Last week we reported that Akira Yaegashi (21-5, 11) would be facing Iwan Key (9-12-3, 1) on the upcoming Pheonix Battle card on August 20th. It now seems, however, that Yaegashi will be facing someone someone else.
Key was himself a replacement opponent for his countryman Heri Purnomo (2-5, 1) , it now appears that Key and Purnomo have lost out to yet another Indonesian fighter, teenager Iwan Zoda (6-1, 5), a kid regarded by many in Indonesia as one of their most promising prospects.
Of the three fighters Zoda is, by far, the best option in regards to Yaegashi, though unfortunately it comes at the expense of Zoda's own development with the 18 year old really having no chance against a fight of Yaegashi's ability and experience.
For Zoda this will be his second fight outside of his homeland, having faced the unbeaten Petchchorhae Kokietgym last year in Thailand. That bout, which can be seen below, saw a then 1-0 Zoda suffer a decision loss to the Thai, who was himself 7-0 entering the bout, though the young Indonesian did impress with some nice skills and it was clear that he had the potential to become a really talented fighter. Sadly we can't see what he has, at this stage in his career, to really test Yaegashi.
Whilst this is an upgrade for Yaegashi, and the fans, it does seem like a risky step for Zoda and one that his handlers may regret if their man gets hurt by the former 2-weight world champion.
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