By Nick Skok:
Twenty-four year old IBF strawweight boss, Hiroto Kyoguchi, is ready for a breakout year. The usual KO provider had a difficult test in Vince Paras on May 20th in Tokyo as a part of the Ryoichi Taguchi - Hekkie Budler undercard, as he went the distance but secured a unanimous decision victory against the pesky filipino.
In the aftermath of the fight, Kyoguchi (10-0, 7 KO’s) told Japanese media outlet Nikkan Sports that “Eventually I’d like to be a unified champion.” The confident fighter reminded those in attendance that “Since he (Paras) is younger than me, I said beforehand that I’d teach him a boxing lesson.” You could say he did just that with all three scorecards reading “117-110.”
Kyoguchi’s esteemed promoter and gym president, Watanabe-san said “we’d like to have the unification.” It’s possible that in his next fight Kyoguchi will have a mandatory due so Watanabe added that Mark Anthony Barriga was a possibility for September before making a unification which would then theoretically be made at the end of the year. “We’d check a mandatory with the IBF [with a Barriga fight].”
The target was going to be WBO champion Ryuya Yamanaka (16-2, 5 KO’s) of the Shinsei Gym in Kobe before he lost just days ago. Said Yamanaka leading up to the fight: “What I need to do now is to keep winning. I’d like to have a unification fight with Kyoguchi once we are both recognized as stronger/better fighters. I saw the article where Kyoguchi said same thing in an interview. [eFight.jp]
While hardcore fans are starting to look in Kyoguchi’s direction and generally love unifications, Yamanaka brought up a valid point in that they’re not generating a lot of interest amongst casual fans at home. Kyoguchi’s fight wasn’t shown live on the Taguchi undercard and was on tape delayed broadcast five days after it took place. The fact that Yamanaka lost to Vic Saludar doesn’t upgrade the potential unification as the Japanese boxing public would be even less interested now.
However, it should be noted that Watanabe-san successfully staged a unification fight on New Year’s Eve last year with his guy Ryoichi Taguchi defeating Milan Melindo. As the New Year’s Eve week fights become more competitive amongst local promoters and networks, no doubt another unification match could garner some interest during the holidays, even amongst the strawweights.
Nick Skok can be reached on Twitter @NoSparring
These articles are submitted by guest writers and sites. They aren't submitted by the usual folk behind Asian Boxing and don't fall in line with our editorial stance, giving a fresh view on various boxing issues from the Asian boxing scene.