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.
Earlier today in Kariya fans had the chance to see a Japanese Light Flyweight title eliminator between the hard hitting Masamichi Yabuki (10-3, 10) [佐藤政道] and talented youngster Rikito Shiba (4-1, 2) [芝力人].
On paper we had major questions for both men coming in. The biggest of those us was how Yabuki was going to look at Light Flyweight having essentially fought his career as a Flyweight? Today answered that in style, with the answer "good, powerful and very strong" as he secured himself a title fight in impressive fashion.
After a quiet first round Yabuki exploded in the second, with a hard right hand that dropped Shiba. Shiba would show his determination to get to his feet, but was dropped again later in the round as Yabuki's power proved a major factor. Shiba would again get to his feet but it always seemed like he was going to be living on thin ice, given how badly he had been hurt.
Shiba managed to get through round 3 without too many issues but was dropped twice in round 4, with the the referee deciding enough was enough, and waving off the bout.
We had expected the weight cut to take a toll on Yabuki but in reality he looked like he was fighting at his natural weight. For Shiba this will be a hard loss to come back from, but it's certainly not the end, and the talented 24 year old.
Yabuki will now be expecting to fight Japanese Light Flyweight champion Yuto Takahashi (11-4, 5) [高橋悠斗] during the 2020 Champion Carnival.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
On Saturday at Korakuen Hall fans were given a rare double award ceremony with the East Japan Boxing Association award winners for August and September both being recognised for their achievements in recent months.
The 6 award winners were all honoured and given chance to talk.
The MVP for August was Japanese Middleweight champion Kazuto Takesako (11-0-1, 11) [竹迫司登] who confirmed that his next bout would be the previous reported January clash with OPBF Middleweight champion Shinobu Charlie Hosokawa (12-4-1, 11) [細川チャーリー忍].
The August Fighting Spirit award winner, Hiroaki Teshigawara (20-2-2, 13) [勅使河原 弘晶], revealed that he would be defending his OPBF Super Bantamweight title on December 12th, though his opponent was yet to be confirmed. This means the December 12th Diamond Glove show will a double header with Teshigawara defending his belt on a card that will also feature Japanese Featherweight champion Ryo Sagawa (8-1, 4) [佐川遼] defending his title against Ryo Hino (13-1-2, 8) [日野僚].
The third of August's winners was Masahiro Suzuki (3-0, 2) [鈴木雅弘], who didn't have much to say about the future directly, essentially saying he was happy to win the award. It seems likely, though is yet to be confirmed, that he will be back in action in January.
September's MVP was the aforementioned Ryo Sagawa (8-1, 4) [佐川遼], who seemed to suggest that he didn't deserve the MVP award, but was happy to receive it. As mentioned earlier he'll be back in the ring in December to defend the Japanese Featherweight title.
The September Fighting Spirit award winner was Yusaku Kuga (19-3-1, 12) [久我勇作], who, seemed surprised that he wasn't the MVP for the month, echoing the comment from Sagawa. Though he did seem to suggest that he was aiming to claim the MVP award next time he fought, though he didn't reveal the scheduling or his next bout.
The Newcomer award for September was Rikito Shiba (4-0, 2) [芝力人] who seemed to suggest he was unhappy with his September performance, despite winning the Japanese Youth Light Flyweight title, and was expecting a better performance when he fights again, on December 15th against Masamichi Yabuki (9-3, 9) [佐藤政道] in a Japanese title eliminator.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Earlier today Green released the poster for their next show, set for December 15th and whilst it's not a huge show, by any stretch, it's a show worthy of attention, and a lot of it!
The main event will see a new Japanese Heavyweight champion being crowned, only the third in history! The title bout will see veteran Kotatsu Takehara (15-12-3, 8) [竹原真敬] battle against Ryu Ueda (8-1-1, 5) [上田龍]. The bout is to crown a new champion Kyotaro Fujimoto vacated the belt earlier this year.
The bout which seems the likely to steal the show is a Japanese Light Flyweight eliminator, as Japanese Youth champion Rikito Shiba (4-0, 2) [芝力人] takes on the heavy handed Masamichi Yabuki (9-3, 9) [佐藤政道]. The winner of this will be the mandatory for newly crowned champion Yuto Takahashi, who won the title last week, at next year's Champion Carnival.
Despite those two match ups the real talking point is the ring return of former female star Tomomi Takano (11-5, 8) [高野人母美], who has been in the relative boxing wilderness in recent years following a big falling out with her former promoter in Japan. This bout will actually be her second fight this year, but her first in Japan for more than 2 years! Her opponent is yet to be announced, but we're glad to see her returning to a Japanese ring and hopefully she'll manage to make up for lost time, having suffered 3 losses in her last 4 bouts. She will almost certainly be the fighter getting attention in Japan and despite recent inactivity she is still very popular with fans, especially the male ones.
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