Aside from the high profile prospects the country also has it's share of hidden gems, prospects that haven't had the fanfare and acclaim of the media, or the attention of international fans but still have the talent, ability and belief to reach the top echelons of the sport.
Two of those fighters are currently forging their career under the watchful eyes of Shinji Takehara and Takanori Hatakeyama, two former world champions. Those fighters are Naoto Uebayashi (7-0-1, 4) and Hikaru Marugame (3-0, 2), who have both had their next bouts announced as being set for April 22nd at the Korakuen Hall.
For our money Marugame, a promising Super Bantamweight, is the better of the two fighters. Aged 25 he is younger and appears more talented so far, though hos opposition has been worse so far. Whilst we're unsure about Uebayashi's opponent we do know that Marugame will be fighting against Wataru Miyasaka (9-2-1, 2), a capable yet unexceptional domestic opponent. It's hoped that Marugame, who fought just once in 2014, will be active this year and possibly end up fighting for a title at some point in 2014.
Although footage of Marugame is scarce he did look incredible on his debut, stopping Makoto Kato in the second round.
(Images courtesy of http://box-fitness-gym.com, top is Uebayashi whilst the bottom is Marugame)