Hiroto Kyoguchi has two goals for the rest of 2022 and his career moving forward—greater in-ring activity and more belts.
The reigning WBA junior flyweight titlist saw his stock skyrocket following an eighth-round stoppage of Esteban Bermudez on the road in Guadalajara, Mexico. Their June 10 DAZN event saw Tokyo’s Kyoguchi (16-0, 11KOs) return to the ring for the first time in fifteen months, which followed a near two-year ring absence.
Now at full health and proving his dominance atop the division, the unbeaten two-division titlist looks forward to a steady stream of fights in his immediate future.
“I would like to be more active than I have been and would like to face the other champions,” Kyoguchi told BoxingScene.com. “Becoming a unified champion is a goal of mine for the next year.”
There is at least one taker in the division—Kyoguchi’s countryman, WBC junior flyweight titlist Kenshiro Teraji.
“Congratulations to Kyoguchi, you’re ready,” the two-time WBC titleholder tweeted immediately after Kyoguchi’s sensational performance. “Unifcation!”
Such a fight would mark just the second unification fight between two reigning titlists from Japan. The lone other occasion came ten years ago this month when Kazuto Ioka edged Akira Yaegashi via majority decision in their memorable June 2012 WBA/WBC strawweight title unification bout in Osaka, Japan.
Teraji regained the WBC title following a crushing third-round knockout of countryman Masamichi Yabuki in their rematch this past March 19 at City Gym in Kyoto, Japan. The same venue hosted their first fight, where Teraji (19-1, 11KOs suffered his first defeat in an upset tenth-round knockout loss last September 22.
The division’s lone other reigning titleholder is Puerto Rico’s Jonathan ‘Bomba’ Gonzalez (26-3-1, 14KOs), who on Friday retained his WBO belt with a twelve round decision over Philippines’ Mark Anthony Barriga in Kissimmee, Florida. The IBF title is currently vacant, with prior champ Felix Alvarado leaving the belt behind to campaign at flyweight.
Kyoguchi helped reduce the division’s title claimants by one following his win over Bermudez, who entered their title consolidation clash as a secondary WBA ‘World’ titleholder. Now it’s onto the main straps and at least one more fight before year’s end—preferably both scenarios playing out in his next ring appearance.
“Whether it’s Kenshiro or any of the other champions in the division, I’m ready to unify the titles,” noted Kyoguchi.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox