A live audience will be on hand to bear witness to the Hiroto Kyoguchi revolution.
The 2020 debut for the unbeaten World Boxing Association (WBA) junior flyweight titlist is set, as Kyoguchi will face Thailand’s Thankongsak Simsri on November 3 at Intex Osaka in Osaka, Japan. The bout was formally announced on Tuesday, with the inclusion that a crowd of up to 4,000 will be permitted to attend.
“I am happy that we can have a fight,” Kyoguchi stated at the official announcement presser. “I want a fight that shows the little difference in skills between us.”
The event will stream live on Kyoguchi’s popular YouTube channel, which already boasts more than 122,000 subscribers.
Kyoguchi (14-0, 9KO)—who was born in Osaka and fights out of Tokyo—will attempt the third defense of the 108-pound title he claimed in a 10th round stoppage of Johannesburg’s Hekkie Budler on New Year’s Eve 2018 in Macao, China. The bout was just the second of his career to have not taken place in his home country of Japan, which has housed both of his successful title defenses.
In his most recent start, Kyoguchi—who will celebrate his 27th birthday later in November following his next fight—outpointed countryman Tetsuya Hisada last November at EDION Arena in Osaka. Original plans called for the unbeaten titlist to have made a voluntary defense versus Australia’s Andika ‘Golden Boy’ Sabu this past May, only for the event to be canceled due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
The WBA approved Kyoguchi’s request for a voluntary defense in November, contingent upon a clear path for Simsri (14-0, 12KOs) to gain travel clearance to and from his native Thailand. Event handlers have assured the sanctioning that the process is already underway, along with a firm contingency plan in place should any issues arise.
Simsri enters his first career title fight. The 20-year old from Si Sa Ket comes in highly touted at least through his regional media, whom our friends at AsianBoxing.info has revealed is often referred to as “Srisaket II”—homage to former lineal junior bantamweight champion Srisaket Sor Rungvisai.
The bout will mark the fourth career trip out of Thailand for Simsri—all of which will have taken place specifically in Osaka. Included among the lot is an eight-round win over unbeaten Christian Bacolod last December. In his most recent start, Simsri scored a 4th round knockout over local novice Suriya Puttaluksa this past February in Bang Phil, Thailand.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox