Unbeaten Japanese hopeful Naoto Uebayashi to battle highly ranked Filipino Giovanni Escaner on April 22nd
We've known for a while that Naoto Uebayashi (7-0-1, 4) would be back in the ring on April 22nd at the next "Fighting Bee" show. What we didn't know, until earlier today, is who he would be fighting. Given the fact that the show is only 4 weeks away we were fearing the worst and suspect that Uebayashi would be fighting someone with no real value, a brought in journeyman with an inflated record or a Thai body donor.
Thankfully, and surprisingly, we were informed that Uebayashi's opponent won't be a typical lesser foe, instead it will be the highly regarded Filipino punched Giovanni Escaner (12-3, 8). Not only is Escaner a good fighter but he is a man with proven quality, a record of travelling and a #4 OPBF ranking, albeit at Flyweight.
Escaner will be known by hardcore Japanese fans for his surprising 7th round TKO victory over Junichi Ebisuoka last November, giving Ebisuoka just his 5th stoppage loss in 47 fights. Whilst that is the sole standout win on Escaner's record he did run Marco Demecillo very close in a 2013 meeting and managed to go 12 rounds with former world champion Oleydong Sithsamerchai in October 2013.
On paper Escaner has gone 2-3 in his last 5 though he has been competitive in all 3 losses, including his stoppage loss to Jason Canoy and is far from a push over. Not only is her better than his record suggests but he's also a very solid puncher and we've seen Uebayashi go down several times in his career, not a good combination for the unbeaten Japanese fighter who same have tipped as a potential world title challenger.
Although Escaner is ranked at Flyweight he does seem to be a natural Super Flyweight, this bout however will be fought at Bantamweight where the size advantage could be Uebayashi's key to victory.
Promising prospect pair in action on April 22nd!
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