Earlier today members of the of Japanese boxing press were invited to attend the official contract signings for "The Fight". The signings, which were attended by the 6 main fighters on the card was full of comments from the fighters though went down relatively quietly with no one needing to bite or offend any of the other men. In all honesty this was a clear case of the fighters and the fight selling it's self with out the need for histrionics or drama.
The most respectful men at the event were, once again, the WBC Flyweight champion Akira Yaegashi (20-3, 10) and his opponent on Friday Roman Gonzalez (39-0, 33). Once again the two were full of praise for each other as fighters and people with not a bad word said by either. It was clear that these two really do respect each others attitude and know that being a boxer is more than just having a big mouth, it's about actually fighting the best to prove you're the best something that some other fighters should try to replicate.
Both men described not only the other in glowing ways but also the bout with both promising that the action would be great and both suggesting it was the fight they wanted. It was a case of the fans calling for the bout but the fighters wanting the bout, something that both need to be need to be applauded for.
Although both were respectful and friendly to each other both know how important this fight is and know that a win will further enhance their standing in the world of boxing, possibly getting them the international attention their skills, talent and style deserves.
For those who haven't read our views on the bout we have an in-depth preview here.
From the other title fight on the show, a bout between WBC Light Flyweight champion Naoya Inoue (6-0, 5) and Thailand's Samartlek Kokietgym (17-5, 4) things weren't quite as respectful though was still not the typical trash talk you expect from fighters. There was little in terms of brashness though Inoue did seem to suggest he was out to stop Samartlek early in the bout, echoing comments from early in the build up.
Most of the talk here wasn't about the each other as fighters however and instead a lot was made of the fact that Inoue was feeling confident of the win and that he was making weight easier than he had for his last bout. Saying that however his face did look a bit gaunt and it would seem very likely that he'll need to abandon the Light Flyweight division sooner rather than later.
As for Samartlek the comments seem to be hinting that he knew he had a hard fight though he was hoping to bring the title back to Thailand.
Our views on this fight can be found in our preview of the contest here.
The other two fighters at the signing were Ryota Murata (4-0, 4), who looked very smart in his suit, and his opponent for Friday Adrian Luna Flores (17-2-1, 11). It was the first time we had been able to see Murata and Luna Flores together and we were honestly shocked to see that Luna Flores was as tall as advertised and although he didn't tower over Murata he did look taller than the unbeaten Japanese hopeful.
Murata stated that he was honoured to be on the same show as Yaegashi Vs Gonzalez whilst Luna Flores stated that he was motivated by the fact that Murata was an icon of Japanese boxing. It seems again that respect was the order of the day despite the fact both men will feel they need a win to move on with their respective careers.
The 6 men, who stood together for the picture opposite, will have their weigh-in's done tomorrow for their fights on Friday. We hope to bring you their weights when we get them
(All images courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
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