On Wednesday we'll see WBO Super Flyweight champion Kazuto Ioka (28-2, 15) [井岡一翔] take on Filipino great Donnie Nietes (43-1-6, 23), in a rematch of their 2018 bout which saw Nietes take home a controversial decision victory in Macau.
Today, ahead of their bout, the two men attended a pre-fight medical which saw both men passing all the tests and having measurements taken, whilst also speaking to the media.
In comments to the media Ioka suggested that he wasn't impressed by Nietes in their first bout, and that he felt he should have had the win. He also explained that he was in perfect condition for this bout, as he looks for a win in his 22nd world title bout! As for Nietes he spoke about being grateful for this opportunity, and he also explained the origin of his nickname "Ahas", the Filipino word for Snake, the Japanese media. Interestingly he alluded to the fact both men maybe seeking a KO this time, after their close bout back in 2018.
As for the measurements. They showed Ioka to be the naturally bigger man, having advantages in terms of height and reach, and of course he's also the much younger man. He was also the thicker set man, suggesting he's the naturally bigger man in all dimensions, however he was in their first bout too, and failed to do what was needed to get the win there.
The weigh in will take place around mid-day Japan time on Tuesday. For those wanting to watch that, we have included the official live stream of it below. The fight will be shown live on TBS, and affiliates, across Japan from 9PM local time, and can be watched, internationally, by using a YoiTV account.
Related - Ioka seeks revenge in rematch with Nietes!
This coming weekend we'll see WBC Light Flyweight champion Masamichi Yabuki (13-3, 12) [佐藤政道] defending the title against former champion Kenshiro Teraji (18-1, 10) [寺地 拳四朗], in a rematch of their bout from last year, which saw Yabuki end the reign of Kenshiro and score a major upset.
Today, ahead of their rematch, the two men took part in some of the pre-fight formalities, with a pre-fight medical check up, a signing ceremony and the glove selection event.
In regards to the medical checks, neither man had any medical issues, with the key take aways from the medical being their physical measurements. Interestingly the measurements of the two men seemed to suggest that both fighters are actually smaller than they were a year ago, though we do wonder if the measurements were taken consistently. One of the most clear examples of the differences between measurements was in reach, where last time out Yabuki was reportedly boasting a 3.5cm reach advantage, which has now been reduced to 1cm, if today's measurements are accurate. Another notable change was the pulse rate, with Yabuki having a 43bpm pulse for their first bout, and now having a 79bpm rate, almost double of what it was last September.
Yabuki attended the events wearing an anime t-shirt, with a character from Fist of the North Star on it, in fact it's one of the rivals of main character Kenshiro. Yabuki seemed almost proud of the shirt selection and to be honest, it was a nice touch. He explained that he was going to be aggressive here, and fight much like he had in their first bout. Unsurprisingly, given his win over Kenshiro last year, he was full of confidence.
As for Kenshiro, he stated he was the best in the division, he was excited for this match and that his preparation has been smooth for this bout, somethign that certainly wasn't the case for the first bout between these two. Kenshiro explained that he was going to being more firm with his jab, and that he wanted to reclaim the belt as soon as possible.
For those interested in the glove situation, both men have selected black gloves for the bout
Related - Yabuki Vs Kenshiro - The Rematch
Later this week we'll see WBC Light Flyweight champion Kenshiro Teraji (17-0, 10) [寺地 拳四朗]defending his title against fellow Japanese fighter Masamichi Yabuki (12-3, 11) [佐藤政道]. Today, ahead of that bout, the two men took part in some pre-fight formalities in Kyoto, in what was the first meeting between the two men in 11 weeks.
Part of the formalities today were PCR tests, or rather Yabuki under-going a PRC test, which gave a negative result. Kenshiro didn't need to take one, according to JBC rules, as he has had a negative test recently, following a bout with Covid in August.
Another of the formalities was a press conference featuring the two men. At the press conference Kenshiro apologised for the postponement of the bout, which was caused when he had Covid in August forcing the bout to be delayed by 12 days. He explained that despite his illness his condition was good and that he would win this bout. Since his public work out, a week ago, he has been staying in shape with shadow boxing and mitt work, and sparred a single session since then.
In regards to Yabuki, the champion explained that he has to be wary of Yabuki's power, and he has been warned that the challenger holds heavy hands.
As for Yabuki he explained that he is confident of winning this bout, and explained that things were different to his last fight, as he needs to isolate longer than he has for other bouts in the pandemic era, with other bouts in Japan resulting in isolation following the weigh whilst world title fights are an extra day longer.
Another formality was the choosing of gloves. Both men will be wearing Winning, with Kenshiro using black and Yabuki in blue.
One of the more notable formalities was the official medical. These showed Kenshiro to be the naturally smaller man, giving away reach, height and thickness to Yabuki, though it should be noted that Yabuki did start his career as a Flyweight whilst Kenshiro has only fought as a Light Flyweight during his career, so the champion being the smaller man isn't really much of a surprise.
Related - Kenshiro takes on Yabuki in defense #9! (Fight preview)
This coming weekend we'll see WBC Light Flyweight champion Kenshiro Teraji (17-0, 10) [寺地 拳四朗] taking on Tetsuya Hisada (34-10-2, 20) [久田 哲也] as he looks for his 8th defense of the title.
