The Super Featherweight division is one of, if not the, most exciting division in regards to Japanese talent. The country currently boasts both the WBA champion, Takashi Uchiyama, and the WBC champion, Takashi Miura, as well as two of the best contenders. One of those contenders is the heavy handed Masao Nakamura whilst the other is the incredibly over-looked and ridiculously strong Daiki Kaneko.
Kaneko is a fighter well known on the Japanese domestic scene but only just known on the international stage. He is however a man we think international fans are going to see a lot over the coming few years.
Aged just 17 when he began his career Kaneko suffered 2 losses in his teens. One of those losses was a 5th round TKO defeat at the hands of Mitsuya Omura back in 2007. Following that Kaneko rebuilt his career, found his man strength and became a bit of a phenom on the Japanese domestic scene running up a 16 fight unbeaten run. Included in that run was a Japanese title winning effort, against Seiichi Okada, and 4 defences.
For Kaneko his 4th defence would likely have been the most pleasing as he finally got revenge over Omura, and in very quick fashion, stopping his challenger inside a round.
Interesting Omura actually failed to make weight for the bout. That didn't help him however and the man he had beaten as a boy 6 years earlier was now a man on the verges of a world title fight, a fight Kaneko got 4 months later. Although Kaneko lost that one, dropping a decision to Uchiyama, he had proven himself as a tough fighter with the potential to be a world champion sooner rather than later.
(Video thanks to Y TAKA)
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