Over the last couple of hours we have looked at some individual award winners at today's Japanese boxing awards, held in the amazing Tokyo Dome Hotel. For those who just want to see the winners in a list here we go:
The MVP was:
Naoya Inoue (17-0, 15) [井上 尚弥]
The Skills Award was won by:
Kosei Tanaka (12-0, 7) [田中恒成]
The KO Award was won by:
Naoya Inoue (17-0, 15) [井上 尚弥]
Special Award was won by:
Masayuki Ito (25-1-1, 13) [伊藤 雅雪]
The Effort Award was won by:
Masayoshi Nakatani (18-0, 12) [中谷正義]
The Newcomer Award was won by:
Kazuto Takesako (10-0, 10) [竹迫司登]
The Best World title Fight:
Sho Kimura [木村翔] Vs Kosei Tanaka [田中恒成]
The Best Japanese Domestic fight:
Yusaku Kuga [久我勇作] Vs Shingo Wake [和氣 慎吾]
Female fighter of the year was:
Tenkai Tsunami (26-12, 15) [天海 ツナミ]
Female Fight of the Year was:
Kayoko Ebata [江畑佳代子] Vs Etsuko Tada [多田悦子]
Trainer of the Year was:
Shingo Inoue [井上真吾]
A Special Achievement Award was won by:
Shinsuke Yamanaka [山中慎介]
Special Prizes were given to:
Toshiyuki Igarashi [五十嵐 俊幸]
Naoko Shibata [柴田 直子]
Nana Yoshikawa [好川 菜々]
Ryuya Yamanaka [山中 竜也]
And Momo Koseki [小関 桃]
A social Contribution prize was given too:
Naoko Fujioka (17-2, 7) [藤岡 奈穂子]
JBC Service Achievements were won by
Akira Tabata, who has served as a timekeeper, and Hiroyuki Tokuzaki, a referee who sadly passed away in October.
Several other officials earned awards for their roles in the sport as well, as did Atsushi Sato, a producer at WOWOW.
It's also worth noting that every male fighter who held a world title at some point during the year won an Outstanding Fighter Award, this is a normal thing to recognise all champions. We won't list them all here though they obviously included Kenshiro [拳四朗] and Hiroto Kyoguchi [京口 紘人] among others.
As for amateur awards, the best male fighter was:
Daisuke Narimatsu [成松大介]
and the best female fighter was:
Tsukimi Namiki [並木月海]
(Image courtesy of Boxingnews.jp)
Earlier today saw the Japan Professional Sports Grand Prize award ceremony take place in Tokyo. The ceremony saw 3 Japanese boxers being given awards.
A "Special" prize was given to WBA "Regular" Bantamweight champion Naoya Inoue (17-0, 15) [井上 尚弥], who fought for just over 3 minutes this year, but impressed with his 2 performances and left no illussion as to whether he was a special athlete or not.
The "Achievement Award" was won by former WBC Bantamweight champion Shinsuke Yamanaka (27-2-2, 19) [山中慎介], who retired earlier this year following his second loss to Luis Nery.
The third award winner was WBO Super Featherweight champion Masayuki Ito (24-1-1, 12) [伊藤 雅雪], who took the "Newcomer Award". The talented Ito really made his mark with his title win and has become a notable star in Japan during the year as a result of his performance against Christopher Diaz in the US.
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)
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