The month of December was an incredibly busy one, with things like the Rookie of the Year, the New Year's Eve show, the Fuji show on the 23rd, and a host of other cards giving us a truly crazy month.
It was also a month that Boxing Raise actually didn't shine, with just 6 tape delay cards, and nothing live. It did however have some interesting, intriguing and exciting bouts hidden away on the service. And now we'll have a look at some of the highlights the services provided during the month.
Before we start however we will just make everyone aware that we are totally ignoring the Kadebi promoted "Slugfest 12" card. The reason for this is that the content featured on that show isn't exclusive to Boxing Raise, it's been uploaded to youtube by Kadoebi themselves giving all fans a chance to see all the action from the card without the need of a Boxing Raise subscription.
As with our previous "Best of Boxing Raise" article all the fights featured here can be accessed by subscribers by logging into Boxing Raise and adding the "movie/####" to "https://boxingraise.com/".
Compelling more than excelling - Musashi Mori (10-0, 6) vs Takuya Mizuno (17-1-1, 14) [movie/7134/]
The WBO Asia Pacific Featherweight title bout between the unbeaten champion Musashi Mori and the heavy handed Takuya Mizuno never really caught fire in the way we had hoped, but in terms of being compelling this was always interesting. Just sadly lacking true drama. Mori, who is just 20, was fighting for the second time under Ismael Salas and it's clear he is developing with every fight, but sadly the styles never really worked here. Still if you want to see one of the brightest Japanese youngsters you could do a lot worse than giving this a watch and getting a head up on Mori before he lands a big international fight. The youngster, is talking about moving into world title level later this year and he's certainly one to be aware of.
Boom goes the Dynamite - Mammoth Kazunori (5-2-1, 5) vs Lerdchai Chaiyawed (2-4, 1) [/movie/7188/]
We had a lot of brilliant knockouts in 2019 and one of the final ones came in mid-December, tucked away on a Japanese under-card bout. The fight saw big punching Japanese hopeful Mammoth Kazunori take on Thai tough guy Lerdchai Chaiyawed and, well, lets just say this ended in spectacular fashion. The bout hadn't been the most thrilling, but the ending makes it worth a watch. A seriously eye-catching KO!
A prospect to watch - Ryosuke Nishida (1-0, 1) vs Pablito Canada (7-17-4, 1) [movie/7219/]
The December 22nd show from Muto gym was a bad idea from the off, putting it on the same day as the All Japan Rookie of the Year, and having one of their brightest beaten in a round. Thankfully though it wasn't all bad news and it was a good chance to see what the hype was regarding Ryosuke Nishida. And in fairness to the 23 year old, he looked damned good. He was the less hyped of 3 Muto prospect and yet was the only one who really shined. If you get the chance give this a watch and keep a close eye on Nishida
A change in tactic proves vital - Yusuke Mine (2-0, 1) vs Ardin Diale (35-15-4, 17) [/movie/7221/]
Whilst we seriously think Muto will want to forget about their December 22nd show we suspect they will also be proud of the promising Yusuke Mine who showed a lot, both good and bad, in his third professional bout. Taking on Filipino veteran Ardin Diale we saw Mine being dropped in rounds 1 and 3, raising real questions about his chin, balance and durability. Then he bit down on his gum shield and pressured, in an attempt to turn the bout around. His change of tactics, and desire are real positives, but being dropped twice will be a worry. A very interesting bout that had genuine drama.
A debut to view - Kantaro Juri (0-0) Vs Makruf Bambali (0-4-1) [/movie/7233/]
Although many debuts are a mismatch they do give us a chance to see what a fighter can do, and we were genuinely impressed by what Kantaro Juri shows in his debut, against the horribly over-matched Makruf Bambali of Indonesia. Juri, who is a bit of a hidden gem, looked a natural in the ring with a very sharp jab, some nice picking and very fast hands. It'll be an interesting journey to follow with him, but we liked him a lot and the Nakazato gym might have someone a little bit special on their hands here. Polish needs to be done, but they have a genuine diamond in the rough.
Wild and even eliminator - Hiroyuki Kudaka (26-18-3, 11) vs Yuta Matsuo (15-4-1, 8) [/movie/7206/]
A Japanese title eliminator at Super Flyweight matched together Hiroyuki Kudaka and Yuta Matsuo in what proved to be, unsurprisingly, a really good fight. These two let their shots fly through out and provided plenty of action in a fun 8 rounder. With the men involved we always expected something special could be on the cards, and whilst this wasn't truly spectacular it was a very fun back and forth battle with some truly brilliant moments. The final round of this was truly excellent, as the two tired men put it on the line.
