This coming weekend we'll see Japanese sensation Naoya Inoue (19-0, 16) [井上 尚弥] defending his WBA "Super" and IBF Bantamweight titles against Australian challenger Jason Moloney (21-1, 18). Prior to that bout Inoue has been under-taking the typical pre-fight media work, which for this bout has been more extensive than most of his other bouts.
Yesterday Inoue under-took a lot of TV work for ESPN, including an interview with Mark Kreigel that took around 90 minutes, and some work on a green screen, which took around another 30 minutes.
Around around 2 hours spent doing spots for ESPN the unbeaten Japanese star was able to go back to his hotel room, and do some light mitt work.
Interestingly the amount of media work done for this bout is very different to what is typically done for a bout in Japan. Inoue himself stated:
"It is unthinkable in Japan for pre-weighing players who are preparing for the match to interview every day for a long time, but I heard that it is commonplace overseas. I wonder if this can't be helped. I have to get used to it. " [Translated]
It's one of the many differences between Japan and other countries when it comes to world title fights. With Japan usually only requiring a handful of events on the week of a fight. Mostly with both fighters together, such as the weigh in, signing ceremony and glove selection, with both men also expected to have a public work outs and a press conference, which tend to not come on the same day.
Over in the US, and sometimes in the UK, there is a lot of media, and one-to-one interviews, rather than the mass press gatherings often done in Japan.
Related - The Monster takes on Moloney in Las Vegas!
(Image credit - Ohashi Gym)
Just over 2 weeks ago we reported that Kyonosuke Kameda (5-2-1, 4) [亀田京之介], the cousin of former world champion Koki, Daiki and Tomoki Kameda, had transferred to the Harada Gym. He had left the Hanagata Gym, who stepped in at the last minute last year to let him fight in the All Japan Rookie of the Year, and had signed up with a gym that he had previously trained when he was a youngster.
Today the next step in Kameda's career was announced as the twice beaten youngster confirmed his next bout.
The promising Kameda, who's still only 22 years old, will be back in the ring on November 28th as he fighters on an edition of "Fighting Beat Boxing" at the EDION Arena Osaka, in Osaka.
The youngster's opponent has been named as the debuting 31 year old Daiki Asai (0-0) [浅井 大貴], who was a very solid amateur with a 61-16 (33) amateur record and a former All Japan Amateur champion.
The bout looks set to be the main event of the show and will be a 6 rounder.
Notably there will also be a very interesting 8 rounder on this show with Ayato Hiromoto (2-0, 1) [廣本彩刀], who was originally planned to face former 2-time world title challenger Masayuki Kuroda (30-8-3, 16) [黒田雅之] before Kuroda's recent surgery, taking on JBC ranked foe Ryosuke Nasu (12-5-3, 2) [那須 亮祐]. This is a mouth watering Super Flyweight bout and a great chance to see what Hiromoto is made off at this very early stage in his career.
Earlier today Boxing Management Korea (KBM) announced a host of changes to their up coming line up, many of which are alternations to title fights that were previously set for November.
Up at Heavyweight we'll see Sung Min Lee (7-1, 2) [이성민] defending his title against Hyun Tae Bae (6-1-1, 4) [배현태] on November 14th, with Bae replacing Jae Min Kim (2-3-2, 1) [김재민]. This has come about after Min had to pull out for what is described as "personal circumstances".
Thankfully this does seem like a big upgrade at Heavyweight, with Bae looking a much better challenger, and he is a former Korean Cruiserweight champion.
On the same date we'll also see a KBM Lightweight title fight, as Moo Hyun Kim (5-1, 1) [김무현] and Dong Hyun Won (3-3) [원동현] battle for the vacant belt. Kim comes in to the bout having notched back to back wins since a 2017 loss to Gyu Beom Jeon whilst the 36 year old Won has suffered back to back losses, and likely knows it is now or never if he wants to win a title. This bout was scheduled for November 21st but has been brought forward by a week.
