More news today from Japan’s Shootboxing organization. The normally quiet company has been making a lot of noise in the past few weeks as they get things in place for their upcoming 2011 season. We already heard the news that their 5 main shows were scheduled (for Feb. 19, Apr. 23, Jun. 5, Sep. 10, and Nov. 11), that we could expect to see both 2010 S-Cup finalists Buakaw Por. Pramuk and Toby Imada return this year, and that the Feb. 19 show would feature an exciting rematch between one of the top Shootboxing Japanese stars Hiroki Shishido and the fun Thai brawler Bovy Sor. Udomson. Now we have confirmation on some of their other 2011 plans.
To start, this year will feature the 3rd annual Girls S-Cup, scheduled for some time in August. No other details yet, but you can bet two time S-Cup champion RENA will be back to defend her crown. RENA is one of the hottest stars in the Japanese fight game right now, and her recent appearance on TV drew huge ratings. She’s a great asset for Shootboxing, and it’s a smart move for them to continue putting the spotlight on her at the Girls S-Cup. Hopefully this year we will also see more development of other women in this division, such as Japanese fighter Hisae Watanabe, V Hajime, and Ai Takahashi. I’m also hoping to see American Kate Martinez back, as she had a strong performance at last year’s event.
Also announced is the return of the Young Caesar’s Cup. The Cup is Shootboxing’s version of K-1 Koshien, giving young fighters a chance to gain valuable experience and make their way into the main Shootboxing ranks. And just like Koshien, last year saw the Young Caesar’s Cup pay great dividends. 2010 Cup champion Ryuya Kusakabe is one of Japan’s top young prospects at 55kg. Since winning the Cup, he has claimed the Shootboxing 55kg title, and is the front runner to win Krush’s 55kg championship tournament. With kickboxing in Japan looking for the next wave of talent, events like K-1 Koshien and the Young Caesar’s Cup are vital to ensure the sport’s future. Young Caesar’s Cup events will take place on January 30, March 13, and a July date TBD.
One event that will not take place this year is their big S-Cup tournament. That show happens every other year, so will be back in 2012.
Finally, Shootboxing is involved with an event called the MACS Amateur Championship taking place in February, and will be staging a small event in May.
This is all great news for fans of the unique action only Shootboxing can bring. I’m thrilled we have so much to say about this promotion, and look forward to their 2011.