Earlier today the winners of the East Japan Boxing Awards, for November, were announced with 3 winners being named for the month.
The MVP for the month was Takuma Inoue (15-1, 3) [井上拓真], who won the award after becoming a 3-weight OPBF champion in the following his win over Shingo Wake (27-7-2, 19) [和氣 慎吾] on November 11th. Inoue, who won the OPBF Super Bantamweight title with the win, was a clear front runner for the award and his win over Wake is one of the best of his career so far. And that's ignoring how food the actual performance was, as he neutralised the talented Wake and dominated him over 12 rounds.
The Fighting Spirit Award was won by the newly crowned Japanese Light Flyweight champion Shokichi Iwata (7-0, 5) [岩田 翔吉], who won the award, and the Japanese title, thanks to an excellent 9th round TKO win over Rikito Shiba (5-3, 2) [芝 力人]. The bout was a very clear step up in class for Iwata, but it was a step up that he made with relative ease as he took the best Shiba had to offer, and went on to break him down.
The third winner was the Newcomer of the Month, Hyuma Fujioka (12-10-1, 1) [藤岡飛雄馬], who earned the award for his massive upset win over former world title challenger Ryohei Takahashi (19-5-1, 8) [高橋竜平]. Takahashi, best known for his IBF world title bout with TJ Doheny back in 2019, was dropped by Fujiuoka, who took a career best win with an 8 round decision victory here on November 26th.
Earlier today the Shinjuku FACE played host to the latest show under the A-Sign Boxing banner, thanks to Hachioji Nakaya gym and Ichitaro Ishii, from Yokohama Hikari, who streamed the bout on the A-Sign Boxing YouTube channel.
Originally planned as a small, 4 bout, card the show was down a bout before it even began. That was due to 2019 Rookie of the Year winner Hyoga Taniguchi (4-2-2, 1) [谷口彪賀] being forced out of his scheduled bout with Hiro Ichimichi (4-0-1, 3) [一道宏] due to motor vehicle accident. Sadly that left us with just 3 bouts on the show, though credit to everyone involved in going ahead with the show and delivering us a memorable card.
The show began with a genuine upset, as Ryugo Ushijima (4-2-2, 2) [牛島龍吾] suffered a surprise defeat at the hands of the experienced Hyuma Fujioka (11-10-1, 1) [藤岡飛雄馬]. Sadly for Ushijima he never got a handle on Fujioka at all, with the veteran being too crafty, too smart, too quick and too experienced. After 6 rounds there was only one winner, and it wasn't Ushijima. To his credit Ushijima never stopped trying, but he had very little success, and one judge managed to give all 6 rounds to Fujioka. That seemed harsh, but there no doubt about the rightful victor.
The second bout on the show saw Tetsuya Kondo (5-2, 3) [近藤 哲哉] take a majority decision win over Ken Koibuchi (6-5, 5) [鯉渕 健] in a bout that started slowly, but ended up getting super exciting in the middle stages. The first two rounds were some what quiet, with Kondo taking the first and Koibuchi taking the second. Then the touch paper was lit in round 3 and Koibuchi dropped Kondo. He then went all out looking for the finish, unloading everything he had as Kondo did everything he could to survive. Somehow Kondo saw off the storm, and sadly for Koibuchi he pretty much went all in, failing to follow up in round 4. The exhaustion of Koibuchi allowed Kondo back into the bout and in the final 2 rounds. Going to the bell this was a hard one to call, with Kondo getting the nod on the cards. We feel it went the wrong way, but wouldn't argue too much here, very close and well matched bout.
There was no need for judges in the main event as rising star Jin Sasaki (9-0, 8) [佐々木尽] scored his latest win, stopping Tatsuya Miyazaki (9-14-1, 9) [宮崎辰也] in the opening round. Miyazaki went out looking for the upset before being dropped mid-way through the round. Despite the knockdown he got back to his feet, and pressed forward before being knocked loopy in the final seconds of the round, and dangling over the ropes before the referee jumped in.
