August 24th is set to be one of the best days for fight fans of the lower weights. We not only have both Kosei Tanaka, John Riel Casimero and Vic Saludar defending their world title but also a number of other notable bouts in the lower weights. One of those other bouts is a show down between the fast rising Kento Hatanaka (9-0, 9) and world ranked Filipino Jaysever Abcede (19-8, 12). This bout, on the under-card of Tanaka's mandatory title defense against Jonathan Gonzalez, could end up being the most interesting bout of the day and is a clear step up for the destructive Hatanaka.
The 21 year old Hatanaka is seen by some in Japan as the next star of Chubu, following stable mate Kosei Tanaka. He's a second generation fighter, following in the footsteps of father Kiyoshi Hatanaka, a former world champion at Super Bantamweight, and has been guided so far by Hatanaka senior. He made his professional debut in late 2016 and has gradually built a reputation for himself as a hard hitting, exciting and really promising young fighter. He's already his first title, the WBC Youth Flyweight title, and is starting to get real traction thanks to wins over the likes of Kenta Matsui and Songsaeng Phoyaem.
In the ring Hatanaka is aggressive, heavy handed but also educated. He takes calculated risks, and brings his aggression being intelligent pressure. He backs opponents up behind good footwork, he fires off combinations between head and body and is very hard hitting for such a young fighter. Like many of the emerging Japanese youngsters he really uses body shots well and whilst he's still a long, long, way from a world title fight he is moving in the right direction.
On paper Abcede looks like a really poor opponent for a top prospect. With 8 losses from 27 bouts he's no world beater. However Abcede is going through a really good run of form. He's been unbeaten since suffering a decision loss to Ivan Soriano in December 2017, and has scored big wins on the road since then, stopping both Stamp Kiatniwat in Thailand and Seigo Yuri Akui in Japan. Those two wins are far better than anything on Hatanaka's record, and a win over Abcede would be huge for Hatanaka at this point,
Abcede isn't a world beater, but he's a tough, rugged and hungry fighter. His losses, typically, come to good fighters, like Panya Pradabsri, OPBF champion Lito Dante, former OPBF champion Tsubasa Koura and current world champion Wanheng Menayothin. He's not only notched the bit wins over Stamp and Akui but also holds wins over Pigmy Kokietgym and Orlie Silvestre. If we were to put Abcede into a pigeon hole, he's a gatekeeper, a really good regional gatekeeper. He has under-rated power, a lot of heart and brings intelligent pressure behind his southpaw stance. He's not the quickest, the biggest puncher or the best boxer out there, but he has become a very solid fighter who can be a genuine threat to a prospect, and their unbeaten records.
We expect to see Hatanaka entering the bout with clear instructions not to try and blast out Abcede. Instead Hatanaka will be told to box, and if the opening come he's to jump on them. If he takes risks there is a genuine danger that Abcede will punish him for them, likewise if Hatanaka looks to set a super high pace there's a risk of him gassing in the later stages.
If Hatanaka can boxing intelligently, use his brain and find openings he can certainly stop Abcede and continue his perfect KO run. Alternatively he can box safe, get 10 good rounds under his belt and prove his stamina. From the first round to the last Abcede will be dangerous and he will be tough, but Hatanaka should be good enough to take the win, and continue his rise. We expect to see the youngster being tested, hard, but do more than enough to take home the win.
Prediction- TKO9 Hatanaka
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.