The Cyber Boxing Zone Newswire

Oriental Update: Joe Koizumi

As of August 21, 1999


NIWAT LAOSUWANWAT, ex-promoter/manager of the legendary Khaosai Galaxy, decided not to stage a WBA interim minimumweight elimination bout between his boy SONGKRAM PORPAOIN and NOEL ARAMBULET of Venezuela in Mukdahan, Thailand, along with another WBA flyweight title bout of LEO GAMEZ of Venezuela vs. SORNPICHAI KRATCHINGDAENG, on September 3. Therefore, only the latter will take place then and there.

It seemed hard for even the influential impresario Niwat to promote a doubleheader under the declining Thai economy. Niwat had attempted to regain the once-stripped WBA interim 105-pound title of Songkram by desperately lobbying the WBA office, but in vain. He was very eager to have a rematch between Songkram and Hiroshi Matsumoto (who beat Songkram in a non-title go last May) this time with the WBA interim belt at stake on Sept. 12 in Japan, as he had reportedly already received an advance from Japanese promoter Masao Takahashi.

The WBA headquarters are in hot water to realize the cancellation of the Songkram vs. Arambulet eliminator in Thailand, and will instead sanction another elimination bout of WBA No.1 contender Jose Garcia of Colombia and No.3 Arambulet in Venezuela in September.

Such a trouble in the WBA interim 105-pound eliminator is caused by the fact that Ricardo Lopez of Mexico still holds the WBC and WBA minimum titles though he has no intention to defend his 105-pound belts but is going to fight Willie Grigsby in a quest for the IBF 108-pound throne in Miami, FL, on August 21. After this fight, Lopez is expected to renounce both 105-pound titles of the WBC and the WBA, and the WBC interim champ Wandee Singwancha will elevate to the full WBC ruler, while the aforementioned WBA elimination bout will take place for the full WBA belt, not for the interim title. If not such a champ as the great "little giant" Lopez, a long inactivity of the world champ would not be permitted in the boxing world.


The newly crowned WBA super-flyweight champ HIDEKI TODAKA, of Nagoya, Japan, decided to risk his title against upcoming unbeaten lefty AKIHIKO NAGO in Tokyo, Nago's home turf, in November.

Todaka dethroned Venezuelan Jesus Kiki Rojas via unanimous decision in Nagoya on July 31. But his promoter/manager Toshiro Matsuo says, "Without beating Nago, people don't regard my boy as the strongest 115-pouner here, so we are eager to destroy Nago and prove that Todaka is really the world champ."

Ex-WBA junior fly champ Yoko Gushiken, manager of the Japanese golden boy Nago, 15-0, 11 KOs, is also very much willing to materialize his boy's shot at the world throne. But it may be a surprising decision that Matsuo, promoter based in Nagoya, has made up his mind to promote the sensational encounter in Tokyo, not in Nagoya. It's because Nago is tremendously popular in Tokyo, not so much in Nagoya, so if this bout takes place in Tokyo, his promotion will be very surely successful.

Nago, formerly All Japan high school champ whose amateur mark was 48-6, 27 stoppages, was scouted by the Shirai & Gushiken Gym, which is honorably presided by Japan's first champ Yoshio Shirai and actually managed by Gushiken, being financially sponsored by a famous wig-maker Art Nature.

Todaka, Japan's only one world champ, abruptly became a local hero in his native place, Miyazaki, where he couldn't fulfill his dream to attain the world diadem in his first encounter with the then WBA champ Jesus Rojas due to a fourth round technical decision last March. But Todaka, 15-2-1, 7 KOs, is now confident of beating Nago in his first defense.


The WBC super-fly title will be disputed by the defending champ INJOO CHO of Korea and Japanese challenger KEIJI YAMAGUCHI at Ryogoku Sumo Arena in Tokyo on September 5. The WBC No.1 contender GERRY PENALOSA, Philippines, will come and see this title bout, anticipating his shot at the winner within this year. The Filipino lefty will be accompanied by his new manager Attorney Rodrigo Salud.

