Earlier today a ceremony was held at Korakuen Hall to recognise the achievements of the trio of fighters who won the East Japan Boxing Awards for December.
The MVP for the month was Koki Inoue (15-0, 12) [浩樹井上], due to his stoppage win over Jhertiz Chavez, sadly however Inoue was unable to attend, due to his recent injury. As a result Seiichi Okada [岡田誠一] attended on his behalf, and told those in attendance that "I'm sorry that Inoue was hurt. I look forward to seeing you in a good match in May, so please look forward to it."
The Fighting Spirit Award was won by OPBF Super Bantamweight champion Hiroaki Teshigawara (21-2-2, 14) [勅使河原 弘晶], following his stoppage win against Shohei Kawashima [川島翔平]. Despite the odd suit Teshigawara was wearing the "Crush Boy" explained that he was now planning to take part in a Filipino training camp.
Japanese Youth Bantamweight champion Toshiya Ishii (3-0, 2) [石井渡士也], who claimed his title with a sensational win against Haruki Ishikawa [石川春樹], was awarded the the Newcomer award. He revealed his first defense will now take place on March 14th as he takes on Issei Ochiai (2-0, 1) [落合 壱星] at Korakuen Hall.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Earlier today at the Ohashi gym in Yokohama Naoya Inoue (19-0, 16) [井上 尚弥] finally returned to sparring, the first time since his November bout with Nonito Donaire, which came in the WBSS final and saw Inoue unifying the IBF and WBA Bantamweight titles.
The Bantamweight kingpin, who is scheduled to defend his titles on April 25th in US, was in the ring with Japanese Youth Bantamweight champion Toshiya Ishii (3-0, 2) [石井渡士也] with their spar lasting 5 rounds.
The spar is long than Inoue typically spars for, though it seems like he will be doing up to 10 rounds of sparring at a time as they build towards the April bout, which is expected to be against WBO champion John Riel Casimero (29-4, 20).
Of course we know fans will be asking about the eye injury Inoue suffered against Donaire. The injury was the reason it's taken so long for Inoue to return to sparring, but appears to be fully healed and they wouldn't have allowed him to spar at all without passing medical clearance.
Interestingly Naoya wasn't the only member of the Inoue family in the gym today as younger brother Takuma Inoue (13-1, 3) [井上 拓真] also took part in some sparring, sharing the ring with Japanese ranked Super Flyweight Rysouke Nasu (11-5-3, 2) [那須亮祐].
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
Today saw the shortlists being released from the Japanese Boxing Commission and the Tokyo Sports Press Club for the annual Japanese boxing awards, celebrating the best of Japanese boxing in 2019.
Unsurprisingly Ryota Murata, Kazuto Ioka, Kosei Tanaka, Kenshiro Teraji and Naoya Inoue were in multiple categories following a solid for all 5 men.
Below are the short lists for this years awards, ahead of the annual ceremony, which will take place on February 7th in Tokyo.
