Back in July Suruga Boy announced that they would be putting on a show in Shizuoka on September 27th. The event wasn't set to be a huge one, but it was set to be an interesting one, whilst trying to keep boxing in Shizuoka alive in these tricky times.
The card had a number of interesting bouts confirmed for it, including an 8 round contest between Koichi Aso (23-9-1, 15) [麻生興一] and Shogo Yamaguchi (12-5-3, 7) [山口祥吾], in what we expect will be a war. As well the second pro bout of the hotly tipped Rentaro Kimura (1-0, 1) [木村蓮太朗], who will be facing off with Takafumi Iwaya (4-3) [岩屋卓史] . And the ring return of Tsubasa Murachi (4-1, 3) [村地翼], following his loss to Froilan Saludar, with Murachi battling Ryotaro Kawabata (12-3-2, 6) [川端遼太郎].
The original hope was that it would be part of the annual Suruga Boy Desafio event, which is essentially a boxing festival in Shizuoka, with the live boxing playing just a part of a much bigger event. Sadly though the plans were cancelled with just the boxing continuing.
One of the many worries for the event was that no one would be able to see it. There was real worries that it would be staged behind closed doors, and no wider access. In the end the event will have fans, but less than 100, and clearly deserves a much bigger audience than that.
Thankfully at the end of August the promoters announced that the event would be given a live stream, for free, on their YouTube channel, which can be accessed here.
At the moment the channel doesn't meet the conditions to allow tipping, so they have also set up some crowdfunding through Camp-fire.jp for those in Japan who want to financially help the promotion. For those who want to donate the link is https://camp-fire.jp/projects/view/312565. The target for the funding is ¥3,000,000, with ¥175,500 having been raised.
The money from the crowd funding will be used to pay for things like the venue, purses, sound and production and likely offset losses that the promoters were going to be making on the event given the lack of fans.
Yesterday former WBA Super Featherweight champion Takashi Uchiyama [内山 高志] began a crowdfunding campaign to help keep afloat his KOD LAB/KOD Studio in Saitama. The gym has had to be closed under Japanese laws to try and limit the effects and spread of the current on going global issues.
Unlike many boxing gyms in Japan the gym it's self hasn't got any professional fighters training there as an affiliated fighter, though pros are welcome to train at the gym and several have since the gym opened. The real target for the gym however are every day people, from the elderly to school children, with a focus on getting people to enjoy exercise, keep fit and lose weight.
The gym also offers help in regards to dieting and dietary advice.
Like all gyms that are closed at the moment it's struggling to bring in money but still needs to make regular payments, and the gym has a number of staff working there as well as things like rent and general bills.
The crowdfunding campaign is being set up to held fund things like the gym rent, the training staff, and promotional expenses.
Unlike some crowdfunding campaigns that don't take off the 5,000,000JPY was smashed in around a day and the support currently stands at 122% of the target, with over 6,100,000JPY pledged to the campaign in just 27 hours.
For those who do get behind the campaign there are various rewards being given, including a KOD t-shirt, a signed t-shirt, a video thank you from Uchiyama himself, a 30 minute one-on-one boxing session with Uchiyama himself, and sponsorship opportunities.
For those interested in the campaign more details are available here.
Back in April the Watanabe Gym set up a crowd funding campaign due to financial worries that the current global climate have brought them. This has included the cancellation, or at least postponement, of a number of events, which has limited the gym's financial income and still forced them to continuing pay things like bills and costs related to the running of the gym.
Currently the funding campaign has reached 79% of it's target, of 6,000,000JPY and still has 18 days left to get the remaining money.
The gym is said to be legitimately struggling at the moment, despite the fact that it's a really well established gym with around 40 years of existence and numerous big names fighting out of the gym, such as former world champion Takashi Uchiyama, Kohei Kono and Ryoichi Taguchi.
The current campaign is being run to help with the costs of cancelling events, including the planned WBA Light Flyweight "Super" title bout between Hiroto Kyoguchi (14-0, 9) [京口 紘人] and Andika Sabu (17-0, 8), as well as running costs and and further training development costs.
For those able to back the gym through their campaign, which have linked to below, there are some special goodies up for grabs, including sparring with some of the top fighters at the gym, signed gloves, and t-shirts among other things.
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