When we think of Heavyweight boxing we don't tend to think of China as a likely venue. Strangely however the two things do come together on March 28th as China get a rare Heavyweight title bout and get a chance to see Japanese based Ugandan Okhello Peter (21-7, 19), a former Heavyweight world title challenger, and Evgeny Orlov (14-12-1, 10) throw down bombs at each other.
Of the two men it's Peter who is by far the better known fighter, though that's not saying much. He's more known due to his notable 2006 clash with the then WBC champion Oleg Maskaev. Of course that was 8 years ago and since then Peter has faded into relative obscurity in terms to the global Heavyweight scene though he did fight Kyotaro Fujimoto last year for the then vacant Japanese Heavyweight title. Unfortunately for Peter he looked his 41 years old against Fujimoto who was too quick, too energetic and too sharp for "The Letter O".
Orlov is himself a journeyman though is best known in Europe for both his excellent nickname "The Molecule from Hell" and for being a big and clumsy fighter. Stood at between 6'9 and 6'10 he's a man mountain though has unfortunately not scored a win of note, in fact he has come undone against every notable fighter he has faced including Mariusz Wach, Francesco Pianeta, Kubrat Pulev and Alex Leapai.
With the vacant WBC Asia Council Continental Heavyweight title on the line we can imagine both men really wanting to win this. They will both know that they aren't nearly good enough to win a world title but to them this will be their world title fight. Unfortunately with a combined age of 76 the bout may well be a stinker if neither man can score an early knockout.
(Picture of Peter, above, is courtesy of boxrec.com)
Japan's hotly tipped youngster Naoya Inoue (3-0, 3) appears to have signed a deal to face Japanese Light Flyweight champion Ryoichi Taguchi (18-1-1, 8). Taguchi, ranked by #3 by the WBA and #11 by the WBO will be putting his world rankings on the line as well as his national title.
For Inoue this is a step up but after his 10 round domination of Yuki Sano no one is doubting the youngsters ability to reach the top in double quick fashion.
The two men will meet on August 25th at the Sky Arena, Zama, Kanagawa.
This is just one of a number of highly promising Japanese national title fights that are scheduled for the rest of the year.
In July we have a Bantamweight title defense by Kohei Oba (33-2-1, 12) who won the title in March. Oba will be facing Satoshi Niwa (15-15-2, 3) who brings a 5 fight winning streak to the ring but looks hopeless over-matched here.
July also gives us the historic Heavyweight title bout between the once beaten Kyotaro Fujimoto (6-1, 4) and Okello Peter (21-6, 19). This will be the first Japanese Heavyweight title bout in a generation and only the second in history.
We also get a Super Flyweight title bout in July as the unbeaten Teiru Kinoshita (17-0-1, 3) makes the 4th defense of his title and takes on former world title challenger Junichi Ebisuoka (23-15-5, 10). Like the Oba/Niwa match this looks to be a mismatch.
August appears to be a busy month. Not only do we get the Flyweight bout between Inoue and Taguchi but 4 other Japanese titles bouts.
On August 3rd the Korakuen Hall hosts a Japanese title double header as Daiki Kaneko (18-2-3, 11) defends his Super Featherweight title against Mitsuya Omura (16-7-1, 12) and the hard hitting Tomohiro Ebisu (11-2, 11) defends his Middleweight title against former 2-weight champion Daisuke Nakagawa (21-3-2, 16).
Just 6 days after the Kaneko and Ebisu double header title action returns to "The Hall" as Hidenori Otake (20-1-3, 9) defends his Super Bantamweight title against Yukinori Hisanaga (15-4-2, 9). A win here may see Otake moving towards a fight for the OPBF title against the talented Shingo Wake.
Only a few days after the Otake/Hisanaga bout Keita Obara (8-1, 7) will defend his Light Welterweight title against So Takenaka (18-6-2, 8). This looks likely to be the final Japanese title fight before the Inoue/Taguchi bout that we expect will be televised on Fuji TV.
Following his recent victory this past week, Japanese Heavyweight Kyotaro Fujimoto (6-1, 4) will now faced Ugandan born Japanese based fighter Okello Peter (21-6, 19) for the Japanese Heavyweight title.
Due to the lack of Heavyweights in Japan the title in question has only ever been fought for once and that was way back in 1957 when rivals Noburu Kataoka and Yutaka Nakagoshi faced off for the 4th time inside a year. The title back then went to Kataoka who retired with the title and a 4-2 (2) record including a 3-1 (2) against Nakagohi.
Interestingly for Nakagoshi his record of 1-3 saw all 4 of his fights taking place against Kataoka.
For the 40 year old Peter, a former world title challenger, having faced Oleg Maskaev for the WBC Heavyweight title, this is a chance to claim just his second title having previously held the OPBF title (2001-2006). For Kyotaro however it's a chance to claim his first boxing title after losing in a OPBF Heavyweight title bout to Solomon Haumono in December 2012. As a former kick boxer in the K1 organisation however Kyotaro has held a world title.
News! We try and give you the most interesting news stories from the Asian boxing world!