It's fair to say that interesting bouts being announced in Japan this year have been few and far between so far. Thankfully however this morning saw the announcement of a very interesting, and potentially explosive, bout between Japanese Featherweight champion Satoshi Hosono (26-2-1, 20), a former 2-time world title challenger, and fellow big puncher Rikiya Fukuhara (30-7-1, 22), himself a former Japanese Super Bantamweight champion.
The bout was originally supposed to take place on last year, on June 23rd, though sadly it was scrapped late on due to Fukuhara suffering a training injury about a month before the bout. As a result of Fukuhara's injury we instead saw Hosono defending his belt Gosuke Seki, with Hosono forcing Seki to retire at the end of round 6. Despite the original cancellation this was an anticipated bout and will be the second meeting between the two men who first fought back in October 2012. In their first bout Hosono stopped Fukuhara in the 7th round of a scheduled 10 round bout. That bout was followed by Hosono going on to his second world title bout, which sadly ended in a 3rd round technical draw against the then unbeaten Indonesian Chris John.
Since losing to Hosono in 2012 we've seen Fukuhara string together 4 wins, including a notable decision win over former Japanese Super Bantamweight champion Masaaki Serie in December 2013. This however will be a big step back up in class for the 36 year Watanabe gym fighter who has his heart set on becoming a 2-weight Japanese champion.
The bout will take place on March 5th at the Korakuen Hall on the Ohashi promoted "Phoenix Battle 53" and is scheduled to be the main of the show which will also feature WBA Atomweight champion Ayaka Miyao (19-5-1, 4), who will be fighting in a non-title bout against Momoko Kanda (8-6-2, 2).
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