Earlier this week we reported that Kyotaro Fujimoto's (17-1, 9) [藤本 京太郎] November 4th bout, which would see him defending his OPBF and WBO Asia Pacific Heavyweight titles against Australian Randall Rayment (8-3, 3), was at risk of being cancelled, due to possibility of Fujimoto facing WBO Heavyweight champion Joseph Parker (24-0, 18) in December.
According to sources today the bout between Fujimoto and Rayment is now not going to be cancelled. Instead the bout with Rayment will be regarded as part of Kyotaro's preparations, despite only taking place only 8 weeks apart, if a deal with Parker can be made.
The talk out of the Japanese press this morning, Thursday in Tokyo, is that talks representatives from both Duco, who represent the current world champion, and Kadoebi Houseki, who manage Fujimoto, is that talks are beggining, with the key points of issue at the moment being the finances.
The bout si expected to gain a lot of attention in Japan, with Kadoebi said to be massively interested in the promotional rights of the contest, which is expected to take place on December 31st in Japan. It's thought that the bout would feature on TBS's year ending "Kyoguken" show, and would garner a multi-million viewer audience. That's helped in part due to the intrigue and interest in a Japanese fighter finally fighting for a Heavyweight world title, for the first time in history.
The two men have been linked to fighting in the past, with talk of the two men fighting dating back to late 2014. It now seems like the bout has been given enough time to build to the point where it's going to be at it's most significant, and leaving it any longer will potentially see one of the two men suffer a loss that takes the chine off the contest.
According to reports in the Japanese press both fighters are enthusiastic about the contest taking place, and it's obvious that bout is something both teams are now actively pursuing, and looking to get sorted. Even if Kyotaro does fight in the interim.
(Image courtesy of daily.co.jp
In November we're expecting to see Kyotaro Fujimoto (17-1, 9) [藤本 京太郎] defending his OPBF and WBO Asia Pacific Heavyweight titles, as he battles against Australian Randall Rayment (8-3, 3). The story emerging from the international press however is that that bout maybe cancelled, for Fujimoto to fight for world honours instead.
The story is that Fujimoto is in the running to be next for WBO Heavyweight champion Joseph Parker (24-0, 18), potentially for the end of this year.
This past weekend Parker defended his title, beating Hughie Fury in the UK by Majority Decision, and after the bout Parkers camp, mentioned that the champion would be next fighting in either Japan or the US.
The story has been strengthened by Kyotaro's team stating that talks between the two teams have been in the works, and that there had been talk in the past about the two men facing off. There are still hurdles to that bout, including the finances, but from what we understand talks will begin shortly, and if a deal can be arranged for December, potentially December 31st, then Kyotaro's bout with Rayment will be cancelled to have Kyotaro face Parket instead.
It seems like if a deal cannot be struck quickly then the bout will take place in 2018, with Kyotaro's bout against Rayment going ahead and Parker fighting in December in America.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
Earlier today Japanese fight fans at the Korakuen Hall saw OPBF Heavyweight champion Kyotaro Fujimoto (17-1, 9) [藤本 京太郎] record his first defense of the title as he over-came Herman Ene Purcell (12-6, 6), who was saved by his corner.
Early on Purcell seemed to carry some genuine threat. He was the shoter, slower man, but looked the more imposing and powerful, and it was clear that Fujimoto didn't want to get into a slug fest with the challenger. Instead of standing toe-to-toe with the challenger the champuion used his feet, and tried to control the distance. It was a well thought out game plan, but a negative one and two of the judges were some what unimpressed, having the bout scored 38-38 after 4 rounds, whilst the third judge had Kyotaro in a lead 39-37.
Purcell put a lot of effort in to round 5, but the champion saw off the storm, and then began to really take over the bout, using his superior stamina and speed. Those traits allowed Kyotaro to establish a lead on all 3 cards when the scores were announced after 8 rounds, leading 78-74 and 77-75, twice.
In round 9 Purcell began to look a forlorn and exhausted fighter with his corner throwing in the towel around half way into the round, giving Fujimoto his biggest and most significant stoppage win to date.
Although the focus was in the OPBF title the bout was also for the WBO Asia Pacific title, with Kyotaro claiming the title to become a triple-crown winner and extend his legacy as the most successful Japanese Heavyweight of all time. Despite having 3 titles he, and his team, have made it clear they want more.
After today's win Kyotaro's team announced that they would be pursuing a boyut with WBO Heavyweight champion Joseph Parker, who recently made his first defense of the title. It's clear that the Japanese fighter would be the massive under-dog, but the bout does make sense and would be an easy sell following the bout being rumoured several times over the last few years.
For Kyotaro just fighting for a world title would be another slice of history, as he's be the first native Japanese Heavyweight to fight for a world title, but with his growing belief he will be looking to etch his name as a world class heavyweight.
For fans interesting in watching Kyotaro's bout with Purcell it is now featured on Boxingraise with the subscribers given the chance to watch the bout, along with the full show, on demand.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Tomorrow fight fans at the Korakuen Hall will see OPBF Heavyweight champion Kyotaro Fujimoto (16-1, 8) [藤本 京太郎] defending his title against the powerfully built Herman Ene Purcell (12-5, 6), in a bout which will also see the winner claim the WBO Asia Pacific title.
Today, ahead of their bout, the two men took part in their weigh in.
On the scales Fujimoto, the taller man by abouyt 4", was the lighter man coming in at around 228.4lbs. The weight is around his typical weigh in weight, which ranges from 223lbs to 233lbs and he looked in decent shape, even if he wasn't ripped to the gills. He made it clear that he's seeing this bout as his chance to move towards a WBO world title fight against Joseph Parker.
As for Purcell's weight, that was about 257.5lbs, significantly heavier than the Japanese fighter. He was quiet at the weigh in but seemed confident in his power. Amazingly his arms were so thick that the sphygmomanometer, the machine used to measure blood pressure, struggled to fit around his arm properly.
Kyotaro looks for first defense of Oriental crown!
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
We've known for a while that OPBF Heavyweight champion Kyotaro Fujimoto (16-1, 8) [藤本 京太郎] would be defending his title against #1 contender Herman Ene Purcell (12-5, 6) on May 8th at the Korakuen Hall, with the bout serving as Kyotaro's first defense.
In the early morning news in Japan on Wednesday it was revealed that that not only would the OPBF title be on the line bu so to would be the WBO Asia Pacific Heavyweight, making the bout more historic and more significant than had it just been for the OPBF title.
A win for Purcell would make him a double champion, and help open up all sorts of notable fights as well as move him into the world rankings, taking the rankings that Kyotaro has. That however won't be the plan of Kadoebi, who certainly see the addittion of the WBO regional title as more of a bonus for their man, who they have huge belief in.
If Kyotaro wins it further defines his place in history, and makes him a triple crown winner as he would add the WBO Asia Pacific title to the OPBF and Japanese titles that he currently holds. It would see him becoming the first Japanese fighter to claim the WBO Asia Pacific Heavyweight title, the first at any weight to unify the three crowns and potentilly helps push him towards a WBO world title fight, against Joseph Parker.
The bout is certainly one that had interesting in it anyway, but the addittion of the extra belt certainly addsa little bit extra, especially due to the boost it will give the winner with the WBO, and the potential world title fight down the line.
Kyotaro looks for first defense of Oriental crown!
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