Back in March Koki Kameda, along with Masato Yamashita, announced that Tomoki Kameda (36-3, 20) [亀田和毅] would be returning to the ring, for his first fight in almost 2 years, as he was set to face Hironori Miyake (9-10-2, 1) [三宅寛典]. Sadly however in April it was announced that the bout was postponed due to the on going state of emergency in Osaka, which made holding a show in early May in the EDION Arena Osaka, impossible.
Today we thankfully learned that the bout, and more correctly the show as a whole, wasn't off, but had instead merely rescheduled to May 22nd.
Not only has the date of the show changed but so to has it's venue. No longer will the event be in front of fans at the EDION Arena Osaka, but instead it will take place in an empty 176BOX in Toyonaka City, Osaka Prefecture, in what could be a rather weird setting given a lack of fans.
Thankfully for those wanting to watch the event will be available in Japan through the Abema streaming service, which has worked with Koki Kameda in a number of previous ventures and it seems like Kameda wants shows related to him to continue being distributed by Abema TV.
As well as Tomoki Kameda's involvement on the show, in the main event, the only other bout of any not on the card will see WBA world ranked Featherweight Hiroshige Osawa (36-5-4, 21) [大沢宏晋] face 35 year old Chiharu Takasuka (7-7-1, 4) [高須賀千春], in what should be little more than a stay busy bout for Osawa.
Earlier today 3150 Fight Club chairman Koki Kameda [亀田 興毅] took part in a press conference along with Masato Yamashita, the head of Shinsei Promotions, to announce a card set to take place at the EDION Arena on May 5th.
By it's self that wouldn't be huge news, given Shinsei put on lots of shows in West Japan and work with a number of local promoters.
This however was news worthy as they announced the the main event would be the ring return of former Bantamweight world champion Tomoki Kameda (36-3, 20) [亀田和毅], who has been out of the ring since July 2019, when he lost to Rey Vargas.
Whilst it is fantastic news to see Tomoki back in the ring it is worth noting that his opponent is an underwhelming one, with the former champion taking on Hironori Miyake (9-10-2, 1) [三宅寛典] in a scheduled 8 rounder. That's the same Miyake that was stopped in 4 rounds by a debuting Keisuke Matsumoto last year.
At the press conference to announce the bout Mr Yamashita explained "I and Chairman Koki each searched for Kameda's opponent, but it was difficult to find it, only Miyake gave himself up as a big game." It should be noted however that they were rumoured to have only been looking at right handed fighters, which may have ruled out a number of potential opponents.
Interestingly Kameda stated "I want to do various things on the day. If I can do live distribution," what makes this particularly interesting is the fact Shinsei themselves have been doing online distribution of shows via the Boxing Real YouTube channel, and that would almost certainly be a possible option for this event.
As well as Kameda's bout there will be 6 other contests scheduled for the event. From those 6 only one appears to be officially confirmed. That is a bout between WBA world ranked Featherweight Hiroshige Osawa (36-5-4, 21) [大沢宏晋] and and 35 year old Chiharu Takasuka (7-7-1, 4) [高須賀千春], in what also looks to be a pretty underwhelming contest.
It should be noted that Osawa has been out of the ring since October 2019, and was ordered to fight in a WBA world title eliminator last year, before Covid19 essentially froze boxing and ended up seeing that eliminator being ignored.
Earlier today at the 3150 Fight Club in Osaka there was a press conference held by gym chairman Koki Kameda [亀田 興毅], alongside his younger brother Tomoki Kameda (36-3, 20) [亀田和毅].
At the press conference Tomoki confirmed that he would become a member of the gym, allowing him to compete in Japan. He spoke about how he has been out of the ring for 18 months, and was now glad he can return to action, stating that he was enthusiastic about his return.
Koki seemed to suggest that Tomoki's return will be sooner rather than later and explained that he wanted Tomoki to be on a show in Spring. Not only that but he was promising a good purse for his brother, explaining that he wanted to be a promoter who can pay good payments to fighters, and the figure of "10 million yen" was referenced, which seems a ridiculously high figure for what will be a non-title fight.
Interestingly it was explained that the lengthy run of inactivity from Tomoki wasn't planned, though like many things last year it was a result of Covid19. He had planned a bout in April in the US, which was cancelled due to the pandemic. He then his son was born and he returned to Japan, where he has been training since August. He is now based in Osaka, where the gym is, and it seems like Japan will be his base for the foreseeable future.
