Back in November reports started to circulate that WBO Light Middleweight champion Jaime Munguia (31-0, 26) would be making his next world title defense against unbeaten Japanese fighter Takeshi Inoue (13-0-1, 7) [井上 岳志] in January.
Today those reports were confirmed with Inoue, and his team at World Sports Boxing , holding a press conference to announce the bout.
The fight will take place on January 26th in Texas and will see Inoue fighting outside of Asia for the first time, and only his second bout outside of Japan.
Originally the plan had been for Inoue to face Julian Williams in an IBF final eliminator, but the bout kept failing to materialise due to one issue or another. As a result Inoue's attention turned to the WBO champion. Sadly Inoue hasn't fought since April, when he beat Yuki Nonaka, though he has been busy training since during that time and seems to feel like he has improved since he was last in the ring.
As for the champion this will be his third defense, and and amazing his 6th bout in 12 months, with the Mexican really coming into his own in 2018. At 22 years old he is one of the best young fighters in the sport and is expected to be one of the next faces of Mexican boxing.
As previously suggested this bout is likely to be on a card that also features WBA "regular" Featherweight champion Jesus M Rojas (26-2-2-1, 19) defending his title against Chinese challenger Can Xu (15-2, 2) [徐灿] in a card that has major Asian interest.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
According to ESPN's excellent Salvador Rodríguez a deal between WBO Light Middleweight champion Jaime Munguia (31-0, 26) and unbeaten Japanese fighter Takeshi Inoue (13-0-1, 7) [井上 岳志] is done, with the final think to sort being a venue.
In an article on espn.com.mx the bout is set to take place on January 26th in either Texas or California, and that Munguia has been preparing for Inoue for some time, with the fighter suggesting he is familiar with Inoue's style and knows that Japanese fighters give their all.
The bout would be Munguia's 3rd defense of the title, which he took from Sadam Ali earlier this year, and he would be looking to make a mandatory against Dennis Hogan later in the year. For Inoue the bout would be his first at world level, and end what has been a thoroughly frustrating year for the fighter and his team, who seemed to have been locked in a continual waiting game for an IBF eliminator against Julian Williams (25-1-1-1, 15). Sadly though for Inoue all the moment he went into 2018 with, following an outstanding 2017, has now been lost. On the other hand Munguia has really built up his reputation this year, going 5-0 (4) and announcing on the world stage.
Although the article suggests Texas or California, the suggestion from other sources is that it's going to be a lock for Texas as part of a card that will also feature the previously reported bout between WBA "regular" Featherweight champion Jesus M Rojas (26-2-2-1, 19) and Chinese challenger Can Xu (15-2, 2) [徐灿]. If that's right then we'd be having a double header, with Asian interest, in the US.
Fore those wanting to read the ESPN story it's here, in Spanish.
Can Xu to fight for WBA "regular" title in January!
Earlier today we were informed, from multiple sources, that contracts have been signed for Chinese fighter Can Xu (15-2, 2) [徐灿] to face Jesus M Rojas (26-2-2-1, 19) for the WBA "regular" Featherweight title.
The 24 year old Chinese fighter, who made his US debut this past September, will be taking on his most notable opponent by far, and will be looking to extend his current 12 fight winning run, along with claiming his first world title.
Rojas on the other hand will be looking to bounce back from a loss to Joseph "Jo Jo" Diaz, who despite beating Rojas didn't claim the WBA title due to failing to make weight for their August bout. The loss to Diaz was Rojas' first defeat since December 2008, when he lost to veteran Jose Angel Beranza in Las Vegas. Since then he has avenged that loss and scored notable wins over Abraham Lopez and Claudio Marrero.
According to the sources the bout will take place on January 26th in Texas and will be part of a Golden Boy promoted and the contract for the bout was signed on November 7th, giving both fighters plenty of time to prepare for what is a huge bout, especially for Xu and for Chinese boxing. A win for Xu would see him become the first Chinese fighter above 112lbs to win a world title, even if it is just the "regular" version, following in the footsteps of Xiong Zhao Zong and Zou Shiming, who have claimed world titles at Minimumweight and Flyweight respectively.
On Thursday night in the US fight fans had the chance to see Can Xu (15-2, 2) [徐灿] make his US debut and take part in a really fun bout against Enrique Bernache (24-11, 12). Despite being exciting it was surprisingly competitive, with Bernache come close to upsetting the Chinese fighter in their 8 round contest.
The fight was a fantastic back and forth through the 8 rounds with Xu's extra bit of class just being the difference.
At the end of the bout Xu had done enough to take the split decision, with scores of 78-74 and 77-75 in his favour, against a dissenting judge who had Bernache winning 77-75. It was a bout that Xu deserved to win, just, but perhaps suggested he wasn't ready for a world title fight, just yet.
Originally the plan seemed to be that this would be one final stepping stone for Xu before fighting for a world title, but it now appears like his team will back off, just a little, and get him some more experience before a fight at the top level in 2019.
(Image courtesy of Sohu)
We are just a few hours away from seeing Can Xu (14-2, 2) [徐灿] make his US debut, in a bout against Mexican foe Enrique Bernache (24-10, 12). The bout hasn't had much interest from bookies though Polish betting website STS do have the bout, and have strongly favoured the Chinese fighter.
The in form Xu has been priced at 1.05, which is 1/20 using fractional odds and -2000 using the American system.
Bernache on the other hand is available at 6.25, which is 21/4 in the UK system and +525 in the US one.
Sadly the only market is the "To Win" one and sadly neither the US or UK bookies are taking bets on the contest.
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