Earlier today Japanese sources reported an intriguing clash had been signed for April 28th at the Kobe Central Gymnasium. The bout in question will see former WBA Super Bantamweight champion Shun Kubo (12-1, 9) [久保隼] facing off with former world title challenger Hiroshige Osawa (33-4-4, 19) [大沢 宏晋], in a bout that will see Kubo move up to Featherweight and look to restart his career whilst Osawa looks to continue his good run of recent results.
Kubo claimed the WBA Super Bantamweight world title last April, when he scored a 10th round retirement win over veteran Nehomar Cermeno. Sadly however his reign was a short lived one as he was stopped in 9 rounds by Daniel Roman in September, as he attempted to record his first defense of the title. The Shinsei man, 27, has always had a long and gangly frame that should be filled out better at 126lbs, but this will be his first contest since the defeat to Roman and it is a very tricky comeback fight for the man some viewed as Shinsei's next star.
Although less successful at world level Osawa is arguably more well known, thanks to his 2016 fight in Las Vegas with WBO Featherweight champion Oscar Valdez. Although Osawa was stopped in 7 rounds by Valdez he did show the heart and determination that we typically see with Japanese fighters. Since that loss he has reeled off a trio of wins, including notable victories over Julio Cortez and Alexander Mejia, who were both world ranked prior to facing Osawa. Although clearly a solid contender Osawa is now 32 and another loss likely spells the end of his dreams to become a world champion.
The bout will headline a Shinsei Gym card, under the "Real Spirits" banner and will essentially be a worldtitle eliminator, with both men having WBA world rankings at Featherweight.
At the moment no details regarding the under-card have been released, but with so many top Shinsei fighters in action in March we're next expecting too much depth this show.
Earlier today Japanese fight fans at the Korakuen Hall, as well as subscribers to the Boxingraise service, had the chance to see former Japanese amateur standout Chaoz Minowa (5-0, 4) [チャオズ箕輪] return to the ring for the first time since May 2017.
The talented Japanese 30 year old was up against Thai southpaw Superball Sithsaithing (0-2) and needed little time to feel her way into the bout. Almost immediately Minowa was applying intelligent pressue on her foe, cutting off the ring well and looking to land her powerful right hand. Before the first round was over she had dropped the Thai with a vicious combination and looked like she was intent on having a short night. The Thai had made it out of the opening round but Minowa had no intention of letting her see out the second round, landing a vicious series of body shots before Superball dropped for the second time, and was counted out.
Following the bout Minowa stated she was looking for a world title fight later this year, and it seems her focus is on the WBO Female Light Flyweight title. Last year we saw Tenkai Tsunami (24-12, 13) [天海 ツナミ] become the mandatory for that belt, which is now vacant following Naoko Fujioka giving up the title last year.
It nows seems like we could see a potentially thrilling clash between Minowa and Tsunami for the title, later this year, in what would be a genuinely enthralling contest.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
The WBC have been known for their confusing and often inconsistent decisions. These have included things like their bizarre treatment of Graciano Rocchigiani back in the late 1990's, the inexplicable creation of the Huichol belt and various other decisions that have left fans, fighters and comission wondering what they were doing.
The latest chapter in the long history of the WBC's ridiculous decisions was revealed earlier today when they decided to disreagrd their own WBC "interim" female Flyweight title.
The belt was won by Japan's talented Nana Yoshikawa (8-2, 4) [好川 菜々] back in December, when she travelled to Mexico and defeated Delia Lopez (10-7-2, 5) with a split decision in Tecamac, Mexico.
In the days that followed Yoshikawa made a donation to the Mexican earthquake appeal, giving $12,000 (Mexican Peso's) to the appear and the WBC sent out one of their many emails saying "champion Nana Yoshikawa". It seemed clear, at the time, that the WBC saw her as a champion and that the bout between herself and Lopez was a bout for the interim title, with WBC Prsident Mauricio Sulaiman even attending the announcement of the bout!
Today however they have decided that that bout doesn't matter, and that Yoshikawa's win wasn't really for the title, or even for the position as a mandatory for the full title.
The regular title has recently become vacant, with Jessica Chavez vacating the belt due to pregnancy and becoming the "Chamoion in Recess". The assumption was that Yoshikawa would be upgraded to the full champion following Chavez's decision but instead the WBC have told Yoshikawa and the JBC that the vacant title is vacant, and that the bout between Yoshikawa and Lopez was a non-title bout. That has been reported alongside a request from Osvaldo Küchle of Promociones del Pueblo to try and get the vacant title to be contested in a bout between Ibeth Zamora Silva (28-6, 12) and Melissa McMorrow (10-6-3, 1).
