Shintaro Ishiwatari will defend his King of Pancrase title for
the first time on March 11. | Photo: Taro Irei
Pancrase has improved its hand for the March
11 event on its 2012 Progress Tour, drawing a pair of
The Japanese promotion has announced that the card, set for Tokyo's
Differ Ariake, will feature a pair of Kings of Pancrase defending
their respective titles, as Takenori
Sato will defend his 170-pound strap against Kiichi
Kunimoto, while newly-minted bantamweight titlist Shintaro
Ishiwatari will stake his crown against Tashiro
The 26-year-old Sato, an understudy of Kazushi
Laughter7, will be making the third defense of his title, last
fighting veteran Eiji
Ishikawa to a split draw on Oct. 2. Kunimoto, 30, has lost just
once in his last just once in his last 10 bouts over a four-year
span. The Osaka native, nicknamed for UFC veteran Dave
Strasser under whom he has trained in Wisconsin, last saw
action in November, guillotining Yu Shiori in
the second round.
A Shooto and Sengoku veteran, Ishiwatari made the leap to the
Pancrase ring last May, fighting the aforementioned Nishiuchi to a
split draw. The 26-year-old Ishiwatari won his next two bouts,
Inoue by majority decision in December to earn the 135-pound
King of Pancrase title.
Nova Uniao Japan's Nishiuchi made his stateside debut on Jan.
28 in Kinder, La., choking out Lewis
McKenzie in the second round under the G1 Fights banner.
The March 11 bill will also feature the retirement bout of noted
women's striker and Pancrase rep “Windy” Tomomi
Sunaba as she takes on Jewels mainstay Saori
Ishioka at 115 pounds, while former Pancrase title challenger
Kawahara returns to action to face fellow savvy striker
Numakura at 135 pounds.