At the end of December Japanese fans get a treat with an incredible card feature a staggering 6 title bouts!
Today there was a small competition to get on that card, with 10 girls each trying to book their place on the show as one of the ring card girls.
Prior to today there was a screening process to a much bigger entry pool down to 10. Those 10 finalists were then whittled down to two by a panel of judges at today's event.
The event today saw the 10 posing in swimsuits for the judges, which included former world champion Ryoichi Taguchi (27-4-2, 12) [田口良一] and current female world champion Miyo Yoshida (13-1) [吉田 実代], who will feature on the card herself in a world title defense.
The two winners, who are both said to be boxing fans, will not only do the ring cards, but will also feature in a number of the build up events including the signing ceremony, the face and the weigh in.
Whilst the use of ring card girls have had a mixed response in the west in recent years, with some promoters doing away with them and some feminist groups complaining, events to select ring card girls do happen somewhat regularly in Japan. They usually aren't as high profile as they were for this particular show, but there isn't the same calls to ban ring girls are there are in the west.
The girls will get a huge chance to boost their modelling careers here with them appearing on a show that features Kosei Tanaka (14-0, 8) [田中恒成] and Kazuto Ioka (24-2, 14) [井岡一翔], as well as Yoshida, defending world titles and talented youngster Ginjiro Shigeoka (4-0, 3) [重岡銀次朗] also on the card.
(Images courtesy of Boxmob.jp)
December 31st 2019 will, of course, be the end of the year...in fact it will be the end of a decade, and it appears that the fight fans in Japan will be going out with one of the most stacked cards of the year.
We've known that New Year's Eve show was a world title triple header for a while. The most recent of the world title fights being announced for the card saw Miyo Yoshida (13-1) [吉田 実代] announce she would be risking her WBO female Super Flyweight title against China's Li Ping Shi (5-2, 2). That bout rounded off a triple header that also featured WBO Flyweight champion Kosei Tanaka (14-0, 8) [田中恒成] defending his title against awkward Chinese challenger Wulan Tuolehazi (13-3-1, 6) [乌兰] and WBO Super Flyweight champion Kazuto Ioka (24-2, 14) [井岡一翔] taking on mandatory challenger Jeyvier Cintron (11-0-0-1, 5).
As well as the world title bouts we also knew that WBO Asia Pacific Minimumweight champion Ginjiro Shigeoka (4-0, 3) [重岡銀次朗] would be defending his belt against former world title challenger Rey Loreto (25-14, 17). We also knew that unbeaten youngster Yume Hirayama (4-0) [平山 夢] would be facing Marina Sayama (4-1-1, 2) [佐山万里菜], for the Japanese Female Flyweight title.
Today we learned that yet another title bout had been squeezed on to the card, some how, with Japanese Super Bantamweight champion Yusaku Kuga (19-3-1, 13) [久我勇作] announcing he would be fighting for the WBO Asia Pacific Super Bantamweight title. Kuga not only revealed he was on the card, but that he would be clashing with Filipino fighter Jhunriel Ramonal (16-8-6, 9), who has seemingly got this opportunity following his huge upset win in October against former world title challenger Shingo Wake.
With 6 title bouts now on the card it's hard to imagine how the decade could end in a better fashion for fight fans who can get to the Ota City General Gym in Tokyo.
(Image courtesy of Watanabe Gym)
Back in June Miyo Yoshida (13-1) [吉田 実代] claimed the WBO female Super Flyweight title, as she out pointed Casey Morton. Today she announced her first defense, which we now know will take place on a truly packed card in December.
The once beaten champion will return to the ring on December 31st, with her bout being added the bumper New Year's Eve card at the Ota City General Gymnasium, which already had two other world title bouts confirmed for it along with a very interesting regional title bout.
Yoshida's rival for the bout was announced as China's Li Ping Shi (5-2, 2). For Shi this is a massive step up in class, but the 21 year old has mixed with good company, and was competitive with Hee Jung Yuh, in just her 4th bout, and won the WBC Asian Boxing Council title this past June, when she beat Yuko Henzan.
The same card will also feature WBO Flyweight champion Kosei Tanaka (14-0, 8) [田中恒成] defending his title against Wulan Tuolehazi (13-3-1, 6) [乌兰], WBO Super Flyweight champion Kazuto Ioka (24-2, 14) [井岡一翔] taking on mandatory challenger Jeyvier Cintron (11-0-0-1, 5) and WBO Asia Pacific Minimumweight champion Ginjiro Shigeoka (4-0, 3) [重岡銀次朗] defending his belt against former world title challenger Rey Loreto (25-14, 17).
