On Saturday night in Mexico fans will get the chance to see the little known Kazuki Hashimoto (11-4, 7) go for the biggest win of his career as he takes on former 3-weight world champion Jhonny Gonzalez (57-9, 48). The bout, widely considered a mismatch, sees Gonzalez beginning his pursuit of a Super Featherweight title and a potential show down with Takashi Miura.
On Friday the two men too part in their weigh in and both, thankfully, made the limit for the bout.
On the scales Hashimoto was 58.8KG's, around 129½lbs. That was the heaviest of his career, around 1½lbs heavier than he was in his last 3 bouts, which all ended with Hashimoto scoring quick victories.
Gonzalez on the other hand was bang on the limit, at 130lbs, or just shy of 59KG's. This was also his highest weight so far and sees him hitting the scales 3lbs heavier than his previous highest, which came against Jose Francisco Mendoza back in 2009. Notably it's 4lbs heavier than he was last time out, when he was stopped in 4 rounds by Gary Russell Jr in a very one sided bout that saw Gonzalez lose the WBC Featherweight title.
(Image courtesy of Alma Montiel)
This coming Sunday we see the start of a 4 man WBC tournament at 154lbs. For us the man of note involved in that competition is Filipino veteran Dennis Laurente (49-5, 30), who begins his tournament with a really tough bout against the heavy handed John Jackson (19-2, 15). The bout is a huge ask for the 38 year old, who enters the bout as the OPBF Light Middleweight champion, but it's got the potential to lead him to a huge financial reward if he was to win and over-come the once touted Jackson.
Sadly for Laurente he is, of course, a big betting under-dog and the British bookies have priced him at 13/2 to over-come the much younger and more explosive Jackson. As for Jackson he is best priced at an almost unbackable 1/11 to win the bout. For those interested in a draw that's widely available at 25/1.
It's worth noting that, at the time of writing, only the "To win" market is available. It's worth noting that were a "method of victory" market available there may actually have been some interesting odds with Laurente having never been stopped in his 44 fight career, though Jackson is a huge puncher and almost had Andy Lee out of there just a couple of fights back.
We've known for a while that Japanese fighter Kazuto Ioka (17-1, 10) was going to defend his WBA Flyweight title in September. Yesterday the WBA all but confirmed that a deal was in place for Ioka to defend against Argentinian Roberto Domingo Sosa (26-2-1, 14), though at the time we were still thinking that the bout was being arranged for September 20th.
Today however we have been very reliably informed that the date we had been told is wrong and that Ioka will actually return to the ring a week late on September 27th, with Sosa set as the opponent.
The information was released by someone related to a fighter on the card, who revealed that their fighter would be on the under-card of Ioka's next world title defense, whilst also stating their fighter would be in action n September 27th, essentially revealing the date of the Ioka bout prior to the official announcement, which set to come any day now.
If Ioka wins then he'll be instantly penciled in for a December 31st bout with another Argentinian fighter, Juan Carlos Reveco (35-2, 19). That will be a rematch of their contest from earlier this year which saw Ioka claim the title from Reveco in what was a really competitive and good fight. Reveco has agreed to allow Ioka an interim fight prior to that rematch, which will be this Sosa fight.
Whilst an official announcement from the Ioka hasn't yet been made it does seem very clear that the bout between Ioka and Sosa is now signed, sealed and sorted for the final Sunday of September.
At the moment full details regarding the card are, as you'd expect, scarce though from what we understand the card will feature Riku Kano (6-1-1, 4) and Ryo Miyazaki (23-1-3, 14) and will be aired on TBS in Japan.
This this week in a blog post from Japanese promotional outfit Taisei it was revealed that 17 year old prospect Riku Kano (6-1-1, 4) would be returning to action on September 27th at the Osaka Prefectural Gymnasiusm.
At the moment the opponent for Kano hasn't been named, with Taisei stating that announcement would come at another date, but the fact Kano is back in action is exciting news given that his team have stated their intentions, in the past, to fast track the youngster who has been eyeing the record for the youngest Japanese world champion.
For those who aren't aware the youngster made his debut in the Philippines aged 16, below the minimum age requirement of the JBC. For the first 7 bouts of his career Kano fought on the road in Thailand and the Philippines, where he claimed the WBA Asia Minimumweight crown. He has yet to defend that belt but has began to receive some real attention in Japan where some fight fans are predicting big things for the youngster.
From what we understand this bout will come on he under-card of a world title bout and be one of a number of notable bouts of the show. Hopefully a full announcement will be made short regarding the card, though our sources have indicated that the show will feature at least 2 other notable fights.
Earlier today we were informed that a Japanese show set for September 16th, will be televised, showcasing two Japanese national champions defending their titles.
The fights in questions are the Japanese Bantamweight title fight between Shohei Omori (14-0, 9) and Hirofumi Mukai (11-3-2, 1) and the Japanese Lightweight title fight between Kota Tokunaga (15-2, 10) and Yuhei Suzuki (16-4, 12). Both the bouts appear to be good tests for the champions both making the first defense of their titles.
Whilst the news that both bouts will be televised is genuinely great news it does come with some disappointing news. That is that the bouts will only be shown live on the obscure GAORA, which is an incredibly hard to access channel for those living outside of Japan/
Whilst GAORA will be airing the show live it's also been reported that MBS will be airing the bouts on tape delay, unfortunately however MBS aren't a national channel and will instead only be showing the fight over the local Kinki area, which includes Kyoto, where the champions are from, Osaka, Hyogo and Nara.
Whilst it's great news that the show will be aired it's a real shame that the bouts are unlikely to see the light of day outside of Japan. This means that fans who have started to follow Omori will not be able to see his first defense, unless MBS, hopefully, make the bout available online in the future.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
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