In late 2014 Hidenori Otake (27-2-3, 12) came to the attention of the wider boxing world as he travelled to the UK to take on WBA Super Bantamweight champion Scott Quigg. The bout saw the Japanese fighter go from being a relative unknown outside of Tokyo, where he had fought all 26 of his previous bouts, to a man widely applauded for his toughness and stamina in going 12 tough rounds against Quigg.
Since losing to Quigg we've seen Otake score 5 wins, almost against less than notable competition, as he's moved back into title contention, and this coming Friday we'll see him return to title action to take on Filipino foe Jelbirt Gomera (12-1, 6). For Otake it's a chance to add an OPBF title to his collection, which also include a Japanese title from earlier in his career, whilst Gomera looks to announce himself on the Oriental scene.
The 35 year old Otake made his debut back in 2005 and was unbeaten in his first 8 bouts, going 6-0-2 (1) before suffering a loss to Manabu Koguchi in the 2007 East Japan Rookie of the Year final. That loss would be Otake's only defeat until his 2014 bout with Quigg. During the 7 years between losses Otake went on to score wins over the likes of Kentaro Masuda, Takafumi Nakajima, Mikihito Seto and Nobuhisa Coronita Doi as he won the Japanese Super Bantamweight title and recorded 4 defenses of the belt.
Sadly since losing to Quigg it does seem like Otake has slowed. Although he is 5-0 (3) since his bout with Quigg he did fail to shine when he took on Hernan Cortez and genuinely struggled past Alexander Espinoza. Although it might be unfair to say it but it does seem like Otake's body, at the age of 35, is slowing down and his once incredible stamina is wearing away. His toughness can't be question but there are cracks showing and his relative lack of power has seen him rack up close to 200 rounds of professional action in his 32 fight career, averaging a little over 6 rounds a fight. His stamina is undeniable but he lack of power has seen him stopping only 38% of his opponents so far.
Filipino fighter Gomera debuted back in April 2013 and has been a professional for close to 4 years. He won his first 4 bouts by stoppage and moved out to 10-0 (6), with a notable win over Ryan Rey Ponteras, before being stopped in 8 rounds by Mark Anthony Geraldo in November 2015. that has been Gomera's most notable bout to date but since that loss he has racked up two wins, with a win last time out over Eduardo Mancito to claim the Philippines Boxing Federation Featherweight title.
Other than his record little is really known about Gomera,though footage does suggest that he's a southpaw who likes to come forward, though isn't the most aggressive or the quickest. Although the footage is limited we have read fight reports suggesting that Gomera's last bout, against Mancito, was an exciting and bloody affair with Gomera getting up from a 2nd round knockdown to defeat Mancito. It's also worth noting that newspaper reports have given Gomera as being 19 when he lost to Geraldo, suggesting he is 20 or 21 at the moment, reports from that fight also suggest that Gomera is a gutsy fighter and pulled himself off the canvas a number of times against Geraldo.
Although he's the “unknown under-dog” Gomera is the youngster with a point to prove and we suspect he will give Otake a lot of problems here, especially with Otake showing his age in recent fights. Despite that we still think Otake's experience will be too much over the distance, but it will be a very close contest with Gomera proving himself as one to watch from the Philippines.
Having canned the old "Full Schedule" of Asianboxing we have instead decided to concentrate more on the major bouts. This section, the "Preview" section will look at major bouts involving OPBF and national titles. Hopefully leading to a more informative style for, you the reader.