Earlier today we were informed of the 4 bouts that will make up the 2016 Strongest Korakuen show on October 22nd, with the winners of the 4 bouts becoming the mandatory title challengers for the Japanese national title.
At light Flyweight the bout will see the #1 Japanese ranked fighter Tetsuya Hisada (26-9-2, 16) [久田 哲也] face off with Hayato Yamaguchi (14-6-1, 2) [山口 隼人(]. For Yamaguchi the bout will see him being given an opportunity to earn a third shot at the Japanese title, following losses to Masayuki Kuroda and Yu Kimura whilst Hisada will be looking at this bout as an opportunity to earn his first title bout. Interestingly Hisada enters this bout on a run of 5 straight stoppages!
At Super Bantamweight we again get a #1 Vs #2 scenario as veteran Jonathan Baat (31-7-5, 14) takes on Yusaku Kuga (12-2-1, 8) [久我 勇作] in a really mouth watering bout. Baat is a true veteran and appeares to have been getting better in the last few years with recent wins over Kenta Ono, Takahiro Shigee and Takafumi Nakajima, whilst holding Hikaru Maugame and Rey Megrino to draws. On the other Kuga is one of the division's most under-rated fighters and ran Yasutaka Ishimoto incredibly close at the end of last year, unfortunately however he has only fought once since that draw with the current Japanese champion.
At Super Featherweight we will see the #4 ranked Satoru Sugita (11-3-4, 7) [杉田 聖] battle against the #5 ranked Tsuyoshi Tojo (13-13-5, 2) [東上 剛司]. For Sugita it's a chance to get back on the horse so to speak following this year's loss to Kenichi Ogawa in a title fight, a fight in which he actually impressed before being stopped. As for Tojo it's a chance to earn his first title shot, at the age of 36. It's clear that Sugita will be favoured here but Tojo will certainly be looking to make the most of this opportunity.
The fourth bout will be at Light Welterweight where we again see the #1 and #2 facing off. This bout will see 2-time title challenger Koichi Aso (20-7-1, 13) battle against impressive novice Noriaki Sato (4-1-1) in what looks like a really, really promising bout. Aso will obviouwlt be favoured, and with good reason given his experience and power. However Sato has impressed so far into his career with a draw against Yuya Okazaki and wins against Valentine Hosokawa and Kazuya Ito.
This will be a brilliant show and we wouldn't be surprised to see the card become one of the most exciting domestic Japanese of the year.
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