Rocky ‘Road Warrior” Fuentes (28-6-2, 17 KOs) is looking to nab his 10th straight win since losing for the sixth time against fellow Filipino prizefighter Richie Mepranum back in 2007. The reigning OPBF flyweight titleholder will be facing off against unbeaten Japanese prospect Hirofumi Mukai (5-0, 0 KO) tomorrow, August 20th, at the Sumiyoshi Ward Center, Osaka, Japan.
On the line is Fuentes’ OPBF crown, which the Filipino will be defending for the fourth time since winning it March last year. The fight will also mark the third attempt by Fuentes to defend his title against a Japanese fighter in front of a pro-Japanese crowd.Fuentes successfully defended his title thrice last year, twice against Japanese boxers.
Looking at Mukai’s resume, it would be easy to say that this is a winnable fight for the Filipino boxer, who has been rumored to hurt boxing superstar Nonito Donaire in a sparring session. But Fuentes’ head coach, former world title contender Edito “Ala” Villamor, told this writer that Mukai’s record is deceiving.
“Mukai has an extensive amateur background,” Villamor said. “He has figured in many amateur fights and his fighting style reflects his history.”
The Japanese Mukai has never knocked any of his last five opponents out. In contrast, Fuentes has scored six stoppages in his last nine appearances and has a decent 60% knockout rate overall in his 36-fight career. Definitely, there is no question about who has the upper hand when it comes to power and experience.
“If Rocky wins, ALA Promotions will definitely work to get him bigger fights in the future,” Villamor said. “But right now, our focus is on beating Mukai.”
But Villamor sees Mukai’s supposed superiority in skills might pose problems for his ward.
“Mukai is very technical,” the esteemed boxing trainer said. “He boxes well and I see Rocky will have some trouble with him.”
“But we have prepared hard and Rocky is in top condition. He is fully prepared and ready for battle come fight night this Saturday.
“I will not give out a prediction but we will work hard to win this fight.”
Photo credits: Inside Sports