Yamanaka named Japan’s Fighter of the Year
On Friday evening at the Tokyo Dome Hotel, the Japanese Boxing Commission (JBC) and the Sports Writers Club held their annual awards ceremony.
The showpiece award, the 2016 “Japanese Fighter of the Year,” was awarded to the reigning WBC bantamweight beltholder Shinsuke Yamanaka.
Last year,Yamanaka outpointed Liborio Solis. He then stopped Anselmo Moreno in an action-packed rematch that saw both men on the canvas before Yamanaka ended matters in the seventh round to add the RING Magazine championship to his collection. Yamanaka-Moreno II was selected as “Fight of the Year.”
Yamanaka’s TKO of Moreno, along with WBA flyweight titlist Kazuto Ioka’s knockout of Keyvin Lara, were jointly selected as “Knockout of the Year.”
Naoya Inoue won the “Technique” award for his three wins, notably the demolition of the usually durable Kohei Kono.
The “Valuable Victory” award was given to recently minted Yukinori Oguni, who stunningly dethroned previously unbeaten knockout artist Jonathan Guzman on New Year’s Eve.
Highly touted youngster Daigo Higa won “Rookie of the Year” for his three wins at 112 pounds last year, all by KO inside four rounds.
“Female Fighter of the Year” was won by Naoko Fujioka. The former four-weight beltholder won the award largely on the back of an exciting points win over compatriot Shindo Go.
PHOTO GALLERY: Japanese 2016 awards
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