Earlier today a press conference was held in Tokyo, featuring former world champions Floyd Mayweather Jr and Takashi Uchiyama, to announce some more of the details for the upcoming Knock Out Dynamite tournament which will begin on October 19th with the first round of matches.
The announcement today revealed some of the fighters involved in the 2-stage tournament, which takes place across 3 weight classes and features a bounty-type prize for scoring KO wins, with larger prizes depending on how quickly a fighter secures a stoppage.
The announcement today saw a number of the bouts being announced, including 3 of the 4 competitors in the 65KG tournament. The men announced here were Vladimir Baez (25-5-2, 23) and Tatsuya Miyazaki (9-12-1, 9) [宮崎辰也], who have been matched against each other, and Shusaku Fujinaka (16-11-2, 11) [藤中周作], who's opponent hasn't been confirmed.
The 60KG tournament saw 2 of the 4 men being named, with Koichi Ito (11-7-3, 10) [伊藤弘一] and Ribo Takahata (15-8-1, 6) [高畑里望], neither of whom had their opponents name.
And the 56KG tournament had all 4 of it's competitors announced. This weight class will see Yuki Yamauchi (3-0, 2) [山内祐希] take on Ryuta Wakamatsu (12-14-1, 9) [若松竜太], and Ren Sasaki (9-0, 6)[佐々木蓮] battle with Morihisa Iju (11-4, 9) [伊集盛尚].
Interestingly the 3 opponents that are yet to be announced are all stated to be "foreigners", though none of them were named.
The event takes it's name from Uchiyama, who is a tournament ambassador, but will be essentially be co-promoted by TMT Japan, a business arm of Mayweather's wider TMT brand. The TMT Japan arm is expected to grow rapidly, with Mayweather talking about opening up integrated resorts in Japan, returning for exhibitions in the country and much more. In fact Mayweather is quoted as saying "I'm planning various projects in Japan. I want to call my friend Justin Bieber to do a concert and take it to the next level."
The plan seems to be to run this style of tournament, which was described as being a "bounty style tournament", on a regular basis in the future with Dangan and TMT Japan potentially working together on future tournaments of a similar style, though of course that would need this upcoming on to be a success and something following up on in the future.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
One thing that was really notable about the event was the TMT logo all over today's press conference, possibly meaning this will be a TMT and Dangan go-promoted event. Floyd Mayweather has spoken about promoting in Japan under the TMT vehicle and with so much TMT branding here it finally seems like TMT Tokyo is going to become a reality in October with this show, potentially, being their first in Japan.
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.
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