Penalosa had lost his WBC crown on an upset decision to Injoo Cho in Seoul, Korea, on August 29, 1998. He was inactive since due to his managerial problem with Rex Wakee Salud (no relation to his new manager). But Gerry finally cleared that problem by reaching an agreement to leave Wakee's wing and decided to go with Attorney Salud. He then flew to the States, and joined Murad Muhammad's promotions. Penalosa, 40-2-2, 25 KOs, lately acquired the vacant WBA North American title by pulverizing Ramon Hurtado on a 2nd-round one-punch KO in Biloxi, MS, on June 5. It was on the undercard of the light heavy unification title bout of Roy Jones Jr. and Reggie Johnson. The Filipino ex-champ accepted stepping aside to pave a way for the Cho vs. Yamaguchi title go, but will get a crack at the WBC belt, whichever may win.


VEERAPOL NAKONLUANG-PROMOTION, WBC bantam champ of Thailand, will engage in a rematch with former champ JOICHIRO TATSUYOSHI in Osaka, Japan, on August 29. It's a highly anticipated grudge fight. As a humble record-collector, yours truly will meet and talk with Sahasombhop Srisomvongse, the very influential impresario of Veerapol, upon his arrival here to ask him to register the WBC champ's new ring name to the WBC. It's strange that Veerapol already began fighting with his new nom-de-guerre Nakonluang-Promotion since before his first encounter with Tatsuyoshi last December. But, internationally, he is still called "Veerapol Sahaprom (his real name)" although the Thai newspapers describe him as Nakonluang-Promotion and the ring announcers call him so. It is because the WBC ratings still list him up with his previous name. Mr. Sahasombhop, please send a fax or e-mail to the WBC office to correct your champ's right ring name, otherwise this writer's report always has a discrepancy with the internationally registered results of your great champ.


WARYONG YUH, Korean trainer for ex-WBA super-feather champ Takanori Hatakeyama, decided to concentrate on coaching flyweight prospect in Nagoya, HIDEYASU ISHIHARA, since this September due to Hatakeyama's announcement to hang up gloves for good. Yuh, ex-Korean champ, previously cultivated plenty of Korean or OPBF champs to his credit, but closed his gym due to Korean economic decline and came to Japan to serve as trainer. He has been very successful in developing Hatakeyama so brilliantly that he became the WBA champ with his unbeaten mark. Now that Hatakeyama has no intention to fight on, Yuh will move to Nagoya to work as the trainer for Ishihara, a hard-hitting lefty prospect, belonging to Matsuda Gym. Ishihara made a pro debut by beating the then Japanese national champ Nolito Suzuki Cabato in a non-title 6-rounder on May 4 of the previous year. He attempted to break the record of Joichiro Tatsuyoshi who wrested the national title in his 4th pro bout by having a shot at the Japanese fly title against Celes Kobayashi in his third bout only to be stopped in 7 give-and-take rounds in Tokyo on this March 6.


It has become a social problem here in Japan that so many Filipino boxing people escape after engaging in boxing bouts in Japan to stay here as illegal workers. Should they commit in any crimes, responsible are our Japanese promoters who invited them. The Japan Boxing Commission (JBC) is trying to avoid such illegal stay of Filipino boxing people consisting boxers, managers or trainers-in association with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Previously ex-IBF mini-fly champ Manny Melchor and not other Filipino boxers committed overstaying here in order to work illegally only to be arrested by the police. They were expelled out of Japan and returned to their native country. Though the JBC asked the Games and Amusements Board (GAB, which is the commission to control and regulate professional sports in the Philippines) for a strict treatment against those boxing people, the GAB seems so generous as to render its pardons after considerably short suspensions and reinstate their licenses. Therefore, many Filipino boxing people still attempt to escape after fights and serve as construction workers here to earn better money at the sites than in the ring and send money to their poor families in the Philippines. Some influential Japanese promoter lately decided not to book Filipino boxers any longer because he is worried about the near-future social criticism. He says, "Should some Filipino boxer kill somebody here, I might be punished as I booked him because I submitted my letter of guarantee to the Japanese Embassy that belongs to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, promising that I must take care of his behavior so properly as not to make him work in other than boxing while he stays here." Very lately, Oliver Lazarito, the younger brother of a famous manager Leonil Lazarito, ran away after the Filipino welter champ Bert Bado lost to ex-OPBF champ Hiroyuki Yoshino at the Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, on August 2. Our boxing fraternity is afraid of a situation that this social problem will be discussed in the Diet and all Filipino boxers will be banned to enter Japan in the future, since there has been a long fistic history between the two countries. The GAB's strict regulation to prevent Filipino boxing people from overstaying after fights here will be highly appreciated.


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