Halfway through 2018, Hiroto Kyoguchi was hoping to get a unification fight done at 105 pounds, but now the Japanese star is closing 2018 as a world champion at 108 pounds.
In his first world title fight since moving up in weight, Kyoguchi defeated Hekkie Budler by 11th round TKO to win the WBA "Super" light flyweight title. The fight took place on a boxing card in Macau, China that also featured Donnie Nietes winning the WBO super flyweight title.
With the win, Kyoguchi becomes a two-division world champion. Kyoguchi started the year as the IBF minimumweight champion, having won the belt in the summer of 2017 by defeating Jose Argumedo by unanimous decision. After successfully retaining his belt with a win over Vince Paras, the 26-year-old moved up in weight after not getting a chance to unify titles with a fellow minimumweight champion.
It has been a rollercoaster year for Budler. After not initially getting a rematch against Milan Melindo for the IBF title from their 2017 bout, Budler eventually fought Ryoichi Taguchi for the unified WBA and IBF light flyweight titles with Budler emerging victorious. After vacating the IBF title earlier this year due to a purse bid for a title defense being at a paltry $25,000, Budler remained the WBA, but now has no world titles in his possession.
The light flyweight division underwent numerous changes and champions. The world champions at 108 pounds entering 2019 are Kyoguchi (WBA "Super"), Carlos Canizales (WBA "Regular"), Ken Shiro (WBC), Felix Alvarado (IBF) and Angel Acosta (WBO).