Over the past 48 hours we've been hearing the very strong rumour that a WBA Bantamweight “super” title fight is set to take place in Japan in the coming months. Originally we heard the rumour on Thursday from a source who has proven to be reliable in the past and a day later a separate source reported the exact same story. From both accounts the bout is a done deal, and will be officially announced shortly.
The bout in question is set to see unbeaten Dominican Juan Carlos Payano (16-0, 8) travel to Japan to battle against rising Japanese star Ryo Matsumoto (14-0, 12).
Payano, for those who aren't aware, won the title last September when he took a controversial technical decision win over Panama's talented and slippery Anselmo Moreno. It was thought that Payano would go on to milk the belt but instead he has been inactive. Not only has he failed to make the most of the belt but he is also getting older and turns 31 this coming Sunday.
Although talented the Dominican southpaw hasn't achieved a great deal more than his stand out win over Moreno, though his perhaps best remembered for his frightening KO against Filipino fighter Jundy Maraon back in 2013.
Whilst Payano has been wasting time recently Matsumoto has been making statements. The talented 21 year old from Yokohama spent 2014 having a break out year. He began by out pointing former multi-time world title challenger Hiroyuki Hisataka in what was a then career best win, before stopping Zun Rindam, in a relative nothing fight, former world champion Denkaosan Kaovichit and fringe contender Rusalee Samor.
The win over Samor, on December 30th, saw Matsumoto graduating to title level and winning the OPBF Super Flyweight title. Since then he has out grown the division and made the move to Bantamweight, a division much more suited to his frame, which is still filling out.
Whilst a date hasn't yet been set for the bout we do believe all the other details are set and that the bout will come on an Ohashi promoted show, possibly at the end of summer. It would seem likely that Mr Ohashi is starting to put together the under-card for the bout before announcing the show, and may well leave the announcement until early may, awaiting the result of Akira Yaegashi's next bout before announcing Matsumoto's bout.
Whilst our sources may be wrong, the fact both have said the same thing makes us believe that this is a “go-er” and ready to be announced.
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