Over the last day or two we've seen two Japanese title fights announced for 2016.
The first of those, set to take place on January 16th is at 140lbs where unbeaten champion Hiroki Okada (10-0, 8) battles against interim champion Masanobu Nakazawa (18-1-1, 7).
For Okada the bout will be his first since March, and follows a serious hand injury that forced him out of a bout with Maayoshi Kotake, one of two fighters to take Okada the distance. Okada's pull out for that bout saw Nakazawa being given the opportunity to fight Kotake for the interim title, which he won by a very close 10 round unanimous decision.
For Nakazawa this will be his first bout since his December win over Kotake and will be his third bout in the space of 12 months.
The other title bout is at Welterweight where Yasuhiro Okawa (14-11-3, 5) battles Nobuyuki Shindo (16-3-1, 6) for the now vacant title. The belt was recently given up by Suyon Takayama, who had held the title for almost 3 years and made an impressive 6 defenses. Those defences included one against Shindo, earlier this year, with Shindo really giving Takayama a very tough contest.
For Shindo the bout will be his second title fight Okawa will be fighting in his first. Despite his poor record her has racked up a 5 fight winning streak coming in to this one and appears to be in the best form of his career. Notably the winner of this one will be forced to defend the title against the big punching Toshio Arikawa (12-4, 10), following Arikawa's win in the Strongest Korakuen back in Novemeber
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