A few days ago we reported that Ryuji Hara (18-0, 10) would be defending his OPBF Minimumweight title against Japanese super prospect Kosei Tanaka (3-0, 1), today that fight was officially confirmed.
As we reported last week the bout will take place on October 30th at the Korakuen Hall. Though one thing we did get wrong was this announcement, as we expected this to come in early September.
The announcement was made with the chairmen from both the Hatanakana gym, Kiyoshi Hatanaka, and the Ohashi gym, Hideyuki Ohashi, as well as Tanaka who will be looking for the biggest win of his young career. For Hatanaka gym this announcement co-coincided with their 20th anniversary and although Mr Ohash is busy with his own promotional work he made the trip to to a celebration party being held by Hatanaka to help announce the fight.
There were reports that Hara was going to vacate the title to focus on fights against world class opponents though with Tanaka bursting on to the scene like he has he's effectively forced Hara's hand. For Hara however this bout is about more than just his belt. In fact Hara could lose the OPBF title as well as top 10 world rankings with all 4 major organisations if he is beaten by Tanaka. As for Tanaka the belt would be a huge reward though moving into the upper echelons of the world rankings would be even bigger news and possibly even open doors for him to become a world champion in his 5th professional. Whilst it seems unlikely at the moment Tanaka could, if he wins here, go on to set a record for the fewest fights for a Japanese fighter to become a world champion, beating the 6 fight record of Naoya Inoue.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
Ryuji Hara= 原 隆二 (Hara Ryuji)
Kosei Tanaka= 田中 恒成 (Tanaka HisashiNaru)
Boxing is full of surprises. We see upsets, we see shocks, and fans in Sanaa finally saw Ali Raymi (22-0, 22) fighting for more than a single round!
On Friday Raymi, who began his career with 21 straight opening round KO's, was taken beyond the opening round. In fact he was taken to round 7 before finally stopping Prince Maz (8-2, 6) in a rematch of their bout from just a few weeks ago.
In their first bout Raymi had stopped Maz with just seconds of the opening round left. The stoppage was, from what we saw, a controversial one with Raymi informing us over twitter that it was stopped when Maz turned his back, something that wasn't entirely clear on the video.
This time Maz appeared hung in for 7 rounds before finally being stopped by Raymi. Unfortunately however only the 7th round was actually uploaded to youtube, leaving some real question marks about the previous 6 rounds.
We apologise whole heartedly for the quality of this footage, unfortunately it's all that was uploaded.
A second thing to note about this bout isn't just that this was first time Raymi had been more than 1 round but it was also the first time he had beaten a fighter with a loss on his record, albeit a loss to Raymi.
We have been informed in the last few hours that upcoming world title challenger Samartlek Kokietgym (17-4, 5) has a secret weapon ahead of his upcoming fight with Japanese star Naoya Inoue (6-0, 5).
From what we understand Samartlek has linked up with Japanese trainer Seiji Shinoda, a former trainer at Kyoei Gym.
Apparently Mr Shinoda has been based in Thailand since February this year and feels that prior to working with Samartlek the Thai was operating at 50% of his potential. Now Mr Shinoda feels he has got Samartlekat 100% an that the Thai will be fully prepared for the biggest and toughest fight of his career so far.
Whether or not this will actually huge help the Thai to a victory on September 5th is up for debate though it will certainly have helped the Thai fighter acclimatise to Japanese culture and have helped him to get a little bit of inside information on on Inoue and perhaps a few of his weaknesses, if "Monster" actually has any.
We have been informed that the future of Koki Kameda (32-1, 17) is likely to be in the Philippines following the JBC's refusal to allow the former 3-weight world champion to transfer to the UNITED boxing gym in Japan.
From what we understand Kameda will training for the next month in Cebu, Philippines. This training camp will see Koki working with younger brother Tomoki Kameda with the option to extend the camp if Koki is happy woth it.
Koki, who was mandated by the WBA to fight current Super Flyweight champion Kohei Kono (30-8, 13), has found his career effectively on ice following the exclusion by the JBC of the Kameda Gym license. This has been a major issue for the Kameda trio in Japan and none of the brothers have fought, domestically, since last December.
Although no fight is yet arranged for Koki he has hinted that his next fight could be abroad, something we assume will be likely with the Philippines or Macau a likely destination for a future fight.
(Image courtesy of Boxingnews.jp)
Earlier today we reported that Samartlek Kokietgym (17-4, 5) hard arrived in Japan ahead of his world title challenge on September 5th against Naoya Inoue (6-0, 5). What we didn't expect was that he would take part in his opening training session just a few hours later though that's exactly what happened.
The session saw Samartlek hitting the pads with a trainer from Kyoei Gym whilst also sparring for 2 rounds with the world ranked Super Flyweight Petchbarngborn Kokietgym, who is best know for his early loss to Sho IShida.
Following the training sessions we were informed that Shingo Inoue, Naoya Inoue's trainer and father, was less than impressed by the Thai. Apparently Shingo saw a number of flaws with the man who will be fighting his son. Those include a low guard, questionable accuracy and hinted that his son's right cross would be the key to the fight.
Despite the flaws with the Thai he did look nimble and speedy. That sped could be an issue, at least for a few moments, though is unlikely to really cause the "Monster" many issues considering that he too is a quick fighter.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
News! We try and give you the most interesting news stories from the Asian boxing world!