Earlier today reports from Japan stated that 35 year old Japanese veteran Kohei Oba (36-3-1, 14) [大場浩平] is looking to make an in ring return, more than 5 years after his last bout.
Oba, also known as the "Mayweather of Nagoya", was last seen in action in September 2014, when he beat Keigo Soma in a bit of a gimme. That bout had followed a loss in an IBF Bantamweight world title eliminator against Randy Caballero, who later won the IBF title. Prior those two bout Oba had previously held the Japanese Bantamweight title, twice, making a combined 7 defenses over his 2 reigns.
When he retired he cited issues with his eyes, including cataracts, though it appears that contact lenses, and time away from the sport has helped his eyes recover. After retiring he served as a trainer, and found that his eyes were healing which seems to have helped reignite his fire for an in ring career.
According to a report in the Japanese Boxingnews website, it appears that his return could end up taking place later this year and could see him taking on 21 year old Yoshiki Minato (8-3, 3) [湊義生], who is a former All Japan Rookie of the Year winner. The bout has been announced, though has no set date or venue and will still require Oba to get a license and for the bout to be given the green light by the Japan Boxing Commission.
A license for Oba has been applied for, but at the time of writing it has yet to be granted.
Last September we reported that Kohei Oba (36-3-1, 14), the former Japanese Bantamweight champion, was to retire from boxing. At the time he was just 29 but was sure that he no longer had what it took to get the most from himself in the ring. Today he took part in his retirement ceremony at the Kobe Central Gym.
Oba, dubbed the "Mayweather of Nagoya" due to his style, celebrated his retirement with some shadow boxing in the ring before being given a banquet of flowers from former stablemate Hozumi Hasegawa who gave a speech about his former gym mate.
At the ceremony Oba said he wanted to thank his fans and wife whilst Hasegawa said that he hoped to see Oba open a gym in the future, the Kohei Gym. Whether that is what Oba plans to do or not we're unsure though we would like to wish him the best in the best in the future.
Although international fans may not be aware Oba did have a notable career. He was a 2 time Japanese national champion and a 3-time OPBF title challenger. Unfortunately however he lost his 3 most notable bouts, including a loss last year in an IBF eliminator to Randy Caballero.
Kohei Oba to have retirement ceremony on March 4th
Kohei Oba bounces back with a win, then waves good bye to his career
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
We had known for a wile that former 2 time Japanese Bantamweight champion Kohei Oba (36-3-1, 14) had hung up his gloves to focus on other things in life. This coming March however we will see Oba return to the ring for one final time as he takes part in his retirement ceremony in what will be his last event as a professional boxer.
Sadly for Oba his career will be best known by international fans for his failures rather than his success. He is best known for his most recent defeat which came last year at the hands of Randy Caballero, in an IBF Bantamweight title eliminator. He is also known for coming up short in an OPBF title bout against Malcolm Tunacao in 2010 and Rolly Lunas in 2011. Despite those losses he did score a number of good wins including a wins over former world title challengers Nobuto Ikehara, Masaki Kawabata.
Although Oba lost to Caballero last year he did manage to win his only subsequent bout, taking an unexpectedly tough win over Keigo Soma in a bout that seemed to immediately make Oba call an end on his long career which had began back in 2002 when he was just 17.
The ceremony will be part of the Shinsei Gym show on the same day at the Kobe City Central Gymnasium.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
Earlier today fans in Osaka got the chance to see former Japanese Bantamweight champion Kohei Oba (36-3-1, 14) in action though it appeared he was a shadow of the fighter he once was, and most importantly he seemed to realise it.
Oba managed to to defeat the limited Keigo Soma (6-11-1, 3) with an unanimous decision over 8 rounds though it was clear that the loss earlier this year to Randy Caballero had taken much of the fight out of the Nagoya man.
Although Oba looked good in the opening stages it was clear by the middle rounds that he simply didn't have it any more and although he did take home the win he really didn't look like a man who was going to recapture even a domestic title. This wasn't just a poor performance, it was a man who didn't have what he once did. The timing wasn't there, the movement was limited and it was clear that he was questioning his own future.
After the fight Oba stated that he was going to retire, a statement he re-iterated in his blog a few hours later.
Aged just 29 Oba will be retiring at a young age though with 40 bouts under his belt in a career that dates back more than 12 years he has had a long career and one that has seen him take punishment in bouts with Malcolm Tunacao, Rolly Lunas and Caballero.
We expect to see Oba in the ring once more, in a retirement ceremony, and then he'll likely bow away from the sport to do something else with his life. Whatever he does we want to wish him all the best.
(Image courtesy of Shinsei Gym)
We have recently been informed of the opponent for Nobuhiro Ishida's (25-10-2, 10) next contest. From what we've been told Ishida will be taking on Frenchman David Radeff (5-7-2, 2), the current UBO Inter Continental Cruiserweight champion, on September 14th at the Bodymaker Colosseum in Osaka.
We'll admit this is a bit of a disappointment considering we were lead to believe that Ishida would be facing a "former world ranked opponent", though with a Japanese title fight likely for Ishida on New Year's Eve it's clear his team didn't want to take many risks. Saying that however we have been informed that Radeff was a very good kick boxer.
For Ishida this bout will be his first since losing a very competitive 8 round bout to Japanese champion Kyotaro Fujimoto earlier this year.
In the chief support we have been told that Kohei Oba (35-3-1, 14) will be fighting domestic journeyman Keigo Soma (6-10-1, 3). This really should be a very easy assignment for Oba, a former Japanese champion, though in fairness he's looking to bounce back from a hard stoppage loss to Randy Caballero in an IBF world title eliminator.
A third notable bout on this card will see Yu Kawaguchi (20-6, 9) taking on Seizo Kono (14-6-1, 9) in the shows most interesting match up. As with Oba and Ishida this will see Kawaguchi trying to rebuild following a loss, in his case a technical decision loss to Kentaro Masuda in a Japanese Bantamweight title fight.
As well as the main fights all being announced you will also notice, from the image, that the poster for the show has also been released featuring Ishida, Oba and Kawaguchi.
(Image courtesy of Nobuhiro Ishida's blog)
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