Earlier today we saw eventual confirmation of a Japanese Minimumweight title fight between defending champion Tatsuya Fukuhara (17-4-5, 6) [福原 辰弥] and former world title challenger Shin Ono (19-7-2, 3) [小野 心]. With the bout now confirmed for September 19th at the Foodpal Kumamoto.
The bout had been listed on boxrec.com for weeks but no one had officially announced or confirmed the contest until today when it was revealed the bout will headline one of two cards in Kumamoto that day, with the other being a Rookie of the Year card.
For the under-rated Fukuhara this will be act as his second defense of the title, following a win earlier this year against the previously unbeaten Takumi Sakae. The Kumamoto native is currently riding a 7 fight unbeaten run, including a draw with Fahlan Sakkreerin Jr as well as wins over Hiroya Yamamoto, to win the title, and the aforementioned win over Sakae. Although he had been beaten he has fought good competition with losses coming to former world champion Yu Kimura and the then debuting Takuma Inoue.
When it comes to Ono the guy is a genuine veteran. He's 33 and debuted more than 15 years ago. His crowning glory was claiming the OPBF Light Flyweight title back in 2013 but since then he has suffered defeats to Katsunari Takayama, in an IBF world title fight, and Kenichi Horikawa, in a Japanese title fight. Notably he has two wins over fighters who became world champions, Yu Kimura and Xiong Zhao Zhong, but the reality is that he's never really progressed into being a bona-fide contender himself.
Given that Ono turns 34 at the end of this year we suspect this will be his final bout of note, if he loses. For Fukuhara it's a chance to establish himself as an emerging contender in the rather empty looking Minimumweight division.
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