Yesterday we reported that the 4 fighters involved for the Ohashi promoted card on July 16th had been tested for Coronavirus ahead of boxing's return to Tokyo next month. The tests were part of a plan to test fighters 3 weeks before a fight, and again the day before a fight.
Today the result came back and all 4 fighters came back negative.
The fighters invovled in the show are OPBF Featherweight champion Satoshi Shimizu (8-1, 8) [清水 聡] and his opponent Kyohei Tonomoto (9-2-1, 4) [殿本恭平] as well as Japanese Light Welterweight champion Koki Inoue (15-0, 12) [浩樹井上] and his mandatory challenger Daishi Nagata (14-2-1, 5) [永田大士].
Although the card will only feature two bouts it is seen as a major turning point in the return of the sport in Japan. Whilst it will be the second show in Japan following the sports hiatus it is a massively important card. It will be the first in Tokyo, the first at Korakuen Hall and the first to feature a title bout since late February.
The card is also an important one regarding the fighters involved in it.
For Satoshi Smizu the bout marks his 5th defense of the OPBF Featherweight title, and a return to the ring after being stopped last year by Joe Noynay, it's a huge step up for Kyohei Tonomoto, the first mandatory defense for Koki Inoue and a win for Daishi Nagata would see the Misako Gym have their 6th active Japanese champion, which would be a record.
Whilst fans won't be allowed into the event it is a massively significant show and one that the authorities and fans are hoping goes off without any issues.
We expect to see boxing back in Tokyo on July 16th, when the Ohashi Gym put on the 72nd show in the Phoenix Battle series of events. The event, promoted by former world champion Hideyuki Ohashi, will be the first boxing event in the Japanese capital since February and will be a title double header.
Today, 3 weeks out from that show, the fighters involved have all been tested in regards to the on going global situation.
The bouts on the show will see OPBF Featherweight champion Satoshi Shimizu (8-1, 8) [清水 聡] defending his title against Kyohei Tonomoto (9-2-1, 4) [殿本恭平], in what is Shimizu's fifth defense of the title, and Japanese Light Welterweight champion Koki Inoue (15-0, 12) [浩樹井上] defending his belt against mandatory challenger Daishi Nagata (14-2-1, 5) [永田大士], in a Champion Carnival bout.
The 4 men are expecting results back tomorrow as we continue to take steps towards boxing much anticipated return to "The Land of the Rising Sun".
The Coronavirus Countermeasures Liaison Council, set up by the Japan Boxing Commission and Japan Professional Boxing Association had their latest meeting today and took their latest step towards opening up the boxing scene in the country. A full decision on the restart it expect to be made in the coming days but today's meeting did lay down some clear ground work for the return.
In regards to health and safety the hope is to give fighters anti-body tests 3 weeks prior to a bout. That still hasn't been totally signed off but seems to be the standard they will be pushing for. The shows will also be non-spectator events to begin with, and it doesn't seem like their is a clear agreement on when that is going to be changed.
The first show that has been applied for at Korakuen Hall is, still, the planned Ohashi show on July 16th which will be a double header show, with no supporting under-card. That event is planned to see OPBF Featherweight champion Satoshi Shimizu (8-1, 8) [清水 聡] defending his title against Kyohei Tonomoto (9-2-1, 4) [殿本恭平] and Japanese Light Welterweight champion Koki Inoue (15-0, 12) [浩樹井上] defending his belt against mandatory challenger Daishi Nagata (14-2-1, 5) [永田大士].
That may end up not being the first show in Japan in July, with applications made for two shows at the Aioi Hall, one on July 5th and one on July 12, though details of those shows haven't been announced in any sort of detail yet. This could mean Japanese boxing restarts in Central Japan almost 2 weeks before it starts in the capital.
Talking about events in the capital it appears the Japanese Middleweight title bout between Kazuto Takesako (11-0-1, 11) [竹迫司登] and Riku Kunimoto (4-0, 2) [国本陸] will not take place on July 27th as planned, and has been pushed back, potentially to 2012. That was due to Kunimoto requesting a delay based on his inability to train.
