Sept Features 115 Pounders – Boxing’s super flyweight division (115 pounds) is entering a two week period at the start of September that sees all the major world titles up for grabs in feature fights.
The run got started on Wednesday, August 31st as Luis “El Nica” Concepcion pulled off the upset and defeated WBA world champion Kohei Kono in Tokyo. Kono became a bit of a cult hero in Japan, after winning the WBA title last October over fellow countryman Koki Kameda in Chicago. Kameda, who left the Japanese boxing scene abruptly to sign with Al Haymon, was 33-1 at the time and entered the fight a big favorite. Kono’s win over Kameda was seen as a bit of redemption for the Japanese boxing scene. Concepcion was Kono’s second title defense after successfully defending the belt in April of this year. The Panamanian fighter took the world title home with him and moved his record to 35-4-1.
For Concepcion it was his second bid at a world title, as he lost to WBC titleholder Carlos Cuadras in April of 2015. In the fight prior to meeting Kono he defeated arch-rival Hernan Marquez, avenging prior losses to Marquez from earlier in his career. That gave Concepcion the “interim” version of the WBA world title. The win on Wednesday now gives Concepcion the “full” version of the WBA world belt.
Saturday night, September 3rd sees IBF world titleholder McJoe Arroyo (17-0) defending his belt against once-beaten Jerwin Ancajas (24-1-1) in the Philippines. Arroyo, the twin brother of well-regarded flyweight McWilliams Arroyo, represented Puerto Rico in the 2008 Beijing games. Arroyo picked up the vacant belt this past July with a 12th round stoppage over 27-0 Arthur Villanueva. This is his first title defense.
On Sunday, September 4th Japan hosts WBO world title action as 23-year old-phenom Naoya Inoue (10-0) puts his belt on the line against Thai veteran Karoon Jarupianlerd. In just ten pro fights, Inoue has already won world titles in two weight classes, and though he has fought exclusively in Japan, he has already looked like a crossover talent. He has a compelling story line as he is trained by his father, Shingo Inoue, and his brother and cousin are undefeated professionals as well. This fight against Jarupianlerd is a fight that sees Inoue enter a prohibitive -10000 favorite. Both his brother and his cousin are on the undercard.
Sept Features 115 Pounders – “Chocolatito” Cometh
The biggest fight in the weight class comes on September 10th at the Forum in Inglewood, California as undefeated WBC champion Carlos Cuadras (35-0-1) takes on Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez (45-0) in a fight set to air on HBO pay-per-view.
Gonzalez is the number one pound for pound fighter in the world (see the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board), and has world titles in the three smaller weight classes already decorating his mantel. This fight sees him moving up to super flyweight where he faces a rugged Mexican fighter in Cuadras.
Cuadras will not go down without a fight. A win over Chocolatito on HBO would lead to bigger fights that would take the weight class to new heights. Gonzalez is already the biggest name in the weight class and ever since Floyd Mayweather Jr retired and he was named the #1 pound for pound fighter in the world, he has fought with a target on his back. Despite his determination, Cuadras will be a huge underdog heading into the fight, and there is no doubt that fighting Gonzalez is the biggest payday out there as long as the Nicaraguan remains undefeated.
Long term, the match that could take the weight class to the next level, should it materialize, is Chocolatito versus Naoya Inoue. At some point, Inoue is going to have to prove his talents against the best in the world. Gonzalez has fought in Japan before, but a fight between him and Inoue, if built up properly, should be lucrative enough to lure Inoue outside his protected zone. And for those of you who have not seen Inoue fight, the TBRB.org site already has him ranked #10 on the pound for pound lists, so on paper it would not a fight where Inoue would be completely out of his league. A fight between the two has the potential to be something special.
Sept Features 115 Pounders / Check out more boxing news and videos at The Boxing Channel.