Earlier today we were informed of a very interesting clash set to be announced at Bantamweight. The bout in question will see Japanese Bantamweight champion Kentaro Masuda (21-6, 11) defending his national title against the fast rising Shohei Omori (13-0, 8), not only is this going to be a Japanese title fight but it's a clash of world ranked fighters and it could also have the OPBF title, recently vacated by Ryosuke Iwasa, on the line as well.
Masuda is ranked #12 by the IBF and although he will be 32 by the time of the fight he has proven to be a late bloomer. He lost 3 of his first 6 bouts and has since gone 18-3 with two of his losses coming at a high level, one to former Japanese Super Bantamweight champion Hidenori Otake and the other to Ryosuke Iwasa in a Japanese title fight. Since losing to Iwasa back in 2012 we've seen Masuda notch up 7 straight wins. Those have included his title winning effort against Yu Kawaguchi last April, his first defence of the title, a sensational 3rd round blow out victory of Konosuke Tomiyama last August, and an all action decision win over "zombie" Tatsuya Takahashi in December.
Ranked #11 by the WBC and #12 by the WBO Omori will be coming in hot however the 21, soon to be 22, year old will be fighting in his first title fight. Despite being a disappointing amateur, with a record of 11-8 in the unpaid ranks, Omori has developed into a fine fighter since debuting as an 18 year old. As a professional he has been moved up through the ranks very well winning the Bantamweight Rookie of the Year in 2012, progressing really well in 2013 before making a statement in 2014 when he scored an outstanding win over Christian Esquivel.
If our source is correct then this bout will take place at the Korakuen Hall and will be fought on April 13th as part of the Champion Carnival and looks to be a brilliant test for both men.
(Image courtesy of http://www.wozboxing.com)
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