Earlier today the nominations for the JBC and Tokyo Athletic Press Club Boxing Subcommittee annual awards were announced, with the media being able to vote on the winners, who will be announced later this month. Unlike usual there will not be a big event ceremony, due to the ongoing Covid19 situation.
Sadly Covid19 really did destroy the boxing calendar in Japan and only a handful of top Japanese fighters managed to squeeze a fight into the year. In fact only 3 of the 7 current male world champions managed to fight, and that include a man who won his world title late year.
The fighters nominated for the "Best Fighter" award were those 3 champions that manage to fight last year:
They were WBO Super Flyweight champion Kazuto Ioka (25-2, 14) [井岡一翔]
WBO Flyweight champion Junto Nakatani (21-0, 16) [中谷 潤人]
And unified WBA "super" and IBF Bantamweight champion Naoya Inoue (20-0, 17) [井上 尚弥]
Those 3 champions are also up in the running for the "Skill Award".
The "Special Merit" award sees Junto Nakatani in the running alongside:
Masayoshi Nakatani (19-1, 13) [中谷正義]
and Hironori Mishiro (10-0-1, 3) [三代大訓]
The Effort/Fighting Award short list is
Ryoji Fukunaga (13-4, 13) [福永亮次]
and Kenichi Horikawa (41-16-1, 14) [堀川 謙一]
The KO award has 4 nominees, with Inoue, Ioka, and both Junto and Masayoshi Nakatani.
The newcomer award sees Mishiro up against:
Daishi Nagata (15-2-2, 6) [永田大士]
and Masamichi Yabuki (12-3, 11) [佐藤政道]
The best bout of the year has been split into two categories, as it has been for a while.
The world title bouts up for the award are:
Kazuto Ioka Vs Kosei Tanaka (15-1, 9) [田中恒成]
Naoya Inoue Vs Jason Moloney
Junto Nakatani Vs Giemel Magramo
As for the none world title bouts, the fights nominated here are:
Riku Nagahama [長濱 陸] Vs Kudura Kaneko [クドゥラ 金子]- For the OPBF Welterweight title
Kenichi Ogawa [尾川 堅一] Vs Kazuhiro Nishitani [西谷和宏] - Non title bout
Masayoshi Nakatani Vs Felix Verdejo - WBO Intercontinental Lightweight title
Ryoji Fukunaga Vs Kenta Nakagawa [中川 健太] - WBO Asia Pacific, JBC and OPBF triple title bout
and Hironori Mishiro Vs Masayuki Ito [伊藤 雅雪] - Non title bout
As for the female awards, the MVP nominess are:
WBO Atomweight champion Mika Iwakawa (10-5-1, 3) [岩川 美花]
WBO female Minimumweight champion Etsuko Tada (20-3-3, 7) [多田悦子]
and WBO female Super Flyweight champion Tomoko Okuda (7-2-2, 1) [奥田朋子]
The best bouts for female boxing are:
Mika Iwakawa Vs Nanae Suzuki [鈴木菜々江]
Etsuko Tada Vs Ayaka Miyao [宮尾 綾香]
and Tomoko Okuda Vs Miyo Yoshida [吉田 実代]
Earlier today Japanese fighters were honoured at an annual award ceremony in Tokyo. Whilst certain fighters were unable to attend, such as Naoya Inoue (19-0, 16) [井上 尚弥] and Kazuto Ioka (25-2, 14) [井岡一翔], others however were able to attend and took their chance to talk to the press.
Please note all quotes are translated.
Among those who spoke to the press were Kosei Tanaka (15-0, 9) [田中恒成], who summed up last year:
"I was able to defend three times last year and that was the best. I have a good performance and I want to continue this year."
He also explained that this year he does want to face Ioka:
"I want to do it this year (win the 4th weight class) but I'm not impatient."
Another was IBF "interim" Super Bantamweight champion Ryosuke Iwasa (27-3, 17) [岩佐 亮佑]:
"I was delighted to think that I could continue boxing (by winning the provisional championship match). I thought it was the last chance,"
He also spoke about his plans, and how he watched the recent Super Bantamweight world title bout between Murodjon Akhmadaliev [Ахмадалиев, Муроджон Кахарович] and Daniel Roman, with Akhmadaliev expected to be next for Iwasa:
"Ahmadaliev is powerful, fast, competes in the Olympics, and has a good level of skills. As soon as possible, I imagined a match against the new champion."
