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Ryoichi Taguchi vs. Hekkie Budler set for May 20th in Tokyo

Taguchi’s only loss since 2009 came against Naoya Inoue

Ryoichi Taguchi v Milan Melindo - WBA Light Flyweight And IBF Junior Flyweight Unification Title Bout Photo by Takashi Aoyama/Getty Images
Patrick Stumberg is a freelance writer for SB Nation, first joining the network in 2011 before linking up with Bad Left Hook in 2015.

Semi-unified light flyweight champ Ryoichi Taguchi is all set to make the eighth defense of his WBA title and the first of his IBF title on May 20th against former two-division champion Hekkie Budler. The two will duke it out in Tokyo’s Ota-City General Gymnasium.

Young gun Hiroto Kyoguchi is set to appear as well against an opponent to be named.

Taguchi (27-2-2, 12 KO) is 9-0-1 since losing a decision to Naoya Inoue in “The Monster’s” fourth pro fight. He thrashed Kwanthai Sithmorseng for the WBA title in 2015 and out-dueled Milan Melindo for the IBF strap last December.

Budler’s (31-3, 10 KO) IBO belts may or may not mean anything to you, but he enjoyed a solid reign as WBA minimumweight champ before losing a close decision to Byron Rojas. Though he’s coming off a loss, said loss was an extremely competitive battle with Melindo, so I’m not calling shenanigans.

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