Earlier today several female fighters form Japan left their homeland to begin a training camp in the US, with the plan being for the fighters to spend about 2 weeks training in LA and Las Vegas.
Among the 4 fighters that have gone together are WBA female Flyweight champion Naoko Fujioka (18-2-1, 7) [藤岡 奈穂子] and WBO female Super Flyweight champion Miyo Yoshida (14-1) [吉田 実代], along with fighters who are both expected to make their professional debuts this year.
The overall camp will run from today, to the 25th of February, with the plan being to get high level training together and work on things before planning bouts later in the year.
At the moment it's unclear when any of the 4 fighters involved will return to the ring, but Fujioka and Yoshida are both expected to defend their world titles in the near future, with Yoshida quickly becoming a bit of a female star in Japan.
Before they left for the US the 44 year old Fujioka revealed that she has been over to the US for a few of these training camps before, and she seemed excited to be with a new group of fighters.
On New Year's Eve the Ota City General Gymnasium played host to a show with a staggering 6 title bouts on it. Sadly only two of those were shown live on Japanese channel TBS.
That meant that we never got the chance to see the WBO Asia Pacific Minimumweight title fight, featuring unbeaten champion Ginjiro Shigeoka (5-0, 4) [重岡銀次朗] defending against former world title challenger Rey Loreto (25-15, 17), or the WBO female Super Flyweight title bout, between Miyo Yoshida (14-1) [吉田 実代] and Chinese challenger Li Ping Shi (5-3, 2).
Thankfully we now know when those bouts will be televised, with TBS set to air them in just over a week's team on a tape delay basis as part of their semi-regular Guts Fighting series.
From the TBS website the bouts will air on January 20th at 2:05, though from a Japanese TV guide it appears the bout will actually be shown on the 21st at 2:05. It's unclear if they will be shown in full, though given how long they went it wouldn't be a surprise to see both aired in an unedited form during a 1 hour broadcast slot.
Although they'll have taken 3 weeks to be aired, we suspect the wait will be worth it, with the fan cam footage of Shigeoka's making it seem like that was a very fun fight.
At the moment it's unclear whether TBS plan to air the WBO Asia Pacific Super Bantamweight title bout between Yusaku Kuga (19-4-1, 13) [久我勇作] and Filipino fighter Jhunriel Ramonal (17-8-6, 10), though given how short that was it would be no surprise to see them slip it on to this broadcast.
Today saw the shortlists being released from the Japanese Boxing Commission and the Tokyo Sports Press Club for the annual Japanese boxing awards, celebrating the best of Japanese boxing in 2019.
Unsurprisingly Ryota Murata, Kazuto Ioka, Kosei Tanaka, Kenshiro Teraji and Naoya Inoue were in multiple categories following a solid for all 5 men.
Below are the short lists for this years awards, ahead of the annual ceremony, which will take place on February 7th in Tokyo.
Naoya Inoue (19-0, 16) [井上 尚弥]
Kazuto Ioka (25-2, 14) [井岡一翔]
Ryota Murata (16-2, 13) [村田 諒太]
Kosei Tanaka (15-0, 9) [田中恒成]
Kenshiro Teraji (17-0, 10) [寺地 拳四朗]
Ryosuke Iwasa (27-3, 17) [岩佐 亮佑]
Keita Kurihara (15-5, 13) [栗原 慶太]
Shuichiro Yoshino (11-0, 9) [吉野 修一郎]
Hiroaki Teshigawara (21-2-2, 14) [勅使河原 弘晶]
Ginjiro Shigeoka (5-0, 4) [重岡銀次朗]
Koki Inoue (15-0, 12) [浩樹井上]
Junto Nakatani (20-0, 15) [中谷 潤人]
Yuki Nonaka (33-11-3, 10) [野中 悠樹]
Akinori Watanabe (39-7-1, 33) [渡部あきのり]
Yuki Nagano (17-2, 13) [永野祐樹]
Norihito Tanaka (19-7, 10) [田中教仁]
Best Fight of the Year (World title Bout)
Naoya Inoue Vs Nonito Donaire
Naoya Inoue Vs Emanuel Rodriguez
Kazuto Ioka Vs Aston Palicte
Ryota Murata Vs Rob Brant II
Best Fight of the Year (Non-world title)
Kazuto Takesako Vs Shuji Kato 加藤収二]
Yuki Beppu [別府優樹] Vs Ryota Yada [矢田良太]
Toshiya Ishii [石井渡士也] Vs Haruki Ishikawa [石川春樹]
Tenkai Tsunami (27-12-1, 16) [天海 ツナミ]
Kasumi Saeki (4-0, 3) [佐伯霞]
Miyo Yoshida (14-1) [吉田 実代]
Female Fight of the Year
Naoko Fujioka [藤岡 奈穂子] Vs Tenkai Tsunami
Kasumi Saeki Vs Elizabeth Lopez
Monseratt Alcaron Vs Ayaka Miyao [宮尾 綾香]
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
Yesterday fans at the Ota City General Gymnasium saw Miyo Yoshida (14-1) [吉田 実代] retain her WBO female Super Flyweight title, with a clear decision win over China's Li Ping Shi (5-3, 2).
Today, following that win, Yoshida, manager Toshiharu Kayama and Yoshida's 4 year old daughter attended a press conference.
Yoshida spoke about how she felt pressure in regards to the bout, but was immersed in joy following the win. She also added that she learned something from the game, and it seems clear that she's developing tools for future bouts.
Mr Kiyama had seemingly wanted a stoppage, but was still impressed by his charge, who dealt with a much taller opponent.
In regards to 2020, and the future in general, Yoshida revealed that she wanted to fight in an overseas bout and and fight strong fighters from abroad. She also stated that she wants to continue as a champion through 2020, though does seem unsure how much longer she will be fighting. Given the year she's just had we really do wish she continues this level of activity and drive. She's had a huge 2019 and fingers crossed she has a massive 2020 too!
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
The most significant of two female title fights tomorrow will see Japan's Miyo Yoshida (13-1) [吉田 実代] defending her WBO female Super Flyweight title against China's Li Ping Shi (5-2, 2). For Yoshida this will be her first defense whilst Shi will be having her first world title bout.
Today the two women took part in the weigh in for their bout, and both fighters made weight, relatively easily.
Yoshida, the shorter woman, came in at around 114.75lbs and looked in good shape, confident and relaxed. After making weight she spoke about not being nervous, and having had time to spend with her kids the last couple of days, after having essentially been ready to fight for a few days. She seemed in a happy place and was honoured to have an opportunity on such a big event.
Shi shocked everyone however by coming in light, and by light we mean really light. Shi was just under 112.25lbs for the bout, closer to the Flyweight limit than the Super Flyweight limit, and she looked in great shape too. Despite coming in so light she sounded full of confidence, stating this was her best weight, and that she was excited bout the bout and confident of winning.
For fans in Japan this bout will be available on Paravi.
Related - Yoshida defends WBO crown against Shi!
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
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