Earlier today the well established Ohashi Gym in Yokohama announced a collaboration with Health Industrial to produce some gym branded t-shirts.
The shirts are available in Japan with a cost of ¥4,200 (around $40, or £32), sadly however it's currently only available in Japan and it doesn't seem like it will be available for exporting around the globe for fans who do want one and aren't based in the Land of the Rising Sun.
For those in Japan the shirts will be available in a number of colours with 2 different designs. There is the "glove" design, as above, which comes in 4 different colours, White and Red, White and Black, Red, and Black. There is also a Bull design, available in White and Black. They are also available in a variety of sizes, from Japanese "small" to Japanese XXL.
Three lucky buyers of the shirts won't just receive the shirt but will also have them signed by figures from the Ohashi Gym.
The highly regarded Ohashi Gym, run by former world champion Hideyuki Ohashi, has announce that the gym will be closed from April 7th to try and help battle the on going global issues that is now effecting the planet. The gym has announced that it hopes to open on May 1st, though of course the issue is still pretty much a developing one and could remained closed beyond that date if it needs to.
The gym is a major one in Japan, and is based in one of the most heavily populated areas in the country, so it closing it's doors is a excellent decision. Even more so given no one at the gym has shown any health issues at the moment, rather than waiting for someone to get sick before choosing to lock the doors.
For fans unsure of which fighters this will affect current Ohashi gym fighters include the likes of former 3-weight world champion Akira Yaegashi (28-7, 16) [八重樫 東], the unified Bantamweight champion Naoya Inoue (19-0, 16) [井上 尚弥], his brother Takuma Inoue (13-1, 3) [井上 拓真], Japanese Light Welterweight champion Koki Inoue (15-0, 12) [浩樹井上], former world title challenger Ryo Matsumoto (23-3, 21) [松本亮] and prospects such as Taku Kuwahara (7-0, 4) [桑原拓], 2019 All Japan Rookie of the Year winner Katsuki Mori (6-0,1) [森且貴] and Ryutaro Nakagaki [中垣 龍汰朗] and Keisuke Matsumoto [松本圭佑], who were both pencilled in to debut in late May.
Usually closing a gym with this level of talent is likely to have major knock ons for big fights, however with the current climate we don't imagine this decision will cause too many issues, and is actually a very smart move from the gym that is trying to look after it's fighters and staff.
The latest boxing causality of Coronavirus has been announced as the Bantamweight triple title unification bout between Japanese star Naoya Inoue (19-0, 16) [井上 尚弥] and Filipino puncher John Riel Casimero (29-4, 20), with Hideyuki Ohashi and Inoue both confirming the bout has been postponed, indefinitely.
The Ohashi gym stated
"Naoya Inoue has practiced thoroughly, but there is no help in this world situation. We will announce again when a new date is decided."
Whilst Inoue himself stating
"I'm sorry to all the fans who were looking forward to it. However, given the global situation, we have to make a decision to postpone it now. We will continue to prepare to defeat Casimero, because it has been postponed."
So whilst the bout, which was pencilled in for April 25th, is now postponed, it's clear that both Inoue and Ohashi will be looking to reschedule the contest, and it seems clear that bout will be their #1 priority when the situation improves.
It seems like this week could end up being, low key, one of the most significant weeks of the year for what happens outside of the ring in Japan.
That's not due to any rule or new titles or anything political, but instead the sheer number of top amateur fighters announcing their transition to the professional game.
Yesterday both Ryutaro Nakagaki [中垣 龍汰朗] and Toshihiro Suzuki [鈴木稔弘] saw their professional ambitions being confirmed and today we saw another notable name make the move.
Today we saw former Japanese amateur Keisuke Matsumoto [松本圭佑] hold a press conference at the Ohashi gym to announce that he, like Ryutaro Nakagako, would be taking part in his pro-test bout in March with his debut taking place in May.
Matsumoto, the son of former world title challenger Koji Matsumoto, came to the attention of the Japanese public after winning 5 consecutive Under 15 titles en route to running up an 80-15 (30) amateur record. Like Nakagaki he missed out on the potential to qualify for the Olympics late last year, when he lost in a tournament to decide Japan's representatives for the international qualifying competitions, and chose not to wait another 4 years for the opportunity.
At today's press event he explained that a conversation with Ohashi gym star Naoya Inoue (19-0, 16) [井上 尚弥] influenced his decision. Incidentally Matsumoto's father stated that he would be heading to Shingo Inoue for advice on training the youngster.
Matsumoto will be fighting as a Super Bantamweight when he makes his debut, and spoke about wanting to fight in Las Vegas and at the Tokyo Dome. Before then however he's expected to be busy and there's a possibility that he will fight in May, July and September this year.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
Yesterday former Japanese amateur stand out Ryutaro Nakagaki [中垣 龍汰朗] announced that there would be a press conference regarding is decision to turn professional. Today that press conference took place, and there was some really interesting details released from the talented 20 year old hopeful.
As an amateur Nakagaki was a genuine standout, winning 5 high school tournaments and 3 international tournaments. He had hoped to compete at the 2020 Tokyo games but a loss in the domestic qualifying events saw those hopes come to an end late last year. His hopes to be a success have certainly not ended and it appears clear that there is road map to take him to the top, and quickly.
Today's press conference saw Nakagaki revealed he had signed professional papers with the Ohashi Gym and would be taking his pro-test in March, looking to secure a B class license in that test. If, as expected, he passes then his debut has been pencilled in for May 28th, as part of an Ohashi card which will be headlined by Japanese Light Welterweight champion Koki Inoue (15-0, 12) [浩樹井上] defending his title against Daishi Nagata (14-2-1, 5) [永田大士].
At today's event Nakagaki revealed he wanted to win a world title in 2 years, which would be a similar type of rise through the ranks as fellow Ohashi gym fighter Naoya Inoue (19-0, 16) [井上 尚弥].
Nakagaki had considered staying amateur for another 4 years, for the Paris games, but felt it was too long to wait, and chose the Ohashi gym and a professional boxing career instead.
At the event today Ohashi gym chairman Hideyuki Ohashi spoke highly of his new super prospect, talking about his quick and sharp he is, though seemed to suggest that Nakagaki needed to add power to his game. Give the move from amateurs to pros we suspect that he'll do that without too many problems, and build on his highly developed southpaw style.
Nakagaki is expected to be one of a host of fighters turning professional in the coming months, and the influx of fighters who missed out on the 2020 Olympics could be just as exciting for hardcore fight fans as the actual boxing at the Olympics.
News! We try and give you the most interesting news stories from the Asian boxing world!