When we began this site the main aim was to try and help make boxing from Asia more accessible to fight fans in the West. It was an honest aim and was one we knew was unlikely to be easy, or a success. Back then we didn't have things like Isakura and BoxingRaise and the biggest hopes for streaming bouts were dodgy third part sites often delivered a less than great quality of video.
Since we launched this site however things have changed massively. Isakura has been a god send for those wanting to watch televised Japanese boxing and BoxingRaise has opened up a world of domestic Japanese domestic action to international fans. However both of those services do cost, and asking fans to fork out to watch boxing during these current times is a rather big ask, especially given the PPV prices in both the US and UK.
For those who can afford them, those services are great, but we understand cost is a barrier to watching boxing. That's a barrier that exists world wide with services like PPV, Sky Sports, DAZN and ESPN+.
Right now we understand fight fans wanting to cut costs, and with that in mind we want to make everyone aware that this is actually the perfect time to begin showing an interest in Japanese boxing.
The reason that this is such a perfect time is the fact that we are set to get a spate of live, legal, free streams on YouTube.
Yes this is a chance to watch some Japanese boxing for free. No catches, no BS, no subscription, no PPV. This is free, and there are no strings.
Price, and issues with streaming have always been a barrier for Japanese boxing, along with the being unsure where and how to watch, but here we are getting streams from promoters, a TV channel and a fighter in one particular case. What all these have in common is trying to make the sport more accessible, and available to all.
Between September 26th and November 23rd we'll be getting 5 live, free, internationally open, streams from Japan showing a bit of everything. We have top prospects, fantastic domestic bouts, a female world title bout and a men's world title bout. Most importantly they don't all come from the same promoter, organiser or channel, and instead we have a number of promoters getting behind the idea of boxing being shown for free and funded by advertising and crowd funding whilst using free streams to help grow the sport, and the fan base.
For those wanting to make the most of this opportunity to watch some live Japanese boxing we have included the shows below, with these all set to be streamed live.
September 26th-Kobe Central Gym, Japan (Boxing Real)
Mika Iwakawa (9-5-1, 3) Vs Nanae Suzuki (10-3-1, 1) - WBO Atomweight title bout
Shun Kubo (13-2, 9) Vs Takashi Igarashi (13-4, 5)
Kohei Oba (36-3-1, 14) Vs Yoshiki Minato (8-3, 3)
September 27th-Fujisan Messe, Japan (Suruga Boys)
Tsubasa Murachi (4-1, 3) Vs Ryotaro Kawabata (12-3-2, 6)
Rentaro Kimura (1-0, 1) Vs Takafumi Iwaya (4-3)
Koichi Aso (23-9-1, 15) Vs Shogo Yamaguchi (12-5-3, 7)
October 13th-Korakuen Hall, Japan (A Sign)
Reiya Abe (19-3-1, 9) Vs Ren Sasaki (10-0, 6)
Kai Chiba (12-1, 8) Vs Haruki Ishikawa (8-2, 6)
Kai Ishizawa (6-1, 6) Vs Masashi Tada (13-7-3, 8)
November 3rd - INTEX, Osaka, Japan (Hiroto Kyoguchi YouTube Channel)
Hiroto Kyoguchi (14-0, 9) Vs Thanongsak Simsri (14-0, 12)
November 23rd - Bunka Center, Sanda, Japan (TV Osaka)
Riku Kano (16-4-1, 8) Vs Ryoki Hirai (13-6-1, 4) - WBO Asia Pacific Light Flyweight title bout
Sho Ishida (28-2, 15) Vs Toshiya Ishii (3-0, 2)
Katsunari Takayama (31-8-0-1, 12) Vs Reiya Konishi (17-1, 7)
Whilst these might not be super massive stacked cards with international title they are legal, free, streams of boxing. In sport dominated by promoters wanting you to fork out it might be worth giving consideration to some of the free content out there, supporting the sport and watching something new.
The only issue these can't resolve is the time differential. Sadly these shows are all aimed at a Japanese audience in regards to time, so will be early morning to mid-day in the UK and Europe and will be very early morning in the US. If you're stuck at home however these are seriously worth a shot, and it's maybe a time you enjoyed some free boxing, and gave live Japanese boxing a shot!
After a few weeks where we've not had much to talk about the past week has been a much more engaging and interesting one, with some great bouts, some exciting announcements, some free streams, and plenty negatives to talk about as well as the positives.
1-CBC's live stream
Although CBC's stream this week wasn't of a huge show, it was, as we've come to expect from them, fantastic from start to end. The broadcaster aired the entire show from Kariya live on Tuesday, in excellent quality, with no issues, live replays, great camera angles and perfect sound mixing. Sadly for everyone else CBC have brought TV level production values to the free streaming game, and it's going to be down to everyone else to play catch up. As well as the quality of the stream the fights were also rather solid, especially the main event between Kento Hatanaka and Roland Jay Biendima, and Hiroki Hanabusa's body shot KO was sublime.
