Back in January we reported that former Japanese Light Welterweight champion Hiroki Okada (19-2, 13) [岡田 博喜] would be returning to the ring on March 26th at Korakuen Hall, in an 8 round bout against Korean fighter Hwang Kil Kim (11-2, 5) [김황길]. Today that bout was confirmed, with Kadoebi going further than just confirming the bout, but giving the full line up of the show, which will be SLUGFEST 14.
The card, which will feature only 8 round bouts, is a really interesting one, not just due to it being Okada's first bout in Japan in almost 2 years, but because several of the bouts are very well matched, or feature notable names.
The chief support bout will see former world title challenger Takuya Kogawa (30-6-1, 13) [粉川拓也] look to bounce back from a heavy KO defeat to Jay-R Raquinel last year. Kogawa will be up against Japanese ranked Light Flyweight Hayato Yamaguchi (15-8-1, 2) [山口隼人], in what should be a relatively safe fight for Kogawa's health, but not a gimme at all, given that Yamaguchi is a talented fighter but a light hitting one. Whilst this isn't a gimme, it is a must win for Kogawa, who turns 35 in April.
Another notable fighter on this show is OPBF Light Middleweight champion Akinori Watanabe (39-7-1, 33) [渡部あきのり], who fights in a non-title bout against Panturak Namtong (13-5-1, 9), in what looks like a stay busy bout for the Oriental champion.
In terms of more interesting fights we'll see Japanese-Brazilian Cristiano Aoqui (14-9-2, 10) [アオキ クリスチャーノ] face off with Fumisuke Kimura (9-5-1, 6) [木村文祐], in what should be a very explosive 140lb bout, between two men who are limited, but can punch. An equally interesting match up will see Yoji Saito (1-1-2, 1) [齊藤陽ニ] take on Takahiro Araki (12-9, 2) [荒木貴裕], in what should be a very brutal match up, given the styles of the two men involved.
Arguable the most interesting of the bouts will see the highly regarded Ayato Hiromoto (2-0, 1) [廣本彩刀] fight in his first 8 rounder as he takes on 2018 Rookie of the Year winner Yoshiki Minato (8-3, 3) [湊義生], in a very good looking step up for Hiromoto.
Related - Hiroki Okada to face Hwang Kil Kim
Earlier today our Korean sources reported that former Japanese Light Welterweight champion Hiroki Okada (19-2, 13) [岡田 博喜] had had his next bout confirmed.
The sources report that Okada will be back in the ring on March 26th at Korakuen Hall, in an 8 round bout at 140lbs against Korean fighter Hwang Kil Kim (11-2, 5) [김황길].
For Okada this will be his first bout in Japan since May 2018, before he signed a deal with Top Rank. Since then he has fought 3 times, all in the US. Coming in to this he has been stopped in his last 2 bouts, losing in 9 rounds to Raymundo Beltran last February and to Javier Molina in November. On paper this is a much easier bout for him than those bouts, but there are now real questions over chin and confidence.
Although relatively unknown outside of Korea Kim has had some notable bouts, and had a very interesting 2019. He began the year by stopping Attanon Kunlawong, aka Kongthara KKP, to claim the WBA Asia Lightweight title, which he then defended twice. He moved up in weight late in the year and lost a decision in Australia to Liam Paro, though showed enough to think that the move up may not be a bad one for him going forward.
At the moment the other details in regards to the card in general are unknown, though it would appear likely to be on the March edition of Kadoebi's "Slugfest" show, which is also expected to have Takuya Kogawa (30-6-1, 13) [粉川拓也] on it.
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