Another name of note is former WBO world champion Tatsuya Fukuhara (20-6-6, 7) [福原 辰弥], the man who lost the WBO title to the aforementioned Yamanaka last year.
Given Fukuhara has come up short in ultra-competitive bouts to Yamanaka and Wanheng he is rightfully still regarded as a top contender and today we learned that he was plannign to have a "world title prelude", essentially a tune up for a world title fight, on July 29th when his promoter, Honda Fitness, hold the next in their line of Fire Country Fighting shows in Kumamoto.
At the moment little is known about the actual show, other than that Fukuhara will be fighting his second bout since his 2017 loss to Wanheng. Though a Japanese ticket website has revealed that tickets for the card will be made available from 10am, local time, on Thursday, so we're expecting more details to be released very soon.
Although no opponent has been named, and we're not expecting anyone too testing, it seems like Honda Fitness, the team behind Fukuhara, have got big plans for the end of this year. We can immediately rule out a world title bout with Kyoguchi, who is expected to face Barriga in a mandatory title fight, though with Fukuhara being ranked by the WBC a rematch with Wanheng is a possiblity, as is a rematch with Yamanaka, who has a scheduled defense on July 13th but would likely be able to fit in another defense before the end of 2018.
Whilst we expect Fukuhara to claim a straight forward win over a hand picked opponent next time out, his follow up bout does seem like it will be worth making a note of, and could well be announced immediately after his bout on July 29tth.