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Feature Story

Hot Winter in Japan

By Joe Koizumi

Though it is getting cold day after day, our winter seems hot from the fistic point of view as there are many important title bouts scheduled here in Japan.

On November 26, in Nagoya, ex-WBC bantam champ Hozumi Hasegawa, a Japanese southpaw with ten consecutive defenses to his credit prior to his unexpected and lamentable forfeiture to Fernando Montiel, will claim the WBC feather belt as he copes with unbeaten Mexican Juan Carlos Burgos. On the same bill, WBC 130-pound champ Vitali Tajbert, an only once-beatgen German technician, will put his belt on the line against ex-WBC feather ruler Takahiro Aoh, a Japanese lefty, over twelve frames.

On December 5, in Osaka, WBA female minimumweight champ Etsuko Tada, an unbeaten Japanese champ, will put her throne on the line against also unbeaten Thai twin Ammara Kokietgym over ten two-minute rounds.

On December 6, in Tokyo, WBA female super-fly champ Tsunami Tenkai will defend her belt against compatriot Rie Fujimoto at the Korakuen Hall.

On December 26, in Saitama, WBA flyweight boss Daiki Kameda will make another voluntary defense against Silvio Olteanu, a 32-year-old Romanian, though we expected Daiki to face WBC interim titlist Luis Concepcion of Panama after his lackluster first defense with ex-champ Takefumi Sakata.

On January 10, in Tokyo, unbeaten WBA super-feather champ Takashi Uchiyama, a Japanese hard-puncher, will finally face interim ruler Jorge Solis, a taller Mexican, in a WBA unification bout. Newly crowned WBA 122-pound champ Retsuri Lee (AKA Ryol-li Lee) will risk his belt against former OPBF kingpin Akifumi Shimoda, a highly regarded southpaw speedster, on the same bill.

On February 5, in Osaka, WBC 115-pound champ Tomas Rojas , a Mexican southpaw, will put his newly acquired belt at stake against ex-WBA ruler Nobuo Nashiro, Japan, in his initial defense.

We may see who will survive through these tough competitions with our great interests.

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