It was announced earlier today that OPBF Light Welterweight champion Keita Obara (11-1, 10) would be returning to the ring on August 11th to make the first defence of his OPBF title. Whilst that alone was great news what made it even better was that Obara would be battling Shinya Iwabuchi (23-4, 19) in what is the best fight to be made between two Japanese Light Welterweights.
Obara is on an 11 fight winning streak since suffering a defeat, on debut, to the very experienced Kazuyoshi Kumano back in August 2010. Those 11 fights have seen him scoring 10 stoppages and claiming both the Japanese and OPBF titles as he's risen through the ranks quickly and claimed a #25 ranking with the WBC.
Although Obara's best win was his destruction of Jay Solmiano back in April there is high expectation surrounding him and the 27 year old will view this as his chance of claiming a top 15 world ranking.
As for the 28 year old Iwabuchi, who is the #12 ranked Light Welterweight on the planet according to the WBO, this is his chance to claim an OPBF title on his second attempt. Iwabuchi, who is also a former Japanese champion, came up short last year when he challenged Min Wook Kim for the OPBF belt. Since then however Kim has vacated the title, which Obara won, and Iwabuchi has scored back to back victories, including a 7th round TKO over Jimrex Jaca.
At the start of the year if we were asked what fight would we want to see made at 140lbs in Japan this would be the one. With it now made we're incredibly excited and the contest should be an out-and-out slugfest between two hard hitting fighters who both come to the ring with the intention of not just winning but winning by KO. Well done to both men for agreeing to the bout and well done to the teams behind them for arranging what is likely to be a flat out fire cracker.
Amazingly this is the second great fight to be organised for this show after the announcement, a few weeks back, that Yohei Tobe (8-1-1, 5) would be defending his Japanese Super Flyweight title against Sho Ishida (16-0, 9) in what is a sensational match up between two youngsters looking to move on to bigger and better things.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp, Iwabuch is the short man, Obara is the one with the title)
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