Earlier today on social media Dangan boxing announced that they were cancelling shows scheduled for May 16th and May 17th at the Sumida City Gymnasium.
Unsurprisingly the reason both shows were cancelled relates to the ongoing global issue.
At the moment it's unclear what will happen with the majority of the bouts set for the two shows, which included a Japanese Super Flyweight title bout between Kenta Nakagawa (18-3-1, 12) [中川 健太] takes on Yuta Matsuo (15-4-2, 8) [松尾雄太], which was set for May 16th, and the Hajime No Ippo 30th anniversary tournament final, between Shingo Kusano (13-8-1, 5) [草野慎悟] and Daisuke Watanabe (10-4-2, 6) [渡部大介], which was to take place a day late. It's expected both bouts will be postponed, but it's very unclear when they will take place.
Although the current suspension on boxing in Japan didn't directly affect the two shows the regulations being put on gyms for hosting shows would have effected both events, which were meant to be held as part of a boxing festival, as opposed to just a plan boxing show.
As with, we suspect everyone else, we hope the issue taking over global news come to an end sooner rather than later. It obviously effects more than just boxing, and we really hope everyone reading this is staying as safe as they can through these trying and tough times.
Earlier today the Japan Boxing Commission (JBC) and Japan Professional Boxing Association (JPBA) held a meeting to discuss what the plan is for boxing in Japan in regards to coronavirus.
Amazingly, and somewhat surprisingly, the plan that came out of today's meeting is for sport to resume in Japan in May, with May 2nd pencilled for the next show.
The plan seems to rely on the government not declaring any sort of emergency measures, which if the government do put in place will see the current suspension extended.
The plan is that, even when the sport resumes, there will still be rules in place that promoters need to follow. These including temperature checks as fans come in to the venue, no selling tickets on the day and, from what we understand, only allow fans to sit in alternate seats, to try an limit the effects of coronavirus in the country. As well as prohibiting the sale of standing tickets.
The full terms will be discussed later this month, at a meeting on March 30th.
If things go ahead as planned the first show on resumption will be the May 2nd Dynamic Glove card from Korakuen Hall, headlined by Japanese Middleweight champion Kazuto Takesako (12-0-1, 11) [竹迫司登] defending against mandatory challenger Riku Kunimoto (4-0, 2) [国本陸] as part of the now very truncated Champion Carnival.
It needs to be noted that at the moment things are still subject to change, and a rapid increase in cases in Japan before May would likely see things changing again, potentially to either no boxing or boxing being fought behind closed doors.
As this is a changing story please see April's Rookie of the Year events postponed, boxing's Japanese return delayed for an update
Earlier today Makoto Okaniwa., manager／official coordinater of midori promotions.,inc revealed in Japan, informed us of the new date set for the Japanese Light Flyweight title bout between defending champion Yuto Takahashi (11-4, 5) [高橋悠斗] and mandatory challenger Masamichi Yabuki (10-3, 10).
The bout, which was originally set for March 15th though had to be postponed due to the Coronavirus outbreak, will now take place on May 6th.
We've also been informed that the supporting bout between Tom Mizokoshi (7-1-1, 4) [溝越斗夢] and Mugicha Nakagawa (24-7-2, 14) [中川麦茶選手] is still expected to be part of the card, though the other other under-card bouts are currently in negotiations.
It must be noted that there is a chance this will still be postponed, again, if the virus continues to cause sporting events in Japan to be effected in the way it has during March, though the date is now the one the bout is pencilled in for going forward.
Earlier today at Korakuen Hall Japanese fight fans saw triple crown winner Shuichiro Yoshino (12-0, 10) [吉野 修一郎] defending his Japanese Lightweight national title against mandatory challenger Izuki Tomioka (7-3-1, 2) [富岡樹] as part of the 2020 Champion Carnival.
The fight started with Yoshino on the front foot looking to press the speedier, and sharper Tomioka. Despite being the aggressor Yoshino was surprisingly dropped from a counter right hand that netted the challenger the early momentum. Despite the fact Tomioka is very much a light punching the shot was was a beauty and the skills of the challenger were on show with the timing and delivery of the punch. The knockdown was a genuine surprise, and secured Tomioka the big start he would have wanted, with a 10-8 round in his favour.
Having been dropped in the opening round round 2 Yoshino got some revenge as he amped up his pressure and tagged Tomioka with some heavy leather, cutting the youngster around the right eye. The skills from Tonmioka did however show again in round 3 as he made Yoshino miss, and tagged with counters, using his jab an excellent weapon. Sadly for Tomioka he did lack the power to get Yoshino's respect, despite the knockdown, whilst Yoshino's shots seemed to really rock the challenger when they landed.
After 5 rounds Yoshino had fought himself back on to level pegging, with the judges having the bout as a split decision when the scores were announced at the mid-way point. The judges had the bout 48-46 to Tomioka, 48-46 to Yoshino and 47-47, even.
In the second half Tomioka's jab continued to be a brilliant weapon, landing time and time again on Yoshino, and keeping the champion at range. The jab, along with Tomioka's fleet foot work, was exactly what Tomioka needed to do, and seemed to allow him to control rounds 6 and 7, as he began to build some momentum and find his rhythm.
Despite the success of Tomioka there was always the worry that Yoshino's power was going to be too much at some point. Yoshino's power had act as a neutraliser in the past, and that's exactly what ended up happening here in round 8, when he landed a huge left hook. He then cut the distance, finally shutting down the jab of Tomioka's.
With Tomioka hurt Yoshino refused to let off, and jumped over his man, forcing the referee to save the challenger at the 1:55 mark of round 8.
For Yoshino this was his 5th defense of the title, and the toughest since he won the belt. He was out sped, out skilled and out jabbed by the talented Tomioka. As for Tomioka this is the second time he has been stopped in a title bout after having shown his skills, with his other stoppage coming in round 11 against Masayoshi Nakatani.
The win proved that Yoshino still had areas to work on, and although he may have been a little bit guilty of over-looking Tomioka he's a long way from the finished article. He is looking to make his US debut later this year, and will clearly need to be careful when he does return to the ring.
As for Tomioka few can deny his skills. He's a genuinely excellent boxer. However his lack of power and relative lack of physicality is going to be an issue. It's going to be a problem for him going forward, and he's always going to have to work hard for any success he gets. He has the potential to bounce back and win this title down the line, but for now he and his team do need to look on making tweaks to how he fights going forward.
Tomorrow at Korakuen Hall we'll see OPBF, WBO Asia Pacific and Japanese Lightweight champion Shuichiro Yoshino (11-0, 9) [吉野 修一郎] making a mandatory defense of his title.
The unbeaten champion will be up against the skilled and quick Izuki Tomioka (7-2-1, 2) [富岡樹] as part of the Champion Carnival series of fights, in fact it will be the second in the series this year.
Today the two men made weight for the contest, with both men coming in on the 135lb limit. Both looked in good shape, but neither looked totally shredded.
At the weigh in today Yoshino stated that he was the best in Asia and that today's fight would be a chance to prove he was still the best in Japan. He seemed to be aiming for a KO, to continue a current run of them, though it is worth noting that Tomioka is certainly no push over. If he wins however the talk is that he will look to make his US debut later in the year and make strides towards getting a world title fight.
Tomioka, a former Japanese Youth Champion, explained that he was feeling like a child before Christmas, and was really excited about tomorrow's fight. He stated that he knew Yoshino was good fighter, but stated that he was better.
For fans unable to make it to the Korakuen Hall tomorrow the bout is also going to be televised, in some form, on delay this weekend on Fuji TV.
Related - Yoshino defends against mandatory Tomioka!
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
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