For Kimura this will be the third defense of the title he won last year, courtesy of a narrow win over Kenichi Horikawa, and a win here could well be his last defense before getting a world title fight later in the year. On the scales he was 100g inside the weight limit of 48.9KG's (112lbs) and whilst he was comfortable at the weight it's clear he's in great shape.
As for Yamaguchi this will be his second shot at a Japanese title following a close loss in 2011 to Masayuki Kuroda. On the scales he was bang on the limit and whilst he looked in great shape it's likely he did struggle a bit to make the weight as he has been fighting as high as Flyweight recently and was a late replacement for the injured Shin Ono.
The bout is a great opportunity for Yamaguchi and he has a lot to gain from a win. Not only would he claim the title but likely world rankings. As for Kimura it's a must win fight if he's to continue his dreams of getting a world title bout later this year.
Yu Kimura looks for defence #3 as he takes on Hayato Yamaguchi
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)