Earlier today reliable Korean sources informed us that OPBF Light Welterweight champion Rikki Naito (23-2, 7) [内藤 律樹] will be heading to Korea to make his next defense of the regional title.
The second generation Japanese fighter had apparently been in talks to make his UK debut earlier in the year, but plans have changed and instead Naito is apparently pencilled in to defend his title against Gyu Beon Jeon (9-3-1, 4) [전규범] on August 15th in Korea, though a venue hasn't yet been secured for the bout.
For Naito the bout would be his third defense of the Korean title and see him looking to build on exciting wins over Jhertiz Chavez and Daishi Nagata. It would also be his first bout out of Japan, and potentially his first bout since last October, when he narrowly beat Nagata in a brilliant 12 round contest. Despite the inactivity and the fact he would be travelling for this one, he will still be strongly favoured over the Korean local who hasn't fought close to the level of Naito.
The 26 year old Jeon is currently riding a 5 fight winning run, but the best of those wins is a victory over domestic foe Dong Hee Kim. This is a massive step up for him, but one he and his team appear confident in making.
At the moment this news is doing the rounds in Korea, with many reporting the deal is signed and sealed, and we suspect an official announcement will be made in a few weeks time, after a venue has been secured for the bout.
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