We've known for a while that there was plans to put on a card at Korakuen Hall on June 11th, though the full line up hasn't yet been announced. What we are hearing though are that their may be two former world title challengers in action on the card, as well as a fighter who is part of a very famous Japanese boxing family.
Sources in Japan and Korea have both stated that Ryohei Takahashi (15-4-1, 6) [高橋竜平], best known for losing in an IBF Super Bantamweight title fight to TJ Doheny earlier this year, will be on the show. The tough Takahashi is set to take on Korean Jin Wook Lim (10-6-5, 3) [임진욱], in what is a bit of a must win for both fighters.
Takahashi's shot at Doheny was an unexpected one, and despite losing he did show great fighting spirit and gave a solid effort against a man several levels better than himself. That loss to Doehny, an 11th round TKO, saw the end of a 5 fight winning run from Takahashi. Lim on the other hand was stopped last time out by Jess Rhey Waminal, who stopped him in 9 rounds in a bout for the "interim" WBA Asia Bantamweight title. That was his second stoppage loss, following a 2016 defeat to the then OPBF Super Bantamweight champion Shun Kubo.
The other former world title challenger pencilled in for the show is said to be Thailand's Samartlek Kokietgym (34-9-1, 12), who has previous fought Akira Yaegashi and Naoya Inoue for world titles. Samartlek is pencilled in to face Naoki Mochizuki (15-4, 8) [望月直樹].
For Mochizuki the bout will be his first since losing to Junto Nakatani in a Japanese Flyweight title bout, back in February, Samartlek on the other hand has gone 1-3-1 in his last 5, and is a long way removed from the fighter who went 11 rounds with Inoue back in 2014.
It should be noted that only 1 site has reported the Samartlek bout at the moment, and no site has reported both bouts, so it seems like there is still some confusion on the full line up. We do have have confirmation that 20 year old Kyonosuke Kameda (3-1, 2) [亀田京之介], the cousin to the 3 fighting world champions who share his surname, will be on the show. He will be up against Ryugo Ushijima (3-0, 2) [牛島龍吾], who impressed us earlier this year with his win against Shota Ogasawara. This is a tough bout for Kameda.
Over the final two days of 2016 Japanese fans were treat to a multitude of televised boxing, with 4 cards available to watch, each headlined by a world title fight. Understandably those shows ended up with contrasting TV figures.
The stand out figures came from the December 30th show on Fuji TV. That card had it's TV ratings split into two parts. The more notableof those parts was the would title fights that saw WBO Super Flyweight champion Naoya Inoue (12-0, 10) [井上 尚弥] defeat Kohei Kono (32-10-1, 13) [河野 公平] and the IBF Light Flyweight title champion Akira Yaegashi (25-5, 13) [八重樫 東] defeat Samartlek Kokietgym (31-6, 11) [สามารถเล็ก ปูนอินทรียิม]. The viewing figures for that were the biggest of any of the end of year boxing shows and drew an incredible 8.2% of the viewing figure in the Kanto region.
The other party of that show, which featured 2012 Olympic gold medal winner Ryota Murata (12-0, 9) [村田 諒太] stopping Mexican fighter Bruno Sandoval (19-2-1, 15) and 2012 Olympic Bronze medal winner Satoshi Shimizu (2-0, 2) [清水 聡] blasting out Filipino Carlo Demecillo (6-4, 1) in 2 rounds, had 6.8% viewing figure in Kanto.
The tape delayed TV Tokyo broadcast featuring Ryoichi Taguchi's (25-2-2, 11) [田口良一] draw with Carlos Canizales (16-0-1, 13) and the anticipated rematch between WBA Super Featherweight "super" champion Jezreel Corrales (22-1-0-1, 8) and Takashi Uchiyama (24-2-1, 20) [内山 高志] drew 3.9%. The figures are better than we have seen in the past for some TV Tokyo shows but it again leads to us wondering why the channel persists in doing tape delay broadcasts in this day and age. They aimed for a prime time audience but with the results both known before the bouts the viewing figures will have taken a clear hit. Especially given that when they were broadcast they went directly up against a TBS broadcast, it was however a small increase in viewing figure from the previuous where the TV Tokyo end of year card got 3.7%.
