The A-Sign brand has come a very, very long way since it first began. Originally it was set up to allowed fans a chance to see cards that lacked TV exposure via what was essentially a pay per view basis. Today it stands as one of the key resources for those who follow Japanese boxing.
Gone are the days of regularly paying to watch the bouts, with events now put on to youtube, and instead we now get a community with things like blogs, a crowd funding scheme, interviews, and genuine build up to events.
Although still small scale compared to some of the more well known promotional outfits A-Sign have been one of the ones who have looked to get ahead of the curve and use social media and technology so show that there is more the sport can do to promote events.
Today they made their next announcements in their journey to grow and become a more well established brand, and continued building towards their August 31st show from Korakuen Hall.
Firstly they have announce a new sponsorship deal with real estate company "First Raight", who will be recognised on A-sign shows by having the events named on their behalf. The events will now be known as "First Raight Presents A-Sign Boxing".
Secondly, and we dare say more interestingly for fans, is their announcement that they will show a special sparring event from the Hachioji Nakaya Gym on Friday from 19:00 local time. The event will be streamed on the A-Sign youtube channel for those wanting to watch.
The sparring bouts will be
Kosuke Tomioka (2-0, 2) [富岡浩介] against Ryugo Ushijima (3-1-2, 2) [牛島龍吾],
Ken Koibuchi (5-4, 4) [鯉 渕 健] against Ryuku Oho (6-3, 3) [大保能球],
Toshiya Ishii (3-0, 2) [石井渡士也] against Hyoga Taniguchi (3-2-2, 1) [谷口彪賀]
and Shoki Sakai (23-11-2, 13) [坂井祥紀] against Jin Sasaki (7-0, 6) [佐々木尽]
Of the 8 men involved in these spars 7 will be in action on the first "First Raight Presents A-Sign Boxing" show, on August 31st.
Over the last few weeks the A-Sign team, who are behind the August 31st show at Korakuen Hall, were looking for a suitable opponent for teenage hopeful Jin Sasaki (7-0, 6) [佐々木 尽]. Today they finally announced his opponent and it's a surprisingly decent fighter for Sasaki this early in his career.
The opponent for Sasaki has been named as Japanese Light Welterweight ranked fighter Shun Akaiwa (5-1-1, 3) [赤岩俊], who recently made a name for himself with an impressive domestic level win against Kenta Endo, who he stopped in February.
Although Sasaki isn't too well known in the west he has been impressive winning not only domestically but also getting some international experience under his belt. There was a genuine campaign in Japan to find him an opponent for the August 31st date, with his team apparently struggling to get a decent opponent. That was a shame as Sasaki had been out of the ring since last September, when he blasted out Tetsuya Kondo. In Akaiwa they have got a very suitable opponent, who has momentum, a Japanese ranking, under-rated power and genuine toughness.
The bout is added to a card that also includes the Japanese debut of Shoki Sakai (23-11-2, 12) [坂井 祥記], who will take on 2017 All Japan Rookie of the Year winner Hironori Shigeta (6-1-1, 3) [重田裕紀], and the really highly regarded teenager Kosuke Tomioka (2-0, 2) [富岡浩介], who fights in a Rookie of the Year bout.
For fans wanting to watch this bout it will be aired live on Youtube, through the A-Sign boxing channel.
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