We are sad to report that Akio Shibata (24-8-1, 10) will not be defending his OPBF and Japanese titles on March 26th as previously hoped. This is due to the fact that scheduled opponent, Yasuyuki Akiyama (10-4-1, 8) has suffered a training injury just a few days before the scheduled fight.
Although Akiyama is out of action we will still see Shibata, albeit in a non title bout scheduled for 10 rounds. At the moment however no opponent has been announced however it's expected that Shibata will fight a foreign opponent, which given the time frame will likely be a Thai foe.
It's disappointing news for the fighters and fans however the show does still feature a very interesting main bout which will see Go Odaira (11-4-3, 1) defending his Japanese Minimumweight against Yutaka Sowano (9-5-1, 6), in what will be Odaira's first bout since being stopped on New Year's Eve by Katsunari Takayama in about for the WBO and IBF world titles.
(Image of Shibata courtesy of http://www.watanabegym.com)
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