It's fair to say that 2016 ended with a hive of activity in the rings across Japan, with a number of notable shows taking place on December 31st. To begin the new year TBS will showcase three of those bouts as part of it's "Guts Fighting" series.
One of those bouts will be the WBO Light Flyweight title fight that saw the sensational Kosei Tanaka (8-0, 5) [田中恒成] dominate Moises Fuentes (24-3-1, 13). Originally this bout was shown on sister station CBC and online, but many in Tokyo missed the airing and this will give them a chance to watch it on TV.
Another of the bouts will be the stay busy bout that Sho Ishida (23-0, 12) [石田 匠] took part in, against Thaiu Petchnamnung Srisaketpattana (0-1), whilst the other will be the hastily arranged bout between Shohei Omori (18-1, 13) [大森 将平] and Rocky Fuentes (35-9-2, 20).
It would seem like TBS are wanting to raise the profile of all 3 Japanese fighters given that 2017 could be a huge year for all 3.
We know Tanaka will be defending his title through the year, potentially in a unification contest, Omori is said to be in talks to fight in a world title fight with either IBF champion Lee Haskins (34-3, 14) or WBO champion Marlon Tapales (29-2, 12) whilst Ishida is the #1 contender for WBA Super Flyweight champion Khalid Yafai (21-0, 14). Potentially TBS would be putting up some of the money to get get the likes of Haskins, Tapales and Yafai over to Japan and and increasing the profile of Ishida and Omori ahead of those fights could help strenghten their long term outlook on boxing, something they need to do given that their only real major star is Kazuto Ioka, and they will be wanting more fighters to shore up their boxing profile.
For those wanting to watch the broadcast it will air at 2:05 on Tuesday morning.
(Image courtesy of TBS)
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