Earlier today Misako Gym held a press conference to announce a unification bout between OPBF Super Featherweight champion Masayuki Ito (19-1-1, 9) [伊藤 雅雪] and WBO Asia Pacific champion Takuya Watanabe (30-6-1, 16) [渡邉 卓也], a first in Japanese boxing.
The bout is set to take place in December, though no specific date or venue has been set in stone as of yet.
For Ito, who has been training in the US recently, the bout will serve as he 3rd OPBF title bout, ans his 5th success title bout. The talented 25 year old is on a 3 fight winning run with wins over Dai Iwai, Shingo Eto and Ernie Sanchez, and has bounced back well from his sole defeat, a razor thin loss to the then Japanese national champion Rikki Naito in February 2015. He'll not only be risking his title but also world rankings, though could well use a win to help secure a title fight for 2017.
As for Watanabe the bout will be his first defense of the title he won back in September, when he stopped Amin Sor Wangmoo in 6 rounds. Like Ito he is on an unbeaten run since losing a very close decision in a Japanese title fight, losing a majority decision to Satoshi Hosono in October 2015, and has won his last 4 bouts with stoppages.
The bout will see the two JBC recognised Asian champions fight in a unification for the first time, and the promoter seemed to think it would be the norm. It's worth nothing that neither fighter is promoter by the promoter who announced the fight but it would seem likely that the card will feature some Misako gym fights, possibly Yohei Tobe or Keita Obara, and maybe featured on either an online service or Fuji TV, who have showcased both men in the past.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
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