After weeks of speculation and rumours we finally saw the Ohashi team host a press conference today to announce the long awaited Bantamweight unification bout between Naoya Inoue (23-0, 20) [井上 尚弥] and Paul Butler (34-2, 15), with the Japanese kingpin defending his WBA "Super", IBF, WBC and Ring Magazine Bantamweight titles against he WBO title of Butler. The bout, the first 4 title unification bout in Japanese boxing history, had been on the cards for much of the year, but was dependent on the bout actually getting over the line, something that is always a worry in this sport.
The official confirmation of the bout occurred at a press conference held in Yokohama today, announcing what is a strong card with not just a major undisputed title bout in the main event but also a notable under-card containing some of the top fighters at the Ohashi Gym. The announcement confirmed most of the details we already knew. The bout will be on December 13th in Japan, though the venue was announced as the Ariake Arena, a 15,000 seat venue that was used in the Olympics and Paralympics.
The main event, the Inoue Vs Butler bout, was the focus of the press conference and saw Inoue discuss the bout, his opponent, and his future plans. Talking about Butler he stated “Butler is a solid player with no holes. We will weaken him little by little, overwhelm him, and unify all four groups." In regards to the bout and his future, he stated "This is my final chapter in the bantamweight division. This is not the finish line, but the passage point” and that after the bout he was "going to be a challenge from super bantamweight onwards."
He later explained that Butler is "a fighter who uses his jab to score points and makes sure he's not in a dangerous position." However he did go on to predict "I don't have an image of this going to a decision I think he will inevitably fall down".
In regards to how the show will be broadcast, the event will be shown on Hikari TV and dTV in Japan, and will be shown to subscribers as part of their subscription, and not PPV. This is a small surprise as Amazon Prime Video did show Inoue's last bout and was expected to be the front runner for this one as well.
As for the under-card it really is a major one.
The chief support but will see WBO Asian Pacific Light Welterweight champion Andy Hiraoka (21-0, 16) [平岡アンディ] defending his title against Korean challenger Jung Min Ho (13-3-2, 3) [정민호], with Hiraoka looking to take another small step towards a major fight. For unbeaten Japanese fighter the bout serves as his third defense of the title, whilst Ho will be fighting out of Korea for the second time, following a 2019 loss to Daishi Nagata.
Another regional title bout will see hard hitting OPBF Super Bantamweight champion Yoshiki Takei (5-0, 5) [武居由樹] seek his first defense, as he takes on Australian based Tanzanian fighter Bruno Tarimo (26-3-2, 5). On paper this looks to be a very interesting match up, and at the very least should serve as a good test of Takei's stamina given that Tarimo has never been stopped, and went 12 rounds with Zelfa Barret in 2021. Although no world beater Tarimo is very much an upset mined fighter who has beaten the likes of Billel Dib, Nathaniel May, Kye MacKenzie and Joel Brunker.
Another hard hitting regional champion on this card is Satoshi Shimizu (10-1, 9) [清水 聡], though no opponent has been named for his upcoming OPBF title defense.
In a non-title bout Takuma Inoue (16-1, 3) [井上拓真] is set to face Jade Bornea (18-0, 12) in a 10 rounder. This is a perplexing bout as it's scheduled to be around 122lbs, and Bornea is a Super Flyweight, whilst Inoue is a natural Bantamweight. This should prove to be a technical bout, if it goes ahead as suggested, but is a bit of a risk for Bornea, who seemed destined to get an IBF Super Flyweight world title fight in the new year. (Note - It has been speculated that it will be Jake Bornea, but at the moment all sources form Japan state it is indeed Jade)
One other none title bout will see Hironori Miyake (9-12-2, 1) [三宅寛典] compete in an 8 rounder against talented Englishman, and former amateur standout, Peter McGrail (4-0, 3) who returns to the country where he competed at the Olympics last year.
By: Sanman Boxing
IBF Top rated super flyweight Jade Bornea of Sanman boxing now (W18 KO12 L0) kept his immaculate record with a seventh round stoppage victory over veteran Ivan Meneses in Mexico. Meneses showed his ring experience and came in confident throwing haymakers at the Filipino. Bornea showed patience and threw accurate body shots and combinations. Meneses slowed down and Bornea smelled blood. The fight was over in the seventh round.
Bornea has been fighting on the road for a while and has been knocking out opponents in the process. He feels that he is ready for the bigger stage. “Meneses was very strong. He was bigger. I was hurting him with my sharp body shots. It eventually paid off and I got the stoppage win. This win gave me enough confidence to be ready for the big names in my division. Martinez, Ioka, Franco, whoever wants to dance with me in the ring, I’m ready to face them! Props to my team for the great support”, Bornea stated.
