Yesterday we saw WBC Light Flyweight champion Kenshiro (14-0, 78) [拳四朗] put on a sensational performance as he stopped former IBF champion Milan Melindo to retain his WBC title, and stop the Filipino. Today he, along with his father and promoter Hisashi Teraji, too part in a press conference to talk about the contest and his future plans.
The youngster stated that it was easy to see Melindo's big right hand, which allowed him to avoid it, and that he did everything based on the gameplan, which involved upping the pace from round 3 or 4, something we actually saw happen.
His father suggested that they knew Melindo was tough but that he could be stopped on cuts, and that seemed to be part of their focus. Cutting Melindo and then banging away with power shots on the area of the cut around the left eye of Melindo.
It seemed clear that both Kenshiro and his father knew they were a secondary story of the day and jokingly suggested that the only way to take headlines from Naoya Inoue, who stopped Juan Carlos Payano in 70 seconds, would be to finish and opponent in around 10 seconds.
On the subject of Inoue it should be noted that Kenshiro and Inoue probably won't be on the same card next time out. Inoue is expected to be inactive until around March, when he will have his WBSS semi-final bout, whilst Kenshiro suggested he will be in action before the year is over, likely suggesting that he will be on a year ending Fuji card. Given his level of recent competition it's clear that he will want another world class fighter and there are plenty of those in the WBC rankings right now.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
Earlier today in Tokyo the press were able to attend a major press conference ahead of Sunday's big show in Yokohama.
The press conference featured the 6 fighters from the 3 world title bouts as well as promoters Kalle Sauerland and Hideyuki Ohashi, who have worked together to get this show in Japan and raise the profile of the card to huge levels.
At the press conference Sauerland spoked excitedly about the two WBSS bouts on the card. He suggested that the "power" of WBA "regular" Bantamweight champion Naoya Inoue (16-0, 14) [井上 尚弥] was being matched against the "experience" of Juan Carlos Payano (20-1, 9) and that the WBA Light Welterweight title bout between Kiryl Relikh (22-2, 19) and hard hitting challenger Eduard Troyanovsky (27-1, 24) was going to be "exciting".
Inoue stated that he was in the best condition of his career whilst Payano suggested that he was going to claim the Muhammad Ali Trophy, the prize for winning the WBSS. Relikh talked about taking the WBSS one bout at a time whilst Troyanovsky stated that he would be looking to show off his power.
The third title bout on Sunday's show will see WBC Light Flyweight champion Kenshiro (13-0, 7) [拳四朗] defending his title against former IBF champion Milan Melindo (37-3, 13). Sauerland seemed to suggest that Light Flyweight may be considered for a future season of the WBSS, something we'd love to see in the future.
The Monster begins WBSS campaign, faces Payano!
WBC belt on the line as Kenshiro and Melindo battle on Sunday!
Relikh and Troyanovsky kick off WBSS
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
This coming weekend WBC Light Flyweight title champion Kenshiro (13-0, 7) [拳四朗] will defend his title against former IBF champion Milan Melindo (37-3, 13).
Today the two men had measurements take as part of their medical.
Looking at the two men it would be easy to say that Kenshiro is the bigger man. To the naked eye he certainly looks bigger, and is 7cm taller. Interestingly however that's the only area that the Japanese fighter is the bigger man.
Melindo has a thicker chest, thicker neck and is actually the man with the longer reach. Whilst the actual advantages in Melindo's favour are small, they are still notable and seem to show that the challenger is naturally the thicker set man. Melindo is also the more experienced man with more than 3 times the amount of rounds, and fights, than the Japanese champion.
Related-WBC belt on the line as Kenshiro and Melindo battle on Sunday!
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Earlier today the WBC announced a number of world title bouts and world title eliminators. On paper one of the most interesting match ups was a WBC Light Flyweight world title eliminator between former IBF Minimumweight world champion Hiroto Kyoguchi (11-0, 8) [京口 紘人] and former 2-time world title challenger Jonathan Taconing (28-3-1, 22). The winner of this would be getting a shot at the winner of this weekend's match up between Kenshiro (13-0, 7) [拳四朗] and Milan Melindo (37-3, 13).
Whilst a a bout between Taconing and Kyoguchi would be mouth watering, especially if it leads to the winner facing the winner of Kenshiro's bout with Melindo. Sadly however it does seem a bout with some doubt as Kyoguchi is expected to chase any other title, whether it's the WBO belt held by Angel Acosta or the IBF title, which will be contested later this month between Felix Alvarado and Randy Petalcorin.
There could, potentially, be TV issues for a bout between Kyoguchi and Kenshiro which is likely to turn Kyoguchi off this bout. However a win for Melindo this weekend would remove that potential TV conflict and may actually lead to Kyoguchi following through with the WBC's order and take on Taconing later in the year.
Notably if Kyoguchi does, as expected, look else where if Kenshiro wins on Sunday if could lead to Taconing facing either Tetsuya Hisada (32-9-2, 19) [久田 哲也] or Edward Heno (13-0-5, 5)
It's going to be a very interesting situation here and how it develops could really shape the division for the coming 12-18 months.
Next Sunday fight fans in Yokohama get a world title triple header.
For Japanese fans the key bouts on the card are the WBA "regular" Bantamweight title bout between Naoya Inoue (16-0, 14) [井上 尚弥] and Juan Carlos Payano (20-1, 9), which kicks off the Bantamweight WBSS and the WBC Light Flyweight title bout between Kenshiro (13-0, 7) [拳四朗] and former IBF champion Milan Melindo (37-3, 13).
The third title bout on that card, a bout that won't be televised by Fuji TV, will be a WBA Light Welterweight title bout between exciting champion Kiryl Relikh (22-2, 19) and hard hitting challenger Eduard Troyanovsky (27-1, 24). This, like the Inoue bout, is a WBSS contest and will see the 140lb version of the tournament get off with a bang.
Today, ahead of that bout, Relikh took part in a public work out at the Teiken Gym.
Relikh has been in Japan since late last week, in what is his first visit to the country, and despite being quiet there was clearly a sense of confidence with the Belorussian. He admitted that Troyanovsky might have more experience but he's the champion and suggested that he would be going for a KO against the Russian.
As for the work out it was a relatively basic one, with some shadow boxing, some mitt work and some work on the heavy bag. He didn't show too much in the work out, but did look sharp, powerful and like a man who hard been working hard to impress when he gets back in the ring.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
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