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Challenging Japanese Boxers, Hebi Marapu Aims for the World Stage in Tokyo

Boxer Hebi Marapu is ready to step up to a higher level when he challenges and faces Japanese boxer Taiga Imanaga at the Ariake Arena, Tokyo, on 25 July 2023.

The fight in this additional party for the WBO and WBC super bantamweight world championship belts between defending champions Stephen Fulton and Naoya Inoue.

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Hebi is not the first Indonesian boxer to appear in Japan, especially at the Ariake Arena. The generation before Hebi who had performed in Japan included Chris John, Daudy Bahari, and Nico Thomas. Nico even felt the splendor of the Ariake Arena.

Even though they weren’t fighting for the title, XBC Sportech as Hebi’s management accepted an offer from matchmaker Aryo Sulkhan because this fight could pave the way to a higher level.

“When we received an offer from Aryo Sulkhan, we were very aware that this would not be an easy fight for Hebi. On the other hand, this was an opportunity for Hebi to show off his skills at the front audience wider because this fight is undercard from Stephen Fulton’s world-class party against Naoya Inoue,” said Operations Director XBC Sportech who is also Hebi’s manager, Verra David when confirmed Tuesday (11/7/2023).

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Imanaga is not a random opponent. Even though he has only had three professional fights, the 23-year-old boxer won by knockout in all three of these fights. Currently, Imanaga is under the auspices of Ohashi Promotions, which also manages Inoue.

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For Hebi, this fight is the second time he has fought outside Southeast Asia after his victory over Nicola Cipolletta in Bern, Switzerland, April 2022. The boxer from Sumba also knows that he will face a tough fight in Tokyo.

“Facing Imanaga in Tokyo is definitely not an easy thing. Moreover, famous Japanese boxers do not want to lose in front of their own public. Hence, my preparations were very serious. After the fight in Bangkok last March, I immediately started training again because this fight was originally scheduled for May. I am quite optimistic because of the support from the team sports sciencesports nutrition team, and Coach David,” said Hebi.

Hebi currently holds the IBA Intercontinental and WBC Asian Boxing Council Continental lightweight titles, with a fighting record of 18 wins (13 KOs), one loss and one draw.

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Challenging Japanese Boxers, Hebi Marapu Aims for the World Stage in Tokyo

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