Earlier today Japanese pay TV service WOWOW announced that they would be airing the much anticipated Bantamweight triple title unification bout between Japanese star Naoya Inoue (19-0, 16) [井上 尚弥] and Filipino puncher John Riel Casimero (29-4, 20) live!
The men, who clash to unify the WBA "Super", IBF and WBO titles, will be fighting in Las Vegas in one of the biggest Bantamweight bouts in years, and will see Inoue trying to build on 2019 Fight of the Year with Nonito Donaire, and will see Casimero looking to build on his upset win over Zolani Tete.
WOWOW have revealed their broadcast will begin at 11am local time on Sunday April 26th on their WOWOW Prime channel, whilst ESPN will be broadcasting in the US.
In the build up WOWOW will also show "Las Vegas decisive battle finally! "Naoya Inoue" Road to the Strongest Champion" which will be aired at 2PM local time on Sunday 29th of March.
Although it's yet to be confirmed it's expected that Fuji TV will then show the bout on tape delay for those without a WOWOW subscription. What also hasn't been confirmed is who the broadcast team will be, though suspicion is it will feature Ryota Murata who has often worked for WOWOW on their biggest recent broadcasts.
Back in April we saw the news of a double header in China featuring WBA "regular" Featherweight title by Can Xu (16-2, 2) [徐灿] defending his title against Shun Kubo (13-1, 9) [久保隼] and former WBO Flyweight champion Sho Kimura (18-2-2, 11) [木村翔] challenging WBA Light Flyweight "regular" champion Carlos Canizales (21-0-1, 17). The card is a really good one, and one of the ones to be excited about this weekend.
Surprisingly the bouts aren't being shown live in Japan, despite two world title bouts featuring Japanese fighters, unless you're a member of WOWOW Members on Demand service. WOWOW's scheduled broadcast is set for 8PM on Monday June 3rd, with a replay a few days later.
Thankfully Chinese TV should have us covered, with CCTV5 showing the bouts live from 21:40 local time, with almost 2 hours set aside for the bouts. It appears that CCTV5 will only be showing the world title bouts, an not the under-card.
As for an online Chinese distributor, it appears that QQ are pencilled in to begin their broadcast from 19:30 local time, which likely would include the under-card bouts, as well as the main event bouts.
Will Xu be successful in first defense as he takes on Kubo?
Canizales and Kimura battle for gold in China!
Next month we'll see WBA "regular" Bantamweight champion Naoya Inoue (17-0, 15) [井上 尚弥] battle against IBF Bantamweight champion Emmanuel Rodriguez (19-0, 12) in their WBSS semi-final bout.
We've known for a while that the bout would get live Japanese TV coverage, on WOWOW and DAZN in the US. Now we know a lot more details in regards to other coverage of the bout.
First Sky Sports in the UK will air the bout, taking it away from the free to air platform on youtube for British fans. This is a mixed bag in some ways. Sky can certainly market the show and will increase the profile of the competition, and will ease the rumoured financial issues of the WBSS. It will however put the event behind a paywall, albeit a less awkward one than the ITV PPV platform that proved to be a nightmare for season 1.
Secondly Japanese fans, who are getting it live on WOWOW as part of their subscription service, will also get the bout on free TV on delay, with it being shown from 9PM on Sunday across the Fuji TV network. It's certainly not as good as live terrestrial TV coverage, but with it being a prime time delivery, on the same day as the event, this is still amazing news and gives Japanese fans a great opportunity to see the fight, even if they don't have WOWOW.
It's worth noting that Sky Sports won't just being showing the Glasgow card on May 18th, but the other WBSS semi-final cards as part of a new distribution deal between the tournament and the channel.
Earlier this week WOWOW announced some of their scheduled for May and they already have two interesting international cards, featuring Japanese fighters, booked.
The first of those is the WBSS Semi final bout, which pits WBA "Regular" Bantamweight champion Naoya Inoue (17-0, 15) [井上 尚弥] against IBF champion Emmanuel Rodriguez (19-0, 12). The channel will be airing this live, from 4:30am local time on Sunday May 19th.
A week later they will be showing Masayuki Ito (25-1-1, 13) [伊藤 雅雪] defending his WBO Super Featherweight title. At the moment his opponent hasn't been announced, neither has the venue, though WOWOW do say his bout will be an "overseas" match. His opponents have been rumoured to be Jamel Herring (19-2, 10), who the WBO have previously said no to, and Jonathan Oquendo (30-5, 19), among others.
There rumours at the moment are that they will also be the channel airing IBF Light Flyweight title fight between hard hitting champion Felix Alvarado (34-2, 30) and Japanese challenger Reiya Konishi's (17-1, 7) [小西伶弥], though that hasn't yet been announced by the channel. That would, if the stories are all correct, also take place on May 19th, though at a more regular time in Japan.
On December 1st in the US Deontay Wilder (40-0, 29) will defend his WBC Heavyweight title against unbeaten and controversial former champion Tyson Fury (27-0, 19).
Fans in the UK and US the bout is on PPV, through BT Sports Box Office and Showtime PPV in the US. For Japanese fans however the bout will not be on PPV but will instead be shown live on WOWOW Live, allowing those WOWOW customers to watch the bout as part of their subscription.
It's worth noting that WOWOW Prime will be airing the WBC/WBO Lightweight title fight on December 8th between Vasiliy Lomachenko (11-1, 9) and Jose Pedraza (25-1, 12), also live. Once again this is WOWOW delivering for their subscribers, though we do wonder how much longer they will be involved in the sport given the rise of DAZN Japan and their move into boxing.
News! We try and give you the most interesting news stories from the Asian boxing world!