We've long known that Hiroto Kyoguchi (6-0, 6) [京口 紘人] would be making his first defense of the OPBF Minimumweight title on April 25th, at Dangan 180. What we didn't know was who the destructive Watanabe Gym buzzsaw would be up against. Today however we saw sources begin to report that Kyoguchi would be up against 23 year old Filipino foe Jonathan Refugio (16-5-5, 4).
For Kyoguchi the bout sees him looking to build on a 3rd round KO of Filipino veteran Armando dela Cruz (25-15-3, 11), back in late February. He's looking to secure his 7th straigtht stoppage win and continue his quick rise through the ranks, towards a potential world title fight. Despite having only had 6 bouts he is seen as one of the countries top young talents and looks to be following in the footsteps of other young Japanese fighters, like Naoya Inoue, and Daigo Higa.
Although relatively unknown outside of Asia Refugio is a really good gate keeper. Although he has 5 draws and 5 losses it should be noted that 4 of those draws came in his first 10 bouts and losses have come against the likes of Wanheng Menayothin, Merlito Sabillo, Knockout CP Freshmart and Melvin Jerusalem. He holds a notable win over Richard Claveras, a draw with Seita Ogido and has only been stopped by Wanheng and Sabillo, who took 9 and 7 rounds respectively.
Kyoguchi will be the favourite coming in to this bout, but he will be facing arguably his best test to date and an impressive showing could well tempt Watanabe gym to throw him into a world title fight later this year.
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