This coming Sunday isn't a big day, but for fight fans in Kumamoto there is a huge bout with a local star making his first defense of a world title.
That local champion is WBO Minimumweight champion Tatsuya Fukuhara (19-4-6, 7), who will be defending his title against fellow Japanese fighter Ryuya Yamanaka (14-2, 4), in what looks like a very competitive bout on paper. The under-rated Fukuhara claimed the interim title earlier this year, when he took a split decision over Moises Calleros, and was later upgraded to the full champion. Although the champion doesn't have a great record on paper he has really built his career since being 12-4-3, and having suffered a loss to the then debuting Takuma Inoue. As for Yamanaka he has gone on a 7 fight winning run coming into this fight, since a loss to Roque Lauro 3 years ago, and has claimed the OPBF title on his rise to this shot, beating Merlito Sabillo for the the Oriental crown in November.
In a supporting bout we'll see OPBF and JBC ranked fighter Naoya Haruguchi (13-7, 6) take on the heavy handed, but limited Shota Asami (4-3, 4). Coming into this Haruguchi has won his last 5, with 4 stoppages, and appears to be getting his career going after an 8-7 start. As for Asami he's been inconsistent, but is heavy handed and is genuinely dangerous, but shouldn't come out on top here. If Haruguchi wins here he's expected to face Riku Kano in November in a really interesting match up.