Okada won the Japanese title back in March 2014, when he took a wide and clear decision win over Masayoshi Kotake. Since then his career has really been on an upward trajectory, despite a lay off in 2015 when he broke his hand in sparring Yoshitaka Kato. That rise has seen him not only record 5 defenses of the Japanese title but also break into the world rankings, with the WBO listing him in their top 15, and receive some genuine international interest.
In the ring Okada isn't a hugely frightening proposition and he won't attempt to steam roll opponents, however that certainly doesn't mean he's not a good fighter. Unlike many fighters with real power Okada doesn't chase a stoppage, in fact quite often he fights as a counter puncher, with devastating shots off the backfoot, as fighters like Nakazawa and Aso can attest to. On the backfoot his uppercutt is something special. Although naturally a counter-puncher he can also fight going forward, but is very much a basic fighter going forward, using his straight punches to break down fighters.
Blessed with heavy hands, a good boxing brain and nice hand speed Okada is a handful, despite being flawed and not the quickest mover in the ring. On the Japanese domestic scene he is the king but now has fighters chasing him, like Daishi Nagata, and we could be on the verge of a really exciting period at 140lbs in Japan, something we've not really had in recent years.
At 35 years old the challenger will be coming into his third, and potentially final, title bout. His previous two both came back in 2013 when he was stopped in a Japanese title fight by Shinya Iwabuchi and then in OPBF title fight by Min Wook Kim, with both fights being damaging contests for Hosokawa. Since those defeats he has gone 4- (1) with a win over recent title challenger Cristiano Aoqui and a narrow loss to Noriaki Sato.
At his very best Hosokawa was a really tough, solid and game fighter. He however wasn't a top fighter and lacked any really outstanding quality. He wasn't a big puncher, he wasn't the quickest and he didn't have exceptional skills. He was though a grinder, with a good engine, a fantastic will to win and a never say die attitude. His two losses in title bouts showed his flaws, and took some of his prime, but also showed that he wasn't going to ever just lie down in the ring, even when a bout looked like a lost caused.
Sadly Hosokawa is several years removed from his best, he's a 10 year professional with serious mileage on the clock and we think that mileage will be added to here before he suffers his third career stoppage, likely quicker than his previous two given that he's now 3 years older than he was back then. Hopefully for Okada a win here will actually end with him dropping the title and hunting OPBF title bouts in 2017, rather than face a third bout with Aso.