Earlier today in Japan saw reports break that Japanese Bantamweight champion Ryo Akaho (31-2-2, 20) [赤穂 亮] woulkd be returning to the ring on January 20th to make his second defense, on a "Dynamic Glove" show at the Korakuen Hall. The champion will be taking on mandatory challenger Yusuke Suzuki (9-3, 6) [鈴木悠介], who secured his shot earlier this year with a win in an eliminator.
Akaho, a former 2-time world title challenger, wont the title this past March, when he out pointed Yushi Tanaka for the title, and made his first defense back in August, when he stopped Yuta Saito, in what had been a close and competitive bout through the first 7 rounds. Coming into the January bout he is riding a 5 fight winning run, and appears to have rebuilt incredibly well since his 2nd round KO loss to Pungluang Sor Singyu in Thailand.
The heavy handed Suzuki has been very much an under-the-radar fighter, losing to Yusaku Kuga, Ryoichi Tamura and Jeffrey Francisco, in 3 razor thin bouts. Despite being best known for his losses he has scored notable wins over Kyosuke Sawada, Monico Laurente, Akinori Hoshino and Eita Kikuchi, with the win over Kikuchi securing Suzuki a shot at the title.
Given the styles of both men we're expecting a fun one here, with both likely to look for a bit of a brawl at times.
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