Oh boxing, you can be a crazy sport at times. Soemtimes you give us nothing to write about, nothing to dream of and little to even get excited about. Other times you give us a lot all at once, and for Japanese fans it certainly seems the end of the year is the time for excess.
Today Ohashi announced that they would be holding a world title triple header on December 30th in Tokyo.
One of those bouts, as previously reported, will see Naoya Inoue (11-0, 9) [井上 尚弥] defending his WBO Super Flyweight titleagainst former 2-time worldchampion Kohei Kono (32-9-1, 13) [河野 公平]. That bout is set to be the main event and promise to be a fantastic test of Inoue's power and physicality, with a stoppage win being a major statement from the "Monster",
The second of the world title bouts is the worst kept secret in boxing and will see WBO Bantamweight champion Marlon Tapales (29-2, 12) defending his title against Takuma Inoue (8-0, 2) [井上 拓真], with the Inoue brothers both hoping to end 2016 as world champions. The bout is a huge step up for Takuma but his team have shown belief in his and will know that this will not be an easy ask. Tapales, making the first defense of his title, has look fantastic at times and has scored road wins over Shohei Omori and Pungluang Sor Singyu in recent bouts, showing little fear of fighting on the road.
The third title bout will see IBF Light Flyweight champion Akira Yaegashi (24-5, 12) [八重樫 東] defending his title, however his opponent isn't yet set. The announcement was that he would be defending his title in a mandatory against the winner of the upcoming interim title fight between Milan Melindo (33-2, 12) and Fahlan Sakkreerin Jr (29-4-1, 15) [ศักดิ์กรีรินทร์]. Worryingly however the winner of that bout will only have 5 weeks to recover and prepare for Yaegashi, leading some to question whether there is a contingency in place for Yaegashi to face an alternative opponent if Melindo and Sakkreerin Jr manage to damage each other to the point where neither will be fit for Yaegashi.
The card will be aired on Fuji TV and the channel is expected to broadcast all 3 world title bouts. The channel however isn't expected to show bouts featuring Satoshi Shimizu (1-0, 1) [清水 聡], Andy Hiraoka (7-0, 4) [平岡アンディ], Ryuji Hara (20-2, 11) [原隆二] and Koki Inoue (5-0, 4) [浩樹井上] who will likely have their bouts shown either on a Fuji sister channel or on tape delay in 2017.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
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