On January 10th the JBC, along with members of the Tokyo Boxing Press, announced the nominations for the 2018 Japanese boxing awards.
The highest award is the Best Fighter, or MVP, award. The nominations for this award are:
Naoya Inoue (17-0, 15) [井上 尚弥] - The current WBA "regular" Bantamweight champion
Kosei Tanaka (12-0, 7) [田中恒成] - The current WBO Flyweight champion
Kenshiro (15-0, 8) [拳四朗] - The current WBC Flyweight champion
and Masayuki Ito (25-1-1, 13) [伊藤 雅雪] - The current WBO Super Featherweight champion
The Skills Award again includes Kenshiro and Tanaka but also:
Tomoki Kameda (36-2, 20) [亀田和毅] - The current WBC "interim" Super Bantamweight champion
Hiroto Kyoguchi (12-0, 9) [京口 紘人] - The current WBC Light Flyweight champion
and Jorge Linares (45-4, 28)
The Special award sees Ito and Tanaka being nominated
The KO award see's Naoya Inoue being joined by:
Satoshi Shimizu (8-0, 8) [清水 聡] - The current OPBF Featherweight champion
and Kazuto Takesako (10-0, 10) [竹迫司登] - The current Japanese Middleweight champion
The Newcomer award has seen a nice number of candidates, the nominees here are, Takesako along with:
Tsubasa Koura (14-0, 9) [小浦 翼] - The current OPBF Minimumweight champion
Hiroaki Teshigawara (18-2-2, 11) [勅使河原 弘晶] - The current OPBF Super Bantamweight champion
Shuichiro Yoshino (9-0, 7) [吉野 修一郎] - The current Japanese Lightweight champion
Ryota Yada (18-4, 15) [矢田良太] - The current Japanese Welterweight champion
The "strive", which appears to be an achievement type of award, has seen the following nominations:
Masayoshi Nakatani (18-0, 12) [中谷正義] - The current OPBF Lightweight champion
Valentine Hosokawa (24-6-3, 11) [細川バレンタイン] - The current Japanese Light Welterweight champion
Masayuki Kuroda (30-7-3, 16) [黒田 雅之] - The former Japanese Flyweight champion
and Tetsuya Hisada (33-9-2, 19) [久田 哲也] - The former Japanese Light Flyweight champion
The best fight, at world level has seen 3 bouts being nominated:
Sho Kimura [木村翔] Vs Kosei Tanaka [田中恒成] - WBO Flyweight title fight
Jorge Linares Vs Vasyl Lomachneko - WBA "super" Lightweight title fight
and Naoya Inoue [井上 尚弥] Vs Juan Carlos Payano - WBA "Regular" Bantamweight title fight
The best fight that wasn't at world level has 4 nominations:
Yusaku Kuga [久我勇作] Vs Shingo Wake [和氣 慎吾] - Japanese Super Bantamweight title fight
Valentine Hosokawa [細川バレンタイン] Vs Vladimir Baez - Japanese Light Welterweight title fight
Hironori Mishiro [三代大訓] Vs Masaru Sueyoshi [末吉 大] - OPBF / JBA Super Featherweight unification bout
Hikaru Nishida [西田 光] vs Kazuto Takesako [竹迫司登] - Japanese Middleweight title fight
The female Fighter of the Year nominations are:
Tenkai Tsunami (26-12, 15) [天海 ツナミ] - The current WBO female Light Welterweight champion
Etsuko Tada (18-3-2, 5) [多田悦子] - The current WBO female Minimumweight champion
Naoko Fujioka (18-2, 7) [藤岡 奈穂子] - The current WBA female Flyweight champion
The female Fight of the Year nominations were:
Tenkai Tsunami [天海 ツナミ] Vs Chaoz Minowa [チャオズ箕輪]- WBO female Light Flyweight title fight
Nao Ikeyama [池山直] Vs Mika Iwakawa [岩川美花] - WBO Atomweight title fight
Naoko Fujioka [藤岡 奈穂子] Vs Irma Sanchez - WBA female Flyweight title fight
Kayoko Ebata [江畑佳代子] Vs Etsuko Tada [多田悦子] - WBO female Minimumweight title fight
Voting will take place in January with the winners being awarded at a ceremony on February 8th.
Earlier today at the Tokyo Dome Hotel the media were able to attend the press conference to announce the 2019 Champion Carnival bouts, with 13 contests being officially announced.
As previously reported the Minimumweight bout will see defending champion Shin Ono (23-9-3, 6) [小野 心] defending his title against Norihito Tanaka (17-7, 9) [田中教仁] on January 12th at the Korakuen Hall.
