Earlier today the Muto gym announced their next big show, which is now set for December 22nd at the Sumiyoshi Ward Center.
The main event will see WBO Asia Pacific Bantamweight champion Yuki Strong Kobayashi (15-8, 9) [小林佑樹] defending his belt, for the first time, against South Korean Ki Chang Go (8-3, 4).
On paper this should be an easy win for Kobayashi, given that Chang was stopped in 2018 by Masahiro Sakamoto.
Kobayashi won the title earlier this year, with an upset stoppage of Ben Mananquil, and few will complain about him getting an easy defense after recent bouts against the likes of Vincent Astrolabio, Keita Kurihara and Mannaquil. Though this is a bit too easy if we're being totally honest.
Also confirmed for the card were a trio of young Muto gym prospects. These were Ryosuke Nishida (1-0, 1) [西田 凌佑], Yusuke Mine (2-0, 1) [峯 佑輔] and Tulio Kuwabata (3-0, 2) [桑畑凜生]. At the moment none of this trio have had opponents announced for the card, though Mine and Kuwabata did seem to hint that their team were hunting for ranked fighters to face to test them.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Over the last year or so the Muto gym has been signing up a lot of talented young fighters as the gym looks become a major in the Kansai region.
Recently a lot of their bigger names left Osaka to begin a training camp in Awaji City, where they will be doing a 4 day running camp and getting in shape before big bouts.
The most notable of those fighters was WBO Asia Pacific Bantamweight champion Yuki Strong Kobayashi (15-8, 9) [小林佑樹], who is scheduled to defend his title in December. At the moment his bout hasn't got an announced date or opponent, but it is confirmed as being in December.
Another fighter preparing for a title fight is Middleweight Riku Kunimoto (4-0, 2) [国本陸], who will be getting a shot at Japanese Middleweight champion Kazuto Takesako (11-0-1, 11) [竹迫司登] next year as part of the 2020 edition of Japanese boxing's Champion Carnival.
Others taking part in the camp are Yusuke Mine (2-0, 1) [峯 佑輔] and Tulio Kuwabata (3-0, 2) [桑畑凜生] who will both be looking to make a statement when they return to the ring before being moved towards title bouts in the new year.
(Image courtesy of Muto Gym)
Earlier today former Japanese amateur fighter Ryosuke Nishida [西田 凌佑] took part in his pro-test bout as he becomes the latest notable Japanese amateur to turn to the pros.
The 23 year old from Kashiba, has become the latest notable amateur fighter to join the Mutoh Gym in Tokyo, following the likes of Yusuke Mine (1-0) [峯 佑輔], Riku Kunimoto (4-0, 2) [国本陸] and Tulio Kuwabata (3-0, 2) [桑畑凜生], as the Mutoh gym prepares for the future.
As an amateur Nishida was well regarded, despite not winning national tournaments. His style is supposed to be one that will translate very well over to the professionals and he is tipped to be one of the faces of the Mutoh gym over the coming years.
Nishida's protest saw him sparring with the aforementioned Yusuke Mine at the work out, before Takashi Edagawa revealed that both men would be in action on October 3rd, in Thailand. Both men will be up against Thai locals in 6 round bouts at Super Bantamweight.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
Earlier this month we reported that Keita Kurihara (12-5, 11) [栗原 慶太] would be returning to the ring on December 24th to face off with Yuki Strong Kobayashi (14-7, 8) [小林佑樹] in a bout for the vacant OPBF Bantamweight title at the EDION Arena Osaka.
Today that bout was officially confirmed, with the Mutoh Boxing gym not just announcing the bout but also the rest of their show for Christmas Eve, a show that will feature bouts involving two hotly tipped prospects as well as the OPBF title bout.
The OPBF title became vacant recently when Mark John Yap (29-13, 14) decided to retire, following a close loss to Takuma Inoue (12-0, 3) [井上 拓真] in a WBC Bantamweight world title eliminator.
According to Takashi Edagawa, the head of the Mutoh gym, Yap retired after the loss and went back to the Philippines, hence vacating the title, in what a really surprising move from the Filipino given that he had seemingly secured his status as a top contender. We suspect that Yap will return from retirement down the line, but if not it's a shame his career ended so abruptly after such a close loss and it appears that even Mr Edagawa was surprised by the decision.
Update - On Social Media Yap himself has stated that he's not retired but that his contract with Mutoh gym has expired and that he has returned to the Philippines for the next chapter of his career. His parents are ill and he will be in Cagayan de oro City. It would seem like there is some miscommunication between the two, as the Japanese promoter doesn't seem to be aware that the contract has expired and stated that Yap had complained about neck pain, told he he was returning to the Philippines and retiring.
At the press conference along with Kobayashi and Mr Edagawa was Rio Kuwabata (1-0, 1) [桑畑凜生], who has sent a request to change his ring name to a rather unique one. Kuwabata, who debuted in China back in September, will be up against 34 year old Yosuke Taniguchi (7-5-1, 2) [谷口陽祐] in an interesting 6 round contest.
One other highly regarded prospect on this card is Middleweight hopeful Riku Kunimoto (2-0) [国本陸], who is stepping up to 8 round bouts to face off with Toshihiro Kai (6-10-2, 2) [甲斐斗志広].
The card, dubbed "You will be the Champion 9", seems almost certain to be the final Japanese card before Christmas.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Earlier today Takashi Edagawa, the head of the Mutoh Gym, held a press conference along side former amateur stand out Ryo Kuwabata [桑畑凛生], to announce that Kuwabata was signing with the Mutoh gym.
The press conference combined both playfulness with some seriousness.
The fighter stated that he was wanting suggestions for his ring name, stating that he wanted something recognisable like Jumbo Oda Nobunaga Shoten Petagine. In fact Edagawa has allowed fans to send suggestions to him via a blog entry made after the press conference.
On a more serious note the 22 year old will have his pro-test later this month and is looking to debut before the end of 2018. As an amateur he went 25-11 (4) but was fighting on the ultra-competitive Japanese University scene, becoming the captain of his both his university and high school teams.
Given his long links to the Mutoh gym it's going to be interesting to see how they guide the youngster, but it's expected for him to actually debut in China in the very near future, if he passes his B class pro-test, in what should be a formality.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
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