Struggling Japanese Lightweight Contender Yoshitaka Kato (29-7-2, 9) [加藤 善孝] has had a year to forget, in fact he's gone 0-2-1 in his last 3 bouts and has failed to record a win since his December 2014 win over Nihito Arakawa. Despite that run the the 31 year old Kadoebi Houseki fighter is showing no intention of walking away from the ring and will instead return in December.
It's long been known that Kato would be fighting on December 6th at the Korakuen Hallm in the main event of a show at the Korakuen Hall, but until today his opponent wasn't known. That changed earlier when his team announced that Kato would be facing Filipino Leonardo Doronio (15-13-3, 10), who is currently ranked by the WBS.
At his best Kato was a rising contender who had unified the Japanese and OPBF Lightweight titles and looked to be on his way to a world title bout, and had scored wins over Akihiro Kondo, Motoko Sasaki and Rey Labao. His rise was however slowed in 2014 with a loss to Masayoshi Nakatani, and since then he has struggled with a 3-2-1 (2) run that has included losses to Ricky Sismundo and Daud Yordan.
Doronio has an interesting 1-1-1 record in Japan and although he has won just once in his last 6 bouts, a run of 1-4-1, he is better than those numbers suggest and ran Nery Saguilan very close earlier this year. He is likely to be seen as an easy opponent for Kato but is certainly no push over and he could be a banana skin for Kato if the local fighter is low on confidence and high on self doubt here.
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