We've known for a while that Japanese hopeful Hinata Maruta (0-0) would be making his professional debut on November 22nd at the Sumiyoshi Ward Center in Osaka. We've also known, for almost 2 weeks, that Maruta's debut would see him facing off against the world ranked Jason Canoy (24-5-2, 18).
What we didn't know was what else would be on that card.
Today saw a big announcement from Mutoh gym chairman Takashi Edagawa who announced a number of bouts for the same card, including the bout that will act as the technical "main event" of the show.
That main event will be an OPBF title fight between currently Light Middleweight champion Dennis Laurente (49-6-5, 30) and IBF world ranked fighter Takayuki Hosokawa (27-10-4, 9).
The bout, which will be Laurente's first defense since winning he belt last December with a stoppage victory over Tadashi Yuba, has come about after talks of rematch between Hosokawa and Japanese champion Yuki Nonaka fell apart, following their draw earlier this year and on paper it looks a really good match up. Laurente, a real tough guy from the Philippines, will likely go into this bout as the favourite and although he took a bit of a beating last time out, at the hands of John Jackson, he should have the strength, power and will to win to give Hosokawa a real headache for 12 rounds. For Hosokawa a win here could help him move towards an IBF world title bout in 2016 though a loss would likely be the end of his interesting career, which began 2-3 and was once 9-6.
The main event wasn't the only bout announced for the show. There will also be a rematch between Japanese based Filipino Mark John Yap (22-12, 10) and Tatsuya Ikemizu (12-1, 5), with Ikemizu looking to avenge a loss suffered to Yap back in April. The card will also feature world ranked Super Featherweight puncher Masao Nakamura (20-3, 19), who is fighting for the first time since his 2015 FOTY contender against Daki Kaneko, and Satoru Sugita (10-2-1, 6) who have yet to have their opponents named.
The show will also feature the retirement ceremony of former Japanese and OPBF Middleweight champion Tetsuya Suzuki (29-12, 17).
What was seemingly supposed to be an introduction to the professional ranks for the "#1 Hope" has suddenly become a very interesting card.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
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