Prospect Jin Sasaki Putting The Welterweight Division On Alert
A fighter that is starting to create a lot of buzz is Japanese welterweight Jin Sasaki (15-1-1, 14 KOs). With an exciting style and plenty of confidence outside the ring, the 21-year-old from Tokyo is hungry to transition from a local prospect to a world-class fighter.
Sasaki is a fighter who is learning on the fly. After a brief amateur career, he turned pro in August 2018. After winning his first ten fights, Sasaki faced fellow Japanese prospect Andy Hiraoka for the JBC and WBO Asia Pacific junior welterweight titles in October 2019. It was a disastrous evening for Sasaki. Weakened after failing to make the 140-pound weight limit, Sasaki was outboxed and ultimately stopped in eleven by a Hiraoka currently ranked ninth by the WBA and IBF at junior welterweight.
LEARNING FROM DEFEAT
Using that setback as motivation to improve, Sasaki decided to move up to the welterweight division and has not lost since. In his last outing, the youngster faced veteran and former junior welterweight world title challenger Keita Obara (26-5-1, 23 KOs) on April 8 on the undercard of Kenshiro Teraji – Anthony Olascuaga.
From the opening bell, Sasaki was in attack mode. But a lapse in concentration resulted in him getting put on the seat of his pants courtesy of an Obara right hand at the midway mark of the second round. It was Sasaki’s only moment of distress as he later hurt and had Obara on wobbly legs at the end of that round.
Sasaki continued the punishment as he put down Obara with a left hook to the body thirty seconds into round three. What soon followed was a highlight-reel one-punch right hand that put Obara down and out.
PLENTY OF PROMISE
It was a signature win for Sasaki. He is still a bit raw, and his defense needs some refining. But offensively, he has every punch in the book, and the power is legit. His offensive prowess and fearless attitude make him one of the more entertaining prospects in boxing. Following the win over Obara, the precocious Sasaki said the following:
“I am still young; I’m up and coming. But to all the welterweight champions, keep an eye on me.”
Currently ranked tenth by the WBA and eleventh by the WBO at 147, Sasaki still has a ways to go. But if he keeps improving and winning, he has the talent, power, and charisma to make some serious noise.