Home Boxing News Asian Faces – Akinori Hoshino

Asian Faces – Akinori Hoshino

In the past I’ve typically done the “Asian Faces” pieces on fighters who are prospects or genuine hopefuls, usually with attractive records and with a fair bit of promise. Today however I want to take a look at Akinori Hoshino (13-7-1, 9), who looks like a journeyman on paper but in reality is only a few bouts away from a potential Japanese title clash.

The 28 year old is a member of the little known M.T Boxing Gym, a gym based in Hahsimoto with a really small number of professional fighters of whom Hoshino is the most experienced and most proven, though is likely to be surpassed in years to come by teenager Junto Nakatani.

Without any amateur experience Hoshino debuted on August 8th 2007 and took a debut win over Shusku Azumi at the Korakuen Hall. Unfortunately Hoshino’s second bout would see him held to a draw by the wonderfully named Samurai Ryo, a fellow novice. Hoshino may not have had a long winning record but he was still unbeaten and extended that run with a quick KO over tokon Takura in April 2008 and Masatoshi Yoshioka in June.

Sadly for Hoshino his unbeaten run would end in his 5th fight as he was beaten by Kazuharu Ikeda. That loss was followed by a break from the ring, of close to a year, before Hoishino suffered a second loss, losing a very close bout to Shuji Hamada. The two fight losing streak would come to an end on November 13th 2009 when Hoshino over-came Keita Nakano, it was merely a temporary respite for Hoshino who would suffer a stoppage loss to Masahide Shinabe in early 2010, lasting just 20 in the bout.

Having seen his record fall to 4-3-1 (2) it would have been easy for Hoshino to walk away from the sport, or resign himself to being a fighter who merely fights on the lower end of cards. Instead however he gutted it out, improved his ability and strung together a 5 fight winning streak, stopping the notable Mako Matsuyama and avenging his loss to Shuji Hamada during that run. That winning run had put Hoshino on to the proverbial boxing map and opened the doors to bigger bouts.

Sadly for Hoshino those bigger bouts included a 2012 bout with Gakuya Furuhashi, who would later go on to challenge twice for the Japanese Super Bantamweight title. Furuhashi proved to be good and too big for Hoshino, scoring a 7th round TKO win over the the 23 year old Hoshino, and ending his impressive run of results. Hoshino wouldn’t dwell on the loss and bounced back with a win over Kenichi Watanabe just 5 months later.

Although Hoshino began 2013 with a less than stellar 10-4-1 (7) record he had already proven he was better than those numbers suggested. That was seen again when he pushed Tatsuya Takahashi all the way in April, losing a razor thin split decision to Takahashi, who would go on to challenge for the Japanese Bantamweight title just 20 month later. The loss to Takahashi would be one of 3 notable losses during a 4 fight run which saw Hoshino push Ryuichi Funai all the way in April 2014, with Funai having previously challenged for an OPBF title, and suffer a KO loss to former amateur talent Yusuke Suzuki.

With just 2 wins in 6 bouts it seemed likely that Hoshino was going to call it a day. His record at the time was 11-7-1 (8) and it seemed he had found his ceiling. Not only had he suffered a number of losses in a short amount of time but he had also taken a lot of punishment, particularly against Suzuki. Hoshino though decided that what he needed was a long rest from the ring and took21 months out out of the ring before returning against the aggressive and exciting Kenya Yamashita. Yamashita, then 9-2 (6) was expected to to over-come the rusty Hoshino and continue to rebuild following his thrilling loss to Katsunori Nagamine. Instead however it was Hoshino coming out on top, stopping Yamashita in the 7th round of a bout that had been engrossing and competitive through out.

Hoshino’s desire to continue has seen him build on the win over Yamashita by also claiming a win over Shun Kosaka, on February 19th, as he took a split decision over the 21 year old Kosaka, who had lost to the aforementioned Yamashita in the 2014 Flyweight Rookie of the Year final.

It’s unclear when Hoshino will return to the ring but at the moment he holds a #6 Japanese ranking at Flyweight and may well be looking to move into the title picture in the near future. If he can get such a shot he would be the under-dog, but he has proven in he past that we shouldn’t rule him out of scoring an upset and given his power and desire he could be a handful for almost anyone on the domestic scene.

He may not be the most skilled but Hoshino has proven that by not giving up you can carve out a decent career if you have the perseverance to keep with it and bounce back from set backs.

(Scott Graveson covers the Asian boxing scene for www.asianboxing.info)