Earlier today at the Korakuen Hall fans saw Japanese veteran Akio Shibata (26-8-1, 12) retain the Japanese and OPBF Middleweight titles. The talented and tricky fighter foced the 8th round stoppage of Yasuyuki Akiyama (10-5-1, 8).
Just moments after the bout Shibata's next challenger joined him in his changing rooms ahead of a bout that is now being arranged, likely for December.
That challenger is the confident and big punching Koki Tyson Maebara (9-1-1, 9), who has made it clear that he feels it's his time to claim a title.
Whilst there is no specific date set for the two men to meet it does seem that the bout is essentially a done deal with Maebara essentially being the mandatory challenger for Shibata's Oriental title.
Notably the 22 year old youngster is one of the few Middleweights in Japan who is taller than Shibata he's also regarded as one of the biggest punchers in Asia and has stopped his last 7 foes, including Shibata's stable Sanosuke Sasaki, in a combined 23 rounds.
Whilst Maebara is a puncher the same cannot be said of Shibata, though impressively he has stopped his last 3 foes, including Akiyama and former world title challenger Makoto Fuchigami.
(Image courtesy of Maebara's blog)
News! We try and give you the most interesting news stories from the Asian boxing world!