Earlier today saw the announcement of the annual Japanese boxing awards. The awards, selected by a committee, see the fighters honoured annually at a special event and is seen as a great achievement for fighters who have their accomplishments recognised.
The big winner this year, unsurprisingly, was Naoya Inoue (8-0, 7) who ended becoming a triple crown winner. He was, obviously, the MVP of the year though he was selected for the Fight of the Year and the KO of the Year for his win over Omar Andres Narvaez. Whilst we won't totally agree with all 3 awards it's clear that he has been the MVP of the year and is certainly deserving of that honour.
The skill prize was won by WBC Bantamweight world champion Shinsuke Yamanaka (22-0-2, 16) who defended his title twice in 2014. The distinguished service award was won by current unified Minimumweight champion Katsunari Takayama (28-7-0-1, 11), who managed to claim the IBF and WBO world titles on December 31st to become Japan's first 4 time world champion and the first Japanese fighter to claim all 4 major world titles.
The Fighting Spirit award was won 3 fighters who will have to share the honour. Those fighters are Takashi Uchiyama (22-0-1, 18), Akira Yaegashi (20-5, 10) and Hisashi Amagasa (28-5-2, 19). Another shared honour is the effort award which will be shared by Ryoichi Taguchi (21-2-1, 8) and Ryota Murata (6-0, 4).
Inoue wasn't the only young star being recognised for his achievements as Kosei Tanaka (4-0, 2) won the "State of the Art" award and will also be recognised for his bout with Ryuji Hara, a bout considered the best contest for either the OPBF or Japanese title.
In terms of female fighters being recognised the female MVP was Momo Koseki (19-2-1, 6), who recorded her 14th world title defence, whilst the WBA Super Flyweight world title fight between Naoka Fujioka and Tomoko Kawanishi was recognised as the best female fight.
As well as the active winners there was all 4 men recognised as special award winners. Those were Ryol Li Lee and Nobuo Nashiro as well as legends Yoko Gushiken and the late Masao Oba, both of whom are being inducted into the IBHOF later this year.
In terms of amateurs there will be a number of amateur fighters recognises as well, though unfortunately we don't have their names as of yet.
The winners will be recieve their awards on January 23rd at the Korakuen Hall in a special ceremony. The admission is free but it will be first come first serve.
(Image courtesy of the JBC)
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