Feature Story

Hasegawa-Montiel collision

Naoki Fukuda

By Joe Koizumi

Wise men say only misunderstanding of the opponent’s real power may produce a superfight between superstars, but we cannot help thinking there might be an exception of each respecting and evaluating the rival’s credentials. WBC bantam champ Hozumi Hasegawa (28-2, 12 KOs), Japan, having scored ten defenses straight with latest five within a short distance, will put his belt on the line against WBO ruler Fernando Montiel (40-2-2, 30 KOs), Mexico, three-class champ of the fly, super-fly and bantam categories, on Friday in Tokyo, Japan. Akihiko “Only in Japan” Honda of Teiken Promotions has materialized this dream fight. More than twenty Mexican TV men and press people arrived here early this morning to show it live in Mexico and report it in a hot fashion from Tokyo.

It seemed very sportsmanlike that Hasegawa and Montiel expressed their respects to the other champ’s excellence at the press conference today (Wednesday). Hasegawa said, “The superior condition and cleverness between the two of us may account for the outcome. My best shot, a right hook, may catch Montiel.” The 31-year-old Mexican “Cochulito” (small wolf), three years his senior, replied, “It may be my right hand that will decide the fight. I’ll bring back the WBC green belt to Mexico.”

Montiel’s WBO belt will not be at stake. Should Montiel win, he will hold both the WBC and WBO belts and bring home the bacon. Should Hasegawa triumph over the Mexican, he won’t take the WBO throne, but will only to retain his WBC crown. It was only under this condition that the Japan Boxing Commission (JBC), which only affiliates with the WBC and the WBA, authorized this confrontation of the WBC and WBO titlists.

Some Japanese press described it as the most important bout in the Japanese boxing history. We hope it will be a really good fight as expected and ballyhooed.

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