According to multiple Korean sources we'll see Japanese Heavyweight champion Ryu Ueda (9-1-1, 5) [上田龍] defending his belt on March 10th in an at Korakuen Hall, albeit not against a Japanese challenger.
The sources from Korea have explained that Sung Min Lee (7-1, 2) [이성민], the former KBM Heavyweight champion, will be the one challenging Ueda. With the bout coming under the same rule that will allow Lito Dante (16-11-4, 8) to fight for the Japanese Minimumweight title against Masataka Taniguchi (12-3, 7) [谷口将隆] on March 17th.
This bout comes under a rule that allows fighters from one OPBF affiliated country to fight for the national titles of other OPBF countries.
For Ueda this will be his first defense, following his victory in December over the now retired Kotatsu Takehara (15-13-3, 8) [竹原真敬], whilst Lee will be looking to claim his biggest win to date.
As is the rule with this type of bout, if Ueda wins it counts as a successful defense of the title, and extends his reign. If he losses Lee will be the champion, until he leaves Japan. In theory he could defend the belt, if he wins, but in practice it would seem unlikely that he would stick around in Japan to extend his reign.
Interestingly Lee has vacated the KBM title due to this opportunity. Originally the plan had been for Lee to defend the title February 16th against Jong Kook Kim (6-1, 3) [김종국], before Sung Min Lee suffered an injury back in January.
Kim will now face off with Jae Min Kim (2-3-2, 1) [김재민] for the vacant KBM title, with their bout scheduled to take place at some point in March, though no date has yet been set aside for the bout.
Following his recent victory this past week, Japanese Heavyweight Kyotaro Fujimoto (6-1, 4) will now faced Ugandan born Japanese based fighter Okello Peter (21-6, 19) for the Japanese Heavyweight title.
Due to the lack of Heavyweights in Japan the title in question has only ever been fought for once and that was way back in 1957 when rivals Noburu Kataoka and Yutaka Nakagoshi faced off for the 4th time inside a year. The title back then went to Kataoka who retired with the title and a 4-2 (2) record including a 3-1 (2) against Nakagohi.
Interestingly for Nakagoshi his record of 1-3 saw all 4 of his fights taking place against Kataoka.
For the 40 year old Peter, a former world title challenger, having faced Oleg Maskaev for the WBC Heavyweight title, this is a chance to claim just his second title having previously held the OPBF title (2001-2006). For Kyotaro however it's a chance to claim his first boxing title after losing in a OPBF Heavyweight title bout to Solomon Haumono in December 2012. As a former kick boxer in the K1 organisation however Kyotaro has held a world title.
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