One of the more over-looked bouts will see former Japanese Super Bantamweight champion Hidenori Otake (22-1-3, 9) attempt to become a world champion as he travels to the UK to take on the unbeaten Scott Quigg (29-0-2, 22), the current WBA Super Bantamweight champion. The bout was a controversial one when it was announced, given that Otake wasn't in the WBA top 15 ranked fighters, but it is nice to see Otake given his shot at the top. We'll admit that we're not fans of the bout in many ways but we do suspect it will entertaining for as long as it lasts.
Quigg, for those who haven't seen him, is one of the most naturally strong Super Bantamweights on the planet. He's not the smoothest of movers, though he can move relatively lightly on his toes, but he is an aggressive fighter who applies a lot of pressure in an attempt to break opponents down with heavy shots that are sharp and accurate. Sadly however he come under a lot of criticism for avoiding other top Super Bantamweights and instead facing a string of smaller men such as Diego Oscar Silva, Tshifhiwa Munyai amd Stephane Jamoye, all natural Bantamweights. Whilst it's true to say that Quigg has had to face some men on short notice following injuries to opponents it does still seem frustrating to follow his career and not see him in the ring with fighters like Carl Frampton, Leo Santa Cruz, Guillermo Rigondeaux, Kiko Martinez and domestic rival Kid Galahad.
Questions regarding Quigg are how he handles a real boxer-mover, how he handles a true Super Bantamweight and he he handles a proven world class opponent. Sadly we've yet to see him do any of that which is a shame as it seems he wants to prove himself but isn't being matched in a way that sees him fighting some of the best in the division. What we see with his match making is the British fighter being matches with men who make him look good and make him look stronger and better than he is. We suspect that may be the case again here.
Otake is, in many ways, similar to Quigg. He's an offensive fighter first and foremost. Sadly where Quigg is strong, powerful and hurtful with his shorts Otake is more of a grinder who lands a lot of shots in the hope of every shot taking some effect. It's the fact Otake has great stamina that saw him winning the Japanese title and subsequently notching up 4 defenses before vacating the belt a few months ago to focus on world title bouts. All 5 of his Japanese title bouts were won on points with several of them being amazingly close, including his technical decision over Nobuhisa Coronita Doi his title winning effort against Takafumi Nakajima and his first defense, against Mikihito Seto.
Watching Otake in action is fun. He comes forward behind a tight guard and tried to cut the distance before letting his hands go. Unfortunately for those wanting to see him in action footage of his bouts are scarce with his bout against Yuji Maruyama being the only full fight we could track down. In that fight he looked "made to order" for Quigg who would love to fight that style of fight against Otake and sadly for the Japanese fighter that's what we're suspect will happen here.
We think Otake will fight with his hands up and walk forward attempting to apply constant pressure and this will lead to Quigg standing in front of him and giving us a phone booth, toe-to-toe battle. Sadly for Otake his lack of power will be the difference with Quigg's shots being more telling, more damaging and eventually too much for Otake who will be ground down at some point in the middle of the fight.
(Image, of Otake, courtesy of http://www.kaneko-boxing.com)