With all the Japanese talent in the smaller divisions, both established and emerging, it can sometimes be easy to over-look some fighters. It may sound even stranger but some of those over-looked fighters are actually national champions, such as Suguru Muranaka at Flyweight and Light Flyweight Yu Kimura (14-2-1, 2).
For Kimura to be over-looked seems astounding given that he is a world ranked fighter who is promoted by the biggest promotional outfit in Asia and has really come of age this year winning, and defending the Japanese crown. How ever he has been sharing a division with Naoya Inoue, Ryo Miyazaki, Ryoichi Taguchi and, more recently, Kenshiro Teraji. It's an unfortunate position for Kimura though one that allows him to avoid the attention of fans asking for him to fight in more demanding contests and instead allows him to fight opponents that he wants to fight with little or not pressure on him.
The next fight for Kimura will see him taking on the little known challenge of Atsushi Aburada (9-6, 5) in a bout that will see Kimura defending his title for the second time, but taking what feels like a huge step backwards from his previous outing. Whilst it seems to be a step back some have suggest that a win here for the champion will move him onto OPBF title bouts, suggesting the intention is to use this bout as a stay busy defense before bigger and better assignments next year.
The reason this feels like a step back is because Kimura's last 2 bouts have all been very good ones. Last time out he easy defeated Yuki Chinen, a gangly puncher, prior to that he had over-come the experienced nearly man Kenichi Horikawa in a very close one. In both of those Kimura showed his fighting spirit and fought hard even when he himself was tagged hard and in both he showed his speed, movement and although there was a lack of power there was real desire to win.
Kimura's lack of power is his downfall and it's what will prevent him from making a mark at the highest level in the sport. His will to win, speed and movement however are enough to make him a problem for most fighters in the division.
As for Aburada he's a harder one to read. The 24 year old is inconsistent to say the least and has gone 5-5 in his last 10. Whilst it's fair to say that many of his losses are close he does seem to have decent power having scored 3 stoppages in those 5 wins, notably one over Toshimasa Ouchi. Sadly many of those bouts have come at a very low level and this leads us to wonder if he's even more inconsistent than his record would suggest.
With Aburada being complete unproven at the level we need to go with the champion. We don't think he'll do it with out some problems at times but we can't see Kimura coming undone at the point, especially not when he is nearing a major international bout like he is. We're guess Aburada has his moments though loses a very clear decision.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Having canned the old "Full Schedule" of Asianboxing we have instead decided to concentrate more on the major bouts. This section, the "Preview" section will look at major bouts involving OPBF and national titles. Hopefully leading to a more informative style for, you the reader.