Whilst much of the Japanese boxing community focused on Kyoto, where there was a trio of title fights, or even Aichi, where Hatanaka gym show cased some of their fighter, there was also a number of Japanese boxing people in Setagaya Ward, Tokyo.
They were in Setagaya to support former fighter-turned-trainer Yuichi Kasai [葛西 裕一] who held a party event to announce that he would be opening a gym, the "Cardio Boxing GLOVES".
As a fighter Kasai won the Japanese and OPBF Super Bantamweight titles and was a 3-time world title challenger. Following his retirement in the late 1990's he became one of the leading trainers at the Teiken gym, bringing through 4 world champions including the recently retired Takashi Miura (31-4-2, 24) [三浦 隆司] who was in attendance at today's event.
Officially the gym will open on September 18th, though the gym will start accepting memberships from tomorrow with Kasai expected to have a number of his boxing acquaintances showing their faces at the gym, potentially including Miura and Ryota Murata (12-1, 9) [村田 諒太], who also has strong links with Kasai thanks to his work at Teiken.
(Image courtesy of daily.co.jp)
It's fair to suggest that Japanese boxing is currently having a golden age, with a lot of young fighters breaking through the ranks and winning world titles at a young age, making their name and putting Japan on the map of every self respecting fight fan. Sadly thougbhtat rise of the youngsters has only been one part of the current Japanese boxing narrative, with the other being focussed on the proverbial "Old Guard".
Today we saw another member of that old guard retire from the sport, with former WBC Super Featherweight champion Takashi Miura (31-4-2, 24) [三浦 隆司] announcing, over twitter, that he was retiring in the wake of his recent loss to current WBC Super Featherweight champion Miguel Berchelt (32-1, 28).
During the fight with Berchelt we saw a determined Miura look off the pace, a sign that his long an hard career was catching up with him, and although he had moments he never looked like the man formerly dubbed the "Mexecutioner". Instead he looked like a shop worn and weary version of the fighter who went through wars with the likes of Yoshimitsu Yashiro, Takashi Uchiyama, Sergio Thompson, Francisco Vargas and Miguel Roman.
In announcing his decisiom Miura stated he didn't regret his career at all and fulfilled his dreams of being a boxing, and went further than he imagined when he fought in the US, thanking the fans for their support.
Given the timing of this announcement, only days after his loss to Berchelt, it seems likely that Miura knows he's not the fighter he used to be and is getting out before taking too much punishment.
Whilst it's a shame that Miura that Miura was unable to reclaim the title it's great that he's walking away on his terms, and from the bottom of our hearts we want to say thank you to Takashi for his career, his fights, his performances and all the great memories he's given us. It's really been a pleasure, and we wish you all the best in your post boxing life.
Thank you "Left Bomber".
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
Later today Takashi Miura (31-3-2, 24) [三浦 隆司] challenges WBC Super Featherweight champion Miguel Berchelt (31-1, 28), with Miura looking to become a 2-time world champion and Berchelt looking to record his first defense of the title.
For those interested in the odds for the fight Berchelt is the clar favourite, priced at around 2/5 to defend his title, and build on his big win over Francisco Vargas last time out. As for Miura he's priced as high as 33/13, with many bookies having him at around 2/1. For those curious, the draw is available at 28/1.
The most likely outcome, according to the bookmakers, is a stoppage for Berchelt which is priced at around 5/6. The Mexican to take a decision you can get 15/4, which would see Berchelt taking a decision for the first time in over 5 years! Miura by stoppage is a really tasty looking 4/1, with Miura himself having scored just a single decision in the last 5 years, against Sergio Thompson in 2013 FOTY contender. As for Miura getting a decision the odds on that are typically 11/2, but one bookmaker has got the outcome at 34/5!
Unsurpringly the bout isn't expected to go the distance, with odds of 2/5 for the bout to be concluded before the end of round 12, and 2/1 on the bout going the distance.
Related- Miura and Berchelt to battle in potential thriller!
Later today fight fans around the globe will see Takashi Miura (31-3-2, 24) [三浦 隆司] take on WBC Super Featherweight champion Miguel Berchelt (31-1, 28), with Berchelt looking to make his first defense of the title and Miura looking to become a 2-time world champion.
Yesterday the two men took part in their weigh in for the contest, and both came in comfortably under the limit at a little under 129¼lbs.
For Miura the weight was a career low, showing just hgow seriously he's taken this bout and how hard he has been preparing for the contest since becoming the mandatory challenger for the WBC Super Featherweight title.
For Berchelt it was one of his lowest, though he did begin his career flirting with the Featherweight division before filling into a fully fledged Super Featherweight.
Related-Miura and Berchelt to battle in potential thriller!
(Image courtesy of Sumio Yamada)
This coming Saturday we'll see Takashi Miura (31-3-2, 24) [三浦 隆司] take on WBC Super Featherweight champion Miguel Berchelt (31-1, 28) in a mandatory world title fight, and the first of a trio of bouts featuring Japanese fighters fighting in wold tirle bouts on US soil in the coming months.
Today Miura left Japan for the US, as he begins to put the final touches to his preparion and finish adjusting to the chance in time zone.
At the Narita airport Miura answered questions from the media and seemed to suggest that he has had the best training camp of his career and that he wants to drag the fans into his world, suggesting that he wants to put on a thrilling contest to win the fans over.
Although Japanese fighters do tend to fight mostly at home this will be Miura's 4th fight outside of his homeland, with wins over Sergio Thompson and Miguel Roman and a loss to Francisco Vargas. That success has seen some refer to him as a pioneer and he'll look to kick off a summer of Japanese success in the US, with Yoshihiro Kamegai and Naoya Inoue both set to fight in the US in the months to come.
Miura looked calm, happy and confident, and it's fair to say that he's looking forward to the bout just as much as fans are.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
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