The annual Japanese awards had the shortlists announced this year, with the the categories all having a number of nominess.
The main award is the MVP award and the shortlist, of 3 men, is genuinely brilliant list. That shot list is WBO Super Flyweight champion Naoya Inoue (12-0, 10) [井上 尚弥], WBC Bantamweight champion Shinsuke Yamanaka (26-0-2, 18) [山中慎介] and WBA Flyweight champion Kazuto Ioka (21-1, 13) [井岡一翔].
The Skills Award features the same 3 men along with Hozumi Hasegawa (36-5, 16) [長谷川 穂積], Jorge Linares (41-3, 27) and Carlos Cuadras (35-1-1, 27).
Hasegawa is also in the running for the Distinguished Service award, along with IBF Super Bantamweight champion Yukinori Oguni (19-1-1, 7) [小國 以載] and WBO Light Flyweight champion Kosei Tanaka (8-0, 5) [田中恒成].
The KO Prize nominees Ioka, Inoue, Tanaka, Yamanaka and Daigo Higa (11-0, 11) [比嘉 大吾].
The Fighting Spirit award, which is awarded for effort, is one of the more interesting categories, lacking in big names but having some really interesting men in the running. They are Yasutaka Ishimoto (29-8, 8) [石本 康隆], Toshio Arikawa (14-4, 12) [有川 稔男], Yuki Nonaka (31-8-3, 10) [野中 悠樹] Hiroki Okada (14-0, 10) [岡田 博喜] and Tatsuya Fukuhara (18-4-6, 7) [福原 辰弥].
The State of the Art award, essentially the award for Prospect of the Year, sees Higa in the running along with Ken Shiro (9-0, 5) [拳 四朗], Shun Kubo (11-0, 8) [久保隼], Hinata Maruta (4-0, 3) [丸田 陽七太] and Masayuki Ito (20-1-1, 9) [伊藤 雅雪].
The best World title bout of the year has 5 nominations. They are Shinsuke Yamanaka Vs Anselmo Moreno II, Hozumi Hasegawa Vs Hugo Ruiz, Naoya Inoue Vs Kohei Kono, Yukinori Oguni Vs Jonathan Guzman and Jorge Linares Vs Anthony Crolla.
The best non-world title fight has seen nomiantions for Daigo Higa Vs Ardin Diale, Yoshihiro Kamega Vs Jesus Soto Karass, Kenichi Ogawa Vs Rikki Naito II, Tatsuya Fukuhara Vs Genkia Hanai, Ken Shiro Vs Toshimasa Ouchi and Hikaru Nishida Vs Akio Shibata II.
The Female MVP award has seen nominations for Nao Ikeyama (18-3-2, 5) [池山 直], Momo Koseki's (23-2-1, 9) [小関 桃], Naoko Fujioka (15-2, 6) [藤岡 奈穂子] and Yuko Kuroki (17-4-1, 8) [黒木 優子] .
Staying with females there was two nominations for female fight of the year, Naoko Fujioka Vs Shindo Go and Yuko Kuroki Vs Mari Ando II.
A new award has been created for the "Excellent Player Ward" which has seen nominations for Inoue, Ioka, Hasekawa, Yamanaka, Cuadrass, Linares, Oguni, Tanaka, Kohei Kono (32-10-1, 13) [河野 公平], Ryoichi Taguchi's (25-2-2, 11) [田口良一], Akira Yaegashi (25-5, 13) [八重樫 東] and Katsunari Takayama (31-8-0-1, 12) [高山 勝成].
The awards ceremony will take place on February 10th in Tokyo.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
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