It's fair to say that 2018 promises a lot from the champion, but it's not all about him, and the IBF recently sent a letter to the teams of two of their highest ranked fighters to negotiate an eliminator for the #1 place, and put themselves in the mandatory position to face Kyoguchi later in the year.
The two fighters that this relates to are former chamoion Argumedo and rising Filipino youngster Mark Anthony Barriga (8-0, 1), who are both referred to as the "2 highest ranked available contenders" in the division.
At the time of writing Barriga is ranked #4 by the IBF and Argumedo #7. With places #1 and #2 both being vacant, #3 is Ryuji Hara (23-2, 14) [原隆二] who is set to get a WBO world title fight at Light Flyweight, #5 is former Japanese Minimumweight champion Reiya Konishi (15-0, 5) [小西伶弥] who has stated his intent is to move up in weight and #6 is OPBF champion Tsubasa Koura (11-0, 8) [小浦 翼]. Interestigly whilst plans for Hara and Konishi have been spoken about it's interesting that Koura is regarded as "unavailable", suggesting that he has something in the pipe line, a potential world title fight of his own maybe?
For Barriga the bout is a huge step up. The 24 year old was a former amateur stand out for the Philippines before turning professional in summer 2016. Since then he has been active, fighting 5 times last year alone, and has scored a notable win over Samartlek Kokietgym. Although a talented boxer he has had questions over his power, with only a single stoppage so far, but he has looked like a genuine talent and has the potential to go far, if he can use his skills to the best.
As for Argumedo he's more of a punching rock. He's a huge fighter at the weight who usually comes forward, applies pressure and although quite basic is frighteningly strong, tough and physically imposing, as he showed against the likes of Katsunari Takayama [高山 勝成] who he beat for the IBF title back in 2015.
At the moment no news has broke about how negotiations are going, but the two teams have got until January 19th to agree to terms If either fighter refuses they will be dropped to outside of the top 10, per IBF rules, and likely miss out on a potential bout with the Japanese champion.