In just over 2 weeks we'll see the highly anticipated WBO Flyweight world title match up between defending champion Sho Kimura (17-1-2, 10) [木村翔] mandatory challenger Kosei Tanaka (11-0, 7) [田中恒成].
For the last 2 weeks Kimura has been taking part in a Thai training camp, doing 4 minute rounds and working incredibly hard on improving his stamina. He was not only sparring with top Thai talent but also Japanese Flyweight champion Masayuki Kuroda (30-7-3, 16) [黒田 雅之] .
Today the world champion returned to Japan, ending the training camp in Thailand, and he has no injuries despite a lot of intensive and hard sparring.
Despite ending his Thai camp the fighter has certainly not finished his preparation for Tanaka and stated that he would be back in the gym to focus on sparring and weight loss. It seems clear the the rest of his training will see him further working on developing the game plan to defeat Tanaka, with his stamina and mental toughness being a big part of that game plan.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
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)
Next month fight fans in Japan will be able to see WBO Flyweight champion Sho Kimura (17-1-2, 10) [木村翔] make his third defense, as he takes on unbeaten mandatory challenger Kosei Tanaka (11-0, 7) [田中恒成].
To prepare for the bout Kimura Kimura is taking part in a special and intensive training camp in Thailand.
Today Kimura, along with Japanese Flyweight champion Masayuki Kuroda (30-7-3, 16) [黒田 雅之] who is said to be chasing a future world title fight of his own, set off to Thailand to take part in that training camp.
The training camp will see Kimura sparring with top Thai fighters in long hard sessions designed to focus on his stamina and work rate. The sparring will see Kimura fighting for 4 round minutes, with the entire camp based on not just stamina but mental toughness, something that Kimura has shown in recent bouts, with his biggest win coming in China last year when he came from behind to stop Zou Shiming.
Although it will take more than mental toughness and a high work rate to beat Tanaka it's clearly something that will help Kimura in what will be one of, if not the, hardest fight of his career.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Earlier today Japanese fight fans at the Korakuen Hall saw Japanese Flyweight champion Masayuki Kuroda (30-7-3, 16) [黒田 雅之] pull himself off the canvas to successfully retain his title and defeat Akinori Hoshino (13-8-2, 9) [星野晃規].
Kuroda got off to a good start, winning rounds 1 and 2 with his sharp jab, but in round 3 he dropped hard from a 1-2 by Hoshino just moments before the bell. It was the perfect turn around for Hoshino, but unfortunately it was only a fleeting moment of success for the challenger who was put on the back foot again in round 4. To his credit however Hoshino gritted his teeth and fought back hard to be level on two scorecards, 47-47, when the scores were announced. The third card had Kuroda narrowly in the lead, 48-47, but it seemed like everything was to play for in the second half of the fight.
For Hoshino the open scoring seemed to kick Kuroda into gear and the champion cut the distance and forced Hoshino backwards, with the challengers work rate dropping as he was pushed backwards by the jab and accuracy of Kuroda. It wasn't until round 10 that Hoshino really managed to get anything off, but by then it was too little too late.
After the fight Kuroda stated that he hadn't felt well coming into the bout, though felt he recovered well from the knockdown. His promoter hinted at a possible world title fight for Kuroda, but admitted that he wasn't fussy which title his man challenged for, or even that a deal was likely to be made.
Hoshino wounded a lot more down about the result, admitted that he had found his level, and made it seem as if he was set to retire. He stated that he could understand why he can't be a champion and that this bout with Kuroda showed him his limits.
Interestingly Hoshino's stablemate Junto Nakatani (16-0, 12) [中谷 潤人] was ringside for the bout and made it clear he wanted to face Kuroda for the title, whilst giving props to Hoshino and his performance. Whilst Nakatani will almost certainly get a shot it's unclear whether Kuroda will be the man he will be fighting for the title, especially with Kuroda having his eyes on a world title fight.
(Image courtesy of boxmob)
Tomorrow fight fans in Tokyo will be able to see Japanese Flyweight champion Masayuki Kuroda (29-7-3, 16) [黒田 雅之] take on the under-rated Akinori Hoshino (13-7-2, 9) [星野晃規] in what will be Kuroda's 3rd defense of the regular title.
Today the two fighters took part in their weigh in, and both fighters managed to make weight for the Flyweight contest.
On the scales Kuroda was the lighter man, coming in at around 111.75lbs. This is interesting as Kuroda has been 112lbs, or above, in every fight he's had since his February 2013 world title bout against the then WBA Flyweight champion Juan Carlos Reveco . This is notable as at the weigh Kuroda spoke about moving on to a second world title fight, if he wins here.
As for Hoshino he was bang on the 112lb limit and seemed to be very respectful of Kuroda, calling him a strong fighter, but seemed to feel like fight had fatefully fallen on his 30th birthday. He seemed confident of picking up the win and the title.
The fight has interested parties outside of the winners, including Hoshino's stablemate Junto Nakatani (16-0, 12) [中谷 潤人], who seems like he wants to fight for the title, but would be unable to face Hoshino for the belt, if Hoshino wins due to Japanese rules not allowing stablemates to fight each other.
Related-Kuroda takes on Hoshino in Japanese Flyweight title bout!
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
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