Earlier today saw the announcement of the Japanese boxing awards for the month of March. The awards, handed out for Most Valuable Player (MVP), Fighting Spirit and "State of the Art" were given to mostly deserving winners.
For the MVP the decision to name Akio Shibata (22-8-1, 9), pictured, the award winner was an easy decision. Shibata had, on March 1st, unified the Japanese and OPBF Middleweight titles with an excellent decision win over Daisuke Nakagawa (22-4-2, 17) and helped to reignite his career after his loss last year to a then debuting Ryota Murata.
The Fighting Spirit award went to the newly crowned Japanese Light Welterweight champion Hiroki Okada (8-0, 7) who claimed his title with a decision victory over Masayoshi Kotake (9-8-1, 5) on March 4th. It was Okada's first decision victory and saw him prove himself as a very promising fighter who some are viewing as a man going to go a very long way.
Oddly the "State of the Art" award, generally an award for young emerging prospects was given to Yuta Nakagawa (12-4-1, 8) for his victory over Kaname Tabei (10-8-2, 7) on March 17th. We're at a loss as to how Kosei Tanaka (2-0) didn't deserve the award for his victory the previous day over Ronelle Ferreras (13-7-2, 5).
(Photo courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
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