So far through this month we've seen a number of notable announcements, a number of which related to a single weekend during May, May 20th and May 21st.
Whilst there are a number of things going on during that weekend, including a WBO Light Flyweight world title bout between Kosei Tanaka (8-0, 5) [田中恒成] and Angel Acosta (16-0, 16), the focus will be on the two shows held at the Ariake Colosseum in Tokyo on the Saturday and Sunday.
The shows will both be shown on free Fuji TV as part of the Boxing Fes 2017, with both telecasts starting at 7PM in Tokyo and being really mouth watering cards.
For those unaware the first card, on Saturday, will be headlined by a WBA Middleweight title bout between Ryota Murata (12-0, 9) [村田 諒太] and Hassan N'Dam N'Jikam (35-2, 21), with supporting contests coming in the form of a WBC Flyweight title bout between champion Juan Hernandez Navarrete (34-2, 25) and Daigo Higa (12-0, 12) [比嘉 大吾] and a WBC Light Flyweight title fight between defending champion Ganigan Lopez (28-6, 17) and Japanese hopeful Ken Shiro (9-0, 5) [拳 四朗].
The second card, just a day later, will be headlined by Naoya Inoue (12-0, 10) [井上 尚弥] defending his WBO Super Flyweight title against Ricardo Rodriguez (16-3, 5) and will be supported by an IBF Light Flyweight unification bout between regular champion Akira Yaegashi (25-5, 13) [八重樫 東] and interim champion Milan Melindo (35-2, 12).
Whilst none of that may be new news it's clear that Fuji are doing their bit to push the double show putting both of the cards together on a promotional poster that really is eye catching and makes it clear that whilst the shows are sepearate they part of a joined event. It's almost as if Fuji, a free-to-air channel in Japan, is laying down a marker not just to their domestic rivals, but to every channel that airs boxing. It's as if they are saying "We can do huge boxing shows, for free, on back-to-back days, because Japanese boxing is that strong right now".
Whether Fuji will repeat the concept again in the future is yet to be seen but with 5 world title bouts, over 2 days, potentially with around 6 hours of broadcast time over a weekend. The channel really is making a statement and if all 5 of the Japanese fighters win it may not be a huge stretch to say that Fuji TV will become one of the most significant broadcast partners in world wide boxing. The station, and affiliates, have huge viewing figures and could have 5 world champions being show cased later in the year, as well strong links to a number of Japanese promotional outfits which could generate more champions, with a host of contenders who could go all the way to the top later this year.
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