New Japan Kickboxing Federation has begun announcing fights for its third installment of the Kick to the Future series set for June 24th at Korakuen Hall, again featuring Tetsuya Yamato in a headlining bout. His opponent will be NJKF and WBC Japan Super Lightweight champion Seiji Takahashi, with the winner set to fight for the WBC International Super Lightweight title on September 22nd in Tokyo, which I believe is currently held by Sagetdao Petpayathai. Yamato (27-9-1, 21 KO) is coming off of a big win over Sergio Wielzen this past weekend at the Hoost Cup. Takahashi (11-6-0, 6 KO) won his WBC Japan title from Yuki Yamamoto back in 2010 and is currently riding a 2-fight win streak which saw him defend his WBC Japan title against Yusuke Sugawara and most recently win the NJKF Super Lightweight title against Ikki at Kick to the Future 1. His most recent loss was at the Thai Fight Extreme Japan event last year to Komphetlek Lukprabaht. Takahashi is a taekwondo specialist who has a wide variety of flashy kicks which is a fun clash of styles with the power of Yamato. This is Takahashi’s biggest name opponent and a win would give him his biggest scalp as well and if he is able to stay on the outside, he could outpoint Yamato. However, a 5 round fight does not bode well for Takahashi as Yamato is difficult to put away and has scored many of his knockouts in the 3rd round or later.
Also added to the card were a few New Japan Wars fights which are basically single-fight-based tournaments for each NJKF weight class to determine title challengers. At Super Featherweight, #1 ranked KEI takes on #4 Nobuhiro Iwai in one semifinal while #2 ranked Shoya Suzuki takes on #5 Takeshi Tsuruya in the other. At Super Lightweight, #1 ranked Ikki takes on #4 Kazushige Sugama. At Featherweight, #3 ranked Ayumu Sasara takes on #6 Daiki. Finally, at Welterweight, #8 ranked Tae-yong takes on #9 Masashi Aseishi.