Earlier this week the JBC announced that they had handed out a 1 year suspension to Japanese based American fighter Marcus Smith (6-1-1, 6), following his inability to make weight for a bout in early December.
Smith was scheduled to fight on December 9th but, according to the JBC's statement, he came in 3.4KG or 7.5lbs overweight.
The JBC described Smith's missing of weight as "This is an act of remarkably deteriorating the authority of boxing as a competition" (Translated).
As is normal in Japan his promoter has also been punished, with a warning put to the gym that Smith fights out of.
The JBC changed their rules in 2018 to seriously punish fighters who missed weight, after a spate of fighters missed weight for bouts resulting in numerous cancellations. As shown with their punishment of Smith they are not taking things lightly. Hopefully more boxing commissions will follow their lead and really punish fighters who miss weight in such an unprofessional manner. This past weekend both Jhack Tepora and Carlos Buitrago did something similar, and it would be good to see both men given similar punishments to the one given to Smith.
In Okinawa today fight fans saw a small card, but a notable one due to how rare boxing is in Okinawa. Sadly however the announced main event for the card a bout between Marcus Smith (6-1-1, 6) and Nelson Tinampay (13-7-1, 6) was cancelled on Friday, when Smith failed to make weight for the contest.
As a result of Smith being off the card the main event became a female bout between former OPBF female Bantamweight champion Yuko Henzan (7-7-4, 2) [平安山裕子] and a Thai opponent, who's name sadly isn't available.
Henzan made the most of her opportunity to headline the card, and put on an exciting performance to score a decision win over the Thai. The bout ended with both really letting their hands go, though by then Henzan had the bout in the bag.
The card also saw Tatsuro Nakashima (8-1-1, 6) [仲島辰郎] take a 5th round TKO win over Thai foe Sanchai Yotboon (4-2, 4). The bout was Nakashima's first since being stopped by Kai Ishizawa in April and he looked pretty good following that loss, though this result is more interesting for the fact that Yotboon had been taken out in 3 rounds by Ginjiro Shigeoka on his debut, and yet managed to survive in to round 5 with Nakashima. It is however a good win for Nakashima, and we look forward to seeing what he does in the new year.
The only downer is Smith's weight fail, and it's going to be very interesting to see how the JBC punish him, given the punishments given to other fighters in 2018.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
This past weekend we saw Naoya Inoue [井上 尚弥] score a sensational stoppage win over Juan Carlos Payano to retain the WBA "interim" Bantamweight title. Today we saw his cousin, Koki Inoue (12-0, 10) [浩樹井上] secure his first title bout, as he defeated Marcus Smith (6-1-1, 6) in a Japanese title eliminator.
The bout promised a lot on paper, with two unbeaten punchers facing off with a big reward. Sadly however the bout rarely came alive and ended up being rather underwhelming.
Through much of the bout it seemed like Inoue wanted to get rounds in, and fought almost solely off the back foot, making Smith miss but never really going out to punish him. It seemed like Inoue was happier to experiment and show off his movement. Despite not being exciting Inoue did look sharp, defensively intelligent and managed to land the cleaner, sharper punches.
In round 4 Smith had some better success and claimed his first round as he managed to get through the guard of Inoue and cut the distance well. Smith also had success in round 5, as Inoue began to come forward with little real success. In round 6 however Inoue landed a dynamite left hand that dropped Smith hard, sadly for Inoue the shot came so close to the bell he couldn't jump on the clearly hurt Smith.
Sadly for Inoue the opportunity to see off Smith was killed by the bell to end round 6, and the final two rounds saw some back and forth, but little real intensity from Inoue, who seemed happier to test his defense and stamina, rather than go for the finish. By then however the win was in the bag, and the judges all scored the bout to Inoue with scores of 78-73, 77-74 and 77-75.
After the bout Inoue explained that the less than thrilling performance had been a result of several injuries he had taken into the bout, including an injury to his right elbow and his left foot. Given those issues his performance makes sense, but certainly wasn't exciting. He admitted that he was relieved to have gotten the chance to fight for a Japanese title, which this win assures him of, but admitted that his focus was now on healing.
Smith seemed to suggest there was no real power on Inoue's shots, but that his sharpness and technical ability was simply too good.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Tomorrow there will be 6 Japanese title eliminators, with the winners of those 6 bouts getting a title fight next year at the Champion Carnival.
The standout bout will take place at 140lbs and will see the unbeaten pairing of Koki Inoue (11-0, 10) [浩樹井上] and Marcus Smith (6-0-1, 6) fighting in what looks like a sure fire shoot out.
Today the two fighters took part in their weigh in and both fighters made weight whilst looking in great shape for the biggest bout of their carer's so far.
Inoue, the cousin of Naoya Inoue, made the 140lb exactly and looked in great shape. He stated that he wanted to use his boxing skills and speed to defeat the unbeaten Smith, who is an American born Japanese fighter.
Originally Smith was slightly over the limit, by around .25lbs, but he would make weight successfully when he had his second attempt to make weight, weighing in at exactly 140lbs.
Smith, who won the Rookie of the Year last year, sounded incredibly confident of not just beating Inoue but stopping him to progress to the Japanese title fight next year.
For fans interested in watching this one, but can't make it to the Korakuen Hall, the bout will be live on the Boxingraise service, and it really does look like one worth tuning into, with 5 other very good title eliminator bouts.
Related- Inoue and Smith clash in Japanese title eliminator!
(Images courtesy of boxmob.jp)
On October 12th Japanese fight fans at the Korakuen Hall will get an incredible card featuring 6 Japanese challenger decision bouts, including a Super Bantamweight bout between Mugicha Nakagawa (23-5-1, 14) [武田勇太] and Naoya Okamoto (13-6-1, 6) [岡本直也] and a Light Welterweight contest between Koki Inoue (11-0, 10) [浩樹井上] and Marcus Smith (6-0-1, 6).
Thankfully this show isn't just limited to fight fans at the Korakuen Hall with the online streaming and video on demand service Boxingraise announcing they will be broadcasting the show live over their service, for all subscribers.
The winners of the 6 bouts will advance to the 2019 Champion Carnival early next year, meaning they will fight for Japanese titles, showing the significance of the card, so to get the entire show live over Boxingraise is a real unexpected treat and a chance to get a look at future title challengers and leading domestic contenders.
It's worth noting Boxingraise are currently offer a free 1 month trial to new subscribers, so the timing of this show couldn't be at a better time and it really worth giving the trial a shot, especially with the addition of at least 7 other on demand shows being added in October!
For those interested in the trial click here.
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