Earlier this month we were expecting to see Ryo Akaho (31-2-2, 20) [赤穂 亮] make a defense of the JBC Bantamweight, kickign off the 2018 Champion Carnival with a bout against mandatory challenger Yusuke Suzuki (9-3, 6) [鈴木悠介] at the Korakuen Hall. Sadly Akaho would fall ill on the week of the fight and have to vacate the title and cancel the bout.
Today saw the JBC make their decision on what was going to happen for the vacant title, and announce that Suzuki would be getting a shot at the now vacant belt, and would do so against former world title challenger Suguru Muranaka (26-3-1, 8) [村中 優], in what will be an absolute thriller for the title.
For Suzki the bout will be his, belated, first title fight and he will be looking to put the disappointment of the cancellation against Akaho behind him and he still gets a shot at the belt. For Muranaka it's achance to become a 2-weight Japanese chamoion having had an exciting, but short, reign as the Japanese Flyweight champion. On paper Suzuki is the much bigger, stronger and physically imposing fighter, but Muranaka is the more proven entity having fought at world level just last year, against Kal Yafai, and holding notable wins against Takuya Kogawa and Masayuki Kuroda.
The bout will take place at the Korakuen Hall in April, though the specific date has yet to be confirmed. What is known is the fight will be on a Diamond Glove show, and may recieve television coverage courtesy of Fuji TV.
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