If someone else is going to do a free stream, this is level they should be aiming for. Amazing from start to end!
2-Nakatani Vs Magramo being made official!
We know we mentioned this bout last week, and actually the CBC free stream, but this week saw the confirmation of Junto Nakatani Vs Giemel Magramo! Better yet it's set for a Dynamic Glove show, meaning that we're expecting it to be shown live on G+. Not only is this an exceptional match up for the WBO Flyweight title but it's the type of bout that excites us, and is a risk for both men. Given that both fighters could have taken different routes to a world title we can't help but be proud of both fighters for signing up to this one!
3-Wanheng Menayothin gets date for US debut
With a 54-0 record WBC Minimumweight champion Wanheng Menayothin has the longest active unbeaten stream in boxing, along with the longest world title reign of any man in the sport. One thing he hasn't got is an international bout to his name. That changes in April after this weeks news of the Thai setting off for the US! Wanheng will make his international debut on April 25th, when he takes on Marco John Rementizo. The bout might not be the biggest, or the best, and the scheduling for it is fucking stupid, clashing with Naoya Inoue Vs Johnriel Casimero, but it's great to finally see Wanheng outside of his comfort zone.
4-Yuki Nakajima's uppercut
It's not often we'll talk about a specific punch on here but the uppercut Yuki Nakajima landed on Shisui Kawabata in round 6 was something special. Huge credit to Kawabata for not being left flat on his back, but the punch is up there with the best of them. Those with boxing raise owe it to them selves to rewatch this it was amazing.
1-Koki Inoue's injury
In unfortunate news Koki Inoue has suffered and injury that has forced him to postpone his mandatory title defense against Daishi Nagata. The talented and unbeaten Japanese 140lb champion thankfully doesn't appear to be too seriously injured, given he'll be defending the title against Nagata in May, but it is still said news that both men will delay their return to the ring by a couple of months.
2-Yudai Shigeoka's next opponent
We love the Shigeoka brothers. We see both becoming future world champions. We fully accept that both are super prospects. So we need to wonder what the idea is in having Yudai Shigeoka's next bout come against Sanchai Yotboon, the fighter that Ginjiro Shigeoka took out in 3 rounds on his debut! Absolutely pointless match up by Watanabe gym. This is a mismatch, and should be little more than a stay busy for Shigeoka, who beat Lito Dante a few months ago, and should have been matched much tougher than this.
3-Daigo Higa's comments on the future
After almost 2 years away from the ring we finally saw former WBC Flyweight champion Daigo Higa back in action. Higa would win his return, stopping Jason Buenaobra, but sadly comments after the bout leave us confused as to whether he will continue fighting or will leave the sport for good. Given he's only 24 it would be a massive shame if Higa hung them up now, after just 17 fights, and we genuinely hope he can find something to motivate him again. Higa, at Bantamweight, would be at a disadvantage, but given his style and tenacity we'd love to see him making a splash in the division. We really hope he continues in the sport, but if not, we're glad to have seen the destructive little marvel on his way up, and see him walk away with his health intact. It would just be a huge shame for his name to be added to the list of "what could have been".
1-Bektemir Melikuziev Vs Oscar Cortes
We understand late replacements aren't always great but Oscar Cortes was a simply awful late replacement, especially for a fighter like Bektemir Melikuziev. The Mexican was under-sized, under-powered and essentially had lost by the time he had his ring walk. Whilst we can't blame Cortes, who obviously took his pay day, and Melikuziev, who isn't responsible for his original opponent pulling out, we do need to question the California State Athletic Commission, who should have said no. There was no point in this bout, and no one came off looking good.
2-Merlito Sabillo's leg
We've yet to hear any actual confirmation on what, if any, injury Merlito Sabillo suffered but the way his leg bent and buckled as he got knocked down by Sho Kimura suggested something nasty. As did the way he was lying on the canvas. We really hope it is nothing series, but bloody hell did it look nasty, and we wouldn't be surprised, given his age and run of 4 losses, if he ends up in retirement. If he's injured, in the way we believe, it'll likely be 9 months, or longer, until he returns, and he'll around 37 by then
3-GAB's live stream
We started with a free stream, so lets end on a free stream. CBC raised the bar, with a brilliant, professional, well edited, and high quality stream. Just days later the GAB put on a stream that was inconsistent, repeatedly froze, stopped and started, low quality and was just hard to watch, and even harder to enjoy. We know the GAB streams can work and can be wonderful, as they were at the end of the show, but for the most part the show was just terrible. Fingers crossed they get these sorted in the future, as they are a really valuable asset for boxing fans, when they work. We don't expect GAB to hit the professional levels of CBC any time soon, but if they can get a consistent stream going it would be a great starting point!
(Image courtesy of A. McGovern - Top, and Boxmob - Bottom)
This is just an opinion, maaaan! It's easy to share our opinions, and that's what you'll find here, some random opinion pieces