(December 18th) Danny Roman, the reigning WBA super bantamweight champion, makes the first defense of his recently acquired title against the No. 13 rated challenger in Ryo Matsumoto on Feb. 28, from Korakuen Hall in Tokyo, Japan.
The 12-round world championship fight, dubbed "The Challenge," is promoted by Thompson Boxing Promotions in association with Ohashi Promotions.
Roman (23-2-1, 9 KOs), who is based in Los Angeles, became the new WBA belt holder in September after dismantling Shun Kubo by ninth round stoppage in the latter's home country of Japan.
To watch Roman's KO win that earned him the WBA championship, please click here.
That Roman is traveling back to the island nation for his first world title defense - the site of his most impressive win to date - is of little concern for the aptly nick-named "Baby Face Assassin."
"If you put in the work and the sacrifice like I do then it makes no difference where I fight," said Roman. "I have a great team behind me. My preparation for Matsumoto is already underway. I know he's going to bring everything he has and I'm going to be ready for it."
"Danny will be making his case as the best in his class when he faces Matsumoto," said Ken Thompson, president of Thompson Boxing Promotions. "We've watched Danny mature into a top flight world champion and now the world gets to see his special talent. We're excited for him and have no doubt that he will retain his WBA championship in February."
Matsumoto (21-1, 19 KOs) heads into his first world title fight with a four fight knockout win streak. His 19 knockout wins against 21 total victories is certainly impressive and is among the reasons for his world ranking.
"I saw Danny Roman's title-winning fight over Shun Kubo and he looked formidable," said Matsumoto. "I know I'll be an underdog, but I'll try to do my best to win his belt."
"It's our great pleasure to welcome such a great champion as Danny Roman," said Hideyuki Ohashi, president of Ohashi Promotions and former WBA and WBC minimumweight world champion. "Danny is strong and sharp, and his defense with Matsumoto will be a very good fight without doubt."