The last few years haven't been great for former WBA Minimumweight champion Ryo Miyazaki (24-2-3, 15) [宮崎亮], and things got worse this past weekend with reports that he was arrested on Friday.
The exciting former champion was arrested on suspicion of "interfering with public service" after he reportedly ran away from the police following a motor vehicle incident, which saw him hitting a police officer, who was on a bicycle at the time, and suffered minor injuries.
From what we understand Miyazaki ran away for fear of being arrested for driving whilst his license was suspended. He was captured about 25 minutes later and arrested, spending time in a police station following the arrest, though he has now been released whilst they go through further investigations.
Whilst we are expecting to see some further action to be taken against Miyazaki it's hard to imagine too stiff of a punishment, though it does seem like his career is over, with some in the Japanese media reporting that he was "effectively retired" from the sport. His last fight came last year when he lost a decision in a WBA Light Flyweight title fight against fellow Japanese fighter Ryoichi Taguchi.
(Image courtesy of Nikkan sports
Last week we reported that our sources in Thailand had stated that we'd see WBA Minimumweight champion Knockout CP Freshmart (13-0, 6) [น็อคเอาท์ ซีพีเฟรชมาร์ท] rdefending his title on December 14th against 2-time former title challenger Go Odaira (12-5-3, 1) [大平 剛], in Nakhon Ratchasima. Now it appears that Kmockout's team have managed to get him a different opponent, rather than facing Odaira, who has been stopped in 2 previous world title clashes and hardly makes for an interesting match up with Knockout.
The sources has revealed that the replacement opponent will come from Japan but will not be Odaira, which brings us to a rather small short list of WBA ranked Japanese fighters at 105lbs or, potentially, 108lbs, which interestingly doesn't actually including Odaira.
The short list features former world title challenger Ryuji Hara (20-2, 11) [原隆二], who had been pencilled in to face Knockout back in October in a bout that was slated for a Japanese venue and a chance for Knockout to make an international debut, with Hara ranked #15 at 105lbs. It also includes former world champion Ryo Miyazaki (24-2-3, 15) [宮崎 亮], who is ranked #5 at 108lbs and we really can't see him taking the fight at Minimumweight following previous weight issues, and the exciting Kenji Ono (11-1, 6) [ [大野 兼資] ], who is ranked #13 at 108lbs. Ono has never made the 105lb limit but could possibly manage it for a world title fight and would be a fun opponent for Knockout , especially considering his FOTY contender with Jun Takigawa ealier this year.
One other man who we've ignored from the short list is #5 ranked Minimumweight Tatsuya Fukuhara (17-4-6, 6) [福原 辰弥], who fights in November and would likely not have the time to prepare for Knockout given the small window between fights.
Of course, with the WBA being the WBA, we may see a wild card entry put into the rankings in the near future, such as Riku Kano (10-2-1, 5) [加納陸], who actually makes sense for the bout given his prior association with Thailand and the WBA. For now those it's a case of waiting until an announcement is made.
Earlier today WBA Light Flyweight champion Ryoichi Taguchi (25-2-1, 11) [田口良一] took part in a press conference, following yesterday's win over mandatory challenger Ryo Miyazaki (24-2-3, 15) [宮崎 亮].
The champion was somewhat critical of his own performance, giving himself 75 points out of 100, but his team were much more positive giving him close to 90, with Hitoshi Watanabe being impressed by his charge. Not only was Watanabe impressed by the performance but also by Taguchi's potential, suggesting that he could break Yoko Gushiken's long standing record.
Taguchi stated that he wanted another tough opponent next time out and mentioned, by name, both former WBO Minimumweight champion Kosei Tanaka and current Japanese and OPBF Light Flyweight champion Ken Shiro, with both of them being regarded as a tough opponent for Taguchi.
The TV figures for the show were also released this morning with the card hitting 5.8% of the Kanto audience, around 2,500,000 people in total. The figure might not seem a huge number but those close to the situation were happy with the number given that TV Tokyo shows have long depended on Takashi Uchiyama's popularity and this card didn't have KO Dynamite fighting on it.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
Tomorrow Japanese fans get one of the best doubles headers in recent memory. The second part of that double sees WBA Light Flyweight champion Ryoichi Taguchi (24-2-1, 11) [田口良一] defending his title against mandatory challenger Ryo Miyazaki (24-1-3, 15) [宮崎 亮] in what looks likely to be a real treat.
Today the two men took part in their weigh in, a weigh in that was particularly interesting as a confident Miyazaki looked to land the first blows with several verbal jabs, all of which Taguchi seemed to ignore knowing the fight would be fought in the ring tomorrow.
On the scales both men came in at the 108lb limit. A limit that Taguchi has made consistently through his career, though slightly heavier than he was last time out when he battered Juan Jose Landaeta.
For Miyazaki the question of weight was a key one given that he pretty much passed out making this weight back in 2013, for a fight with Fahlan Sakkreerin Jr, he did however look very comfortable here and had no problems with the scales.
The bout, a rare all-Japanese world title bout, has caught the countries imagination and it looks almost certain to be a war when the fighters get in the ring on Wednesday evening.
Taguchi and Miyazaki face off in all-Japanese war
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
News! We try and give you the most interesting news stories from the Asian boxing world!