By Ray Wheatley — World of Boxing
Photo: TEAM NASIO
Australian heavyweight champion Willie Nasio (10-1, 9 KOs) will challenge Kyotaro Fujimoto (15-1, 8 KOs) over twelve rounds for the vacant OPBF crown at the Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan on Saturday.
Fujimoto who was WBC rated after defeating Chauncey Welliver in 2012 but suffered his only loss that same year to former Australian heavyweight champion Solomon Haumono. Fujimoto has scored ten consecutive victories since losing to Haumono including wins over Aussie’s Nathan McKay and Adam Lovelock in 2016.
Willie Nasio’s only loss was to Tai Tuivasain 2014 when he suffered a stoppage in round one. Nasio and Fujimoto have boxed a common opponent in Nathan McKay with Nasio stopping McKay in round one in 2015 and Fujimoto scoring a clear eight round decision victory in 2016.
Nasio is coming off a four round stoppage of Hunter Sam of scheduled ten round contest in October and Fujimoto stopping Adam Lovelock in round two of a scheduled ten round bout in August.
Nasio stands 6.2 and weighs 255 pounds and Fujimoto is 6.0″ and weighs 230 pounds.
Mark Ericksen who managed former world heavyweight contender Kali Meehan and Jimmy Thunder is confident that his charge Nasio will be victorious in Japan.
“I managed Kali Meehan and Jimmy Thunder and Willie Nasio punches faster and harder with both hands than both of them. Kali Meehan lost disputed decision to Lamont Brewster in a WBO challenge and Jimmy Thunder defeated world champions Tony Tubbs, Trevor Berbick and Tim Witherspoon. Willie is tough and focused with a great chin. I have also been training Willie with Tony Schwalger. Willie is training twice a day, 6 days, doesn’t drink or smoke, married with three children, a devout Mormon and is a mental health officer looking after intellectually impaired people when not boxing. A walking human good guy story. Fujimoto is a former KI world champion and this will be Nasio’s toughest fight. We are confident of victory in Japan.”