For weeks now we've been hearing speculation in regards to a Watanabe card set for August 31st. Thankfully much of that speculation has come to an end today following a double world title announcement by Watanabe who have officially announced two very interesting, and potentially brilliant, match ups.
One of those was the previously reported WBA Super Flyweight title bout between reigning "regular" champion Kohei Kono (32-8-1, 13) [河野 公平] and interim champion Luis Concepcion (34-4, 24). This bout was essentially confirmed late last week, when Concepcion's manager had told the Panamanian press that the bout was agreed, but we were awaiting this announcement for what, could, be a genuine FOTY contender.
The Kono Vs Concepcion bout will be Kono's second mandatory defense, following last year's historic win over Koki Kameda, and will be his 4th defense of the belt that he won in 2014, when he stopped Denkaosan Kaovichit. For Concepcion it will see him try to upgrade the interim title that he won last year, when he upset David Sanchez. It will also be Concepcion's second bout since winning the title, following a win over Hernan Marquez last year, in a bout that saw him avenge two defeats to the big punching Mexican warrior.
The bout will likely be aired in in both Panama and Japan and will is a mouth watering match up.
The other bout is a mandatory title defense for WBA Light Flyweight champion Ryoichi Taguchi (24-2-1, 11) [田口良一], who will face fellow Japanese fighter Ryo Miyazaki (24-1-3, 15) [宮崎 亮], who looks to become a 2-weight world champion.
For Taguchi the bout will be his first mandatory defense and appears to be a genuine step up following defenses over the likes of Kwanthai Sithmorseng, Luis de la Rosa and Juan Jose Landatea. Despite not being a noted puncher he has stopped opponents in all 3 of his previous defenses and looks to be developing into a much more confident fighter, regularly dropping opponents. Whilst this will be his fourth defense it will be the first time he has fought a domestic rival since losing to Naoya Inoue more than 3 years ago, in a bout that saw him take Inoue 10 rounds in a bout for the Japanese national title.
For Miyazaki,who really hasn't done much to deserve a mandatory title fight, the bout is a chance at redemption following his 2013 loss to Fahlan Sakkreerin Jr, a loss that saw Miyazaki look like warmed death at the weigh in. The Ioka gym warrior has subsequently scored 4 wins but all have come against very limited opponents, though all have been stoppages. Best known for being Kazuto Ioka's good friend Miyazaki will be hoping to add the WBA title Light Flyweight to his collection which already features Japanese and OPBF titles, both at Light Flyweight, and a WBA Minimumweight title.
Notably the rumoured WBA "super" Super Featherweight title bout between Masao Nakamura (22-3, 21) [仲村 正男] and the champion Jezreel Corrales (22-1-0-1, 8) wasn't announced with speculation being that the WBA won't allow the bout, or that it will be announced by Nakamura's gym in the near future.
As previously reported the show will take on August 31st at the Ota-City Gymnasium, and from what we understand it will be aired on tape delay TV Tokyo, the first Watanabe card on TV Tokyo not to feature Takashi Uchiyama in a very long time.
Kohei Kono and Ryoichi Taguchi to return on August 31st!
Ryoichi Taguchi ordered to face Ryo Miyazaki
WBA order Kohei Kono to negotiate with Luis Concepcion!
Kohei Kono Vs Luis Concepcion a done deal!
Rumour-Watanabe triple header takes shape
(Images courtesy of boxmob.jp)
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