Back in December Shokichi Iwata (1-0, 1) [岩田翔吉] made his professional debut, and defeated novice Joel Bermudez, in the US. Today Iwata was in a Japanese ring to take part in his B Class pro-test.
The youngster is reported to have looked sharp, relaxed and calm whilst sparring with Kenji Ono (11-2-2, 6) [大野兼資], who he had sparred with in the past and seemed very comfortable around.
Following his protest he spoke with Nikkan sports and is quoted as saying
"If there are people who want to see games in Japan and can compete in Japan and the US" and "I would like to do something different from Japanese boxers I have ever done. I am looking forward to the domestic debut game decision that I am happy if it can be shown"
It's clear that Iwata wants to make his mark globally, and according to Nikkan Sports Iwata is looking to have a big 2019, with the fighter likely to try and get into the world rankings by the end of the year.
Interestingly the JBC website currently states that Iwata has passed the test, though Nikkan sports do state that it wouldn't be confirmed until February 1st.
(Image courtesy of Nikkan Sports)
On Saturday night fight fans had the chance to see see highly touted American based Japanese fighter Shokichi Iwata (1-0, 1) [岩田翔吉] make his professional debut, and make it a successful one.
The 22 year old Light Flyweight was up against fellow professional novice Joel Bermudez (0-2), of the US, and quickly looked the part despite some resistance from Bermudez.
The American had been stopped in the opening round on his debut, but showed some resolve here, until the final round, when Iwata's shots began to take their toll. Iwata seemed to really want the stoppage, despite almost certainly having the win in the bout, and turned it on with a series of good head shot in the final minute, forcing the referee to half the contest, with less than 20 seconds left.
On one hand we suspect Iwata wanted a quicker win here, given how quickly Bermudez was stopped on his debut, but he certainly showed he could do 4 rounds at a good pace, and it does seem like they can put him in 6 rounders sooner, rather than later.
Earlier this month saw former Japanese amateur stand out Shokichi Iwata (0-0) [岩田翔吉] announce that he would be making his professional debut on December 8th, as part of the HBO card from the Stubhub Center in Carson, California. At the time of that announcement there wasn't an opponent, just a date and a venue, now however we know significantly more about Iwata's debut.
We know that, despite him being an amateur stand out, his debut will just be a 4 rounder, and unfortunately it won't come against an opponent of any value. Instead of facing a tough Mexican journeyman or some experienced Filipino he will be up against 29 year old American Joel Bermudez (0-1).
Bermudez made his debut in August, against the limited Giovanni Noriega, and was stopped in 71 seconds. Given that result it's hard to imagine Iwata having any issues Bermudez.
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