Earlier this month Japanese fans in Sanda saw teenage hopeful Riku Kano (10-1-1, 5) [加納陸] claim the OPBF "interim" Minimumweight title, as he scored an impressive, but close, win over former world champion Merlito Sabillo. The win went under-the radar in many ways as it came on the same day as Naoya Inoue's recent win over David Carmona, but was a major one for Kano who proved he could go 12 rounds against a very good fighter and could over come real adversity.
The win was a good one for the 18 year old and it seems that WBO were particularly impressed with it as the youngster has been made their #1 ranked Minimumweight. With the title currently vacant it means that Kano is first in lane for the title, could be getting his shot before the year is over, in fact given his ranking he now appears to be on the verge of getting a chance to break the Japanese youth record of Hiroki Ioka.
Interestingly former world champion Katsunari Takayama (30-8-0-1, 12) [高山 勝成] is currently ranked #2 by the WBO whilst another Japanese fighter, Tatsuya Fukuhara (17-4-5, 6) [福原 辰弥], is ranked #3, meaning that it's highly likely that we will see Kano in an all-Japanese bout for the WBO title later this year.
News! We try and give you the most interesting news stories from the Asian boxing world!