That TBS broadcast was probably the most disappointing in terms of TV figures. This card saw Kazuto Ioka (21-1, 13) [井岡一翔] score and exciting victory over Thai teenager Stamp Kiatniwat (15-1, 6) [แสตมป์ กระทิงแดงยิม] and a huge surprise as Yukinori Oguni (19-1-1, 7) [小國 以載] defeated Jonathan Guzman (22-1-0-1, 22) to claim the IBF Super Bantamweight title. The Ioka fight drew 5.5% if the Kanto viewing figures whilst the Oguni/Guzman fight hit a less than flattering 4.2%. This was a big fall from last year when Ioka averaged 7.7% and it seems likely that TBS will have to change how they show boxing in future with a number of viewers furious about not being able to see the Oguni fight live and a number tuning into the TV Tokyo card .
The clashing in TV figures for the TBS card and the TV Tokyo card will have hurt both and it seems likely that at least one channel will change how they do things in 2017. Of the two TV Tokyo were the "stupidest" in showing both of their bouts on delay, which will have cost them, however TBS refusing to show the Oguni/Guzman fight live did seem to annoy a lot of fans and the figures suggest that fans would rather have watched the bout live.
The other televised card from the weekend was the CBC shown card that saw Kosei Tanaka (8-0, 5) [田中恒成] dominate Moises Fuentes (24-3-1, 13) to claim the WBO Light Flyweigth title.The figures for this haven't been revealed but the Kanto figures will be 0% by default at the bout was carried in Kanto, however the bout was streamed online and seemed to see Tanaka get a lot of attention afterwards, suggesting that people did watch the stream that CBC provided for free.
Tomorrow fight fans tuning in to Fuji TV will get the chance to see IBF Light Flyweight champion Akira Yaegashi (24-5, 12) [八重樫 東] defend his title against Thailand's Samartlek Kokietgym (33-5, 11)* [สามารถเล็ก ปูนอินทรียิม] in what will be Yaegashi's second defense of the title he won a year ago, when he upset Javier Mendoza. The champion, who has been out of the ring since a narrow win over Martin Tecuapetla earlier this year, will be seeking to roll back the clock and set up a potentially thrilling bout with Melin Melindo in the new year whilst the challenger will be hoping to prove that he has improved from the fighter who almost survived 11 rounds with Naoya Inoue, a little more than 2 years ago.
Understandably Yaegashi, a 3-weight world champion and a genuine hero of the hardcore fight fan who has seen him go to the well so many times during his career, is the betting favourite. What is a bit of a surprise is that the bookies have him priced at 1/9 to win, almost forgetting his struggle with Tecuapetla back in the Spring and the injuries he has suffered from along with the general wear and tear on his body. Whilst we under-stand him being the favourite we do feel that he has been priced a little on the low side.
For those who are interested in the upset Samartlek has been priced at a relatively attractive 5/1, a nice return on the upset. Whilst it's fair to saw that Samartlek isn't close to a prime Yaegashi it must also be said that Samartlek isn't facing a prime Yaegashi but instead a Yaegashi who has really been in a string of damaging fights recently.
Sadly at the time of writing the only markets available is the to win market, with no one offering odds on method of victory or even the draw. Still if you want a bit of a nibble on this one you may well be attracted to the odds on the upset here.
Related- Yaegashi and Samartlek set to face off in potential FOTY contender?
Tomorrow fight fans get the chance to see two world title fights, one of those will see IBF Light Flyweight champion Akira Yaegashi (24-5, 12) [八重樫 東] defending his title against Thai challenger Samartlek Kokietgym (33-5, 11)* [สามารถเล็ก ปูนอินทรียิม].
Today those two fighters weighed in for their bout and both came in at around 107½lbs for the bout, comfortably under the Light Flyweight limit of 108lbs.
