This excerpt came from this week's edition of the Fightful Boxing Newsletter, which releases every Thursday at 6:30 a.m. EST.
News And Notes From The World Of Boxing
1. A trio of Japanese standout amateurs have passed B licensing tests and are now going to turn pro: Eri Matsuda, who signed, with Team 10 Count, Seiya Tsutsumi, who has signed with the Watanabe gym after an 84-17 amateur record as a light flyweight, and Shu Utsuki, who also signed with the Watanabe gym.
2. On the February 20 boxing card at Korakuen Hall, a special retirement ceremony for former OPBF and Japanese middleweight champion Makoto Fuchigami was held there. The fan favorite fighter from the Hachioji Nakaya gym is of course best known for losing to Gennady Golovkin in a WBA world title fight though was a popular fighter on the Japanese scene and retired in the wake of his loss to Tomohiro Ebisu at the end of 2016.
3. There has been some discussion as to who would fight Raymundo Beltran for the WBO lightweight title in Beltran's first title defense. Although it is rumored that Beltran could fight Vasyl Lomachenko in May in New York, another name is being thrown around: Nihito Arakawa, the WBO's No. 4 lightweight. Some circles in the Japanese boxing media believe that the two could be facing each other at some point later this year and with Beltran's injuries from the fight against Moses, he might not be able to recover in time to face Lomachenko in May, leaving the door open for Beltran to face Arakawa in the summer or in the fall.
4. Korakuen Hall will be holding a special card on March 8 called "Victoriva Vol. 1" where the attraction are multiple women's national and world titles being at stake. The first three title bouts set for the card include were a Japanese bantamweight title bout between Miyo Yoshida and Kai Johnson, a Japanese flyweight title bout between Yuki Koseki and Yumemi Ikemoto and a Japanese atomweight title fight between Sana Hazuki and Nanae Suzuki. There is also an OPBF minimumweight title fight between Saemi Hanagata and Erika Hanawa. As for the world title fights, the vacant WBO light flyweight title will be fought between Chaoz Minowa and Tenkai Tsunami. The other world title fight is Kayoko Ebata vs. Ji Hyun Park for Ebata's WBO minimuweight title.
5. It's been long rumored that Naoya Inoue would vacate his WBO super flyweight title to challenge for a bantamweight world title. Conventional wisdom would say that Inoue would fight the winner of the Zolani Tete vs. Omar Narvaez WBO bantamweight title fight later this year as Inoue would likely be automatically inserted as the WBO's mandatory challenger. Instead, it is looking like Inoue will fight WBA "regular" bantamweight champion Jamie McDonnell. Eddie Hearn has told Sky Sports that he hopes a deal can be reached by the end of the week.
1. Rocky Fielding has relinquished the British super middleweight title. Fielding will fight in an eight-round contest on the undercard of Kell Brook’s return against Sergey Rabchenko on March 3 but will not be bringing his British title for the fight. Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn said the plan for Fielding will be unveiled once he gets this upcoming fight out of the way.
2. Bradley Skeete's quest to win the vacant EBU welterweight title will see him travel away from the United Kingdom to Spain. MGZ Promotions won the rights to stage his fight against Spain’s Kerman Lejarraga and the fight will take place in Lejarraga’s hometown of Bilbao, Spain on March 24.
3. Danish prospect Frederik Hede Jensen, who most recently fought on the undercard of the World Boxing Super Series cruiserweight quarterfinal bout between Oleksandr Usyk and Marco Huck, already has his first fight of 2018 set. Jensen will fight Brian Pelaez in a four-round super featherweight fight on the undercard of the WBC Women's super bantamweight title bout between Dina Thorslund vs. Alicia Ashley. The fight will take place in Struer, Denmark on March 10.
1. Former heavyweight contender David "Nino" Rodriguez, former boxing manager Ivaylo Gotzev and boxing historian Arturo Ortiz have announced the formation of Lone Star Boxing Promotions, LLC. Lone Star Boxing Promotions will present its first event on April 7, at the Laredo Energy Arena in Laredo, Texas, featuring former multiple-time world champion Ricardo Mayorga taking on hometown veteran Rodolfo "Cobrita" Gomez Jr. in a 10-round super middleweight fight.
2. Another world title fight has been added to the March 3 Showtime Championship Boxing card in Brooklyn, New York. Alicia Napoleon and undefeated Femke Hermans will compete for the vacant WBA Women's super middleweight world title, further bolstering a card that is quickly becoming arguably the best boxing card of 2018 thus far, with HBO's upcoming "Superfly 2" card.
3. Speaking of the Superfly series, Tom Loeffler, who is credited with coming up with the concept, recently said there is a good chance that the young, but highly successful series would likely make a return next fall, although did not comment on if such a show would strictly have super flyweight fights on the television portion like in the first one or also mix in fights from the flyweight division, which is what the second show will have.
4. Kay Koroma has been promoted to USA Boxing National Assistant Coach after serving as the organization's Resident Coach at the Olympic Training Center since early 2016. Koroma has played an integral role in preparing the United States' top boxers for every international competition during his tenure, including the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.
1. Telemundo Deportes kicks off the 2018 spring season premiere of “Boxeo Telemundo Ford,” the No. 1 Spanish-language boxing program in the United States on February 23, live from the Osceola Heritage Park in Kissimmee, Florida. The season will open with an event featuring Ricardo Rodríguez vs. Jonathan Gonzalez fighting for the WBO Latino flyweight regional title.
2. Patrick Teixeira will be fighting Davi Eliasquevici for the WBO Latino super welterweight belt on an event in Jundiai, Sao Paulo Brazil on April 7, according to the information given by the IBG – International Boxing Group, which is Teixeira’s management company.
3. There has been some unsubstantiated reports by Nicaraguan media that Roman "Chocolatito" Gonzalez will make his return to the ring in June and face Donnie Nietes for the WBO super flyweight title as Naoya Inoue is no longer champion after moving up in weight. Gonzalez's manager, Carlos Blandon, has denied those reports, saying that the plan is still to have Gonzalez return to the ring in May and that a fight against Nietes in June has perhaps a "0.01 percent" chance of happening.
4. Mariana Juarez successfully defended her WBC bantamweight world title belt on February 17, defeating Gabriela Bouvier by unanimous decision (98-92, 98-92, 97-93) in front of more than 6,000 fans at the Arena Coliseo in Mexico City.
5. The WBA has extended a purse bid originally scheduled for February 29, between super featherweight champion Alberto Machado and mandatory challenger Rafael Mensah and will instead happen on March 2 in Panama City, Panama. The minimum for this purse bid is $120,000 with 75 percent in favor of the champion, while the challenger will receive 25 percent.