The JBC have been in touch with the WBC who have stated that the Yoshikawa Vs Lopez bout wasn't for a title afterall. The JBC have asked for an explanation, and with good reason given that the WBC themselves ran a number of stories themselves regarding the bout.
On December 11th, several days before the Yoshikawa/Lopez bout, the WBC stated on their own website that "Japan's Nana Yoshikawa fights Mexican Delia Lopez for the World Boxing Council interim super flyweight title" a clear indicator that the title was on the line going into the contest. Less than a week later they posted an article titled "NANA YOSHIKAWA NEW WBC INTERIM CHAMP", which stated "Japanese fighter Nana Yoshikawa traveled all the way from Japan to the State of Mexico to fight for the WBC interim super flyweight female championship" and "Nana, who had trained long and hard in her homeland, won this prized WBC championship."
From what we understand the JBC have requested more details from the WBC, and some form of an explanation for their decision to not honour their own interim title. The bout between Silva and McMorrow hasn't yet been officially announced by the WBC but does look like it will be taking place later in March, with Televisa reporting it as if it was a done deal. If does occur for the title there will have to be some serious questions asked of the WBC, their "interim" title process and whether or not they even regard their own titles with any value.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp
Earlier this month we reported the news of several under-card bouts set to take place on the February 28th show headlined by Ryo Matsumoto's (21-1, 19) [松本亮] world title challenge against WBA Super Bantamweight champion Daniel Roman (23-2-1, 9). Those bouts included a 50-50 match up between Quaye Peter (10-9-2, 6) and Yuichi Ideta (13-10-1, 7) [出田裕一],apotentially explosive encounter between Japanese Youth Light Welterweight champion Andy Hiraoka (11-0, 8) [平岡アンディ] and Fumisuke Kimura (6-2, 4) [木村文祐] as well as generational bout between novice Kazuaki Miyamoto (5-1, 4) [宮本知彰] and veteran Seiichi Okada (20-6-1, 11) [岡田誠一].
It's now been confirmed that Hiraoka won't be the only Japanese Youth champion on the show, with the heavy handed Tsuyoshi Tameda (15-3-2, 13) [溜田 剛士] also beign added to the show.
The Japanese Youth Featherweight champion will be fighting in his second bout as an Ohashi gym fighter and whilst he won't be defending his title he will be looking to keep his current stoppage run alive as he takes on a Thai foe in a scheduled 8 rounder.
The exciting Tameda is unlikely to be given much of a test here but it's great to see him in the ring again so soon after his last bout, which took place in November.
The 24 year old puncher was one of the final fighters of note at the legendary Yonekura gym and with Ohashi behind him he's expected to rebuild well following back to back losses in 2016 to Simpiwe Vetyeka and Reiya Abe, and could wellfind himself in the mix for senior titles before the end of 2018. His addittion to the card is certainly a welcome one and should provide some additional fireworks on the under-card
Less than 2 weeks ago we reported that talented Japanese hopeful Takeshi Inoue (12-0-1, 7) [井上 岳志] had chosen to vacate the Japanese Light Middleweight title, as he prioritised moving towards a worled title ahead of defending the domestic crown. The decision from Inoue was that instead of making a mandatory defense of the domestic title he would instead defend his OPBF and WBO Asia Pacific titles on April 26th in an IBF world title eliminator against veteran Yuki Nonaka (31-9-3, 10) [野中 悠樹].
As a result of Inoue's decision it forced a cancellation of the previously announced Champion Carnival bout against former Japanese Welterweight champion Nobuyuki Shindo (19-4-1, 8) [新藤寛之], which was originallyed scheduled for the April 26th date that the Inoue Vs Nonaka bout ended up taking.
Today it was announced that Shindo would still bhe getting his shot at the Japanese Light Middleweight title, bout would have to wait until May 15th, which is when he will face Ryosuke Maruki (15-4-1, 10) [丸木 凌介] for the vacant title.
For Shindo the bout is a chance to become a 2-weight Japanese champion, and build on back to back stoppage wins over Sanosuke Sasaki and Cobra Suwa. For Maruki the bout will be his second shot at the Japanese Light Middleweight title, following a close loss to the aforementioned Nonaka back in 2016. Since his loss to Noanaka we've seen a rampant Maruki score 3 straight stoppages, and the 26 year old is looking like a force to be reckoned with on the domestic scene.
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