Earlier this month Japanese Flyweight champion Masayuki Kuroda (30-7-3, 16) [黒田 雅之] left Japan for Thailand, to take part in a training camp alongside WBO Flyweight champion Sho Kimura (17-1-2, 10) [木村翔], who is preparing for mandatory challenger Kosei Tanaka (11-0, 7) [田中恒成] ahead of their September bout.
It's now been revealed that Kuroda isn't just in Thailand to help Kimura prepare but to also prepare himself ahead of a world title eliminator in Thailand in November.
Earlier this week Kuroda's promoter, Shosei Nitta of the Nitta gym in Kawasaki, revealed that Kuroda would be facing off with former world title challenger Eaktwan BTU Ruaviking (24-5, 15) [ตะวัน BTU เรือไวกิ้ง], aka Komgrich Nantapetch on November 21st in an IBF Flyweight title eliminator.
For the Japanese fighter, who is a former WBA title challenger and a 2-weight national champion, the bout opens the door to him potentially getting a world title fight in 2019. If he can over-come the Thai it would be his 7th straight win, following notable recent victories over Takuya Kogawa, Katsunori Nagamine and Akinori Hoshino, and see him to world level for the first since a February 2013 loss to Juan Carlos Reveco. Interestingly this will only be Kuroda's second bout outside of Japan, his first since a 2015 loss to Mario Andrade in Mexico and it will likely see him vacating the Japanese Flyweight title, leaving it open for Junto Nakatani (16-0, 12) [中谷 潤人] to fight for the belt before the end of 2018.
For the Thai, who lost in an IBF title fight in 2017 to Donnie Nietes then lost in an eliminator to the aforementioned Reveco, the bout would see him throwing his hat straight back into the IBF title mix. Interestingly since losing to Reveco Eaktwan has only scored a couple of low key wins, but the IBF have put a lot of weight into his IBF Pan Pacific title win against Naoki Mochizuki back in February. He has good experience at this level and is, notably, 23-0 when fighting in Thailand, where this bout will be staged
The winner of this will become the leading challenger to the newly crowned IBF world champion Moruti Mthalane, and should see them securing a shot before the end of next year.
(Image courtesy of Shosei Nitta's blog)
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