This past week hasn't been the busiest in terms of fights, but there has been a fair bit of news scattered through the week, from opponents and bouts being announced, to an agreement being announced for the streaming of a world title fight.
CBC proudly announces the streaming of the bout - Kosei Tanaka Vs Ryoichi Taguchi
Lets start with the best bit of news, confirmation that we will indeed be working with CBC to bring you, our readers, the chance to watch the upcoming WBO Flyweight title bout between Kosei Tanaka and Ryoichi Taguchi. This streaming agreement had been in the works for a while, but the agreement was signed this week, offering international fans the chance to watch the bout for free. The only restriction is that it won't be available in Japan, where the TBS affiliates will career it for free.
Kanat Islam's return "delayed indefinitely"
From some great news to some less than great news, as Kanat Islam's return has now been changed again, this time to "delayed indefinitely". There had been hopes he would be in the ring in March and then April but the dates kept sliding as his recovery from injury has turned out to be less effective than hoped. There is now a real chance that the unbeaten Kazakh will not return to the ring.
The bulk of the news from this week has been announcements of bouts and returns to the ring.
Vijender Singh's US debut set for April 12th!
Unbeaten Indian hopeful Vijender Singh's long awaited return to the ring is now set for April 12th, in what will be his US debut. The Indian hasn't fought in well over a year, though the hope is that he will get back in the ring and reclimb the world rankings, moving towards a potential world title fighter sooner, rather than later.
Fazliddin Gaibnazarov to return on May 11th
Another return is that of 2016 Olympic Gold medal winner Fazliddin Gaibnazarov, who revealed on instagram that he will fight again on May 11th. There is no opponent announced, and details are scarce, though it's always good to see someone with the talent of Gaibnazarov in action. He's not been away from the ring for long, having fought earlier this year, but the hope is that he will take on a notable foe.
Former world title challenger Osawa in action on April 7th!
Also announced this week was the next bout of former world title challenger Hiroshige Osawa, who will fight in Sakai City on April 7th. His opponent is a weak one, but it does seem like he will have a big bout set later in the year and this fight here is more about shaking ring rust than moving to a second world title fight.
Sadriddin Akhmedov set to fight in March!
Unbeaten Kazakh prospect Sadriddin Akhmedov had his next fight revealed as taking place later this month. His opponent wasn't revealed at the time of the announcement, but it will be for a regional WBC title and will give the Canadian based fighter his first professional bout in his the land of his birth.
Akira Yaegashi and Koki Koshikawa have next opponents named!
It was also this week that Akira Yaegashi and Koki Koshikawa had their next opponents named. Neither will be facing anyone too testing, though it is good to put a name to their opponents. Yaegashi is clearly in a stay busy fight, ahead of a potentially huge bout later in the year, whilst Koshikawa is primed for a domestic title fight, and both will be ticking over.
Title bout announcements also came through the week, with several notable bouts being announced, one way or another.
Etsuko to defend WBO title against Thai challenger
The highest profile bout revealed this week was the WBO female Minimumweight title bout, which Thai sources revealed would see Etsuko Tada defending her belt against a 20 year old Thai challenger on April 27th. The bout is expected to be one of a number of world title fights on the card. It should be a straight forward win for the talented champion, but will at least keep her ticking over whilst awaiting a shot at the WBC title.
Elorde Vs Kawashima set for WBO Asia Pacific title!
Filipino fighter Juan Miguel Elorde will defend his WBO Asia Pacific Super Bantamweight against talented Japanese title challenger Shohei Kawashima, on March 25th. This is a pretty interesting bout, and one that Elorde can ill afford to lose, given he has a #2 WBO world ranking, and a loss here would end any dreams he has of getting a world title shot
Saka and Noynay to battle for WBO Asia Pacific title
A second WBO Asia Pacific title fight to be announced this week was a Super Featherweight title bout between Kosuke Saka and Joe Noynay, which will take place on April 20th. This is an interesting fight, and one we are really looking forward to, with our fingers crossed that it will be featured on Boxing Raise.
Saito and Kimura to unify titles on April 18th
On the Japanese level we now know that Yuta Saito and Hayato Kimura will battle on April 18th to unify the Japanese Bantamweight regular and interim titles. Saito was supposed to defend the belt in December before falling ill, leading to Kimura winning the interim belt. This should be a very fan friendly contest, and the winner could find themselves moving into a regional title fight later in 2019.
