One of last year’s more underrated upsets saw Japan’s Yukinori Oguni beat down Dominican knockout artist Jonathan Guzman to win the IBF super bantamweight title. He’ll finally defend it on September 13th when he faces former title challenger Ryosuke Iwasa in Osaka.
Oguni (19-1-1, 7 KO), 29, was anywhere from a +500 to +800 underdog against Guzman, who was 22-0 (22 KO) at the time and had thrashed Shingo Wake five months prior, but a powerful body attack produced three knockdowns and earned Oguni the decision on New Year’s Eve. The fight was Oguni’s first bid at a world title, though he had held the OPBF and Japanese super bantamweight titles before.
By contrast, this will be Iwasa’s (23-2, 15 KO) second shot at becoming a world champion. The 27-year-old, whose only prior loss came against Shinsuke Yamanaka in his ninth pro fight, took on Lee Haskins for the interim IBF bantamweight belt in 2015 and fell in six.
The super bantamweight division is in kind of a bizarre place with Guillermo Rigondeaux’s, well, Rigondeaux-ness. If Oguni wants to make a name for himself on the world stage, the time is now.