Shooto Rookie Champs Kato, ‘Rambo’ Assigned to Sept. 4 Card

By Chris Nelson Jul 11, 2011
Two of Shooto’s 2010 rookie tournament champions could move closer to the Class-A ranks in September at Border 8 “Roaring Thunder.”

Masayoshi Kato will look to continue his unbeaten run at 114 pounds against Takehiro Harusaki, while 123-pound fireballer Kosuke Suzuki (Pictured) will attempt to get back on track against Kentaro Watanabe. International Shooto Commission officials Sunday added both two-round bouts, along with several 2011 rookie tournament matchups, to the Sept. 4 card at Hirano Ward Community Hall in Osaka, Japan.

Kato, a 27-year-old student of Dokonjonosuke Mishima, has not competed since his tourney-winning split decision over Tadaaki Yamamoto in December. The colorful strawweight nicknamed “Macho the Butterfly” is 4-0-1 since turning pro in November 2009; his opponent, Harusaki, is winless in his past six starts, a slump stretching back to July 2007.

Known for his “Rambo” gimmick, the often gun-toting Suzuki was shot down for the first time in May by Haruo Ochi. The 26-year-old Paraestra Chiba product had previously plowed through the 123-pound rookie bracket with a trio of vicious knockouts. Watanabe, 27, comes off an April win over Hayato Sato at Border 7.

In 2011 rookie tournament semifinal action, Hiroshi Osato and Yuki Nishigo will clash at 123 pounds, and Kenji Yamamoto will try to stay perfect against Yashabo Ishihara at 132 pounds. Opening-round bouts pitting Susumu Kitajima against Yuya Shibata (123 pounds), and Akito Sasao against Itsuki Hiruma (114 pounds) were also announced.
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