WBA light flyweight champion Ryoichi Taguchi and WBA super flyweight champ Kohei Kono each enters his title defense on Wednesday hoping his edge in reach can make a difference.
The world title doubleheader at Tokyo’s Ota Gymnasium will mark the fourth title defense for both Watanabe Gym fighters, who had their prefight medicals on Monday.
Taguchi, whose three title defense were all decided by technical knockouts, will face top-ranked compatriot Ryo Miyazaki with an advantage in height (11.3 centimeters) and reach (13.5 cm).
“I’ll try to use those advantages effectively. I’m not going to be overpowered,” said the 29-year-old Taguchi, who has a 24-2 record with 11 knockouts and one draw.
Miyazaki, 28, has a 24-1 record with 15 knockouts and three draws. He said, “I’m just raring to go. I want to be pumped up, concentrating, and do everything I’ve worked on without being careless.”
The 35-year-old Kono has a 10-cm advantage in both height and reach on hard-punching Panamanian interim champion Luis Concepcion.
“His physique isn’t that of a super flyweight. I thought he is rather small. I’ll keep my distance and fight well,” said Kono, who is 32-8 with 13 knockouts and one draw.
Concepcion, 30, is 34-4 with 24 knockouts, and has a wealth of experience having fought in several world title bouts.