Naoya Inoue (19-0, 16) [井上 尚弥]
Kazuto Ioka (25-2, 14) [井岡一翔]
Ryota Murata (16-2, 13) [村田 諒太]
Kosei Tanaka (15-0, 9) [田中恒成]
Kenshiro Teraji (17-0, 10) [寺地 拳四朗]
Ryosuke Iwasa (27-3, 17) [岩佐 亮佑]
Keita Kurihara (15-5, 13) [栗原 慶太]
Shuichiro Yoshino (11-0, 9) [吉野 修一郎]
Hiroaki Teshigawara (21-2-2, 14) [勅使河原 弘晶]
Ginjiro Shigeoka (5-0, 4) [重岡銀次朗]
Koki Inoue (15-0, 12) [浩樹井上]
Junto Nakatani (20-0, 15) [中谷 潤人]
Yuki Nonaka (33-11-3, 10) [野中 悠樹]
Akinori Watanabe (39-7-1, 33) [渡部あきのり]
Yuki Nagano (17-2, 13) [永野祐樹]
Norihito Tanaka (19-7, 10) [田中教仁]
Best Fight of the Year (World title Bout)
Naoya Inoue Vs Nonito Donaire
Naoya Inoue Vs Emanuel Rodriguez
Kazuto Ioka Vs Aston Palicte
Ryota Murata Vs Rob Brant II
Best Fight of the Year (Non-world title)
Kazuto Takesako Vs Shuji Kato 加藤収二]
Yuki Beppu [別府優樹] Vs Ryota Yada [矢田良太]
Toshiya Ishii [石井渡士也] Vs Haruki Ishikawa [石川春樹]
Tenkai Tsunami (27-12-1, 16) [天海 ツナミ]
Kasumi Saeki (4-0, 3) [佐伯霞]
Miyo Yoshida (14-1) [吉田 実代]
Female Fight of the Year
Naoko Fujioka [藤岡 奈穂子] Vs Tenkai Tsunami
Kasumi Saeki Vs Elizabeth Lopez
Monseratt Alcaron Vs Ayaka Miyao [宮尾 綾香]
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
Earlier today the East Japan boxing association announced their award winners for this past December naming 3 different winners for their awards.
The MVP for the month was Koki Inoue (15-0, 12) [浩樹井上], following his stoppage win over Jhertiz Chavez to claim the WBO Asia Pacific title at 140lbs, unifying the belt with his Japanese title. At the moment it's unclear what Inoue's next move is, with talk of him vacating the Japanese crown, but we suspect we'll know more in the coming days, as the fighter will have to commit to the Champion Carnival, or not, relatively soon.
The Fighting Spirit Award was won by OPBF Super Bantamweight champion Hiroaki Teshigawara (21-2-2, 14) [勅使河原 弘晶], following his stoppage win against Shohei Kawashima [川島翔平]. This was Teshigawara's third defense of the title and it seems likely he'll be on the hunt for a potential world title fight in 2020, following a strong run of results on the domestic and regional scene.
The Newcomer award was won by Japanese Youth Bantamweight champion Toshiya Ishii (3-0, 2) [石井渡士也] following his win over Haruki Ishikawa [石川春樹] for the title, in what was a sensational bout.
The trio will be given their awards on February 13th at the Diamond Glove show at Korakuen Hall.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
In late 2019 we did a number of short articles under "The Round Review" banner, covering 14 of the best rounds from 2019. Now we've selected one of those as our round of the year.
The round we selected was the brilliant second round from the Japanese Youth Bantamweight title between Toshiya Ishii and Haruki Ishikawa. The bout wasn't aired live anywhere though the bout got rave reviews from fans in the venue. When it was made available to watch, on tape delay, and even knowing the result we didn't expect the round too live up to the expectations we had. Amazingly it exceeded the expectations with the two men really hammering each other with bombs in a thrilling, round of action.
The round pitted two youngsters against each other, and whatever it is Japanese youngsters, facing off for Japanese Youth titles, do tend to provide thrilling action. They seems to want that Youth title to help launch their careers to bigger and better things. That was on show here.
Just seconds into the round we had a knockdown, not long after that the two men rocked each other with simultaneous left hooks as they stood and traded. A few moments of sloppy action, as both tried to get their senses back followed before the round rebuilt to give us an exceptional final 90 seconds or so.
This was a great example of Japanese officiating, with the referee not looking to interfere at every opportunity but letting fight on the inside. Yes the third man was involved a few times but his involvement was short, necessary and not there to break the action but to get it restarted.
This was drama, this was bombs away and this was the start of the end, with the bout ending in round 4 when Ishikawa was almost sent out of the ring.
We know fans will suggest that others rounds deserve this honour, notably the 11th round of Naoya Inoue Vs Nonito Donaire, and whilst that was an amazing, really it was, we preferred seeing Ishii and Ishikawa stumbling away from each other, rather than Ernie Sharif giving Inoue a body check. The best thing about 2019 however is that we had about 20 rounds that could all be spoken about in depth. Last year was an amazing year, and a year that should be celebrated for what it delivered!
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