CURRENT WBA World super flyweight champion Kohei Kono (32-8-1, 13 KOs) will be defending his belt in a mandatory clash against the interim WBA champion at 115 pounds, Panamanian Luis Coencepcion (34-4, 24 KOs). The bout is scheduled to take place on Wednesday, August 31st at Ota-City General Gymnasium in Kono’s hometown of Tokyo, Japan.
“(Concepcion) is perhaps the most dangerous rival of my boxing career,” said Kono. “Win or lose, the fight will end by knockout.”
This will be Kono’s second consecutive defense at Ota-City following his memorable battle against countryman Koki Kameda. The fight was the first all-japanese world title bout staged in the United States.
They gained many fans in Chicago that night, engaging in frantic and often rough exchanges all night long. One knockdown, three point deductions and 1700 punches were logged by the fighters by the time the final bell rang.
It was a war that would have easily stolen the night had it not played opener to the brutal contest staged by Andrezj Fonfara and Nathan Cleverly.
For Concepcion, this will be his first fight outside of Latin America. He carries a power advantage into the fight and a game plan that he feels may help knock Kono off his perch.
“He is a great fighter and I respect him a lot,” said Concepcion. “The weakness of Kohei Kono is that he starts slowing down in the latter part of his fights. He gets careless and drops his guard.”
A win for Concepcion will be a career-defining victory for the Panamanian and will elevate him to full champion status with the WBA.
If Kono were to come out the victor, it may pave the way for a unification super-fight later this year against WBO Super flyweight champion, Naoya “The Monster” Inoue, one of boxing’s brightest rising stars. The battle would likely be held in Tokyo and draw massive national attention, as well as pique the interest of fight fans abroad.