Hiroki Okada makes his BoxNation debut when he tackles former WBO Lightweight Champion Ray Beltran in Fresno, California on Sunday night.
Although well known in Asian boxing, Okada is a relative unknown outside his homeland and had a tough time on his Stateside debut in September.
He struggled against Cristian Coria and survived a final round knockdown before winning a controversial split decision to take his record to 19-0.
Okada, 29, claims there were problems with his food and this time his wife Ayu will be travelling and cooking all his meals. Their two-year-old daughter is also with them.
Another performance like that and there won't be many more big chances in America. Hiroki made his professional debut in October 2011 and all 18 of his contests in Japan have taken place in Tokyo’s Korakuen Hall.
He won the Japanese Super-Lightweight Championship in his eighth fight when he outpointed Masayoshi Kotake and made six successful defences.
Okada’s best win was in December 2017 over then 40-2-1 Filipino Jason Pagara, who turned his back in the sixth round and the referee stopped the contest.
Pagara had also missed weight and Okada claimed the vacant WBO Asia Pacific 140lb title.
Governing bodies have been impressed. The WBA rank him at number three, the IBF rate him fifth and the WBC have made him number nine.
For his biggest test against Beltran he has been in camp for three months, starting at the Kadoebi Boxing Gym in Tokyo and finishing in Los Angeles where sparring partners have included Takeshi Inoue.
Naoki Sato trains the unbeaten hopeful who started boxing at the age of 15 after watching a K-1 event. His amateur record was 37-8 and was a national and Inter-High School Tournament gold medallist.
Okada is one of four siblings, but the only member of his family who boxes. Given his style, Okada should bring plenty of excitement for BoxNation viewers. He is an aggressive front foot fighter who has a decent skill set, but been accused in the past of neglecting defence.
Beltran doesn’t do bad fights and underdog Okada looks the ideal opponent for another thriller.