Earlier today in Yokohama saw a press conference being held by Hanagata Gym to publicly announce the WBC Minimumweight title bout between their fighter, and challenger, Go Odaira (12-4-3, 1) [大平 剛] and unbeaten world champion Wanheng Menayothin (40-0, 15) [วันเฮง ไก่ย่างห้าดาวยิม].
The press conference seemed to be one of hope with both Odaira and his trainer, former world champion Susumu Hanagata [花形 進], suggesting that this would be third time lucky for the Hanagata clan in Thailand. That comment relates to Mr Hanagata losing against Chartchai Chionoi in a WBA Flyweight title bout back in 1973 and former Hanagata gym fight Shoji Kimura [木村 章司], who came up short in 2010 against Poonsawat Kratingdaenggym in a bout for the WBA Super Bantamweight title.
Using the experience of those set backs it seems that Odaira's team have taken extra steps to prepare their man who will get to Thailand early, on February 24th, in an attempt to acclimatise to the weather.
Also in regards to preparing it seems Odaira has been watching Wanheng's bouts and and is getting to know his opponents strengths, as well as his weaknesses. With that in mind it seems that Odaira's game plan will revolve around his movement and handspeed, both of which impressive facets for the Japanese fighters.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
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