Earlier this month we reported that JBC, OPBF and WBO Asia Pacific Lightweight champion Shuichiro Yoshino (12-0, 10) [吉野 修一郎] would be defending his title against Valentine Hosokawa (25-7-3, 12) [細川繁] on September 3rd. That would be part of a small Misako card featuring just two bouts, the Yoshino bout and a low key contest between Yasutaka Fujita (5-1, 5) [藤田裕崇] and Kensuke Nakamura (4-8-2) [中村 堅亮].
Now we've learned there is actually more to this show.
As well as the two official bouts the show will also feature a public spar between WBC Light Flyweight champion Kenshiro Teraji (17-0, 10) [寺地 拳四朗] and OPBF Super Bantamweight champion Hiroaki Teshigawara (21-2-2, 14) [勅使河原 弘晶].
The two men will be participating in a 2 round spar as they both work towards ring returns.
At the moment neither man has had their next bout announced, though both are looking to return to the ring later in the year with their eyes on big fights. Kenshiro is hoping to make his 8th world title defense later this year whilst Teshigawara is looking to move a step closer to an IBF world title fight.
Whilst this isn't a huge story it's a sign that both men are wanting to give back to fans, and both are getting closer and closer to full fighting fitness. With that in mind we suspect both men are getting closer and closer to having their next bouts decided.
It's fair to say this year has not gone the way anyone has expected.
One man who certainly expected to be much busier this year was WBC Light Flyweight champion Kenshiro Teraji (17-0, 10) [寺地 拳四朗], who entered the year hoping to make 3 more defenses of his world title but has sadly not fought at all since last December.
Today the champion was out and about, as he visited the Toshiharu Okuda, the mayor of Jōyō City, in Kyoto. That's the city that Kenshiro was born in for those wondering.
The visit was, of course, more than just a quick chit chat with the fighter donating a number of items to help the city with the on going situation in the city.
Whilst at the event today the fighter revealed that there is still no set plan of when he will be back in the ring, however he is in training at the moment, and is using the gym in the daytime, before the gym gets busy. As the gym begins to get busy in the evening he's been heading home.
On one had that news is disappointing and it's a real shame we still don't have any big bouts on the docket for Japan, on the other hand it's good news that the popular "Amazing Boy" is in training and is working out. Potentially that means he'll be moving towards fighting shape for when travel restrictions into Japan and potentially larger crowds make a big fighter possible.
The WBC Convention is rather notable event for a lot of reasons including the clarity the WBC give in regards to their world title situations. Here we're going to take a look at this situations directly affect Asian fighters, as per the clarity given by the WBC...or not as the case may be in some divisions.
The highest division mentioned is the Light Heavyweight situation, where we'll see WBC and IBF champion Arthur Beterbiev (15-0, 15) defending against China's Fanlong Meng (16-0, 10) [孟繁龙] in September, in an IBF mandatory. The winner of that will then have Jean Pascal (35-6-1-1, 20) as their WBC mandatory challenger.
The next highest is way down at Featherweight, where we now know that the scheduled bout between Tugstsogt Nyambayar (11-1, 9) [Нямбаярын Тогсцогт] and Eduardo Ramirez (23-2-3, 10) has become a final eliminator, with the winner then becoming the mandatory challenger. This would mean that if the Mongolian wins he could end with a second shot at WBC Featherweight champion Gary Russell Jr (31-1, 18), who beat him earlier this year.
At Bantamweight Nonito Donaire (40-6, 26) is the mandatory challenger for WBC Bantamweight champion Nordine Oubaali (17-0, 12), with their bout currently scheduled for a December date. Following that bout it's unclear what the situation is in regards to eliminators.
At Super Flyweight Srisaket Sor Rungvisai (48-5-1, 41) [ศรีสะเกษ นครหลวงโปรโมชั่น] is the mandatory challenger for Juan Francisco Estrada (40-3, 27), though it's unclear on when that bout will be possible given travel restrictions and Estrada's next bout is a voluntary defense regardless. We suspect we won't see this trilogy come to an end until 2021 at earliest.
Current WBC Light Flyweight champion Kenshiro Teraji (17-0, 10) [寺地 拳四朗] has no mandatory set at the moment, and the WBC will announce a world title eliminator in the near future. The division is seemingly one of the ones that will be most affected by travel restrictions given that many of the top contenders currently aren't able to travel to Japan, and that's an issue not just affect Kenshiro and the WBC title but the division at large and this could mean Kenshiro defends his title against a domestic opponent later in the year.
Long reigning WBC Minimumweight champion Wanheng Menayothin (54-0, 18) [วันเฮง มีนะโยธิน] is able to have a voluntary defense next, with the WBC hinting that could be in September, before an eliminator will be held to decide the next mandatory challenger. As with Light Flyweight this is a division that could be massively hampered by the global situation,
Although the convention has certainly helped with some clarity as you can tell there is still a lot that is unclear, especially in the lower weight classes.
Earlier today it was announced that WBC Light Flyweight champion Kenshiro Teraji (16-0, 9) [寺地拳四朗] had signed a deal with French company Le Coq Sportif.
The deal, described as an "advisory agreement" by Japanese sources has seen the company produce some special merchandise for Kenshiro, including the white shirt pictures and a similar black coloured one. As well as an agreement for Kenshiro to wear Le Coq Sportif clothing for both the public practices that he takes part in as well as his upcoming title defense on December 23rd, against Filipino Randy Petalcorin (31-3-1, 23).
The longer term plan is to sell Kenshiro inspired merchandise at future fights.
As with most of these clothing designs in Japan they won't be easy to get ahold of, and they are set to be limited in release. However if you're in Japan you can order them from http://www.jiacro.com/, to get them delivered on December 20th, or buy them from the December 23rd show, though they are first come first serve.
It's been an odd week for WBC Light Flyweight champion Kenshiro (16-0, 9) [拳四朗], who saw a planned unification bout with IBF champion Felix Alvarado (35-2, 30) fall through due to health issues with Alvarado. Thankfully as the bout was scheduled for December 23rd things were able to be put in motion to get Kenshiro an alternative opponent.
Today the alternative opponent was announced, and whilst it's not an opponent as good as Alvarado it is still an excellent opponents for less than 5 weeks notice.
The opponent who was named today was Filipino Randy Petalcorin (31-3-1, 23), who is a former Alvarado opponent himself.
The Filipino fighter is ranked in the top 10 by the WBA and IBF, though isn't currently ranked by the WBC however we expect that to change when the rankings are updated in early December.
Petalcorin is a former WBA interim champion who is probably best known for his loss to Alvarado in October 2018 and his controversial decision loss to Omari Kinweri. Despite those defeats he has been in and around the world rankings for years and was once tipped to be a major force in the division, something he would be if he can score the upset in December.
Despite the change of opponent it's hard to imagine Kenshiro losing here, as he looks for his 7th defense.
It's also worth noting that Kenshiro will being going by his birth name Kenshiro Teraji going forward, with the belief being that it will be easier to get attention in the West. We'll admit we doubt the name change will help there.
The baby faced "Amazing Boy" revealed that he wants to fight not only in unification bouts in 2020 but also fight overseas. It seems that that is his real motivation going forward, despite the fact the planned unification bout has fallen through.
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