Earlier today saw the announcement of the next A-Sign Bee show, which we now know will take place on November 19th.
The specific details of the card are scarce, but we have seen the first 3 fighters on the card being confirmed, though sadly none of them are yet to have their opponents named.
The highest profile fighter announced for the card will be former OPBF and JBC champion Ryo Akaho (32-2-2, 21) [赤穂亮]. The 2-time world title challenger is expected to have a step up from his last bout, against Robert Udtohan, but it's unclear whether he will be up against a domestic foe or a visitor.
Akaho will be joined by the always fun to watch Keita Kurihara (12-5, 11) [栗原 慶太], who will be looking to extend his current 3 fight winning run. We do believe that Kurihara is chasing titles, but would be surprised if he got a title shot here, however a shot for a belt will not be far off following notable recent wins over Ryan Lumacad, Tetsuya Watanabe and Kazuki Tanaka.
The third fighter confirmed for this card is Niboshi Yujiro (2-0, 1) [大曽根悠二郎], with his bout expected to be either a 4 or 6 rounder.
More details of this card are expected to be released in the weeks to come, though it's good to already see the promoters piecing the card together 2 months out.
Back in Janaury Ryo Akaho (32-2-2, 21) [赤穂 亮] had his career hanging by a thread after being taken to hospital ahead of a scheduled defense of the Japanese Bantamweight title, cancelling a bout with Yusuke Suzuki (9-3, 6) [鈴木悠介].
Despite his health being a concern he decided to continue his career, though wasn't going to continue to fight at Bantamweight. Instead he would be fighting at either Super Bantamweight or Featherweight.
Today he returned to the ring for the first time since cancelling his January bout, fighting between the Super Bantamweight and Featherweight limits, and battled against Filipino foe Robert Udtohan (24-4-3, 15).
On paper it was a really interesting match up, eespecially given the health issues of Akaho, but instead the bout turned out to be a total mismatch. Udtohan seemed to be wanting to come forward to begin with but with just over 2 minutes of the round gone Akaho landed a brutal left hand to the body, which dropped Udtohan for the full 10 count.
After the bout Akaho spoke about being tense on his entrance to the ring, but seemed very relaxed after the bout joking with reporters and talking about continuing his career, thanks to the support her's recieved over social media since the issues in January. As for Udotohan, he has now lost 3 of his last 4, 2 by stoppage.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Back in Janaury Ryo Akaho (31-2-2, 20) [赤穂 亮] vacated the Japanese Bantamweight title due to medical issues that had left him medically unfit to fight, just days before a scheduled title defence against Yusuke Suzuki (9-3, 6) [鈴木悠介]. The cancellation of that bout lead to the Japanese title becoming vacant, and has since seen two other Japanese title fights being cancelled this year, with the title still vacant today.
Despite the medical issues Akaho has been cleared to fight and will return to action tomorrow at the Korakuen Hall, where he will face Filipino foe Robert Udtohan (24-3-3, 15) in the main event of an ASign Bee show. Originally the bout had been scheduled to be the chief support bout, but was upgraded to the main event when Quaye Peter (11-9-3, 6) was injured whilst preparing to face Akihiro Kondo (30-7-1, 17) [近藤 明広], forcing that bout to be cancelled.
Today Akaho and Udtohan took part in their weight in, for a contest set to take place at a contracted at 123.5lbs.
On the sclaes Akaho made the limit with no problems and looked in pretty good shape for a man who had gone to hospital with potentially career threatening health issues just 6 months. Apparently a conversation with former world champion Akifumi Shimoda convinced Akaho to continue his career, but abandon the Bantamweight division, which was taking it's toll on his body. The weight limit for this bout seems to have been selected to allow Akaho to decide whether he wants to fight at Super Bantamweight or Featherweight going forward.
Udtohan was over the limit originally, coming in at 123.9lbs on his first attempt. Thankfully however he would lose the extra weight in time for his second attempt at weighing in, and the bout will take place, rather than have the top two bouts on the card being cancelled.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
The Japanese Bantamweight title has been held by some national boxing icons, though this year it has been dragged through the mud and has seemingly been cursed with 3 title bouts now being cancelled this year! With the most recent, which was set to take place tomorrow, being cancelled due to Suguru Muranaka (26-3-1, 8) [村中 優] being taken to hospital, before he was supposed to weigh in to face Yuta Saito (10-9-3, 7) [齊藤裕太].
The title had been vacated back in January when Ryo Akaho (31-2-2, 20) [赤穂 亮] was forced to pull out of a bout against Yusuke Suzuki (9-3, 6) [鈴木悠介], in a similar though not identical circumstances. Suzuki was himself injured before a scheduled fight with Muranaka in April.
Now logically, though when does boxing use logic, a match up between Suzuki and Saito would make sense though it's unclear if that's now the option the JBC have in mind.
Sadly for Muranaka this could essentially end his career. He has had weight issues in the past, failing to make weight several times including failing to make the Flyweight limit for a defense of the Japanese Flyweight title. Failing to make weight for that bout really was the start of Muranaka's problems and since then he has suffered two suspensions. It's now hard to see the JBC giving him any more chances, especially given their crack down on fighters failing to make weight this year.
(Image of Saito courtesy of boxmob.jp)
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)
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