On November 11th the awards committee for the monthly Japanese boxing awards released the names of the three winners of the awards for October. The awards were, at least partly, predictable for the month with really one stand out candidate as the MVP though after the month that was October it was impossible to argue that he didn't deserve the award.
We'll start with that MVP award which was claimed by the fantastic Kosei Tanaka who earned the award, the OPBF Minimumweight title and the plaudits of boxing fans around the world with his sensational victory over the very highly regarded Ryuji Hara. Tanaka was fighting in just his 4th professional bout but took card of Hara in 10 rounds to set a Japanese record for few fights to an OPBF title belt and it now seems likely that he will move into a world title bout in his 5th pro bout.
The fighting spirit award Hideo Sakamoto who scored a surprising win over the then world ranked Hiroki Shiino. was fighting for just the second time in more than 2 years though looked at his best as he stopped Shiino in the 5th round of their bout. With some luck Sakamoto will have done enough to be included in the WBC world rankings when they are next published, but if he isn't then he'll still take solace in the fact that he beat a former OPBF champion.
The State of the art award was won by Kenta Toi who scored a major upset win over former Japanese interim champion Mikihito Seto.
The awards are to be given to the fighters on November 23rd and are all very well earned awards considering the month we've just had.
(Image of Tanaka courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
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