Unbeaten Japanese prospect Shokichi Iwata (2-0, 1) [岩田翔吉] made his Japanese debut in May, when he easily beat 2018 Light Flyweight Rookie of the Year at Daiki Kameyama (7-3-1, 2) [亀山大輝]. We now been informed that he will be back in a Japanese ring in July.
The talented former amateur standout has become the latest fighter to find himself added to the July 12th card in Osaka, headlined by Ryota Murata's (14-2, 11) [村田 諒太] rematch with WBA "regular" Middleweight champion Rob Brant (25-1, 17).
At the time of writing his opponent for the show hasn't been announced, though we have been told the bout will be a 6 round bout at Light Flyweight, with the possibility that this will be his last bout over the 6 round distance before he moves onto 8 rounders.
Iwata's inclusion on the card gives the show a solid under-card bout to go with the three title bouts. Those include the Brant Vs Murata bout as well as the WBC Light Flyweight title bout, pitting unbeaten champion Kenshiro (15-0, 8) [拳四朗] against mandatory challenger Jonathan Taconing (28-3-1, 22) and a WBO Asia Pacific Super Featherweight title bout between Filipino champion Joe Noynay (17-2-1, 6) and Japanese challenger Satoshi Shimizu (8-0, 8) [清水 聡].
In 2018 we saw 2012 Olympic bronze medal winner Satoshi Shimizu (8-0, 8) [清水 聡] fight 3 times, defending the OPBF Featherweight title in all 3 bouts and. His activity for the year consisted of just 15 rounds of action and unfortunately he's yet to fight this year.
Thankfully we now know that the hard hitting southpaw will return to the ring this coming July, and will be doing so at Super Featherweight, as he looked to open up new possible avenues to an eventual world title fight.
Earleir today Shimizu, along with promoter Hideyuki Ohashi and trainer Koji Matsumoto, held a press conference to announce his next fight will see face Filipino fighter Joe Noynay (17-2-1, 6), in a bout for Noynay's WBO Asia Pacific Super Featherweight title on July 12th, as part of a card headlined by Ryota Murata's (14-2, 11) [村田 諒太] rematch with WBA "regular" Middleweight champion Rob Brant (25-1, 17).
The press conference began with Mr Ohashi revealing that the bout isn't a sign of Shimizu abandoning the Featherweight division, but instead expanding options for a world title fight, suggesting that Shimizu can make weight with out issue. Given his frame it's not hard to believe this.
Although Shimizu has been inactive since December he revealed that there hasn't been any problems and he has been sparring, correcting issues, especially with his balance, and feels comfortable that his power will career up to Super Featherweight.
Although the Japanese fighter is seen as the puncher it is worth noting that Noynay really shined earlier this year, when he blitzed Kosuke Saka to win he WBO Asia Pacific title. Whist Noynay has lost twice both were ultra close decisions, coming to Richard Pumicpic and Reiya Abe, and he has certainly grown, matured and developed since then.
On paper this should be a very, very interesting tests, and adds a third notable bout on to the July card, which will also feature WBC Light Flyweight champion Kenshiro (15-0, 8) [拳四朗] defending against mandatory challenger Jonathan Taconing (28-3-1, 22), giving us a trio of very notable title bouts.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Earlier today at the Korakuen Hall fans were given the rare chance to see a double award ceremony, with the award winners of the monthly awards for December and January both being recognised.
The December award winners were Satoshi Shimizu (8-0, 8) [清水 聡], who won the MVP award, Valentine Hosokawa (24-6-3, 11) [細川バレンタイン], who took the fighting spirit award and Taku Kuwahara (3-0, 2) [桑原拓], who was the Newcomer of the Month.
At today's ceremony Shimizu, who has now won the MVP award 3 times, spoke about being pleased at winning the award numerous times and seemed to suggest that he was on the verge of a big fight. It's known that he is eyeing a world title fight, or a world title eliminator, and rumours are suggesting that he may end up with something big in April or May.
The January award winners were Norihito Tanaka (18-7, 10) [田中教仁], who won the the MVP award, Ryoichi Tamura (12-3-1, 6) [田村 亮一], who was the Fighting Spirit award winner, and Naoto Fujimoto (11-9-1, 5) [藤本直人], the New Comer. Tanaka notable shared his thanks to the fans, and admitted that he thought his career would lack the spotlight of winning a title, though now has both a Japanese title and the MVP award.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
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 the East Japan Boxing Association announced their monthly award winners for December 2018.
The MVP for the month was OPBF Featherweight champion Satoshi Shimizu (8-0, 8) [清水 聡], who stopped Takuya Uehara (16-1, 10) [上原 拓哉] in 3 rounds to record his 4th defense. The unbeaten 2012 Olympic Bronze medal winner is now a 2-time MVP and is expected to challenge for a world title in 2019.
The Fighting Spirit award winner was Japanese Light Welterweight champion Valentine Hosokawa (24-6-3, 11) [細川バレンタイン], who retained his title with an opening round win over Takashi Inagaki (20-12-2, 9) [稲垣孝].
The Newcomer Award was won by Shimizu's stablemate at the Ohashi gym, Taku Kuwahara (3-0, 2) [桑原拓] following his excellent win over Takamori Kiyama (2-1, 2) [木山鷹守], which really showed how good not only Kuwahara is but also Kiyama.
The 3 winners will be honoured at a ceremony on February 14th at the Korakuen Hall, as part of the Diamond Glove show.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
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