Earlier today saw the announcements of the 2014 short lists for the Japanese annual boxing awards. The awards, given to the
In the "excellence" category there were just 2 nominations. One of those is current WBC Bantamweight champion Shinsuke Yamanaka, who defended his title twice this year. The other nomination is former WBC Light Flyweight champion Naoya Inoue who won and defended the WBC Light Flyweight before announcing his move to Super Flyweight, where he fights in a WBO world title bout at the end of the year.
In the "MVP" category we again see Yamanaka and Inoue nominated alongside Akira Yaegashi, who will be hoping to become a 3-weight world champion on December 30th, Katsunari Takayama, who will be hoping to end the year as a unified Minimumweight world champion, and Hisashi Amagasa, who will be hoping to score a massive upset victory against Guillermo Rigondeaux on New Years Eve.
Up for the "Skills award" are the 5 men on the MVP shortlist as well as Takashi Uchiyama, who defends his WBA Super Featherweight title on New Years Eve, Takashi Miura, who defended his WBC Super Featherweight title earlier this year, Kohei Kono, who won the WBA Super Flyweight title earlier this year and will be seeking his first defense on December 31st, and Jorge Linares, who is hoping to win the WBC Lightweight title later this year.
The "Distinguished Service" award will be won by either Ryoichi Taguchi or Go Odaira, both of whom fight on New Year's in world title bouts.
Arguably the most interesting shortlist is for the "State of the Art" award which will be awarded to one of the best prospects in the sport. The names in the running here are Kosei Tanaka, the current OPBF Minimumweight champion, Masayoshi Nakatani, the current OPBF Lightweight champion, Ryo Matsumoto, who fights for the OPBF Super Flyweight on December 30th, Rikki Naito, the current Japanese Super Featherweight champion and Takuma Inoue.
The "fight of the year" category has seen just 3 fights nominated. One of those is the WBC Flyweight bout between Akira Yaegashi and Roman Gonzalez, another is the WBC Light Flyweight title bout between Naoya Inoue and Adrian Hernandez whilst the third bout was the WBC Super Featherweight bout between Takashi Miura and Edgar Puerta.
The voting will begin early next year allowing the men who fight between now and then to impress those able to vote.
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