Earlier today it was announced that WBO Atomweight champion Mika Iwakawa (10-5-1, 3) [岩川 美花] had transferred from the Takasago gym to the Himeji Kinoshita gym.
Iwakawa was essentially "gym-less" last month after the West Japan Boxing Association (WJBA) gave an indefinite suspension to Tadanori Yamashita, the gym chairman. He had been involved in a scandal where it was alleged he had trespassed the dwelling unit of two women, including Iwakawa herself.
The allegations were backed up by CCTV camera and Yamashita admitted the what he had done at the police station.
It later emerged that Yamashita had been arrested multiple times and had been threatening fighters at the gym. With that in mind the WJBA gave Yamashita an indefinite ban.
At a press conference today Takashi Kinoshita, the chairman of the Himeji Kinoshita gym, stated that he accepted Iwakawa and wanted to give her a place to train, and accepted that it was a big responsibility for the gym to have a world champion. It seemed he took huge honour in having someone of Iwakawa's ability at the gym, and sees it as a chance to help inspire a new generation of fighters there.
Iwakawa herself stated "Himeji Kinoshita Gym is inspiring because the fighters are... practicing hard. I want to fight from now on, including defense battles and challenges of other groups." It seems clear that, despite the stuff that went on earlier in the year she's hungry to get back in the ring and fight in some notable bouts.
Sadly the last few years for Iwakawa have been frustrating ones. She won the WBO Atomweight world title in July 2018 but took more than 2 years to defend the title. At 37 her time in the sport is limited, but with Himeji Kinoshita gym now backing her the hope will be for her to get back on track and return to the ring sooner rather than later.
Over the last few days the JBC have updated their "Boxer Change Information" page. There wasn't too many changes of note, though one that did stand out was the transfer of Izuki Tomioka (7-4-1, 2) [富岡 樹], who has moved from the REBOOT.IBA gym over to Kadoebi.
The change is good one for the parties involved, with Kadoebi getting a very talented fighter, Tomioka getting a more well established set up behind him.
Interestingly Tomioka's last bout was actually on a Kadoebi show late last year, when he lost to former Japanese 140lb champion Hiroki Okada [岡田 博喜]. Rather notably we have seen fighters who have pushed Kadoebi talent close in the past being signed up, and that appears to have been the case again here.
Tomioka spoke about the transfer in an interview with Boxmob, and explained "I thought something was missing and changed the environment,". Tomioka also expressed a sense of gratitude for the folks at REBOOT.IBA.
Officially this transfer went through on February 9th. The only other transfer to go through in February is also one worth noting. That's the transfer of former Japanese title challenger Koki Koshikawa (9-2, 6) [越川孝紀], who moved from the Celes Gym to the Ichiriki gym. His transfer was dated February 1st. His next bout will be his first since a 2019 Japanese title fight against Light Middleweight champion Hironobu Matsunaga [松永 宏信].
Earlier today news broke from Japan that WBO female Super Flyweight champion Miyo Yoshida (14-1) [吉田 実代] had become the latest fighter to join the Misako gym in Tokyo, leaving the less established EBISU K's BOX gym.
Yoshida won her title in summer 2019 and defended it on New Year's Eve. She's been out of the ring since since then but few will doubt her ability, and she has proven to be a very, very talented boxer, who keeps things at range.
The fighter released a statement thanking EBISU K's BOX for helping her develop her career, become a world champion and support her career. It seems clear however that EBISU K's BOX is more limited on what they can do for the fighter going forward, whilst Misako are a larger, more financially well backed gym with the ability to help her further her career.
Interestingly it seems that Misako's plan is for Yoshida to potentially fight over seas.
Since the new year Misako have made a few transfers and Yoshida follows OPBF Super Bantamweight champion Hiroaki Teshigawara (21-2-2, 14) [勅使河原 弘晶], who signed with the gym just a couple of weeks ago, and the exciting Yasutaka Fujita (5-1, 5) [藤田裕崇], who transferred there earlier this year.
The gym seems to be stacking it's ranks, and may end up having more fights transfers to it's ranks in the coming months and is certainly having a rich run of form, with a number of champions now at the gym.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
Over the last few years the Kadoebi gym has been piling up a lot of notable talent, that has transferred from other gyms. Today they've announced that their acquisition spree isn't over, and in fact they may have signed the pick of the bunch, as Japanese Super Flyweight-come-Bantamweight Seiya Tsutsumi (5-0, 4) [堤聖也] joins the stable.
The heavy handed, exciting and aggressive Tsutsumi was a stand out amateur, going 84-17 (40) in the unpaid ranks, before turning professional at the Watanabe gym in 2018 and debuting in March with an opening round win over a Thai visitor Alongkon Kaisi.
Less than 6 months after Tsutsumi's debut he stopped Junpei Inamoto to claim a B class tournament win and was 4-0 (3) at the end of 2018, with experience of bouts in Thailand and China.
So far this year Tsutsumi has fought only 112 seconds, blasting out Filipino foe Ryan Rey Ponteras back in April, but his next bout will be on November 9th, as he takes on Kenya Yamashita (14-5, 11) [山下賢哉] in the God's Left Tournament semi-final. A win there will put him in the final next year against either Kazuki Nakajima (7-0, 6) [中嶋一輝] or Jin Minamide (4-0, 3) [南出仁].
Having been huge fans of Tsutsumi, his style and his aggression since his debut, and would suggest others take note of this incredibly exciting young fighter.
(Image courtesy of Kadoebi Gym)
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