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Amagasa healing up, targets Gradovich for IBF featherweight title

After looking like he'd been run over following his gutsy performance against super bantamweight king Guillermo Rigondeaux, Hisashi Amagasa is looking to dive right back in with the sharks.

Ken Ishii

If you didn't know Hisashi Amagasa before his New Years Eve bout with super bantamweight kingpin Guillermo Rigondeaux, you know him now.

Going into the contest as a massive underdog, Amagasa put up an incredibly brave challenge to one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the sport.

The lanky Japanese puncher had never faced an opponent anywhere near the crafty Cuban's class before, and although it showed by the time he was pulled out before the final round, he had success when no one expected him to, dropping the heavily favoured champion twice in the seventh stanza and looking for a moment like he might pull off the upset of the decade.

Although the horrendous swelling on both sides of his face raised fears he may have suffered a broken orbital bone and jaw, Amagasa appears to be healing well, and doesn't appear perturbed by the beating he suffered just a few weeks back.

In fact, ranked third by the IBF at featherweight, he's targeting a second world title shot, this time back where he spent the majority of his career prior to dropping down to 122lbs to face Rigo.

Credit goes to Asian Boxing for providing the translation from the original Japanese Yahoo article,

<blockquote>Today, just over 2 weeks after that bout, Amagasa is unrecognisable from the swollen mess that finished the Rigondeaux bout. Not only has he healed quickly but he has also stated that he will continue boxing and is hoping to get a Featherweight world title bout in the future, allowing him to fight back at his normal weight. From what we under-stand that bout could be with IBF champion Evgeny Gradovich, if Gradovich is successful in his mandatory against Lee Selby.</blockquote>

Asian Boxing responded to my call for clarification on the translation,


So Eddie Hearn can wipe the sweat off his brow. Amagasa isn't looking to cash in on his new found popularity and jump ahead of Lee Selby any time soon, but given his ranking it could be that he faces the winner of that bout.

The clash between IBF titlist Gradovich and European champion and his mandatory Lee Selby has yet to be arranged, so Amagasa should have a bit more time to heal up.

If the lack of English-language coverage has put you off watching the excellent Rigondeaux-Amagasa clash thus far, never fear, you can watch the fight called by Bad Left Hook here.

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