This coming Sunday sees the return of one of boxing’s best young prospects, 19 year super-prospect Hinata Maruta (2-0, 1). The brilliantly talented Maruta goes up against fellow unbeaten Wilbert Berondo (10-0, 4) in a bout for the WBC Youth Bantamweight title, with both men attempting to claim their first title.
Information on Berondo is slim. We know he’s a 20 year old Filipino and we know that he has never previously fought outside of Metro Manila, with 9 of his 10 bouts taking place at the Flash Grand Ballroom of the Elorde Sports Complex. Although little is known about him he has wins over several domestic veterans, such as Ricky Oyan, Arjet Caballes and Roy Albaera. Notably though he has yet to face a fighter with a winning record.
In terms of his style very, very little is out there about the Filipino, however the little bit of footage I have come across of him makes him seem like a free swinging slugger with wild and looping hooks. Those hooks all look powerful but leave him very open and he does appear like a fighter who is defensively flawed. It does need to be said however that Berondo is the under-dog, in fact he’s the foil to the talented and touted Maruta, who many expect will become a Japanese star.
If you’ve not seen Maruta before you might not understand the hype, especially given his record and inexperience. The reality however is that he’s one of the most exciting and most promising fighters on the planet. He’s blessed with amazing speed, has developed incredible skills and has every punch in the book. Physically he’s a very mature 19 year old and he’s a very experienced fight having developed his skills in the gym and as an amateur.
Maruta made his debut last year an impressively over-came Jason Canoy, then a world ranked fighter, with a 6 round decision victory. Canoy was dropped, and almost stopped by a body shot and it’s likely that had Mrauta really pushed for a stoppage he could have got one. Instead the youngster was more focused on getting experience, getting some rounds and testing his stamina and defense, two things that showed they needed work on. He did however prove his skills, power and toughness, scarcely blinking when Canoy tagged him, impressive given that Canoy stopped Drian Francisco inside a round.
In his second bout Maruta did what he needed to do to get rid of an over-matched Thai foe inside a round. In that bout a confident Maruta looked sensationally quick, insanely sharp and every shot he landed clean on poor Kerduk Saranyu looked insanely painful. Not only was the offense great, to both head and body, but his defense also looked much improved with the hands staying up and the footwork was exceptional.
I’m expecting Maruta to see off Berondo in the middle rounds. If he does that then we’ll maybe see him in the ring once more this year before he begins the search for a Japanese title in 2017. For those who haven’t followed him so far I suggesting keep an eye out for his name, as he has the potential to become someone very significant in and around the Super Bantamweight division.
(Scott Graveson covers the Asian boxing scene for AsianBoxing.info
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