Following his win it was announced that Sasaki would clash with Aso Ishiwaki (8-2-1, 6) [石脇麻生] on December 26th. The bout is expected to be a JBC Youth title bout at 140lbs. Given the styles of the two men this has the hall marks of a brutal and thrilling bout, and a potential late contender for Fight of the Year. The styles and mentalities of the two should gel and we can't help but think this has the ingredients to be something very special.
Yesterday the brilliant A-Sign Boxing confirmed news that we had been expecting for a while. That was that their November 23rd card from the Shinjuku FACE in Tokyo would be streamed live, and for free, on YouTube! With the show set to begin it's broadcast from 18:30 local time.
The show isn't as big as some of the other A-Sign cards that have been made available but is still an interesting one, and we all love free boxing right?
The main event of the card will see fast rising Japanese Light Welterweight - come - Welterweight Jin Sasaki (8-0, 7) [佐々木尽] take on fellow puncher Tatsuya Miyazaki (9-13-1, 9) [宮崎辰也], in what we expect will be a short but explosive fight. The card will also feature 2019 Rookie of the Year winner Hyoga Taniguchi (4-2-2, 1) [谷口彪賀] battling with the unbeaten Hiro Ichimichi (4-0-1, 3) [一道宏], in what looks like a really solid test for the talented Taniguchi. We'll also see exciting teenager Ryugo Ushijima (4-1-2, 2) [牛島龍吾] clash with the experienced and tough Hyuma Fujioka (10-10-1, 1) [藤岡飛雄馬].
Previous streams form A-Sign have all been fantastic quality, very clear and smooth and we do advise fans wanting to follow Japanese boxing to give them a shot. Sadly however it does seem likely this will clash, at least partially, with another free stream, from TV Osaka featuring a number of bigger name fighters. However getting the chance to watch two different shows gives us choices, and that's never a bad thing!
For those who need the link for the A-Sign boxing YouTube channel, that's available here.
Earlier today Thailand local fans had the chance to see the once beaten Kongfah CP Freshmart (29-1, 15) [ก้องฟ้า ซีพีเฟรชมาร์ท] pick up his latest win, as he stopped Japanese visitor Hyuma Fujioka (10-10-1, 1) [藤岡飛雄馬] in a pretty compelling bout for the WBC Asian Diamond Super Bantamweight title.
Early on the visitor managed to apply pressure. It was a good game plan, but he lacked the skills needed to make the most of it and all too often he was following Kongfah without really letting his hands go. The ineffective pressure showed that Fujioka was there to win, but lacked the ability to really close the distance, whilst Kongfah was able to smartly box on the back foot and win the rounds.
After 4 rounds we had the open scoring, which had Kongfah leading 40-36, twice,and 39-37.
The pressure of Fujioka, and the lack of success it had, began to get turned around and it wasn't long before it was Kongfah pressing the fight, backing up Fujioka. When that happened the Japanese fighter really began to get beaten up. He had a torrid round 8, before the pressure and power of Kongfah broke down the Japanese fighter in the 9th round.
With the win Kongfah is now riding a solid 15 fight winning run, albeit at the lower end of the regional scene. Fujioka on the other hand has now lost 3 in a row and 5 of his last 6, however this is only the second time he has been stopped in his 21 fight career.
Tomorrow in Thailand fans will be able to see Kongfah CP Freshmart (28-1, 15) [ก้องฟ้า ซีพีเฟรชมาร์ท] take on Japanese visitor Hyuma Fujioka (10-9-1, 1) [藤岡飛雄馬] in a bout for a regional WBC title at Super Bantamweight.
Today, ahead of their bout, the two men took part in their weigh in and both fighters came in on the limit, at 122lbs.
On paper this is a mismatch, but in reality we're expecting a much more competitive bout than the record suggest, with Fujioka being much better than many assume.
For fans wanting to watch this it will be aired on Thai Channel 7HD from 13:45 local time, as part of a pretty interesting card featuring a number of other fighters from the CP Freshmart banner.
News! We try and give you the most interesting news stories from the Asian boxing world!