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Feature Story

Hot Winter Coming In Japan

By Joe Koizumi
Photos by Boxing Beat

In the north sphere of the world it is usually cold in winter, but Japan is ready to welcome a hot winter—in a fistic fashion. It’s not due to global warming. This country, holding eleven male champions and four female titlists, will watch many world title bouts with our great interests in the end of this year.

Takashi Uchiyama (R), Takashi Miura (L)

Takashi Uchiyama (R), Takashi Miura (L)


On December 31, the last day of the year, a couple of world title bouts will take place in Tokyo, where our WBA and WBC 130-pound champs will put their belts on the line against up-and-coming prospects to assure hot competition. WBA super-feather ruler, unbeaten Takashi Uchiyama (20-0-1, 17 KOs) will face fast-rising national titlist, #8 compatriot Daiki Kaneko (19-2-3, 12 KOs), while WBC kingpin in the same category Takashi Miura (26-2-2, 19 KOs), a hard-hitting southpaw fresh from his impressive initial defense over Sergio Thompson in Mexico, will risk his belt against another Mexican hard-puncher, #2 Dante Jardon (24-3, 20 KOs). If both champs are victorious, they are supposed to face again for unification next summer since Uchiyama had once halted Miura to retain his WBA throne despite hitting the deck in 2011.

(L-R) Daiki Kameda, Tomoki Kameda, Katsunari Takayama

(L-R) Daiki Kameda, Tomoki Kameda, Katsunari Takayama


A world title triple-header will be held in Osaka on December 3. IBF super-fly champ Daiki Kameda (29-3, 18 KOs) will face WBA champ Liborio Solis (15-3-1, 7 KOs), from Venezuela, for unification in the main event. His younger brother, IBF bantam champ Tomoki Kameda (28-0, 18 KOs) will defend his newly acquired belt against also unbeaten Immanuel Naidjala (17-0-1, 11 KOs), WBO African titlist from Namibia, in his initial defense since he dethroned Paulus Ambunda, a compatriot of Naidjala, on points this August. Also new IBF 105-pound champ Katsunari Takayama (25-6-1, 10 KOs) will risk his diadem against Filipino Virgilio Silvano (17-2-1, 10 KOs), a hard-punching southpaw, over twelve.

Shinsuke Yamanaka (C)

Shinsuke Yamanaka (C)


We have to watch world title goes closer to today, as follows: WBC bantamweight champ, unbeaten hard-hitting southpaw Shinsuke Yamanaka (19-0-2, 14 KOs) will face Mexican Alberto Guevara (18-1-1, 6 KOs) in Tokyo on November 10. Yamanaka is greatly expected to terminate the affair within the distance, following latest three consecutive KO victories with his belt at stake.

Naoko Yamaguchi (L), Naoko Fujioka (R)

Naoko Yamaguchi (L), Naoko Fujioka (R)


On November 13, in Tokyo, WBA female super-fly champ Naoko Yamaguchi will put her belt on the line against unbeaten ex-WBC minimum champ Naoko Fujioka in a very sensational encounter. Fujioka will jump three classes at once and have an ambitious crack at the hard-punching champ Yamaguchi, formerly a javelin thrower with the strong shoulder. It will be presented by a promoter and ex-WBA 108-pound champ Yoko Gushiken.

(L-R) Momo Koseki, Ayaka Miyao, Kazuto Ioka

(L-R) Momo Koseki, Ayaka Miyao, Kazuto Ioka


On November 14, Tokyo will watch WBC female atomweight (102-pound) champ, Japanese southpaw Momo Koseki make her twelfth defense against top contender Nora Cardoza, Mexico, over ten rounds On the same bill, veteran Japanese girl Naoko Shibata will face Mexican Alondra Garcia in a quest for the vacant IBF 108-pound throne.

WBA female 102-pound champ Ayaka Miyao, on November 28, will risk her belt against mandatory challenger Gretchen Abaniel of the Philippines in Tokyo. On the same bill, veteran female campaigner, OPBF flyweight champ Kayoko Ebata will move down to fight Nancy Franco, US, in a quest for the vacant IBF mini-flyweight throne over ten frames.

On December 14, in Osaka, ex-WBA female light-minimum champ Mari Ando will dispute the vacant WBC strawweight belt against Mexican Jasseth Noriega in a competitive 10-rounder.

On December 22, WBC female flyweight ruler Go Shindo will engage in a voluntary defense with Mexican challenger Judith Rodriguez in Wakayama.

Though not yet publicly announced, WBA light-fly champ, unbeaten Kazuto Ioka is also to defend his belt against some challenger in Osaka on December 31. His stablemate, WBA 105-pound ruler Ryo Miyazaki will also appear in the same bill.

This country’s boxing industry has no time to prepare for Chistmas but to produce more and more world title bouts, which may be good for fight fans, if not for Santa Claus.




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