It has been confirmed that WBC bantamweight world champion Hozumi Hasegawa will not be defending against former world champion Eric Morel, because of Morel’s major problems in obtaining a visa.
Hasegawa’s new challenger is WBC #12 rated Álvaro Pérez (18-1-1, 12 KOs) and the bout is planned for December 18 in Kobe, Japan. Hasegawa (27-2, 11 KOs) won the title in April 2005 against Thai legend Veeraphol Sahaprom and already has carried out nine defenses, the last four not going beyond two rounds.
Alvaro Perez is a member of the Nicaraguan Prodesa stable and is training in Managua, Nicaragua. The fight will be in front of Hasegawa’s hometown crowd for the third fight running.
This weekend, Joseph Agbeko will defend his IBF bantamweight title against another Perez, this one is an unbeaten challenger called Yhonny Perez, on Halloween. Agbeko recently defeated Armenian Vic Darchinyan in an explosive contest in July and is looking to successfully defend his belt for the third time this Saturday.
If Hasegawa and Agbeko successfully defend their belts, they could meet in a mouth watering clash in March 2010 to determine the real king of bantamweight.