Although boxing is a solo sport it's also a sport that has been a sport dominated by families such as the Mayweather's, the Kameda's, the Marquez's and the Klitschko's. Two other families worth noting are the Naito's and the Eto's.
The boxing name has been linked to the Naito family since the late 1960's when Cassius Naito began his climb through the ranks and later became a Japanese and OPBF Middleweight champion. Earlier this year Cassius son Rikki Naito (10-0, 5) followed in his father's footsteps and became a Japanese champion at Super Featherweight. In the eyes of many Rikki Naito has the potential to not only surpass his father but to also be one of the outstanding Japanese fighters for the next decade as long as he continues to improve as he has done recently
As for the Eto name it's shared by 3 brothers. There is Taiki Eto-a Japanese domestic contender at 115lbs, Koki Eto-the current OPBF Flyweight champion, and Shingo Eto (14-2-1, 9)-a Super Featherweight hopeful on the verge of his biggest bout to date. Of the three Eto's it's Koki who is best known thanks to his numerous all-action wars though some do feel that it's Shingo with the most potential and the most complete all round skill set.
On October 13th we will see the families collide as Rikki Naito makes the second defense of his national title and against battles Shingo Eto, the only Eto brother yet to fight in a title bout.
As a fighter Shingo Eto didn't look great early on. He scored a draw with Ribo Takahata and was blasted out inside a round just a fight later by Kentaro Maimuangkorn Promotion. Since then however he has found his form and gone 9-1 with a win over Ryan Sermona being particularly notable. He's looked good recently, shown nice punch selection and solid respectable skills. It's not that he's a world beater but he's certainly very competent and is still improving fight after fight.
Unlike Koki and Taiki, who are twins, Shingo does seem to exhibit some under-standing of defense. We wouldn't describe him as a defensive master but he does seem to know that taking a lot of shots won't prolong his career. He also knows the value of a good body shot. These are both traits his brother's seem to neglect much to their own detriment.
Whilst Shingo looks the more complete of the Eto's we dare say that Naito looks the most complete of the emerging Japanese guys at 130lbs. He may not have the power of Masao Nakamura, he may not have the speed of Masayuki Ito and he may not have the physical strength of Daiki Kaneko but he does look like he's the most rounded with very little to complain about considering the fact he's still only a novice professional and he's still improving drastically.
Although a long way from a world title fight Naito has started to show world class ability. His title victory over Hiroyasu Matsuzaki was a coming of age performance whilst his first defense, a dominant win over Kyohei Tamakoshi, was a performance that suggested Naito might be something a little bit special. He showed off very intelligent movement and handspeed and although he didn't get the stoppage he was in total control of the bout.
Going into this fight it's a good one on paper and one we are a little bit excited about. Sadly though we can only see a win for Naito who really just seems to have a bit too much of everything for Eto, who looks good but not good enough to over come Naito. Eto will attempt to stick to his boxing early on but finds that he lacks the speed to match Naito, he'll then try to make the bout a fight and find out that Naito packs a real punch himself. Sadly for Eto it'll be a case of nothing he does can really trouble Naito who we think will take either a clear decision or a late stoppage to retain his title.
If we're right this will be another big win for the Naito family and another serious set back for the Eto's.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)