This past Tuesday we saw WBA "super" and Ring Magazine Light Flyweight champion Hiroto Kyoguchi (14-0, 9) [京口 紘人] retain his titles with a thrilling 12 round decision win over Tetsuya Hisada. Following the win Kyoguchi stated that he would be taking the rest of the year away from the ring to rest, whilst visibly sporting a swollen shut left eye. The bout was supposed to be an easy one for the champion, but it was certainly not a walk in the park for the Watanabe gym fighter.
With a rest now booked, it's clear we won't see Kyoguchi rushing back to the ring any day soon, however when he does return there are a lot of options out there for him, with the Light Flyweight division being one of the very best in the sport. Here we're going to look at 5 potential bouts we could see Kyoguchi in when he returns in 2020.
1-Carlos Canizales (22-0-1, 17)
On paper the most logical match up we could hope for would see the WBA"super" title being unified with the "regular" title. To do that Kyoguchi would need to take on unbeaten Venezuelan Carlos Canizales, in a real divisional dream bout. The Canizales has shown a willingness to travel, twice fighting in Japan and also fighting in China, and seems to put in his best performances whilst in Asia. Stylistically these two should should gel perfectly, and they would beat really hammer each other with hard shots through 12 rounds. From a fans perspective this could be a contender for Fight of the Year, from a logical point of view it makes sense and from the fighter's view it clears up the WBA mess. The only issue is that neither man would likely walk out of this the same fighter they were previous. This could be a career shortening bout for both.
2-Kenshiro (16-0, 9)
Whilst a bout with Canizales makes a lot of sense, there is a good argument that it's not actually the best we could make at the weight involving Kyoguchi. Instead that is an all-Japanese showdown with WBC champion Kenshiro. This bout had been mooted for the end of 2019, though now clearly will have to be pushed back. Two Japanese fighters are good friends, were rivals in the amateurs and are widely regarded as the #1 and #2 in the division, with a bout between them giving clarity over who is the best at Light Flyweight. It would also be a super rare all-Japanese unification bout. The main stumbling block for this one is the fact the two men are linked to different TV networks, with Kenshiro being one of the faces of Fuji TV and Kyoguchi being a TBS fighter.
3-Felix Alvarado (35-2, 30)
Another unification bout that would be highly anticipated would be a clash with IBF champion Felix Alvarado, arguably the most dangerous man in the division. Alvarado is a Nicaraguan puncher who although being crude is incredibly dangerous. He's heavy handed, has an incredible gas tank, is physically terrifying and teak tough. Although Alvarado can be out boxed, out thought, out sped and out manoeuvred he's never going to be an easy out for anyone with his incessant aggression. One type of fighter no one likes to face is the high risk, low reward fighter, but that is exactly what Alvarado is. Yes he has the IBF title, but the risk still out weighs the reward, that's how dangerous he is. From a fans perspective however a Kyoguchi Vs Alvarado fight would be tremendous.
4-Angel Acosta (20-2, 20)
Another of the division's many danger men is Angel Acosta, who has also been willing to travel for fights as seen in his losses, which have both come on the road. Acosta is heavy handed, aggressive, but also skilled and isn't a brawler like many fighters with power, instead he's a really good boxer-puncher with genuine power and he's also durable. He lost the WBO title earlier this year, with a very suspect stoppage loss, and his only other loss came in Japan to Kosei Tanaka. A return to Japan could see him pick up a win in the "Land of the Rising Sun" and would give him a chance to become a 2-time champion. Likewise having Acosta's name on Kyoguchi's resume would do his standing the world of good. A really interesting fight and one that would deserve a lot of attention on both sides of the Pacific.
5-Reiya Konishi (17-2, 7)
Whilst it's easy to think that unifying with the WBO champion would be a priority we suspect that the WBO title scene will be out of reach for a while. If that's the case then there's no reason why Kyoguchi can't take part in a fan friendly bout against a fighter who should make for a fun, low level, action bout. Ideal for that is compatriot Reiya Konishi, who is aggressive, exciting, throws a lot and will engage in an inside war of attrition, and will do so without having big 1-punch power. On paper this isn't one of the "big bouts" that Kyoguchi would be wanting on his return, but would be a very fun to watch bout, against a rugged, though limited, challenger. A win here would be expected, but would give him an instant comparison to Alvarado and Canizales, both of whom took a decision over Konishi.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Thinking Out East
With this site being pretty successful so far we've decided to open up about our own views and start what could be considered effectively an editorial style opinion column dubbed "Thinking Out East" (T.O.E).