On Saturday night in California fans saw Hiroki Okada (19-2, 13) [岡田 博喜] have the worst night of his professional career, as he was blown out by former Olympian Javier Molina (21-2, 9), in just over a minute.
Okada, who had won his first 19 pro bouts, won a Japanese and regional title and had been highly ranked by the world title bodies, had looked on the verge of a world title fight just over a year ago. Earlier this year he entered a world title eliminator, losing in 9 rounds to Ray Beltran in a bit of a forgotten classic, and knew that a win today would put him back in the mix. Sadly he has now been removed completely from the mix.
The two men traded very early on and a big shot by Molina dropped Okada hard. Okada would get up, but still be shaken as Molina moved in for the finish, unloading until dropping Okada for a second time. With Okada down the referee waved off the bout, at an official time of 1 minute 5 seconds.
With Molina having not scored a stoppage win in over 4 years this opening round blow out was a surprise, though likely shows just how far Okada is gone from the fighter he once was. Molina is a fantastic talent, but it seemed that if he was going to win, it would have been a clear decision, not a quick blow out.
In Caliornia later today, Saturday, fight fans will see Japan's Hiroki Okada (19-1, 13) [岡田 博喜] take on former Olympian Javier Molina (20-2, 8). On paper this is a bout neither can afford to lose, with Okada losing last time out to Raymundo Beltran and Molina only just creating some career momentum after losses and a lay off.
Yesterday the two men weighed in for the bout, which was agreed at a contracted 141lbs, and both men made the weight with no issue.
On the scales Okada was 140.8lbs, the heavier of the two men, and looked in good shape without being shredded. Molina, who arguably looked a bit better, was 141lb dead on.
According to Japanese press at the weight in Okada sounded confident as he declared a victory, though given his painful loss last time out we do need to wonder what type of shape he is in, and Molina is certainly no easy opponent for a fighter like Okada.
From what we understand this bout have moved to chief support on the show due to visa issues cancelling the IBF Super Flyweight title bout between Jerwin Ancajas (31-1-2, 21) and Jonathan Javier Rodriguez (21-1, 15).
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Earlier today an official press conference in Japan saw Hiroki Okada (19-1, 13) [岡田 博喜] have his next bout announced, and as previously reported, back in September, it will take place on November 2nd against Javier Molina (20-2, 8).
For Okada the bout will be his third in the US and follows his February thriller with Raymundo Beltran, a now forgotten bout but one of the hidden gems of 2019. The bout saw Okada loss, via stoppage, but put on a hell of a fight, rocking Beltran in what was a genuinely exciting back and forth bout.
For Molina, a 2008 Olympian, the bout will see him looking to build on momentum from 3 straight wins, including one over Abidel Ramirez back in March. He's a very technically and skilled fighter, but hasn't managed to live up to expectations of those who thought he'd make a mark at a much higher level following his amateur career.
This bout is one of the supporting bouts to a card that features Miguel Berchelt (36-1, 32) defending his WBC Super Featherweight title against Jason Sosa (23-3-4, 16) and an IBF Super Flyweight title bout between Jerwin Ancajas (31-1-2, 21) and Mexican challenger Jonathan Javier Rodriguez (21-1, 15), and will be shown on ESPN+ in the US.
(Image courtesy of Nikkan Sports)
Earlier this month news broke to announce that Top Rank promoted Asian fighters would feature on a card in November, in what is actually looking like a pretty interesting card.
The show, which will take place on November 2nd in Carson California, is little with notable names, even of the card isn't the most competitive, but should provide some explosive action.
One of those Asian fighters is IBF Super Flyweight champion Jerwin Ancajas (31-1-2, 21), who looks to make his 8th defense of the title as he goes up against little known Mexican challenger Jonathan Javier Rodriguez (21-1, 15). For Rodriguez this will be his first bout since beating Felipe Orucuta, who ended up in a coma following the bout. There has to be questions about Rodriguez's mental state coming in to this bout, which is legitimately a huge step up in class. As for Ancajas the bout sees him continue his current string of bouts against under-whelming challengers, such as recent mandatory challenger Ryuichi Funai [船井 龍一], who proved to be the perfect foil for the Filipino.
The other notable Asian on the card is the once beaten Hiroki Okada (19-1, 13) [岡田 博喜], who takes on 2008 Olympian Javier Molina (20-2, 8). This will be Okada's first bout since being stopped by Raymundo Beltran in a thriller back in February, whilst Molina will be hoping to record a 4th straight win. Molina is a technical fighter, who has been in good form after taking more than 2 years away from the ring, but someone who doesn't have much bang on his punches. Okada on the other hand can bang, but will be coming into the bout on the back of losing his unbeaten record.
The card will be headlined by Miguel Berchelt (36-1, 32) defending his WBC Super Featherweight title against Jason Sosa (23-3-4, 16), in what is expected to be an explosive bout, but also a showcase for the champion.
Last month we saw Hiroki Okada (19-1, 13) [岡田 博喜] lose his unbeaten record, in a brilliant fight with veteran Raymundo Beltran (36-8-1-1, 22). Following that loss Okada spent a fair bit of time away from the ring, but return to full scale training yesterday as he begins to get back into fighting condition for his next bout.
At the moment there is no details on when Okada will fight again, but it's clear he has not lost his hunger, despite his recent defeat.
Okada is still young enough, and talented enough to rebuild from his loss to Beltran. He would likely be an under-dog to most top 20 fighters, but he does have the skills to pick up the occasional upset, and we wouldn't be surprised to see his next bout being a relatively significant one.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
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