Title-holder Adrian Hernandez will be up against a stiff test on Saturday night in Mexico City when he battles Atsushi Kakutani for the WBC light flyweight championship.
El Confesor is 27-2-1 in his 30 professional fights and has looked dominant during stretches in recent wins over Yader Cardoza, Dirceu Cabarca and Kompayak Porpramook, who he knocked out in the sixth round last year to avenge his 2011 loss to the Thai boxer.
Expect the champ to shine bright again on Saturday, beating Kakutani in convincing fashion to keep the title firmly in his grasp.
Hernandez has phenomenal reach for a smaller fighter and can put together fluid punch combinations that are sure to trouble the less experienced Kakutani, who has just 17 professional fights under his belt coming into the championship bout.
Hernandez's range gives him a power advantage and will allow him to score solid points both from a distance and on the inside.
In a knockout loss to Warlito Parrenas two years ago, Kakutani made a bad habit of dropping his left hand and ultimately paid the price for it. If he hasn't yet learned from those past mistakes, Hernandez will quickly find and exploit those weaknesses.
If Kakutani doesn't pace himself or is unable to keep Hernandez at bay early on, his hands are likely to drop, thus opening the door for a potential knockout.
Who will win Saturday's fight?
That's not to say Hernandez won't need to be on the very top of his game as well. Although the Japanese challenger is less experienced and is at an obvious disadvantage having to fight outside of his home country for the first time, he's beaten quality boxers in the past and is a volume puncher.
It's fair to wonder how sharp Kakutani will be fighting halfway around the world, though. Hernandez is a well-traveled champion and likely has his sights set on WBA light flyweight champion Roman Gonzalez, who he could face down the road with an impressive showing against Kakutani.
Kakutani has achieved enough in the ring to be considered a worthy challenger to the light flyweight crown, but look for the more experienced and more dangerous fighter, Hernandez, to hang onto his title with another impressive showing this weekend.
El Confesor's been around the block a few times and has all the tools necessary to leave no doubts as to who's the top light flyweight boxer in the ring on Saturday.
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