The plan to have a double header on November 15th have now been forced to change.
That's due to Hyun Jin Moon (4-0-1, 4) [왼쪽이] and Da Won Gang (4-0, 2) [강다원] having their clash for the KBM Light Welterweight title being cancelled, as Moon has been forced off the show. As a result this planned double header has been reduced to a single title show, with In Soo Jang (5-2-1) [장인수] and Jae Hyun Jo (4-1-3, 1) [조재현] battling for the KBM Bantamweight title.
Sadly for Gang this is not the first time he's seen his title fight pushed back and we could fully understand the talented youngster getting very frustrated at how his promising career has gone this year.
As a result of the changes the plans to hold a show on November 21st have now been cancelled all together, with the only other KBM show being a Battle Royal card on November 29th, as the months goes out with a bang.
One thing we don't cover in much depth here is amateur boxing, though we certainly have a passing interest in the unpaid ranks, and we do follow what goes on, as that's where the champions of tomorrow are often developed.
Sadly with that in mind we were sad to learn today this year's All Japan Boxing Championships and the have now been cancelled.
Earlier today the Japan Amateur Boxing Federation announced that it would be impossible to run the tournament safely and as a result have cancelled both the male and female tournaments, which were supposed to be held in November.
The official statement released stated:
"We have decided to cancel in consideration of the safety of athletes, leaders, and tournament management staff. Unfortunately, we would like to ask for your understanding in consideration of the current severe situation."
Earlier today at Korakuen Hall Japanese fight fans for the chance to see a relatively interesting card with two notable bouts on it.
The first of those bouts saw talented youngster Ryuto Owan (6-1, 4) [大湾硫斗] end a 2 year break from the ring, and pick up a very important win as he stopped Tomoya Kishine (6-4-1, 2) [岸根知也]. The talented Owan looked like the boss through out the contest, before forcing a stoppage in the 5th round.
For Owan this was an ideal result, very much what he needed after such a lengthy break. He got rounds, he got a win and he got the stoppage.
The main event was a much, much more interesting match up and saw former WBC Flyweight champion Daigo Higa (16-1-1, 16) [比嘉 大吾] battle the unbeaten Seiya Tsutsumi (5-0-2, 4) [堤聖也].
On paper this looked like a bout where Higa would be strongly favoured. Though paper doesn't tell us the entire story, and Tsutsumi had twice beaten Higa in the amateurs and was the naturally bigger man, the natural Bantamweight. Given those two things we had expected something very special here, and boy do they seem to have delivered!
From the off Tsutsumi was busy, looking to set the pace, though Higa's tight guard and stiff jab were playing their part. In round 2 headclashes left Tsutsumi cut, and in round 3 Higa was cut. From there on it seemed unlikely the bout would last long, with both men bleeding and headclashes marring the action up close.
Both men seemed to recover well from the headclashes, but Higa struggled to impose his will as Tsutsumi battled hard, using his foot work and aggression to force Higa to think twice about charging in. This lead Higa to needing to turn things around, which he did in round 8, but his momentum was short lived as Tsutsumi backed him up in round 9.
By the final round it was clear that it was a close one, and men tried to do enough in the final 3 minutes to secure victory. Sadly however neither man could drop the other, and in the end we ended up with a majority decision draw, with scores of 95-95, twice, and 96-94 to Higa.
It had been a war, a real testament to both men's desire, toughness and work rate. Sadly however it had been a war without a winner, and was a clear set back for Higa, who perhaps doesn't have what it takes to make a mark on the world stage at Bantamweight. On the other hand it was a great sign that Tsutsumi really is as good as some suggested, and there's a chance that both men may well move forward with this draw, and potentially give us chapter 2 one day in future.
For fans wanting to watch this it will be televised in mid November on TBS, on what has been regarded a stupidly long tape delay. A really disappointing delay in the broadcast for what had been a very, very good fight.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
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