Earlier today fight fans at Korakuen Hall saw the long awaited, and much anticipated, ring return of former WBC Flyweight champion Daigo Higa (16-1, 16) [比嘉 大吾], who had been out of the ring for almost 2 years. Higa, who hadn't fought since his loss to Cristofer Rosales and a lengthy suspension from the JBC.
On his return Higa, who had been a terror at Flyweight, was forced to move up 2 weight classes for his return, which saw him take on Filipino foe Jason Buenaobra (7-5-3, 3) in a bout at a contracted 119lbs.
The fans in attendance were there for Higa, despite the fact Higa was on the co-feature. He was the star of the show, and when his introduction music, "Conquistador" by Maynard Ferguson the crowd made it clear that they were more than happy to see Higa return to the ring.
Higa quickly took control of the bout, pressing and attacking the body of the Filipino. He didn't go all out, as we'd seen form him in the past, but was quickly in control, whilst getting a feel for being back in action.
By round 3 Higa began to move through the gears and looked to break down the body of Buenaobra. By round 6 the pressure was too much and the Filipino was dropped by a right hand to the body. He got back to his feet, but he was about done, and Higa didn't let him off the hook, dropping him again, to close the show.
After 22 months away from the ring Higa needed just 6 rounds to stop Buenaobra, and stamp his return on the sport. Despite the move up in weigh class, he carried the extra pounds well, and the slow start allowed him to really build towards the eventual stoppage.
Of course stiffer tests will come but for now, welcome back to action, Daigo Higa!
Tomorrow at Korakuen Hall we'll see the ring return of former WBC Flyweight champion Daigo Higa (15-1, 15) [比嘉 大吾], who returns after almost 2 years out of the ring, as he takes on Filipino foe Jason Buenaobra (7-4-3, 3).
Today, ahead of the bout, the two men took part in their weigh in, for a bout at a contracted 119lbs.
On the scales both fighters were around 118.75lbs, making the weight with room to spare.
Although making weight is always important this was particularly important as Higa's long absence was due to him failing to make weight for a world title fight back in 2018, against Cristofer Rosales. Failing to make weight for that saw the WBC give him an indefinite suspension from the ring, which ended at the end of last year. At today's weigh in he seemed relaxed and asked journalists if they had been expecting him to miss weight again.
Despite the move up in weight Higa looked incredible, and not like a man who was being forced to move 2-weight classes. He looked like he was at his natural weight. He wasn't alone in looking great as Buenaobra also looked in sensational condition.
For fans unable to make it to the Korakuen Hall tomorrow the bout is also going to be televised, in some form, on delay this weekend on Fuji TV.
Related - Higa returns, but can he over-come the rugged Buenaobra?
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
On Thursday at Korakuen Hall fight fans will get an interesting card under the Diamond Glove banner.
The main event of the card will see OPBF, WBO Asia Pacific and Japanese Lightweight champion Shuichiro Yoshino (11-0, 9) [吉野 修一郎] defending his national title in a mandatory defense against Izuki Tomioka (7-2-1, 2) [富岡樹] as part of the 2020 Champion Carnival. The main event isn't the only bout of note however, with former WBC Flyweight champion Daigo Higa (15-1, 15) [比嘉 大吾] battling Jason Buenaobra (7-4-3, 3) in the chief support bout.
Sadly for those not at Korakuen Hall the show won't be televised live, however the delay for the broadcast won't be massive, with Fuji TV confirming the bouts will be broadcast, on delay, on Saturday in Japan.
The broadcast is scheduled to take place at 26:15 to 27:20 local time, or from 2:15am Sunday morning to 3:20 if you rather.
The broadcast is likely to show edited versions of both fights, as we typically see with Diamond Glove broadcasts, which is sort of disappointing but better than nothing.
Yoshino defends against mandatory Tomioka!
Higa returns, but can he over-come the rugged Buenaobra?
Just less than a week ago news broke that former WBC Flyweight champion Daigo Higa (15-1, 15) [比嘉 大吾] would be fighting again on February 13th at Korakuen Hall in a bout set at 119lbs. It would be his first in close to 2 years, and would see the destructive Japanese fighter restart his career after a lengthy suspension by the JBC.
Whilst we knew then when, the where and the weight for his return what wasn't revealed was the "who?" As in who he would be up against.
Now Japanese sources have began to report that it will be a Filipino fighter, with Jason Buenaobra (7-4-3, 3) being mentioned as the opponent by several sources.
For Higa the bout would, on paper, look like an easy comeback bout following a long lay off, however the Filipino is no push over and he's not only scored upsets against the likes of Jerry Pabila and Robin Langres, but also gave Joseph Ambo a tough test and is the only man to have heard the final bell against Carl Jammes Martin. In fact the Filipino has never been stopped in his 14 fight career.
Given the lay off we weren't expecting anyone too threatening to Higa and in all honesty this isn't too bad of a return, but we would still expect Higa to come out with a victory if he is even half the fighter he once was.
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