Back in April we saw the news of a double header in China featuring WBA "regular" Featherweight title by Can Xu (16-2, 2) [徐灿] defending his title against Shun Kubo (13-1, 9) [久保隼] and former WBO Flyweight champion Sho Kimura (18-2-2, 11) [木村翔] challenging WBA Light Flyweight "regular" champion Carlos Canizales (21-0-1, 17). The card is a really good one, and one of the ones to be excited about this weekend.
Surprisingly the bouts aren't being shown live in Japan, despite two world title bouts featuring Japanese fighters, unless you're a member of WOWOW Members on Demand service. WOWOW's scheduled broadcast is set for 8PM on Monday June 3rd, with a replay a few days later.
Thankfully Chinese TV should have us covered, with CCTV5 showing the bouts live from 21:40 local time, with almost 2 hours set aside for the bouts. It appears that CCTV5 will only be showing the world title bouts, an not the under-card.
As for an online Chinese distributor, it appears that QQ are pencilled in to begin their broadcast from 19:30 local time, which likely would include the under-card bouts, as well as the main event bouts.
Will Xu be successful in first defense as he takes on Kubo?
Canizales and Kimura battle for gold in China!
Next month we'll see WBA "regular" Bantamweight champion Naoya Inoue (17-0, 15) [井上 尚弥] battle against IBF Bantamweight champion Emmanuel Rodriguez (19-0, 12) in their WBSS semi-final bout.
We've known for a while that the bout would get live Japanese TV coverage, on WOWOW and DAZN in the US. Now we know a lot more details in regards to other coverage of the bout.
First Sky Sports in the UK will air the bout, taking it away from the free to air platform on youtube for British fans. This is a mixed bag in some ways. Sky can certainly market the show and will increase the profile of the competition, and will ease the rumoured financial issues of the WBSS. It will however put the event behind a paywall, albeit a less awkward one than the ITV PPV platform that proved to be a nightmare for season 1.
Secondly Japanese fans, who are getting it live on WOWOW as part of their subscription service, will also get the bout on free TV on delay, with it being shown from 9PM on Sunday across the Fuji TV network. It's certainly not as good as live terrestrial TV coverage, but with it being a prime time delivery, on the same day as the event, this is still amazing news and gives Japanese fans a great opportunity to see the fight, even if they don't have WOWOW.
It's worth noting that Sky Sports won't just being showing the Glasgow card on May 18th, but the other WBSS semi-final cards as part of a new distribution deal between the tournament and the channel.
Earlier this week WOWOW announced some of their scheduled for May and they already have two interesting international cards, featuring Japanese fighters, booked.
The first of those is the WBSS Semi final bout, which pits WBA "Regular" Bantamweight champion Naoya Inoue (17-0, 15) [井上 尚弥] against IBF champion Emmanuel Rodriguez (19-0, 12). The channel will be airing this live, from 4:30am local time on Sunday May 19th.
A week later they will be showing Masayuki Ito (25-1-1, 13) [伊藤 雅雪] defending his WBO Super Featherweight title. At the moment his opponent hasn't been announced, neither has the venue, though WOWOW do say his bout will be an "overseas" match. His opponents have been rumoured to be Jamel Herring (19-2, 10), who the WBO have previously said no to, and Jonathan Oquendo (30-5, 19), among others.
There rumours at the moment are that they will also be the channel airing IBF Light Flyweight title fight between hard hitting champion Felix Alvarado (34-2, 30) and Japanese challenger Reiya Konishi's (17-1, 7) [小西伶弥], though that hasn't yet been announced by the channel. That would, if the stories are all correct, also take place on May 19th, though at a more regular time in Japan.
On December 1st in the US Deontay Wilder (40-0, 29) will defend his WBC Heavyweight title against unbeaten and controversial former champion Tyson Fury (27-0, 19).
Fans in the UK and US the bout is on PPV, through BT Sports Box Office and Showtime PPV in the US. For Japanese fans however the bout will not be on PPV but will instead be shown live on WOWOW Live, allowing those WOWOW customers to watch the bout as part of their subscription.
It's worth noting that WOWOW Prime will be airing the WBC/WBO Lightweight title fight on December 8th between Vasiliy Lomachenko (11-1, 9) and Jose Pedraza (25-1, 12), also live. Once again this is WOWOW delivering for their subscribers, though we do wonder how much longer they will be involved in the sport given the rise of DAZN Japan and their move into boxing.
On September 15th we'll see one of the biggest fights of 2018, as Gennady Golovkin (38-0-1, 38) takes on Mexican star Saul "Canelo" Alvarez (49-1-2, 24) in a highly anticipated rematch for the WBA "Super" and WBC Middleweight titles. The bout comes on the back of a very controversial 2017 split decision draw and has seen both men throwing barbs at each other, with growing regularity and a serious amount of animosity.
For fans in the US and the UK the bout will be on PPV, with HBO PPV carrying the bout Stateside and BT Sports hosting the bout on their PPV service in the UK. For Japanese fans however things will be cheaper with the bout being carried live on subscription service WOWOW, with WOWOW Prime airing the broadcast as part of their "Excite Match" series of shows.
The broadcast for the fight will begin at 11AM local time with a delay broadcast planned for the following Monday.
WOWOW have also revealed their broadcast team for the bout, which includes former world champions Toshiaki Nishioka and Tsuyoshi Hamada along with current WBA "regular" champion Ryota Murata, who has made it clear he would like to face the winner at the Tokyo Dome later this year.
In the build up to the fight there will be two more special broadcasts, the first taking place at 11am on Monday 10th September with a second being shown an hour before the live broadcast. Both of these will be on WOWOW Live. Both of those shows will feature the legendary Yoko Gushiken talking about the bout, with fellow former world champion Kiyoshi Hatanaka also being advertised as a guest on the Monday show.
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