Two stacked world title doubleheaders scheduled for April in Japan
Last week Ohashi Promotions announced plans to commemorate their 20th anniversary with two separate world title doubleheaders in April. On April 6 in Tokyo, RING flyweight champ Akira Yaegashi and WBC 108-pound titleholder Adrian Hernanez co-headline; and on April 23 in Osaka, WBC bantamweight king Shinsuke Yamanaka and IBF 122-pound boss Kiko Martinez share the bill.
Yaegashi (19-3, 9 KOs) will defend his WBC and RING titles for the third time when he face's Mexico’s Odilson Zaleta (15-3, 8 KOs) at the Ota Ward Multi-purpose Gymnasium.
Two-weight titleholder Roman Gonzalez (38-0, 32 KOs) is also scheduled to appear on the undercard in a 10-round special attraction against an as yet unnamed opponent. It is anticipated if “Chocalitito” and Yaegashi both win they will meet in a highly anticipated fight rumoured to be as soon as August.
The second world title bout will see Naoya Inoue (5-0, 4 KOs) make an ambitious attempt to unseat Hernandez (29-2-1, 18 KOs). Since debuting 16-months ago Inoue, only 20, has blitzed his way to the top, already winning the Japanese national title as well as the OPBF strap.
A strong undercard sees former three-time world title challenger Satoshi Hosono (24-2-1, 18 knock outs) face unbeaten Yuki Ogata (19-0-1, 3 knock outs) for the vacant Japanese featherweight crown. Up and coming Ryo Matsumoto (9-0, 8 KOs) takes a huge step up in class when he meets former four-time world title challenger Hiroyuki Hisataka (22-11-1, 10 knock outs) over eight rounds at junior bantamweight.
Takuma Inoue, will take part in his second pro fight. Inoue, just 18 year old, hopes to break his brother Naoya’s record for winning the national title in fewest fights. Naoya did so in his fourth bout.
It was also announced that Ohashi Promotions will join forces with Teiken Promotions for another world title doubleheader on April 23. In the main event, Yamanaka (20-0-2, 15 KOs) will look to make the sixth defense of his title when he meets former European champion Stephane Jamoye (25-4, 15 KOs), of Belgium.
The other half of the main event sees Martinez (30-4, 22 KOs) take on respected Japanese veteran Hozumi Hasegawa (33-4, 15 KOs). Hasegawa, 33, will be looking to become a three-weight titleholder having previously reigned as WBC bantamweight and featherweight champion.
Photo / Kazuhiro Nogi-AFP
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