|The Cyber Boxing Zone Newswire|
January 28, 2001
HATAKEYAMA RETURNS FROM US TRAINING
by Joe Koizumi
TOKYO, JAPAN-WBA lightweight champ Takanori Hatakeyama returned from his strenuous training in Los Angeles in preparation for his upcoming title defense against US military worker Rick Roberts Yoshimura, hailing from New York, at Ryogoku Sumo Arena, Tokyo, on February 17.|
The 25-year-old Hatakeyama, 24-1-2, 19 KOs, is a prefight favorite against Rick, 35, who had married with a Japanese girl named Yoshimura while his service at Japanese base camps.
Rick, 38-5-1, 20 KOs, was moved to Florida by the military order after he registered record-breaking 22 defenses of the Japanese 135-pound title, and has been training at a gym of Roy Jones Jr.
Hatakeyama is coached by Rudy Hernandez, the elder brother of ex-WBA and WBC 130-pound champ Genaro Chicanito, for three weeks in LA. Rudy will come here prior to the highly anticipated encounter.
All the tickets have been very completed sold out, so plenty of aficionados are desperately trying to get tickets even with premier prices. It shows how hot people’s interests are, since our fans missed the lovable Rick and hope him to get a world title shot even once in his career. Rick really contributed to our boxing world by fighting all that came to fight him. It must be a very good matchup.
For your reference, other world title bouts in Asia are as follows:
Jan. 30, Seoul, Korea; WBC light fly title bout between Yosam Choi, Korea, vs. Saman Sorjaturong, Thailand
Mar. 2, Thailand; WBC fly title bout between Malcolm Tunacao vs. Pongsaklek Wonjongkam, Thailand
Mar. 3, Tokyo; WBA super-fly title go between Leo Gamez, Venezuela, vs. Celes Kobayashi, Japan
PS This reporter will go to Seoul, Korea, today to cover tomorrow's WBC light fly title bout of Choi and #1 contender and ex-champ Sorjaturong and will also negotiate the upcoming WBC super-fly title bout between Masamori Tokuyama, North Korean residing in Japan, and ex-champ Injoo Cho of Korea in May either in North Korea, South Korea and Japan as the matchmaker.