IBF eliminator provides action - Sho Ishida (28-1, 15) vs Israel Gonzalez (24-3, 11) [/movie/7242/]
The final bout of the month for the service was the best, as Sho Ishida and Israel Gonzalez battled in an IBF Super Flyweight world title eliminator. This was actually fantastic to watch, and it was most down to Gonzalez, who brought so much action and pressure through out. He let his hands go, he forced the fight and it wasn't until late on that Ishida managed to find a foot hold in what was a real gem. It's a shame this wasn't given some form of TV coverage in Osaka as it should have had a bigger viewing audience than it got, but still a very good fight and one that Boxing Raise subscribers should make an effort to watch whilst we're still lumbering through a quiet month of fights.
(Images courtesy of boxmob, and Boxingraise)
Over the last few years Japan has gained a reputation for ending the boxing year in style, with major shows in the final few days of the year. Typically those bouts get announced through November, as promoters officially announce the bouts and put their shows together along with major domestic television companies.
As we enter November we thought it would be fun to look at some of those rumours for the month, and some of the confirmed bouts, as well as those that have been mentioned as possible, and those on the verge of being officially announced.
We'll start by looking at what we know, with the confirmed notable bouts from the month.
December 1st is set to be a crazy day with several major shows.
In Tokyo we'll get a card televised by G+ which will be headlined by Valentine Hosokawa (23-6-3, 10) defending his Japanese Light Welterweight title against Takashi Inagaki (20-17-2, 9). The card will also feature a brilliant match up between Seiya Tsutsumi (4-0, 3) and Matcha Nakagawa (13-1-1, 5) as well as the ring return of former IBF Super Bantamweight champion Yukinori Oguni (19-2-1, 7)
On the same day in Osaka we get two Shinsei Gym cards, featuring a combined 6 title bouts. The shows will be Real Spirits vol 60 and Real Spirits vol 61, with the first card featuring 4 female title bouts, including a WBO female Minimumweight title bout between Kayoko Ebata (12-7, 6) and Etsuko Tada (17-3-2, 5) and an OPBF Atomweight title bout between Eri Matsuda (1-0) and Minayo Kei (6-3, 1).
The second card will see former world title challenger Reiya Konishi (16-1, 6) defending the WBO Asia Pacific Light Flyweight title against Richard Rosales (13-7-2, 7) and a potentially thrilling contest between Masao Nakamura (24-3, 23) and Carlo Magali (23-10-3, 12) for the WBO Asia Pacific Super Featherweight title.
December 3rd will give us a single big show, headlined by OPBF Featherweight champion Satoshi Shimizu (7-0, 7) and Takuya Uehara (16-0, 10), with a brilliant supporting bout between Hinata Maruta (7-1-1, 6) and Tsuyoshi Tameda (18-3-2, 16), which is one of the bouts we're most looking forward to!
On December 9th things get a bit crazy again. We will get a Japanese Welterweight title fight, as Ryota Yada (17-4, 14) defends his belt against Shusaku Fujinaka (16-9-2, 10), and a Japanese Super Flyweight title bout, with Takayuki Okumoto (21-8-3, 10) making his first defense against Masayoshi Hashizume (16-0-1, 10). These bouts have been officially announced and confirmed.
The same day we're set to see to see Shohei Omori (19-2, 14) taking on Takahiro Yamamoto (21-5, 17) and Sho Ishida (26-1, 15) taking on Warlito Parrenas (26-8-1, 23). These bouts haven't been formally announced, though teams from both have confirmed they are taking place, and will be at the EDION Arena Osaka. It's unclear if they will share the same card as the other bouts or if the EDION will host another double dose of boxing with two shows. There is also some speculation that if this is a second show there will be one more big bout to add to the card.
On December 13th we'll see Japanese Lightweight champion Shuichiro Yoshino (8-0, 6) defending his belt against Kazumasa Kobayashi (10-7-1, 6) at the Korakuen Hall and a week later we'll see Nobuyuki Shindo (20-4-1, 8) and Akinori Watanabe (37-7, 31) fight to unify the Japanese Light Middleweight title.
