We've known since very early March that former IBF Super Bantamweight world champion Yukinori Oguni (20-2-1, 8) [小國以載] would be in action on May 8th, in a 10 round bout. Until today however we weren't sure of who he would be facing.
Today his opponent was named as IBF top 10 ranked Bantamweight Sukpraserd Ponpitak (22-9, 14), aka Sukkasem Kietyongyuth, from Thailand.
The Japanese former world champion will be fighting for the second time since losing the IBF title to Ryosuke Iwasa, way back in September 2017. The bout is a huge step up from his last outing, against limited Indonesian Arega Yunian, but should be a winnable bout if Oguni is 50% of the fighter he once was.
The 31 year old Thai is 1-7 outside of Thailand, and 22-2 at home, with losses in Japan to Yusaku Kuga and Kazuki Tanaka. Despite not being a world beater he does have a good IBF ranking and Oguni will certainly be wanting to take a win and a ranking of his own.
Earlier today the Kadoebi Gym announced their next big show, "Slugfest 9", which will take place on May 8th at the Korakuen Hall.
The main event of the card will see former IBF Super Bantamweight world champion Yukinori Oguni (20-2-1, 8) [小國以載] battle in a 10 round bout. The bout will be Oguni's second contest since returning to the ring last year, with a win over Arega Yunian, having been out of the ring for almost 15 months following the loss to Ryosuke Iwasa in September 2017. His opponent hasn't been announced but we'd expect a big step up from Yunian.
The chief support bout will be an 8 round bout featuring former Japanese Flyweight and OPBF Super Flyweight champion Takuya Kogawa (29-5-1, 13) [粉川拓也], who fights for the first time as a Kadoebi Gym fighter, and Hideyuki Watanabe (8-11-3, 6) [渡邉秀行]. This isn't just Kogawa's first bout as a Kadoebi fighter, but also only his second bout since the start of 2018. This should be a relatively safe bout for the veteran given that Watanabe has gone 0-5 since the start of 2015.
Another former Japanese champion confirmed for this card is Takenori Ohashi (16-5-2, 10) [大橋健典], who gets a tough assignment as he takes on Shun Wakabayashi (9-3, 2) [若林駿] in an 8 round bout. This will be Ohashi's second bout since he lost the Japanese Featherweight title to Taiki Minamoto last April, whilst Wakabayashi will be looking to score a 6th straight win, building on victories over Taichi Ueno and Xian Qian Wei.
Others now confirmed for this show include the hard hitting Ryoji Fukunaga (10-4, 10) [福永亮次], the talented Yuichiro Kasuya (11-2-1, 3) [粕谷雄一郎] and very promising prospect Yuki Nakajima (1-0, 1) [中嶋憂輝].
Earlier today in Japan the media were able to attend a press conference to announce the previously confirmed bout between Hiroki Okada (19-0, 13) [岡田 博喜] and former WBO Lightweight world champion Raymundo Beltran (35-8-1-1, 21).
The bout, confirmed for February 10th in California, hasn't been a secret in the boxing world, though it was interesting to hear Okada talk about the contest.
He revealed that if he beats Beltran he would be getting a world title fight, likely with either Jose Carlos Ramirez (23-0, 16) or Jose Zepeda (30-1-0-1, 25), who fight in the main event on the February 10th show.
The unbeaten Okada revealed that he's seeing the bout as a chance to increase his name recognition, and that the gameplan for the bout is to use his feet and control the range.
It should be noted that former IBF Super Bantamweight champion Yukinori Oguni (20-2-1, 8) [小國 以載] attended the press conference dressed as Beltran, continuing Oguni's trend for dressing up as things! We do have to wonder what Beltran would make of Oguni's actions, and whether he'll look to punish Okada for what may be seen as a disrespectful, though obviously humoured, act.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
After well over a year out of the sport former IBF Super Bantamweight champion Yukinori Oguni (20-2-1, 8) [小國 以載] made his ring return today, fighting for the first time since losing the IBF title to Ryosuke Iwasa in September 2017. The popular Oguni was up against Indonesian foe Arega Yunian (6-12, 1) in what was clearly a mismatch to allow Oguni to shake some ring rust after so long out and rediscover his groove.
The first round really showed how much ring rust Oguni had. He looked slow, clumsy and lacked the clean, crisp punching which had taken him to the OPBF, Japanese and IBF titles. He looked wild with his shots, his timing was off and his ability to read distance just wasn't there. The one moment of real class from Oguni was a perfect 1-2, but there was little else to be impressed by.
Round 2 was another that saw Oguni looking off, as he continued to go through the motions, trying to get his fluidity back and get used to being back in the ring. It gave Yunian chances to fire at him, even landing one or two overhand rights.
Thankfully Oguni seemed to look more like his usual self in round 3, hurting Yunian and moving from first gear into second gear. He was clearly still fighting well within himself, but was starting to look like a man who was finding his range and timing. He was hurting Yunian with body shots, and despite fighting at a controlled tempo he was comfortably in charge, even declining an opportunity to finish Yunian when he was badly hurt from a body shot.
In round 4 Oguni began to target the body of Yunian with more intensity, hurting him very early in the round, and landing crisp shots at will on the Indonesian, who was game, but out classed. Oguni was using Yunian's mid-section for target practice and would drop the Indonesian several times, all with body shots, before the referee waved off the bout.
It took the former world champion some time to really get going, but when he did, he looked far, far to good to waste much longer with bouts at a lower level. We hope to see him mixing with domestic level fighters in the new year before beginning a charge towards title glory later in the year
Tomorrow we'll see former IBF Super Bantamweight champion Yukinori Oguni (19-2-1, 7) [小國 以載] return to the ring after more than a year out of the ring.
The former champion, who hasn't fought since losing the IBF title to Ryosuke Iwasa in September 2017, will be facing off with Indonesian foe Arega Yunian (6-11, 1) at the Korakuen Hall, in a bout set to be aired on G+, as part of the Dynamic Glove card.
Today the two fighters took part in their weigh in.
On the scales Oguni was bang on the 122lbs Super Bantamweight limit, and looked in great condition. Yunian on the other hand was well under the limit, weighing in at 120lbs and despite looking in good shape it was clear he was naturally the much smaller man, in fact he could probably make Super Flyweight if he needed to.
Surprisingly Oguni seemed to suggest the weight had come off so easily for this bout that he even considered moving down to Bantamweight, something that he may well consider going forward.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
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