The always fun to watch Nihito Arakawa (24-4-1, 16) will return to the ring on July 23rd at the Korakuen Hall to face former adversary Akihiro Kondo (19-3-1, 8) who will return from retirement for the bout.
For many fans Arakawa is a man they know, a man they recognise in the ring and a man they actually want to see more of. His fights with Omar Figueroa and Jorge Linares have both been screened on US TV whilst his loss to Daniel Estrada was also a bout that had some fans in the west talking. He may not be world class but he has left a lasting impression on fans.
In Kondo we have a fighter who is known really just in Japan. Kondo has never fought outside of his homeland and in fact he's never fought outside of Tokyo. Despite that little fact he is well known by the hardcore Japanese fans who may remember his short reign as the Japanese Lightweight champion in 2009-2010. Kondo's reign as the champion came to and end when he fought Arakawa with the then challenger taking a majority decision to claim the title, it was Kondo's second defence.
As well as Arakawa we've also seen Kondo in with current Japanese Lightweight champion Yoshitaka Kato, with the men going 1-1 from two very close fights together.
Last year Kondo handed in his JBC license to retire from the sport. Since then he has had time to reflect and preparation for a comeback has be on going since earlier this year with some training in Thailand. Kondo has also switched, he was originally with Nitto Gym though will now be fighting under the banner of Ichiriki, which translates as "One Force".
Although Kondo has been out of the ring for a while we expect this to be a tough fight for both men. Arakawa's last few fights have been hard and must have taken a toll on his body whilst the break for Kondo, who will have been out of the ring for 15 months may well have done him the world of good, especially when you consider he is still in his 20's.
(Image courtesy of http://boxingnews.jp and kichijoji-tekken8.jp/)
News! We try and give you the most interesting news stories from the Asian boxing world!