Last November we saw the touted Genki Hanai (7-1, 5) [華井 玄樹] suffer his first defeat, coming up short against Japanese champion Tatsuya Fukuhara (18-4-6, 7) [福原 辰弥]. Since then we have seen Fukuhara having his next bout announced as a WBO "interim" world title bout, set for late February, but until today we hadn't heard anything about Hanai's return.
Today we've seen Hanai's next bout become public, with the talented 26 year old now set to return on April 30th as he takes on domestic foe Kenta Matsui (7-6, 1) [松井 謙太].
For Hanai this is a huge step backwards, given that Fukuhara is now fighting for an interim world title, but it's likely to be a good work out for him with Matsui likely to take him rounds if nothing else. Through his career Matsui has been stopped just once, an 8th round stoppage last year to Tetsuya Hisada, and has heard the final bell against the likes of Jun Takigawa, Seita Ogido and Riku Kano.
For Matsui the bout is likely to be another loss, but a good showing here could increase his standing, even if he is essentially a domestic journeyman at the moment.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
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