Tomorrow fight fans will be able to see WBC Minimumweight champion Panya Pradabsri (38-1, 23), aka Petchmanee Kokietgym, make his third defense, as he takes on Japanese veteran Norihito Tanaka (20-8, 10) [田中教仁].
Today, ahead of that bout, the two men took part in their weight, with both men making the 105lb weight limit with no issues, with both men coming in bang on the limit.
Whilst both men hit the scales at the same weight it was worth noting that the champion looked the bigger man, with taller frame, though he also looked like he had taken more out of his body to make the limit.
After making weight the challenger stated "I'm relieved that I've cleared the weigh-in safely. After that, I'll finish it well for tomorrow's match. I'll definitely bring the belt home, so please look forward to it, everyone in Japan!" Notably, given his confidence, Japanese fighters have never won a world title in Thailand, with Japanese fighters having an historically apalling 0-25-1 record in world title fights in the Land of Smiles.
Whilst the challenger was confident, it's fair to say the champion was also full of confidence as he looks to build on his reign, and further attempts to distinguish himself as one of, if not the, leadiing fighter at 105lbs
Related - WBC King Panya Pradabsri faces Norihito Tanaka in third defense
Earlier this week it was announced that the planned August 31st bout between WBC Minimumweight champion Panya Pradabsri (38-1, 23), aka Petchmanee Kokietgym, and former OPBF Minimumweight champion Tsubasa Koura (15-2, 10) [小浦 翼] had been cancelled.
Although that specific bout has been cancelled it has also been confirmed that Panya will still be defending his title at the end of August, however he will now be defending against Norihito Tanaka (20-8, 10) [田中教仁], instead of Koura.
The bout was announced in Japan earlier yesterday by Misako Gym, the gym that manages Tanaka, who held a press conference to announce the bout, and explained that Tanaka had gotten the call for the contest about a month ago.
For Panya the bout will serve as his third defense of the WBC title, which he famously won in November 2020 when he defeated Wanheng Menayothin, and he will be looking to further strengthen his claim as one of the divisional elite. As for Tanaka this will be his second shot at a world title, following a loss in 2020 when he lost to Knockout CP Freshmart.
Notably Japanese fighters are 0-25-1 in world title bouts in Thailand, and history is certainly not on Tanaka's side going into this bout.
Earlier today in Tokyo former world title challenger Norihito Tanaka (20-8, 10) [田中教仁] made a successful return to the ring as he out pointed youngster Yuni Takada (8-6-2, 3) [高田勇仁] at Korakuen Hall.
The bout, the main event of "GENKOTSU Vol 8", saw Tanaka look to establish his jab early on and he looked comfortable through out, however Takada wasn't there to make up the numbers and came out with some real purpose and ambition. Takada looked to work the body in round 1 and landed a lovely 1-2 in the second round. He continued to come forward, putting Tanaka under pressure but the wily veteran had the experience and know how to deal with it.
Sadly for Takada he every time he did get a foot hold on the action his success was blunted by the clean, accurate jab and the smart footwork of Tanaka who always looked like he was a step ahead of his younger rival.
By the later rounds Takada was one on the back foot, with Tanaka applying constant, but educated, pressure and out working Takada, who went beyond 6 rounds for only the second time in his career.
After 8 rounds there was no questioning who won, with Tanaka taking the decision on all 3 cards, 79-73, 78-74 and 77-75. The widest of those scores seemed a bit too wide for our liking, but the other two were pretty much spot on.
For Tanaka this was his first bout since March, when he lost to Knockout CP Freshmart, and there was a touch of ring rust there. Aged 35 he is old for a Minimumweight and it's fair to say time is ticking on his career, but he seemed to feel like their was still life in his legs and after the bout he spoke about getting a second world title fight in the future.
As for Takada he may have lost but credit to him for the performance he put in and the 22 year will certainly come again. He came off second before but don't write him off, he showed a lot to be proud of here. Even with 6 losses in 18 bouts he still has a promising future ahead of him, at least based on this performance he does.
For those wanting to watch this bout it is now available on subscription service Boxing Raise.
Tomorrow at Korakuen Hall we'll see former world title challenger Norihito Tanaka (19-8, 10) [田中教仁] taking on youngster Yuni Takada (8-5-2, 3) [高田勇仁] in the main event of a Misako promoted show.
Today the two men took part in their weigh in and both men made the 105lb Minimumweight limit without many issues.
On the scales Tanaka, who fought Knockout CP Freshmart earlier this year, was bang on the limit. At the weigh in he spoke about this being the first step in his revival, and he seemed very confident of picking up a win and rebounding following his loss to the unbeaten Thai world champion in March. He also revealed he came close to retiring following that loss, but decided to focus on getting another world title shot.
Takada on the other hand was 104.7lbs and the 22 year old seems to be fully aware that this is a very clear step up in class. Earlier this year he earned a draw with Hizuki Saso, in what was a career best result, and a win here could help net Takada a shot at either Saso or Masataka Taniguchi, who close on January 3rd in a bout for the Japanese Minimumweight.
Although clearly the under-dog this is a huge opportunity for Takada and a win really would open doors for him.
For those wanting to watch this one it will be made available via the boxing Boxing Raise service, albeit on delay.
Boxing Raise Schedule for November
Earlier today Boxing Raise announced their schedule for the month of November. Unlike October there is set to be one live show, along with 6 tape-delay shows, including two of which took place on November 1st.
One of the two shows from November 1st being put on to the service was the Midori promoted card headlined by Masanori Rikiishi [力石 政法] taking on Soreike Taichi [木村太一] in a bout between Japanese ranked fighters. At the time of writing this main event is available on the service but the rest of the card isn't.
The other show from November 1st is the West Japan Rookie of the Year final, which will likely go up in the next few days. There is currently no bouts from this show uploaded, but they will be up shortly.
The next show to be added will be the November 3rd East Japan Rookie of the Year show. This is likely to be added either same day, or the day after the event, and will decide a number of the fighters involved in the East Japan final in December.
After 3 shows in 3 days it's then a lengthy wait until November 21st for the next show, but this is well worth the wait. This event will be the next DANGAN card and will be headlined by OPBF Light Welterweight champion Rikki Naito (24-2, 7) [内藤 律樹] battling Yusuke Konno (16-4, 9) [今野裕介] in a bout for the OPBF and WBO Asia Pacific titles.
This is a really good card, and also features a solid match up between Yoshimitsu Kimura (12-2, 7) [木村吉光] and Shuma Naklazato (10-1-2, 7) [仲里周磨] and a mouth watering clash between Japanese Youth Super Flyweight champion Suzumi Takayama (3-0, 3) [高山涼深] and Hiroto Yashiro (2-0, 2) [矢代博斗]
Notably this November 21st card will be shown live.
We then don't have much of a wait, with the Morioka promoted card on November 22nd being made available on delay. This is a low level card, but it is headlined by an interesting match up between Ryosuke Nishida (2-0, 1) [西田凌佑] and former world title challenger Shohei Omori (21-3, 16) [大森 将平].
The service will then add the November 25th card headlined by former world title challenger Norihito Tanaka (19-8, 10) [田中教仁] taking on Yuni Takada (8-5-2, 3) [高田勇仁].
The month will then end with a tape delay Dangan card consisting of all 4 round bouts, which tend to be low level action, but fun action, with novice giving us fun, intense, action.
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