Earlier today at the Ohashi in Yokohama fans and the media had the chance to see Ryuji Hara (19-1, 11) take part in an opening training session ahead of his IBF Minimumweight title challenge against Katsunari Takayama (29-7-0-1, 11) on September 27th.
The once beaten challenger sounded incredibly confident today suggesting that he was "100%" going to win when he steps in the ring with Takayama. The comment was a change in view from comments he made at the press conference last week where he sounded less confident, with a more restrained view on his chances.
It wasn't just Hara who was confident though with gym chairman Hideyuki Ohashi also talking confidently about his man's chances against the experienced Takayama.
As part of the training session Hara sparred 2 rounds with Ohashi stablemate, and former 2-weight world champion, Akira Yaegashi (22-5, 12). During that session Hara looked surprisingly powerful and very quick on his toes. He'll need to use that movement to avoid a slugfest with Takayama, as his power may not be enough to keep the champion from marauding his way through the young challenger, and it does seem like the movement will be a key part of Hara's gameplan.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
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