With three good fights already slated for September 17th’s Shootboxing ~Road to S-Cup~ act.4 event, an S-Cup qualifier that is sure to bring fireworks has been announced, pitting former PRIDE and UFC fighter Akihiro Gono against former thaiboxer Bovy Sor. Udomson. Gono (5-3-0, 1 KO KB/SB), although famous for his MMA career, had a brief stint in kickboxing under the AJKF banner in 2005, going 2-1 and winning the promotion’s heavyweight title. He made his return to kickboxing in 2011, first losing to Yuya Yamamoto, then winning a 4-man tournament to represent Japan in Thai Fight, where he lost to Yohan Lidon. Gono recently ended his MMA career after dropping to Lightweight in 2010 and losing to Jadamba Narantungalag, then in 2012 suffering back to back losses to Daisuke Nakamura and Bellator champ Michael Chandler. Since, he took a fight under Shootboxing rules in DEEP, winning by unanimous decision and earning him this shot at the S-Cup. Bovy (4-3-0, 2 KO SB) made his Shootboxing debut in 2009, beating Hiroki Shishido and following it up with a win in an instant classic against Takaaki Umeno. Bovy has become one of the more popular fighters in Shootboxing thanks to his all-action style, though he most recently lost to former boxer Satoru Suzuki back in February and has lost two fights under kickboxing rules since then. Bovy should be the favorite here as he has way more experience both in Shootboxing and stand-up in general, but Gono’s no stranger to kickboxing and could use his MMA experience to score a couple of throws and the upset.
As for the 2012 S-Cup field, the winners of Hinata-Stevelmans and Gono-Bovy will get in, and I have to assume that the 2010 semifinalists, Souwer, Imada, van Opstal and Buakaw, will be invited back. This leaves two open spots and with Shishido vs Suzuki not being billed as an S-Cup qualifier, I would have to imagine both men will get in. While Shishido has had his struggles of late, he is still one of Shootboxing’s biggest stars and Suzuki has become pretty popular in Shootboxing, holds a win over Bovy and is the 70kg champion in Shootboxing.
This fight joins Hinata vs Warren Stevelmans as an S-Cup qualifier, as well as superfights that pit Satoru Suzuki against Hiroki Shishido and Kosuke Komiyama against Akifumi Utagawa.