Earlier today saw an excellent bout announced for the brilliant July 5th card at the Korakuen Hall.
The card, which will be headlined by Akio Shibata (22-8-1, 9) defending his OPBF and Japanese Middleweight titles, has seen the addition of a bout between former IBF Minimumweight champion Florante Condes (27-8-1, 23), of the Philippines, and Ryoichi Taguchi (19-2-1, 8).
Condes is best known for his thrilling victory over Muhammad Rachman in Indonesia back in 2007 to win the title. Unfortunately since then however he's gone 5-5 and been beaten by the likes Raul Garcia, Nkosinathi Joyi, Wanheng Menayothin, Hekkie Budler and Donny Mabao.
As for Taguchi, a former Japanese national champion, this will be his second bout following his decision loss to superstar youngster Naoya Inoue. In that bout he managed to give Inoue more questions than anyone else though was the clear loser despite showing real grit and toughness to see out the 10 round schedule.
This is genuinely one of the most exciting "fringe level" match ups we've seen announced in a long time and we'd expect that the winner will be moved on to an OPBF title fight, if not a world title fight, by the end of the year.
Incidentally Shibata and Taguchi are stable mates at the Watanabe Gym.
(Image, of Taguchi, courtesy of http://watanabegym.com)
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