When a fighter loses on their debut we are often far too quick to write them off, suggest they aren't worth following and overlook them going forward. The one mark on their record can, at least in the eyes of Western fans, show that they aren't as good as others and even a few years down the line we can be seen holding that loss against them. That's possibly going to be the case with Yoji Saito (1-1) [齊藤陽ニ], though that would be a huge mistake of fans given that Saito is one to watch, and is a very promising young fighter.
The 23 year old Saito is part of the really well established Kadoebi Gym and prior to turning professional in 2018 he was an experienced amateur, running up a 28-26 record.
It's not an amazing record but showed Saito's experience and due to that experience he turned professional with a B Class license. Something that is typical of successful, or experienced fighters.
Unfortunately for Saito his debut came against another experienced amateur, Shu Utsuki. Utsuki had been an amateur standout, going 81-27 in the unpaid ranks and had captained his University team among other things. Utsuki's amateur pedigree helped him get over the line in what was a really exciting and action packed 6 round bout shown over the BoxingRaise service. Utsuki was dropped in round 1, from an ultra-aggressive Saito, but battled back hard to take a narrow win over the debutant. It was a loss on debut, but a very, very credible one for Saito given that Utsuki is himself regarded as one of the top prospects at the Watanabe Gym.
Less than 6 months after his debut Saito returned to the ring and took on Tameji Ito, who was fighting in his 10th professional bout. Saito showed the same aggressive, combination punching pressure style he had showed on debut. The style quickly forced Ito on to the back foot and Saito really went to work, closing the distance and unloading on his man with both hands. Ito was dropped mid way through the round and again later on in the same round as Saito's pressure dropped Ito hard.
Saito's next bout is set to take place on April 6th at the Korakuen Hall, with Saito facing Aso Ishiwaki on a Kadoebi promoted card to be shown on G+. That should give those who haven't yet seen Saito a chance to see what he can deliver, and why we have featured him here.
Although certainly not the most polished of fighters Saito is someone we're going to be really excited to follow. He's perhaps not the technically skilled type of fighter we have typically covered in these "Introducing" segments but he is someone who will certainly provide explosive action and a lot of fun for fans wanting to follow a fighter who delivers explosive action.
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