Despite it not being a surprise it's good to see confirmation from the fighter this far out!
Last night in the US fans had the chance to see Japan's Andy Hiraoka (15-0, 10) [平岡アンディ] will make his US debut, albeit in a pretty short bout, as he he took on, and took out, Rogelio Casarez (13-9, 5).
The talented Hiraoka, who recently revealed he had signed a deal with Top Rank, proved to be far too good, too quick and too sharp for Casarez.
Hiraoka fought well behind the jab, using his reach and speed to keep Casarez at bay before opening up with a right hook in round 2 and dropping Casarez. To his credit the diminutive Casarez recovered to his feet, but was stopped by the referee as Hiraoka followed up with a big attack.
Whilst this was an easy opponent for Hiraoka, a former Japanese Youth Light Welterweight champion, it was still an impressive performance on his debut and something that Top Rank would have wanted to see before putting him in with stiffer tests. He looked sharp, confident and like a man who was enjoying the US, where he has spent time training in the past.
Although it's yet to be confirmed we wouldn't be surprised to see Hiraoka, who managed by Hideyuki Ohashi, to be matched on the same cards as fellow Ohashi and Top Rank fighter Naoya Inoue, whilst he develops his skills and moves towards bigger and better fights down the line.
(Image - Ohashi Gym)
On Saturday night in Las Vegas Andy Hiraoka (14-0, 9) [平岡アンディ] will make his US debut, battling against Rogelio Casarez (13-8, 5) in a Light Welterweight bout.
Yesterday the two men took part in the weigh in for the bout, and both men made the 140lb weigh limit with no issues, though looked incredibly different, and had clearly gone about making weight in very different ways, with body types that weren't similar in the slightest.
The athletically built Hiraoka came in at 140lbs exactly, and looked in sensational condition. The tall and rangy youngster has clearly travelled with the intention of impressing in the ring, but he also impressively boasted a 19cm (around 7.5") height advantage over the Mexican.
Casarez on the other hand was 139½lbs, and was the shorter, stouter, more powerful looking fighter. He looked like he could have dropped 2, if not 3, weight classes, but still looked strong and like his shots will do damage, if he can catch Hiraoka clean.
If he wins here Hiraoka is expected to get some notable bouts in the US as top Rank look to develop him into a star.
This coming weekend unbeaten Japanese youngster Andy Hiraoka (14-0, 9) [平岡アンディ] will make his US debut, as he battles the tough but limited Rogelio Casarez (13-8, 5) in Las Vegas.
Ahead of that bout some interesting details were revealed about Hiraoka and his future.
It's been revealed that Hiraoka has been signed by US promoter Top Rank. The chance to sign with Top Rank, at this early stage of his career, seemed to surprise the fighter who admitted that he didn't think he would get such a chance this early in his career. Adding that he was so happy to fight in Las Vegas.
A key figure in the deal is Ohashi Gym chairman Hideyuki Ohashi, who stated that a contract from Top Rank came through in July, and explained that Hiraoka is a pretty unique fighter in regards to Japan. Ohashi then went on to compare Hiraoka to Tennis star Naomi Osaka and Basketball Rui Hachimura.
The youngster joins a growing list of Japanese fighters now signed with Top Rank, which includes former WBO Super Featherweight champion Masayuki Ito (26-2-1, 14) [伊藤 雅雪], WBA "regular" Middleweight champion Ryota Murata (15-2, 12) [村田 諒太] and the recently and WBSS Bantamweight winner Naoya Inoue (18-0, 16) [井上 尚弥]. Despite a growing trend Hiraoka signing with Top Rank is an odd one given that he has no track record of winning a title or a really strong amateur career, like the others.
Earlier this month we reported that unbeaten Japanese youngster Andy Hiraoka (14-0, 9) [平岡アンディ] had vacated the Youth Light Welterweight title, rather than make a defence against Takahiko Kobayashi (9-3, 7) [小林孝彦], with the plan being for Hiraoka to take part in a bigger bout.
Today we finally got confirmation of what that bigger bout was, and as previously speculated on, it will be his US debut!
The Ohashi promoted fighter will feature on the November 30th Top Rank card in Las Vegas, which will be headlined by Oscar Valdez and also feature Carlo Frampton.
Hiraoka's opponent will be American journeyman Rogelio Casarez (13-8, 5), who is looking to end a 3 fight losing streak.
Whilst Casarez is struggling for form Hiraoka will be looking to build on an excellent win last time out against Akihiro Kondo. Interestingly this bout is scheduled for 8 rounds, and sees Hiraoka return to 8 rounders after his win over Kondo, in what was a 10 round contest.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
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