The top contenders were Japan's heavy handed slugger Ryo Akaho (26-1-2, 18) and Thailand's former world champion Pungluang Sor Singyu (50-3, 34). When Tomoki vacated the belt it seemed almost certain that Akaho and Pungluang would be the men clashing for the belt, with no other option appealing to the fighters to the same level as this potential bout.
At the end of May Onesongchai hinted that they had the bout all but sorted as they released a poster, very similar to the one we're showing here, with "August", in English" written at the bottom. When the poster was released it seemed clear that the bout was heading to Thailand and only minor details needed sorting out before they would formally announce the contest.
Today the Thai promotional company released an updated poster, the one we have here, and the one that finally puts a date on the bout. Gone is the word "August" and in it's place is "7 สิงหาคม". The 7 should be self explanatory whilst "สิงหาคม" is Thai for August. Indicating clearly that the bout is now set for August 7th.
As for the venue of the bout we're unsure on that as of now though it will certainly be in Thailand giving Pungluang a huge advantage over his Japanese foe.
For Pungluang this bout is a great opportunity for him to become a 2-time world champion, more amazingly is that he could claim the title just 13 months after being stopped by Tomoki in a mandatory title challenge. For Akaho, who will be fighting in his second world title bout, history is on the line as he looks to become the first Japanese fighter to win a "world" title* on Thai soil, a place where so many have failed in the past.
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(Image courtesy of Onesongchai)
*Koki Eto claimed a WBA interim title on Thai soil, but no Japanese fighter has won a "proper" title in Thailand.