This past hasn't been a busy one for Asian boxing news, it has had some interesting news stories over the past few days.
Donnie Nietes vacates, Ioka Vs Palicte to be ordered?
It was revealed that Filipino great Donnie Nietes (42-1-5, 23) would be honoured for his career in December, during the next WBO Convention, and that he had vacated the WBO Super Flyweight title, rather than face mandatory challenger and fellow Filipino Aston Palicte (25-2-1, 21). Interestingly the next highest ranked available contender with the WBO is Kazuto Ioka (23-2, 13) [井岡一翔], so that could give us a really good fight to crown a new champion.
Nietes' reason for vacating is that he wants to pursue career defining fights, so the suggestion is that his next contest will be something very big and very exciting.
Srisaket Vs Estrada II set for April 26th!
Nietes' vacating was one of two big Super Flyweight stories this past week, with the other being the news that Srisaket Sor Rungvisai (47-4-1, 41) [ศรีสะเกษ นครหลวงโปรโมชั่น] and Juan Francisco Estrada (38-3, 26) have a date and venue for their highly anticipated rematch. We now know that this bout will take place on April 26th at the Forum in Los Angeles.
The two fought a brilliant bout in early 2018
Ancajas Vs Funai heading to the US!
More Super Flyweight news!
Although there's not been a date or venue set for the IBF Super Flyweight mandatory title bout between defending champion Jerwin Ancajas (30-1-2, 20) mandatory challenger Ryuichi Funai (31-7, 22) [船井 龍一], it has all but been confirmed that the bout will be taking place Stateside. Ancajas, who works with Top Rank, were always expected to get the fight in the US for ESPN but this weeks news also revealed that the contest was being pencilled in for April.
MP Promotions March 23rd card full released!
Filipino promotional outfit MP Promotions, run by Manny Pacquiao, revealed the full show details for their March 23rd card and it's a bit of a doozy with two world title eliminators, one at Bantamweight and one at Minimumweight, an interesting match up between Ronnie Baldonado (13-1-1, 9) battle Elias Joaquino (12-3-2, 6) and the international debut of Chinese hopeful Lei Wang (2-0, 1). The card is well worth making a note of, though looks like it will be a tricky one to watch if you're not inside the Philippines.
The world title eliminators for this show will be an IBF Bantamweight world title eliminator, as Michael Dasmarinas (28-2-1, 19) and Kenny Demecillo (14-4-2, 8) and a Samuel Salva (16-0, 10) taking on Rene Mark Cuarto (16-1-1, 9), both of which should be very competitive.
Sharipova turns down rival countries for Olympic place
The weekly Firuza Sharipova (9-1, 4) [фируза шарипова] stories continued to come from her press department, who this week told the Central Asian boxing press that Sharipova had turned down a $1,000,000 offer to compete at the 2020 Olympics for a team from Asia. The way Sharipova stories have come out this year we're expecting to see something believable at some point, until then however we'll enjoy these stories which are significantly more entertaining than her in ring career has been recently. It's a shame that we keep see these stories, because she's a good fighter, but it appears that these stories mean more to her and her team than actually fighting!
This past week has been an insanely news heavy week, with more news stories that we'd usually get for this review. Some were huge stories, others were much smaller, but the variation of them was massive. So lets have a look at them!
Inoue Vs Rodriguez confirmed for May 18th in Glasgow!
After weeks of frustrating stalling from the WBSS we now, finally, know for sure that the WBSS Bantamweight Semi Final between "WBA" regular Bantamweight Naoya Inoue (17-0, 15) [井上 尚弥] and IBF champion Emmanuel Rodriguez (19-0, 12) will take place on May 18th in Glasgow Scotland. The bout is a first in lots of ways, and given the size of the bout we do wonder if it would have made more sense to have allowed the fighter's promoters to sort a deal rather than the WBSS putting it on a show they had already set up. We know it'sa cost saving measure, but it's still odd to have stars from Japan and Puerto Rico fighting in Scotland. Still the bout is now only 3 months away and we're looking forward to it!
Shumenov Vs Goulamiriam purse bids see Don King winning!
