This coming week isn't the best, despite one or two notable names involved. The only real standout bouts aren't hidden, instead they are headline bouts on big Japanese cards, including a world title bout and a big step up for a prospect. Looking for a gem here is a bit more tricky than it perhaps should be, but there is one bout that has piqued our attention ahead of this coming weekend, and that's the debut of a touted young Japanese fighter, tipped for big things.
The One to Watch?
Shigetoshi Kotari (0-0) Vs Lasben Sinaba (3-2, 2)
October 5th (Saturday)
We always get excited by highly regarded Japanese amateurs turning professional and this is the latest in those types of bouts. Kotari was a very good amateur, he fought close to 75 times in the amateurs and won a reported 50 of those bouts, often reaching the final stages of notable national tournaments. Sinaba on the other hand is a stop of be stopped fighter and has only gone beyond 3 rounds once in his career. The visitor will be in the ring looking for a blow out against his novice foe, but will know that he can be hurt.
The MT Gym's latest signing is Shigetoshi Kotari , who went 50-23 in the unpaid ranks and recent turned professional with the same gym that has Junto Nakatani and Kai Ishizawa among their ranks. At the age of 23 really big things are expected of him, and he has shared the ring not just with the likes of Nakatani, who he took his pro-test bout with, but also Masayuki Ito, who he has been sparring with to prepare for his debut.From footage of him fighting as an amateur he's a very tall, rangy fighter who looks like he could posses brutal power in his long levers, when he gets his technique down.
On the hand Lasben Sinaba is a bit of an unknown. He's fought 4 of his 5 bouts in Indonesia, and has fought once in Japan, where he lose to the then debut Shu Ikoshi. Notably he has fought as high as Lightweight, whilst Kotari is intending to campaign around 126lbs. Sadly he's 0-1 away from home and 3-1 at home, though he is certainly capable of banging at the level he's been fighting, with all of his wins coming in a combined 9 rounds.
What to expect?
We've come to expect notable Japanese amateurs to turn to the pro-ranks with a very pro-read style, as we see time and time again. Given Kotari was such a good amateur and has been getting ring time with very solid professionals we're expecting to see him make his debut and look like a natural. He has the dimensions to fight easily behind the jab, work out Sinaba and then unleash his power shots.
For Sinaba the odds are he comes out looking to land a wild hook, and try to back himself, and his power. On paper that might sound a good idea but in reality it's his only option. We can't imagine he has any chance of holding his own in a boxing contest with Kotari and will instead have to look to take his man out. That however will be a flawed gameplan.
We suspect that Kotari will let his jabs fly, show respect to Sinaba in case his power is legitimate, then turn the screw and take Sinaba out. There is a chance Sinaba's power could be a problem, and Kotari will respect it, but it won't be enough to really trouble Kotari, who we suspect will pick up the win after 2 or 3 rounds.
The bad news?
The bout won't be televised live. Instead the show will be on tape delay the Tuesday following the bout.
Takahiro Onaga is a regular contributor to Asian Boxing and will now be a featured writer in his own column where his takes his shot at various things in the boxing world.