Earlier this year we saw Tatsuya Fukuhara (19-4-6, 7) [福原 辰弥] score a career defining win as he defeated Moises Calleros and won the WBO "interim" Minimumweight title. That belt was subsequently upgraded to the full version of the title when Katsunari Takayama [高山 勝成] announced his retirement from professional boxing.
Today we saw Fukuhara attend a press conference to officially announce his first defense, which we already knew would be a mandatory.
The Kumamoto man will face off with fellow Japanese fighter Shinsei's Ryuya Yamanaka (14-2, 4) [山中 竜也], a former OPBF champion, who had already had his team confirm that the bout was in play.
The contest will take place at the Shiroyama Sky Dome on August 27th and is likely tio get a fair bit of attention in Japan given that it is an all Japanese title bout. Saying that however Yamanaka wasn't at today's press conference and it was left to Fukuhara to talk about the bout. The champion stated that he was unhappy with his title winnign performance and would like a better match, with a KO being his target but stated that his foe was a good fighter. He wants to attack from early in the bout and take away the legs of the challenger. Notably he stated that he feels like a challenger and not a champion, and that would suggest that he will have a lot of hunger for the bout rather than any possible complacency.
At the moment it's unclear on the TV details of the bout, but with it's All-Japan title status there is hope it will be televised.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
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