For the world ranked 36 year old Onaga this bout is almost certainly his last chance and the final sink or swim moment in a career that began more than 13 years ago.
The southpaw from Yokohama, though originally from Okinawa, began his career 13-0 (9) with solid early career wins over the likes of Carlos Murillo, Nerys Espinoza and Yuki Nasu unfortunately a 2009 draw with Richard Garcia slowed his rise through the ranks. The following year Onaga got his first title fight and suffered his first defeat, a stoppage loss in 2010 to Yota Sato in a Japanese “interim” Super Flyweight title bout.
Further setbacks in 2011 and 2012 to Teiru Kinoshita, a draw and a loss, essentially pushed him out of the title picture for a few years but recent wins over Breilor Teran, Masafumi Otake, Jonas Sultan and Renoel Pael have helped establish him as a credible OPBF title challenger.
In the ring Onaga posses very solid skills but little more, if we're being honest. He is a popular figure from the Ohashi gym but lacks the fighting tenacity of stablemate Akira Yaegashi, the destructive power of Naoya Inoue or the outside boxing skills of Takuma Inoue. He's certainly not a bad fighter, but there is nothing that stands out about him being anything particularly outstanding.
As the champion Dacquel will be making his first defense of the title, a title that was upgraded earlier this year when Takuma Inoue officially vacated the belt. Incidentally Dacquel and Inoue fought last year with Takuma clearly, and easily, over-coming the Filipino for this very same title.
Dacquel's record is less then stellar with the 6 losses, and in fact he's 1-2-1 in Japan, with losses to Takuma and Hideyuki Watanabe. Saying that however Filipino records are usually misleading and do the fighters a dis-service. Notably for Dacquel he has suffered several close losses and some outside of his best weight division. He also holds very notable wins over the likes of Yuki Nasu, Melvin Gumban Thembelani Nxoshe and Mateo Handig.
In the ring Dacquel is an technically solid fighter and at 25 is a fresh, young and hungry fighter in the ring. He's also a man maturing physically and does hit hard than his record suggests, as seen in his stunning KO win last time out against Lucky Tor Buamas. We're not saying he's a KO artist but he certainly hits harder than his record suggests and will likely know that leaving this one in the judges hands will be risky.
For both men this is a bout they cannot afford to lose. For Onaga a loss will kill his world title dreams stone dead. For Dacquel it'll be a 3rd loss in 6 and essentially see him relegated to a man who's level has been “found” at OPBF level class. Sadly for Onaga we think he'll be the man coming up short with Dacquel's youth being the difference down the stretch and Onaga's old legs not carrying him the full distance with the local fighter breaking down in the final rounds.