Earlier today Watanabe held an event that served a dual purpose. One of those purposes was to celebrate Kohei Kono's recent win over rival Koki Kameda, a win that was very well taken by Japanese fans who had long tired of the Kameda's and their actions, the other purpose was to announce two world title bouts.
Those bouts featured world champions that had been penciled in to be in action on December 31st, as part of a TV Tokyo show from the Ota City Gymnasium.
One of those fighters was long reigning WBA Super Featherweight "super" champion Takashi Uchiyama (23-0-1, 19) who had his bout with Nicaraguan challenger Oliver Flores (27-1-2, 17) confirmed. The bout was strongly rumoured with Latin American sources, such as Notifight, already confirming the story. Sadly it's a disappointing foe for Uchiyama who will be making the 11th defense of his title, and continue to slowly move towards the Japanese record of 13 world title defense held by Yoko Gushiken. This should be a straight forward defense though will hopefully be followed in Spring with a big name fight, possibly against Javier Fortuna, Takashi Miura or Yuriorkis Gamboa, who have all been linked to Uchiyama in the past.
Whilst Uchiyama's opponent is disappointing it's probably fair to say that stablemate Ryoichi Taguchi (22-2-1, 9) has got an even more disappointing assignment as he'll be defending his WBA Light Flyweight title against against Colombian challenger Luis De la Rosa (24-5-1, 14). Coming into this one De la rosa hgas lost 4 of his last 7, including a decision loss to Zou Shiming and stoppage losses to Merlito Sabillo, Moises Fuentes and Alexis Diaz, with Diaz and Fuentes both stopping him inside a round. To say Taguchi should be in a better bout is a massive under-statement.
Sadly for TV Tokyo it seems likely that they will against have numbers that are dwarfed by rival TBS, who have secured the Kazuto Ioka Vs Juan Carlos Reveco rematch as well as Kosei Tanaka's bout with Vic Saludar, both of which are more interesting than the offerings from Watanabe.
(Image courtesy of www.hochi.co.jp)
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