Hiroto Kyoguchi and his team caught many in the industry by surprise upon revealing the news that a title unification cards could be next in the cards for the WBA junior flyweight titlist.
Among those caught off guard was the intended target.
WBO junior flyweight titlist Jonathan ‘Bomba’ Gonzalez was identified as an offered opponent for Kyoguchi (16-0, 11KOs) on the September 17 undercard of the Canelo Alvarez-Gennadiy Golovkin trilogy clash. It was acknowledged in reports from Japan that Puerto Rico’s Gonzalez (25-3-1, 14KOs) would first have to get through a title defense versus Mark Anthony Marriga atop a June 24 ProBox TV from Osceola Heritage Park in Kissimmee, Florida.
Left out of the reports was the fact that such a fight was never even presented to Gonzalez and his team.
“Kyoguchi announced to the press that he is fighting Bomba González next in a unification on Sept 17 GGG-Canelo show, which it’s not true,” Felix ‘Tutico’ Zabala Jr., Gonzalez’s promoter, told BoxingScene.com. “First we have not received any offers from Matchroom (Boxing, Kyoguchi’s promoter) or anybody. We already have our own plans and don’t depend on a Kyoguchi fight with all due respect to him.
“We are also champion of the WBO and we are very grateful to the organization for giving us the opportunity to become champion and we plan to keep defending our title.”
Tokyo’s Kyoguchi is understandably eager to make up for lost time. The unbeaten two-division titlist fought just once in a span of 32 months preceding his most win, an eighth-round knockout of Esteban Bermudez in their title consolidation clash last Friday on the road in Guadalajara, Mexico. Kyoguchi’s stock skyrocketed to the point where his manager, Eddy Reynoso was eager to pair him up with Alvarez—whom he has trained for his entire career—in a relatively quick turnaround.
Kyoguchi told BoxingScene.com before the fight and DAZN afterward that his goal for the rest of 2022 was to unify the division. Felix Alvarado recently vacated the IBF title, which would limit the options to Gonzalez and Kenshiro Teraji, Kyoguchi’s countryman who recently regained the WBC title.
Gonzalez’s current workload would limit the choice down to Teraji if Kyoguchi is to maintain his currently targeted schedule.
“I have received many messages about whether my next fight will be a unifying fight against the WBA champion on the Canelo-GGG card,” noted Gonzalez. “First, I am 100% focused on June 24 that we are going to win. Second, thanks to God we have two fights signed that is not with the WBA champion.”
Gonzalez attempts the first defense of the WBO title he acquired in a twelve-round points win over long-reigning titlist Elwin Soto last October in Fresno. His first defense marks a return home to the Central Florida region where he has developed a following. A win on June 24 will pave the way for his next defense, which is already penciled in for October.
“We will be ready to announce it right after the June 24 bout if successful,” acknowledged Zabala. “But right now the only thing on his mind is June 24 and Barriga.”
An eventual showdown with Kyoguchi—who has held the WBA belt since New Year’s Eve 2018—is of interest to Gonzalez and his team. Their only ask is that it comes on terms agreeable to all parties.
“He is getting paid well for this two upcoming bouts and are not in “need” of a Kyoguchi bout,” notes Zabala. “In the future, if a good offer is made we will consider it. We are not running from anyone but our priority is our fighter, the WBO and what is best for our champion. Gonzalez will be champion for a long time and this is just the beginning.”
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox