Earlier this year we saw Suguru Muranaka (25-3-1, 8) [村中 優] travel to England to battle against WBA Super Flyweight champion Khalid Yafai (22-0, 14). Although Muranaka came up short he did impress with his aggression and toughness and came out with a much improved profile from the bout.
Now it seems like Yafai is set to face a second sucessive Japanese challenger, with the WBA ordering the Englishman to have a mandatory against long term #1 contender Sho Ishida (24-0, 13) [石田 匠].
The camps of Yafai, who is promoted by Matchroom, and Ishida, who is promoted by Ioka Gym, have been given 30 days to agree terms for a fight before a purse bid will be called.
The bout could end up with either man having home advantange. Yafai is backed by the biggest promoter in the UK, if not Europe, and has Sky Sports behind him but isn't a huge draw at home, where fans don't tend to follow the lower weights. On the other hand Ishida has the backing of Japanese TV giant TBS, who have shown several of Ishida's recent fights and will likely be looking at having his world title fight on Japanese soil.
If Yafai does travel the bout will likely come on a double header with Ishida expected to feature alongside stablemate and current WBA Flyweight champion Kazuto Ioka (22-1, 13) [井岡一翔].
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
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