For Yaegashi the weight is the same as his last two bouts, wins over Javier Mendoza and Martin Tecuapetla, and although they were both damaging fights it does seem like the weight is his best fighting weight and the one he will probably end his career at. Sadly though the end does seem likely to be close for the Fierce Warrior who has been in so many thrillers during his career.
As for the challenger the weight is slightly heavier than he was last time he fought for a world title, back when he was 107¼lbs to face Naoya Inoue back in September 2014. He didn't look in great shape, with a little bit of meat to lose, but certainly seemed confident of picking up a win and making the most of his opportunity.
Yaegashi and Samartlek set to face off in potential FOTY contender?
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
This week is a huge one for fight fans with a host of title fights taking place over 2 days, and 4 shows, in Japan. For those interested in those shows we have collated the TV details for all of those cards. Please that all times are in Tokyo time, which is +9 UTC. You will sadly have to convert the times in to your local times, however putting "tokyo time converter" into google should do the hard work for you.
Fuji TV 18:00-20:54
The first of the cards set to be aired comes on Friday and will have 3 bouts from it televised. The bouts set to be aired are the WBO Super Flyweight title bout between defending champion Naoya Inoue (11-0, 9) [井上 尚弥] and Japanese challenger Kohei Kono (32-9-1, 13) [河野 公平], the IBF Light Flyweight title bout between Akira Yaegashi (24-5, 12) [八重樫 東] and Thai challenger Samartlek Kokietgym (33-5, 11)* [สามารถเล็ก ปูนอินทรียิม] and the Middleweight bout between 2012 Olympic gold medal winner Ryota Murata (11-0, 8) [村田 諒太] and once beaten Mexican fighter Bruno Sandoval (19-1-1, 15).
CBC / Online 15:00-15:57
The second card to get some television attention is the Hatanaka card from Gifu. The only televised bout from this card will be the WBO Light Flyweight title bout between Kosei Tanaka (7-0, 4) [田中恒成] and Moises Fuentes (24-2-1, 13). The bout is arguably the best looking of the day's world title fights and is a really interesting match up between two former world champions. Not only CBC showing this in Chukyo but they have also organised a free and legal stream for the bout, which will be on the link featured below.
A second stream, with Japanese commentary, will be available here: http://hicbc.com/tv/soulfighting/
The second of the shows to be broadcast on New Year's Eve will be the Woz promoted card from Hyogo. The card is set to be featured as part of TBS's KYOKUGEN 2016, a huge end of year TV extravaganza that typically features various celebrities and sports stars. The card was originally set to be aired a triple title show but follow the pull out of Lee Haskins we'll only be getting two bouts. They will see a WBA Flyweight title bout between regular champion Kazuto Ioka (20-1, 12) [井岡一翔] and interim champion Stamp Kiatniwat (15-0, 6) [แสตมป์ กระทิงแดงยิม] and an IBF Super Bantamweight title bout between Yukinori Oguni (18-1-1, 7) [小國 以載] and defending champion Jonathan Guzman (22-0-0-1, 22).
A thing to note about this card is that it won't be for the 5 hour window, instead it will be contained within the 5 hour time frame, with TBS unwilling to schedule it for a set time and allowing it to float inside the KYOKUGEN slot.
TV Tokyo 21:30-23:30
The final show of the year is the TV Tokyo shown “The best of Best” and features another world title double header. The bouts here will be a WBA Light Flyweight title bout between reigning Ryoichi Taguchi (25-2-1, 11) [田口良一] and the unbeaten Carlos Canizales (16-0, 13) and the anticipated rematch between WBA Super Featherweight "super" champion Jezreel Corrales (20-1-0-1, 8) and Takashi Uchiyama (24-1-1, 20) [内山 高志]. Sadly given the time slot it seems unlike that we'll get the chance to see the brilliant match up between Masayuki Ito (19-1-1, 9) [伊藤 雅雪] and Takuya Watanabe (30-6-1, 16) [渡邉 卓也], who fight to unify the OPBF and WBO Asia Pacific Super Featherweight titles.
News! We try and give you the most interesting news stories from the Asian boxing world!