By Mark McKenna: Osaka Born , Perth based WBO No.2 Junior Featherweight Kenichi Yamaguchi,16-1-2(4) is confident of topping Puerto Rico’s WBO Champion Wilfredo Vazquez Jr , 18-0-1(15) in bout to happen in the near future.
Best known to Australian fight fans for his bizzare match against Billy Dib that ended in a no contest in July 2009 , Yamaguchi has rebounded to become the WBO Asia Pacific champion and more significantly the first Japanese fighter in history to win a WBO Asia Pacific belt in any weight division.Manager and trainer Justin Footit took time out from his busy schedule to discuss the upcoming plans of Yamaguchi :
What’s in the pipeline for Kenichi , Justin?
Mate,we are talking to the WBO about a bout against Wilfredo Vazquez Jr...Kenichi is ranked no.2 at the moment and would be a voluntary defence , but I am very confident he could take the title - his ability is simply that good. Vazquez Jr is a strong champion - his bloodlines are solid as Vazquez Sr was a triple crown WBA champion and a great ambassador for boxing , but no one is unbeatable.
With 4 inside schedule wins I would presume He is a boxing stylist first and foremost?
Yes , Yamaguchi is a boxer - but don’t be decieved he can bang when he wants to! He LIVES for boxing and can literally train all day.I know that a lot of trainers rattle this off about their fighters but he is first in and last out of the gym.Over twelve , when it comes down to conditioning and pure fitness I will match my guy against the best in the world. Billy Dib was nearly out in our fight before the ridiculous ending.His nickname is ’ machine gun ’ Yamaguchi and his speed is one of his biggest assets....he may as well be the Japanese equilvalent of Jorge Paez and Hector Camacho. A Showman and a boxer all in one!
Mustv’e been a bit of a buzz being the first WBO Asia Pacific Japanese titlist in History...
For sure - the Japanese boxing authorities don’t recognize the WBO on their home ground so to win that title with a 12 round win over Roberto Lerio in December was a historical victory. Bringing home the actual WBO title will be the top of the mountain,and a just reward for a guy who works his ass off in the gym.
Anything you’d like to say to our readers in closing ?
Keep an eye out for the Japanese Superstar , Kenichi Yamaguchi - he is prime to score an upset when he gets a title shot and it will be history in the making
August 1, 2010