Former World Boxing Association minimumweight champion Yutaka Niida will challenge current title holder Noel Arambulet of Venezuela this summer in his first comeback fight since coming out of retirement, boxing sources said Thursday.

Niida, who decided to come out of retirement in December after a year away from the ring, will take on Arambulet at Pacifico Yokohama on July 12.

Unbeaten in 17 fights (14 wins, 3 draws) as a pro and currently ranked eighth in the world, Niida secured an upset over Thai champion Chana Porpaoin with a unanimous verdict in his first shot at a world title in August 2001.

The 24-year-old then announced his decision to quit the sport in October that year without making a defense of his belt, saying he was “99 percent” certain he would not return to the ring and was satisfied with his achievements.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.