Yesterday was a perfect day for the Watanabe Gym who saw Ryoichi Taguchi (27-2-2, 12) [田口良一] add the IBF and Ring magazine titles to his WBA belt to become a triple champion and also saw Hiroto Kyoguchi (9-0, 7) [京口 紘人] record his first defense of the IBF Minimumweight title.
Today those two fighters, along with other key figures from Watanabe, held a press conference to talk about their big bouts from Sunday and their futures.
The plan for Taguchi is that he returns to the ring in April or May to defend his titles against Hekkie Budler (31-3, 10), in what would be an IBF mandatory title defense. Give that Taguchi does seem to fight better when he's facing notable opponents we suspect that we'll see Taguchi put in another very good performance here against the former WBA Minimumweight champion.
Sadly Taguchi also stated that it's likely he would be vacating the IBF title somewhere down the line, due to the difficulties in keeping both the WBA and IBF happy long term. Though it does sound like he will try to keep them unified for as long as he can. He would be keeping the WBA title due to his hopes of setting a Japanese record of most world title defenses, of the same title.
Unfortunately things weren't as clear for Kyoguchi though there was some talk about a hand injury which may need some time to heal. It's apparently not a very serious injury but one that he won't want to spar too much with.
The destructive Kyoguchi really had a year to remember. Prior to 2017 he had fought just 10 career rounds, but ended the year as a world champion and with a very notable defense under his belt. He seemed to be impressed with his year, as he should be, and he seemed to suggest that he was staying at 105lbs for the forseeable future.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
News! We try and give you the most interesting news stories from the Asian boxing world!