The Light Flyweight bout, to fill the recent vacancy left by Tetsuya Hisada (33-9-2, 19) [久田 哲也], will see Kenichi Horikawa (38-15-1, 12) [堀川 謙一] battle against Satoru Todaka (9-2-4, 3) [戸髙達], with this bout set to take place on February 14th, also at the Korakuen Hall.
The Flyweight bout, like the Minimumweight bout, had already been announced and will see Junto Nakatani (17-0, 12) [中谷 潤人] and Naoki Mochizuki (15-3, 8) [望月直樹] fight on February 2nd at the Korakuen Hall. This bout is to fill the vacancy left by Masayuki Kuroda (30-7-3, 16) [黒田 雅之], who like Hisada has stated he intends to fight for a world title in 2019.
The Super Flyweight champion Takayuki Okumoto (21-8-4, 10) [奥本 貴之] will defend his title on April 21st in Osaka, and will see Okumoto battle against Yuta Matsuo (15-3-1, 8) [松尾雄太], in what will be Okumoto's second defense of the title.
The Bantamweight bout will be a unification bout as regular champion Yuta Saito (11-9-3, 8) [齊藤裕太], who has been suffering from illness recently, battling against recently crowned interim champion Hayato Kimura (28-10, 19) [木村隼人]. There is no set date on this bout, but it's expected to take place in Tokyo, with the Korakuen Hall the most likely venue.
The Super Bantamweight title will have it's vacancy filled on January 12th, on the same show as the Ono Vs Tanaka card. Fighting for the title will be Mugicha Nakagawa (24-5-1, 14) [武田勇太] and Ryoichi Tamura (11-3-1, 6) [田村 亮一], who will be looking to follow in the footsteps of former champion Shingo Wake (25-5-2, 17) [和氣 慎吾] who looks to be heading towards a world title fight, like Hisada and Kuroda.
Arguably the best match up for the Champion Carnival is the Featherweight bout, which will pit Taiki Minamoto (16-5, 13) [源大輝] against Reiya Abe (18-2, 9) [阿部 麗也], who will be battling former amateur stand out Daisuke Sugita (4-0, 3) [杉田大祐] in January before facing Minamoto on May 1st at the Korakuen Hall. This is, to us, the stand out bout of the Champion Carnival and is genuinely a mouth watering clash.
The Japanese Super Featherweight champion Masaru Sueyoshi (18-1-1, 11) [末吉 大] will take on Ken Osato (15-2-1, 4) [大里拳], in a rematch of the bout the two men had during the 2018 Champion Carnival. This contest will take place on May 4th at the Korakuen Hall and will see Osato looking to avenge his loss and Sueyoshi looking to repeat his win over Osato.
The unbeaten Shuichiro Yoshino (9-0, 7) [吉野 修一郎] will be making his 4th defense of the Japanese Lightweight title, as he takes on the challenge of Accel Sumiyoshi (11-4-3, 3) [アクセル住吉]. This bout is set to take place on April 11th at the Korakuen Hall.
Another bout that really whets the appetite is the Japanese Light Welterweight title bout. That contest will see champion Valentine Hosokawa (24-6-3, 11) [細川バレンタイン] defending his belt on April 6th at the Korakuen Hall against Koki Inoue (12-0, 10) [浩樹井上] in a mouth watering step up for the challenger.
We'll see attention turn to Osaka for the Welterweight title bout, as Ryota Yada (18-4, 15) [矢田良太] defends his belt against Yuki Nagano (15-2, 11) [永野祐樹]. This bout is set to take place on April 21st, though the specific venue wasn't announced.
The Light Middleweight title bout will see Nobuyuki Shindo (20-4-2, 8) [新藤寛之] defending the title against Hironobu Matsunaga (14-1, 8) [松永 宏信] in what should be a thrilling contest between a very hungry challenger and an under-rated champion. These two will clash at the Korakuen Hall on May 1st, as a double header with the Minamoto Vs Abe bout.
On March 2nd we'll see Japanese Middleweight champion Kazuto Takesako (10-0, 10) [竹迫司登] defending his belt against Shuji Kato (10-1-1, 6) [加藤収二], in what will be Takesako's second defense. This will also be at the Korakuen Hall.
At the moment the full details of who will be showing what bouts is unclear, but we're glad to now have most of the matches set, with dates and venues.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Japanese fight fans in Osaka had a busy day today with two shows at the EDION Arena. The first of those was headlined by a Japanese Welterweight title fight, as Ryota Yada (18-4, 15) [矢田良太] successfully defended his title, for the second time, and stopped Shusaku Fujinaka (16-10-2, 10) [藤中 周作].