The purse bid for the WBA Cruiserweight title bout between Beibut Shumenov (18-2, 12) [Бейбут Амирханович Шуменов] and Arsen Goulamirian (24-0, 16) finally took place, and was won by veteran promoter Don King,with a bid of $821,000 which will be split 55%-45% in favour of Shumenov. The bid was well over the amount offered by Goulamiriam's promoter, and King has given 3 possible dates and venues. They are April 15th in Monaco, the second possibility is just over 2 weeks later, April 30th Kazakhstan whilst the other possibility is May 13th in New York, with the Monaco option being doubted by Goulamiriam's team.
Juiki Tatsuyoshi's next bout set for April 5th!
Popular second generation fighter Juiki Tatsuyoshi (10-0, 7) [辰吉寿以輝] announced that he would be back in action on April 5th at the EDION Arena, against Daichi Matsuura (6-3-2, 2) [松浦 大地]. This isn't an amazing match up but is a step up for Tatsuyoshi, who is slowly developing into a pretty solid prospect. Notably this announcement also saw announcements of a bout between Kyosuke Tsutsumimoto (9-1, 8) [堤本京介] and Tae Il Atusmi (15-2, 7) [テイル渥美] in what could be a very exciting match up.
Can Xu signs with Golden Boy Promotions!
WBA "regular" Featherweight champion Can Xu (16-2, 2) [徐灿] has officially signed a deal with Gold Boy Promotions, to continue the relationship that began when he won the title with a shock win over Jesus M Rojas. The full details of the agreement are unclear, but it is great that Xu will get more opportunities to shine in the US and hopefully he can build on the win over Rojas to become a big star, and someone that Chinese boxing can build around. Although it seems unlikely he will fight regularly in China there is no stopping his success from driving a generation of fighters, like Gennady Golovkin has done with Kazakhstan,
Sultan Zaurbek confirms that he will fight in February and March
Unbeaten Kazakh Sultan Zaurbek (3-0, 2) [Заурбек Султан] confirmed that he would be fighting in both February and March, in what is clearly going to be a very busy year for the youngster. He's incredibly talented and it seems like he is wanting to take a grip over his career, something that many fighters early on won't do. His opponents for the two bouts aren't expected to be anything amazing, with his February opponent named as Lyuben Todorov, but his drive to be active is similar to that of fellow Kazakh Sadriddin Akhmedov, who fought 7 times in just over 9 months showing that a fighter can create a buzz very quickly.
Main under-card bouts for Tanaka Vs Taguchi revealed!
The under-card bouts for the WBO Flyweight title bout between Kosei Tanaka (12-0, 7) [田中恒成] and Ryoichi Taguchi (27-3-2, 12) [田口良一] were announced this week, and whilst they weren't amazing they did feature a number of interesting names. Among those confirmed for the card are Kento Hatanaka (7-0, 7) [畑中 建人], Yushi Tanaka (21-2-3, 14) [田中裕士], Takuya Mizuno (15-1-1, 13) [水野拓哉] and Koshin Takeshima (2-0, 2) [竹嶋宏心]. The bouts aren't the toughest but there is a very nice selection of talent for fans who can make their way to Gifu for the show.
Takahashi and Suzuki have opponents named for March 2nd!
Talking about under-cards, we've now seen the under-card for the March 2nd card at the Korakuen Hall being completed, with Takuma Takahashi (2-0, 2) [高橋拓磨] and Masahiro Suzuki (1-0, 1) [鈴木雅弘] having their opponents for the show named. Suzuki will be up against Kelvin Tenorio (4-4, 2) whilst Takahashi will be up against Jonel Dapidran (10-3, 6).
Ginjiro Shigeoka's next opponent named!
One more fighter having their opponent for an under-card announced was Ginjiro Shigeoka (1-0, 1) [重岡銀次朗], who will be up against Thai youngster Gerttipong Kumsahwat (3-1, 3) on February 26th. This was never expected to be a tough bout for Shigeoka, given he will be fighting against in April, but it is nice to see an opponent being named for the show more than a week in advance.
Regional and Domestic title News
Ogata and Salvador to battle for OPBF title!
