Generally you can recognise a good prospect from their amateur credentials. Its true not all good amateurs become good professionals but a good amateur background does tend to help a fighter when they turn professional. Likewise in Japan it's also worth noting what sort of license they fight with when they turn professional with many of the better prospects fighting under a B class license on their debut, they might not all go on to be stars but they are always worth following early in their career.
Those two things made Naoto Uebayashi someone to make a note of when he began his career back in late 2012. He was a 6 time amateur champion and had competed at various international competitions, including the World Amateur Champions in 2009. After his amateur career he turned professional under a B license and looked like a very promising young prospect with the potential to be one to watch.
In Uebayashi's third fight he fought he entered a B class tournament and faced Atsuki Hayashi. Hayashi was fighting in his 9th fight and had only lost 1 of his previous 8, it was a considerable test for the much touted Uebayashi who showed his potential with a very solid performance that showed off many of the traits that saw him being so hotly tipped.
As one would suspect from a novice in their 3rd pro bout this wasn't punch perfect but it was a very comfortable victory for the unbeaten youngster who was taken the distance for the first time in his career. Not only was he taken the distance but he was pushed hard in the final few rounds as his stamina was given a serious test.
(Video courtesy of Akimoto Righteous)
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