Earlier today saw the announcement that another Japanese amateur star was set to turn professional, with very high expectation surrounding him.
The fighter in question is Hinata Maruta (0-0) who stood out as an amateur both domestically and internationally, despite a relatively short amateur career. In total the youngster scored 55 wins in the amateur ranks, including running an impressive high school record of 21-6 (13).
Maruta's professional journey begins on November 24th when he partakes in his public sparring test. The hope is that he will pass and earn a B license before making his debut in 2015 at either Bantamweight or Super Flyweight, he'll be doing that whilst remaining at school. Originally it appears that Maruta had wanted to go to the Olympics but changed his mind viewing the professional ranks as more suitable to him.
Aged 17 the young fighter appears to have shown a lot of potential and showed his class last year when he won a bronze at the Asian Junior Championships in Kazakhstan. In that tournament he reached the semi-final before meeting eventual winner Javokhirbek Karimov and losing on points.
As well talented and good looking Maruta is also a confident young man and has set himself a target of winning a Japanese national title in his first 4 bouts! That confidence has also seen him having his name mentioned alongside Naoya Inoue and Ryota Murata and lets be honest, if he can be half as good as those two men the odds are we will see Maruta become a world champion.
For what it's worth we need to admit recent footage of Maruta is scarce though footage of the youngster from a few years ago does show him to have been a very, very talented young man and notably there was TV segment done on him as a 15 year old, that can be seen below courtesy of kawanishicity.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
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