By - George Delis (@Delisketo)
-Ryota Murata (16-2): WBA (Regular) World champion
The Olympic champion knocked out Steven Butler (28-2) in his inaugural WBA title defence on New Year’s Eve. A fight with Canelo could take place in December.
-Takeshi Inoue (16-1): WBA #10 / WBO #11 / IBF #14 / WBC #15
Inoue made short work of Thai veteran Komsan Polsan (40-12) to become the WBO Asia Pacific champion for a second time. He also dominated Chinese fighter Cheng Su (14-3) on January 18th.
-Keita Obara (23-4): IBF #4
Obara successfully challenged Yuki Nagano (17-3) on February 1st, winning the Japanese strap once more, this time in a different weight class.
-Yuki Beppu (21-1): WBO #14
In what was an absolute thriller, Yuki Beppu came back from 5 knockdowns and stopped Ryota Yada (19-6), capturing the WBO Asia Pacific title in the process.
-Koki Inoue (15-0): WBO #15
The unified Japanese & WBO Asia Pacific champion will put his national title on the line, against Daishi Nagata (14-2) on May 28th.
-Andy Hiraoka (15-0): IBF #15
The Japanese youngster will compete on April 25th at the undercard of Inoue vs. Casimero. (Opponent TBA)
-Shuichiro Yoshino (12-0): WBO #13 / WBC #13 / IBF #14
Yoshino knocked out Harmonito Dela Torre (21-3) in just one round to unify the Japanese, OBPF & WBO Asia Pacific belts. He then defeated Izuki Tomioka (7-3) on February 13th.
-Masayuki Ito (26-2): WBO #5 / WBC #13
The former WBO champion is currently out of action due to an injury.
-Kenichi Ogawa (24-1): IBF #3 / WBA #4 / WBO #7
Ogawa is expected to compete on April 4th in Japan.*
-Kazuhiro Nishitani (21-4): IBF #8
Nishitani beat Monico Laurente (30-17) 3 months ago.
-Tomoki Kameda (36-3): WBA #4 / WBC #14
The former WBO Bantamweight & interim WBC Super Bantamweight champion is planning his Featherweight debut.
-Musashi Mori (11-0): WBO #6
Mori defended his WBO Asia Pacific title twice in 2019, against the former champion Richard Pumicpic (21-11) as well as Takuya Mizuno (17-2). He’s now scheduled to meet Shingo Kawamura (16-5) on April 18th.
-Ryo Sagawa (9-1): WBC #7 / IBF #12
Sagawa will defend his Japanese title against Hinata Maruta (10-1) on April 9th.*
-Ryosuke Iwasa (27-3): interim IBF World champion
Iwasa secured the interim IBF title, after stopping Marlon Tapales (33-3), this past December. He is expected to unify with the new WBA/IBF champion Murodjon Akhmadaliev (8-0) later this year.
-Hiroaki Teshigawara (21-2): IBF #6
Teshigawara has defended his OPBF championship 3 times in 2019, against Yuki Iriguchi (10-3), Shohei Kawashima (18-4) and former world title challenger Shohei Omori (21-3). All knockout victories.
-Yukinori Oguni (21-2): WBA #4
The former IBF champion hasn’t fought in almost a year.
-Naoya Inoue (19-0): WBA (Super) & IBF World champion
The Monster will be involved in another unification match, on April 25th, this time with the WBO champion John Riel Casimero (29-4).
-Keita Kurihara (15-5): IBF #5
Kurihara scored 2 knockout victories in 2019 over 1x world title challenger Warlito Parrenas (26-10) and the IBF Pan Pacific champion Sukpraserd Ponpitak (25-11).
-Yuki Strong Kobayashi (16-8): IBF #12 / WBO #14
Kobayashi defended his WBO Asia Pacific title against Ki Chang Go (8-4) last December.
-Takuma Inoue (13-1): WBC #7
The former interim WBC champion will resume his career in 2020.
-Kazuto Ioka (25-2): WBO World champion.
Japan’s first ever 4 division World champion broke the undefeated streak of Jeyvier Cintron (11-1) to successfully retain his WBO title on New Year’s Eve. The newly crowned WBA champion Roman Gonzalez (49-2) has expressed interest in a unification match between them.
-Kosei Tanaka (15-0): WBO #1 / WBC #3
The 3 division World champion has relinquished his WBO Flyweight belt and now aims at Kazuto Ioka.
-Kenta Nakagawa (18-3): IBF #14
The Japanese champion will defend against Yuta Matsuo (15-4) on May 16th.
-Junto Nakatani (20-0): WBO #3 / IBF #7
Nakatani scored the biggest win of his career last October, when he outclassed former IBF World titlist Milan Melindo (37-5). He will now square off with Giemel Magramo (24-1), on April 4th, for the vacant WBO World championship.*
-Ryota Yamauchi (6-1): WBA #3
Yamauchi beat MJ Bo (8-4) on Valentine’s Day.
-Hiroto Kyoguchi (14-0): WBA (Super) World champion.
Kyoguchi will return to action either in April or in May.
-Kenshiro Teraji (17-0): WBC World champion.
The unstoppable Kenshiro marked his 7th title defense, on December 23rd, over former interim WBA champion Randy Petalcorin (31-4).
-Sho Kimura (19-3): WBO #6 / WBA #9
In a clash of former World champions, Kimura knocked out Merlito Sabillo (27-8) in the Philippines.
-Daiki Tomita (14-1): WBO #13
Tomita returned the WBO Asia Pacific title and was meant to meet Kenichi Horikawa (40-16) for the vacant OPBF championship on March 1st, but much like most fights in Japan, has been cancelled due to the coronavirus.
-Yuto Takahashi (11-4): IBF #6
The Japanese champion defends against Masamichi Yabuki (10-3) on April 5th.* [Editors note - This bout will now take place May 6th]
-Reiya Konishi (17-2): IBF #8 / WBC #13
Konishi takes on Rikito Shiba (4-1) on April 18th.
-Masamichi Yabuki (10-3): WBC #9
Yabuki challenges Yuto Takahashi for the Japanese belt as aforementioned.
-Tetsuya Hisada (34-10): WBC #2 / IBF #4
Hisada’s impressive 13 fight winning streak came to an end, when he challenged Hiroto Kyoguchi for the WBA (Super) title.
-Kenichi Horikawa (40-16): WBC #3 / IBF #12
As mentioned above, Horikawa’s fight with Daiki Tomita was cancelled.
-Ginjiro Shigeoka (5-0): WBA #5 / WBO #13 / WBC #14 / IBF #14
Shigeoka knocked out 1x world title challenger Rey Loreto (25-15) on December 31st to retain his WBO Asia Pacific championship.
-Masataka Taniguchi (12-3): WBO #3
Taniguchi’s match with Lito Dante (16-11) was cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak.
-Takumi Sakae (22-3): WBO #10 / IBF #12
Sakae fought thrice last year, knocking out all of his opponents.
-Tsubasa Koura (14-1): WBC #11 / IBF #13
Koura stopped Ariston Aton (9-3) on February 27th.
-Norihito Tanaka (19-8): WBC #4 / WBO #4 / WBA #10
Tanaka failed to capture the WBA title from Thammanoon Niyomtrong (21-0).
*Recently the JBC & JPBA have announced that all boxing events in the country, until April 15th, have been cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak. So these fights might have to move to different date or venue.
** Editors Note - Asianboxing has been informed that Yuto Takahashi Vs Masamichi Yabuki has now been rescheduled for May 6th
When we have some free time we're hoping to add a series of fun articles to the site. Hopefully these will be enjoyable little short features