Earlier today the Watanabe Gym held a press conference to finally announce their New Year's Eve show, and despite the somewhat late nature of the announce it seems that the Tokyo based gym have exceeded expectations.
The promotional stable announced that their show for December 31st would be a double header. One of those has long been known about, and will be a mandatory defense of the IBF Minimumweight title by youngter Hiroto Kyoguchi (8-0, 6) [京口 紘人], who makes his first defense as he takes on Nicaraguan Carlos Buitrago (30-2-1-1, 17).
This bout has been known about prety much since Kyoguchi won the the title, and is a genuinely brilliant match up that should see both men bring their A-game and fans get a really exciting action battle between two top fighters.
Whilst Kyoguchi Vs Buitrago is a great bout, it's likelyto actually be over-shadowed by the other bout announced today. That will see WBA Light Flyweight champion Ryoichi Taguchi (26-2-2, 12) [田口良一] unify against IBF champion Milan Melindo (37-2, 13) in what will be a very rare unification bout at 108lbs. Both of these fighters are fantastic fighters, with styles that can be very exciting with the right opponents, and both always seem to bring their best when they face better opponents.
For Melindo the bout will serve as his second, defending the title he won from popular Japanese warrior Akira Yaegashi,whilst Taguchi looks to continue his reign and record his 7th defense, It's also worth noting that Taguchi had been in previous talks to face WBO champion Kosei Tanaka (10-0, 6) [田中恒成], with that bout now expected to take place in 2018, due to injuries suffered by Tanaka last time out.
The announcement this morning not only announced the two bouts but also confirmed a previous story. The card will be aired on TBS, and not TV Tokyo, with the Watanabe/TV Tokyo deal looking like it is now over, and whilst it gives Kyoguchi and Taguchi a much bigger platform going forward it is a shame that TV Tokyo seems to have pulled out of boxing, and that we'll only be getting one December 31st card going forward.
(Image courtesy of http://www.sponichi.co.jp)
Over the last few years we've seen Japanese boxing have a huge flurry of activity in late December, with TBS and TV Tokyo both having big shows on December 31st. The headline act for TBS has been 3-weight world champion Kazuto Ioka (22-1, 13) [井岡一翔], who saw his father state he wouldn't be in action to end 2017,whilst TV Tokyo has been the platform for Super Featherweight Takashi Uchiyama (24-2-1, 20) [内山 高志], who announced his retirement earlier this year.
With Ioka and Uchiyama both now out of the end of year action it's fair to say that we are set for changes in the way Japanese TV show boxing, especially in late December.
The rumour coming out of Japan is a genuinely big one, that seems to suggest the end of TV Toyko's involvement in boxing.
According to sources TV Tokyo will not air a December 31st card this year, and more importantly their long association with Watanabe gym looks to be over. With Watanabe now, apparently, having inked a deal with TBS to air their yet to be announced December 31st show.
Reports suggest that Hiroto Kyoguchi (8-0, 6) [京口 紘人] will defend the IBF Minimumweight title against Carlos Buitrago (30-2-1-1, 17) in the headline bout of a TBS aired card on New Year's Eve. That report matches up with original plans to have a Light Flyweight unification bout between WBO champion Kosei Tanaka (10-0, 6) [田中恒成] and WBA champion Ryoichi Taguchi (26-2-2, 12) [田口良一], which was set to be aired on TBS before Tanaka suffered an injury.
Although yet to be confirmed a move from TV Tokyo by Watanabe would likely end the channel's association with the sport, for the foreseeable future, and potentially push the sport to becoming dominated in Japan by TBS and Fuji TV, who will be two very power channels going forward, who have almost every world champion in Japan, with WBO Flyweight champion Sho Kimura (15-1-2, 8) [木村翔] and WBO Minimumweight Ryuya Yamanaka (15-2, 4) [山中 竜也] fighting outside of the TBS and Fuji TV bubbles.
