Yesterday it was announced that the former captain of the Osaka University of Commerce boxing team Kaito Yamazaki [山崎海斗] was heading to the professional ranks!
Yesterday Yamazaki took part in a press conference at the Mutoh Gym in Osaka where he stated "My goal is to be a world champion."
As an amateur Yamazaki went 20-11, though managed to finish third in the National Polity and was shown to be a heavy handed fighter, with a particularly powerful right hand.
The plan for him is to take his protest in the near future and make his professional debut before the end of 2021.
Despite not having a deep and successful amateur record it appears that Yamazaki has been scouted, and trainer Kosuke Takeichi has started that he has seen areas for Yamazaki to grow.
A few days ago we reported that Takuma Inoue (14-1, 3) [井上拓真] had vacated the OPBF Bantamweight title that he had won in January against Keita Kurihara (15-6, 13) [栗原慶太]. Interesting he is one of three Japanese men to vacate titles recently.
One of those other men to vacate was Suzumi Takayama (3-0, 3) [高山涼深], who officially vacated the Japanese Youth Super Flyweight title a few days ago. Sadly for Takayama he never actually defended the belt, which he won in October 2019,. He was scheduled to defend it last November, but opponent Hiroto Yashiro (2-0, 2) [矢代博斗] was forced to pull out of the bout, forcing it to be cancelled at short notice.
It should be noted that Takayama is 24 years old and that the limit for a Japanese Youth champion, so him vacating isn't much of a surprise.
The other man to vacate was a bit of a surprise and that was OPBF Super Featherweight champion Hironori Mishiro (10-0-1, 3) [三代大訓], who has given up the title after 4 defenses. He won the belt in 2018, when he defeated Carlo Magali, and defended it against solid competition in the form of Masaru Sueyoshi, Takuya Watanabe, Ryo Takenaka and Yoshimitsu Kimura.
Notably Mishiro's last bout came at Lightweight, when he defeated Masayuki Ito in December 2020, and we suspect he's vacating the title to campaign full time at Lightweight. If that's the case then we could potentially be seeing a brilliant match up between Mishiro and triple crown champion Shuichiro Yoshino (13-0, 10) [吉野 修一郎], who currently holds the JBC, OPBF and WBO Asia Pacific titles. Fingers crossed that is next for Mishiro!
This past weekend we had a really interesting card from Thailand as TL Promotions put on their latest show under "The Fighter" banner. The card featured two noteworthy bouts and both of those bouts were followed up by some pretty interesting news stories.
One of those stories was in regards to a match up between Tanes Ongjunta (8-1, 4) [จอมโว ก.ศักดิ์ลำพูน] and former world champion Kompayak TC Muay Thai (61-12, 41), [คมพยัคฆ์ ทีซีมวยไทย].
According to Komthai this will be Kompayak's final bout and he is now retiring following his long career, which began more than 20 years ago!
Although never a superstar of boxing Kompayak has had incredible career behind him. He has been a credit to Thai boxing, a true stalwart of the Thai scene and the type of fighter who has done so much more in the sport than many realise. He has reached the pinnacle of the sport, winning the WBC Light Flyweight in 2011, featured in instant classics, against Adrian Hernandez and Koki Eto, he has fought on the road, and has gone on to help bring the new generation of Thai fighters through.
The other news story regards teenage prospect Phoobadin Yoohanngoh (11-0, 6) [แสงอาทิตย์ ลูกทรายกองดิน], aka Sangarthit Looksaikongdin, who defeated former world title challenger Chonlatarn Piriyapinyo (61-8, 41) [ชลธาร อ.พิริยะภิญโญ], aka Suriya Tatakhun, over the weekend.
Following his win Phoobadin appeared to call out Apichet Petchmanee (8-0, 2) [อภิเชษฐ เพชรมณี], who's in action on April 3rd defending his WBC Asia Lightweight title against Kaewfah Tor Buamas (29-7, 19) [แก้วฟ้า สวนปาล์มฟาร์มนก], aka Krai Setthaphon. In all honest there isn't too much competition left in Thailand for Phoobadin and Apichet is one of the very few interesting match ups left at home for him. Given his call out was public there is real hope this bout will take place.
