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.
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).