The destructive puncher, who has stopped his last last 11 opponents, will be seeking the second defense of the title he won last April, when he stopped Filipino Jay Solmiano in 4 rounds.
Although Obara has openly stated that making 140lbs takes a lot out of him it does seem like this will be an easy defense for him before making a permanent move to Welterweight later in the year. It was a move that he was expected to make prior to this fight, and in fact he dipped his toes at 147lbs late last year against the over-matched but brave Rodel Wenceslao, who was stopped in 4 rounds.
Although the move up has been delayed it does seem likely that Obara will have the power to make an impact at Welterweight, and his KO against Shinya Iwabuchi last year showed that he could be potent late in to fights as well as early one. It's that power that makes him such an exciting fighter and one that we're hoping to see in bigger tests later this year.
As for Okazaki we've not managed to come across any training pictures though we know that the southpaw will be viewing this as a major opportunity and a win here wouldn't just get challenger the title but may also open up the possibility of a world ranking, with Obara risking WBC and IBF #13 rankings coming into this bout.
Keita Obara looks to defend OPBF title against Yuya Okazaki, but is it a foregone conclusion?
(Image courtesy of Keita Obara's blog)