It's fair to say that 2020 has been a bad for most of us, and that right now a lot of us are just looking forward to normality and getting things back to feeling like we have some control on what we do on a day to day basis.
One of the fighters who has had an incredibly frustrating time is WBO Asia Pacific Featherweight champion Musashi Mori (11-0, 6) [森 武蔵]. He was supposed to be in the ring in April, defending his title against Shingo Kawamura (16-5-4, 8) [河村真吾] on April 18th, as he looked to move towards a potential world title fight. That bout was then cancelled, with Mori then being scheduled to fight in July, before that bout was cancelled too, due to an inability to have fans in attendance.
Thankfully Mori appears to be hungry to return to the ring and rather than sitting on the sidelines stewing in frustration he has began a sparring camp in Osaka.
Interestingly Mori, who hasn't sparred in a long time, sparred for 4 rounds yesterday with Kawamura, the man he was supposed to face in April.
Mori has revealed that the man he's now wanting to fight, later in the year, is OPBF Featherweight champion Satoshi Shimizu (8-1, 8) [清水 聡]. Shimizu will be defending his title in July, against Kyohei Tonomoto (9-2-1, 4) [殿本恭平], and a win would likely see Mori's team make a solid offer to the 2012 Olympic bronze medal winner.
Whether that bout happens or note Mori is expecting to be in action in November as he continues to rise through the ranks and search for a route towards a world title fight. His team had hoped to land a world title shot in Spring 2021, though it now seems likely that that opportunity has slipped due to on going situation and his rocky 2020.
Yesterday we reported that boxing was planned to return to Japan on July 12th with a Rookie of the Year card. It now appears, just a day later, that those plans have been scrapped, due to financial issues.
Today Nikkan sports have reported that the show, which was supposed to be promoted by former WBC Bantamweight champion Yasuei Yakushiji, has been cancelled due to the inability for the show to have fans or a TV crew.
Whilst the bulk of the show was supposed to be a Rookie of the Year card it is worth noting that the show was also supposed to feature current WBO Asia Pacific Featherweight champion Musashi Mori (11-0, 6) [森 武蔵], in a non-title bout. The hope was for fans to be in attendance and that the main event would get TV coverage, and, as a result, for the show to be financially viable. With no fans those plans have fallen apart.
In quotes given by Yakushiji to Nikkan sports, the former fighter turned promoter has revealed that "There is no TV relay, it will come out without admission income. I can not pay fight money either". Essentially ending the show all together. He is quotes as saying that plans revolving him and his fighters are "totally blank paper", scrapping previously planned ideas for Mori to fight twice this year before a world title fight in 2021.
It's unclear no what will happen to the Rookie of the Year match ups expected to be on the show, though it's a real shame to see things not looking as sorted as we all assumed after yesterday's meeting betwene the JBC and JPBA.
Earlier today the Nikkan Sports featured an article concerning the future plans of current WBO Asia Pacific Featherweight champion Musashi Mori (11-0, 6) [森 武蔵], and it appears those plans are big.
The road map for Mori and a world title fight appears to be focused on getting a WBO Featherweight world title fight next year, in what would be his third bout of a plan his promoter, Yasuei Yakushiji, is wanting to put in place.
The hope is for Mori to return to the ring in July, in a tune up fight, before defending his regional tile later in 2020. The hope is to then begin 2021 with a world title fight, for the WBO Featherweight title.
Of course plans are subject to change. Prior to the ongoing global situation Mori was scheduled to defend his title in April, though that bout had to be cancelled due to boxing being put on shut down in Japan at the end of February. With that in mind it seems the situation is still unclear in regards to the July bout and it may end up being changed again.
At the moment shows for July in Japan are having to go through an application process to make sure they can be done safely, and avoid exacerbating the current situation. Any fight Mori and his team do plan for July will need vetting and will need to be part of application with details set to the JBC and JPBA in the near future.
Earlier today WBO Asia Pacific Featherweight champion Musashi Mori (11-0, 6) [森 武蔵] visited a Governor in Kumamoto prefecture and made a donation of 3,000 masks, paid for with money he's earned from fighting, for the local people.
The fighter who had been scheduled to defend his title on April 18th in Kumamoto before the situation in Japan caused boxing to be suspended.
At the visit today Mori explained that he had consulted his promoter, Yasuei Yakushiji, along with sponsors about what he could do to help the local community. It was agreed donating masks was something he could do and did that to try and help the area in these testing times.
At the moment it's unclear when Mori's next defense will take place, but what is clear is that when he will, he'll be hugely supported in Kumamoto, where he has been building up a strong local fanbase and continues to do so here.
Just a few minutes ago WBO Asia Pacific Featherweight champion Musashi Mori (11-0, 6) [森 武蔵] announced the details regarding his next bout.
The youngster will be defending his WBO regional title as he takes on veteran Shingo Kawamura (16-5-4, 8) [河村真吾] in Kumamoto on April 18th as the main event of "Splendid Boxing in Kumamoto Vol 2".
The 20 year old Mori won the title in late 2018, when he beat Richard Pumicpic, and since then has developed significantly, defended the belt twice and began working with legendary trainer Ismael Salas. He's some way from a world title fight, though he has made it known he wants one soon, and this will be a chance for him to further show his improvement under Salas.
Sadly coming in to this Kawamura is without a win in 5 bouts, having drawn his last 3 and losing the previous 2. Despite his poor form he has mixed with good company, facing the likes of Satoshi Shimizu and Ryo Sagawa.
Also booked for this card is a brilliant match up at Light Flyweight between former world title challenger Reiya Konishi (17-1, 7) [小西伶弥] and former Japanese champion Rikito Shiba (4-1, 2) [芝力人], in what should be an excellent supporting bout and matches two men who really need a win following losses last time out. For Shiba this will be his first bout since being stopped in a Japanese title eliminator to Masamichi Yabuki (10-3, 10) [佐藤政道] whilst Konishi is looking to bounce back from a clear loss to Felix Alvarado.
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