Today, ahead of that bout, the two men took part in a press conference and their physical examinations for the contest, as well as having other details for the bout confirmed.
Lets start with the physical, which sees both men being very similar physically, though Hisada was the slightly thicker set man, having a bigger neck and much thicker chest. In terms of reach and height however the two men were almost identical, with Kenshiro being just over 0.5" taller.
Interesting we were given quite a lot of information about the health of the two men. These details show us that Hisada has a low blood pressure, at 93 over 56, whilst Kenshiro's is pretty much in the ideal range. On the other hand Hisada's heart rate was much slower than that of the champion.
It was also announced that both men had under-gone PCR tests and got negative results.
At the press conference, which can be seen below, we saw quite a lot of information coming out. (Note - All quotes below are rough English translations)
Firstly promoter Masato Yamashita has revealed the event will go ahead unless the venue is forced to close under the new state of emergency measures in Osaka Prefecture. He explained "It is the responsibility of holding the game as long as it is undertaken. We will hold this event unless the venue is closed. I can't do it. If I'm told to do it with no audience, I'll do it with no audience. "
In saying that the show is planning to have 2,200 fans in attendance, with 2000 tickets already sold and 200 more will be available on the day of the event.
In regards to the fighters Kenshiro stated "If I can fight as usual, there is no problem. I want to fight at my own pace without rushing."
As for Hisada the gameplan seems to be about prevent Kenshiro from being himself, stating "I am in good condition and feeling good. I am excited to think that the day when I will become a world champion is approaching. I will not let the champion move as usual."
It should be noted, at the age of 36, that Hisada is looking to break the record as the oldest man to become a Japanese world champion, and he sounded confident as he explained "I want to show that I can fight at this age (36 years old) and that I can make my dreams come true, and give me excitement and courage. I will win overwhelmingly more than the champion,"
It's now, sadly, been confirmed that the main event, and the chief support bout will not be free to view as expected and will instead be available exclusively on Cantere Doga, a subscription service in Japan which can be signed up for here https://live.ktv-smart.jp/ for 330yen a month (about $3 or £2.50ish). Interestingly international subscription is possible via a bank card, though it's unclear if the stream will work internationally without things like VPN's being in use.
The under-card is expected to be shown for free on YouTube, with only the main event and chief support being shown on the paid service, with a broadcast starting at 14:30 on Cantere Doga.
Sadly with the inability to confirm that the stream will work internationally, we will not be advising anyone outside of Japan to sign up for Cantere Doga. Instead we would be hoping that, sometime soon, it will be aired on TV on some form of tape delay, or made available on delay by Shinsei promotions.
Related - 4 years in the making - Kenshiro Teraji Vs Tetsuya Hisada (Preview)
We are now just a couple of days away from the year ending WBO Super Flyweight world title bout, pitting champion Kazuto Ioka (25-2, 14) [井岡一翔] against unbeaten mandatory challenger Kosei Tanaka (15-0, 9) [田中恒成].
Today, ahead of their bout, the two men under-went the usual pre-fight medical screening and thankfully there was no issues found with either man. They also both under-went a PCR test.
In terms of physical measurements, there really wasn't much at all between the two men. Ioka had a 2cm reach advantage and was marginally, .2cm, the taller man. Interestingly Tanaka had a thicker neck, but Ioka's chest was significantly bigger than Tanaka's
Ioka, sporting cornrows because he's not wanting to cut his hair for the fight, spoke about having Ismael Salas by his side for the fight, and spoke about wanting to repay the support of fans who have been behind him.
He once again made it clear that he feels the bout is about levels and he came across as a man confident that this is going to be a rather easy bout. He added that he was in good condition and it seemed very much like he was going about this like he has any fight, and that there nothing special about this one.
Interestingly, when compared to his last fight, Ioka seems to have changed size slight, and his reach measurement is 2cm longer than it was a year ago, when he fought Jeyvier Cintron,
As for Tanaka he seemed pumped for the fight, and stated that he was in the best condition of his career, despite moving up in weight. He spoke about how is different physically to the man he was a year ago, when he stopped Wulan Tuolehazi, and it seemed really clear that he was focused on being 100% for this bout.
To prepare for the bout has pretty much had the Hatanaka Gym in Nagoya all to himself, with Kiyoshi Hatanaka closing the gym to everyone other than people Tanaka wanted there, and Tanaka has also added to his team.
In regarding the contest it's self he echoed comments that he has made repeatedly, stating that Ioka is a good fighter, that he thinks the fight will be a great one, that he was confident and that he was aiming for a KO.
As well as the details above there was no abnormalities found in checks on the chest, abdomen, pupils or reflexes.
The bout, in Tokyo, will be shown globally through channels like TBS in Japan, Boxnation in the UK, Fox Sports in Australia and ESPN channels in Latin America, though still has no US TV Outlet, meaning US fans have the choice of trawling through illegal streams or using a service like Isakura to watch the bout live.
For those wanting to go the Isakura route, a 3 day trial will need to be ordered at some point on December 30th as it can take up to 12 hours to get the details sent through. More details about Isakura can be found here.
Related-The end of year clash - Kazuto Ioka Vs Kosei Tanaka
(Images courtesy of Ambition Gym)
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