Over the past few weeks the Japanese boxing scene has been worryingly quiet, with very few notable bouts being announced. It seems however that that is starting to change. Recently we saw the announcement regarding the returns of former world champion Takashi Miura (29-3-2, 22) [三浦 隆司] and Toshiyuki Igarashi (21-2-2, 11) [五十嵐 俊幸], who will both be in action on May 7th. Today saw two more fighters having their returns announced, both for a May 12th Dangan card at the Korakuen Hall.
One of those fighters set to return to action is the all-action Koki Eto (17-4-1, 13) [江藤 光喜], who has been inactive since losing to Carlos Cuadras in a WBC Super Flyweight title bout last November. The former WBA "interim" and OPBF Flyweight champion will be going up against Filipino Michael Escobia (11-11-1, 3) in an 8 round bout contracted at 116lbs. The bout will see not only Eto return to the ring but Escobia return to the Japanese ring since a 2014 loss to Masaaki Serie.
On paper Eto's return should be a relatively easy win, especially given that Esobia has gone 2-9 in his last 11, however he has fought significantly higher in weight than Eto.
The other fighter is former returning is former Japanese Super Featherweight champion Rikki Naito (13-1, 5) [内藤 律樹], who is fighting for the first time since he lost that Japanese title to Kenichi Ogawa last December. Naito will be up against the highly experienced Chaiyong Sithsaithong (40-15-4, 28) [ชัยยงค์ ศิษย์ทรายทอง] from Thailand. On paper this looks like a stiff test for Naito, though it should be noted thaty the Thai was beaten by novice Shuichiro Yoshino [吉野 修一郎] back in February and given that performance Naito should be heavily favoured.
Interestingly it has been confirmed that Naito's bout will be taking place at Lightweight.
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