Former WBO female Minimumweight champion Kasumi Saeki (4-0, 3) [佐伯霞] has been notably absent from the ring since winning the world title more than a year ago.
We had been told the reason for that earlier this year. Saeki had gotten married and was going to begin her family. It's now been revealed that on May 2nd she had a baby boy.
The fighter has revealed that child birth was much more painful than she had imagined, and more painful than boxing, but that she would be looking to return to the ring in the future.
At the moment it's unclear when she will be back in the sport, but we just want to congratulate the fighter and with her, her husband, and the child all the best in a time where we're not really getting much good, positive news.
Earlier today the Masato Yamashita and members of the Shinsei Gym attended an annual praying event at the Minatogawa Shrine in Kobe.
Yamashita was joined by 5 fighters, as well as trainers and staff members, as they prayed for the safety and success of their fighters for the coming years.
At the event Tetsuro Ohashi (7-1-1, 2) [大橋哲朗] spoke about a disappointing 2019, where he suffered his first loss, but spoke positively of the year ahead.
It was also revealed that former WBO female Minimumweight champion Kasumi Saeki (4-0, 3) [佐伯霞] was looking towards returning to the ring later this year. It was revealed that she had gotten married in July and and was beginning a family, hence her vanishing from the boxing world last year after winning her first world title.
One other interesting little story in regards to the Shinsei gym is that the sister of former world champion Ryuya Yamanaka [山中 竜也], who had to retire due to a brain injury, was planning to turn professional with the gym. It's unclear when she'll be planning her debut but she spoke about wanting to become a world champion like her brother.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Today saw the shortlists being released from the Japanese Boxing Commission and the Tokyo Sports Press Club for the annual Japanese boxing awards, celebrating the best of Japanese boxing in 2019.
Unsurprisingly Ryota Murata, Kazuto Ioka, Kosei Tanaka, Kenshiro Teraji and Naoya Inoue were in multiple categories following a solid for all 5 men.
Below are the short lists for this years awards, ahead of the annual ceremony, which will take place on February 7th in Tokyo.
Naoya Inoue (19-0, 16) [井上 尚弥]
Kazuto Ioka (25-2, 14) [井岡一翔]
Ryota Murata (16-2, 13) [村田 諒太]
Kosei Tanaka (15-0, 9) [田中恒成]
Kenshiro Teraji (17-0, 10) [寺地 拳四朗]
Ryosuke Iwasa (27-3, 17) [岩佐 亮佑]
Keita Kurihara (15-5, 13) [栗原 慶太]
Shuichiro Yoshino (11-0, 9) [吉野 修一郎]
Hiroaki Teshigawara (21-2-2, 14) [勅使河原 弘晶]
Ginjiro Shigeoka (5-0, 4) [重岡銀次朗]
Koki Inoue (15-0, 12) [浩樹井上]
Junto Nakatani (20-0, 15) [中谷 潤人]
Yuki Nonaka (33-11-3, 10) [野中 悠樹]
Akinori Watanabe (39-7-1, 33) [渡部あきのり]
Yuki Nagano (17-2, 13) [永野祐樹]
Norihito Tanaka (19-7, 10) [田中教仁]
Best Fight of the Year (World title Bout)
Naoya Inoue Vs Nonito Donaire
Naoya Inoue Vs Emanuel Rodriguez
Kazuto Ioka Vs Aston Palicte
Ryota Murata Vs Rob Brant II
Best Fight of the Year (Non-world title)
Kazuto Takesako Vs Shuji Kato 加藤収二]
Yuki Beppu [別府優樹] Vs Ryota Yada [矢田良太]
Toshiya Ishii [石井渡士也] Vs Haruki Ishikawa [石川春樹]
Tenkai Tsunami (27-12-1, 16) [天海 ツナミ]
Kasumi Saeki (4-0, 3) [佐伯霞]
Miyo Yoshida (14-1) [吉田 実代]
Female Fight of the Year
Naoko Fujioka [藤岡 奈穂子] Vs Tenkai Tsunami
Kasumi Saeki Vs Elizabeth Lopez
Monseratt Alcaron Vs Ayaka Miyao [宮尾 綾香]
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
Tomorrow in Japan fans will be able to see the talented and unbeaten Kasumi Saeki (3-0, 2) [佐伯霞] go for a world title in her 4th professional bout, as she faces Elizabeth Lopez (6-1-4, 1) for the WBO female Minimumweight title.
