The fighters who were at the press event included Ryota Murata (5-0, 4) and his opponent Jessie Nicklow (24-4-3, 8). Murata, dressed in a sharp black suit, seemed confident at the event and had spoken about his top quality sparring which consisted of fighters from around the world. Notably Murata was dressed in a manner that starkly contrasted the shaven headed Nicklow who looked to have been the most casually dressed of the fighters.
Another fighter at the event was Murata's Teiken stablemate Jorge Linares (37-3, 24) who will be fighting for the WBC Lightweight title against Javier Prieto (24-7-2, 18).Both of these men seemed confident with Linares saying he will do his best and thanking everyone for this opportunity. Prieto seemed to know that he wasn't going to be able to match the speed of Linares but had got himself a game plan to win.
Two other fighters at the event were Akira Yaegashi (20-4, 10) and Pedro Guevara (23-1-1, 15) who will trade blows for the WBC Light Flyweight title in a bout that has genuinely gotten us a little bit excited. For Yaegashi this is a brilliant chance to become a 3-weight world champion whilst for Guevara it's a chance to really announce himself on the international boxing scene.
At the event Yaegashi spoke of the venue for the fight and made reference to it being the venue in which his manager Hideyuki Ohashi fought his final contest, losing a majority decision to Thailand's Chana Porpaoin back in 1993. Guevara himself spoke highly of Yaegashi and said the the Japanese was a great boxer and that he had been watching Yaegashi's fight with Roman Gonzalez in the build up to this fight. The respect seemed mutual and some ways makes this fight seem even more likely to be a brilliant contest.
Although their was mutual respect it was again clear just how much bigger Guevara was and he'll be hoping to make the most of that advantage when the two men meet on Tuesday.
The most interesting bout on the show is, of course, the main event between Naoya Inoue (7-0, 6) and WBO Super Flyweight champion Omar Andres Narvaez (43-1-2, 23). Not only is this the best fight on the show but it also proved to be interesting at the event today.
Part of what made the meeting between the two so interesting was the glove situation. Originally Narvaez was to use red gloves whilst Inoue was to use black, now however both will use black with Narvaez stating that red gloves are easier to see and that he wanted equal conditions. It was also interesting as Inoue stated that his intention was also to become a world champion at Super Flyweight, a weight that he says is his natural weight. It would seem likely that Inoue will, if he wins, ignore any intention to drop to Flyweight and would establish a long reign at 115lbs.
Although both men appeared confident it was suggested that Narvaez's glove complaint was just a case of finding something to complain with rather than a real issue. Whether it was mind games or not it's unlikely to matter when the men get into the ring in just a few days time.
(All images courtesy of boxingnews.jp)