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Ex-world champ Higa vows KO win in Dec. 31 fight with Kobayashi

Dec 05, 2020 23:06 pm

Former World Boxing Council flyweight champion Daigo Higa of Ambition GYM vowed to knock out World Boxing Organization’s Asia Pacific bantamweight champion Yuki ‘’Strong’’ Kobayashi when he challenges the latter on New Year’s Eve at Tokyo’s Ota Ward Gymnasium, Higa told reporters online on Dec. 4.


The fight will take place as the chief supporting card for a showdown between WBO super flyweight champion Kazuto Ioka and top-ranked Kosei Tanaka of Soul Box Hatanaka Boxing Gym as the latter will challenge the former for the title. Higa and Ioka belong to the same gym.

The 25-year-old Higa, who had to settle for a draw with lightly regarded Seiya Tsutsumi of Kadoebi Boxing Gym in a bantamweight nontitle bout in October, said, ‘’I realized there were lots of problems in my fight (with Tsutsumi). I fought a defensive fight, and that was not my kind of boxing. I painfully realized that by watching the replay of the fight.’’

Higa, who has a record of 16 wins, all by knockout, against a loss and a draw, pledged to return to his previous ‘’ferocious’’ boxing style, adding, ‘’Even if you don’t get hit, you have to go forward and throw punches more. That’s the main point I learned in my fight (with Tsutsumi).

Touching on his opponent Kobayashi, Higa said, ‘’He is tough and is a kind of boxer who comes out strong.’’

At present, Higa is ranked eighth by the WBC and 10th by the World Boxing Association in the world bantamweight ranking, while the 29-year-old Kobayashi is ranked ninth in the division by the International Boxing Federation and 13th by the World Boxing Organization. He has a record of 16 wins, nine by KO, against eight losses.

The Higa side, led by chief trainer Joji Nogi, hopes to have Higa challenge a world title next year if not right after the Kobayashi fight by weighing all the four world sanctioning bodies.

‘’Of course, I want to become a world champion again. But before that, I want to knock out my opponent decisively so that I can pursue my target,’ Higa said.

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