Sometimes a title fight can take a back sea to an under-card bout. That appears to be the case this coming Sunday as Dennis Laurente's (49-6-5, 30) OPBF Light Middleweight title bout with Takayuki Hosokawa (27-10-4, 9) has taken the back seat for many fans in Osaka, who are more interested in viewing the professional debut of Hinata Maruta, who faces Jason Canoy in a baptism of fire.
Whilst the bout certainly has taken a back seat in fan interest it's still a really good fight and sees one of the toughest fighters take on a man looking to continue a late career resurgence, and perhaps even end his career on a high.
Of the two men it's perhaps the champion who is the better known internationally. He was last seen in the US, where he lost a wide decision to John Jackson though impressed with his toughness and bravery. Although fans who have only seen that one fight will view Laurente as a limited plodder he's actually a fighter who simply up against a much better, technically capable, younger and faster fighter. Typically he's an aggressive fighter who looks to apply pressure and causes a fight, rather than chasing a fighter around.
It's been Laurente's pressure that has brought him success over a 21 year career. That career has seen “Mr Humble” claim OPBF titles at both 135lbs and 154lbs as well as GAB and PABA titles in a career that really has been full of achievement, albeit without receiving a lot of plaudits.
During that 21 year career Laurente has never been stopped though has taken scalps like Yosuke Otsuka, Rustam Nugaev, Zaid Zavaleta, Ben Tackie and Tadashi Yuba. He's tough, aggressive, has great stamina and is a genuine handful for most out there. He's not the best but he is a real handful and not many fighters in Asia will be able to handle his pressure.
The challenger isn't well known, and certainly hasn't had the success of the challenger, but Hosokawa is certainly a late bloomer. He began his career 2-3 (1) and at one point was 11-6-3 (2), since then however he has gone 16-4-1 and scored wins over Randy Suico, Patomsuk Pathompothong and Tadashi Yuba, who he beat for the Japanese title last year.
Although Hosokawa has been in good form in recent years he has still lost to the best opponents that he's faced, including Akio Shibata, Makoto Fuchigami and Charlie Ota. They have typically stopped him and in 6 of his 10 losses he has failed to see the final bell. Unfortunately he's also began suffering sight issues and it's known that he has had issues with his retina in recent times, issues that will likely lead to his retirement in the near future.
In the ring Hosokawa has shown he can fight or box, though has typically been a fighter who can be forced on to the back foot and can be intimidated relatively easily.
Given the styles of the two men it's hard to see how Hosokawa survives 12 rounds with Laurente who will come for 12 high paced and hard rounds. Those rounds will take their toll on Hosokawa and eventually break down the challenger. If that happens we expect Hosokawa to announce his retirement very soon after the bout. If Hosokawa can take the pressure and guts out a win, we'd not be shocked to see him fight maybe once more in a fight that could see him on the road to collect a retirement payday before spending time with his family. For Laurente the future is what he wants it to be, at 38 he should be aging but hasn't really shown those signs inside the ring.
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.