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Home > Match Information > Taniguchi exudes confidence for his challenge to WBO minimumweight champ Mendez on Dec. 14

Taniguchi exudes confidence for his challenge to WBO minimumweight champ Mendez on Dec. 14

Nov 02, 2021 11:03 am

Top-ranked World Boxing Organization minimumweight Masataka Taniguchi of Watanabe Boxing Gym expressed confidence at a press conference held online on Nov. 1 at the gym about the upcoming challenge against champion Wilfredo Mendez of Puerto Rico for the latter’s title on Dec. 14 at Tokyo’s Ryogoku Kokugikan Sumo Arena.

The 27-year-old Taniguchi, who unsuccessfully challenged then WBO minimumweight champion Victorio Saludar of the Philippines two years ago only to drop a unanimous decision, said, ‘’I am determined to win this time because I have improved a lot in the past two years although it may not be an easy job.’’

While the 24-year-old Mendez captured the title by decisioning Saludar in August 2019 and has successfully defended the title twice, Taniguchi said he is not the same Taniguchi as the Taniguchi two years ago as he said, ‘’I have remained grounded since I made a comeback and have won three fairly big bouts since then (including two technical knockouts).’’ He said he has increased the range of his fighting style.

‘’I will aim at doing the kind of boxing that the left-handed typical ‘out-boxer’ Mendez does not want. I badly want to win it,’’ Taniguchi continued, adding, ‘’Since my stablemate (Hiroto) Kyoguchi (of World Boxing Association light flyweight ‘’super’’ champion) still considers me as a rival, I want to come close to him.’’

Taniguchi has a record of 14 wins, including nine KOs, against three losses. Mendez has a 16-1 with six KOs.

The scheduled 12-rounder will serve as the chief supporting card of the defense of the two bantamweight world titles simultaneously held by Naoya ‘’Monster’’ Inoue of the Ohashi Boxing Gym.
Photo by Watanabe Boxing Gym

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