Earlier today the Japanese press were able to attend an announcement for a world title doubler header, set for March 1st at the Kokugikan.
The most notable of the headline bouts is the much anticipated WBC Bantamweight title rematch, between former champion Shinsuke Yamanaka (27-1-2, 19) [山中慎介] and controversial champion Luis Nery (25-0, 19).
The two men fought last year, with Nery ending Yamanaka's long reign but testing positive for a banned substance. The WBC seemed to accept Nery's excuse about tainted food, though fans and media have questioned whether the excuse was as valid as the Mexican claimed. At today's press conference Yamanaka sounded confident and was talking about having worked on his defense following the loss.
The other part of the double header will see IBF Super Bantamweight champion Ryosuke Iwasa (24-2, 16) [岩佐 亮佑] making his first defense.
IWasa, who won the title last year when he destroyed Yukinori Oguni, will be up against Filipino challenger Ernesto Saulong (21-2-1, 8). For a first defense it's not a terrible opponent for Iwasa, but the reality is that it's not going to be a bout that sets the world on fire, given the talent at 122lbs.
Interestingly Yamanaka and Iwasa fought each other way back in 2011 for the Japanese title, almost 7 years ago to the day of this coming show. Both spoke about it and both seemed to suggest that it was a bout that helped them improve.
For fans wanting to watch, the show will be broadcast on NTV
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
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