In August former WBO Minimumweight champion Ryuya Yamanaka (16-3, 5) [山中 竜也] announced that he was retiring from boxing, at the age of 23, due to a subdural hematoma. The injury, suffered in his title loss against Vic Saludar, ended what was looking like a very bright career for a very talented young man.
Now it's been confirmed that he will step in the ring one more time, taking part in a public retirement ceremony on October 13th at the next Shinsei Gym promoted card, which will be held at the Kobe Sambo Hall.
The ceremony will be held to honour his career and wish him the best for his post-fighting career.
For those outside of Japan the ceremony's really don't have a Western equivalent. It's a chance for the fans to say good bye to fighters and a chance for the fighters to thank the fans and supporters they've had through their career. In some cases this comes after a long career, with the fans supporting a fighter for over a decade. Sadly in Yamanka's case his short career didn't allow a long relationship with the fans, but it was still a strong one, with the fans in Kobe being their for a local fighter.
The October 13th card will also feature Yuki Yamauchi (1-0, 1) [山内祐希] competing in a 10 round bout against Filipino puncher Alvin Medura (8-2, 7) and will actually be headlined by a bout between Shohei Kawashima (16-2-2, 3) [川島翔平] and Ronnie Campos (8-3-3, 5).
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Earlier today Japanese fight fans in Kobe saw talented youngster saw unheralded Japanese fighter Shohei Kawashima (15-1-2, 3) [川島 翔平] record his latest win as he came through a gut check, and over-came veteran Junnosuke Nagayasu (13-12-3, 3) [永安 潤之介].
The talented Kawashima was last seen suffering a narrow decision loss to Christian Mijares and sadly it seemed like he showed some of the effects of that loss in a relatively uninspired win here.
Early on Kawashima kept his man at range with his speed and straight punches, but in the middle rounds he was unable to keep Nagayasu at range, instead it was the shaven head veteran who managed to control the distance. Sadly Kawashima's response seemed to be to clinch and force the referee to seperate the fighters.
Kawashima did manage to get some success into his work, but it wasn't a flattering performance that seemed to suggest that he wasn't sure how to handle the inside pressure of Nagayasu. His accuracy was the key, but the negativity won't have excited fans here. Thankfully he's young enough and talented enough to put it behind him and move on, looking for a better performance next time out.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
Last night fight fans in Durango, Mexico, had the chance to see two Asian fighters face off against former Mexican world champions in bouts that were seen, on paper as two total mismatches.
The first of those bouts saw Filipino Crison Omayao (20-13-3, 7) lose with a 5th round TKO to former unified Minimumweight champion Francisco Rodriguez Jr (20-4-1, 13). The former champion dropped "D'Cowboy" several times en route to the stoppage with the referee waving off the bout and saving the visitor from further punishment.
The second bout saw unheralded Japanese fighter Shohei Kawashima (14-1-2, 3) [川島 翔平] take on former unified Super Flyweight champion Cristian Mijares (55-8-2, 26), in a bout for the WBC Silver Featherweight title. Kawashima really applied himself brilliantly and was really unfortunate to come up short on the scorecards, losing 113-115 on all 3 cards.
The general view seemed to be that had the bout not been in Mexico then Kawashima would have claimed the decision and would have claimed one of the upsests of the year, with the Japanese youngster being priced as wide as 9/1 going into the bout. Hopefully the performance will open doors for the technically well schooled Japanese fighter, despite the loss.
We apologise for the poor quality of the video below.
Tonight fans in Mexico will get the chance to see Japanese visitor Shohei Kawashima (14-0-2, 3) [川島 翔平] battle former world champion Cristian Mijares (54-8-2, 26) for the WBC Silver Featherweight title, a title that Mijares will be defending. On paper the bout is a huge step up for Kawashima, but the 24 year old novice has little to lose and has previously proven that he can travel well, winning in Seoul earlier this year against Jin Wook Lim. For Mijares a win is expected but at 35 years old, and with a long and draining 19 year career behind him, featuring close to 500 professional rounds, theend is nigh for the former Super Flyweight world champion.
The veteran Vs novice theme is an interesting one coming into this bout and it's possibly what makes the bout so notable from a betting perspective. Unsurprisingly the bookies all favour the veteran, with some pricing him at an unbackable 1/20 to win the bout, huge odds for a man who is almost 8 years removed from being battered by Vic Darchinyan down at 115lbs. That's not to say he's not a fantastic fighter, but at some point the natural clock of the human body does slow down and we have to wonder just how long Mijares can continue at the higher levels of the sport. He's best priced at around 1/11, which is an interesting price given that so many other bookies are offering him at a much higher price.
For those picking the under-dog he can be got at 9/1, making him a huge out-sider for the win, but maybe worth considering given his age, youth, nagural size and unbeaten record. Whilst it's true that Japanese fighters typically don't travel well, and this is a huge step up or Kawashima, we can't help but think the price is a bit too big.
For those interestedin the draw, that can be backed at 33/1.
Tonight Mexican fans will get the chance to see unbeaten Japanese youngster Shohei Kawashima (14-0-2, 3) [川島 翔平] battle against against former world champion Cristian Mijares (54-8-2, 26) in a bout for the WBC Silver Featherweight title, currently held by Mihjares.
The bout is the biggest bout in the career of the 24 year old Kawashima, who is 11 years younger than Mijares, but he looked calm and relaxed at the weigh for the bout, where both men weighed in at 126lbs, the Featherweight limit.
For Kawashima the bout is a huge step up but a great chance to become known internationally and a win could open doors for the youngster to get a world title fight in the near future. As for Mijares, who has who has won his last 5 since a 2014 loss to Leo Santa Cruz, the bout could serve as a step towards one final world title bout.
(Image courtesy of Pepe Rodriguez)
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