By: Sanman Boxing
IBF Top rated super flyweight Jade Bornea (W17 KO11 L0) of Sanman boxing will see action on August 19 in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico against a yet to be announced opponent. Bornea was last seen knocking out Moroccan Mohammed Obbadi in January and has been busy in the gym thereafter.
“I have been busy in the gym keeping myself ready for any fight until I get a world championship break. This is another blessing. Whoever I face in Mexico, I’m getting that win with a statement. I always thank God for these opportunities and of course my Sanman team who has been doing everything to bring me up in my career.”, Bornea said.
By: Sanman Boxing
Jade Bornea, now (17-0 KO11) made a loud statement by scoring a nasty third round TKO win over Mohammed Obaddi in Mexico. Obaddi gave Bornea a tough fight in the opening round but started feeling the Filipino’s power in the second. It was in the fateful third stanza that Bornea hurt Obaddi with a power right hook. Sensing a hurt opponent, Bornea followed with a sharp left uppercut to the rib cage which send Obaddi to his knees in delayed reaction. Obaddi failed to beat the count hence prompting the referee to stop the fight at the 1:25 mark. Bornea earns the top spot in the IBF Junior bantamweight ranking and makes him mandatory challenger to fellow Filipino Jerwin Ancajas.
Ancajas is scheduled to defend his title his title against Fernando Daniel Martinez of Argentina in February and may schedule a unification showdown with WBO champ Kazuto Ioka. Meanwhile, Bornea’s manager and Sanman CEO Jim Claude Manangquil is not eager of staging him against fellow Filipino in Ancajas who is being handled by MP Promotions. “ Now that Jade is in the prime spot at the rankings, it will be easier to look for bigger fights for him. We will take our time. We will sit down and discuss the options”, Manangquil said.
Bornea could not contain his happiness with the sensational win. “I promised my team and my countrymen that I will take win in an exciting fashion. And thank God I did. It was a great game plan and I sticked to it. Obaddi was strong but I can handle his shots. I was waiting for a perfect opening and I found it in the third round. He has a good chin but I sensed I could hurt him more with a body shot. I look forward for a title shot soon. I would like to thank Sanman Promotions, Probellum and Sean Gibbons for making all these possible”, Bornea stated.
Last night in Mexico we saw an IBF Super Flyweight eliminator as unbeaten Filipino Jade Bornea (17-0, 11) faced off with Italian based Moroccan fighter Mohammed Obbadi (22-2, 13). Going in both men were looking to secure themselves a shot at IBF champion Jerwin Ancajas, who will be defending his title in February, and it was clear that this was a major bout for both men, who had a lot of respect for each other.
The opening round started slowly, but heated up really nice in the last minute or so, with both fighters picking up their pace at about the same time. When that happened Bonrea became the stalker, whilst Obbadi showed some lovely movement, quick hands and good straight shots. The final minute of the round really was something very exciting, and saw both have some really good moments. Through the round the best single shots seemed to come from Bornea, but Obbadi had good success with his volume and it was probably his output that shaded what ended up being a really good round.
The second round started much like the first round had ended, with the major difference being that Bornea was fighting the second as a southpaw, and landed one or two gorgeous shots from the lefty stance, including a brilliant straight left hand. It was another really good round, but it was clear that Obbadi had tasted Bornea's power and wasn't really wanting to taste it too often, keeping range more and touching Bornea at range. It was a really nice round from both fighters, though again the heavier, more telling shots were from Bornea, with those shots just edging him the round.
In round 3 Bornea continued as a southpaw, and it seemed like he was very confident at the start of the round. He seemed to hurt Obbadi with a brilliant body shot early on, and although Obbadi seemed to recover it was clear Bornea had smelled blood, and went the body several times through the round, landing some shots that were thrown with the intention of taking the wind out of Obbadi's sails and his footwork. The pressure from Bornea seemed to intensify and Obbadi seemed to be doing all he could to survive. Soon afterwards a headshot hurt Obbadi, and a body shot sent him down for the count.
Notably at the end Obbadi's left eye was a complete mess, it appeared the right hooks from Borena had really damaged his face whilst the body shots had taken the fight out of him.
For Bornea this is, by far, the most notable win of his carer, and whilst he might have to wait for a world title fight, he showed what he could do here and put in a very solid performance. As for Obbadi, this is a set back, but there's a lot for him to work with, and there's a good chance he will find himself back in the mix in the future. Sadly for him however this was a second stoppage loss, and there will be question marks about his toughness, durability and heart.
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