On paper this looked like a mismatch, but those who had seen the two fighters, and know more about both, suspected that this would be an entertaining contest. Those fans were right.
Straight from the opening moments Fujinaka came forward, looking to put the pressure on the hard hitting Yada. The pressure helped Fujinaka take the opening round, and he looked like he was looking to set a work rate that Yada couldn't match. Sadly for Fujinaka however Yada began to find his range in round 2, and landed several solid shots. The success of the champion grew further in round 3, when he dropped Fujinaka with a body shot. Fujinaka recovered from the knockdown but struggled to really bounce back as Yada began to dictate the tempo with more ease. Even when Fujinaka brought the pressure it was Yada landing the better shots and hitting the blows that really made a difference.
After 5 rounds Yada was in the lead on all 3 cards 48-46, twice, and 49-45. All 3 judges had given the opening round to Fujinaka, with one judge giving him round 2 and another giving him round 4.
Fujinaka knew he was behind and gritted his teeth, and tried to press more, though ate some big uppercuts as a result. The pressure began to have some success but Yada, being the physically bigger and stronger man, seemed to have more success when he stood his ground, especially as Fujinaka began to tire.
In round 9 Yada began to find a home for his left hook, hurting Fujinaka and refusing to let him off the hook until the referee stepped in. Fujinaka had shown his toughness, fighting back, but the referee had seen enough and stopped the bout. By then Fujinaka needed a KO, and would have had little more than a round to score it.
The official time of the stoppage was 2 minutes 37 seconds into round 9.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Tomorrow fight fans at the EDION Arena Osaka will get the chance to see Japanese Welterweight champion Ryota Yada (17-4, 14) [矢田良太] take on Shusaku Fujinaka (16-9-2, 10) [藤中 周作], in what will be Yada's second defense of the national title.
Today the two men took part in their weigh in for the bout, which will be made available on demand on boxingraise though not shown live.
At the weigh in both men made weight.
On the scales both men came in under the limit. The lighter man was Yada though he was only slightly lighter than Fujinaka. Both were in great shape, and looked very relaxed, despite how significant the bout is.
Yada seemed confidence and there is a chance that if he looks good tomorrow he will progress beyond Japanese titles and move on to OPBF or Asia Pacific titles at some point in 2019. For Fujinaka on the other hand this will be his first Japanese title after a 14 year career, though he has twice fought for WBO Asia Pacific titles, losing by stoppage in both of those bouts.
Related- Fujinaka challenges Japanese champion Yada!
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Earlier today Green Tsuda held a press conference to announce their next big show "Crash Boxing 19", and revealed that it would be a triple title show, with a very good non-title supporting bout as well.
The main event will see Japanese Welterweight champion Ryota Yada (17-4, 14) [矢田良太] make his second defense of the title, as he takes on Shusaku Fujinaka (16-9-2, 10) [藤中 周作]. This promises to be an explosive contest but one where the champion will be heavily favoured to retain his title.
A better looking national title fight will see Japanese Super Flyweight champion Takayuki Okumoto (21-8-3, 10) [奥本 貴之] defending his title against the unbeaten Masayoshi Hashizume (16-0-1, 10) [橋詰将義]. Okumoto won the title earlier this year, outpointing Hiroyuki Kudaka, and will be favoured here given his experience. Hashizume was highly touted a few years ago, following success in the Rookie of the Year, but hasn't really built on that early success, and this is a big step up for him.
A Japanese Youth Super Flyweight title bout will see Ryosuke Nasu (9-3-3, 2) [那須亮祐] take on Yuto Nakamura (8-5, 7) [中村祐斗]. This is a really interesting match up between talented youngsters. Nasu comes into the bout following a good decision win over Kenta Matsui, and he has been hard matched through his career with bouts against the likes of Masamichi Yabuki and Naoto Iwai. Nakamura on the other hand is 2-3 in his last 5, but did score a huge win last time out over Futa Akizuki and this could be a really exciting fight.
Another potentially thrilling match up will see Toshiki Shimomachi (9-1-1, 5) [下町俊貴] battle Daisuke Watanabe (7-4, 4) [渡部大介]. The once beaten Shimomachi is on an 8 fight unbeaten run with 7 straight wins. Those wins saw him claim the Rookie of the Year title in 2017 at Super Bantamweight and has scored a couple of wins already this year, including a good one over Renan Portes. On the other hand Watanabe has been matched incredibly hard, facing the likes of Sho Nakazawa, Gakuya Furuhashi and Reiya Abe in his short career.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
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