Historically the lower weights have been criminally ignored by fight fans who have often made excuses to ignore the divisions and the specific fighters. Thankfully in the last year or two we have seen a shift with Western fight fans finally waking up to the “smaller guys” thanks to the likes of Naoya Inoue and Roman Gonzalez.
Those fight fans have something to look forward to on November 28th when we get the chance to see another of the exciting little men in action. This time it's the turn of Japan's all-action Koki Eto (17-3-1, 13) who will be challenging WBC Super Flyweight champion Carlos Cuadras (33-0-1, 26) in what looks like a sure fire war.
Of the two men it's Cuadras who is the more established. He's a former amateur star in Mexico who has climbed through the professional ranks over the last 7 years. Not only has the champion climbed through the ranks but he's gone on to reach the pinnacle of the sport claiming the WBC title last year, with a technical decision win over Srisaket Sor Rungvisai. Since winning the title he has since defended it 4 times in just under 18 months.
On his rise through the ranks there was plenty of excitement about Cuadras who 29-0 (24) going into his bout with Srisaket and showed that he could box, bang or brawl. Sadly since winning the title he has failed to really shine and what like a FOTY contender on paper against Srisaket became a frustrating fight to watch with Cuadras fighting scared. Whilst he has defended his title 4 times, the competition hasn't been great and his stand out win as champion was another dull affair with Luis Concepcion, a man who has seemingly been made for great fights.
As mentioned Cuadras is a bit of an all rounder. He can punch, he can fight and he can box. Sadly though can also make for dull fights using his feet a bit too much and not letting his hands go as much as he should when he faces a top quality opponent.
Whilst technically the away fight for this bout, which takes place in Tokyo, Cuadras is the “promoter's boy” have long been associated with Teiken Promotions, who will be the lead promoter for the show. It will also be the Mexican's 6th bout in Japan, where he is currently 5-0 (5), though against very poor opposition.
Whilst Cuadras is the more accomplished it's fair to say that Eto is the more exciting, in fact we've often dubbed him the “One Man Highlight Reel” or the “Human Highlight Reel” due to the way he fights and some of his previous contests. Those bouts have included 3 FOTY contenders in the last few years with the most notable being his decision win over Kompayak Porpramook in 2013, a win that saw Eto claim the WBA Interim Flyweight title. Other have included his 12th TKO loss to Yodmongkol Vor Saengthep and an incredible 8th round KO win against Ardin Diale in an OPBF title fight, a fight that saw Eto snatch victory from the claws of defeat.
In the ring Eto is massively flawed. The idea of defense often seems to offend the Okinawa man who has never been one for looking after his health when he goes into a fight, however his offense has made him a must watch fighter. His offense is full of energy, consists of very high output and very unorthodox. Whilst he's not a technically correct puncher his heart and wildness make him a real handful.
As an out and out brawler Eto is so much fun to watch. As a boxer however he's very limited and seems to lack a plan B or C. That may be an issue against Cuadras and it could well be that wee see the gutsy Eto try and try to bring out the brawler in Cuadras, however if he fails to get Cuadras into a war then he'll almost certainly have a frustrating day.
Notably for Eto this bout is at 115lbs, not the 112lbs where he has made his name. It will be only his third bout above the 112lb limit and will see him going up in weight. Interestingly however he is a very gangly fighter, and stands at about 5'8”, and is likely to boast natural height and reach over Cuadras. If he can take advantage of that then there is a huge chance that he could be the one frustrating his foe and could well find a way to keep Cuadras at range. If he can do that then things really could be interesting.
Given what we know of the two men, it's hard to see Eto winning, however we do expect the Japanese fighter to give his all and give Cuadras some real questions.
Excitingly not only do we have the bout, but we know that the winner will be forced to make a mandatory defense next year against Srisaket with the Thai's team expected to make a huge bid to get the fight in Thailand.
World Title Previews
The biggest fights get broken down as we try to predict who will come out on top in the up coming world title bouts.