So now 2015 is here, the long wait is over and it's time to celebrate what could, potentially, be a major year for boxing. We ended 2014 on a major high, it seemed like the West was finally acknowledging talent in the East and it seemed like we were about to see more and more attention given to Japan, Thailand, Philippines and China. We'll admit it's a shame South Korea and Indonesia are both at boxing low points but there is enough in the East to hide the negatives.
With that said it makes our first wish for 2015 an obvious one. We wish that fighters in the East continue to get more attention and that the work done at the end of the year continues in to 2015. It would be a huge shame if the attention tailed off now we're into a new year, instead we'd love to see the likes of Naoya Inoue, Donnie Nietes and Albert Pagara become more well known in the East.
We have hinted at our second wish. We want to see South Korea and Indonesia each develop a “new” star of their own. We don't need either country to develop a world champion just someone with the potential to win one, or at least compete at the world level. We know this is likely to be a wasted wish but we'll make it all the same in the hope that one of the two countries will be able to create a new star which builds the domestic scene in a way that helps other fighters in both countries.
Our third wish is for the fast tracking and aggressive match making to continue. In the last few years we've seen fighters like Naoya Inoue, his brother Takuma Inoue, their stablemate Ryo Matsumoto and the incredibly fast tracked Kosei Tanaka all get moved quickly. We suspect that will continue with Kenshiro Teraji and Hinata Maruta though we hope to see more and more fighters follow that same career trajectory which sees fighters fighting in meaningful bouts early in their careers rather than padding a record first
Wish #4 is that TV companies in the West will begin to show more action from the East. We know that the Macau shows are being shown in the US and the UK but why not a big Ohashi card? Or a Teiken card? Or an ALA show? We don't even need them to be shown live as tape delay footage would be brilliant, and a lot more than what we already get. We know TYC Sports have shown fights from Japan where their fighters have been involved but we'd like to see a lot more.
Our final wish is a simple one. We wish that we continue to get relevant and important bouts. We want more things like the Katsunari Takayama Vs Francisco Rodriguez Jr match up, or the Roman Gonzalez Vs Akira Yaegashi bout. If we keep getting those big bouts then we'll be very happy at the end of 2015, even if the English language media do ignore those bouts for whatever reason, at the end of the day they are the ones missing out, not us.
Thinking Out East
With this site being pretty successful so far we've decided to open up about our own views and start what could be considered effectively an editorial style opinion column dubbed "Thinking Out East" (T.O.E).