Over the last few years we've seen a lot of Japanese hopefuls begin to make their name around the 122lb division. Some of them have already suffered shock losses, with Ryo Matsumoto, Sho Nakazawa and Shohei Omori all being upset recently. One man looking to avoid a similar fate is OPBF champion Shun Kubo (9-0, 7), who looks to make the first defense of his title this coming Monday as he faces Filipino challenger Benjie Suganob (10-4-1, 5).
The 26 year old champion is widely viewed as the next potential star from Hyogo and has been groomed as the spiritual successor to Hozumi Hasegawa at the Shinsei Gym. Like many promising Japanese fighters he has been on an accelerated learning curve, fighting in 8 rounders as soon as his third bout, and last December he claimed the OPBF crown with a stoppage win over Lloyd Jardeliza.
In the ring Kubo is a fast handed and highly skilled fighter with spiteful power. Whilst a very promising youngster he is also a flawed fighter with a very wide stance and some punches that could certainly be straightened out. Saying that however he is still a fighter coming through the ranks and he has been a professional for less than 3 years, progressing at a very respectable speed.
When it comes to the challenger, dubbed “Wild Beast”, things haven't been straight forward. Suganob drew on debut, against Julian Abines, and subsequently suffered set backs against Randy Braga, twice, Cristian Abili and Patomsith Pathompothong. Whilst those losses are notable he is known in Japan for scoring a win over Seizo Kono last year, with that win, along with victories over Vergil Puton and Rey Juntilla, showing that he can score notable upsets.
Whilst Suganob can be an upset minded fighter he has suffered in the past with bouts being marred by headclashes and although he has only been stopped once he has been dropped several times.
Given that Suganob has been involved in headclashes, and that Kubo is a southpaw. We could see heads coming together here, however we're expecting to see Kubo's wide stance work to his advantage and we're expecting to see him make the most of his speed and power, to force a mid round stoppage of a game but limited challenger.
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.