Sadly it seems unlikely Yoshida's bout will be made widely available, though we have seen a trend for Paravi to have these sorts of supporting bouts available through their pay service for Japanese fight fans, and this bout may end up being confirmed for that.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Earlier today Japanese broadcaster MBS lives streamed a WBA "super" Light Flyweight world title bout that ended up with the unbeaten Hiroto Kyoguchi (14-0, 9) [京口 紘人] retaining his titles thanks to a 12 round war with Tetsuya Hisada (34-10-2, 20) [久田 哲也].
Following the bout Hisada took the microphone and spoke to the fans revealing some bad news. He will not fight again this year.
The hope had been for him to fight again in December but after the fight he apologised for the fight he'd just had and stated that he we would be resting the rest of the year. The reason for the resting was as explained as being due to the damage he suffered, which included a swollen shut left eye, and that he would be aiming for a big bout in the new year.
Sadly this rules Kyoguchi out of a year ending bout in December, something he's actually had every year since his career began in 2016, but given the state of his eye it would be unwise to rush back to the ring in less than 3 months.
This week is a huge one for fight fans with a host of title fights taking place over 2 days, and 4 shows, in Japan. For those interested in those shows we have collated the TV details for all of those cards. Please that all times are in Tokyo time, which is +9 UTC. You will sadly have to convert the times in to your local times, however putting "tokyo time converter" into google should do the hard work for you.
Fuji TV 18:00-20:54
The first of the cards set to be aired comes on Friday and will have 3 bouts from it televised. The bouts set to be aired are the WBO Super Flyweight title bout between defending champion Naoya Inoue (11-0, 9) [井上 尚弥] and Japanese challenger Kohei Kono (32-9-1, 13) [河野 公平], the IBF Light Flyweight title bout between Akira Yaegashi (24-5, 12) [八重樫 東] and Thai challenger Samartlek Kokietgym (33-5, 11)* [สามารถเล็ก ปูนอินทรียิม] and the Middleweight bout between 2012 Olympic gold medal winner Ryota Murata (11-0, 8) [村田 諒太] and once beaten Mexican fighter Bruno Sandoval (19-1-1, 15).
CBC / Online 15:00-15:57
The second card to get some television attention is the Hatanaka card from Gifu. The only televised bout from this card will be the WBO Light Flyweight title bout between Kosei Tanaka (7-0, 4) [田中恒成] and Moises Fuentes (24-2-1, 13). The bout is arguably the best looking of the day's world title fights and is a really interesting match up between two former world champions. Not only CBC showing this in Chukyo but they have also organised a free and legal stream for the bout, which will be on the link featured below.
A second stream, with Japanese commentary, will be available here: http://hicbc.com/tv/soulfighting/
The second of the shows to be broadcast on New Year's Eve will be the Woz promoted card from Hyogo. The card is set to be featured as part of TBS's KYOKUGEN 2016, a huge end of year TV extravaganza that typically features various celebrities and sports stars. The card was originally set to be aired a triple title show but follow the pull out of Lee Haskins we'll only be getting two bouts. They will see a WBA Flyweight title bout between regular champion Kazuto Ioka (20-1, 12) [井岡一翔] and interim champion Stamp Kiatniwat (15-0, 6) [แสตมป์ กระทิงแดงยิม] and an IBF Super Bantamweight title bout between Yukinori Oguni (18-1-1, 7) [小國 以載] and defending champion Jonathan Guzman (22-0-0-1, 22).
A thing to note about this card is that it won't be for the 5 hour window, instead it will be contained within the 5 hour time frame, with TBS unwilling to schedule it for a set time and allowing it to float inside the KYOKUGEN slot.
TV Tokyo 21:30-23:30
The final show of the year is the TV Tokyo shown “The best of Best” and features another world title double header. The bouts here will be a WBA Light Flyweight title bout between reigning Ryoichi Taguchi (25-2-1, 11) [田口良一] and the unbeaten Carlos Canizales (16-0, 13) and the anticipated rematch between WBA Super Featherweight "super" champion Jezreel Corrales (20-1-0-1, 8) and Takashi Uchiyama (24-1-1, 20) [内山 高志]. Sadly given the time slot it seems unlike that we'll get the chance to see the brilliant match up between Masayuki Ito (19-1-1, 9) [伊藤 雅雪] and Takuya Watanabe (30-6-1, 16) [渡邉 卓也], who fight to unify the OPBF and WBO Asia Pacific Super Featherweight titles.
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