We've been hearing for a while that Takashi Uchiyama (22-0-1, 18) would be defending his WBA Super Featherweight world title at some point in May. Sadly we weren't give much more to go on other than that the bout would be in Tokyo and maybe one of a trio of world title bouts, all feature Watanabe gym fighters.
Yesterday it emerged that Uchiyama was in talks with a notable opponent who may be his next challenger.
Those talks have been with unbeaten Thai Jomthong Chuwatana (9-0, 4), who is the current OPBF champion and is a man that is very well thought of by those in the know and those who follow Muay Thai.
Jomthong is known to have been wanting a world title fight and was though to have been targeting WBC champion Takashi Miura. It seems however that a deal with Uchiyama has become more likely with the unbeaten world champion struggling to find willing opponents.
Jomthong is best known for his fights in Muay Thai though as a boxer he has been impressive. His record is, on paper, that of a novice but in reality he's an outstanding boxer-puncher and already holds wins over the likes of Yuya Sugizaki, Dong Hyuk Kim, Ronald Pontillas and Daiki Kaneko. Also, notably, he has wins in South Korea, China and 3 in Japan suggesting that he would be more than happy to travel to fight Uchiyama.
As for Uchiyama he is the longest reigning world champion at 130lbs and has and has impressively recorded 9 defenses of the belt, including stoppages over Takashi Miura, Jorge Solis and Bryan Vazquez as well as a decision over Daiki Kaneko. Aged 35 however Uchiyama is seen as a man in the twilight of his career and he is need of "big" fights, a bout with Jomthong would fill that criteria, especially given Jomthong's achievements in Muay Thai.
At the moment the bout is only in the negotiating stages but if it's made it would be a brilliant match up on paper and one we're really hoping to see.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
The Korean boxing scene is a mess, we've mentioned it numerous times in the past. It's a butt of jokes and an easy target to slate.
Thankfully however it's not all bad and this past Friday the KBF ended their national tournament which crowned 8 Rookies as the "Rookie of the Year" and helped give those 8 novices a huge step up the proverbial boxing ladder.
Unfortunately as these men fought solely under the KBF banner none of the bouts are included on the Boxrec.com database, their records are a mystery to us and in many ways so to are the names. We've attempted to transcribe the names of the winners. If we've butchered anyone's name we're truly sorry and will welcome
From what we understand the winners were-
Bae-Yo Han (Bantamweight)
Jae-Hyun Kim (Featherweight)
Seung-Hoon Lee (Super Featherweight)-Lee was also the MVP of the tournament
Yug-Dong Hun (Lightweight)
Dong-Hee Kim (Light Welterweight)
Seo In Deok (Welterweight)
Chu-Hon Kim (Light Middleweight)
Ju Se Oh (Middleweight)
We would like to say well done to the winners and wish them the best in their future fights. We also need to, again, say it's a shame that boxrec don't include fights fought under the KBF, even if they were to just list them as "unsanctioned".
(Image courtesy of koreaboxing.or.kr)
Earlier today boxing fans in Osaka had the chance to see two Japanese world champions defend their titles. They were WBO Atomweight champion Nao Ikeyama (16-3-1, 4) and WBO female Minimumweight champion Kumiko Seeser Ikehara (6-1-2, 3).
Following their bouts the promoter of the show, Yasushi Hirayama the chairman of Futur, announced his plans for the two champions. The plans are unique and very different to almost anything we've heard in regards to professional boxing.
Hirayama hinted that the plans for the champions is to have them defend their belts in Sri Lanka in July. If the plans come to fruition they would be the first ever world title fight in the countries history, in fact it would the first professional boxing show in Sri Lanka's history.
The land now known as Sri Lanka has hosted boxing in the past, with a show as recently as November 1st 1942. Back then the country was known as the Dominion of Ceylon. Since the the country has gone through various changes, including the name change and gaining independence from the United Kingdom.
From our records the most notable title fights in the land is that is currently Sri Lanka have taken place more than 80 years ago. In 1931 Colombo hosted a bout for the Ceylon Middleweight title, that saw Gunboat Jack defeat George Wells in the 2nd round whilst 31 years previous Artie Tully defeated Jim Holloway in Diyatalawa for the South African Lightweight title.
We're not totally sure why Hirayama is talking about Sri Lanka though we do like the idea of boxing growing from East Asia into South Asia, where there really isn't much of a boxing scene.
India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Bangladesh have more than 1.4 billion people living in the area and with an untapped talent pool there is the potential for major revolution in boxing if the countries can be attracted to the sport. Fingers crossed that will happen one day and if Hirayama has seen the potential there is every chance that Futur will manage to make a foothold there before anyone else.
To some fight fans "age is just a number" to others however it's something more. Age defines where you are in terms of your career. A youngster is beginning their card, a fighter in their 20's or 30's maybe in their prime, but a fighter in their 40's is thought to be on the decline. We hope no one has told WBO Atomweight champion Nao Ikeyama (16-3-1, 4) that she's supposed to be past it.
The 45 year old Ikeyama returned to the ring earlier today for her first fight of the year as she attempted to record the second defense of her world title. Ikeyama was up against 24 year old Norj Guro (7-4-1, 4) a poor fighter but a much, much younger one. In fact it was Guro who was supposedly in her prime.
Early on things were relatively competitive though it wasn't long until Ikeyama began to set the pace, fighting fast, relying on her amazing stamina and forcing the action. Guro tried to answer back but found herself being swarmed all too often in bout that made the 45 year old look like an energetic teenager not a woman in her 40's.
By the end of round 4 the fight was essentially 1-way traffic with Guro being forced to cover up and hope to take advantages of the few moments where Ikeyama did stop punching. They were few and far between.
At the end of the fight there was no drama in regards to the scorecards with all the judges having the bout a clear win for Ikeyama with scores of 99-91, 98-92 and 98-92. IT was a clear and decisive win for the champion who really made a statement with a dominant and impressive victory.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
On paper any world title defence is good. Not all fighters reach the pinnacle and even few get to stay there for more than just a fleeting moment. Sadly however some title defenses aren't as good as others, and they certainly aren't as happy as others.
Many of the most disappointing defences come courtesy of headclashes, accidental fouls or issues outwith the typical rules of boxing.
That disappointment was a feeling felt by WBO female Minimumweight champion Kumiko Seeser Ikehara (6-1-2, 3) who made the first defence of her earlier today, though was left with a huge gash on her head following a brutal headclash with Filipino challenger Jessebelle Pagaduan (7-1-1, 4).
The bout had hardly began when the fighters clashed but it was clear that the action wasn't going to carry on. The cut on Ikehara's forehead opened up almost instantly and bled quickly.
The 2" cut is said to have required 10 stitches after the fight.
Although the bout was a painful one for Ikehara she managed to keep her title by virtue of a technical draw. It's not an ideal outcome but it's better than losing the title.
After the fight it was hinted that the two may have a rematch later in the year with the inconclusive and disappointing ending being frustrating not just for the fans but for the fighters who were both hoping to show their skills. Hopefully a rematch will allow them to do just that.
(Image courtesy of daily.co.jp)
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