Earlier today we were informed that Japanese slugger Shinya Iwabuchi (24-5, 20) would be facing compatriot Ryusei Yoshida (26-6, 13) on May 2nd at Dangan 127. The bout will put two fighters ranked highly by the JBC against each other in what promises to deliver a really exciting contest and a contest that both men will go into with the knowledge that a win will move them to the verges of a possible title bout.
Of the two it's Iwabuchi who is the more well known fighter having previously held the Japanese Light Welterweight title, which he defended 3 times, and having also twice fought for the OPBF title. It's also Iwabuchi who has made himself a popular fighter on these Dangan shows of which he has been a frequent fighter on. Sadly the exciting southpaw has twice come up short on the regional level, first losing an all out-slugfest with Min Wook Kim in a 2013 FOTY contender before being stopped in 2012 last year by the monstrously hard hitting Keita Obara.
Whilst we love watching Iwabuchi we do need to admit he didn't look himself last time out as he struggled with slippery Venezuelan Luis Araguayan, before finally stopping him in the 7th round.
As for Yoshida he's won his last 4 bouts though they have, on the whole come against weak opponents. His one win of note during that run was an upset victory over Shohei Okuda last November and it's that win that has kept his career relevant after a trio of disappointing losses between July 2012 and April 2013. Although a Japanese fighter Yoshifa has faced many of his most notable opponents on the road with several bouts in Thailand, including a loss to former world title challenger Napapol Sor Rungvisai, and a loss to Paul Fleming in Macao, on the same show as Zou Shiming's debut.
Although Yoshida is lacking a standout win he'll know that if he can upset the odds here he'll manage to make himself very relevant and a fight with current national champion Hiroki Okada could be on the table later this year.
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