Back on May 11th we brought you the news that the Watanabe Gym had set up a crowd funding campaign , titled "Save the Watanabe Boxing Gym" with real fears that the long established gym was going to potential need to close down, permanently. When we reported that the gym had hit 79% of it's target, of 6,000,000JPY.
Today the campaign has managed to hit the target, with the help of more than 400 fans.
Although the gym will remain closed for now the plan seems to be for Watanabe to promote a show in August. At the moment details o that card haven't been planned, but there is light at the end of the tunnel for the Gym.
Originally, before the global situation became what it has been, the plan had been for WBA Light Flyweight "Super" champion Hiroto Kyoguchi (14-0, 9) [京口 紘人] to defend his title against Indonesian challenger Andika Sabu (17-0, 8) in May. It's unclear if that bout will now occur in August but it is great to see that the gym has hit it's target and fighters have been given some money out of the pledges, to tide them over for the short term.
Back in January WBA Light Flyweight "super" champion Hiroto Kyoguchi (14-0, 9) [京口 紘人] announced that he was planning to fight again in April or May. Following that there hadn't been any follow up announcements as to when, where or who against...until today.
Earlier today it was confirmed, by the Watanabe gym, that the plans were for Kyoguchi to defend his title on May 9th at the Ohama Gymnasium in Sakai City against WBA's #2 ranked contender Andika Sabu (17-0, 8). Sadly that bout has now officially been postponed, despite never being officially announced.
The bout would have been Kyoguchi's third defense of the title, which he won at the end of 2018, when he stopped Hekkie Budler. Since winning the title Kyoguchi has defended it against Satanmuanglek CP Freshmart and Tetsuya Hisada, with the Hisada bout coming back in October.
Sabu, dubbed "D'Golden Boy", would have been getting his first world title fight, and the 24 year old Indonesian fighter would have been taking a huge step up in class and fighting outside of Indonesia for the first time. Although ranked #2 by the WBA Sabu had done little to deserve that ranking, and wouldn't be expected to put up much of a challenge for the talented Kyoguchi. Saying that however the bout has only been postponed, officially, and not cancelled, leaving the door open to the bout being rescheduled after the suspension of boxing in Japan is lifted.
Whilst Sabu wouldn't be expected to over-come Kyoguchi it is worth noting that Indonesian boxing does need a shot in the arm, and a big fight for Sabu might be what the country needs. On the other hand the bout coming this year might well be too much too soon for Sabu, who really hasn't fought anyone near world so far into his career.
Yesterday at Korakuen Hall there was a notable card, featuring the "God's Left Bantamweight Tournament Final" and a trio of title bouts.
One small story that was over-looked due to the in ring action was an announcement made by WBA Light Flyweight "super" champion Hiroto Kyoguchi (14-0, 9) [京口 紘人].
The unbeaten 2-weight world champion gave us the clearest indication so far of when he is expecting to be back in the ring.
The talented fighter from the Watanabe Gym told the fans in the venue that his next bout is likely to be in April or May. This could potentially fall in line with the Golden Week, at the end of April and start of May, or alternatively come later in the month.
Notably this will not be a mandatory title defense for Kyoguchi, who made his mandatory in October when he beat fellow Japanese fighter Tetsuya Hisada (34-10-2, 20) [久田 哲也].
Whilst no opponent has been suggested it is rather interesting to note that the WBA's #2 ranked contender for the weight is Indonesian fighter Andika Sabu (17-0, 8). Dubbed "D'Golden Boy", the Indonesian may well be the man who gets the call to challenge Kyoguchi. This is even more likely given that the #1 ranked contender Daniel Matellon and #3 ranked contender Eik Omar Lopez are facing off in February for the "interim" title.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
Today has been a hectic day for fight fans across Asia with a whole host of shows taking place across the continent. Those weren't all huge, but they featured at least one bout of some note.
The main event of this card saw talented Filipino Mark Magsayo (20-0, 14) dominate former Thai world champion Pungluang Sor Singyu Onesong (53-7, 35). Magsayo never managed to hurt Pungluang, who is a tough old rugged lump, but thoroughly dominated him and landed some highlight reel combinations in the later stages. The win saw Magsayo claim the WBC Asian Boxin Council Featherweight title, and it's now time he got a big fight. As for Pungluang it's clear he's still a serviceable fighter at regional level, but this was a 4th loss in 5 for the former WBO Bantamweight champion.
