We've known for a while that Ginjiro Shigeoka (1-0, 1) [重岡銀次朗] would be returning to the ring on February 26th, as part of the under-card for Vic Saludar's (18-3, 10) WBO Minimumweight world title defense against Masataka Taniguchi (11-2, 7) [谷口 将隆]. His opponent however wasn't named until earlier today.
Sadly, given that the bout is less than 2 weeks away, the expectation of Shigeoka's opponent was low and his team have done as many would have expected. They have gotten the sensationally talented 19 year old a Thai import, much like Shigeoka's debut opponent.
The opponent will be the once beaten 20 year old Gerttipong Kumsahwat (3-1, 3), who will be making his international debut.
Given that Shigeoka is scheduled to fight against in April there is little doubt that he has been matched easily here so that he doesn't get injured or cut or anything before the April show, which is expected to have a serious step up in class for the youngest. The rumour is that they are targeting a Japanese ranked opponent for that card, and if they do manage that it's hard to complain too much about Shigeoka facing Gerttipong in February.
On the February 26th we'll see hard hitting Filipino Vic Saludar (18-3, 10) make his first defense of the WBO Minimumweight title, as he travels to Japan to face Masataka Taniguchi (11-2, 7) [谷口 将隆].
As previously reported this bout will not be aired live in Japan, with TBS instead showing it as part of of their tape delay "Guts Fighting" series.
Whilst that's disappointing we have now got a time and date for the broadcast of the fight,
The bout will be shown on February 28th at 2:35 local time. Whilst it is disappointing that such a great fight won't be getting a live telecast it is good to know that we won't be waiting weeks to see the contest.
At the moment Takayama's opponent hasn't been named, and neither has Shigeoka's, but they are expected to be named shortly.
Just a few short days ago we reported the news that Vic Saludar (18-3, 10) would be defending the WBO Minimumweight title against Japan's Masataka Taniguchi (11-2, 7) [谷口 将隆] on February 26th at the Korakuen Hall. At the time of that announcement there was no details on the under-card. Today however we were informed of a number of fighters on the under-card, including several top prospects from the Watanabe Gym.
As previously predicted we will see teenage sensation Ginjiro Shigeoka (1-0, 1) [重岡銀次朗] in action on the show. He will be involved in a 6 round bout at Minimumweight, though his opponent for the bout hasn't been announced. He's expected to be in the ring in again in April, as part of a show in Fukuoka, so we're not expecting to see this bout be too much of a test for the 19 year old.
In a major supporting bout Shu Utsuki (3-0, 2) [宇津木 秀] will be up against Japanese based Filipino Jerry Castroverde (10-5, 5), who will be fighting under the promotion of Nobuhiro Ishida for the second time, following a loss in December to Tae Il Atsumi. This will be an 8 round bout at a contracted 60KG.
Another big supporting 8 round bout will see the 2017 Rookie of the year Fumiya Fuse (7-0, 1) [富施郁哉] take on Naoto Mizutani (5-5-1, 2) [水谷直人], in an 8 round bout at Bantamweight. We're expecting to see really big things from the 20 year old Fuse this year, and this is a decent way to kick off the year, following an impressive outing in Daejeomn back in October.
We also believe that the show will feature the debut of former amateur stand out Suzumi Takayama (0-0) [高山 涼深], though details on his bout are unclear at the moment, other than being a 6 round contest.
Earlier today we reported that Vic Saludar (18-3, 10) will be defending the WBO Minimumweight title against Japan's Masataka Taniguchi (11-2, 7) [谷口 将隆] at the Korakuen Hall on February 26th. Since then more details have emerged about some specifics.
Firstly, from our understanding, this will be the first time that a Japanese fighter will have fought for a world title using a little known, and relatively new, rule.
In recent years the JBC have made fighters, except for those who were elite amateurs, win an JBC or OPBF title before getting a world title fight in Japan, a rule that doesn't apply to those travelling for a world title fight. They have however allowed fighters to fight for the WBO world title on the condition that they have previously won the WBO Asia Pacific title.
To reword that slightly, a Japanese fighter can fight for any of the 4 "world title bodies" world titles in Japan if they win an OPBF or JBC title fight, but can ONLY fight for the WBO title if they win a WBO Asia Pacific title before advancing on to world title bouts. If the bout is held in Japan.
Secondly, a bit less technical, is the fact the bout will not be aired live. Instead it will be broadcast on a yet to be announced TBS broadcast of "Guts Fighting".
For those unaware, Taniguchi turned professional along with Hiroto Kyoguchi (12-0, 9) [京口 紘人] and both were expected to be stars of the Watanabe gym. Sadly Taniguchi suffered a couple of defeats at title level, and had further issues with injuries. He does however see this bout as a chance to begin playing catch up with his more established stable, and very close friend.
At a press conference this morning Taniguchi revealed he would be heading to the Philippines for a training camp for this bout, and that the gameplan is try and take the bout long, winning in the second half of the bout.
Related - Vic Saludar to take on Masataka Taniguchi - February 26th!
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
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