Yesterday we reported that Omari Kimweri was refused the chance to fight Xiong Zhao Zhong in China for the WBC Minimumweight title due to a passport issue, thankfully a replacement has been found to save the show.
Kimweri's replacement has now been named as Thailand's Lookrak Kiatmungmee, a fighter with a 7-4 (4) record who has been inactive for almost 2 years following a loss to Kimweri.
Unfortunately whilst it would be easy to complain about the situation we're just relieved that Zhong has managed to get an opponent for Saturday night. We assume that Zhong v Kiatmungmee will now be televised on CCTV5 in China taking the slot that was originally arranged for Zhong/Kimweri.
All of our team here at Asian Boxing hope that Kimweri will get the chance to face Zhong in 2014 as we were genuinely looking forward to that contest. For now however Zhong against Kiatmungmee will have to do.
We're very sad to report that this weekend's scheduled WBC Minimumweight title fight between Xiong Zhao Zhong and Omari Kimweri is now off.
Unfortunately, due passport problems Kimweri has not been allowed to fight in China this weekend. Although Tarneit Boxing are going to try and get him a chance in the near future it must be genuinely heart breaking for Kimweri who has already had a hard life.
From reports coming from China Zhong will still be defending his title though he'll be fighting a Thai opponent who has taken the bout on very late notice.
We're not sure who the Thai opponent will be though we're lead to believe that he is around 26 years old and ranked in the top 40 by the WBC. Admittedly we don't expect a fight as good as the propsed Zhong/Kimweri contest, though well done to the folk involved if they've managed to get any sort of opponent on such late notice.
We will let you all know who the replacement opponent is as soon as we know ourselves!
On another note we'd like to send our condolences to Kimweri and his team and hope they do get another chance in the near future.
Ioka Gym's very promising Masayoshi Nakatani, one of our favourite young prospects, will be kicking off 2014 with the biggest fight of his career as he takes on Yoshitaka Kato for the OPBF Lightweight title.
The unbeaten Nakatani sports an excellent 6-0 (5) record which includes a notable, and very impressive, stoppage of Shuhei Tsuchiya. Aside from the victory over Tsuchiya there is little of real note on his ledger though as he shares a gym with both Kazuto Ioka and Ryo Miyazaki it's fair to say he has shared a ring with world level fighters.
Whilst Nakatani has a true punchers reputation it's fair to say that Kato is more likely to use his experience. With a record of 26-4-1 (7) Kato has more than 5 times as many bouts as his challenger. More telling than just the raw numbers is the fact that Kato is a both the Japanese and OPBF champion and has already fought in 8 title fights, winning 7 of those.
This contest, scheduled for January 11th, is one that has whet our appetite for 2014 already. Sure we were hoping that Nakatani was going to be on the Ioka show scheduled for December 31st but who cares about waiting 12 extra days to see a bout of this quality?
On the same show we also expect to see Yukinori Oguni fighting Yuki Fujimoto. We're hoping to see Oguni back to his best though we dare say we think he'll still be feeling the mental effects of the stoppage loss to Shingo Wake, who we think has the potential to grab a world title at some point.
Ahead of the WBA Atomweight title fight on Thursday both Ayaka Miyao and Gretchen Abaniel were given their preliminary medical.
Both women had several similar measurements, most clearly in terms of height where just 0.2cm separate the fighters. The most telling detail however, in terms of the fighters measurements was the reach. The reach measurement has Abaniel having an astonishing 7cm advantage over Miyao, something that could prove vital if she can use it in the ring.
Away from the physical measurements, which as mentioned favour Abaniel, it's fair to say that Miyao has the more notable in ring advantages. Miyao has more fights, more rounds and has been in more world title fights. More interestingly is the fact Miyao is unbeaten in 8 contests for Abaniel that streak is just 3 fights, so the confidence will certainly be in Miyao as opposed to Abaniel.
Whilst we knew that there was going to be at least 1 major "New Years Eve" card in Japan with Takashi Uchiyama and Takashi Miura in action, we found today that there was actually going to be a second.
Promoted by Ioka, the "other" New Years Eve show will be televised on TBS and feature current WBA Light Flyweight champion Kazuto Ioka defending his title against unbeaten Nicaraguan prospect Felix Alvarado as well as Minimumweight champion Ryo Miyazaki facing Fahlan Sakkreerin Jr in a none title bout.
Although details on the full card have yet to be released we expect these will be the headline bouts.
Kazuto Ioka (13-0, 9) will arguably be facing his toughest test as the Light Flyweight champion when he collides with Alvarado (18-0, 15) who is a tough and hard punching South American who has caught the eyes of a number of fans. We expect that this could be Ioka's final fight at 108lbs win or lose before he mounts a challenge at the Flyweight division.
Although Ioka is defending his title Miyazaki (20-0-3, 11), is fighting in a non-title bout against Sakkreerin Jr (22-2, 14). Like the Ioka contest this will be Light Flyweight, allowing Miyazaki an extra 3lbs from his usual fighting weight. We expect that this will serve as an opportunity for Miyazaki to test the waters at 108lbs before looking for a world title fight, likely for the belt that Ioka will vacate.
We're hoping, though it's merely our hope, that Masayoshi Nakatani (6-0, 5) may also be on this card. In fact if he's not he really needs to be in action very early in 2014 or else the memory of his victory over Shuhei Tsuchiya could well be forgotten before he gets the chance to capitalise on it.
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