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Friday, Sept. 25, 2009
JBC revives heavyweight rankings after 51-year absence
The Japan Boxing Commission on Thursday formally decided to bring back the domestic heavyweight rankings for the first time in 51 years.
In addition, the JBC introduced rankings for the cruiserweight, light heavyweight and super middleweight divisions — three classes Japan has previously not had due to a dearth of talent.
According to senior JBC official Tsuyoshi Yasukochi, around 10 fighters, including kick boxers and mixed martial artists, hope to take tests scheduled from the end of November through the start of December to become heavyweight pros.
"We want to take time to nurture the boxers," said Yasukochi. "Hopefully a Japanese title match will become a reality three years down the line."
Daisuke Naito's sixth defense of his WBC flyweight title, a much-anticipated bout against Koki Kameda, will be held at Saitama Super Arena on Nov. 29, it was announced Thursday.
Naito will be stepping into the ring against one of the Kameda boxing brothers for the first time since beating Daiki, the second eldest of the three, in defense of the WBC title in a wild affair in October 2007.
Daiki repeatedly resorted to foul play during the bout and lost a decision by a wide margin, leading to a one-year suspension of his boxing license.
Former WBA light flyweight champion Koki also played his part in the fiasco, along with father Shiro, by egging on his brother to fight dirty from the corner. He later received a strict reprimand.