Earlier today it was announced that Japanese 140lb puncher Keita Obara (15-1, 14) would be making his US debut on November 7th on a PBC show from Miami, Florida.
The former Japanese national and current OPBF champion will be up against the more experienced Nicaraguan fighter Walter Castillo (26-3, 19) in what is said to be an IBF Light Welterweight eliminator.
Obara, a star of the Misako gym, began his career back in 2010 as a hotly tipped amateur. On debut he lost to the much more experienced Kazuyoshi Kumano though since then he has reeled 15 straight wins with 14 wins coming by stoppage and the other a technical decision win. Impressively he is on a 13 fight KO streak, including a sensational KO of Shinya Iwabuchi from late last year.
For those who haven't seen Obara we'd describe him as a boxer-puncher with genuinely nasty power in both hands. He is defensively flawed but has that god given ability to disconnect and opponent from their senses. It's worth noting that his competition is relatively unknown outside of Japan, with Iwabuchi being the most proven of his foes, but he has looked impressive on the Japanese scene whilst waiting for a big fight.
As for Castillo he is the much more proven fighter going in to this bout. He is likely to be known by US fans for bout with the much outed Amir Imam, and has actually fought his last bouts in the good ol' US of A. For hardcore fans his best performance is likely one that came back in 2012, when he ran Vicente Mosquera to a split decision in Panama and since then he has gone 10-1 (7).
Although not the most skilled Castillo is gritty, has good power and has never been stopped. He could, potentially, spoil Obara's coming out party in what should be a genuine solid bout and a chance to see if Obara is as good he and his team believe he is.
(Image courtesy of Misako Gym)
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