Once beaten Japanese Super Bantamweight champion Hidenori Otake (22-1-3, 9) will return to the ring on July 18th as he attempts to make the 5th defence of his national title.
Otake won the belt back in August 2012 and has since climbed very high the IBF rankings, behind only Carl Frampton. He'll be hoping to maintain his ranking and his Japanese title when he battles domestic rival Daisuke Furuhashi (16-5, 6).
Although Otake isn't much of a name internationally he is on an excellent run of 14 straight victories including wins over Kentaro Masuda, Takafumi Nakajima, and Mikihito Seto. This wins have rewarded him with a #9 world ranking on boxrec.com and a #15 place on fightnews.com. Stood at 5'7" he is tall for the weight though many would suggest he's only the second best in Japan, behind OPBF champion Shingo Wake.
In Furuhashi we'll see Otake in with an accomplished fighter who has a misleading record. Furuhashi was the 2008 Rookie of the Year in the Bantamweight division and although he's gone 8-5 since then at least 3 of those losses were very close contests, including his first 8 rounder with Masayoshi Tachiki.
Furuhashi will be giving away experience and height to Otake but at 26 he's a man starting his physical peak and he comes on the back of 3 victories, including 2 KO's including a stoppage over Toru Suzuki, who of course challenged for the Japanese Featherweight title back in December 2011.
Although Otake will be favoured here it's a bout we're certainly going to look forward to and it could well be the final fight Otake has before fighting in an IBF eliminator either later this year or early next year.
On the subject of IBF title fights this contest will be in the Korakuen Hall and will not share the same card as the IBF Super Flyweight title bout between Teiru Kinoshita and Zolani Tete which is scheduled to take place the same day, albeit in Hyogo.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
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