Despite that news there is the hope is that Tokyo will host a card on July 22nd, with Kenta Nakagawa (18-3-1, 12) [中川 健太] defending his Japanese Super Flyweight title against Yuta Matsuo (15-4-2, 8) [松尾雄太].
Notably there wasn't any mention of the recently reported WBO Flyweight title bout between Junto Nakatani (20-0, 15) [中谷 潤人] and Giemel Magramo (24-1, 20), which was reportedly looking for a July 4th date.
Earlier today news broke of two planned Japanese shows which have been pencilled in for July, though still need to be given the green light by the Japanese boxing authorities. Not only are two shows planned but the will both be featuring Japanese title fights.
The first of those is planned for July 22nd and will be headlined by Japanese Super Flyweight title bout between Kenta Nakagawa (18-3-1, 12) [中川 健太] and Yuta Matsuo (15-4-2, 8) [松尾雄太], who will be meeting in one of the delayed Champion Carnival bouts.
Originally Nakagawa and Matsuo were supposed to be facing off on May 16th, before boxing in Japan was put on an hiatus due to the ongoing global issues. For Nakagawa the bout will be his first defense of his second reign, following his title win back in December against Takayuki Okumoto. As for Matsuo this will be his third crack at a Japanese title, following losses to Masayuki Kuroda and Takayuki Okumoto.
The plan for the card is to feature 3 under-card bouts alongside the main event.
The second show is planned to take place 5 days later, on July 27th and will see Kazuto Takesako (11-0-1, 11) [竹迫司登] defending his Japanese Middleweight title against Riku Kunimoto (4-0, 2) [国本陸], in a bout that was originally supposed to take place back on May 2nd.
For Takesako the bout will be his 4th defense of the title whilst Kunimoto will be fighting in his first title fight. At the moment there are no details regarding an under-card.
Again it needs to be said that both shows have got to be given the green light, along with the previously reported Ohashi gym card which will feature OPBF Featherweight champion Satoshi Shimizu (8-1, 8) [清水 聡] defending his title against Kyohei Tonomoto (9-2-1, 4) [殿本恭平] and Japanese Light Welterweight champion Koki Inoue (15-0, 12) [浩樹井上] defending his belt against Daishi Nagata (14-2-1, 5) [永田大士].
The shows will all be discussed at an upcoming meeting in Japan, where the three shows will be looked at to make sure they are possible and don't carry too much risk.
There is also a card set for July 30th, which will be be run by the East Japan Boxing Association.
On Thursday news broke from Japan that the Ohashi gym are looking to arrange a show for July at Korakuen Hall, in what would be one of the first shows that Japan would have since it suspended boxing back at the end of February.
The show is expected to only have 2 bouts on it, but both are title bouts and both are very interesting match ups.
The first bout planned for the event will see OPBF Featherweight champion Satoshi Shimizu (8-1, 8) [清水 聡] return to the ring for the first time since he was stopped by Joe Noynay last year. The Olympic bronze medal winner will be defending his OPBF title against fellow Japanese fighter Kyohei Tonomoto (9-2-1, 4) [殿本恭平].
On paper this looks like a pretty straight forward defense for Shimizu, who looked destructive before his ill fated bout with Noynay, but given his long absence from the ring alongside his injuries form the Noynay bout and his age this could end up being a very tough return for the man dubbed "Diamond Left". As for Tonomoto the bout gives him a chance to add to the Japanese Youth Featherweight title he won last year, when he upset Hiaru Matsuoka. The 24 year old Tonomoto is stepping up on class but will go in to the bout with some real hunger.
The other bout scheduled for this card is the now re-rescheduled Japanese Light Welterweight title bout between unbeaten champion Koki Inoue (15-0, 12) [浩樹井上] and mandatory challenged against Daishi Nagata (14-2-1, 5) [永田大士], with the bout being held as part of the Champion Carnival. This bout was originally set for March 16th, but Inoue suffered an injury, pushing the bout back to May, but before the bout could happen the sport in Japan was suspended.
It appears the show hasn't yet been cleared by the JBC but is expected to be given the green light, but would be taking,place behind closed doors, with no fans in the venue as Japan continues it's battle against the ongoing global situation.
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