Back in November we reported that former Japanese, OPBF and WBO Asia Pacific Heavyweight champion Kyotaro Fujimoto (21-2, 13) [藤本京太郎] had hung up his boxing gloves and was heading back to K-1, where he first made his name.
Soon after we reported that Kyotaro himself announced that he would be competing at "K-1 WORLD GP 2021 JAPAN K'FESTA.4" at the Yoyogi National Gymnasium on January 24th. Though at the time no opponent was named for Fujimoto's first K-1 bout in over a decade.
Today we finally learned who the K-1 fighter, turned professional wrestler, turned professional boxer, turned back to K-1 fighter would be facing.
Kyotaro's opponent will be 23 year old Kosuke Jitsukata [実方宏介], who boasts a 12-7 (9) record and will be looking to advance his own career, rather than just being the opponent for Kyotaro's return to the sport.
Earlier this month Kyotaro Fujimoto (21-2, 13) [藤本京太郎] announced that he was retiring from professional boxing due to a lack of domestic competition, and the inability to bring in opponents from abroad during the current global situation. As a result he was heading back from boxing to the world of martial arts.
Today, around a week later, we now know when Kyotaro will be back in the ring with the former Japanese, OPBF and WBO Asia Pacific Heavyweight champion announcing the details of his next career step.
Earlier today Kyotaro announced that he would be competing at K-1's upcoming event " K-1 WORLD GP 2021 JAPAN K'FESTA.4" at the Yoyogi National Gymnasium on January 24th. An event set to be headlined by Takeru's K-1 Super Featherweight title bout with Leona Petas.
At the moment Kyotaro's opponent for the show has yet to be announced, though this will be his first bout in K-1 in over a decade, with the charismatic fighter turning to being in 2011, and debuting as a professional boxer in December that year.
Whilst Kyotaro is no longer in professional boxing, we do still wish him success in his sporting endeavors.
Earlier today we saw an announcement regarding "MEGA 2021", which will take at the Tokyo Dome on February 28th 2021, with Mayweather himself participating in the announcement via a virtual press conference.
The details of the event are rather scares with MEGA Productions set to host the event, and their CEO Kohei Tokuhiro stating the opponent was going to be a Japanese competitor as he plans to make "the most exciting card". Though the Japanese fighter in question was un-named.
At the press conference today Mayweather stated that he was looking forward to fighting back in Japan and that he was slopping last time, and didn't fully practice. That was his 2018 exhibition with RIZIN star Tenshin Nasukawa, which got RIZIN international exposure, something that MEGA will be looking for here.
As for the format of the "bout" it will be fought under rules that "both sides agree", according to Mr Tokuhiro, though the assumption is that it will, primarily, be based around rules of professional boxing, much like the Nasukawa bout.
For those thinking of dream fights between Mayweather and an active Japanese boxing that won't be possible, due to JBC licensing laws. Despite that there was questions regarding Mayweather Vs Naoya Inoue (20-0, 17) [井上 尚弥], though we can safely say that that won't be the bout.
What is more likely is that Mayweather's opponent will either come from MMA, or kickboxing, where JBC licensing won't be standing in the way, or from a retired fighter. Interestingly he was linked to a bout at a RIZIN show against former WBA Super Featherweight champion Takashi Uchiyama [内山 高志], which could potentially be done here. Another rather interesting, although fairly unlikely possibility, would be a modified rules exhibition between Mayweather and the recently retired Japanese Heavyweight Kyotaro Fujimoto (21-2, 13) [藤本京太郎], who is heading back to Martial Arts due to a lack of viable fights in Japan. With the rules modified that could be done in a way where Mayweather's natural size disadvantage could be neutralised, and made to be a much more interesting match up than many would consider.
It should also be noted that Takanori Gomi [五味隆典], a former PRIDE Lightweight champion, was linked to a bout with Mayweather in 2019 and had called out Mayweather, and it seems very possible that Gomi could be the opponent here, with modified rules, not allowing kicks, something that was mentioned in 2019.
It'll be interesting to see where this goes, or whether it disappears into the ether, like other other stories we've seen in the past of Western fighters heading over to Japan.
For those interested the full press conference can be seen below.
Earlier today Japanese Heavyweight Kyotaro Fujimoto (21-2, 13) [藤本京太郎] announced that he was done with boxing, and was retiring from the sport and would head to mixed martial arts.
Kyotaro is a former JBC, OPBF and WBO Asia Pacific Heavyweight champion, and has cited an inability to bring foreign fighters to Japan as a reason for his retirement. Sadly for him there aren't many Japanese Heavyweights and with current Covid19 guidelines and rules, he's really not got any one to box. Or rather anyone he wants to box would need to isolated in Japan for 2 before being able to fight, and that's not really a viable option for fighters to go through to face him.
At the moment it's not allowed for a boxer in Japan to hold both a JBC license and to participate in martial arts at the same time. As a result he has had to retire from boxing to compete in martial arts.
This however may not be the end for Kyotaro in a boxing ring, and there is the option, in the future, for him to head back to professional boxing when guidelines regarding Covid19 change and his team can bring over international boxers.
If he doesn't fight again he'll be best known for getting the JBC to reactive the Japanese Heavyweight title after more than 50 years, for twice fighting Nobuhiro Ishida and for his 2019 bout with Daniel Dubois in England, which saw him being blasted out by the hard hitting Brit.
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