The OPBF had a busy week Shione Ogata (10-6, 2) [緒方汐音] would be facing off with Filipino foe Charimae Salvador (4-1, 1) for the vacant OPBF female Light Flyweight title on April 14th. This looks like an interesting match up, but it must be said that Ogata has been in great form recently and has to be favoured to claim her third regional title. Interestingly this will be the first OPBF female Light Flyweight title bout in over 2 years!
Second OPBF title added to February 22nd show!
The OPBF also announced that Thai Kanyarat Yoohanngoh (4-2, 2) will battle against Japan's Umi Ishikawa (7-2, 5) [石川海] for the OPBF silver Female Minimumweight title. This is a pretty interesting bout, even though neither is an amazing fighter, and the winner will likely find themselves in the mix for bigger fights later in the year.
Second title bout added to March 13th card
Staying with title news, there was the confirmation that Miyo Yoshida (11-1) [吉田 実代] would be defending her Japanese female Bantamweight title against Yoshie Wakasa (6-0, 2) [若狭与志枝], the #1 ranked contender. This bout has been added to a show that will be headlined by Eri Matsuda (2-0) [松田恵里] and Nanae Suzuki (8-2-1, 1) [鈴木 菜々江] battling to unify the OPBF and JBC Atomweight titles.
Male and Female Asian Championships to be held at the same time!
The ASBC announced this week that the Male and Female Asian Championships will take place at the same time, in Bangkok in April. Amazingly 10 divisions will be covered, for each gender, in what is seemingly a stupid decision, given that the competition was originally being viewed as a gate way to the 2020 Olympics, which won't have 10 male, or 10 female divisions. The decision appears to be a cost cutting one, but also one that is really questionable, and we wouldn't be surprised to see all sorts of issues plaguing what appears to bee an over-stuff competition.
Japanese Amateur Selection competition cancelled
Interestingly the Japanese Amateur selection tournament, for the Asian Championships, has been cancelled, due in part to the weight class situation of the Asian Championships. This selection competition was notable for several reasons, including the fact it would include former world champion Katsunari Takayama [高山 勝成], who was set to make his return to the amateurs at this tournament. The political mess of Amateur boxing appears to be continuing here and it's hard to see a solution any time soon.
Former Indonesian amateur star Willem Papilaya passes
Indonesian fighter Willem Papilaya will not be a name on the mind of many, but this past week he passed away, at the age of 44. The former fighter won a Silver medal at the 1998 Asian Games in Bangkok, and competed in multiple notable competitions. His passing, at such a young age, is genuinely tragic and was huge news in Indonesian boxing circles.
Susumu Hanagata to become president of the East Japan Boxing Association
Nikkan Sports reported that former WBC Flyweight champion Susumu Hanagata[花形進] would be the next President of the East Japan Boxing Association. This story hasn't been reported by many other sources, though it does appear to have been passed and will be announced officially in the weeks to come, with Hanagata expected to take his seat in a few months time. Hanagata is best known for scoring wins over Efren Torres, Masao Oba and Chartchai Chionoi, and does run a gym, so is very well respected in the Japanese boxing scene, despite not being a big name in the West.
Split Decision issue 1 released
The first issue of Manga series "Split Decision", which is being released to raise awareness of Iwao Hakamada, was released on the JPBA website. The Manga hasn't yet been translated into English, but is expected to be put into different languages in the near future. This is a really interesting idea and we hope it's a huge success.
March issue of Boxing Beat goes on sale tomorrow!
Talking about releases this week also saw the release of March's issue Boxing Beat. We won't go into to much detail here, but for fans who are really intrigued by the Japanese scene the magazine is fantastic, though sadly unavailable in languages other than Japanese.
TBS reveal broadcast date and time of Saludar Vs Taniguchi
Finally, we now have the date and time of the television broadcast of the WBO Minimumweight title bout between Vic Saludar (18-3, 10) and Masataka Taniguchi (11-2, 7) [谷口 将隆]. The bout will be teelvised on a few days tape delay, as part of a Guts Fighting show on TBS. It's a shame the bout isn't being shown live, but at least it's only a few days of delay and not weeks, as we have seen for some bouts.
Thinking Out East
With this site being pretty successful so far we've decided to open up about our own views and start what could be considered effectively an editorial style opinion column dubbed "Thinking Out East" (T.O.E).