Action returns to the Korakuen Hall this coming Thursday as we, finally, crown a new Japanese Bantamweight champion.
That title bout will see former Japanese Flyweight champion, and former Super Flyweight world title challenger, Suguru Muranaka (26-3-1, 8) battle against Yuta Saito (10-9-3, 7) to fill the Bantamweight vacancy. The title has been vacant since Ryo Akaho vacated due to health reasons in January. A proposed bout between Muranaka and Yosuke Suzuki fell through earlier this year, extending the length without a national champion at 118lbs. Of the two fighters it's Muranaka who is the more well known and the more distinguished, given he had a pretty notable reign at the domestic level before his world title fight against Kal Yafai. Despite that he may actually go into this as the under-dog, given that Saito is a natural Bantamweight, who has even mixed at Super Bantamweight, and is much, much better than his record suggests. Of his 9 losses 7 have been very close decisions, with only Mugicha Nakagawa and Ryo Akaho holding clear wins over him. On paper this is mismatch, but in reality it's a very close to call bout and is excellently matched.
Sadly other than the main event the rest of this card is very weak, with 8 bouts, all of which are 4 rounders, acting in support of the very exciting headline bout.
Umtata, South Africa
In South Africa fan swill be able to see Simphiwe Khonco (18-5, 7) battle against Filipino foe Toto Landero (10-2-2, 2) for the IBO Minimumweight title. The South African will be defending the title for the third time and will looking to get a shot at a big 4 title in the near future. Although Khonce doesn't have the most amazing of records he is a talented fighter who gave Hekkie Budler fits in 2015 and has gone unbeaten since then, scoring a notable win over Nkosinathi Joyi. Landero challenged Knockout CP Freshmart earlier this year, and gave the unbeaten Thai some real issues before losing a decision. Other than that result Landero also holds a win over Vic Saludar and could well have the skills and desire to rip the IBO title from Khonco. This could be an excellent match up and one with a lot of leather being thrown by both men.