The idea of these "Introducing" segments isn't just to put a light on young up and comers but also exciting fighters, fighters who are worthy of some attention, no matter their age, record or ability. If there's a reason for fans to be interested in someone they get considered for weekly feature. We say that because we're about to look at a 30 year old with a less than stellar looking record, but a man who really does excite every time he steps in the ring. Win or lose it's always worth making a mental note of when Cristiano Aoqui (14-7-2, 10) fights. The Brazilian-Japanese puncher is a flawed fighter with dynamite in his hands!
Aoqui has been raised in Japan, though has strong roots to his Brazilian culture. Those roots are often shown on his shorts which usually have a combined Japanese and Brazilian flag on them. The background has seen fans from both countries following his career and his fights.
Prior to turning to boxing Aoqui had been training in Karate, he then turned to boxing and made his professional debut in 2006, at the age of 17. He turned professional without having any amateur bouts, and having only been training for a couple of years at the Suruga academy.
The exciting, but raw, style of Aoqui had some mixed success early on. He won his first 3 bouts but quickly saw his record fall to 3-2 by the summer of 2008. He then took more than 3 years away from the ring and seemed to retire before getting a call that inspired him to return to the ring. On his return success was quick to return and he'd go 4-0-1 over his following 5 bouts before losing in a 2013 Rookie of the Year bout to Ryuji Ikeda.
The Rookie of the Year loss was a set back, but Aoqui bounced back well winning 3 of next 4 and breaking into the Japanese and OPBF rankings, thanks in part to 2 wins over Quaye Peter. That rise was stopped in late 2015 when he lost a razor thin decision to Valentine Hosokawa, in what was a brilliant 8 round fight. Less than a year after the loss to Hosokawa we saw Aoqui get a huge shot, as he faced off with the then Japanese Light Welterweight champion Hiroki Okada. Against Okada we saw a brilliant, aggressive and exciting effort from Aoqui, though sadly he would come up short, losing a technical decision to the then unbeaten Okada.
The loss to Okada was followed by defeats to Noriaki Sato and Koki Inoue in 2017, with the loss to Inoue coming due to an injury that ended what seemed like a brilliant match up at that time. Notably after these loss Aoqui left the Suruga Gym and joined up with former foes Okada and Hosokawa at the Kadoebi Gym since joining the Kadoebi gym we've seen Aoqui fight 3 times and score 3 wins, all by TKO.
In the ring Aoqui is a charismatic, exciting, aggressive fighter. He's flawed, and defensively not the best. In fact he often over-commits in his combinations, but this is why he's worth watching. He's explosive, a monstrous puncher, when he has opponents hurt he goes for the kill and he's a big puncher. When he lands clean he hurts opponents, if he doesn't out right clean their clock.
Aoqui's next fight will be on October 21st, when he battles in a Japanese title eliminator against Daishi Nagata. That bout should be something incredibly special, given the styles of the two men. Win or lose Aoqui will be looking to put on a show and will be worth following well after the bout.
Here we've included his bout with Filipino foe Anthony Marcial. This isn't the most exciting bout of Aoqui's but the brutal finish shows just how damaging his shots can be.
This is just an opinion, maaaan! It's easy to share our opinions, and that's what you'll find here, some random opinion pieces