In just under 2 weeks time we'll see a Middleweight super fight as IBF Middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin (41-1-1, 36) [Геннадий Геннадьевич Головкин] and WBA "Super" Middleweight champion Ryota Murata (16-2, 13) [村田 諒太] face off in a unification bout. Today, ahead of that bout, Murata took part in a media work out at the Teiken Gym in Tokyo.
At the training session Murata did a 2 round spar with former foe Adrian Luna Flores (23-8-2, 15), who's a regular sparring partner for the Japanese star, and worked a number of rounds on the heavy bag. During the sparring session he looked sharp, powerful, strong and like a man who was in a great place. Although he and Luna Flores are close, it did seem like Murata was landing with genuine power, and using his physicality, something we expect to see from him when he faces Golovkin. Interestingly however Murata didn't seem pleased by the spar, and suggested it was a "reasonable result for a tired state", almost hinting that he was a bit worn out.
Regarding Golovkin, we saw Murata talk about how Golovkin is the stronger fighter at range, and how he will need to press, get in the pocket and make up close. He admitted it was difficult, and that the first round was going to be really important. In fairness to Murata his only real way to win, looks to be following the idea of getting inside, setting a high tempo and hoping that the 40 year old Golovkin can keep up, but it's a high risk game plan and one that will see him taking punishment himself.
Notably Murata explained that there isn't fear of the bout, but instead there was more fear of not being able to have the bout, which has been postponed numerous times due to the on going Pandemic, which notably forced the bout to be postponed from the previously announced December 2021 date.
Next weekend we'll see WBC Light Flyweight champion Masamichi Yabuki (13-3, 12) [佐藤政道] make his first defense, as he faces the man he beat for the title, Kenshiro Teraji (18-1, 10) [寺地 拳四朗]. Today, ahead of that bout, Yabuki took part in a media work out and press conference in Japan.
During the press conference Yabuki revealed he did his final sparring for the bout yesterday, doing a full 12 round spar to prepare for the bout, much like he did for the first bout with Kenshiro, last year. He also explained that this is the most confident he has ever been as a professional fighter and it did seem like confidence oozed out of him through the press conference.
Regarding his tactics for the bout, he stated "I know what to do because I've fought once. I'll do what the other person dislikes." He also spoke about the advantages that Kenshiro has, explaining that Kenshiro has good sense of distance and jab, is tough and has impressive stamina.
Sadly as far as the work out went, it was a pretty short one, with shadow boxing being the most notable part of it. It was difficult to get too much of a read on him, though he seemed thoroughly relaxed and self assured through out the event.
Notably it was also revealed that Yabuki was 50.2KG's, or 110.67lbs, and Kenshiro was 50.1KG's, or 100.45lbs, with both just a bit over the divisional limit for the bout, with a week to lose the weight. Given those weights neither man should have any issue at all making 108lbs next weekend.
In just over a week's time we'll see WBC Light Flyweight champion Masamichi Yabuki (13-3, 12) [佐藤政道] take on former champion Kenshiro Teraji (18-1, 10) [寺地 拳四朗], with Teraji getting a chance to reclaim the title he lost to Yabuki last year.
Today, ahead of that bout, Kenshiro took part in a public work out for the bout and spoke like a man who was confident to bounce back from his sole loss, and get revenge for the huge upset that ended his lengthy title reign.
Before taking part in the work part of the event there was a press conference with the Japanese media. During that press Kenshiro explained that "Because I'm a challenger, it's a little different from usual, but I just want to win firmly. I want to show a match that says", notably this will be his first bout as a challenger since first winning the WBC title back in 2017.
It was also revealed that to prepare for the bout he has done 150 rounds of sparring.
As for how his camp and preparations have been, his trainer explained "We thought too much about the opponent last time. This time, I brushed up on Kenshiro's boxing."
The confidence exuded through the press conference, with Kenshiro's father and promoter Hisashi, stating that he was convinced of his son winning and reclaiming the title that he had defended 8 times prior to last year's upset loss.
As for the actual work out, Kenshiro did a round of shadow boxing, a round on the punch mitts and a round on the heavy bag. Through out the session he looked razor sharp, showing a great jab through out.
Fukunaga takes part in media work out
On New Year's Eve we'll see WBO champion Kazuto Ioka (27-2, 15) [井岡一翔] defending his title against former triple crown champion, Ryoji Fukunaga (15-4, 14) [福永亮次], who has taken the bout at short notice to save the TBS year ending event after Japan changed it's rules on international travel.
Yesterday, ahead of their bout, Fukunaga took part in a public work out and press conference to talk about the contest.
At the event Fukunaga revealed that he is both excited and nervous about about the bout, and that there was official events for the bout almost daily due to how short notice the bout was put together. Despite that he seemed confident, and explained that he would impress and that at the end of the bout his hand would be raised.
In regards to his shape he still has about 3KG (6.6lbs) but that shouldn't be an issue to lose by the December 30th, when the weigh will take place, and that everything was top notch with trainer Kenta Okumura working on counter measures for Ioka.
The work out it's self was quite a short one with Fukunaga hitting the mitts and shadow boxing. Through the session he looked heavy handed and determined, but this is a huge step up in class for him.
Next week WBO Minimumweight champion Wilfredo Mendez (16-1, 6) will be facing off with mandatory challenger Masataka Taniguchi (14-3, 9) [谷口将隆], with that bout taking place in Tokyo. Today, ahead of that bout, Mendez took part in a media work out and both showed what sort of shape he was in physically and mentally.
Before the actual work out there was a press conference which saw Mendez explain that his training had gone well and that he was in the best condition, and ready to return to Puerto Rico with a win.
In regards to the bout, Mendez explained that he was very wary of Taniguchi, describing him as "very talented" and "very good" as well as being "strong". Despite his complimentary words regarding his challenger Mendez did seem very confident and was enthusiastic about the fight, and about taking home his title.
As for the actual work out he didn't do too much, but he did skip rope and looked in great shape. It was clear he's not been wasting his time in Japan, and has been training since arriving at the end of November.
Notably at the press conference Mendez was asked about his eating habits since being in Japan and explained that he's been eating meat and that Japanese meat is first class, showing he's been enjoying the local cuisine of the country as well as the training facilities he's been allowed to use for the bout.
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