February 14, 2014


Our Japanese fight scribes were fully occupied this week by many press conferences and public workout of ex-Olympic gold medalist Ryota Murata who will fight his third professional bout in Macao on February 22. A fistic spring will come in April as there will be many world title bouts scheduled here in Japan. On Tuesday, despite our national holiday of National Foundation, there happened a big press conference at the Grand Palace Hotel in Tokyo, Japan, where a couple of world title bouts on April 23 were announced by Teiken Promotions. Unbeaten southpaw hard-puncher Shinsuke Yamanaka (20-0-2, 15 KOs) will make the sixth defense of his WBC bantamweight belt against Stephane Jamoye (25-4, 15 KOs) of Belgium at Osaka Castle Gymnasium, Osaka, expecting his fifth consecutive victory by knockout. His initial defense was a unanimous triumph over Vic Darchinyan in 2012, and Yamanaka, since then, disposed of four challengers in splendid fashion in a row.

On the same bill, ex-WBC bantam and feather champ Hozumi Hasegawa (33-4, 15 KOs) will aim for his third belt in the 122-pound category, as he will have an ambitious crack at the IBF super-bantam belt against Spaniard Kiko Martinez (30-4, 22 KOs) in the first title bout of the show.

Yesterday (Thursday) saw another press conference at the Tokyo Dome Hotel that Ohashi Promotions, in association with Teiken Promotions, announced another world title doubleheader at Ota Ward Multi-purpose Gymnasium, Tokyo, on April 6. Unbeaten sensation, 20-year-old prospect Naoya Inoue (5-0, 4 KOs), formerly seven-time national amateur champ, will have a very ambitious shot at the WBC light-flyweight championship against Mexican Adrian Hernandez (29-2-1, 18 KOs), a formidable titlist from Mexico. Inoue acquired the Japanese national 108-pound belt in his fourth professional bout, and the OPBF (Oriental and Pacific Boxing Federation) throne in his fifth. Should he gain the world throne in his sixth pro outing, Inoue will beat the current record owned by the current WBA light-fly titleholder Kazuto Ioka who won his first belt in his seventh.

In the main event, WBC flyweight ruler Akira Yaegashi (19-3, 9 KOs) will put his belt on the line against Mexican Odilon Zaleta (15-3, 8 KOs) in his third defense since dethroning the throne from lefty compatriot Toshiyuki Yaegashi last year. Should he beat Zaleta, Yaegashi will meet Roman gChocolatitoh Gonzalez with his belt on the line. Gonzalez himself will appear on the same bill to publicize his shot at the winner of the WBC 112-pound title go.

On the same show, Inouefs younger brother Takuya, 18, will face a world contender (TBA) in his second pro bout and hopes to beat his elder brother Naoyafs record of winning the national belt in the fourth professional contest. Should you be a boxing reporter here in Japan, your common sense will have to follow a common expression gthe earlier the betterh, which is a proverb perhaps Only in Japan.


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