This past week has been a relatively quiet one for Asian boxing news, but there has been a few stories of some note.
The first of those came on Monday where one of the most notable was in regards to WBA Super Bantamweight champion Shun Kubo (12-0, 9). The Shinsei man drew an amazing 8.7% in the Kansai region. To put that into perspective the fight between Kubo and Nehomar Cermeno drew an audience just shy of 2,000,000 in one region of Japan.
Staying with Kubo the fighter is set to go to Mexico for a break, but upon his return to the ring he’s likely to face Daniel Roman (22-2-1, 8), with Roman being mentioned by Kubo’s team at a press conference the day after Kubo’s title win.
Remaining on the subject of Japanese Super Bantamweight’s it was nice to see that Shingo Wake (20-5-2, 12) hasn’t walked away from the sport following his damaging 2016 loss to Jonathan Guzman. Instead Wake has taken time from the ring to heal and recently reported that he had transferred to the FLARE Yamagami gym is looking to make his ring return in Summer.
Whilst Wake is set to return to the ring we already know that Katsunari Takayama won’t be back in the ring. As a result of his retirement several sources in Japan have reported that the WBO are now set to upgrade “interim” champion Tatsuya Fukuhara (19-4-6, 7). The reports haven’t yet been confirmed by the WBO but that’s expected to be done next week whilst Fukuhara looks to prepare for his first defense.
There was also a number of bouts for May being announced this past week.
The first of those bouts to take will occur on May 7th and see Takuya Uehara (11-0, 6) making his first defense of the WBC Youth Featherweight title as he takes on Thailand’s Nongdear Sor Bangkharu (1-14). Needless to say this is an easy first defense, but it’s nice to see the promising Uehara return to the ring and hopefully his next bout will be a step back up in class.
The second of the notable bouts announced will take place on May 13th in Hong Kong, where OPBF female Super Bantamweight champion Ayumi Goto (6-0, 4) will headline against Sumanthar Baenkham (1-2). The bout isn’t a mouth watering match up but does seem likely to begin a strong working relationship between DEF Boxing Promotion, in Hong Kong, and Japan’s Watanabe gym, who could make some very interesting things happen later in the year.
The most interesting of the bouts announced for May this past week will take place on May 21st and see Seita Ogido (11-2-2, 3) take on the unbeaten Edward Heno (10-0-4, 4) for the OPBF Light Flyweight title, which was vacated by Ken Shiro. The bout will see Ogido attempt to bounce back from a draw earlier this year, in a WBC Youth title fight, whilst Heno will look to extend his unbeaten record.
(Scott Graveson covers the Asian boxing scene for www.asianboxing.info)