It needs to be noted that no offical announcement about any of the year ending shows have been made, but we're expecting them shortly, and this story may be confirmed very shortly.
Yesterday Japanese fight fans in Tokyo had the chance to see a world title double header.
The first of those bouts, shown on tape delay, saw Ryoichi Taguchi (26-2-2, 12) [田口良一] defend his title with ease, as he destroyed mandatory challenger Robert Barrera (18-2, 12) in a very one sided bout. That was then followed up with a live showing of an IBF Minimumweight title bout between Hiroto Kyoguchi (8-0, 6) [京口 紘人] and Jose Argumedo (20-4-1, 12), with Kyoguchi coming out on top and setting a new Japanese record for the shortest time from debut to world champion.
The showed turned out to be a really huge rating success for TV Tokyo, with the show having an average audience of 7.1% in the Kanto region. That's about 3,000,000 viewers tuning in to the show on average.
The highest point for the show, which came as the decision for Kyoguchi's bout with Argumedo was being read, was an incredible 11%. That meant more than 4,600,000 viewers tuned in to see the eferee raise Kyoguchi's hand and crown him the new champion.
Hopefully the huge numbers tuning in live will convince TV Tokyo to stop their ridiculous habit of showing fights on tape delay, and it's already clear that Kyoguchi is a star in the making, with those numbers being genuinely brilliant for a fighter in their first major televised bout.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
On August 31st Japanese fans get a really brilliant double header at the Ota City Gym. The two world title bouts will see Kohei Kono (32-8-1, 13) [河野 公平] defending his WBA Super Flyweight title against Luis Concepcion (34-4, 24) and WBA Light Flyweight champion Ryoichi Taguchi (24-2-1, 11) [田口良一] defending his title against Ryo Miyazaki (24-1-3, 15) [宮崎 亮].
Over the past 24 hours we have been given a lot of details abouts the TV coverage for the show.
Firstly the Taguchi Vs Miyazaki bout will be the main event of the card, a slight surprise given Concepcion's name value however the all-Japanese title fight is sure to be a hit with fans in Japan.
The bouts will have two special guest commentators, one of those will be Takashi Uchiyama, a stablemate of Kono and Taguchi, whilst the other will be Kazuto Ioka, a stablemate of Miyazaki. So essentially not only have the bouts got big name value but so to does the commentary.
As for the TV broadcast the show will be aired at 9PM local time in Tokyo by TV Tokyo. Notably the show begins at 5PM local time so it would seem almost certain that the broadcast will be on tape delay, something that TV Tokyo have been notorious for when it comes to their boxing coverage, and something that has often been the ire of fans.
Also TV Tokyo have released a short teaser of the main event which can be seen below.
Yesterday Japanese fans in the Kanto region had the chance to see a world title triple header on TV Tokyo, with both Ryoichi Taguchi (24-2-1, 11) [田口良一] and Kohei Kono (32-8-1, 13) [河野 公平] retaining their titles in one sided bouts. The broadcast was, unfortunately, shown on tape delay and created some negativity, and frustration, due to the tape delay. Despite that frustration the broadcast was an outstanding success.
The average viewing figure for the broadcast was 7.8% in Kanto, a figure of around 3.3 million viewers. That's more than twice as many viewers as the recently Gennady Golovkin fight drew on HBO.
For the main event the number shot up, to a staggering 10.1%, around 4.3 million viewers.
Despite the result for the main event being known, and despite the obvious annoyance, it appears that the shock of Takashi Uchiyama (24-1-1, 20) [内山 高志] losing his world title drew in fans in their droves with many feeling that it was something they had to see to believe.
Whilst we're very much against tape delay coverage of fights we must admit that TV Tokyo showing this on delay almost certainly caused an increase in viewership. Interestingly the New Year card on the same channel, headlined by the same the same fighters, only drew 3.7% in Kanto.
(Image courtesy of TV Tokyo)
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