January 8, 2014
The Japan Boxing Commission (JBC), in association with Sports Writers Club, selected our outstanding boxers to be awarded various citations for their excellent performance in the previous year on Tuesday in Tokyo, Japan. WBC bantamweight champ Shinsuke Yamanaka was named Boxer of the Year by a unanimous decision (Yamanaka 21, Uchiyama 11 and Ioka 2 out of 34 total votes) because of his three successful defenses all within the distance.
Other awardees are as follows:
Technique Award: Takashi Uchiyama (WBA super-feather champ)
Valuable Victory Award: Takashi Miura (WBC super-feather champ)
Fighting Spirit Award: Akira Yaegashi (WBC flyweight champ), Kazuto Ioka (WBA light-fly champ)
Award for Efforts: Katsunari Takayama (IBF mini fly champ)
Knockout Award: Shinsuke Yamanaka
Rookie Award: Ryota Murata (ex-Olympic gold medalist; 2-0, 2 KOs; OPBF top middleweight contender)
Fight of the Year: Takashi Uchiyama vs. Daiki Kaneko (Uchiyama came off the canvas to retain his WBA 130-pound throne on December 31)
Female Boxer of the Year: Naoko Fujioka (newly crowned WBA super-fly champ by jumping up three categories)
Female Fight of the Year: Naoko Fujioka vs. Naoko Yamaguchi (Fujioka dethroned Yamaguchi on November 13)
We now have eight male world champs and six female titleholders, some of whom, however, werenft awarded due to the limitation of awards, which is ironic since we sometimes had a futile year with no world champions. Yamanaka, Uchiyama and Ioka are our fistic heroes, still unbeaten and crowd-pleasing hard-punchers, whose active campaign of this year will be highly expected.
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