From what we understand this Saturday's bout between WBO Asia Pacific Super Featherweight champion Juan Martin Elorde (16-1-1, 7) and Japan's Hirotsugu Yamamoto (16-10-2, 2) has been cancelled at the last minute.
We've not yet been given the explanation as to why this has happened but it does seem to a very disappointing move given that the fight was just a day away. From what details we have been given however we do understand it was the decision of the Filipino title holder.
As far as we are aware the rest of the card will go on as advertised though that leaves a very weak looking card with nothing major to look forward to. That's not to say the action wont fun to watch but it's certainly got very little significance and the main event will now feature Juan Miguel Elorde (16-1, 8), who we suspect will be fighting against Indonesian visitor Oke Haryanto (5-4-1, 2).
A few moments ago huge news broke from Japan regarding the December 30th bout between the unbeaten Ryo Matsumoto (12-0, 10) and world ranked Thai Rusalee Samor (25-5-2, 11). What was originally expected to be an 8-round non title bout between the two men has suddenly become a contest for the vacant OPBF Super Flyweight title.
This development has arisen after Arthur Villanueva (16-0, 14) vacated the belt. Villanueva, who has held the title since December 2012, hasn't defended the bout in more than 18 months and it appears his intentions are to move on to world title bouts rather than to defend the belt again.
What it really means is we now have 4 title bouts on the show, with this bout offering support to a trio of world title bouts. It also speeds up the plans for Matsumoto who was expected to move in to title bouts in 2015. The change might not be a major on in some ways but it is huge in other ways with Matsumoto suddenly going from fighting in 8 round bouts to 12 round bouts in one fell swoop.
For Villanueva, who is world ranked by the IBF, this is a great opportunity to claim another title to add to his IBF Asia title however this will be one of his toughest bouts given that Matsumoto is himself a world ranked fighter and a man who is showing real signs of being a world class prospect.
We suspect that if Matsumoto wins and looks good in doing so then he'll be moved into the world title mix quickly. Effectively this bout could fast track him into a world title bout by the of 2015 if his team feel confident enough in him doing so, and lets be honest with his team by Ohashi gym they'll be confident in their talented young fighter.
(Image of Matsumoto courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
...the fight is a done deal with Rigondeaux's promoters Gary Hyde confirming what Keiichiro Kanehira, the head of Kyoei promotions, had already mentioned. Hyde also echoed that the bout would be in Osaka, not Tokyo as some other sites had incorrectly reported.
For those who haven't been following the story, it's been a bit of a frustrating yet interesting tale that has been relatively slow to progress though now appears the reaching it's conclusion.
On November 17th Rigondeaux's co-promoters Promotion Caribe announced the fight between the Cuban sensation (14-0, 9) and Japanese fighter Amagasa (28-4-2, 19). At the time it was hinted at that Amagasa was moving up to Featherweight, where Amagasa usually competes, to test the water at a new weight.
The following day Tomomi Takano (6-1, 5) announced she would be featuring in an 8 round bout on New Year's Eve in Osaka. For those who aren't aware Takano and Amagasa are very close friends and it seemed like there was another hint towards the fact that Amagasa was going to be in action on December 31stin Osaka.
The very next day, November 19th,we saw an official announcement from Ioka boxing regarding their New Year's Eve show. It was assumed that the announcement would also have included a mention of the Amagasa/Rigndeaux fight though instead was just a simple announcement regarding Kazuto Ioka and his opponent. It was a disappointing announcement and began a few days of silence regarding the much spoken about contest.
Thankfullythe silence was broken on November 24th when Mr Kanehira stated that the bout was on and that Amagasa was in training for Rigondeaux. At the time we senses an official announcement to the press was imminent however nothing was forthcoming with fans told to wait. Of course Mr Hyde's comment on November 26th, see above, doesn't actually count as a "formal" announcement, nor does it explain which channels, if any, will be carrying the fight though it is, as good as we can get right now to the bout being confirmed.
An official announcement can only be days away. Hopefully when that happens we will get TV confirmation, though all suspicions hint at TBS carrying the fight, a great thing for all fans with the station being a free to air one in Japan and one that international fans can stream relatively easily.
WBC female Flyweight champion Shindo Go (14-2, 9) will be travelling to Mexico in the coming days to defend her title title against experienced Mexican Arely Mucino (20-2-2, 10). Before she sets off on her travels Go was able to give the Japanese boxing press a bit of her time for a public training session.
The session saw the champion partaking in a couple of rounds of sparring whilst also hitting the mitt pads and a heavy bag.
As well as the training Go also made comments about her preparation for her upcoming bout, and what she wants to do in the future. From what we understand she said she had just 2KG to lose for the bout having lost a solid amount of weight this month already.
Go said that is she wins here she would like to fight WBA champion Susi Kentikian, the German fighter who recently out pointed Naoko Fujioka. A bout between Go and Kentikian would be a unification bout and a contest between the two women than many would consider the #1 and #2 in the Flyweight division.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
We've known for a while that 2014 is going to go out with a bang with 3 separate huge shows in Japan. Of those the most exciting is the Ohashi gym card from Metropolitan Gym in Tokyo on December 30th.
Although the card was announced weeks ago we had been awaiting the official poster for a while. That wait ended earlier today when Ohashi finally revealed the poster for the show.
The poster features the 4 Ohashi gym fighters who will be in action. At the back of the poster is Takuma Inoue (3-0, 1), who fights former world title challenger Nestor Daniel Narvaes (20-2-2, 9) in a huge step up for the youngster. In front of Takuma is former 2-weight world champion Akira Yaegashi (20-4, 10), who will be attempting to claim the WBC Light Flyweight title as he battles Pedro Guevara (23-1-1, 15).
In the centre of the poster is rising superstar Naoya Inoue (7-0, 6), who will be hoping to claim the WBO Super Flyweight title and over-come Argentinian veteran Omar Andres Narvaez (43-1-2, 23) in what is one of the best fights remaining this year.
At the front of the poster is the highly touted Ryo Matsumoto (12-0, 10), who battles IBF ranked Rusalee Samor (25-5-2, 11) in a really interesting step up for a man who we suspect will be fighting for titles in 2015.
Although the poster features images of the 4 Ohashi fighters involved on the show it doesn't feature either of the big name Teiken fighters involved in the action. One of those is Olympic champion Ryota Murata (5-0, 4) who will be taking on experienced American Jessie Nicklow (24-4-3, 8) in what looks to be a good bout on paper though should be an easy win for Murata in the ring. The other Teiken fighter is former 2-weight world champion Jorge Linares (37-3, 24) who will be attempting to become the WBC Lightweight champion as he goes up against Javier Prieto (24-7-2, 18) for the vacant title. We do however believe they are included in the written part of the poster.
For those fans out there that aren't interested in this bout we have to wonder if you're actually a real boxing fan. For our money this may be the best card of 2014 with not just the big names but also several very interesting and tough fights. The promoter has taken a risk here and we hope it pays off with bouts that live up to the expectation.
(Image courtesy of Ohashi Gym
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