On March 26th Japanese fans will get the chance to see recently crowned national Minimumweight champion Tatsuya Fukuhara (16-4-5, 6) [福原 辰弥] defend his belt, for the first time, against unbeaten world ranked foe Takumi Sakae (13-0, 8) [榮 拓海].
The bout, set to be held at the Foodpal Kumamoto in Kumamoto City, comes just a few months after Fukuhara's title winning bout against Hiroya Yamamoto, also at the Foodpal Kumamoto.
For Fukuhara his title victory came in his first national title fight though it was one of numerous high profile bouts for the 26 year who fought in the 2009 Rookie of the Year final, lost to Yu Kimura and Takuma Inoue in 2013, and fought to a draw in 2014 with Fahlan Sakkreerin Jr.
Despite only having recently claimed his biggest win the defending champion is a talented and experienced southpaw who has experience of fighting over the 10 round distance, with his last bout going 10 rounds.
The challenger will be fighting in his first domestic title bout but he has previously claimed the IBF Youth title, at Light Flyweight, and has also won the Rookie of the Year, back in 2013. He has come through the ranks relatively quickly, having only debuted in late 2011, but already finds himself in the world rankings and working with fellow world ranked fighters ahead of this bout.
Although not as experienced as Fukuhara the challenger has looked very promising and appears to have solid power. He does however have a lack of quality on his record with Boy Tanto being the most notable name on his ledger. Given he's just 22 however there is no harm in being relatively untested and this should serve as a possible graduation bout before bouts with any potential world ranked opponents.
Incidentally the bout will have some local rivalry involved. Despite the fact the men are based around 80 miles apart, the distance between Kumamoto City and Fukumoto city, both are based on the island of Kyushu adding an extra edge to this particular clash.
For those who haven't seen these to in action we've included a video of both below.
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