Yesterday it was announced that WBA female Super Featherweight champion Hyun Mi Choi (19-0-1, 5) [최현미] would be returning to the ring on August 15th, to defend her title against unbeaten Japanese novice Aka Ringo (3-0, 2) [中井麻美], the current WBO Asia Pacific female Bantamweight champion.
The 31 year old Korean won the title back in 2013 and has recorded 9 title defenses, including one in the US. She had planned to face British fighter Terri Harper in a world title unification bout last year, with Harper then holding the WBC title, before Harper had to pull out with injury and subsequently lost the title to Alycia Baumgardner. Sicne that bout fell though she's become the forgotten woman at 130lbs, with Matchroom seemingly forgetting that they had signed her, and she's only fought Simone da Silva since her Matchroom debut in 2020.
Although a long term champion Choi's reign has been a huge frustrating and disappointing one, and she's missed out on pretty much all the top names in and around 130lbs. She's failed to meet any of the other champions or top contenders and her reign has certainly not been one to remember, despite it's length.
As for Ringo the 27 year old Japanese fighter debuted last year, when she defeated fellow debutant Mika Yagio. Her most recent bout saw her stopping veteran Yuko Henzan for the WBO Asia Pacific title at 118lbs, but amazingly she'll be jumping up 3 weight classes for this bout, which is inexplicable and a further example of Choi's title defenses not being particularly interesting. Since turning professional Ringo has had just 11 professional rounds to her name, and this bout will be just over 16 months from her debut.
The bout, which will be staged in Seoul, will be shown live in South Korea on MBN
Tomorrow at the Super Arena in Saitama we'll see the much anticipated rematch between Naoya Inoue (22-0, 19) [井上 尚弥] and Nonito Donaire (41-6, 27), with the two legends fighting to unify the WBA "super", IBF, Ring Magazine and WBC Bantamweight titles. Today ahead of their bout the two men took part in their weigh in for the contest and unsurprisingly there were no issues at all on the scales.
At the weigh in Inoue came in at 118lbs bang on the divisional limit, and looked in incredible shape, though also like a man who's time at Bantamweight is somewhat numbered and it seems clear that he will be moving to Super Bantamweight sooner rather than later. As for Donaire, he came with room to spare, at around 117.8lbs, and like Inoue he looked in great shape, and a long way removed from the fighter who had looked fleshy at Featherweight.
The real drama came after the weigh in with the glove selection ceremony causing some sparks between the teams of the two fighters. The drama started when Inoue's team tried to get Donaire to switch from his first choice gloves to his second choice and when Donaire's team noted that Inoue's gloves weren't sealed, as had been agreed. Despite the drama things seemed to be sorted quite quickly as part of the rules meeting, with Donaire allowed to wear orange Everlast and Inoue wearing black Reyes, interestingly marking the first time he'll have fought in the Mexican made puncher's gloves.
Notably the rule meeting also saw decisions being made regarding open scoring and instant replay. The bout will have open scoring after the 4th and 8th round, which is a normal thing for WBC world title fights in Japan, and will also have instant replay used if required, due to a request apparently made by the WBC.
For fans wanting to bet on the bout Inoue is 2/9 favourite with Donaire priced at 49/10. Interestingly Inoue is 8/15 to win by stoppage and 10/3 to win by decision, whilst Donaire is 8/1 to win by stoppage and 11/1 to win a decision.
Related - The Drama In Saitama II - Inoue Vs Donaire "The Rematch"
After months of waiting, postponements and more waiting we are finally on the verge of the Middleweight super fight between IBF Middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin (41-1-1, 36) [Геннадий Геннадьевич Головкин] and WBA "Super" Middleweight champion Ryota Murata (16-2, 13) [村田 諒太], who will clash tomorrow at the Saitama Super Arena, in a major unification bout.
At the weigh in, both men came in bang on the 160lb limit and both looked in great shape, with a sense of both seriousness and respect across their faces.
On the scales Golovkin looked in great shape, despite the fact he's now 40 years old. He looked ripped and like a man in his prime physical condition for a fight he's taking incredibly seriously, even if the bookies and others see it as a foregone conclusion.
As for Murata he looked somewhat less cut than Golovkin, and even a touch fleshy. Compared to his rival he didn't look in peak physical condition, though he certainly didn't look bad as such and he has never been the uber-ripped looking type of fighter.
After the two men made weight they took part in a 20 second stare down, with Murata keeping an incredibly serious look, until smiling afterwards, as the respect between the two men showed.
Related - The Middleweight Division get a super fight as Golovkin and Murata face off!
Tomrrow in Tokyo fight fans will get the chance to see Japanese star Naoya Inoue (21-0, 18) [井上 尚弥] return to a Japanese ring for the first time in over 2 years, as he looks to defend his WBA "Super" and IBF Bantamweight world titles, as he takes on Thai challenger Aran Dipaen (12-2, 11) [แก่นนคร ศักดิ์กรีรินทร์].
Today, ahead of their bout, the two men took part in the weigh in for their contest, and both men, unsurprisingly, made the 118lb weight limit with no issues at all. And both also looked in tremendous shape.
On the scales Inoue was bang on the the 118lb weigh limit, and he looked great, as he always does.
After making weight Inoue stated "Tomorrow is looking forward to the match in Japan for the first time in two years. Everyone is looking forward to it, so I would like to show you a wonderful match." It was also made clear that he will have a big bought in Spring next year, and he again made it clear that he wants to face either WBC champion Nonito Donaire or WBO champion John Riel Casimero.
Dipaen, a huge under-dog for this bout, was well under the limit, coming in at 117.5lbs, but he looked in outstanding shape for the bout himself. In fact he looked just as good as the Monster. He goes into this bout with no one expecting him to win, in fact most are expecting him to be blown out early, and will know that he has nothing to lose here.
Sadly for bouts wanting to watch this bout, it will only be on PPV, with Abema and Hikari both carrying the bout online.
Related - The monster returns to Japan to defend against Dipaen!
The next 24 hours or so are crazy for fans of the sweet science, with so much action taking place in such a little amount of time. One of the notable bouts which has gone a little under the radar is a WBA Super Bantamweight world title eliminator, as Tomoki Kameda (37-3, 20) [亀田和毅] battles Venezuelan fighter Yonfrez Parejo (24-4-1, 12) in Mexico, with the winner set to get a world title fight next year.
Yesterday, ahead of their bout, the two men took part in their weigh in for the contest and both men 122lb and both men hit the scales on the divisional limit.
After making weight Kameda thanked those involved in putting on the show and he also spoke about how happy he was to fight in Hermosillo for the first time on his career. He has fought, extensively, in Mexico before but he seemed really glad to be fighting in an area that has such strong boxing links. He also explained that he was happy to have been able to prepare for the bout there, and that he has been preparing for this bout for 3 months, which included sparring with world champions, such as Nonito Donaire.
Although he's prepared well Kameda did complain that he didn't have any of his favourite food and sports drink, which he would have had had the bout been at home in Japan.
As for Parejo, he came across as less confident and less relaxed, even though he stated that he would make the most of his opportunity here.
For those wanting to watch this one, the bout is reportedly going to be streamed live on Kameda's own YouTube channel.
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