Going into the bout Laurente enters as the #1 ranked OPBF challenger for the vacant belt and a man ranked #12 by the WBC having held the WBC Asian Boxing Council Light Middleweight title for over a year and recording 2 defenses of the belt. Although relatively unknown outside of the Philippines he did call for a fight with Floyd Mayweather earlier this year, a call that clearly fell on deaf ears considering that he is now lined up for the OPBF belt.
Laurente is currently in great form having won his last 5 bouts by stoppage, in a combined 11 rounds, and has lost just 1 bout in the last 9 years going 24-1 in that stretch. Sadly however his opposition has been questionable during that time with the most notable opponents being Zaid Zavaleta, Ben Tackie and Ayi Bruce.
Whilst Laurente is the top contender for the belt Yuba is closely ranked behind and currently holds a #4 ranking with the OPBF behind New Zeland's Beau O'Brien and Japanese national champion Yuki Nonaka, who recently announced that he would be defending his belt against Charlie Ota on December 28th. For Yuba this will be his third shot at the title having twice fallen short against Ota.
The free swinging Yuba, who really is a fun but wild fighter, is best known for his incredibly achievements on the Japanese domestic scene which has seen him winning 5 divisional titles claiming belts from Lightweight to Middleweight and seen him beating the likes of Yoshinori Takenaka, Akinori Watanabe, Takayuki Hosokawa and Tomohiro Ebisu among others.
Whilst this might not be the best Light Middleweight bout we see this year it is guaranteed fireworks as we expect to see every time we see Yuba in the ring.
From Yuba's blog entry we understand that the bout will take place at the Korakuen Hall though an official announcement is due soon with the undercard set to be announced as well