KOHEI KONO will put his WBA super-flyweight title on the line against Koki Kameda on Friday (October 16) at UIC Pavilion in Chicago, on the same bill as Andrzej Fonfara-Nathan Cleverly. Kono meeting Kameda will be the first time two Japanese boxers have contested a world title in the US.

“I have always had a dream to fight in the United States. I will do my best to perform up to the historic nature of this fight,” Kono explained. “Kameda says he is a ‘charismatic genius.’ I disagree and I’m here to prove him wrong. I will prove it Friday night that I am the true force.

“I am proud of my stamina and activity rate and my punching power. That is why I will win this fight.”

Kameda dismissed the champion. “Kono promised the Japanese press and his fans that he would knock me out… that’s about the last thing that is going to happen in this fight. I find that funny,” he scoffed. “I am in the best shape of my entire boxing career right now. I spent five weeks in Las Vegas training with Ismael Salas and that was best thing I could have done. I didn’t do anything but prepare for this fight.

“This is the first time two Japanese have fought for a world title in the United States, but I don’t have any special feeling about the historic nature. This is just another fight for me because every single fight I’m in is equally important to me. Even a four-round fight is life or death for me.”