By Jake Donovan
Satoshi Hosono and Jonathan Victor Barros have both enjoyed lengthy win streaks since falling short at the major title level.
Unfortunately, one of the two will be left just short of returning to that stage, at least within his next couple of fights.
The pair of featherweight title challengers will collide in a sanctioned International Boxing Federation (IBF) title eliminator, which will take place October 3 at Korakuen Hall in Tokyo, Japan. The winner will eventually move towards another shot at the title, which is currently held by Lee Selby.
Hosono (32-2-1, 21KOs) is unbeaten in his last 12 starts (11-0-1) since coming up short versus then-reigning featherweight titlist Celestino Caballero way back in 2011. The other two career blemishes also came at the title stage, dropping a heartbreaking 12-round majority decision to Poonsawat Kratingdaenggym in Jan. ’10, as well as a cut-shortened technical draw versus Chris John in April ’13.
The bout with John was Hosono’s first career trip outside of Japan, taking place in John’s native Indonesia. His last fight also took place on the road, scoring a stay-busy knockout win this past June in South Korea.
For his title eliminator opportunity, he returns home but where he will await arguably his toughest challenge without an actual title at stake. His best win among his current streak came last December, scoring a hard-fought 12-round split decision over Akifumi Shimoda.
Barros (40-4-1, 22KOs) managed to eventually put a belt around his waist, claiming a vacant featherweight title in a Dec. ’10 win over Irving Berry. His reign managed to last long enough to post wins over Miguel Roman and in his first fight with Caballero, albeit in a controversial decision before losing the belt in their Oct. ’11 rematch.
The loss to Caballero was the lone time he’s come up short at home. Unfortunately, he is also winless outside of Argentina and neighboring Uruguay, with losses to Yuriorkis Gamboa (March ’10 in Germany), Juan Carlos Salgado (Aug. ’12 in Mexico) and Mikey Garcia (Nov. ’12 in Las Vegas) all taking place on the road.
His showdown with Hosono marks the first trip to Japan for the 32-year old Argentine boxer.
The night also features an intriguing co-feature as bantamweights Ryo Matsumoto (17-1, 15KOs) and Victor Lopez collide in a rematch to one of the biggest upsets of 2016 to date.
Their non-televised bout was lost in the shuffle due to coming on the undercard of wins posted by unbeaten wunderkind Naoya Inoue and cult favorite Akira Yaegashi. Still, Lopez (9-5-1, 4KOs) pulled off a Herculean feat this past May, riding out the early onslaught from his heavily favored and previously unbeaten opponent before battering him into submission in five rounds.
Matsumoto was a highly touted prospect going into the bout, and was way ahead on points before eventually hitting a wall. By his own admission, he entered the fight in less than peak physical condition and foolishly chose to stand and trade with the visiting Mexican journeyman, punching himself out and serving as target practice before the fight was mercifully halted.
Jake Donovan is the managing editor of BoxingScene.com. Follow his shiny new Twitter account: @JakeNDaBox_v2