The headline grabbing step up for Tanaka is one of two notable Japan Vs Thailand bouts set for the show the with other being a much better matched bout that will see Japanese ranked Takayuki Okumoto (16-6-2, 6) [奥本 貴之] battle against world ranked Thai Eaktawan Mor Krungthepthonburi (16-3, 11) [เอกตะวัน ม.กรุงเทพธนบุรี].
For the home fighter, who has a top 5 ranking with the JBC, this is a big step up in class from recent bouts however he has faced still competition in the past including two other notable Thai opponents, Ratanapol Sor Vorapin in 2007 and Rusalee Samor in 2013, both of whom stopped him in Thailand. The loss to Samor was Okumoto's most recent loss and since then he has racked up 6 straight wins, including notable a victory over Shota Kawaguchi in 2014.
For Eaktawan, who currently holds a top 15 ranking with the IBF at Flyweight, this will be his second bout in Japan following a decision loss to current Japanese Super Flyweight champion Sho Ishida back in May 2013. Interestingly he fought that bout under the moniker of Tawanrung Eausampan, the name he used for his three losses which all occured on the road to notable fighters who were then unbeaten, Ishida, Albert Pagara and Froilan Saludar.
This bout looks to be well matched and is potentially a fire cracker between two men with a lot to prove. Both are young, with Okumoto being 24 and Eatawan being just 21, and both know that a win will move them towards bigger and better opportunities. A loss is a set back for both but certainly won't be the end for either man.
As well as the two Japan Vs Thailand bouts this card will also feature former OPBF Bantamweight champion Yu Kawaguchi (24-7, 11) [川口 裕] and the debuting Masataka Taniguchi (0-0) [谷口 将隆], a notable former amateur on the Japanese domestic scene. Neither of these men have yet had opponents announced at today's press conference.
Kazuki Tanaka to face former champion Denkaosan Kaovichit!
Masayoshi Nakatani to defend OPBF title on April 17th!