Earlier today we reported that Japanese Heavyweight Kyotaro Fujimoto (20-1, 12) [藤本京太郎] would be back in the ring on October 21st as he takes on Suthat Kalalek (13-10, 12) in a rematch of their 2018 clash. That bout won't be the main event of the card however, instead the main event of the show, Slugfest 11, will be WBO Asia Pacific Flyweight title clash, between defending champion Yusuke Sakashita (18-8-3, 13) [阪下優友] and Naoki Mochizuki (16-4, 8) [望月直樹], in what will be a rematch of their December 2016 clash.
The bout will be Sakashita's first defense of the title, which he won earlier this year when he stopped former world title challenger Masahiro Sakamoto.
The 28 year old Sakashita is probably best known for his 2014 loss to Suguru Muranaka for the Japanese Flyweight title. Following that bout he went 2-3 though has now rebuilt well with a 4-0-1 record in his last 5 bouts, including a draw with Takuya Kogawa and stoppage wins over Keisuke Nakayama and Masahiro Sakamoto. Although no world beater he is in good form and his last 3 performances have been among his best.
Interestingly the last man to Sakashita was Mochizuki, who beat him at the end of 2016 with a clear unanimous decision. Since that win he has gone 5-3, with losses to Keisuke Nakayama, Komgrich Nantapech and Junto Nakatani, being stopped by Nakatani in a Japanese title bout earlier this year. Despite the loss to Nakatani he does have some momentum coming into this bout thanks to a June win over Samartlek Kokietgym.
Kyotaro's bout isn't even the chief support bout of the card, instead that's a Japanese Light Welterweight title eliminator between Cristiano Aoqui (14-7-2, 10) [アオキ クリスチャーノ] and Daishi Nagata (13-22-1, 5) [永田大士], in what is a really good match up and could end up being a bit of an instant classic. Aoqui is an aggressive, heavy handed and swift fighter and whilst Nagata isn't as quick or sharp he's tough, aggressive and his bout against Rikki Naito showed how much fun he can be to watch.
One other bout announced for this card will see Riku Nagahama (10-2-1, 4) [長濱 陸] battling against Fumisuke Kimura (9-4-1, 6) [木村文祐] in an interesting 8 round contest.
Earlier today Japanese promoter Kadoebi announced their October 21st show, Slugfest 11. Among the announcements of that card was the long awaited ring return of Japanese Heavyweight Kyotaro Fujimoto (20-1, 12) [藤本京太郎], who hasn't fought since last September when he shared the ring with Suthat Kalalek (13-10, 12), and scored a 6th round win.
Sadly there had been little news about Kyotaro since that win, with the only major story being him vacating the OPBF and Japanese Heavyweight titles, along with some training in the US.
Now it's been announced that Kyotaro will actually be on the October Slugfest show in a rematch with Kalalek, ending his hiatus against a man who didn't look like he belonged in the ring with him a year ago.
Since their first bout the Thai has also been mostly inactive, with his only fight since being a 3rd round win over fellow Thai Kritsadaporn Thongthub.
Whilst Kyotaro has vacated 2 titles he is still the WBO Asia Pacific champion, that title will not be on the line here though, with the bout being set as an 8 round none title bout.
Whilst it is good to see Kyotaro back in the ring we don't really see much point in this bout, other than to allowed the Japanese fighter to shake some ring rust before a bigger bout at the end of the year. Sadly it feels like a bigger bout has been just around the corner for him for quite a while and do wonder if he will ever manage to secure a world title shot, and become the first Japanese Heavyweight world title challenger, as some had once hoped.
Earlier today it was revealed that Japanese Heavyweight Kyotaro Fujimoto (20-1, 12) [藤本京太郎] had vacated both the OPBF and Japanese Heavyweight titles, going from a unified triple champion to just a single champion, as he kept a hold of the WBO Asia Pacific crown.
At the moment the decision has been explained by Kyotaro now focusing on trying to get a world title fight and on defending the WBO regional crown that he still holds, though it does seem a very weird decision, especially given he's been out of the ring so long and there hasn't been much pressure on him to defend either title.
The Kadoebi man last defended the OPBF title last September, when he also defended the WBO Asia PAcific belt against Kajornsak Saikaew Boxing Camp, aka Suthat Kalalek, whilst the Japanese title hasn't been defended in well over 4 years, with April 2015's bout against Nobuhiro Ishida being his last defense of the belt.
Sadly we still don't actually know when Kyotaro will be back in action, though with this decision it would seem like plans for his next bout are under-way and hopefully an opponent and date will be announced in the coming weeks.
Tomorrow fight fans at the Korakuen Hall will see see world ranked Heavyweight Kyotaro Fujimoto (19-1, 11) [藤本京太郎] defending his WBO Asia Pacific and OPBF Heavyweight titles against Thai visitor Suthat Kalalek (12-9, 11), who has previously fought for the OPBF Super Middleweight title.
Today the two men took part in their weigh in, and unsurprisingly, Kyotaro was the heavier man and the fighter with significant natural size advantages over the Thai. In fact it very much looked like Kyotaro was several divisions bigger than Suthat, also known as Kajornsak Sithsaithong. Not something we often say about Kyotaro.
On the scales Kyotaro was 233.25lbs, the heaviest he's been since his first bout with Nobuhiro Ishida back in April 2014. The Thai on the other hand 203.7lbs, which is actually a career heaviest, and a huge increase from his December 2012 weight against Phonphisan Sor Saithong when he came in at 159lbs.
Related - Kyotaro defends unified Heavyweight crowns against Thai foe!
(Image courtesy of Hochi.jp)
Earlier today Japanese fight fans at the Korakuen Hall saw OPBF and WBO Asia Pacific unified Heavyweight champion Kyotaro Fujimoto (19-1, 11) [藤本 京太郎] successfully retain his titles and stop Australian challenger Aaron Russell (11-5, 4) in what was a rather one sided contest.
The challenger looked determined and confident to begin with, as he tried to fight behind his jab and straight right hand. Despite that confidence it was Fujimoto who took the opening round with his power, speed and variety out shining the simple work of the challenger. The work rateof Fujimoto picked up round by round and after 4 rounds, when the score cards were announced, he was leading 40-36 on all 3 cards.
Fujimoto began to up his output again in the middle rounds, and forced Russell on on to the back foot more and morem forcing him to shell up more. With his pounches flowing at the start of round 7 Kyotaro forced Russell's corner to throw in the towel and save their man from taking further punishment.
After the bout Fujimoto spoke about returing to the US for more sparring, as he'd had before this bout, whilst his manager spoke about the big plans they have, which involve chasing the WBA regular Heavyweight title, and facing the winner of the Manuel Charr Vs Fres Oquendo bout.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
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