By Joe Koizumi
Whether you may feel hot or not, it’s a matter of your mind, as a Chinese proverb says. But we still feel hot and humid in summer as usual here in Japan, where, however, our outstanding mitt men try to prove their fists in a quest for fame and fortune—at the home turf or abroad.
WBC top contender, former OPBF titlist Nihito Arakawa will dispute the interim WBC lightweight belt with Mexican KO artist, WBC#2 Omar Figueroa in San Antonio, Texas, this coming Saturday. Arakawa, a slick-punching southpaw, may bring back the interim belt to Japan should he withstand and overcome Figueroa’s trademark opening attack and make it a longer fight.
On August 1, unbeaten Tomoki Kameda, the youngest of his three brothers, will make his initial crack at the world throne against WBO bantam ruler Paulus Ambunda of Namibia. The reason why it will take place in Cebu, Philippines—outside of Japan—is that our commission JBC as well as the Japan Professional Boxing Association (the union of club owners) wouldn’t sanction any interim championship bout of any organization here to prevent any more proliferation.
Also on the same August 1, fast-rising but still less experienced Koki Eto, a young prospect handled by ex-world champ Yoko Gushiken, will have a very ambitious shot at WBA interim flyweight titlist Kompayak Porpramook in Bangkok, Thailand.
On August 12, we will see a world title doubleheader in Tokyo, where WBC bantam kingpin Shinsuke Yamanaka will defend his throne against Puerto Rican Jose Nieves, and WBC flyweight titlist Akira Yaegashi will risk his newly acquired belt against Mexican hard-puncher Oscar Blanquet. We look forward to watching the highly anticipated competitions.
On August 17, in Cancun, Mexico, newly crowned WBC super-feather champ Takashi Miura, a hard-punching southpaw, will face top contender Sergio Thompson with his title on the line at the challenger’s home turf. Since both are tremendous hard-hitters, it will be a matter of time that the crowd and television watchers (telecast live in Japan) will see a knockout whoever may be victorious.
On August 23, ex-WBA super-fly champ Nobuo Nashiro will participate in an elimination bout with ex-WBA flyweight ruler Denkaosen Kaovichit to decide the new WBA interim 115-pound champ in Bangkok, Thailand.
On August 24, perennial contender Hiroyuki Hisataka will go far away to Chubut, Argentina, to have a crack at WBO super-fly ruler Omar Narvaez in his fourth shot to the world championship.
August 25 will watch a pro debut of former Olympic gold medalist in the middleweight category Ryota Murata, who will face current OPBF 160-pound titlist Akiko Shibata in a six-round bout in Tokyo. On the same day, in Zama city, sensational rookie Naoya Inoue, in his only fourth pro bout, will so quickly have a shot at the Japanese national 108-pound belt against Ryoichi Taguchi in an ambitious ten rounder.
On September 3, ex-WBA flyweight champ Daiki Kameda will attempt to win his second world belt as he will face Mexican southpaw Roberto Guerrero in a bid for the vacant IBF super-flyweight throne in Takamatsu, Kagawa prefecture, Japan.
On September 11, another world title twinbill will take place in Osaka, Japan. Unbeaten Kazuto Ioka will meet Kwanthai Sithmorseng of Thailand with his WBA light-fly belt at stake. Also, WBA 105-pound champ and a stablemate of Ioka, unbeaten Ryo Miyazaki will participate in a unification bout with WBA interim titlist Jesus Silvestre, Mexico, over twelve frames.
Japanese press people’s laptop computers will also become hot and active enough like our anticipated and ambitious boys this summer.