Unbeaten Flyweight contender Junto Nakatani (20-0, 15) [中谷 潤人], who is now expected to get a world title fight in Spring, stated:
"I was confident because people around me said that I could win the newcome prize. I would like to compete in the world early this year."
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
Earlier today the annual Japanese boxing awards took place at the Tokyo Dome Hotel.
As previously reported unified Bantamweight champion Naoya Inoue (19-0, 16) [井上 尚弥] won the Best fighter award and the Best Fight at event, but was unable to attend due to illness. That however leaves the question "who else won awards?"
The Best Skill award was won by WBO Super Flyweight champion Kazuto Ioka (25-2, 14) [井岡一翔], who became the first Japanese male 4-weight champion in the summer, stopping Aston Palicte. He then defended the title at the end of the year against Jeyvier Cintron, putting in a very different type of performance against Puerto Rican challenger.
Like Inoue, Ioka also didn't attend the event.
The special award saw Ryota Murata (16-2, 13) [村田 諒太] pick up the honours, after reclaiming the WBA Middleweight title and then defending it just before Christmas. He explained his next bout isn't yet decided, though reports are suggesting a May or June date is likely. Murata also picked up the KO award for the year.
The Effort award was won by Yuki Nagano (17-3, 13) [永野祐樹], who won the award for what he did in 2019 despite recently losing the Japanese Welterweight title.
The Newcomer award was win by Junto Nakatani (20-0, 15) [中谷 潤人], who is now reportedly set to fight for the WBO Flyweight title in Spring.
As previously mentioned Naoya Inoue won the best fight in a world title fight, for his sensational bout with Nonito Donaire in the WBSS final. As for none-world title bout, that award, unsurprisingly, went to the brilliant war between Yuki Beppu [別府優樹] and Ryota Yada [矢田良太] for the WBO Asia Pacific Welterweight title. For fans who haven't seen that one, we genuinely implore you to give a watch!
There was a double award for female fighter Tenkai Tsunami (27-12-1, 16) [天海 ツナミ] who not only took the women's MVP award, for the second year running, but also the women's fight of the year for her bout with Naoko Fujioka [藤岡 奈穂子].
The excellent player award, which is given to every Japanese fighter who holds a world title at some point during the year, saw Inoue, Ioka and Murata receive the honour along with:
Kosei Tanaka (15-0, 9) [田中恒成]
Kenshiro Teraji (17-0, 10) [寺地 拳四朗]
Ryosuke Iwasa (27-3, 17) [岩佐 亮佑]
Hiroto Kyoguchi (14-0, 9) [京口 紘人].
The trainer award was given to Mr Kato from the Misako gym, who has been responsible for training Kenjiro Teraji.
There was also a number of special awards given out. These went to:
Kohei Kono (33-12-1, 14) [河野 公平]
Ryoichi Taguchi (27-4-2, 12) [田口良一]
Tatsuya Fukuhara (21-7-6, 7) [福原 辰弥]
And Hitoshi Misako
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
Earlier today the annual Japanese boxing awards took place at the Tokyo Dome Hotel, honour the best in Japanese boxing from 2019.
The Best Fighter award, the most prestigious of the awards, was won by Naoya Inoue (19-0, 16) [井上 尚弥], who was absent from the ceremony due to a fever. Hideyuki Ohashi, who manages Inoue, explained that Inoue had been taken to hospital earlier today and was diagnosed with fever due to muscle fatigue after a recent training camp in Guam. The fever had seen his temperature rise to 39°C (102.2°F).
During the year Inoue stopped Emanuel Rodriguez in the UK, becoming the first Japanese fighter to win a world title fight in Europe, before winning the WBSS final against Nonito Donaire.
Despite not being there there was a comment from Inoue through Mr Ohashi, which stated that Inoue was honoured to receive the award for the second year running and that it was a fulfilling year for the "Monster".
Although now suffering after the Guam camp there didn't seem any belief at all about him needing to miss many days of training and is still looking forward to the April 25th bout with John Riel Casimero (29-4, 20).
Inoue's bout with Donaire, which saw Donaire win the WBSS final, was also named the best bout, at world level, at the event today.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
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