By Joe Koizumi
Photos by Naoki Fukuda
WBA middleweight champion Ryota Murata was unanimously named Japan’s Boxer of the Year today by Japan Boxing Commission (JBC), Japan Professional Boxing Association (JPBA; a union of licensed club owners) and Sports Writers Club. Murata, also 2012 Olympic gold medalist, impressively dethroned Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam via TKO route in their grudge fight last October to his credit.
Other award-winners are as follows:
Technique: Naoya Inoue (WBO 115-pound champion)
Valuable victory: Ryoichi Taguchi (WBA/IBF 108-pound titlist), Sho Kimura (WBO 112-pound ruler who upset Shiming Zou in Shanghai)
Knockout: Daigo Higa (WBC 112-pound kingpin, 15-0, 15 KOs)
Efforts: Kyotaro Fujimoto (OPBF/WBO ASPAC heavyweight champion)
Rookie Citation: Ken Shiro (WBC 108-pound titlist)
Fight of the Year: Unification title bout of WBA champ Ryoichi Taguchi and IBF ruler Milan Melindo (as for world title bouts); Takashi Miura versus Miguel Roman (as for non-world title bouts)
Female Boxer of the Year: Naoko Fujioka (WBA 112-pound champ)
Female Fight of the Year: Encounter of WBC champs between 102-pound queen Momo Koseki and 105-pound titlist Yuko Kuroki
Hundreds of people were in attendance for the award ceremony at the Tokyo Dome Hotel.