Earlier today it was announced that DAZN would be the only way for Japanese fight fans to watch the upcoming Heavyweight world title fight between Anthony Joshua (21-0, 20) and Alexander Povetkin (34-1, 24), which takes place this coming weekend.
Originally it seemed like WOWOW would pick the bout up but as we got closer and closer to fight time and WOWOW hadn't made an announcement there was worries that there would be no legal way for the Japanese fans to watch the contest.
With today's announcement it does stop those worries and will allow new customers to get a look at the subscription service ahead of the WBA Middleweight title bout between Ryota Murata (14-1, 11) [村田 諒太] and Rob Brant (23-1, 16).
The Japanese broadcast of Joshua Vs Povetkin is set to begin at 2:10 local time with the main event scheduled for around 5:50 local time. The undercard will only feature English commentary whilst the main event is set to feature Japanese commentary, including guest commentary from Shinsuke Yamanaka.
(Image courtesy of DAZN)
Earlier this year we saw the controversial Luis Nery being stripped of the WBC Bantamweight title after failing to make weight for his rematch against popular Japanese puncher Shinsuke Yamanaka [山中慎介]. Since then the title has remained vacant with a pretty long wait to find out really what will happen to fill the vacancy.
At the end of last week French sources finally broke the news that unbeaten Frenchman Nordine Oubaali (14-0, 11) has signed to fight unbeaten Thai Petch Sor Chitpattana (46-0, 31) [เพชร ซีพีเฟรชมาร์ท] for the vacant title, with their bout set to take place on June 23rd in Paris, in a card which will also feature 2016 Olympic Champion Tony Yoka (4-0, 3).
At the moment not all the details have been released, such as TV deals the like, but bout does appear to have been fully agreed and the camps will be well under way with their preparations for the bouts, given it's now set to take place in about 7 weeks.
For Oubaali the bout will see the 31 year old look to build on a 5 fight stoppage run which has included victories over Julio Cesar Miranda, Alejandro Hernandez, Mark Anthony Geraldo and Luis Melendez. The 2-time Olympian, who competed at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics, has only been a professional for 4 years but has been matched aggressively, and has won a number of titles, including the French national title as well as the WBC Silver Bantamweight title.
As for the Thai, who is just 24 years old despite having already notched 46 bouts, the bout will be a huge step up in class. Having been a professional since March 2011 Petch is highly experienced, but like many Thai's has a record lacking in quality. To date his best wins are probably his victories over Jeson Umbal, Eugene Lagos and Jestoni Autida. None of whom were ever going to prepare him for a world title fight.
Whilst we don't get many Thai Vs France bouts at world level it is worth noting that the 2006 bout between Mahyar Monshipour, who was a French-Iranian, and Somsak Sithchatchawal is still one of the best fights of the 21st century and is well worth a watch, having been regarded as the 2006 Fight of the Year by ESPN, Ring Magazine and the BWAA. IF Petch Vs Oubaali is half as good as that it will be in the mix for the best bout of 2018.
A month ago Shinsuke Yamanaka (27-2-2, 19) [山中慎介] officially retired from boxing, ending his career and stating his immediate plans was to spend time with his family. Yesterday he was in public again taking part in a special retirement ceremony in the Nakano Ward office. The event was packed out, with more than 200 people attending, and saw some fans being unable to enter the hall to see the former WBC Bantamweight champion.
The ceremony took place where an exhibition of Yamanaka's career, including things like gloves, robes and images of the fighter, are being held. Originally there didn 't appear to be any plans to show off Yamanaka's boxing titles, but it now seems like he will indeed show themn off, albeit selectively.
The ceremoney didn't really see Yamanaka totally explain what his plans for the future were, with plans to do some TV work, though there has also been some comments in regards to Yamanaka going in to politics in Nakano. That seems unlikely at the moment, but given his popularity there is a chance it could be where he ends up in the future.
Given the reception Yamanaka got at today's ceremon it's clear his popularity is still huge in Japan, despite the back to back losses to end his legendary career.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
Earlier today in Tokyo the press had the chance to attend a special press conference held by former WBC Bantamweight champion Shinsuke Yamanaka (27-2-2, 19) [山中慎介], who officially retired and spoke in depth about his carrer.
With around 100 reporters in the venue Yamanaka went into detail about his boxing career, which he stated started when he was 15 and ended today.
The former champion spoke in depth about his career, stating that his second bout with Anselmo Moreno was his most impressive bout, whilst his best punch was his brutal KO against Tomas Rojas, in what was his second defense.
He was at the press conference not ony by his kids but also Teiken representative Tsuyoshi Hamada as well as WBA Middleweight champion Ryota Murata. Mr Hamada spoke abiut Yamanaka's early career whilst Murata was there in a more morale based role, as a good friend of Yamanaka.
Although Yamanaka spoke about his career now being over there seemed a very care free mood about the future. It's clear he wants to spend time with his kids and family, but other than there, there is no future plans. It's likely that he's going to take some serious time to consider his future, but a return to boxing seems to completely off the table, which is something everyone will be happy about given his recent loss to Luis Nery.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
Yesterday we saw former WBC Bantamweight champion Shinsuke Yamanaka (27-2-2, 19) [山中慎介] fight for the final time, as he suffered his second loss to Mexican Luis Nery (26-0, 20), before announcing his retirement from the sport.
The bout will remain a controversial one for some time, given that Nery failed to make weight by a significant amount, but it also showed the huge appeal of Yamanaka in Japan with TV ratings being very strong against for the popular Teiken fighter.
According to Japanese sources the bout drew an average audience of 4,000,000 from the Kanto region of Japan and almost drew another 3,000,000 from the Kansai region. From just those two areas there was almost 7,000,000 people watching the bout.
The numbers aren't the biggest we've seen in Japan in recent years, but given the bout was a Thursday evening, and the short length of the contest, those numbers are genuinely big counting for over 9% of the Kanto region and 10% of the Kansai area.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
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