Outside of Apichet the only other potential bouts for the unbeaten Phoobadin at home are bouts against Thai based Dutchman Nick Frese (10-1, 8), the aforementioned Kaewfah Tor Buamas, former Apichet foe Musheg Adoian (7-3, 7), who's a Thai based Armenian, and former world title challenger Downua Ruawaiking (16-1, 13) [ดาวเหนือ เรือไวกิ้ง], aka Apinun Khongsong. Outside of that small number of men he will need to begin looking at international opponents.
Earlier today 3150 Fight Club chairman Koki Kameda [亀田 興毅] took part in a press conference along with Masato Yamashita, the head of Shinsei Promotions, to announce a card set to take place at the EDION Arena on May 5th.
By it's self that wouldn't be huge news, given Shinsei put on lots of shows in West Japan and work with a number of local promoters.
This however was news worthy as they announced the the main event would be the ring return of former Bantamweight world champion Tomoki Kameda (36-3, 20) [亀田和毅], who has been out of the ring since July 2019, when he lost to Rey Vargas.
Whilst it is fantastic news to see Tomoki back in the ring it is worth noting that his opponent is an underwhelming one, with the former champion taking on Hironori Miyake (9-10-2, 1) [三宅寛典] in a scheduled 8 rounder. That's the same Miyake that was stopped in 4 rounds by a debuting Keisuke Matsumoto last year.
At the press conference to announce the bout Mr Yamashita explained "I and Chairman Koki each searched for Kameda's opponent, but it was difficult to find it, only Miyake gave himself up as a big game." It should be noted however that they were rumoured to have only been looking at right handed fighters, which may have ruled out a number of potential opponents.
Interestingly Kameda stated "I want to do various things on the day. If I can do live distribution," what makes this particularly interesting is the fact Shinsei themselves have been doing online distribution of shows via the Boxing Real YouTube channel, and that would almost certainly be a possible option for this event.
As well as Kameda's bout there will be 6 other contests scheduled for the event. From those 6 only one appears to be officially confirmed. That is a bout between WBA world ranked Featherweight Hiroshige Osawa (36-5-4, 21) [大沢宏晋] and and 35 year old Chiharu Takasuka (7-7-1, 4) [高須賀千春], in what also looks to be a pretty underwhelming contest.
It should be noted that Osawa has been out of the ring since October 2019, and was ordered to fight in a WBA world title eliminator last year, before Covid19 essentially froze boxing and ended up seeing that eliminator being ignored.
Earlier today our good friend Ian Melodillar informed us that there are reports in the Philippines of a very interesting Super Bantamweight bout set for May 29th in Binan City.
The match up in question would see the hard hitting Jhunriel Ramonal (17-8-6, 10) battle against former Chinese world title challenger Qiu Xiao Jun (23-4, 11) [裘晓君]. Interestingly the match would also be for a host of minor titles, 4 in fact, with the IBO, WBC, IBF and WBA all having some title on the line for the contest.
If the bout does go ahead, as the reports suggest, it would be Qiu's first bout since late 2018, when he stopped Robert Udtohan in Thailand, and would see the "Dragon" trying to kick start his career, which has never really recovered since his 2016 loss to Nehomar Cermeno. It would also be his first bout in the Philippines.
As for Ramonal the bout would be his first since the very end of 2019, when he travelled over to Japan and stopped Yusaku Kuga inside a round. That win had followed an even more impressive victory, a brutal TKO win against Shingo Wake, in October 2019.
At the moment the bout doesn't appear to be a done deal as such, but with growing talk of the contest it seems like it's close to being finalised, and would be among the first international bouts in the Philippines since the Covid19 pandemic saw boxing in the country being stopped last year.
News! We try and give you the most interesting news stories from the Asian boxing world!