On December 31st we'll see Kazuto Ioka (23-1, 13) [井岡一翔] and Donnie Nietes (41-1-5, 23) battle for the WBO Super Flyweight title, with both men looking to become 4-weight champions.
Today, ahead of that fight, Ioka took part in a public work out at the KOD Lab Fitness Boxing gym, the gym owned by former world champion Takashi Uchiyama (24-2-1, 20) [内山 高志].
Ioka told the press that he only wanted to fight in big bouts, and that he wants to mark his name in history by winning a world title in a 4th weight class. He explained that he knows Nietes is a smart fighter, but that he is looking to dictate the pace early on and add more variations to his shots, as he looks to mix up the attacks to get through the defenses of Nietes.
Today's training session saw Ioka work with trainer Ismael Salas, who revealed that Ioka wouldn't fight the same way as he did against McWilliams Arroyo. They were more aggressive against Arroyo due to it being in the US, and it seems like they didn't want to give the judges any chance to score the bout against Ioka.
Today's work out was mostly a simple one, focused on movement and positioning, with Ioka's foot work being given particular focus.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
Earlier this week we reported that former WBA Super Featherweight world champion Takashi Uchiyama (24-2-1, 20) [内山 高志] would be opening the "KOD Lab Fitness Boxing Gym" in Yotsuya, with the gym having it's pre-opening day on November 27th.
Today, ahead of that pre-opening, the gym helpd a press conference, with Uchiyama being joined by various people he's close to, including former manager Hitoshi Watanabe, and former Watanabe stablemates Kohei Kono, Ryoichi Taguchi and Hiroto Kyoguchi.
At the event today Uchiyama stated that he wanted people to have fun with boxing would be tempted to make the gym into a professional boxing one in the future, if he the motivation arises.
The press conference saw Uchiyama hitting the mitts and showing off the gym, as well as his plans for the future It seems like the focus is on creating a fun atmosphere and bringing new people into fitness as well as boxing. Given the people he's connected with it seems almost certain that the gym will have frequent guests and that he will show the same drive to develop the gym as he did to keep the WBA world title, which he held for over 6 years.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
Last year we saw former WBA Super Featherweight world champion Takashi Uchiyama (24-2-1, 20) [内山 高志] announce his retirement. He later stated he would be opening a gym and and that gym is now on the verges of opening!
In a post on facebook "KO Dynamite" revealed that the "KOD Lab Fitness Boxing Gym" in Yotsuya would have it's pre-opening day on November 27th.
The idea of the "pre-opening" is to give people a chance to see what the gym offers, try it's services and see whether or not it's something they want to be part of. It's a good idea ahead of it's official opening.
The gym is starting life as a fitness gym, which is aimed are things like fitness, diet and health, with boxing as part of it. Despite boxing being part of the gym it won't be training professionals, at least not any time soon though that is in the long term plan as Uchiyama revealed some time ago.
If, or rather when, Uchiyama obtains a professional license he will join a long list of former fighters turn professional gym owners in Japan, which appears to be part of why the country is having such great success in recent years, with former fighters actively guiding the next generation, something that seems to be a key component in the development of the sport in the country.
Earlier today fight fans at the Korakuen Hall got the chance to cheer, on final time, for former WBA Super Featherweight world champion Takashi Uchiyama (24-2-1, 20) [内山 高志], who participated in a notable retirement ceremony, despite announcing his retirement last year.
The former Watanabe gym fighter was joined by a number people from his days as an active fighter, including Hitoshi Watanabe his former promoter and mentor. ring annou nce Naoki Sudo and others.
Uchiyama's plan is to now open a gym and become a promoter himself. Mr Watanabe, who was very complimentary of Uchiyama as a fighter. Despite the compliments Mr Watanabe did reveal that he nows sees Uchiyama as rival and that he's dreaming of having his fighters going up against Uchiyama's future fighters.
As for Uchiyama himself, he spoke about starting boxing at 15 and thanked fans for supporting him as a fighter until he was 37. That success included not only his ling and impressive reign as the WBA world champion but also the OPBF Super Featherweight title, and he actually got a special plaque today showing him with the OPBF title.
We'd love to wish Mr Uchiyama all the best as he looks to become a notable gym leader and a future key promoter for Japan, much like he has been one of the country's key fighters in recent years.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Last year we saw a number of Japanese fighters announce their retirements. They included former WBA Super Featherweight world champion Takashi Uchiyama (24-2-1, 20) [内山 高志] and former OPBF and Japanese Featherweight champion Hisashi Amagasa (33-7-2, 21) [天笠 尚].
Today it was revealed that both of those men will return to the ring on March 27th to take part in their retirement ceremony's.
Uchiyama last fought at the end of 2016, when he suffered his second loss to Jezreel Corrales, who had stopped Uchiyama in April that year to end Uchiyama's long reign as the WBA champion. He delayedannouncing his retirement until part way into last year, but didn't take part in any ceremony which is why he's returning later this month for a one off event.
As for Amagasa he last fought back in September 2017, when he lost to the criminally under-rated Richard Pumicpic in a bout for the WBO Asia Pacific title. He is best known for his gutsy effort against Guillermo Rigondeaux but never looked the same fighter after that bout, going 5-2 including the loss to Pumicpic.
Whilst the retirement ceremony isn't anything massive it's still nice to see the two fighters get their moment in front of fans before walking away from being fighters, and it also gives both a chance to talk about their futures.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
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