This coming weekend we get the chance to see a new WBC Flyweight champion being crowned as Nawaphon Por Chokchai (36-0, 28) [นวพล นครหลวงโปรโมชั่น] battles with Mexican Juan Hernandez (33-2, 24) for the title vacant by Roman Gonzalez last year.
Today the two men under-went their medicals for the bout and both passed with no issues for the contest.
We've not been given a great deal of information from the medical but we have been informed that both men had identical blood pressure results, 120/80, whilst Nawaphon had a lower pulse rate, at 42 beats per minute compardd to Hernandez' 62 beats per minute.
From what we understand Nawaphon was the shorter man, but that wasn't unexpected and his team feel confident that their game plan will be effective against the battle hardened Mexican. Not only were they confident of picking up the win, but also in stopping the Mexican.
Nawaphon and Hernandez battle for vacant WBC crown!
(Image courtesy of Thairec.com)
The next few days are hectic in Asian boxing with 4 major televised cards between now and the end of the weekend.
The first of those will take place on Wednesday morning in Thailand and will see WBA Minimumweight champion Knockout CP Freshmart (14-0, 6) [น็อคเอาท์ ซีพีเฟรชมาร์ท] defending his title against Japanese challenger Go Odaira (13-5-3, 1) [大平 剛]. For fight fans wanting to watch this bout it will be aired on Thai Channel 7 at 14:28 local time, and will be featured on a broadcast that will run until 17:00 local time.
The following day attention turns to Japan where WBC Bantamweight champion Shinsuke Yamanaka (26-0-2, 18) [山中慎介] defends his title against Carlos Carlson (22-1, 13). This bout will be aired live in Japan on terrestrial channel NTV, along with it's nation wide affiliates, with the broadcast set to start at 19:56 local time, and runs until 20:54 local time. Unfortunately this broadcast is only scheduled to feature the main event with the under-card bouts not set to be aired until March 12th, when they will be shown on G+ between 16:30 and 19:30 local time.
The next of the major cards comes on Saturday, in fact on Saturday we get two major shows in Asia.
The more significant of those shows comes from Thailand and will see Nawaphon Por Chokchai (36-0, 28) [นวพล นครหลวงโปรโมชั่น] battle with Mexican Juan Hernandez (33-2, 24) for the WBC Flyweight title. From what we've been told this will be aired at 18:00 local time on Thai Channel 3HD (also known as channel 33), but at the time of writing the channel's website doesn't actually seem to list the show, rather frustratingly.
The less significant of the Asian cards comes from Japan and will be aired on G+ between 17:45 and 22:00 local time. The headline bout here will see Shuhei Tsuchiya (22-4, 18) [土屋 修平] defending his Japanese Lightweight title title against Kazuhiro Nishitani (16-4-1, 8) [西谷 和宏], and features a host of other notable names from the Kadoebi Houseki Gym.
Although it's not clear we have also been informed that IBF female Light Flyweight champion Naoko Shibata (16-3-1, 5) [柴田 直子] will have her rematch with Alondra Garcia (16-3-1, 1) shown on RingTV on Saturday, though the details on this do appear unclear at the time of writing.
This coming Thursday fight fans in Japan will get the chance to see Japanese Super Featherweight champion Kenichi Ogawa (20-1, 16) [尾川 堅一] defending his title against mandatory challenger Satoru Sugita (12-3-4, 7) [杉田 聖], in what will be the second bout between the two men in the space of 11 months. When the two men fought first Ogawa, who put on a less than great performance, managed to score a a 9th round KO to record his first defense of the title and papered over another other wise disappointing performance.
The bout has, strangely, attracted enough attention with Western bookmakers who have carried the bout, albeit with only one market available.
The bookies have got Ogawa as the clear betting favourite, priced at at 1/6 with a number of Bookies. Although the champuion was made to look lost and cofused against Sugita in their bout he has remained active since then and picked up two wins, proving both his boxing ability and his power, and will also be looking to make a statement here with talk being that a win will secure him Teiken's financial backing for a world title fight later in the year.
The talented Sugita had put in a great performance against Ogawa last time out but has been relatively inactive since that bout, fighting only once since loss, taking an 8 round decision over Tsuyoshi Tojo last October. Sugita is priced around 4/1 with most bookies, though you can actually get on Sugita at 23/5, and although he should be the under-dog he showed enough against Ogawa in their first bout to suggest that he could, potentially be a banana skin here.
For fans interested in a draw the odds on that are widely available at 33/1.
Sadly the "To Win" market is the only one available here, at least at the time of writing, but it's certainly a well priced market and one that should interest a few fans who have followed the rise of Ogawa, and his less than great performances in recent bouts.
