Korean boxing isn't going through a great period at the moment but there is some stuff to get excited about, and August 15th fans will get something of note, as Hanseo Promotion put on a show dubbed "Warriors Invitational 001".
The card isn't the deepest but does have some interesting match ups on, including a champion Vs champion bout as KBF Light Middleweight champion Joong Kyung Lee (4-2-1, 1) battles against IBF Asian Light Middleweight champion Tonghui Li (10-1, 5).
From what we understand neither man will be risking their title here, however Li goes into the bout an OPBF ranked fighter who could lose his regional ranking and could well be pushed down the queue for an OPBF title fight. As for Li could see this bout as a great chance to move towards such an opportunity and to potentially take steps to move towards a world ranking in the future, something that the OPBF title does tend lead to.
The under-card for this show, which is being promoted as a Korea Vs China Vs Japan card, will have a chief support bout between Kyung Min Kwon (6-4, 3) and Japan's Hyuma Fujioka (9-7-1, 1), which looks competitive on paper. Other supporting bouts include a contest between unbeaten Korean Bo Mi Re Shin (5-0-3, 2) and Japanese veteran Chika Mizutani (14-6, 7), who will be fighting for the first time in more than 2 years.
For fans unable to make it to the venue but wanting to watch this show it will be televised on MBC Sports+, and should be a worth while watch, at least for the main event.
(Image courtesy of the KBF)
Back in June we saw the official announcement of a WBC Bantamweight world title eliminator between Takuma Inoue (11-0, 3) [井上 拓真], the younger brother of Japanese sensation Naoya Inoue [井上 尚弥] and OPBF Bantamweight champion Mark John Yap (29-12, 14). The announcement of the bout sadly gave us little detail about the under-card for the show though we've now had the Ohashi gym announce several bouts for the card, and release the poster for the show.
The poster is a pretty decent looking one, making Inoue look like the star, but also feature Yap in a prominent position with both in front of the WBC title.
The poster also features Japanese Youth Light Welterweight champion Andy Hiraoka (12-0, 8) [平岡アンディ], who will be defending his title against Ukyo Yoshigai (6-2, 5) [吉開右京]. These two fought last August, with Hiraoka stopping Yoshigai in a qualifying bout for the Japanese Youth title, a title that Hiraoka would win 3 months later when he stopped Takahiko Kobayashi. Since their first bout Hiraoka has not only won the Japanese Youth crown but also scored an 8 round decision win over Fumisuke Kimura Yoshigai on the other hand has fought just once, stopping Takuya Matsusaka in 68 seconds.
Another fighter on the poster is recent world title challenger Ryo Matsumoto's (21-2, 19) [松本亮], who looks to bounce back from his February loss to Danny Roman in a WBA Super Bantamweight title fight. Matsumoto will be up against domestic foe Ryo Sagawa (4-1, 2) [佐川遼] in a bout at Featherweight, with Matsumoto stepping up in weight. This looks like a mismatch on paper, though Sagawa did really impress last time out, when he defeated Junki Sasaki and he was a very accomplished amateur before turning professional.
Also set to be on this show are former amateur stand outs Katsuya Yasuda (2-0, 1) [保田克也] and Taku Kuwahara (1-0, 1) [桑原拓] among others.
Earlier today Japanese veteran Hidenori Otake (31-2-3, 14) [大竹 秀典] held a press conference at the Yokohama brewery to announce, and to talk about, his upcoming bout with WBO Super Bantamweight champion Isaac Dogboe (19-0, 13), set to take place on August 25th in the US.
The Japanese fighter spoke about how he's enjoying boxing more in the last year or so, and despite being 37 it does seem like he's in the form of his career with recent wins over Kinshiro Usui, Hinata Maruta and Brian Lobetania. That sort of run will have filled the OPBF Super Bantamweight champion with real hope ahead of the bout with Dogboe.
Since losing to the then WBA Super Bantamweight champion Scott Quigg in 2014 Otake has surged, winning 9 in a row. That seems to have been down to his trainer who has focused on Otake's physical improvements and improving his eating habits, as well reducing his working hours in preparation to fights. Something that seems to have done him the world of good.
Otake seemed fully aware of Dogboe's strengths, and is looking to work on counter measures for the power and speed of the champion. It seems clear he knows he's the under-dog, though if he can win he would set a new Japanese male record, for the oldest man to win a world title, breakign the previous record of Hozumi Hasegawa, who claimed his third title at the age of 35 years and 9 months.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
Last year we saw former world title challenger Fahlan Sakkreerin Jr (35-6-1, 20) [ศักดิ์กรีรินทร์] suffer a brutal knockout in an IBF world title eliminator against Felix Alvarado. Since that bout he has fought just once, stopping 37 year old Chachai Sithsaithong, aka Suchat Kongkum, in 3 rounds.
Earlier today Fahlan had his next bout announce, with the gutsy Thai now set to take on Filipino fighter Richard Rosales (13-6-2, 7) in a bout for the IBF Pan Pacific Light Flyweight title, and likely a top 15 ranking with the IBF.
Fahlan is best known for his bouts in Japan, stopping Ryo Miyazaki in a major upset at the end of 2013, and his thrilling and controversial 2015 war with Katsunari Takayama. He's proven himself at world class, despite the loss to Alvarado, who is a brutal puncher. Rosales on the other hand is 0-2 outside of the Philippines, though has impressed and managed to push the very talented Jayr Raquinel close in a Flyweight bout last October.
For fans wanting to watch this bout it will be on Thairath, Thai channel 32.
(Image courtesy of Thairec.com)
Last Friday WBO Flyweight champion Sho Kimura (17-1-2, 10) [木村翔] scored his second defense of the WBO title as he stopped Filipino challenger Froilan Saludar (28-3-1, 19) in China. Yesterday Kimura returned to Japan and today he's in the news again, with his next bout already being announced!
The bout in question is anticipated mandatory defense of his title, as he faces off with former WBO Minimumweight and Light Flyweight champion Kosei Tanaka (11-0, 7) [田中恒成], who looks to set the record for the fewest fights for a Japanese fighter to become a 3 weight champion. And to tie the 12 fight world record to that feat, a record currently held by Vasyl Lomachenko.
The bout was announced at a press conference earlier today, held by Tanaka's promoter Kiyoshi Hatanaka, who revealed that the bout will take place on September 24th at the Takeda Teva Ocean Arena in Aichi. The bout has also been assured a televised slot on CBC, with CBC's affiliates, such as TBS, also expected to pic k it up.
At today's press conference Kimura seemed to accept that this would be a tough bout, and would be a very mental one, with Kimura building his momentum thanks to his recent wins, including the one over Zou Shiming. He also seemed to be fully aware that his movement and stamina would be key to over-coming the pressure and relentlessness of Kimura, who has looked very aggressive and solid in his last few fights.
Sadly Kimura wasn't at today's press conference, but we would suspect Aoki gym will hold their own in the coming days.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
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