The latest story to come out of Thailand in a similar vein is that WBA Minimumweight champion Knockout CP Freshmart (13-0, 6) [น็อคเอาท์ ซีพีเฟรชมาร์ท] could potentially be defending his title in Japan on October 23rd, against former world title challenger Ryuji Hara (20-2, 11) [原隆二] .
Knockout, who recently Byron Rojas in an absolute stinker of a title fight, has apparently been approached by Japanese promoters, notably Hideyuki Ohashi, to have his first defence in Japan. The idea seems to be to raise Knockout's profile in the country, which has a number of interesting contests in the lowest weight and give Hara another opportunity have his loss last year to the then IBF champion Katsunari Takayama (30-8-0-1, 12) [高山 勝成]. Interestingly it could also upon up doors for the winner of Hara Vs Knockout to face the winner of Takayama and Riku Kano (10-1-1, 5) [加納陸], who fight for the WBO title on August 20th.
For Hara the bout would be his second world title fight, following his loss to Takayama, but he would be entering the bout 2-2 in his last 4 with both of his wins coming against low quality opposition, whilst the losses were to Takayama and Kosei Tanaka [田中恒成].
As an aside this rumour could also explain why IBF Light Flyweight champion Akira Yaegashi (24-5, 12) [八重樫 東] hasn't been announced or the September 4th show, with him possibly defending on October 23rd instead, giving that card a bit more star power. If Knockout would be travelling over it could mean that Yaegashi may be facing a Thai opponent himself.
Of course this hasn't yet been announced, and is only a rumour from Thailand, but it's a strong one and one that seems to be getting louder as the day has gone on.
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