We love following prospects, there is something a little bit special about following a fighter from their formative fights all the way to their title winning efforts several years later. Of course every prospect begins with their debut and here we've included the debut of Hikaru Marugame who debuted against Makoto Kato back on 29th July 2013.
For those who are unaware of Hikaru Marugame he was actually a stand out amateur and competed at the 2009 World Amateur Championships. We're unsure why it took him so long to turn professional but that's exactly what he did last year, aged 23, and we were genuinely impressed when we got the chance to see him. He's not a once in a generation prospect, like Naoya Inoue, but he's very talented, throws wonderful combinations, had love ly body shots and, although some nerves were on show, he does look pretty composed. We know it's early but we really like this kid.
As for Kato he had been stopped twice before this bout and is, in honesty, not the best of fighters. Despite that few would have expected him to be taken a part like he was in the second round of the contest.
(Video courtesy of Yoshito Akimoto)