A recent press release sent out Sampson Boxing appears to have announced a very exciting contest between IBF Super Bantamweight champion Kiko Martinez (30-4, 22) and Japan's former 2-weight world champion Hozumi Hasegawa (33-4, 15), pictured. The bout, which is mooted for April, would see Hasegawa attempting to become Japan's second ever 3 weight world champion having previously held the WBC Bantamweight and WBC Featherweight titles.
For Japanese fans this bout will be great news. Hasegawa, who has finally been given an IBF ranking at Super Bantamweight (#13 in the newest IBF rankings), will be getting a chance he been wanting for a while. For fans outside of Japan however this bout will act as a spoiler, especially to British fans.
It was expected that Martinez would fight in a unification bout with WBA "regular" champion Scott Quigg (27-0-2, 20) or IBF #2 ranked fighter Carl Frampton (17-0, 12). With Hasegawa getting the call however those bouts are certainly off the table, at least for now.
With fights against Quigg and Frampton being on the table for Martinez we would suspect that either Martinez views Hasegawa as an "easy foe", something he certainly isn't, or is getting a very nice pay day for fighting Hasegawa. We would assume that for the payday Martinez, whose last fight wasn't even televised, would be forced to travel to Japan. Saying that however no venue or specific date has yet to be set.
Martinez, who won the title last year with an upset victory over Jhonatan Romero, has defended his belt once, stopping Jeffrey Mathebula. That fight, which wasn't televised, saw Mathebula stopped for the first time in over a decade.
If this bout does come to fruition as expected this would be the perfect bout between a boxer-puncher (Hasegawa) and hard hitting pressure fighter (Martinez) and should give us fireworks for as long as it lasts.
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