Internationally the bout isn't likely to set the world on fire, especially given how badly Fuentes fared against Kosei Tanaka [田中恒成] last time he was in Japan, however the bout does serve a clear purpose. It gets Higa a home coming defense for the fans in Okinawa.
The bout will be the first world title contest in Okinawa since Pedro Flores defeated Gushiken in March 1981 and it seems clear that it's something that both Gushiken and Higa wanted to do, before getting some bigger and better bouts. It's also come in the wake of financial problems regarding Pakistani hopeful Muhammad Waseem (8-0, 6), who is once again struggling to get financial backing from the Pakistani government.
One of the key aspects of the fight is that Higa will be looking to tie the long term Japanese record for successive stoppages, set at 15. If he can manage that, as many are expecting, it could mean his following bout will be even bigger.
For fans wondering about the television coverage, it was confirmed that Fuji TV will be airing the bout.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)