Earlier today we had the announcements of the East Japan Boxing Association awards for the momnth of January. The award winners, who will be given their awards on March 4th, were all in notable bouts during the month of January and are all looking to have a big 2017.
The MVP for the month was the newly crowned OPBF Heavyweight champion Kyotaro Fujimoto (16-1, 8) [藤本 京太郎], who boxed his way to the title on JAnuary 14th when he out pointed Willie Nasio. The win for Fujimoto saw him become the first Japanese fighter to win the OPBF Heavyweight title and also make his way into the world rankings, potentially opening the door to a world title fight later in the year.
The Fighting Spirit award was won by veteran Nihito Arakawa (29-6-1, 17) [荒川 仁人] after he claimed the WBO Asia Pacific Lightweight title with a decision win over Filipino fighter Anthony Sabalde on January 31st. The win for Arakawa saw him completeing a career set of Japabese, OPBF and WBO Asia Pacific titles and has potentially helped him get a shot at a WBO world title. The fight wasn't the best from Arakawa, who is slowing down now, but it was an exciting and pulsating contest that swung back and forth.
The State of the Art award, essentially the prospect of the month award, was won by Takeshi Inoue (8-0-1, 3) [井上 岳志], who defeated veteran Akinori Watanabe [渡部あきのり] on January 14th. The performance from Inoue was an thrilling one as he took the fight to Watanabe through out the fight and really put him under intense pressure looking for the stoppage. Although he had to make doe with the decision he really did put on a show and was well deserving of this honour.
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