The only other show of real significant that has been confirmed is the Japanese Rookie of the Year final on December 23rd. Nothing after Christmas, but before the start of 2019, has really been announced. But we have had a lot of rumours, speculation for December!
One bout that is supposed to be, finally, made is the long awaited IBF Light Middleweight world title eliminator between Takeshi Inoue (13-0-1, 7) and Julian Williams (25-1-1-1, 15), a bout that has seemingly been delayed, rescheduled and redelayed several times already this year. Fingers crossed this is actually made before the year is over, as it seems both fighters have wasted a lot of this year waiting for this bout to take place. Interestingly this could be the only bout to actually take place outside of Japan.
Another IBF eliminator which is rumoured to take place in December is a Super Bantamweight title eliminator between Ryosuke Iwasa (25-3, 16) and Cesar Juarez (23-6, 17). This bout is supposedly set to take place in Tokyo, though no date has been made public. If this is confirmed then we are in for a treat as these two, together, should be an amazing contest, with both being heavy handed and flawed. Fingers crossed we get this one announced shortly!
Staying on the subject of IBF title fights there has been speculation in Japan that Masayuki Kuroda (30-7-3, 16) may get an unexpected shot at Flyweight champion Moruti Mthalane (36-2, 24). This rumour has come about after a scheduled eliminator with Kuroda and Eaktwan BTU Ruaviking fell through after the Thai suffered an injury. Kuroda's seemed to suggest this would be a long shot, but they are chasing the bout and it could, potentially, be on.
The first of the rumoured big cards to end the year is expected to be on December 30th and is expected to be the Fuji TV card. The strongest rumour for this show is a WBO Super Featherweight title defense for Masayuki Ito (24-1-1, 12), with the named linked to him being Evgeny Chuprakov (20-0, 10). This bout is expected to be confirmed in the coming days, or at the very least Ito's part of it is, with Chuprakov perhaps not being the opponent. The same date is also pencilled in as a potential date for Kenshiro (14-0, 8) to make his next defense of the WBC Light Flyweight title, though no opponent has been linked to him.
The December 30th Fuji card has also been set as the potential date for a WBC Bantamweight title bout between Petch Sor Chitpattana (48-0, 33) and Takuma Inoue (12-0, 3). This bout depends on another bout not taking place, as per an order at the WBC convention in early October, so we should see this bout being either confirmed or not very quickly. There is also a rumour that Takuma's stable mate at the Ohashi gym, Akira Yaegashi (27-6, 15) may also be involved on the same show.
If the rumours for December 30th are a bit of an exciting mess things get even crazier for New Year's Eve. For weeks we've been hearing that WBC Minimumweight champion Wanheng Menayothin (51-0, 18) would be defending his title against Shin Ono (23-9-3, 6). This was rumoured to be part of a triple header, which has changed a few times but new seems most likely to feature a rematch between Ryoichi Taguchi (27-3-2, 12) and Hekkie Budler (32-3, 10), with Taguchi looking to reclaim the WBA Light Flyweight title from the South African. Along with that rematch is rumoured WBO Light Flyweight title bout between Angel Acosta (19-1, 19) and Hiroto Kyoguchi (11-0, 8). If this triple header is done, then TBS would be expected to show at least 2 bouts live on their Kyoguken show.
Things get more complicated when we consider the other rumours, which include a potential WBO Flyweight world title defense by Kosei Tanaka (12-0, 7). His could be squeezed on TBS as an early bout, or could be used to stack the show to a quadruple header or could end up being only CBC live, with TBS showing it on tape delay. It's really unclear how he fits in, but he will almost certainly be wanting to fight on a year ending show, after missing out on the chance last year due to injury.
Last, but certainly not least, is the rumoured WBO Super Flyweight title bout between Kazuto Ioka (23-1, 13) and Donnie Nietes (41-1-5, 23), a bout so big that TBS have seemingly given Ioka the option to take the date and broadcast if he wants it. This was rumoured strongly in September, and Japanese sources were suggesting that it could take place in the Philippines with TBS still airing it live, however the rumours did quieten quickly. It should be noted that Ioka's not been one for leaking news in the past, this could be well in the works. Given how silent things have gone however we may well see this bout being delayed into 2019, potentially as part of the next Superfly card.
(Bottom image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
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).