HCMC Vietnam March 31, 2020
Bui Trong Thai has long been one of the most talked about and respected boxers in HCMC Vietnam, and many fans will be getting their very first look at this dynamo when he debuts in Manila on May 9th. Thai has fought many of his nation’s best fighters, including amongst these being great battles with "the Trigger" Tran Van Thao. Trigger is Vietnam’s best known professional boxer, a former WBC Asia title holder and winner of 13 of his 14 pro bouts. Those who have sparred Bui Trong Thai have heaped praise on the army champion, none more so than recent Olympics qualifier and total knockout merchant Nguyen Van Duong. “I have sparred with Thai often. He has a really good work rate, changes direction often, and throws a lot of questions at his rivals like I really find testing. Even though he is smaller than my weight category, he is a very competitive spar!” said Vietnam prodigy Duong. VSP boxing gym HCMC coach DJ Duy Duy told Victory 8 that Thai is one of the best talents he has seen in Vietnam.
Lorenz Ladrada is a huge talent hailing from the southern island of Mindanao in the Philippines. He is the winner of all 7 of his fights, and at only 22 years of age, has a big future in the sport. Lorenz has boxed since a young boy, and amongst his victories, is a winner of two "Pinoy Pride" shows in classy fashion. For those who don’t know, the Pinoy Pride events have a reputation as showcasing some of the best emerging talent in the Philippines. Prominent in these events were former team mates the calibre of Mark Magsayo (who recently signed with Manny Pacquiao promotions) and outstanding prospect Virgel Vitor. This boom youngster has sparred some of the world's best in Japan and Korea, including the likes of Naoya Inoue and unbeaten Australian Andrew Maloney.
This May 9th bout looms as a formidable test at debut for Bui Trong Thai, but this Vietnam wildcat will ensure that this fight has all the ingredients of a main event. Win, lose or draw - these two warriors have ability plus, and fans should follow this match closely as there are big things to come in future for both !
*story sourced from Victory 8 Boxing
Earlier today the Japan Boxing Commission (JBC) and Japan Boxing Association held a meeting to discuss the on going global issue. Sadly the discussion ended any hope of boxing returning to Japan in April, as had been hoped previously.
The meeting today saw the April 5th East Japan Rookie of the Year card being postponed, a show that was set to be streamed on YouTube next weekend, and the April 26th West Japan Rookie of the Year, which was set to be at the Green Tsuda gym.
The plan isn't to cancel the Rookie of the Year event, or any other traditional events, but to chance their time table for them. This means that the qualification events will not be pencilled to be in July or August with the regional finals being pencilled in for December and the All Japan final for February or March, next year.
The meeting also saw an agreement that fighters who turned 37 before being able to compete in Rookie of the Year will be allowed to compete, bending the retirement rules for fighters.
What is currently unclear is whether that change will apply to other fighters, notable former world champion Katsunari Takayama (31-8-0-1, 12) [高山 勝成], who was scheduled to fight on May 10th, 2 days before his 37th birthday, but now won't be able to.
Takayama's issue isn't related to the Rookie of the Year events, but is still a related issue, as the proposed May 2nd date for boxing to begin returning to Japan on a normal scheduled has now been pushed back to May 15th, 3 days after Takayama's 37th birthday.
The first show, now, set for the return will be Slugfest 14 on May 19th.
As is always the case with these updates, they are subject to change based on the ever developing situation in regards to an ever changing global event.
Monster’s Best Fights
Boxing landed in Japan in 1854 and with the arrival of American sailors. Japan already had a rich history of fighting sports, including sumo wrestling, karate and kendo, and matches were organised between Japanese fighters and American boxers. While other sports have found more fans amongst the Japanese, boxing became poplar enough that several specialist gyms were founded, and the All-Japan Amateur Federation was founded in 1926. Japanese boxing has come a long way since then, producing many good professional fighters. But it is their latest product, Naoya Inoue, who is causing a stir on the international scene and raising the profile of the sport in his home nation. Inoue, nicknamed ‘The Monster’ is a three-weight world champion as well as being unified bantamweight world champion. Since he turned professional in 2012 he has had a number of nail-biting fights. Here are some of the highlights.
