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World champ Akui predicts technical battle in May 6 title defense against Kuwahara

Apr 18, 2024 22:14 pm

  World Boxing Association flyweight champion Seigo ‘’Yuri’’ Akui of Kurashiki Moriyasu Boxing Gym said on Apr. 18 in Tokyo the upcoming title defense against third-ranked flyweight Taku Kuwahara of Ohashi Boxing Gym at Tokyo Dome on May 6 will be a technical battle, and he will come out a winner in the battle.

Kurashiki Moriyasu gym’s head Moriyasu (L) and Akui

  Speaking before a group of reporters before his public workout at Teiken Boxing Gym where he has been training since Apr. 1, the 28-year-old Akui said, ‘’Since my opponent has not only power but also technique, it will be a technical battle.

  Akui, who stopped Kuwahara in the 10th and final round in July 2021 to retain his Japanese flyweight title, continued, ‘’The fight with Kuwahara led me to take a crack at a world title. At that time, he had speed but now has one-punch knockout power as well. I have to be careful about that aspect.’’

  Akui decisioned the previously undefeated champion Artem Dalakian of Ukraine and wrested the title on Jan. 23 in Osaka, becoming the first world champion from an Okayama prefectural gym in western Japan.

  He has been sparring with such top-notch Teiken gym boxers as Shokichi Iwata, Hayate Kaji and Kyosuke Takami to prepare for his first title defense.

  ‘’Picking up my own pace. I think that’s the bottom line,’’ Akui added.

Akui shows fine form in mitt-hitting practice

  After the interview, Akui engaged himself in his training which consisted of shadowboxing, mitt- and punching-bag hitting. In this connection, Ohashi gym’s head Hideyuki Ohashi, who watched Kuwahara’s training, said, ‘’I think he throws sharper punches than before. Becoming a world champion gave a sense of confidence to him.’’

  ‘’I hope both of them will do a kind of fight that can lend itself to dedication to Japan’s first world champion Yoshio Shirai who won the world flyweight title at Tokyo’s Korakuen Baseball Stadium in 1952.

  Akui has 19 wins, including 11 KOs, against two losses and a draw, while Kuwahara has a 13-1 win-loss tally with eight KOs.

  The fight is one of the four world championship bouts held at the dome with Kuwahara’s senior stablemate and undisputed world super bantamweight champion Naoya ‘’The Monster’’ Inoue’s title defense against the World Boxing Council’s top-ranked super bantamweight Luis Nery of Mexico will serve as the main event of the extravaganza.

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