Last year we saw Sho Kimura (17-2-2, 10) [木村翔] lose the WBO Flyweight title in an amazing fight with Kosei Tanaka (12-0, 7) [田中恒成]. Following that bout Kimura seemed to hint at a possible retirement, before changing his mind and getting back to training. Despite being in training however there was no official confirmation as to whether he would be fighting again or not.
Today the former champion held a notable press conference, at the JBC headquarters in Tokyo, to announce some details about his future, and confirm that he would indeed be continuing his career.
Not too many specific details were shared today, but Kimura revealed that he is planning his return for Spring and it's likely that the plan is to return to China, where he won the title in 2017. He revealed that it took around 2 months from the date of the loss before he had decided to continue to fight, and seemed to realise that despite the loss his support and value in the sport had actually risen as a result of the loss.
We have to remember that in the eyes of many it was a a good loss, it was a bout that was widely regarded as the fight of the year and saw Kimura not only build his fan base in the west but also solidify his domestic and regional fan bases.
Masayuki Ariyoshi, the president of the Aoki Gym, revealed that the plan is to fight at the end of March in the Chinese mainland. The suggestion was that the bout wouldnn't be a world title bout, no real surprise given the current state of the Flyweight division, but there was some suggestion that it could be a regional title bout.
At today's press Kimura revealed "I do not understand Chinese, but I was surprised at how many voices Hiroshi was translating and saying" I want you to challenge again "and" Do not give up. "Until now I thought it was over if I lost the belt, If you play a game that you can lose, your fans will not leave. The values have changed." [Translated]
We'd expect more details of Kimura's return to be revealed in the coming weeks, when the opponent, date and venue are all confirmed.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
News! We try and give you the most interesting news stories from the Asian boxing world!