Earlier today saw the official weigh-ins for Sunday's "Ring of Diamonds card which saw all the fighters weighing in inside their contracted weights. The main talking point of the weigh in however wasn't the weight of the fighters by the new look sported by WBC Light Flyweight champion Adrian Hernandez (29-2-1, 18) who looked drastically different to the man who had been in Japan for the week or two.
Hernandez, who will be defending his world title against Japanese youngster Naoya Inoue (5-0, 4) looked not only gaunt at the weight in but was also shaven headed, presumably doing what he could to make weight and perhaps showing that his frame is no long suited to the 108lbs weight class.
Hernandez and Inoue, pictured opposite, both weight in at 108lbs making the limit perfectly. For Inoue the weight seemed like a breeze whilst Hernandez was showing his struggles with his face looking incredibly bad. The shaven headed look may have helped him under the limit but he certainly doesn't look like a fighter who is fighting fit.
Another sign that Hernandez has struggled to make the weight is the fact he began to eat banana's almost as soon as he had made weight, as seen in the picture.
We're expecting Hernandez to beef up significantly over night but big questions will be asked about just how much making weight has taken out of him. He should be experienced and have known how to make weight comfortably but this seems like a major mistake that could cost him, especially if Inoue attacks the body as widely expected.
Issues with making weight can affect a fighter in numerous ways, including speed, stamina and punch resistance. If any of those hinder Hernandez then we'd be very surprised at the Mexican lasting the distance with Inoue who looked extremely strong at the weight.
Despite the visible weight issues that Hernandez was suffering we haven't seen any changes in the betting with Inoue remaining a solid 1/6 favourite. From the pictures and details of the weigh in we'd tend to say those odds are very nice.
Whilst Hernandez looked to have struggled immensely to make weight his compatriot Odilon Zaleta (15-3, 8) managed to make weight with some to spare. The WBC Flyweight challenger weighed in at 111¾lbs whilst defending champion Akira Yaegashi made weight bang on at 112lbs exactly.
These two men weren't expected to struggle as both had fought at lower weights in recent years and although Yaegashi has filled out into a proper Flyweight he's still not a huge drainer compared to some other fighters in and around the 112lb weight class.
As with Inoue it's fair to say that Yaegashi looked very strong at the weight and although he's not a puncher by any stretch of the imagination we think he may well have used his training camp to add help power to his shots. It's obvious from his training that he has worked on strength and he was interviewed saying that he was working on building up his trapezius muscle which are currently very prominent on the Japanese fighter
For those wondering this will be the penultimate bout on the show.
From the middle section of the card we're glad to report that both weigh ins went off with out a hitch.
Roman Gonzalez (38-0, 32), sporting the cap in the picture, weighed in at 112¼lbs well inside the contracted 113lb limit whilst his Filipino opponent Juan Purisima (14-4-1, 4) was 112lbs exactly.
For the Japanese Featherweight title fight both men were again on weight. The experienced Satoshi Hosono (24-2-1, 18) weighed in on the limit at 126lbs whilst and Yuki Ogata (19-0-1, 3) was 125½lbs. Although Ogata is listed as the taller man it does like Hosono is about 1" taller than his unbeaten foe.
For the shows opening bouts we again saw the fighters comfortably making weight.
These saw Takuma Inoue (1-0) and Fahlan Sakkreerin Jr (23-2, 15) both weighing in at exactly 110lbs. Their bout, contract for 50KG's, is expected to open the show and is seen as a seriously huge test for the unbeaten Inoue who will be world ranked if he wins.
The other fight, which is being fought at Bantamweight, saw Ryo Matsumoto (9-0, 8) coming just inside the limit at 117¾lbs whilst former world title challenger Hiroyuki Hisataka (22-11-1, 10) came in slightly lighter at 117½lbs. Despite the similar weights Matsumoto did tower over Hisataka by several inches as seen in the photo.
(All photographs courtesy of boxingnews.jp)