By - George Delis (@Delisketo)
On August 23rd, Hinata Maruta faces Ben Mananquil at the Elorde South Mall in the Philippines.
Hinata Maruta (7-1 / 6 KOs) is one of Japan’s brightest young up and comers. He began boxing at the Morioka gym, when he was just 6 years old ! Maruta then went to Koyo High School, where he won a bronze medal at the 2013 Asian Junior Championships. His amateur record stands at 55 wins and only 11 losses.
Made his pro debut in 2015, Maruta wasn’t given an easy opponent as he went up against former Filippino champion Jason Canoy (24-5*). The Japanese prodigy put his skills to test against the veteran fighter, showcasing great hand speed and foot work. Despite getting caught a few times, he dominated the majority of the fight and got the decision as well as his first professional victory.
After dispatching Saranyu Kerdsuk on March of 2016, Maruta fought and beat the undefeated Wilbert Berondo (10-0*) for the vacant WBC Youth Bantamweight World Championship. He continued his winning ways by defending his belt against Joe Tejones (6-1*) and Hamson Lamandau (8-0*), knocking them both out.
In less than 15 months, Maruta has proven he was a worthy adversary. Where most boxers usually fight journeymen in their early years, Maruta was facing much more experienced foes and on March 26 of 2017, he met his biggest challenged today, as he went toe to toe with Hidenori Otake (29-2*) for the prestigious OPBF title. A former Japanese champion and world title contender, Otake was the clear favor in this bout. Maruta was playing a safe game, giving the veteran too much room to control the pace of the fight and constantly stay ahead in the judges scorecards. However in the last rounds, almost out of nowhere, Maruta started peppering the champ with a few strong combinations and even got him on the run in the closing seconds of the match. Even though it wasn’t enough to get him the decision, the young lion shocked many fans and critics alike with that performance. If Maruta had chosen to fight like that since the opening bell, he would have probably left the new champion.
Maruta’s next opponent will be Ben Mananquil (16-1 / 4 KOs). The Filippino, since losing to Jing Xiang, has won all of his 6 last fights, his most notable being against Glenn Porras (29-5*) for the WBF International Bantamweight title. This will be a challenge for both men and especially for Maruta as he looks to get back on title contention.
These articles are submitted by guest writers and sites. They aren't submitted by the usual folk behind Asian Boxing and don't fall in line with our editorial stance, giving a fresh view on various boxing issues from the Asian boxing scene.