The IBF may not be the most popular organisation in Japan but it seems that Japanese fighters are warming to them.
With two IBF champions already, in the form of Katsunari Takayama and Daiki Kameda Japan has an opportunity to add a third in April when Hozumi Hasegawa fights Kiko Martinez for the IBF Super Bantamweight title. It's now been announced that the winner of Hasegawa/Martinez will be facing the winner of an upcoming IBF eliminator between another Japanese fighter, Yasutaka Ishimoto (24-6, 7), and American Chris Avalos (23-2, 17).
Avalos, for those who haven't seen him, is a big punching American who has been shown to have a lot of power, though he does lack somewhat in terms of fundamental boxing skills. Despite his flaws he has scored some notable wins, including a decision last year over Filipino fighter Drian Francisco and a stoppage over Rolly Lunas.
As for Ishimoto, pictured, he made his name on the international stage with a decision over former world champion Wilfredo Vazquez Jr in 2013. He lacks the power of Avalos though has a tricky style, a lot of heart and may well find himself winning another upset against a much fancied American.
The bout, scheduled for May 31st, will be held in Macau on the under-card of Nonito Donaire's world title bout with Simpiwe Vetyeka.
(Picture courtesy of http://boxingnews.jp)
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