By - George Delis (@Delisketo)
-Tatsuya Fukuhara (21-6): WBC #6
The former World champion will get another shot at Chayaphon Moonsri (52-0) and the WBC title, on March 29, in Thailand.
-Tsubasa Koura (14-0): WBC #3 / WBA #8 / WBO #10 / IBF #11
Koura has been the OPBF champion since 2017 and has marked 3 successful title defenses. His next one will take place on March 31st, against Lito Dante (15-10).
-Masataka Taniguchi (11-3): WBO #2
Taniguchi defeated Joel Lino (10-1), back in November, for the vacant WBO Asia Pacific title. He unsuccessfully challenged Vic Saludar (19-3) on February 26 for the WBO World title.
- Norihito Tanaka (18-7): WBC #10 / IBF #12 / WBA #13
Tanaka won the Japanese title, this past January, for the first time in his career.
-Shin Ono (23-10): WBO #4
Ono lost his Japanese title to Norihito Tanaka (18-7) on January 12.
-Tetsuya Hisada (33-9): WBA #1 / WBO #2 / WBC #2 / IBF #9
After recording a 5th successful Japanese title defense in November, before vacating the belt, Hisada is now rumored to fight Carlos Canizales (21-0) for the WBA (Regular) World championship.
-Reiya Konishi (17-1): WBA #3 / IBF #3 / WBO #4 / WBC #5
The WBO Asia Pacific champion will clash with Felix Alvarado (34-2) for the IBF World title, either in April or May.
Kenichi Horikawa (39-18): WBC #6
Horikawa ended 2018 with a 4-0 record. He beat Satoru Todaka (9-3) on February 14, to win the Japanese title for the second time in his career.
-Ryoichi Taguchi (27-3): WBO #4
The former IBF & WBA Light Flyweight World champion is moving up a weight class to challenge Kosei Tanaka (12-0), for the WBO strap, on March 16.
-Junto Nakatani (18-0): WBC #4 / WBO #9 / IBF #13 / WBA #14
The unstoppable Japanese prospect has fought 4 times in 2018 and has won all of his bouts, 2 of them via KO. He finally won his first championship, when he stopped Naoki Mochizuki (15-4), on February 2nd, for the vacant Japanese crown.
-Masayuki Kuroda (30-7): WBO #3 / IBF #4
Kuroda, who is currently on a 6 fight winning streak, will meet Moruti Mthalane (37-2) for the IBF World title on May 13.
-Sho Kimura (17-2): WBO #6
The former WBO World champion lost his title to Kosei Tanaka (12-0) this past September, in a FOTY candidate. He will now go up against Thai veteran Wicha Phulaikhao (60-10) for the vacant OPBF Silver title, on March 30.
-Ryuichi Funai (31-7): IBF #1 / WBO #3 / WBC #11
The former Japanese & WBO Asia Pacific champion will challenge Jerwin Ancajas (30-1) for the IBF World title, either on April 12 or April 20.
-Sho Ishida (27-1): IBF #5/ WBO #5 / WBA #7 / WBC #11
Since losing to the WBA world champion Khalid Yafai (25-0) in 2017, Ishida has won all of his 2018 bouts, against Ratchanon Sawangsoda (12-3), Richard Claveras (18-6), as well as former world title contender Warlito Parrenas (26-9).
-Kazuto Ioka (23-2): WBC #3 / WBO #4
Ioka debuted at the Super Flyweight division this past September, defeating McWilliams Arroyo (17-4) to become the WBC Silver champion. In December, he fought Donnie Nietes (42-1), for the vacant WBO World title, losing a very close decision. He is rumored to be facing Aston Palicte (25-2) for the same championship again.
-Koki Eto (24-4): WBO #6 / WBC #7 / WBA #8 / IBF #9
The former interim WBA Flyweight World champion has been on a 7 fight winning streak, since losing to Carlos Cuadras (37-3) in 2015.
-Daigo Higa (15-1): WBA #6
The former WBC Flyweight World champion is expected to make his return to the ring in 2019.
-Ryosuke Iwasa (26-3): IBF #1
Iwasa won an IBF title eliminator against Cesar Juarez (23-7), on February 16. He now has the opportunity to challenge TJ Doheny (21-0) and to reclaim his World championship.
-Shingo Wake (26-5): IBF #3 / WBC #4
The former Japanese & OPBF champion has been on a 6 fight winning streak since losing to Jonathan Guzman (23-1) in 2016.
-Hiroaki Teshigawara (19-2): IBF #9
Teshigawara made his Super Bantamweight debut last year, stopping Glenn Suminguit (21-4) to win the OPBF championship. He marked his first successful title defense on February 14, against Yuki Iriguchi (10-3).
-Yukinori Oguni (20-2): WBA #4
After losing his World title in 2017, Oguni has picked only one victory in 2018. He’s scheduled to fight on May 8. (Opponent TBA)
-Satoshi Shimizu (8-0): IBF #3 [Pictured]
The 2012 Olympic Bronze Medalist has made 3 successful title defenses of the OPBF crown in 2018, against Kyung Min Kwon (6-5), Shingo Kawamura (16-5) and Takuya Uehara (16-1).
-Hiroshige Osawa (34-5): WBA #5 / IBF #13
The former OPBF & WBO Asia Pacific champion finds himself once again in the world rankings, since losing to WBO World champion Oscar Valdez (24-0) in 2016.
-Reiya Abe (19-2): IBF #4 / WBC #13
Abe is the number 1 contender for Taiki Minamoto’s (16-5) Japanese title. These 2 men will collide at the 2019 Champion Carnival, on May 1st.
-Masaru Sueyoshi (18-1): WBO #4
Sueyoshi will defend his Japanese championship, for a fourth time, against Ken Osato (15-2), on May 4th.
-Kenichi Ogawa (23-1): IBF #5
The former Japanese champion returned to ring, after his one year suspension, to defeat Roldan Aldea (12-7) on February 2nd.
-Masayoshi Nakatani (18-0): IBF #3 / WBC #9 / WBO #10
Nakatani marked his 11th successful OPBF title defense in December, when he stopped the former WBC International champion Hurricane Futa (25-8) in round 6. He is rumored to face former EBU European & WBA Intercontinental champion Edis Tatli (31-2) in an IBF world title eliminator.
-Nihito Arakawa (31-6): WBO #7
The former Japanese, OPBF & WBO Asia Pacific champion is looking for his second world title opportunity in 2019.
-Hiroki Okada (19-1): WBC #10
The formerly undefeated Japanese & WBO Asia Pacific champion lost to Raymundo Beltran (36-8), on February 10, in the States.
-Keita Obara (20-3): IBF #5 / WBO #15
The 2 time WBO Asia Pacific champion will face the undefeated former WBC Silver champion Kudratillo Abdukakhorov (15-0), on March 30, in an IBF world title eliminator.
-Ryota Murata (14-2): WBC #4 / WBA #6 / IBF #6
The 2012 Olympic Gold Medalist lost his WBA (Regular) World title to Rob Brant (25-1) this past October. Rumor has it that he will return to the ring this May in Japan.
-Kyotaro Fujimoto (20-1): WBO #8 / WBA #10
The former K-1 champion has unified the Japanese, OPBF & WBO Asia Pacific Heavyweight titles.
When we have some free time we're hoping to add a series of fun articles to the site. Hopefully these will be enjoyable little short features