In regards to Tomoki's future he is planning to remain at Super Bantamweight, despite the WBA ranking him at Featherweight.
Given how much of a problem international transport into Japan is right now the expectation is that Tomoki's return will be against a Japanese fighter, and if we're being honest that's not a bad thing given the incredibly competitive Japanese scene at 122lbs. In fact another Japanese fighter at the weight looking for a contest is Shingo Wake (27-6-2, 19) [和氣 慎吾], who had a planned bout for April cancelled when former IBF Super Bantamweight champion Yukinori Oguni (21-2-1, 8) [小國以載] suffered an injury. Another interesting option would be Hiroaki Teshigawara (22-2-2, 15) [勅使河原 弘晶],though we suspect Kameda is looking at a safer, easier, option than those two given his lengthy absence from the ring.
Earlier today former world champion Koki Kameda [亀田 興毅] held a press conference to announce that he had opened a new boxing gym in Osaka, called the 3150 (Saiko) Fight Club.
At the press conference Kameda explained "I want to give back to the professional boxing industry in my own way. I want to create a form in which players who are fighting for their lives can earn fight money commensurate with it."
Things then got a lot more interesting as it was strongly suggested that former WBO and Bantamweight and WBC "interim" Super Bantamweight champion Tomoki Kameda (36-3, 20) [亀田和毅] would join the gym as an active fighter, with Koki stating"My younger brother, Kameda, was based overseas, but due to the influence of Corona, he couldn't work overseas, and he didn't belong to a Japanese gym."
It's worth noting that Kameda has got goals in the promotional game, saying "I'm still a young person, but I want to become the best promoter in the world eventually." That seems unlikely to be a goal he can accomplish, but it'll be fun to see him try.
Interestingly it seems that Kameda is looking to use every form of distribution that he can. There was talk of terrestrial TV, YouTube, AbemaTV and streaming service 17live. We suspect the plan isn't to just show fights but to build fighters profiles across the services where possible.
At the moment the gym has 3 trainees and a former fighter as a trainer, with Kameda set to concentrate on promotional duties. The trainees are planning their pro-tests and the plan for the gym is to recruit more fighters in the near future.
In regards to Tomoki Kameda, Koki stated "Tomoki has the world's top class ability. I want to aim at the world in some battles." It's worth noting that Tomoki did not attend today's press conference but was thankful of the opportunity to return to a Japanese ring.
At the moment it's unclear when the gym will host it's first show, though we suspect the plan will be to put one on this year, especially given that Kameda stated "...the number of boxing shows has decreased in Corona, and only half of the customers can enter. I have less chance to go to the ring, so I wanted to provide a place where I could play a match." With that in mind we're going to look forward to seeing what Kameda will be bringing to the sport, and what he ends up doing as a promoter.
Over the weekend we reported the news that kick boxing king Tenshin Nasukawa [那須川天心] would fight against Koki Kameda (33-2, 18) [亀田 興毅] on June 22nd. At the time no details were available and the originally planned press conference had been scrapped due to the venue not being suitable for the number of press wanting to attend.
Today the rescheduled press conference took place and we finally got some details of the match up, and the rules regarding the fight, even if not everything is totally clear, yet.
The bout will be the third in the ¥10,000,000 series of shows run by Abema TV. Kameda was the first man to defend the money, doing so in 2017, and it's what Nasukawa did himself this past weekend. The money will be available for Kameda, but only if he can stop Nasukawa. If Nasukawa wins, the bout ends in a draw or goes the distance Abema will be keeping the money.
Although the prize was explained the moment the rules of the contest are still under-discussion, with suggestions being that it will be a form of modified boxing rules. Talk about weight, distance, glove weight and the like haven't been revealed either.
At the press conference a confident Kameda referred to Nasukawa's TKO1 loss to Floyd Mayweather at the end of 2018 and stated that he will also stop the the face of Japanese kick boxing in the opening round.
Nasukawa on the other hand spoke about about being confident and wanting to enliven the martial arts world, in battles outside of the typical martial arts frame work. He also spoke about looking up to Kameda when he was younger, showing respect to the former 3 weight world champion.
The full rules are expected to be announced in the near future, with Abema likely to have a lot of shoulder programming for the event as well.
(Image courtesy of Sponichi)
News! We try and give you the most interesting news stories from the Asian boxing world!