Long one of the sport's best-kept secrets, Hiroto Kyoguchi is now poised to introduce himself to a wider audience.
The two-division and reigning junior flyweight titlist from Japan will now fight under the Matchroom Boxing banner, having inked a multi-fight promotional deal.
"I am confident that I will give it my all and show honor in this sport as a proud Japanese World champion," Kyoguchi declared in a statement announcing the signing on Wednesday. "I'm ready."
Kyoguchi (14-0, 9KOs) has been out of the ring since a 12-round unanimous decision win over countryman Tetsuya Hisada for the second defense of his 108-pound crown last October in his birthplace of Osaka, Japan. Plans were in place for the 27-year old from Japan—a former strawweight titlist who became a double-division titlist in his 12th pro fight—to next defend versus Thailand's Thankongsak Simsri, only to test positive for COVID-19 shortly after weighing in for their eventually canceled Nov. 3 title bout in Osaka.
The news was a continuation of a frustrating year for the charismatic boxer, whose previous efforts to return to the ring were thwarted by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Kyoguchi's career is now back on track, armed with two of the biggest power brokers in the sport today in Hearn and manager Eddy Reynoso.
"I’m delighted to welcome two division World Champion and Ring Magazine king Hiroto Kyoguchi to the Matchroom Boxing team," said Hearn. "As we continue our global expansion we welcome our first Japanese World Champion to Matchroom and look forward to our first show there in 2021.
"I look forward to a long and successful relationship with him and his manager Eddy Reynoso."
Kyoguchi represents first major titlist from Japan to sign with Matchroom Boxing. He is also the first Asian boxer to sign with Reynoso's No Boxing No Life management.
Reynoso is best-known for his work with pound-for-pound king Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez, though his influence is also evident in his serving as head coach to current flyweight titlist Julio Cesar Martinez, rising lightweight Ryan Garcia and two-division and current 122-pound titlist Luis Nery.
Martinez is currently co-promoted by Matchroom and Canelo Promotions, while Alvarez enlisted Hearn's services for his most recent outing—a lopsided 12-round points win over previously unbeaten super middleweight titlist Callum Smith to become a four-division titlist. Reynoso's growing relationship with Matchroom is now extended through Kyoguchi, widely regarded as high among the best junior flyweights in the world today.
"It is an honor to work with the best promoter in the world in Eddie Hearn and Matchroom Boxing," said Reynoso. "Thanks also to Hiroto Kyoguchi for having the confidence to let me represent him. We look forward to a big future together."
Kyoguchi's official debut under the Matchroom Boxing banner will be announcing in the coming weeks.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox