In recent years we have seen the definition of "professional boxing" come under some scrutiny as to what it actually is. For example were there WSB (World Series Boxing) and APB (AIBA Professional Boxing) actually amateur competitions or professional leagues within the world of professional boxing. We have also seen the growth of the White Collar Scene and even amateurs being paid in some areas.
We're not here to define professional boxing, but instead speak about the return of boxing to Japan, as the controversial Akira Yamane will actually be over-seeing the first Japanese boxing card since February, thanks to his WYBC (World Yamane Boxing Championship).
The WYBC is a bit of an oddity in the world of boxing. It's not professional boxing as overseen by the Japan Boxing Commission (JBC) in fact it's essentially a renegade league in it's own right. It was launched last year, after Yamane's departure from the Japan Amateur Boxing Federation (JABF), and was one final shot from Yamane to remain relevant, despite the controversies that had forced him to leave the amateur boxing scene.
So why are we talking about Yamane and the definition of professional boxing?
Well it turns out that Yamane's renegade league will be putting on the first "professional" Japanese boxing card since the lockdown was put in force in Japan with a show set for May 31st at the Kyoto KBS Hall.
The event will have no audience but will be broadcast for free and will be headlined by Tomoya Takahashi [高橋知哉], the defending WYBC Heavyweight champion, defending his title.
Interestingly the WYBC stages fights in a much smaller ring than a typical boxing event, but the level of fighters is also massively reduces from those we typically see as well.
Whether you consider this professional boxing or not, it's still a notable stage towards boxing beginning in the East and is clearly something that could be of interest to fight fans wanting a fix this coming Sunday. At least if they make it clear how to watch the event, which still doesn't seem to be that clear at the moment.
Controversial Japanese boxing figure Akira Yamane, who had previously been the head of the Japanese Amateur Boxing Federation (JABF), held a press conference earlier today to announce the creation of the new "World Yamane Boxing Championship", WYBC.
Not only did Yamane announce his new organisation today but also revealed that on September 29th his organisation would crown a Heavyweight champion.
The Heavyweight bout will see Tomoya Takahashi, who looks to be a rather enigmatic fighter from the video below, taking on a Brazilian fighter, who's name has been given as "Daniel Hat".
According to the press conference the WYBC will work alongside the JBC and the 4 major world title bodies, however there is serious doubt about that, due to Yamane's past.
Yamane was essentially forced to leave his position at the top of the JABF, and turfed out, due to a number of controversies, from scoring to the providing of gloves. This new organisation certainly begins under a dark cloud, and it will be one that Yamane, and the fighters under it, will have to work very hard to shake. At the moment it looks more like a renegade league, than anything too enticing, but due to Yamane's involvement it will get serious attention in Japan
(Image courtesy of Sponichi)
At the end of July we reported that the Japanese Federation (JBF) had come under serious fire for the way they handed funds set aside by the "Japan Sports Promotion Center" (JSC) for 2016 Olympian Daisuke Narimatsu [成松大介], who received only a third the money that he was supposed to get.
That story then snowballed with the JBF being accused of pressuring referees to fix results.
The president of the JBF, Akira Yamane, had been seen as the key figure head of the allegations and today he announced that he was going to tender his resignation due to the problems that have occurred under his watch.
The 78 year old had had his leadership addressed at a lengthy emergency meeting held by the JBF yesterday, and although they didn't fire him the meeting did essentially leave his position untenable, with Yamane stepping down today.
Yamane has got a lot of allegations to answer, including a relationship with a former gang leader, an allegation that the company who sold the only approved gloves was fronted by Yamane and that he had taken and misused money as well as telling officials to favour fighters from Nara.
Whilst Yamane stepping down is a start former JBF board member Yoshio Tsuruki seemed to suggest that this didn't do anything, and he seems to be after widescale changes, rather than just having Yamane step down. This was also something that seemed to be echoed by others, who seemed to think the issue was much deeper routed than just the out going president.
It's going to be interesting to see if others follow Yamane, who is unlikely to be the only bad apple within the JBF.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
News! We try and give you the most interesting news stories from the Asian boxing world!