For Sakashita this is a huge step up in class. The 23 year old, who was the Flyweight rookie of the year in 2011, is currently on a 4 fight winning streak and full of confidence though his best win is over Yuki Fukumoto and his most notable opponent has been Kenichi Horikawa, who beat Sakashita back in 2012.
With the promising Sakashita stepping up in class it's fair to say that Muranaka is the clear favourite and with good reason. Not only is Muranaka the more experienced man and the champion but he's also a world ranked fighter and a man who has been very impressive recently with a 14 fight unbeaten streak. Part of that 14 fight streak has seen Muranaka winning the Japanese title, with a victory over Takuya Kogawa, and defending it against former world title challenger Masayuki Kuroda.
Although this looks like a mismatch on paper the pressure is all on Muranaka who knows that a loss will set his career back massively and, unlike in his last 2 fights, there is a risk of over-looking his opponent. Hopefully however a win for Muranaka will see him moving towards an OPBF or a world title fight, both of which he will deserve if he continues in his current rich vein of form.
(Image, of Sakashita, courtesy of Kadoebi.com)