Recently I probably pissed off some followers, especially British ones, with my recent retweets towards the #RevokeArticle50Now petition. I was asked by one American whether we were Asian boxing or Asian Boxing Politics, thank's John. What we are is are is about globalism, something that many aren't.
If you're reading this now you're reading an Englishman, writing for an a boxing website where we take regular contributions from from people from Britain, Greece and the Philippines. We get paid thanks to readers all over the globe.
I'm currently using a a German laptop, drinking Polish beer and listening to an Australian-British band. It's rare I go into my personal life, but here we are.
We are, as much as this will piss people off, effected by politics. Since "Brexit" our advertising revenue from the UK has dropped by more than 50% (from £0.99 to £0.49 RPM), as a result we are, financially inclined to revoking Article 50. We aren't political in this opinion, but business orientated. Imagine someone took 17% of your pay for the last 2 years. That's what the whole Brexit thing appears to have done to us.
So this leads us to a few interesting points.
Are we political? Yes. We put the survival of this site first. If someone that can harm us comes up, we will do out best to campaign against it. Again we don't have big money sponsors, we don't ask our readers to pay, and we are often looking to provide free options to our readers. In the entire time this site has been running we have NEVER asked for payments, we have NEVER taken anything we do and made it a pay option, and we NEVER want to.
We do however need to be funded and losing a good chunk of our revenue due to political decisions can sting. And lets not act like we're in our own bubble here. Sports an politics do mix, they always will and they really should. I know I'll annoy people by saying that but it's true.
From Jack Johnson, Muhammad Ali, Tommie Smith, John Carlos, Antonio Inoki, Imran Khan, Manny Pacquiao, Alexis Arguello and so many others we've seen sports people being involved in politics. These are people who were standard bearers for their countries, they were hero from their sporting accomplishments playing a part in the political process, and helping force changes. They are are the true hero.
For us sport is a platform as much as anything. Yes we are boxing fans, much like we are ACDC and L'arc En Ciel fans, or fans of the James Bond movies, hey don't judge us on that one!, but all those platforms give people a chance to be political.
We're not trying to rub people up the wrong way, we understand that Brexit has some great potential (shame Theresa May has got a deal that is embarrassingly bad), but at the end of the day it has cost us, and we can come out and suggest it's a bad idea for us. We are fans of globalism, we are fans of boxing, we are vocal about spreading Asian boxing across the globe, and we will never give up trying to expand the name and attention the top Asian fighters get in the west.
If you don't agree that's fine, we're about as inclusive as we can be, but if you question us about globalism, maybe query why you're on a site designed to increase the global exposure of fighters from Asian.
This past week hasn't been the busiest in terms of fights, but there has been a fair bit of news scattered through the week, from opponents and bouts being announced, to an agreement being announced for the streaming of a world title fight.
CBC proudly announces the streaming of the bout - Kosei Tanaka Vs Ryoichi Taguchi
Lets start with the best bit of news, confirmation that we will indeed be working with CBC to bring you, our readers, the chance to watch the upcoming WBO Flyweight title bout between Kosei Tanaka and Ryoichi Taguchi. This streaming agreement had been in the works for a while, but the agreement was signed this week, offering international fans the chance to watch the bout for free. The only restriction is that it won't be available in Japan, where the TBS affiliates will career it for free.
Kanat Islam's return "delayed indefinitely"
From some great news to some less than great news, as Kanat Islam's return has now been changed again, this time to "delayed indefinitely". There had been hopes he would be in the ring in March and then April but the dates kept sliding as his recovery from injury has turned out to be less effective than hoped. There is now a real chance that the unbeaten Kazakh will not return to the ring.
The bulk of the news from this week has been announcements of bouts and returns to the ring.
Vijender Singh's US debut set for April 12th!
Unbeaten Indian hopeful Vijender Singh's long awaited return to the ring is now set for April 12th, in what will be his US debut. The Indian hasn't fought in well over a year, though the hope is that he will get back in the ring and reclimb the world rankings, moving towards a potential world title fighter sooner, rather than later.
Fazliddin Gaibnazarov to return on May 11th
Another return is that of 2016 Olympic Gold medal winner Fazliddin Gaibnazarov, who revealed on instagram that he will fight again on May 11th. There is no opponent announced, and details are scarce, though it's always good to see someone with the talent of Gaibnazarov in action. He's not been away from the ring for long, having fought earlier this year, but the hope is that he will take on a notable foe.
Former world title challenger Osawa in action on April 7th!
Also announced this week was the next bout of former world title challenger Hiroshige Osawa, who will fight in Sakai City on April 7th. His opponent is a weak one, but it does seem like he will have a big bout set later in the year and this fight here is more about shaking ring rust than moving to a second world title fight.
Sadriddin Akhmedov set to fight in March!
Unbeaten Kazakh prospect Sadriddin Akhmedov had his next fight revealed as taking place later this month. His opponent wasn't revealed at the time of the announcement, but it will be for a regional WBC title and will give the Canadian based fighter his first professional bout in his the land of his birth.
