On Sunday in Japan new world champion Kosei Tanaka (5-0, 2) held a press conference, his first since winning the WBO Minimumweight title on Saturday with an excellent performance against Julian Yedras (24-2, 13).
The press conference, held in Kasugai City, saw Tanaka showing off his new belt along with slightly swollen looking eyes, but clearly pleased at his achievement.
The press conference included a number of interesting remarks from Tanaka. Among them was several comments about his weight. He admitted that making 105lbs was tough however he had no intention to move up a weight yet, it is clear though that a move in weight will come at some point. Given that he's still just 19 it would seem his long term future lies at Flyweight, if not higher.
The champion admitted that he didn't yet feel like a champion. A strange admission from the young man, though a feeling that we suspect will change over the coming days when everything sinks in.
Notably Tanaka handed the boots he wore to trainer Hideyasu Ishihara, himself a former world title challenger. From what we understand Ishihara had given the boots to Tanaka ahead of the fight as a gift and Tanaka returned them, stating that he wasn't "returning" the boots but giving them back as a new gift.
Although no plans for Tanaka's next bout have been made, there have been a lot of talking about a unification bout between Tanaka and IBF champion Katsunari Takayama. The bout seems to be one that both men would want and it's certainly one that would be easy to make, though it would seemingly depend on whether or not the IBF and WBO would be happy to allow it.
For those who missed Saturday's bout, it can be seen below in full.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
When a southpaw fights an orthodox fighter we do tend to see head clashes. Fortunately we don't often see fight ending ones coming in the opening round of a fighter. Sadly however one of those rare first round headclashes occurred today in Fuji.
The bout in question saw Japanese managed Filipino Ricky Sismundo (28-8-2, 12) leave with a technical draw against Kazuya Nakano (8-4-1, 7) in a very short lived contest.
Sismundo, who challenged OPBF Lightweight champion Masayoshi Nakatani last year, was left with a nasty cut between his eyes after the accidental clash with his southpaw foe. The cut was a fight ender and refused to stop bleeding in the ring.
Although this is clearly a disappointment for both men it's fair to say they will be back in action sooner rather than later, and although the cut curtailed today's bout it certainly won't take too long to heal.
(Image courtesy of Ricky Sismundo's facebook)
Thai promotional outfit Onesongchai appear to have confirmed that a deal has been all but reached for a WBO Bantamweight world title bout between Ryo Akaho (26-1-2, 18) and Pungluang Sor Singyu (50-3, 34). Although the specifics haven't been made public the promoter, via a poster image displayed on their website, has said that the bout will be in August of this year.
The bout will be for the vacant title, that was given up earlier this year by Tomoki Kameda ahead of his bout with Jamie McDonnell. For Pungluang, who actually lost in a title bout to Tomoki, this will see him attempting to recapture a belt that he briefly held in 2012-2013 whilst Akaho will be hoping to become a world champion for the first time, having previously come up short against Yota Sato.
At the moment it's looking like the bout will be held in Thailand, giving Pungluang a huge advantage, though that hasn't yet been made totally clear. If it's in Thailand then Akaho will be seeking to become the first Japanese fighter to win a full world title in Thailand*.
At the time of writing the men are the top two ranked contenders with the WBO. Akaho is the top ranked fighter whilst Pungluang is ranked #2. With the bout seemingly done we don't expect to see either man move in the rankings, at least not until the two men fight.
*Koki Eto claimed the WBA "interim" title in Thailand with his win over Kompayak Porpramook
(Image courtesy of http://www.onesongchai.com)
Earlier today saw the ring return for former Japanese and OPBF Minimumweight champion Ryuji Hara (19-1, 11), who had been out of the ring since last October's loss to the sensational Kosei Tanaka.
Hara's loss to Tanaka saw the youngster losing the OPBF title but showing himself to be a talented and gutsy fighter in an exceptionally high-level bout that really showed how good Hara was. Today however Hara was in soft as he took on Petchnamchai Sor Sakulwong (1-3, 1).
On paper the bout was a total mismatch, however Petchnamchai had never been stopped, and had gone the distance with decent fighters like former world title challenger Shin Ono. Today however that changed that Hara dismantled him in the second round of the bout.
Following the bout Hara spoke about a potential world tile fight. Whilst that talk may be premature, considering his loss just a couple of fights back, it is worth noting that he lost to a genuinely world class fighter who went on to win a world title yesterday.
At the moment Hara's options for a world title fight would appear limited but a shot at a belt later in the year certainly isn't out of the question.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
On Saturday fans in Mexico will see a mouth watering IBF Light Flyweight world title bout between heavy handed champion Javier Mendoza (23-2-1, 19) and mandatory challenger Milan Melindo (32-1, 12). On Friday night the fighters took part in their weigh in and both scaled 107.2lbs.
For Melindo this is the lowest he's been since October 2009, when he was 107lbs against Jose Guadalupe Martinez. Whilst it may seem strange to come in at the lightest in several years it does need to be noted that Melindo fought many of his more recent bouts as a Flyweight.
For Mendoza this is the Lightest he's been since a February 2012 win over Armando Vazquez. It's significantly lighter than he was when he won the title, last September in a barn burner with Ramon Garcia Hirales.
For fans wanting to watch this potential fight of the weekend, it will be aired on TV Azteca in Mexico and BeIN Sports Espanol and it really could be a fascinating fight between a brawler and a boxer.
Melindo takes on Mendoza but can he come back with the IBF title? (Preview)
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