On July 8th we get the next show in the Phoenix Battle series of shows, from Hideyuki Ohashi and his Ohashi gym. The event isn't one of the biggest shows in the series' long history, but it is an excellent one, headlined by a brilliant Japanese Youth title fight, between Ryutaro Nakagaki and Ayumu Hanada, and also featuring the the likes of Tsyuoshi Tameda and Katsuki Mori. The poster really is beat around Nakagaki, and the design is clearly based on making him look like a star. It's a simple design, similar to the usual Phoenix Battle ones, but credit goes to them for making Nakagaki look this much of a star, this early in his career.
On May 13th we get the next big Ohashi show, and it's a brilliant card, headlined by an OPBF and WBO Asia Pacific Featherweight unification bout between Satoshi Shimizu and Musashi Mori. The poster sells that bout really well whilst also promoting some of the under-card action. We do like the poster, a lot, and it does seem like a big show.
Interestingly the poster does seem to miss out on an easy goal here, given there is a second title bout on the card and it doesn't really get much attention on the poster. There's text regarding that bout, and one of the fighters, but it feels like they could have done a little bit more with it.
On March 11th we'll get the next Ohashi promoted show, and it's an interesting one, despite two of the planned bouts for the event being cancelled. The poster really focuses on promising Light Welterweight Andy Hiraoka and the debuting Yoshiki Takei, who is actually made to look like the star of the show. It's a simple poster, with nothing too original to the design, but it does really well in making two guys look like big stars, even if neither is that well known, yet.
On January 14th we'll see the next Phoenix Battle show from the Ohashi Gym and it's a good one with a main event between OPBF Bantamweight champion Keita Kurihara and former WBC "interim" Bantamweight champion Takuma Inoue. Those two men make up the key part of the poster, selling the show on their mouth watering match up. As well as the two main event fighters the poster also features the Ohashi gym fighters on the show, with inset photo's of Katsuki Mori, Keisuke Matsumoto, Ryutaro Nakagaki and Yushin Uchida. The poster is an artistic one with an exciting look and an eye catching main image. A really good poster!
On November 28th we get the next edition of the Ohashi promoted "Phoenix Battle" shows. The show is headlined by a WBO Asia Pacific Featherweight title bout, pitting defending champion Musashi Mori against hard hitting challenger Tsuyoshi Tameda, with the show also featuring a special exhibition between former world champion Akira Yaegashi and Taku Kuwahara, which has seemingly been added after injuries gutted the card. The poster is a really nice looking one, that, without the boxers, would look like a decent place for a quite, relaxing holiday.
In June 2013 the Ohashi Gym put on a show headlined by the then WBA Atomweight champion Ayaka Miyao taking on Mari Ando. The card also had the rising Ryo Matsumoto and an interestingly female bout between Saemi Hanagata and Yuko Kuroki. The poster is pretty basic one, but it does follow the usual style we see from the Phoenix Battle posters. The branding is there and although nothing amazing it did work to sell the show.
In April 2013 Japanese fans got a major treat as live boxing returned to Fuji TV thanks to a rising young fighter called Naoya Inoue. The future multi-weight world champion had signed a deal with Fuji who broadcast his third bout, a contest with Yuki Sano, live on a broadcast dubbed "Exciting Time". Inoue was the main event, and the only bout broadcast, yet he wasn't the only notable name on the show with Ryo Matsumoto, Yuta Saito and Yohei Tobe also being featured. The poster sells hard on Inoue, and understandably so, but is a solid overall design.
On February 26th 2013 Ohashi held the 42nd show in the Phoenix Battle series. The show saw Ryuji Hara defending the Japanese Minimumweight title against Yuma Iwahashi and had Ayaka Miyao take on Masae Akitaya. Others on this card included Seiichi Okada and Ryo Matsumoto. The poster makes Hara look like a star, it's busy yet well put together and clean. Not an amazing poster, but a very solid one.
On January 5th 2013 we got the 41st show in the Phoenix Battle series. The show featured Akira Yaegashi, fighting for the first time since losing to Kazuto Ioka, the second professional bout for Naoya Inoue and the fifth professional bout for Ryo Matsumoto. Despite this being very early in Inoue's career he's a major focal point of of the poster and it's clear that Ohashi was well aware that he was a star in the making. We like the design, we like the colours, the only thing we don't like is the lack of symmetry and it would have been improved had there been a fight mirroring Matsumoto. But that really is a minor complaint with a very, very good poster.
Phoenix Battle 40 is a pretty notable show, in that it featured the debut of Naoya Inoue as well as bouts featuring Ryuji Hara and Ryo Matsumoto and a bout between Satoshi Hosono and Rikiya Fukuhara. We're unsure if this was a show 4 different posters originally that have been brought together for one collage of posters, or was originally designed like this from the start, but whatever it was we like this and we like the concept of different fighters, and different fights, getting their own posters. Not the best Phoenix Battle poster, but it is certainly in the top handful.
Every major fight needs good promotional posters. This part of AsianBoxing will try and feature some of those posters.