Today the two fighters took part in their weigh in and both fighters comfortably made the 105lbs limit.
On the scales Saeki, who only made her debut last May, was 103lbs, well under the Minimumweight limit and only 1lb over the Atomweight limit. Despite coming in so light she looked in great condition, really relaxed and with the full belief of her promoter.
The promoter for the Japanese youngster is Masato Yamashhita, who spoke glowingly of Saeki “I am delighted that the gym will be able to perform a women's show for the second time, following last December. From now on, I think Saeki will be a driver of women ’s boxing in Japan. I will practice well, so I hope to win well tomorrow. "
Lopez, who looked the more physically powerful fighter, was much heavier, coming in at 104.5lbs. She looked strong, but she will clearly be the under-dog for the bout.
Interestingly Saeki chose to fight with red gloves whilst Lopez will be fighting in blue gloves, with both selecting Winning gloves.
Related - Saeki goes for world title in fight #4!
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Over the past few weeks we've seen various rumours and stories break from the Shinsei Gym, including yesterday's reveal on their website of Real Spirits 63.
For those unaware Realy Spirits 63 was on their website and revealed that the unbeaten Kasumi Saeki (3-0, 2) [佐伯霞] would face Mexican Elizabeth Lopez (6-1-4, 1) for the WBO female Minimumweight title.
That title had become vacated when Saeki's stablemate Etsuko Tada (18-3-2, 5) [多田悦子], vacated to pursue a WBC world title, with Tada fighting Kanyarat Yoohanngoh (5-2, 3) in a WBC eliminator. Both of those bouts will be on the same card, and will take place at the EDION Arena Osaka, on April 27th.
Today both of those bouts were officially announced at a press conference by the Shinsei who also confirmed that Reiya Konishi's (17-1, 7) [小西伶弥] battle against IBF Light Flyweight champion Felix Alvarado (34-2, 30) would take place on May 19th in Kobe, at the Portopia hotel.
This bout had been in the works for months, and was originally rumoured to be on the April card, before being pushed back to the following month. It will be Alvarado's first defense of the title and Konishi's second world title bout, following a loss to Carlos Canizales in 2018.
The head of the Shinsei Gym, Masato Yamashita, began the press conference:
“My main character Saiki will participate in the WBO Women's World Minimum Class Championship at the main event on April 27. This title was given by Atsuko Tada 3 Tada will be on the 20th, and Tada will hold the WBC World Women's Minimum Class Challenger, aiming for a four-group victory on the same day, and on May 19 Minoru Konishi will challenge the IBF world title match It was decided by the nomination challenge as it is the only one who will play the world title in Kansai, and both men and women will do their best so that they can continue so as not to light the light of the world war in Kansai. All three of us are welcome to take the win, as they may be muddy" [Google translated]
Konishi, who is in really tough told reporters “I am grateful to the chairman for the second chance, and I am practicing and thinking about what I am missing after losing to the world match, by trial and error. I have not made boxing yet, but now I am the strongest. I think it will be a tough match, but I will take on a strong feeling to capture," [Google translated]
Saeki stated: "I didn't think I could get a chance so quickly," adding "I want to get a good chance to be a world champion here." and "This time the other party is smaller than myself. I would like to defeat my boxing and win" [Google translated]
As for Tada "Now, the condition is very good. I think that the other party has a difference in power, so I want to win well and go to the world,"[Google translated]
It's also worth noting that the Kobe card has a notable chief support bout, as Kenichi Horikawa (39-15-1, 13) [堀川 謙一] defends his Japanese Light Flyweight title against Masashi Tada (13-5-3, 8) [多田雅].
What hasn't yet been confirmed is the broadcast information of the two shows. It's been rumoured that WOWOW will show the May card, though the April show may end up Boxing Raise.
Related-April 27th Shinsei Card gets announced! Saeki gets world title fight in 4th bout!
Reiya Konishi and Felix Alvarado to clash in May!
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
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