Stamp Fairtex says: ‘Itsuki Hirata will beat Ritu Phogat’!
“It’s going to be a close fight, and it’s hard to pick a winner, but I’m going with Itsuki on this one.”
She does not expect it to be an easy night for the Japanese star though,
“That fight is very interesting because you have two girls who are pretty well-rounded, but who are also both looking to take matters to the ground,’ she said.
She gives some interesting tactical insight,
“I think Ritu needs the fight to come into close range, and she’s going to want to land a takedown early and get into top position where she’s dominant.”
Stamp thinks the key for the Japanese fighter will be maintaining distance,
“If Itsuki can keep her at distance, she has a good chance of being able to pick her apart from the outside. Although if it does go to the ground, Itsuki is dangerous there as well.”
Stamp is likely to have her hands full with Julie Mezabarba who replaces the injured Seo Hee Ham. The Korean might have been the tournament favourite but she is not taking the Brazilian lightly,
“I’m expecting a very tough fight (and) I’m not taking her lightly at all. After studying her style, looking at her strengths and weaknesses, I think this fight is going to be tactical, and I won’t be surprised if it goes the distance.”
Stamp goes into a bit more detail,
“She’s an orthodox fighter and has good strong punches. She’s also quite fast. We have a lot of the same qualities. I think she’s a good fighter, and I’m excited to face her in the circle,” she said.
She also notes that Mezabarba looks to be one of the biggest fighters in the division,
“She beat Mei Yamaguchi for a reason, and she’s dangerous. But I also think that’s partly because of her size advantage. She’s big for the division, but she definitely has good skills. If I were to gauge her, she’s an above-average fighter.”
However she does think she is superior to the Brazilian in at least one area,
“I think my kicks are much better and much more powerful. I know how to use distance to my advantage, and I have more experience in striking,” she said.
Stamp believes she is the superior fighter but says she will be taking the bout very seriously,
“She has good boxing, but I am a better fighter. I don’t think anyone can match me in striking. At the same time, I just can’t underestimate her.”
With a spot in the final on the line the stakes are high. Stamp has already proven herself to be one of the top fighters in the atomweight division, will her analysis prove to be accurate too?