Yesterday former WBA Super Featherweight champion Takashi Uchiyama [内山 高志] began a crowdfunding campaign to help keep afloat his KOD LAB/KOD Studio in Saitama. The gym has had to be closed under Japanese laws to try and limit the effects and spread of the current on going global issues.
Unlike many boxing gyms in Japan the gym it's self hasn't got any professional fighters training there as an affiliated fighter, though pros are welcome to train at the gym and several have since the gym opened. The real target for the gym however are every day people, from the elderly to school children, with a focus on getting people to enjoy exercise, keep fit and lose weight.
The gym also offers help in regards to dieting and dietary advice.
Like all gyms that are closed at the moment it's struggling to bring in money but still needs to make regular payments, and the gym has a number of staff working there as well as things like rent and general bills.
The crowdfunding campaign is being set up to held fund things like the gym rent, the training staff, and promotional expenses.
Unlike some crowdfunding campaigns that don't take off the 5,000,000JPY was smashed in around a day and the support currently stands at 122% of the target, with over 6,100,000JPY pledged to the campaign in just 27 hours.
For those who do get behind the campaign there are various rewards being given, including a KOD t-shirt, a signed t-shirt, a video thank you from Uchiyama himself, a 30 minute one-on-one boxing session with Uchiyama himself, and sponsorship opportunities.
For those interested in the campaign more details are available here.
Earlier today at Haneda airport that was an event held to try and build attention for the final big show of the decade, a triple world title card in Tokyo.
One of the world title bouts there will see Miyo Yoshida (13-1) [吉田 実代] defending her her WBO female Super Flyweight title against Chinese challenger Li Ping Shi (5-2, 2).
Today the two were supposed to have a face off as part of the event, though unfortunately Shi's arrival in Japan was delayed, leaving Yoshida, along with her 4 year old daughter, on the stage.
Yoshida sport about Shi being a strong fighter but believed she had the skills to win, and had practised hard. Her daughter, who had dressed like a character from Frozen, added that she wanted her mum to win, in scenes that were surprisingly cute for what was essentially a boxing press conference.
Despite have not yet scored a stoppage win Yoshida was tipped to score her first stoppage here by both Daisuke Naito and Takashi Uchiyama, who will be doing the commentary on Paravi for the bout.
Related - Yoshida defends WBO crown against Shi!
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Earlier today fans saw former unified Light Flyweight champion Ryoichi Taguchi (27-4-2, 12) [田口良一] take part in his retirement ceremony, as he called time on his career at the age of 33.
The popular former world champion took part in a 3 round exhibition with former WBA Super Featherweight champion Takashi Uchiyama [内山 高志] as part of the ceremony, with the two close friends, who have been described as being like brothers in the past.
The first two rounds saw the two sparring with head gear, before removing it for the final round and giving the fans a show, with Taguchi attempting to earn a financial reward that was offered by the show's sponsor if he could knockout Uchiyama, adding a bit of extra spice to their exhibition.
Afterwards the two men had a bit of a joke, before Uchiyama encouraged the fans in the venue to support Taguchi in whatever he does now he's retired.
After Uchiyama's words it was the turn of Hitoshi Watanabe, who stated that when Taguchi won the WBA world title at the end of 2014 was his best memory.
Taguchi then had a chance to speak to the fans himself, an explained that he started boxing at the age of 18 with the dream of becoming a world champion, before saying thanks, revealing he planned to stay in boxing in some form, with the speculation now being that he, like Uchiyama, will open a gym.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Back in November we reported that Ryoichi Taguchi (27-4-2, 12) [田口良一] would be taking part in his retirement ceremony on December 10th as part of the Dangan and Guts Fighting card. Today we learned that part of that ceremony will see Taguchi take part in an exhibition with former WBA Super Featherweight champion Takashi Uchiyama [内山 高志].
The two men were the two previous faces of the Watanabe gym, and Uchiyama was often seen as an older brother type to Taguchi, so to see the two taking part in this sparring event is rather symbolic, as the end of era for the gym, which is now bringing through a new generation of fighter, thanks to success of Taguchi and Uchiyama.
The exhibition will come before the show's main event, which will see OPBF Super Featherweight champion Hironori Mishiro (8-0-1, 3) [三代大訓] defending his title against Yoshimitsu Kimura (12-1, 7) [木村吉光].
Earlier today a press conference was held in Tokyo, featuring former world champions Floyd Mayweather Jr and Takashi Uchiyama, to announce some more of the details for the upcoming Knock Out Dynamite tournament which will begin on October 19th with the first round of matches.
The announcement today revealed some of the fighters involved in the 2-stage tournament, which takes place across 3 weight classes and features a bounty-type prize for scoring KO wins, with larger prizes depending on how quickly a fighter secures a stoppage.
The announcement today saw a number of the bouts being announced, including 3 of the 4 competitors in the 65KG tournament. The men announced here were Vladimir Baez (25-5-2, 23) and Tatsuya Miyazaki (9-12-1, 9) [宮崎辰也], who have been matched against each other, and Shusaku Fujinaka (16-11-2, 11) [藤中周作], who's opponent hasn't been confirmed.
The 60KG tournament saw 2 of the 4 men being named, with Koichi Ito (11-7-3, 10) [伊藤弘一] and Ribo Takahata (15-8-1, 6) [高畑里望], neither of whom had their opponents name.
And the 56KG tournament had all 4 of it's competitors announced. This weight class will see Yuki Yamauchi (3-0, 2) [山内祐希] take on Ryuta Wakamatsu (12-14-1, 9) [若松竜太], and Ren Sasaki (9-0, 6)[佐々木蓮] battle with Morihisa Iju (11-4, 9) [伊集盛尚].
Interestingly the 3 opponents that are yet to be announced are all stated to be "foreigners", though none of them were named.
The event takes it's name from Uchiyama, who is a tournament ambassador, but will be essentially be co-promoted by TMT Japan, a business arm of Mayweather's wider TMT brand. The TMT Japan arm is expected to grow rapidly, with Mayweather talking about opening up integrated resorts in Japan, returning for exhibitions in the country and much more. In fact Mayweather is quoted as saying "I'm planning various projects in Japan. I want to call my friend Justin Bieber to do a concert and take it to the next level."
The plan seems to be to run this style of tournament, which was described as being a "bounty style tournament", on a regular basis in the future with Dangan and TMT Japan potentially working together on future tournaments of a similar style, though of course that would need this upcoming on to be a success and something following up on in the future.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
News! We try and give you the most interesting news stories from the Asian boxing world!