Related - Ogawa looks to shine in rematch with Sugita
On Thursday fight fans in Japan will be getting a stacked card, featuring a number of notable fighters on the undercard. Among those on that are card will be former multi-time world champion Brian Viloria (36-5-0-2, 22), who will be making his Japanese debut as he takes on Mexican foe Ruben Montoya (14-4-1, 9), and former world title challenger Ryosuke Iwasa (22-2, 14) [岩佐 亮佑], who be battling Filpiino foe Glenn Medura (8-1-1, 5).
Given the profiles of of both Viloria and Iwasa it should come as nor surprise to see both fighters are clear betting favourites, in fact they are essentially unbackable.
Viloria, who was last seen in the ring in 2015 suffering a stoppage loss to Roman Gonzalez, is priced at 1/100 to defeat Montoya, who has lost 3 of his last 5, including a stoppage loss to the little known Samuel Gutierrez. A win for Montoya is priced at 16/1, showing the huge under-dog status that he has. Whilst clearly not favoured here Montoya does have a slim chance of picking up a victory, and has scored an upset win over Efrain Perez in recent bouts.
As for those perhaps interested in the draw that has been priced at 40/1.
Like Viloria we've also seen Iwasa priced at 1/100 and we've seen his foe, the little known Medura, priced at 16/1. For Iwasa the price makes sense with the Japanese fighter only lost to world class fighters, in the shape of Shinsuke Yamanaka and Lee Haskins, and looking in good form recently with one sided wins in his last 3 bouts. He has been active, in good shape and isn't coming back from a loss or a long lay off. As for Medura he's a Filipino who has never never competed outside of his native Philippines, nor has he ever faced anyone of any note with all of his opponents having been Filipino domestic level fighters. Whilst we have seen Iwasa struggle in the past with under-dogs, notably Richard Pumipic, it's really hard to imagine anything but a straight forward win here in what is expected to be a tune up for "Eagle Eye".
As with the other bout the draw here is priced at 40/1.
Earlier today fight fans in Japan, and subscibers to Boxingraise, got a total treat of a show as they got "Dangan 176". The main event of that card saw "Dangan 176", will saw Masayuki Kuroda (26-7-3, 15) [黒田 雅之] to to war with Yuta Matsuo (12-3-1, 6) [ユータ松尾] in a bout over the Japanese "interim" Flyweight title.
The bout, which was put together for the Champion Carnival due to the injury to Takuya Kogawa, was arguably the best fight on Japanese soil so far this year and was a thriller form the opening round to the final bell.
The bout started hot with both men landing some heavy leather to both the head and body. The great start didn't feel like an opening round, but it ended up serving as a warm up for a war that seemed to just get better and better.
Kuroda's extra class, and higher level experience, seemed to be the difference maker at times but Matsuo refused to back down and found a home for some devastating body shots and brutal right hands up top. The work of Matsuo to keep him in the bout in the first half of the contest, with the open scoring after round 5 showing the competitive nature of the fight, with the judges having the contest 48-48、49-46 and 48-47.
From the first half of the fight the high point was round 4 when the two men engaged in a round of phone booth action which seemed to show just how much the contest meant to both fighters. It seemed to be one of Matsuo's best rounds but essentially saw him being unable to hurt Kuroda no matter what he seemed to land.
We had a few more toe-to-toe rounds, though it seemed like Kuroda's control of the bout picked up between round 6 and 8 as Matsuo began to slow and his experience over the 10 rounds started to show. It wasn't ever like Matsuo looked close to being stopped, but Kuroda did began to man handle him a bit more frequently than he had in the earlier stages. Despite having fallen well behind Matsuo seemed to get a second wind in round 9 as he continued to keep the war going, whilst Kuroda tried to box a bit more, and keep something in the tank for the final round.
That final round ended up being something very special, as the two men put it all on the line and spent almost the entire 3 minutes trading blows around the ring up close. The shots they landed seemed to be constant and although neither man looked particularly hurt you could hear the shots above the chanting crowd in what will likely be one of the best rounds in a Japanese ring during 2017.
Sadly for Matuso his great effort was in vain as Kuroda took a decision with scores of 97-94, twice, and 96-94. He was a worthy winner and will now likely move on to a rematch with regular champion Takuya Kogawa, who beat him last year, later in the year. For Matsuo the loss was such a valiant one that he comes out with an enhanced reputation, and we'll admit we'd love to see him again, potentially in a second meeting with Kuroda given just how exaciting and action packed this bout was.
(Image courtesy of daily.co.jp)
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