Earlier today the Japanese monthly boxing awards for February were awarded. The awards, for the MVP, Fighting Spirit and "State of the art" (or prospect) saw a trio of relatively expected winner.
The most obvious winner was the MVP which went to Shingo Wake who was exceptional in defending his OPBF Super Bantamweight title against Jovy Katsumata on February 10th. Wake, who is currently ranked by 3 of the big 4, seems likely to fight for a world title in the next year or two as long as he keeps winning fights like he has been recently.
The "Fight Spirit" award was given to promising youngster Rikki Naito who burst on to the title scene with an outstanding victory over the much more experienced Hiroyasu Matsuzaki. This victory, on the same card as Wake's fight, saw Naito claiming the Japanese Super Featherweight and replicating his father, Cassius Naito, who was also a Japanese national champion.
The State-of-the-art award which was awarded to Yusaku Kuga, pictured, who won the award thanks to a stoppage victory against Yuki Iwasaki on February 28th. Although it was a great win for Kuga, who does look very promising, it does need noting that Iwasaki does seem to be in a poor run of form. Saying that however he had never previously been stopped so it was a genuinely good win.
(Photo courtesy of http://watanabegym.com)
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