Yesterday we reported that boxing was planned to return to Japan on July 12th with a Rookie of the Year card. It now appears, just a day later, that those plans have been scrapped, due to financial issues.
Today Nikkan sports have reported that the show, which was supposed to be promoted by former WBC Bantamweight champion Yasuei Yakushiji, has been cancelled due to the inability for the show to have fans or a TV crew.
Whilst the bulk of the show was supposed to be a Rookie of the Year card it is worth noting that the show was also supposed to feature current WBO Asia Pacific Featherweight champion Musashi Mori (11-0, 6) [森 武蔵], in a non-title bout. The hope was for fans to be in attendance and that the main event would get TV coverage, and, as a result, for the show to be financially viable. With no fans those plans have fallen apart.
In quotes given by Yakushiji to Nikkan sports, the former fighter turned promoter has revealed that "There is no TV relay, it will come out without admission income. I can not pay fight money either". Essentially ending the show all together. He is quotes as saying that plans revolving him and his fighters are "totally blank paper", scrapping previously planned ideas for Mori to fight twice this year before a world title fight in 2021.
It's unclear no what will happen to the Rookie of the Year match ups expected to be on the show, though it's a real shame to see things not looking as sorted as we all assumed after yesterday's meeting betwene the JBC and JPBA.
Earlier today the Japan Boxing Commission (JBC) and Japan Professional Boxing Association (JPBA) held their latest zoom meeting in regards to the restart of boxing in Japan. It was at that meeting that w essentially got the date for when boxing will return to the country, and what where.
The show now pencilled in to be the first Japanese show since the end of February will be a Rookie of the Year card on July 12th in in Nagoya City. That card hasn't been fully announced but will see the 2020 edition of Rookie of the Year finally kick off, several months after it as supposed to begin.
The show will not allow fans to attend, though there is a chance the show may be streamed.
At the moment we haven't yet seen a bout bout list for the show, but expect to see one in early to mid June.
Given the competition is late to begin it's now been confirmed that the finals will not be held in December, as we usually see, but February instead, to allow the fighters to prepare for each round of the tournament.
The Rookie of the Year is then expected to be given other shows in late July.
Interestingly there won't be any pro-tests, at least not in their typical form, until September.
Various reports out of Japan have stated that the boxing gyms in the country, which have been closed for weeks now, are going to begin reopening from June 1st.
The gyms were closed as part of a wider spread effort to prevent the spread of Coronavirus through Japan, a country that has kept a good grip on things when compared to many other countries. As a result of being closed the gyms were given funds from the Japanese boxing authorities to help cover costs for cancelled events and general running costs. That money however wasn't enough for all the gyms and some did turn to crowd funding to keep up and running.
With the gyms opening on June 1st it will be the first time many fighters will have had the chance to do any real training since they closed, though of course some fighters have been doing general road work and some others do have private facilities they can use.
The announcement that gyms will be allowed to open was made today at the latest meeting between the Japan Boxing Commission (JBC) and Japan Professional Boxing Association (JPBA), and it did come with conditions attached.
Whilst gyms are able to have some freedom in regards to the health measures they bring in, they will need to have all staff and fighters fill in a questionnaire and undergo some basic health checks, such as oxygen saturation and temperature checks.
Fighters with bouts set will also need to take part in anti-body tests.
With gyms set to re-open we're about to see a huge step towards boxing in Japan restarting!
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 Philstar reported that the new date being eyed for the world title bout between Junto Nakatani (20-0, 15) [中谷 潤人] and Giemel Magramo (24-1, 20) is July 4th at Korakuen Hall, with the two men vying for the vacant WBO Flyweight title that Kosei Tanaka vacated earlier in the year.
Philstar report that Teiken would be promoting the bout and that Teiken and Magramo's manager, Johnny Elorde, have agreed a deal for the bout. However before the bout can go ahead there will need to be certain things that need to be cleared.
According to Philstar the Games and Amusement Board (GAB) chairman Baham Mitra has stated that he's in touch with Leon Panoncillo and Tsuyoshi Yasukochi in regards to the safety protocols of the event before allowing the bout from their side. Their will also be visa issues to solve before the bout can be signed and sealed and delivered.
At the moment flights of the Philippines aren't as regular as usual and it's unclear at the moment what the protocols would be for the bout, and the travel arrangements would be for Magramo's team. It appears that is just part of the issues that will need to be solved if the bout is to go ahead in early July.
Originally the contest had been set for April and was then provisionally rescheduled to June, before being put on the backburner.
At the moment the Japan Boxing Commission (JBC) and Japan Professional Boxing Association (JPBA) have only made it known that there are only 3 applications for shows in July, with this not being one of them, though their is expected to be a spate of applications in the coming days.
At the last meeting the JBC and JPBA stated that their plan will be for no fan shows to begin with, before bringing in shows with only 30% of the seats made available. Shows will also be limited to 8 bouts, maximum, with a maximum of 32 rounds per show. With that in mind it would be interesting to see what else Teiken have got in mind for this potential show. With a world title bout taking up 12 of the maximum 32 rounds, it would leave them able to put on another few bouts, if they choose.
Interestingly July 4th would match up with the regularly scheduled Dynamic Glove, on G+ which would make for a great return to televised boxing in Japan.
Again it needs to be noted that the bout hasn't been officially announced, and teams have hurdles on both sides to over-come, but it's great to see talk of this bout is surfacing and that Teiken are looking to put it on when boxing returns the Land of the Rising sun.
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