|Quarter-finals to kick-off three separate fight nights with huge $100,000 KO prize pot per event up for grabs
10-round fights, before 12-rounds in the latter stages, featuring domestic and international fighters
Overall winning fighter will pocket a whopping $1million in life-changing tournament with the action live on DAZN (except Asia) and Abema in Japan
|TOKYO, JAPAN – Wednesday, January 31 – Bigger, better and greater than ever before. Prizefighter is back and heading to Japan as a new, re-imagined world-class international tournament.
In partnership with Rakuten Ticket and Never Say Never (NSN), Matchroom today confirmed at a press conference in Tokyo that a blockbuster $1million battle will begin at the Nagoya Congress Center, Nagoya, on March 31 – live on Abema in Japan and DAZN worldwide (excluding Asia).
Last September, Rakuten Ticket, Inc. and NSN reached a landmark agreement with Matchroom, the world’s leading boxing promoter, to host a series of events in Japan to promote the growth of the sport.
The three companies have committed to staging three major, world-class events per year over the next three years, featuring some of the best domestic and international fighters.
And it all kicks off on March 31, with the first of three separate fight nights to determine the 2024 Prizefighter king in the Middleweight division.
The opening event in the tournament will witness four bouts over 10 rounds – with a bumper $100k knockout bonus on offer, split between the fighters who successfully stop their opponent. As the tournament progresses, the latter bouts will be staged over 12-rounds.
The draw for the first night was made at the launch press conference today in Tokyo, with one quarter-final already determined as Japan’s all-action No.1 ranked Middleweight Riku Kunimoto (10-1, 4 KOs) defends his Japanese title against mandatory challenger Eiki Kani (8-3-3, 4 KOs) in the first quarter-final.
Wildcard British entry Mark Dickinson (6-0, 2 KOs) could await the winner in the last four, if the north-east native can stun France’s undefeated 2016 Olympian Anauel Ngamissengue (13-0, 8 KOs).
Ireland’s impressive Aaron McKenna (18-0, 9 KOs) will be out to establish his future world title challenger credentials with ’The Silencer’ signed up and looking to make a big noise in Japan. McKenna will face unbeaten, 23-year-old American-Puerto Rican Jeovanny Estela (14-0, 5 KOs).
The UK’s reigning WBA Inter-Continental Middleweight champion Kieron Conway (20-3-1, 5 KOs) will be looking to stake his claim for success and faces a tough opponent in China’s Ainiwaer Yilixiati (19-1, 14 KOs) who completes a stellar line-up.
“This is a fantastic way to start our landmark three-year deal in Japan,” said Matchroom Boxing CEO Frank Smith.
“Prizefighter was immensely popular with Boxing fans in years gone by – and they will love this new inception of the $1million series.
“With a $100k knockout prize pot per event, the fighters will be going all out. It promises to be a thrilling spectacle, filled with tough 50-50 fights, that will capture attention around the world.“
“We are truly excited to be a part of this historic moment, bringing world-class boxing to Japan in collaboration with Matchroom and NSN,” said Rakuten Ticket, Inc. President Joe Umemot. “This partnership reflects Rakuten’s commitment to diversifying the sporting landscape in the country. The $1 million Prizefighter series, featuring top middleweight contenders, will undoubtedly captivate fans not only in Japan but globally.
“Our collaboration underscores Rakuten’s dedication to supporting and promoting diverse and thrilling sports events. Get ready for an unforgettable experience on March 31 as we witness boxing history being made at the Nagoya Congress Center.”
“This marks a groundbreaking moment as Matchroom introduces top-tier boxing to Japan for the first time,” said President and founder of NSN, Joel Borràs. “This one-of-a-kind event, featuring a $1million prize, will showcase the best Middleweights and captivate fans worldwide.
“We’re thrilled to bring this historic spectacle to Japan. Matchroom’s global influence in promoting boxing adds immense significance to this occasion. Don’t miss the chance to witness history in the making, as fighters secure their legacies with this unprecedented million-dollar prize.”
The original and popular Prizefighter series, staged between 2008 and 2015, acted as a launchpad to the elite stage for the likes of former winners Rocky Fielding, Gavin Rees, Terry Flanagan, Martin Murray, Lee Haskins, Jono Carroll, Mike Perez, Ovill McKenzie and Audley Harrison, who all competed at world title level following their respective successes.
Now a new crop of exciting talent takes the stage to fight it out for No.1 status in this reimagined format that will undoubtedly propel the winner towards the greatest prizes in the sport.