Earlier today in Japan a press conference was held announcing that WBO Asia Pacific Middleweight champion Yuki Nonaka (33-11-3, 10) [野中 悠樹] had signed a 3 year deal with US promoter GCP.
Nonaka is the first Asian fighter to sign with GCP, or Greg Cohen Promotions, and is expected to continue his career in the US, with his next bout now looking likely to take place in early 2020.
At today's event Nonaka told the press:
“It's almost a miracle that a Japanese can sign a contract with an American promoter at this age. I am really grateful for this promotional contract with myself, and I will do my best to be recognized by real American fans so that I can give back the results! " [Translated]
At the age of 41, and with his 42nd birthday taking place in December, Nonaka is certainly a veteran of the ring. Given his age however, it's hard to imagine him completing the 3 year deal but it'll be great to see the talented Osakan in a US ring following this deal!
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
After arriving in Japan not too long ago Filipino icon Nonito Donaire (40-5, 26) took part in a media work out today, ahead of his anticipated match up with the Japanese "Monster" Naoya Inoue (18-0, 16) [井上 尚弥], in the WBSS Bantamweight final.
Before doing the physical part of the work out Donaire spoke to the press, answering some questions, and looking incredibly relaxed and confident. Despite the nature of the bout, and how much attention it's got he didn't seem phased at all.
Donaire stated that he was excited and that he would continue to do what he's done through his life as a boxer. He added that everyone he's met in Japan has been lovely to him and that he's motivated to fight Inoue. To prepare for the bout Donaire has been training in the Philippines since October 18th, sparring with various opponents in Manila to get used to the temperature and time zone.
After the interview with the media Donaire took part in the physical side of the work out, doing a round of shadow boxing and a round of mitt work. Through out the work out he looked sharp, with his left hook and left uppercut looking particularly hard. Though Shingo Inoue, Naoya's father and trainer, also seemed to suggest that Donaire's right hand looked hard as well.
Strangely Inoue's promoter Hideyuki Ohashi, suggested that Donaire was taller than expected. That's strange because the two have met before, so we'd have assumed Ohashi was aware of how tall Donaire was. Other than the comment about Donaire's height Ohashi seemed to say that Donaire was slowed than used to be, but that his experience was obvious and that he was so accurate with his punching.
Related - The WBSS Final - Inoue Vs Donaire
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Earlier today we were informed that former Thai amateur star Thani Narinram (0-0) would be making his debut this coming Friday, and is expected to be fast-tracked as a professional in the Minimumweight division, with some Thai sources comparing him to Knockout CP Freshmart.
Although Thani isn't a big name internationally he was a genuine standout on the regional amateur scene and won the 2014 Youth Asian Championship at 49KG's.
On route to that championship win he beat Japan's Yuya Gunji, Kazakh fighter Ertugan Zeynullinov and Korean Han Young Hun, winning all 3 bouts 3:0.
He also competed in the AIBA Youth World Championships that year, though was sadly eliminated by Turkish fighter Mert Karakilic, who reached the quarter final.
Sadly at the time of writing we've yet to hear who Thani will be debuting again, though the hint is that he will be moved through the ranks quickly, and it might only be a few fights until he begins to fight for some form of title.
(Image courtesy of Thairec / Galaxy Promotions)
In just over a week we see the long anticipated WBSS Bantamweight final, as Japanese "Monster" Naoya Inoue (18-0, 16) [井上 尚弥] faces Filipino icon Nonito Donaire (40-5, 26).
The bout, which will be for the Muhammad Ali trophy, the WBA "super", IBF and Ring Magazine titles, is one of the most anticipated contests to take place in Japan in recent years and quickly sold more than 20,000 tickets at the Saitama Super Arena, despite the bout being held on a Thursday night in Japan!
Today Donaire, and his entourage, arrived in Japan.
The fighter and his team arrived at Haneda airport with Donaire explaining his team are indispensable to him and are his inspiration and motivation. He also explained that he has been training in the Philippines for this contest, spending the last 2 weeks in Manila, to adapt to the time difference, before travelling to Japan today. He further went on to explain that this was the best against the best, and the strongest against the strongest.
Despite Donaire having trained in Japan before, and being known as a big admirer of the country, this will be his first fight on Japan soil.
Related - The excellent preview from George Delis The WBSS Final - Inoue Vs Donaire
(Image courtesy of Daily.co.jp)
Earlier today in Moscow fans had the chance to see unbeaten Kazakh youngster Galim Shagatay (5-0, 5) [Галым Шагатай] claim his first professional title, as he defeated Russian based Georgian Pele Sadoyan (7-2-1, 3), and claimed the WBC Asian Boxing Council Youth Light Welterweight title.
The talented Kazakh youngster, who's just 21, had only debuted this past February, but looked in control through out before forcing Sadoyan to retire in his corner after the 5th round.
Whilst the title is certainly not a significant one, and has only had 1 previous holder, this is still a notable step forward for the promising Shagatay, who has got genuine potential, and took a clear step up in class here. He still needs time and a chance to mature and develop, but he's another off the growing line of exciting Kazakh prospects we expect to see making a big mark in the coming years.
(Photo: Instagram Galim Shagatay)
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