Earlier today we saw the Japanese boxing award winners for July being named, and in all honesty this was quite an interesting set of winners with some genuinely notable names.
The MVP for the month was the newly crowned OPBF Flyweight champion Daigo Higa (10-0, 10) [比嘉 大吾], who earned the award and the OPBF title with a sensationally destructive performance against Filipino fighter Ardin Diale. The performance was the best of Higa's young career and came against a man who hadn't just fought in world title bouts but had given Higa's own stablemate Koki Eto absolute hell. To say we were impressed is an understatement, we were amazed by the 20 year old who looks to have one of the brightest futures in boxing.
The Fighting Spirit award was won by another OPBF champion, Super Featherweight Masayuki Ito (19-1-1, 9) [伊藤 雅雪]. Ito retained his title with an 11th round TKO win over Filipino Ernie Sanchez. The win wasn't one of the most spectacular, and we didn't really agree with the stoppage, but the win was solid all round and will continue to see Ito move towards a potential world title fight, with murmurs suggesting he could be back in December against a notable opponent.
The State of the Art award Takahiro Araki (9-5, 4) [荒木 貴裕] who scored a genuinely huge upset on July 25th as he out pointed former Japanese title challenger Yuki Ogata [緒方 勇希]. Araki looked much better than his more experienced opponent and although it wasn't a flawless performance it was still an impressive one by a fighter who still has a long way to go, despite his less than flattering record.
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