WBA Rules Hiroto Kyoguchi To Fight One of Boxing’s Biggest Surprises of 2021
The World Boxing Association (WBA) has announced that WBA World Light Flyweight champion Hiroto Kyoguchi (15-0, 10 KOs) must fight WBA World “Regular” Light Flyweight titlist Esteban Bermudez (14-3-2, 10 KOs). Per a June 10 press release put out by the sanctioning body, both camps had until July 11 to come to terms on a deal. If both parties cannot agree to a deal by that mandated date, the fight will go to a purse bid.
Kyoguchi has become one of the more popular figures in Japanese boxing. A two-division world champion, the 27-year-old from Osaka, Japan, won the WBA ‘Super’ World 108-pound strap with a 10th round stoppage win over Hekkie Budler in December of 2019. He has successfully defended the title three times. By contrast, Bermudez has become one of the surprises this year. He was viewed as a mere journeyman when he stepped in the ring to face then-WBA ‘Regular’ World champion Carlos Canizales on May 28 in Mexico, City.
However, the 25-year-old resident of Nezahualcóyotl, Mexico, shocked the oddsmakers by TKO’ing Canizales in six rounds. It was the decisiveness of the victory that was most surprising. Bermudez did not simply win, he destroyed a fighter viewed by some observers as a boogeyman within the division.
One man who must be kicking himself in the aftermath of this ruling is WBO Light Flyweight champ Elwin Soto. Kyoguchi and Soto are promoted by Matchroom and have expressed an interest in fighting one another in a unification showdown. Talks of that fight will have to be pushed aside for the moment.
By: Michael Wilson Jr.