Shepparton boxer Dwight Ritchie puts his OPBF middleweight title belt on the line in Japan tonight.
Ritchie, 24, landed the biggest blow of his professional career when he won the Oriental and Pacific Boxing Federation crown in June and five months on defends the belt against Toki Tyson in Osaka.
The unbeaten pugilist goes into the bout as a clear favourite and flew out for the land of the rising sun on Sunday after laying the foundation of his preparation at home in the Goulburn Valley.
But the crowd will be on the side of hometown hope Tyson, born in Osaka, the second largest city in the country.
Tyson’s record is 10-2-2 and at 190cm tall has dropped back from his usual super middleweight class to take on ‘‘The Fighting Cowboy’’.
His recent form has been mixed with a loss, win and draw from his past three fights stretching back to November last year.
The bout will take place at the Sumiyoshi Sports Centre.