By - George Delis (@Delisketo )
The WBO announced today (Ed's note - This was sent to us on June 24th) their June rankings and there are some significant changes for 2 Japanese fighters.
Ryuichi Funai (30-7), who recently knocked out Warlito Parrenas (26-7) to win the vacant WBO Asia Pacific Super Flyweight title, moved up from #12 to #8, finally breaking the top 10 of the division and being only one step behind from the former interim WBA World champion, Koki Eto (22-4). Currently on a 6 fight winning streak, claiming victories over Kenta Nakagawa (16-3), Takayuki Okumoto (20-8) and Shota Kawaguchi (21-10), if Funai can keep this pace up, he could be looking at a future World title shot in 2019.
Hiroki Okada (18-0) the WBO Asia Pacific Super Lightweight champion, climbed to #2 from #4. Okada’s path has been a dominant one. 18 wins, 13 of them coming via KO, with 0 losses, was the Japanese Super Lightweight champion from 2014 to 2016, accumulating an impressive number of 6 title defenses (4 stoppages). He won the vacant WBO Asia Pacific title, from former WBO international champion Jason Pagara (41-3) in 2017 and on May of 2018, he defended it against Featherweight World title contender Ciso Morales (19-7). With the WBSS Super Lightweight Tournament coming up later this year, this is an important development as Okada is also highly ranked by the WBC (#3-May rankings) so this definitely increases his chances of being included in the GP. His stellar record has proven that he is a formidable fighter with KO power and that he can hang with everyone in the division. Thus far, nothing has been officially announced, considering the participants, so there’s still hope that Japan will have one more representative in the WBSS (Naoya Inoue, being the other one, will participate in the WBSS Bantamweight Tournament).
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