Akira Yaegashi and Koki Koshikawa have next opponents named!
It was also this week that Akira Yaegashi and Koki Koshikawa had their next opponents named. Neither will be facing anyone too testing, though it is good to put a name to their opponents. Yaegashi is clearly in a stay busy fight, ahead of a potentially huge bout later in the year, whilst Koshikawa is primed for a domestic title fight, and both will be ticking over.
Title bout announcements also came through the week, with several notable bouts being announced, one way or another.
Etsuko to defend WBO title against Thai challenger
The highest profile bout revealed this week was the WBO female Minimumweight title bout, which Thai sources revealed would see Etsuko Tada defending her belt against a 20 year old Thai challenger on April 27th. The bout is expected to be one of a number of world title fights on the card. It should be a straight forward win for the talented champion, but will at least keep her ticking over whilst awaiting a shot at the WBC title.
Elorde Vs Kawashima set for WBO Asia Pacific title!
Filipino fighter Juan Miguel Elorde will defend his WBO Asia Pacific Super Bantamweight against talented Japanese title challenger Shohei Kawashima, on March 25th. This is a pretty interesting bout, and one that Elorde can ill afford to lose, given he has a #2 WBO world ranking, and a loss here would end any dreams he has of getting a world title shot
Saka and Noynay to battle for WBO Asia Pacific title
A second WBO Asia Pacific title fight to be announced this week was a Super Featherweight title bout between Kosuke Saka and Joe Noynay, which will take place on April 20th. This is an interesting fight, and one we are really looking forward to, with our fingers crossed that it will be featured on Boxing Raise.
Saito and Kimura to unify titles on April 18th
On the Japanese level we now know that Yuta Saito and Hayato Kimura will battle on April 18th to unify the Japanese Bantamweight regular and interim titles. Saito was supposed to defend the belt in December before falling ill, leading to Kimura winning the interim belt. This should be a very fan friendly contest, and the winner could find themselves moving into a regional title fight later in 2019.
This past hasn't been a busy one for Asian boxing news, it has had some interesting news stories over the past few days.
Donnie Nietes vacates, Ioka Vs Palicte to be ordered?
It was revealed that Filipino great Donnie Nietes (42-1-5, 23) would be honoured for his career in December, during the next WBO Convention, and that he had vacated the WBO Super Flyweight title, rather than face mandatory challenger and fellow Filipino Aston Palicte (25-2-1, 21). Interestingly the next highest ranked available contender with the WBO is Kazuto Ioka (23-2, 13) [井岡一翔], so that could give us a really good fight to crown a new champion.
Nietes' reason for vacating is that he wants to pursue career defining fights, so the suggestion is that his next contest will be something very big and very exciting.
Srisaket Vs Estrada II set for April 26th!
Nietes' vacating was one of two big Super Flyweight stories this past week, with the other being the news that Srisaket Sor Rungvisai (47-4-1, 41) [ศรีสะเกษ นครหลวงโปรโมชั่น] and Juan Francisco Estrada (38-3, 26) have a date and venue for their highly anticipated rematch. We now know that this bout will take place on April 26th at the Forum in Los Angeles.
The two fought a brilliant bout in early 2018
Ancajas Vs Funai heading to the US!
More Super Flyweight news!
Although there's not been a date or venue set for the IBF Super Flyweight mandatory title bout between defending champion Jerwin Ancajas (30-1-2, 20) mandatory challenger Ryuichi Funai (31-7, 22) [船井 龍一], it has all but been confirmed that the bout will be taking place Stateside. Ancajas, who works with Top Rank, were always expected to get the fight in the US for ESPN but this weeks news also revealed that the contest was being pencilled in for April.
MP Promotions March 23rd card full released!
Filipino promotional outfit MP Promotions, run by Manny Pacquiao, revealed the full show details for their March 23rd card and it's a bit of a doozy with two world title eliminators, one at Bantamweight and one at Minimumweight, an interesting match up between Ronnie Baldonado (13-1-1, 9) battle Elias Joaquino (12-3-2, 6) and the international debut of Chinese hopeful Lei Wang (2-0, 1). The card is well worth making a note of, though looks like it will be a tricky one to watch if you're not inside the Philippines.
The world title eliminators for this show will be an IBF Bantamweight world title eliminator, as Michael Dasmarinas (28-2-1, 19) and Kenny Demecillo (14-4-2, 8) and a Samuel Salva (16-0, 10) taking on Rene Mark Cuarto (16-1-1, 9), both of which should be very competitive.
Sharipova turns down rival countries for Olympic place
The weekly Firuza Sharipova (9-1, 4) [фируза шарипова] stories continued to come from her press department, who this week told the Central Asian boxing press that Sharipova had turned down a $1,000,000 offer to compete at the 2020 Olympics for a team from Asia. The way Sharipova stories have come out this year we're expecting to see something believable at some point, until then however we'll enjoy these stories which are significantly more entertaining than her in ring career has been recently. It's a shame that we keep see these stories, because she's a good fighter, but it appears that these stories mean more to her and her team than actually fighting!
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).