By David Finger
Former WBO mini-flyweight champion Tatsuya Fukuhara (19-6-6, 7 KOs) looks to kick off his comeback on April 22, 2018 in Fukuoka Japan when he takes on countryman Yuto Takahashi (8-3, 4 KOs) in an eight round fight that could put the winner back into the WBO world ratings.
Although the 25-year old Takahashi doesn’t have what could be considered a flashy record, he is still seen as a scrappy young fighter who draws comparisons to the former world champion, who had a similar 8-1-2 record at the same point in his career.
For Fukuhara, it is a must win fight for the popular brawler, who was sitting on top of the world just over a year ago when he won the vacant WBO belt with a twelve round decision over Mexico’s Moises Calleros. However, since defeating Calleros, Fukuhara has dropped a pair of decisions in world title fights: first losing his title to countryman Ryu Yamanaka in August before dropping another decision to the undefeated WBC Thai champion Wanheng Menayoythin in November. The back to back losses saw Fukuhara drop from the rankings with the WBO (although he still holds the #10 ranking in the WBC minimumweight rankings). As a result Fukuhara is keenly aware that he not only needs to win against Takahashi, but he needs to look impressive if he is to reenter the top of the world rankings.
“I want to fight my fight (and) win by knockout,” Fukuhara said of his upcoming fight. “And (I want to) build on the win going into my next fight.”
Rounding off the card in the co-main event is popular Fukuoka native Yuki Hirashima (7-2-1, 1 KO) who takes on cross town rival Junji Okami (10-9-1, 7 KOs) in the co-main event. The event is promoted by Miratsu Sports Promotions and is slated to take place at the Clover Plaza in Fukuoka. Tickets start at 5,000 Yen in advance and 6,000 yen at the door.