Inoue vs Donaire, Nov 7th 2019
Voted Ring Magazine’s Fight of The Year, Inoue vs Donaire was an edge-of-your-seat battle that went on for the full 12 rounds. Inoue started on top, but a left hook from Donaire in the second round gave him a fractured orbital socket and double vision. He also fought on with a broken nose to receive a unanimous decision from the judges and take home the Muhammad Ali trophy. This truly was a meeting of champions and, as you’d expect from the Super Series final, probably Inoue’s best fight to date.
Inoue vs Payano, July 20th 2019
On Inoue’s first venture into the World Boxing Super Series, he came up against Juan Carlo Payano in the quarter finals. Nine years his senior, Payano brought a decade of extra experience to the fight, but that counted for nothing when Inoue swung his famous killer right hand. A quick one-two sent Payano to the mat and the victory was Inoue’s with a 70 second KO: the fastest victory of his professional career.
Inoue vs Hernández April 6th 2014
The fight that saw Inoue defending his WBC light flyweight champion was another one of his best. He dominated his opponent, Thai boxer Samartlek Kokietgym, from start to finish. Inoue won every round on the scorecards and even managed to drop Kokietgym not once, but twice. He finally got his TKO in the 11th round, reminding everyone watching why he thoroughly deserved his title.
Inoue is already proving himself to be a force of nature, and he is only 26. With so many more career years ahead of him, there is no doubt that he will produce even more stunning bouts than those recounted above. One of those, his scheduled unification fight against John Riel Casimero on April 25th had been postponed because of the global pandemic, meaning that boxing fans will have to wait even longer to watch these two masters match fists in the ring.
.Last week we reported that former multi-time world Minimumweight champion Katsunari Takayama (31-8-0-1, 12) [高山 勝成] needed to fight before his 37th birthday, on May 12th, to be granted a professional license. It now appears he and his team have sorted that out, with the announcement this morning that Takayama will return on May 10th.
The popular "Lightning Kid" is pencilled in to fight 2 days before his birthday on "Champion's Road 68" at the "El Osaka" in Osaka.
The bout is set to be a 6 round Flyweight bout with Takayama taking on 20 year old foe Aoba Mori (6-2) [森 青葉].
The bout will be Takayama's first professional bout since August 2016, following which he retired from professional boxing to chase a shot at amateur glory. Sadly for Takayama he failed to make it to the final stages of the Japanese national championships last year and decided to return to the professional ranks this year.
As we all know there is a global situation essentially putting global boxing on pause right now, and this show may be cancelled down the line, but this bout was announced this morning, suggesting that the show is almost certainly taking place, even if there are going to be various conditions attached to it.
Save Japan Boxing campaign
Earlier today the East Japan Boxing Association began a campaign dubbed "Save Japan Boxing", to help protect the sport in the country from the sweeping global issue that is now effecting pretty much everyone in one way or another.
The campaign will be pushed heavily as part of the April 5th East Japan Rookie of the Year show in Tokyo, which as previously reported will be shown on YouTube for free through the A-sign boxing channel, to make up for the fact it will not have spectators in the venue.
Those that follow us on twitter will see us retweeting the live link for that event when it becomes available. This show will begin at mid-day local time, and will feature what is essentially 2 events, with each event featuring 8 bouts. Giving us 16 fights during the day.
As well as the YouTube show on April 5th there will also be a t-shirt made available, as seen above, to help raise funds. From what we understand these will be offered to fans who "tip" or "fund" the event, and will be signed by Japanese world champions.
There will also be a video released to "Save Japan Boxing" lead by some of the biggest names in Japanese boxing.
All of that will obviously be pushed with the hashtag "#SaveJapanBoxing" which is being tagged in English, and is being run with the English phrase through the entire campaign.
As well as the April 5th show there is also a scheduled April 26th show, for the West Japan Rookie of the Year. Again there is no spectators, and at the moment it's unclear if this will be streamed live or not.
We ask, all of our readers, to do what they can to tune in to the April 5th card and do what they can to enjoy some boxing. Whilst it might not be elite level action the Rookie of the Year shows are great fun and given the absolute lack of boxing world wide at the moment this is one of the rare times the boxing world can get behind a single event. Given none of the fighters are well known it's a great opportunity for fans to go in "blind" and not have their personal opinions dictating things and instead just enjoy the sport for what it is.
As this is a changing story please see April's Rookie of the Year events postponed, boxing's Japanese return delayed for an update
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