In a hotly contested bout for the GAB Bantamweight title Giovanni Escaner (20-4, 12) narrowly over-came Renoel Pael (23-10-1, 12), with a 12 round split decision. On paper this didn't look like it'd be competitive, but the styles gelled well and in the end their was very little to split the men.
In a Featherweight bout Virgel Vitor (15-2, 9) impressively destroyed Alan Alberca (11-4, 6) in 4 rounds. Vitor's power was on show through out the bout and he really did look like a brutally spiteful puncher through out. Alberca gave a good effort but was no match for Vitor and his power.
Chinese fighter Ainiwaer Yilixiati (17-1, 11) claimed the WBC Asian Boxing Council and IBO Asia Middleweight titles, as he took a clear decision win over Japan's Ryosuke Maruki (16-7-1, 11). This was a 6th straight win for Yilixiati, following his 2017 loss to Jayde Mitchell whilst Maruki has now lost 3 of his last 4.
The main event here saw the talented Andika Sabu (17-0, 8) pull himself off the canvas to take a decision over Filipino Richard Rosales (14-10-2, 8). The 23 year old Sabu has got potential and time on his side, but he also has a lot of areas to work on. Sadly for Rosales he is now 2-6 in his last 8, dating back 2 years.
Unbeaten Indonesian Lightweight Hebi Marapu (15-0, 11) extended his winning run as he took a 6 round decision over veteran Isack Junior (26-12-3, 9). The powerfully built Marapu has shown promise, but at 30 years old it's now or never for that promise and we would be hugely disappointed if he fails to secure a big bout in 2020.
Bang Phli, Thailand
Hard hitting Thai youngster Thanongsak Simsri (11-0, 11) extended KO streak, and claimed his first title, as he stopped Nattee Thongsingcle (2-2, 2) in 3 rounds to claim the Thai Light Flyweight title. The 20 year old Thanongsak has been drubbed "Srisaket II" in the Thai press and whilst that is a big tag to live up to, he has now racked up 11 wins in just over 14 months.
On the same card veteran Mike Tawatchai (47-13-2, 30) scored a 3rd round KO win over 16 year old novice Keerati Rueangdet (0-2).
Macao S.A.R., China
Exciting young hopeful Lap Cheong Cheong (7-0, 4) shone in front of local fans as he took a dominant decision win over ShanTuo Lu (2-4). The 22 year old Cheong Cheong shut out Lu over 6 rounds, to take his second decision win of the year, following a wide decision win over Muhammad Wahid in May. Lu, who has still never been stopped, never looked competitive but did serve as good foil for the youngster to shine against.
Former world title challenger Ernesto Saulong (22-5-2, 9) came up short in a bout against the unbeaten Brock Jarvis (17-0, 15). The match up, for the WBA Oceania Super Bantamweight title, was a clear win for Jarvis, who had too much of everything for Saulong who has now won just 1 of his last 5.
This coming weekend unbeaten Indonesian prospect Ari Agustian (7-0, 7) will battle in a regional title fight against Suntorn Panhom (3-3, 2). Interestingly it's now been revealed that Agustian has changed his training set up in the build up to this bout.
The unbeaten Indonesian had previously been working with Damianus Yordan, the older brother of Daud Yordan. Apparently however they have split in rather odd circumstances, with Agustian said to have had problems and wanted to be independent, suggesting that Yordan wanted to instill a sense of discipline in the unbeaten 23 year old.
Despite leaving the guidance of Yordan the unbeaten fighter isn't going alone, and has joined up Cosmas Radias, his former amateur coach. He's been training in Pontiak for this bout and stated that he was ready for this bout, and was sure he would win.
Another young Indonesian fight on the same card is Andika "D'Golden Boy" Sabu (15-0, 8), who will be expecting a real test as he takes on the tough Romshane Sarguilla (7-2-2, 4), and he, like Agustian, sounded confident in comments made to the Indonesian press.
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