who is riding a 4 fight winning run into this bout, following a close loss to Reiya Abe in 2017 and is very tricky with his speed and southpaw stance.
The bout will be the headline of a future Fighting Beat Boxing show which also features a 3 round exhibition between Tetsuya Hisada (33-9-2, 19) [久田 哲也] and Reiya Konishi (17-1, 7) [小西伶弥], who are both expected to get world title fights later in the year.
Earlier today we were informed that Etsuko Tada (18-3-2, 5) [多田悦子] would be back in the ring on the long rumoured April 27th Shinsei gym show. A show which is also set to feature Kasumi Saeki (3-0, 2) [佐伯霞] and is rumoured to be the target for Reiya Konishi's (17-1, 7) [小西伶弥] battle against IBF Light Flyweight champion Felix Alvarado (34-2, 30).
Not only were we told that Tada would be on the show, but also that she would be making her first defense of the WBO female Minimumweight title, against Thai youngster Kanyarat Yoohanngoh (5-2, 3), who won the OPBF Silver title in February when she stopped Umi Ishikawa in 3 rounds.
The champion won her title in December, when she beat Kayoko Ebata (12-8, 6) [江畑佳代子] in an absolute thriller, to become a triple champion, having previously won the WBA and IBF titles, and has stated a desire to win the WBC title in the future. The challenger on the other hand lacks any wins of note, other than the one over Ishikawa. In fact Kanyarat's only other bout of note was a stoppage loss to the aforementioned Seeki last year.
On the subject of Seeki her team are planning a world title fight for her here, but at the moment her opponent hasn't yet been named. Likewise we've not seen any confirmation of the Alvarado Vs Konishi bout, yet.
(Image of Tada courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Earlier this month we reported that the proposed IBF Flyweight title bout, between hard hitting champion champion Felix Alvarado (34-2, 30) and Japan's Reiya Konishi's (17-1, 7) [小西伶弥] was being rumoured for April 27th. Now it appears that that date has been agreed, with "elnuevodiario" also stating that it was indeed the scheduled date for the bout.
The Nicaraguan site reported the date whilst also explaining that Alvarado had moved to Managua to train for the bout. They also state that the Nicaraguan is currently 125lbs, but will begin losing weight.
Interestingly plans for a unification bout between Alvarado and WBO champion Angel Acosta (19-1, 19) now appear to be off, or at least off for now, due to Alberto Machado (21-1, 17) recently losing the WBA Super Featherweight title to Andrew Cancio (20-4-2, 15), that's important as Machado had been pencilled in to defend against Felix Alvarado's brother Rene Alvarado (30-8, 20).
Related - Rumour: Reiya Konishi Vs Felix Alvarado - April 27th?
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