On April 8th we'll see Japanese youngster Go Hosaka (4-0, 3) make his Japanese debut, and feature on a Diamond Glove show from Korakuen Hall. The bout will be Hosaka's first since September 2019 and will be a great chance for him to build on a very promising start to his professional career. With that in mind we thought this was the perfect time to have a look at Hosaka, his career, what he brings to the sport and why fans should be excited about the 24 year old Lightweight hopeful. With that said, let us introduce you to Go Hosaka in this week's Introducing...
Hosaka was born in Fukuoka prefecture, in the the south east of Japan. It was there that he learned to box, and he was a solid fighter when he was at high school, the Higashi Fukuoka High School. It was there that he made his first mark on the boxing world, and he managed to make his way to the semi finals of the 2013 Japanese Interschool Athletic Meet, losing a close decision to Naoto Yonezawa. Notably that tournament featured a who's who of Japanese fighters from today, including the likes of Kosei Tanaka, Mikito Nakano, Hinata Maruta, Shokichi Iwata and Takuma Inoue.
Just a few months after that Interschool tournament Hosaka came runner up at the Japanese National Athletic Meet, losing in the final to Gonte Lee. With solid results in two national tournaments Hosaka was on the radar of those who followed Japanese amateur boxing as we went into 2014, a year that defined his amateur career.
Hosaka began 2014 by reaching the semi-finals of the Asian Youth Championships in Bangkok, beating local fighter Somchai Wongsuwan in the quarter final before losing to eventual winner Abylaykhan Zhusupov in the semi-final. Hosaka would also go on to reach the final 4 of the AIBA Youth World Championships in Bulgaria a few months later, where he scored 3 wins before running into Arsen Mustafa in the semi-final. Back on the domestic scene Hosaka won come runner up in the High School Selection Tournament in Spring of 2014 before winning the Japanese Interschool Athletic Meet later that same year. To end 2014 Hosaka managed to continue his success internationally, and came 4th at the Youth Olympics.
Sadly things were less busy for Hosaka in the years that followed, though he continued to compete in numerous tournaments, before ending his days in the unpaid ranks with a reported 50-13 amateur record.
Unlike many Japanese fighters Hosaka didn't want to begin his professional career in Japan. Whilst it's not unheard of for Japanese fighters to begin there careers away from Japan, with a number of notable fighters such as Tomoki Kameda and Shoki Sakai starting there careers away from home, it was rare that such a stand out amateur began to fight away from home. Instead of signing with a Japanese promoter he dropped out of Komazawa University and travelled to the Philippines to begin his professional career, and joined with the well established ALA Gym in Cebu. It was under the ALA Gym that Hosaka trained as a professional, living in a dormitory with some of their top fighters, and learned how to boxing as a professional, alongside the likes of Milan Melindo, who he claimed taught him a lot.
In June 2018 the then 21 year old Hosaka finally made his professional debut, doing so in a 6 round Lightweight bout against Holly Quinones in Maasin City. The match up was the first chance to see what Hosaka could do in the professional ring, but was a blink and you miss it affair, with Hosaka stopping his man within a round. Just 5 months later Hosaka was back in the ring, and was matched with decent fighter Jason Tinampay in another 6 rounder. This was a much better match up, and we saw what Hosaka could really do, as he controlled Tinampay for all 6 rounds, forcing Tinampay on to the ropes and picking his spots well. It was an impressive performance for a fighting in just his second bout, and it was clear he had the ability to go a long way.
Sadly in 2019 ALA put on very, very few shows. The shows they did have were poor, and their match making really went backwards. Despite that Hosaka fought twice, stopping Romnick Magos in July and then stopping Kim Lindog in September, both of which were serious steps backwards from the win over Tinampay.
Things went from bad to worse for ALA Gym, who went from running very few shows in 2019 to closing complete in 2020. That left Hosaka as a free agent, and in 2020 he finally signed with a Japanese promoter, joining the legendary Misako Gym in Kansai.
Despite signing with the Misako gym in 2020 Hosaka remained out of the ring, training in Japan and developing his skills back at home. Thankfully however the wait to see him boxing in Japan is almost over, and on April 8th he'll face Kanta Fukui (7-3-1, 5) in a good, solid looking, 8 round test. A win there will begin the next chapter in Hosaka's career, the journey to his first title.
In the ring Hosaka looks like a relaxed boxer-puncher. He's a southpaw with a lovely crispness to his punching, a patient pressure based style, and although there is still work to do, he looks very much a natural in the ring. Albeit a natural who still has some polishing to do.
It's clear, from watching Hosaka, that he has a strong amateur background, but that he is a young man developing a professional style. As a trainee at the Misako gym we suspect his development as a professional fighter will be quick. The gym is one of the best in Japan and he will get high level sparring, high level training and the chance to train alongside some of the best in Japan. Those things will all help him become a better boxer and we suspect those things will all help him move quickly towards titles at either Lightweight or Super Featherweight.
For those who haven't seen Hosaka we've included his 2018 bout with Jason Tinampay below. This was just his second bout, and he has improved since, but it is a good chance to see what he has to offer the sport, and what tools he has in his arsenal.
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