Earlier this week we broke the news that Korean fighter Jae Woo Lee (6-2, 5) [이재우] would be participating in the tournament set up to celebrate the 30th anniversary of popular manga Hajime No Ippo. Today the draw for the competition took place, for what will actually be a 7 man, 3 foreign fighters and 4 Japanese ones, tournament spread over 6 months.
The draw, which was done live on youtube earlier today, saw Lee being drawn against Japan's Tsuyoshi Tameda (21-4-2, 19) [溜田剛士], in what looks like a really explosive match up in one of the 3 quarter-finals.
A second quarter-final will see local fighter Shingo Kusano (11-8-1, 4) [草野慎悟] take on Chinese visitor Qiang Ma (5-1-2, 3) [马强], in what looks less interesting than the first, but should be evenly matched given the limitations of both. Ma enters on a 7 fight unbeaten run, and has won the WBO Great China Featherweight title, so he has form, though the 30 year Kusano has lost his last 4 in a row.
The third, and final, quarter final bout will be an all-Japanese bout, as the unbeaten Koshin Takeshima (4-0, 3) [竹嶋宏心] take on the under-rated Daisuke Watanabe (9-4-1, 6) [渡部大介] in a mouth watering match up.
As a result of only 7 men competing a bye has been given to Filipino Richard Pumicpic (21-10-2, 6).
The quarter-final bouts will all take place on November 19th with the winners of the first two quarter-finals will facing off and the winner of the third semi final facing Pumicpic in February next year. The final will then be held in May 2020.
The competition will see all quarter-final bouts being fought over 6 rounds whilst the later stages will be 8 round bouts.
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