Back in May we saw a bizarre conclusion to a WBO Super Flyweight world title eliminator between Japan's Koki Eto (24-4-1-1, 19) and Puerto Rican Jeyvier Cintron (10-0-0-1, 5). The bout seemed to end after a right hand from Eto landed on Cintron and appeared to leave him a bit loopy. On replay however it wasn't a right hand that had left Cintron hurt, but instead an accidental clash of heads, and what was originally announced as an opening round TKO win for Eto was then reversed into a No Contest.
As a result of their No Contest the men will rematch on August 2nd, with the winner then likely to get a WBO world title fight against the newly crowned Kazuto Ioka. Although they may end up needing to wait until 2020 for their shot at gold, a win here will hot shot them to being the mandatory for the highly regarded Ioka.
As with their first bout Cintron will head in as the favourite.The 24 year old former amateur stand out has shown fantastic skills through his career, with good movement, good speed and good shot selection. In their first bout his skills really were impressive, and he looked like he was more than capable of out boxing Eto for 12 rounds. That was, of course, until the ending when he seemed to be clearly concussed.
Whilst Cintron did look really skilled, and was taken out by a headclash, there was some question marks with the youngster. He seemed to stand with Eto a little bit too much, his defense was as good as expected, and whilst it was a headclash that sent him loopy an Eto right hand did come extremely close to landing at the same time. Had that landed we wouldn't be talking about this rematch. The headclash obviously seemed to give Cintron a concussion as well, and it's fair to say that lingering effects of a concussion may show them selves here, less than 3 months after their first bout.
In the first fight we saw Eto for what he was, and for what he has long been. A clumsy, crude, rugged fighter. Eto is the sort of fighter who could end up being knocked down shadow boxing, his defense is often open and more based on his own aggression than slipped and blocking shots. He is open, he is in front of his opponents and he is easy to hit. Despite his limitations he is tough, he hits hard, he has incredible heart and he's never been afraid of a fight. His wars with Kompayak Popramook and Ardin Diale showed he never gives up and to beat him anyone will need to stay sharp and fight hard for 12 rounds.
At 31 years old Eto doesn't have much time left in his career, in fact given his wars so far it's hard to know what he has left in the tank. He's an out and warrior and his career has been a damaging one. Given the reversed outcome of the first bout it could be that he is more determined than ever to make a mark, and given how Cintron reacted after the head clash he may well feel like Cintron has issues with durability and heart. On the other hand the disappointment of having the win scratched may well have been the final straw in his career.
As with their first bout we're expecting this to be a case of Cintron skills and amateur pedigree against the power and determination of Eto. We expect this to be a much longer bout than their first one, and one to end in conclusive fashion. Given how the headclash really scambled Cintron, and how Eto was having moments of success, we're actually going to predict that at some point the Japanese fighter will land a booming right hand, hurting Cintron and then stopping him with a follow up.
Prediction - Eto TKO9
The Super Flyweight division is a really interesting one at the moment, with the division full of talent and interesting match ups. We, of course, have a WBO world title fight later in the year between Kazuto Ioka and Aston Palicte, but before that we'll actually see a WBO world title eliminator, as unbeaten Puerto Rican Jeyvier Cintron (10-0, 5) takes on Japan's Koki Eto (24-4-1, 19), with the winner assured a world title fight against the Ioka Vs Palicte winner.
Those who have followed the Asian scene over the last few years will likely have seen Eto in action, and will likely be aware that he is incredibly entertaining. He's not the best boxer out there, he's not the most technically skilled, or the most naturally talented, but he is a true warrior with a style that really does lead to exciting fights. Early in his career he was one of 3 fighting brothers, along with Taiki and Shingo Eto. Despite their being 3 brothers Koki was the only one to really have success, with Shingo and Taiki both losing in OPBF and JBC title bouts.
Koki's biggest claim to fame was his memorable WBA "interim" Flyweight title win in Thailand, beating Kompayak Porpramook in 2013 in a FOTY candidate. He would lose the belt in his first defense, being stopped by Yodmongkol Vor Saengthep, but bounce back by winning the OPBF Flyweight title in a war with Ardin Diale. The following year he moved up in weight and was relatively competitive with Carlos Cuadras in a WBC Super Flyweight title bout. Since that loss Eto has gone 7-0 (6), albeit at a low level with his best wins coming against Filipino domestic level fighters.
Although Eto isn't the most skilled he does have great energy, an incredible will to win, under-rated power and real desire. Sadly he is flawed, he is open, he does lack in terms of skills, and has questionable concentration levels. Also he's had an incredibly tough career and taken a lot of damage. Whilst we have joked in the past that Eto would trade knockdowns with himself whilst shadow boxing, there is air of truth to it, as he really is that wild at times and could be dropped any time, despite having a decent chin.
Whilst Eto is relatively well known for his exciting fights Cintron is probably better known for amateur exploits than his professional career. He is a 2-time Olympian, competing at both the 2012 and 2016 Olympics, and a former standout of the Puerto Rican boxing scene. Although he failed to medal at the Olympics he did win a Silver medal at the 2012 Youth World Championships and a bronze at the 2014 Central American and Caribbean Games. He would also compete in the WSB before eventually signing with Top Rank and turning professional in 2017. His early bouts were, as we typically see in the west, nothing to talk about, but in his 7th bout he took a WBO Youth title, then quickly added the WBO Latino title to his collection. Cintron has since defended the Latino title twice, and raced up the WBO world rankings, leading to this bout.
With 10 bouts to his name it's fair to assume that Cintron hasn't faced many fighters of note, but his last 4 foes have a combined record of 70-13-3 and he has looked good in those bouts. Cintron has a style that clearly has good amateur foundations. His movement is light and looks natural, his punching is crisp, and his combinations look hurtful. He has a very nasty looking straight left hand, and gauges distances really with it.
We're expecting t0 see Eto be his usual aggressive self. He has a chance of catching Cintron early on and causing the Puerto Rican some issues in the first round or two. Sadly for Eto he's going to struggle as soon as Cintron gets his timing down, and from then on the Puerto Rican will land at will, really testing the bravery and resilience of Eto. Sadly we suspect the long and hard career of Eto will come back to bite him here.
Prediction TKO7 Cintron
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.