Earlier today the East Japan Boxing Association announced their award winners for the Month of December, which was a surprisingly busy month for Japanese boxing given the increasing number of Covid19 cases in the country.
The MVP for the month was named as Ryoji Fukunaga (13-4, 13) [福永亮次], who unified the WBO Asia Pacific, Japanese and OPBF Super Flyweight titles with an excellent 10th round TKO win over Kenta Nakagawa (19-4-1, 12) [中川 健太] on December 14th. The bout, an hellacious war, was one of the best fights in Japan during the year and Fukunaga's performance and victory really did leaving deserving of this award,
The Fighting Spirit award was won by new crowned Japanese Minimumweight champion Masataka Taniguchi (13-3, 8) [谷口将隆], who claimed the title on December 3rd when he stopped Hizuki Saso (12-7-2, 4) [佐宗 緋月]. The plan now seems to be for Taniguchi to defend his title during 2021 and move towards a second world title fight in the future.
The Newcomer award was won by Kento Yabusaki (8-4-1, 5) [薮﨑賢人] for his shock upset win over 2-time Minimumweight world title challenger Shin Ono (24-11-3, 6) [小野心] on December 8th. This win was a real surprise and help put Yabusaki on the map, though likely was just as much a case of Ono being very much past his prime.
Earlier today the East Japan Boxing Association announced their award winners for November. Unlike most months, where they have 3 winners, November will only have two awards as there no one deemed suitable for the New Comer award, as result there is only MVP and the Fighting Sprit award winner.
The MVP for the month was OPBF Light Welterweight champion Rikki Naito (25-2, 8) [内藤 律樹], who retained his title with an anti-climactic win over Yusuke Konno (16-5, 9) [今野裕介], who had to pull out after 9 rounds due to an arm injury. The win was Naito's 4th defense of the title, and fingers crossed we'll see him in a high profile bout next year, potentially even a regional unification bout.
The Fighting Sprit award was won by Yoshimitsu Kimura (12-2-1, 7) [木村吉光], who earned the award thanks to a very valiant effort against Shuma Nakazato (10-1-3, 7) [仲里周磨], earning a draw in the contest. The bout, one of the best contests we've seen this year, was a back and forth war between the two youngsters, with Kimura looking close to being stopped early on before battling back, dropping Nakazato and earning the draw.
Both of the bouts took place on November 21st as part of Dangan 236, and both are available to watch on Boxing Raise.
Earlier today the East Japanese Boxing Association announced their award winners for the month of October and we had 3 worth while winners for the month, which was, in fairness, a really good month for fights in Japan.
The MVP for the month was world ranked Super Featherweight Kenichi Ogawa (25-1-1-1, 18) [尾川 堅一], who earned the award following his October 2nd win over Kazuhiro Nishitani (21-5-1, 12) [西谷和宏]. The bout saw both men being dropped, and saw really great action through out, with Ogawa taking a clear, but very hard fought, decision. The win not only netted him this award but also moved him closer to a world title fight, with Nishitani also entering the bout as a world ranked fighter.
The Fighting Spirit Award was won by Seiya Tsutsumi (5-0-2, 4) [堤聖也] following his unexpected draw with former WBC Flyweight champion Daigo Higa (16-1-1, 16) [比嘉 大吾] on October 26th. Many had expected Tsutsumi to be easily beaten by the more well known Higa but instead Tsutsumi more than held his own, and some in the venue felt that the under-dog deserved a victory here. Sadly we've not yet seen the bout, though it will be aired on delay in Japan in around 10 days time thanks to TBS.
The Newcomer award was won by Toshiki Kawamitsu (5-0, 2) [川満 俊輝], following his win against Kenshi Noda (2-1, 2) [野田 賢史], in what was an absolutely sensational bout well worthy of a watch. Kawamitsu went into the bout without much fanfare but came out of it as a man who was worth following, and had instantly generated some real buzz. The win for Kawamitsu will open the doors to bigger fights, and if you've not seen this bout with Noda you really should, absolute barn burner by the two youngsters.
Earlier today the East Japan Boxing Association announced the monthly award winners for September, naming an MVP, a Fighting Spirit award winner and a Newcomer award.
The MVP was, unsurprisingly, triple crown winner Shuichiro Yoshino (13-0, 10) [吉野 修一郎]who successfully defended his JBC, OPBF and WBO Asia Pacific Lightweight titles and over-came gutsy veteran Valentine Hosokawa (25-8-3, 12) [細川繁]. The win saw Yoshino successfully defending all 3 titles and take one more step towards a world title fight.
The Fighting Spirit award was won by the hard hitting Kazuki Nakajima (9-0-1, 8) [中嶋一輝], who stopped Kenta Nomura (7-4, 3) [野村健太] in 3 rounds to advance a step closer to his first title fight. Although Nakajima's wasn't perfect it was rather exciting, and again showed he is a legitimate puncher, albeit a flawed one who has still got work to do.
Talking about flawed punchers it's worth noting that Yasutaka Fujita (6-1, 6) [藤田裕崇] won the Newcomer award, following his 19 second blast out win over Kensuke Nakamura (4-9-2) [中村 堅亮]. Although still a flawed fighter it's hard to dislike Fujita's aggression and power, and hopefully we see more of him in the near future.
Unlike normal awards the winners will not be given an in ring award ceremony at Korakuen Hall. They will be certificated and prizes and will have comment videos posted online.
Earlier today the East Japan Boxing Association announced their award winners for the month of August. This month we have winners for all 3 awards, the MVP, Fighting Spirit and Newcomer.
The MVP for the month is Japanese Featherweight champion Ryo Sagawa (10-1, 5) [佐川遼], who stopped the gutsy and brave Yuri Takemoto (8-2-1, 4) [竹本雄利] on august 13th to retain his title. The bout, Sagawa's second defense, saw the two fighters put on a real show for the fans, before Sagawa's accuracy and hard body shots took the wind out of Takemoto's sails, and finished him off right at the end of round 6.
The Fight Spirit award was won by the world ranked Ryota Yamauchi (7-1, 6) [山内涼太]. The talented and exciting Yamauchi won the award as he beat down Satoru Todaka (10-4-4, 3) [戸髙達] to claim the WBO Asia Pacific Flyweight title. The power and aggression saw Todaka take a pounding in round 3 before he was stopped in the corner between rounds. With the win Yamauchi is expected to take a huge step towards a potential world title fight in the next year or so.
The Newcomer award was won by sensationally talented former amateur stand out Ryutaro Nakagaki (1-0, 1) [中垣 龍汰朗], who stopped Shohei Horii (3-6-2, 2) [堀井翔平] in 2 rounds back on August 24th. That win was a sign that Nakagaki has transitioned from the amateurs to the professionals perfectly, and he looks like a real star of the future.
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