That fight was officially announced today and will see the aforementioned Maruki battle against former Japanese, OPBF and PABA Welterweight champion Akinori Watanabe (36-7, 30) [渡部あきのり].
For Maruki the bout will be his third shot at the tile, after having come up short in incredibly competitive contests against Shindo and Yuki Nonaka. He'll be hoping it's third time lucky, but will know that Watanabe is the biggest puncher he has faced, and poses a very different task to both Shindo and Nonaka, who are both more boxers than punchers, unlike Watanabe who is a pouncher. At just 27 he will likely get another shot if he loses here, but will almost certainly not want to wait any longer to claim the first title of his career.
As for Watanabe this bout will be his first Japanese title fight in over 6 years, following his 2012 win over Kazukaze Yamakawa. Since that win hee has had mixed fortunes, and has gone 3-3 in his last 6, including losses to Toshio Arikawa, Takeshi Inoue and Magomed Kurbanov. Despite those losses he did defeat former OPBF Light Middleweight champion Ratchasai Sithsaithoing last time out.
The bout between the two men will take place on August 24th at the Korakuen Hall on a Dangan card, so will be expected to be featured on Boxingraise. At the time of writing there is no details of any under-card bouts, though they will be revealed in the coming weeks.