By Joe Koizumi
Photos: Naoki Fukuda
Who stopped the WBSS event organizer Kalle Sauerland’s record-making long and enthusiastic speech on Tuesday that would almost break the late Don Jose Sulaiman’s great one-hour speech here in Japan? Kalle’s speech pitifully just lasted fifteen minutes, which, however, might be too long for a pretty Japanese translator to completely follow and put it into Japanese. To make it short, this reporter describes the most important at first.
The weigh-in ceremony of the world bantamweight twinbill took place on Wednesday at the Grand Palace Hotel and the results were as follows:
WBA/IBF world bantamweight title bout
Naoya Inoue 118 lbs/53.5 kg
Nonito Donaire 117.5 lbs/53.3 kg
WBC world bantamweight title bout
Nordine Oubaali 117.5 lbs/53.3 kg
Takuma Inoue 118 lbs/53.5 kg
On Tuesday, we saw a great press conference with many press people and television people in attendance.
At first, the officials that would cover the title goes were announced as follows:
WBA/IBF bantamweight title bout
Referee Ernest Sharif (US); judges Robert Hoyle (US), Octavio Rodriguez (Panama), Luigi Boscarelli (Italy); supervisor IBF Ben Keilty (Australia), WBA Tsuyoshi Yasukochi (Japan)
WBC bantamweight title bout
Referee Len Koivisto (Canada); judges David Sutherland (US), Alejandro Rochin (Mexico), Jun-Bae Lim (Korea); supervisor Miguel De Pablos (Spain)
Hereby summarized/abbreviated are speeches of the attendants at the press conference on Tuesday.
Kalle Sauerland: The best will win. Naoya Inoue is a rising star and pound-for-pound great boxer to compared with Canelo and Lomachenko. Also, Nonito “Filipino Flash” Donaire is a great champion who must be competitive with “Monster” Naoya, and we are looking forward to watching a great confrontation.
Naoya Inoue: Since before I turned professional, I kept watching Donaire and always had him in my mind. I respect him and hope to follow his great footsteps. But it’s time for a change of generation. By defeating him I hope to see a bright future in front of me. It will be a breakthrough for all Japanese boxers that I finally dominate the WBSS tournament.
Nonito Donaire: The ring is my home. I will show my real power wherever I may fight. I have fought many great boxers, but Naoya must be the very best of my all opponents. I wish to be a wall to prevent him from achieving a change of generation.
Nordine Oubaali: I would like to prove that I’m the No.1 bantamweight in the WBC bantamweight category. Takuma hasn’t fought such a strong opposition as me. I’ll show my strength over him.
Takuma Inoue (the younger brother of Naoya): I just wish to do my boxing. By doing so I will be victorious without doubt. I wish to do a baton passing to Naoya with my victory in the semi-final bout. I hope to see a couple of victories by us, our brothers.
In Japan, our television watchers will see the doubleheader live from 7:57PM through Fuji Television on Thursday. It will be shown through DAZN abroad.