On August 20th we saw Miyo Yoshida (10-1) [吉田 実代] become a double champion, as she unified the Japanese female Bantamweight title with the OPBF female title. Despite that bout only taking place a few days ago Yoshida's first OPBF defense is already set, and will take place on September 30th in her birth place of Kagoshima.
Although boxrec doesn't list her opponent for the bout, which will take place on Kagoshima Soul Box Vol 8, we've been informed that it will Thai fighter Phannaluk Kongsang (4-6-1, 2).
The Thai is 0-2 in Japan, having lost to Yuko Henzan and Tamao Ozawa, and will clearly be seen as a safe opponent for Yoshida, which may explain why she has had such a quick turn around following her title win. Notably this will be the Thai's third shot at a world title, having twice fought Henzan for the OPBF Bantamweight title fighting to a loss and a draw.
Notably the bout between Yoshida and Phannaluk will only be the card's chief support bout, with the main event being a 10 round non-title contest, between Naoya Haruguchi (15-9, 6) [春口直也] and Filipino Lito Dante (14-10-4, 7). This will be Haruguchi's first bout since he lost a 10 round decision in July against Tatsuya Fukuhara, though he did notably defeat Filipino Jeffrey Galero back in March, in his only bout against a Filipino.
Dante on the other hand will be fighting in Japan for the second time, having previously had a technical draw with Takumi Sakae. Although his record doesn't look amazing he has mixed with very good company, including the likes of Vic Saludar, twice, Simphiwe Khonco, Tibo Monabesa and Jesse Espinas.
One other bout on this card that's worth noting is an all Japanese bout between between Wolf Nakano (4-7-4) [中野玄悠] and Mako Matsuyama (8-13-2, 3) [松山真], in what should be a fun contest between exciting but limited fighters.
Earlier today Japanese fight fans at the Korakuen Hall saw a Japanese Flyweight title fight, as defending champion Masayuki Kuroda (28-7-3, 16) [黒田 雅之] took on the challenge of Mako Matsuyama (8-13-2, 3) [松山 真虎].
The bout was Kuroda's first defense since winning the title earlier this year, when he over-came Takuya Kogawa, and it was clear from the opening moments that that there was a gulf in class between the two fighters. Matsuyama, who is really just an entertaining fringe domestic level fighter, had little to really challenge Kuroda.
Kuroda started slowly, and actually had Matsuyama come forward at times, but instead of backing off Kuroda used Matsuyama's courage against him and fought back hard. That resulted in Matsuyama being out fought at his own fight.
After 5 rounds Kuroda was pressing the action more and more, and Matsuyama had no answer whilst falling further and further behind on the cards. After 5 rounds the challenger was in a massive hole, 50-45 on two cards and 50-46 on the third.
From round 6 on wards Kuroda began to let more and more shots go, pressing with more intensity and going for a finish, which eventually came in round 7 when Matsuyama's corner threw in the towel and saves their man from further punishment.
For Matsuyama it was clear this was far too much of a step up. For Kuroda however the win sets him up for a mandatory defense in 2018.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp
Tomorrow Japanese fight fans at theKortakuen Hall will get the chance to see a Japanese Flyweight title bout, as reigning champion Masayuki Kuroda (27-7-3, 15) [黒田 雅之] takes on first time challenger Mako Matsuyama (8-12-2, 3) [松山 真虎], in what will be Kuroda's first defense of the title which he won earlier this year.
On the scales Kuroda came in just under the limit, at 111.75lbs, and looked in great shape. The former Japanese Light Flyweight champion now appears to be a fully fledged Flyweight, after looking under-sized in some earlier bouts, and although not a banger at 112lbs, he does look like a fighter who has naturally filled into the weight and looks good at Flyweight.
Matsuyama on the other hand came in bang on the divisional limit of 112lbs, and yet strangely looked the smaller man. He was in good shape, but didn't look as thick or bulky as Kuroda, instead looking like a man with a very slim waist. It should be noted that he has fought as a Super Flyweight in the past, and perhaps his record would have been better had he fought at Flyweight through his career, rather than moving between the two weights.
Kuroda seeks first defense as he takes on Matsuyama!
(Image courtesy of Daily.co.jp)
It's fair to say that Masayuki Kuroda (27-7-3, 15) [黒田 雅之] has turned his career around in the last 12 months, or so, by stringing together 3 wins in a row and ressurecting a career that looked like it was dwindling down. Those wins have seen him claims the "interim" Japanese Flyweight title, and unify it with the regular title as he's become a 2-weight Japanese champion and got himself back into the mix for a second world title fight.
Over the weekend saw news break of Kuroda's first defense of the Japanese Flyweight title, and it will see him return to the ring on November 10th to take on the limited but excited Mako Matsuyama (8-12-2, 3) [松山 真虎] in what should be a barn burning contest.
At his best Kuroda is a fringe world class fighter, but in recent years he has struggled and prior to his current 3 fight winning streak he had gone 3-4-3, showing just how inconsistent he had been at the time, with the fighter struggling to find his groove, and really looking like a man who had sene better days. Last time out however he scared a career defining win over Takuya Kogawa to unify the interim and regular Japanese titles and it's fair to say he won't be in a hurry to lose to belt.
Matsuyama is himself totally out of form with just a wince win in his last 7 bout, though he has been in some really tear ups with his 2014 contest against Rex Tso in Macao being a breath taking thriller. Despite his limitations he's a gutsy fighter who puts on a show and should make for an exciting action fight with Kuroda, even if he does seem almost certain to come up short.
Notable this bout will feature on a card which will be headlined by Takeshi Inoue (11-0-1, 6) [井上 岳志] challenging OPBF Light Middleweight champion Ratchasi Sithsaithong (9-3, 7) and will also feature a female title bout between Naoko Shibata (17-4-1, 6) [柴田 直子] and Etsuko Tada (16-3-2, 5) [多田 悦子] making this a very interesting card on paper.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Earlier this week we saw OPBF female Super Bantamweight champion Ayumi Goto (6-0, 4) [後藤あゆみ] being named as the "State of the Art" award winner, as the brightest newcomer in March. Today Goto again had the limelight thrown on her as she was part of a press conference to announce her next bout, which we now know will take place at the Hong Kong Convention center on May 13th, as part of a joint show from Watanabe and DEF Boxing.
At the moment there is little known about the show, though it was revealed that Goto would be one of several Japanese fighters on the card and would be fighting against Thai teenager Sumanthar Baenkham (1-2) in a 6 round non-title bout.
Along with Goto we also know that her stablebates Mako Matsuyama (8-11-2, 3) [松山 真虎], taking on Filipino fighter Crison Omayao (21-13-4, 7) and Yamamoto Ryan Joshua (0-0) [山本ライアン ジュシュア], who will be battling Thabo Matsau (0-0), will be on the show.
Other fighters who have been confirmed for the card are Sho Kimura (13-1-2, 6) [木村 翔], who looks set to take on Suphakit Khampha (6-3, 3) and Takuya Watanabe (31-7-1, 16) [渡邉 卓也], who will be battling Tabthong Tor Buamas (15-6, 12)
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
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