Earlier today saw the announcement of a great looking Light Flyweight bout set to take place on April 24th in Hiroshima. The bout, which seemed to come out of no where, will see the world ranked Rey Loreto (21-13, 13) take on the Japanese ranked Koji Itagaki (16-9-2, 7) [板垣 幸司].
For those who look just at records this bout may not catch the eye, however both men are significantly better than the numbers suggest.
Loreto is man who really made a name for himself back in 2014 when he scored a career defining KO upset against South African Nkosinathi Joyi. That was his break out win though isn't his only win of note, in fact he later followed it up with an opening round stoppage against Joyi in 2015. As well as the wins over Joyi Loreto also holds very good wins over Pornsawan Porpramook and Wisanu Kokietgym, and has seriously turned his career around after a 0-4 start to his professional career back in 2008.
Although his record doesn't show it Loreto is a tough, very heavy handed and has a great work rate. He might be beatable but he's the sort of dangerman that is now being avoided and has been hard to match in recent years, with 8 bouts in the last 3 years, and just 3 bouts since his first win over Joyi more than 2 years ago.
It's fair to say that Itagaki is much less well known but the 32 year old is much better than the numbers suggest and has won his last 4 bouts, including wins over Benezer Alolod, who is the last man to beat Loreto, and a stoppage over Michael Enriquez, who gave Rex Tso absolute hell last year in Macau. As well as that current winning run he also holds a very notable draw with Yu Kimura and has mixed with good company through his career with bouts against Suguru Muranaka, Palanpol CP Freshmart, Warlito Parrenas and Tatsuya Fukuhara.
Whilst Loreto will be favoured the pressure is on him to perform and he is risking his world ranking in this bout, and a potential world title bout.
For those who haven't seen the men we have included Loreto's first bout with Joyi and Itagaki's 2010 loss to Muranaka, though we do need to say that Itagakji has improved since this loss.
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