WBA light flyweight champion Ryoichi Taguchi said earlier today he can beat fellow champion Milan Melindo in their upcoming unification bout if he executes his game plan.
Taguchi (26-2-2) has been focused on his seventh title defense since learning he would face Melindo in a unification match on New Year’s Eve at Ota City General Gymnasium.
“The midrange is dangerous. I want to use my jab to get into the body,” Taguchi said. “If I can move the way I’ve planned, I can win.”
Taguchi had his hopes of an all-Japanese unification match against undefeated 22-year-old Kosei Tanaka dashed after the WBO light flyweight champion fractured both eye sockets in his win over Rangsan Chayanram of Thailand in September. Tanaka has since vacated his WBO title and announced he plans on moving up to the 112lb division.
Melindo (37-2) will be putting his IBF light flyweight title on the line after taking the belt from Akira Yaegashi with a stunning first-round technical knockout in Tokyo in May.
By: Chris Henderson