Unbeaten Uzbek prospect Shakhram Giyasov (9-0, 7) [Shahram G‘iyosov] had his next bout announced yesterday. On paper it's not an awful match, but in reality it's one that Giyasov should win, and should look good winning.
The talented Uzbek, who won a Silver medal at the 2016 Olympics, will be up against Mexican foe Francisco Hernandez Rojo (22-3, 15) and on paper it really does look a great bout. Especially when you consider Giyasov hasn't fought in the pro's since last August, when he beat Darleys Perez in just 41 seconds. Sadly however scratching beneath his record Rojo looks less than suitable for a top prospect to face off with.
The Mexican hasn't fought since August 2018, when he stopped Galvis Guerra. Whilst American fans may remember him from a close loss to Ryan Martin in September 2017 that was one of only 3 bouts he's had in 36 months, and lets be honest Ryan Martin was made to look a long way removed from world class when he was beaten by Josh Taylor in the WBSS.
Although not old we do worry that Rojo's inactivity, and the fact he seems to get his best results at Lightweight rather than Light Welterweight, he is still not a terrible opponent, though we don't imagine he will be a test for Giyasov.
This bout is set to take place on August 15th in Tulsa as part of a Matchroom card which will feature a mouth watering main event, between WBC Flyweight champion Julio Cesar Martinez and mandatory challenger McWilliams Arroyo, and a really good chief support bout between Cecilia Braekhus and Jessica McCaskill. The show is also set to be the first Matchroom US card, following the on going global situation.
A few weeks ago the KBA announced that In Duck Seo (12-3-2, 7) [서인덕] and Jung Kyoung Lee (8-3-1, 4) [이중경] would face off for the WBA Asia Welterweight title in July. That bout, and entire show, has now been re-arranged, being pushed back from July 4th to August 8th.
The bout was one of the most interesting all-Korean bouts in quite some time, so whilst it's a shame we have to wait longer for the bout it's still great that it's taking place, and although the WBA Asia Welterweight title isn't worth much in the grand scheme of things it does add something extra to a bout like this.
Interestingly the KBA have also another a new supporting bout for the show, with the always fun to watch Jong Seon Kang (10-0-2, 6) [강종선] taking on Seong Yeong Yang (8-2-5, 4) [양성영] in a 10 round Featherweight bout. If this bout has been the reason the show has been delayed we're certainly not going to complain, as this is another fantastic match up and Kang is one of the most exciting Korean's in the sport, as we saw last year here in his great bout with Tomjune Mangubat in Vietnam.
Interestingly it appears that fans may be able to attend the event, with the KBA announcing that the ability of spectators to attend will be announced at a later date. Again if this is why the event has been delayed, to allow fans to attend, then it's hard to complain about the decision to push the show by a month.
This past weekend KBM held their latest show, which featured a number of Battle Royal bouts, for their 4th series of the competition, and a KBM Light Middleweight title fight.
Sadly despite the show being a fairly notable one, especially for Korean boxing which doesn't have much to talk about, it wasn't shown live and until today results for the show were incredibly hard to come by.
Thankfully today the KBM confirmed the results for the show and confirmed that their new Light Middleweight champion being crowned as talented teenager Sung Min Yuh (5-0, 1) [유성민] took his first stoppage win and defeated the taller, but less skilled, Soo Lee (3-5-2, 3) [이 수] in the 5th round.
Details of the bout are scarce, though it's expected that KBM will upload the video of the bout in the near future, though what is known is that Yuh was in charge through out. Going into round 5 the talented teenager was leading on all 3 cards, with scores of 40-36, 40-37 and 39-37.
Given that one of our complaints about Yuh was his laziness, it's great to see him getting a stoppage at last, and hopefully that will lead to him showing more killer instinct going forward. As for Lee this is second stoppage loss and it's hard to see him ever making much of a mark at domestic title level again.
In theory this win does line Yuh up for a second clash with Do Ha Kim (7-1) [김도하], in what is expected to be Yuh's first defense of the title. The two men actually clashed in the Battle Royal 3 final, late last year, with Yuh giving Kim his sole defeat in that final. Kim was originally supposed to fight Yuh for the belt, but injury forced him out of that contest, hence Lee getting the shot at the previously vacant title.
Earlier today on former WBC Flyweight champion Daigo Higa (16-1, 16) [比嘉 大吾] held a virtual press conference to announce the next stage of his career, announcing which gym he would be signing to following him leaving the Shirai Gushiken Gym earlier this year.
At the press conference Higa announce that he would be joining the newly named Ambition Gym, which is being lead by WBO Super Flyweight champion Kazuto Ioka (25-2, 14) [井岡一翔].
Higa had been linked to the gym around 2 weeks ago, before the gym had changed it's name from the Ozaki Boxing Gym, with the move essentially being an open secret in Japanese boxing circles.
Not only did Higa confirm the move to the Ambition gym but he also confirmed that he would continue working with trainer Joji Nogi, who Higa has been trained by in the past. Nogi actually joined Higa on the call, and explained that Higa told him he wanted to continue, and it seems the relationship between the two is part of why Higa is continuing his career in the ring.
At the press conference Higa also stated that he wanted to be a world champion again, and that he wanted Nogi to be beside him when that happens. It was also made clear that he will be campaigning at Bantamweight going forward. That's the same division as Japanese star Naoya Inoue (19-0, 16) [井上 尚弥], though sadly it doesn't seem likely we'll see that bout as it appears Higa will become a TBS fighter whilst Inoue will remain a Fuji TV fighter.
Although it's currently unclear when Higa will be back in the ring, though rumours have swirled that a September date is likely, he admitted that he would ideally like to fight twice more before the end of the year. We would expect the first to be another tune up before a bigger bout, potentially in December, as he begins his climb to a second world title.
We've known for a while now that Shoki Sakai (23-11-2, 12) [坂井 祥記] would be making his Japanese debut on August 31st, following a long career spent in the West, on an A-Sign show. Despite knowing the when and where, Korakuen Hall, there was still a major question mark as to who Sakai would be facing.
After a bit of a wait Sakai's opponent was named yesterday, as being 2017 All Japan Rookie of the Year winner Hironori Shigeta (6-1-1, 3) [重田裕紀], who will be looking to extend his current 7 fight unbeaten run.
The 29 year old Sakai has fought almost all of his career in Mexico, being one of the few Japanese fighters better known away from home. In recent years he has surfaced in the US as well as Mexico and has mixed with some pretty well known fighters, such as Nery Saguilan, Ashley Theophane, Eddie Gomez, Alexis Rocha and Gor Yeritsyan. Although no world beater Sakai is a really tough fighter who is very under-rated but has struggled recently and is win-less in his last 5.
Shigeta on the other hand has fought all but one bout in Japan, with his only excursion being a draw in South Korea back in 2018. Sadly despite looking good at the 2017 Rookie of the Year he has been relatively inactive, with just a single bout in both 2018 and 2019.
Rather interestingly the card still isn't actually complete and those behind the card are currently searching, quite publicly, for an opponent to face teenage hopeful Jin Sasaki (7-0, 6) [佐々木 尽]. Fingers crossed Sasaki gets an interesting opponent for the date, with the show set to be a great window to expose what a fighter can do in what will be a show that will be streamed for free on Youtube.
News! We try and give you the most interesting news stories from the Asian boxing world!