Whilst the OPBF fight, between Yoshitaka Kato and Masayoshi Nakatani looks like something special, we're unfortunately left with some less exciting for the Japanese title fight which sees the #2 and #3 ranked Japanese Minimumweights fighting for the vacant title.
The belt, vacated late last year by Ryuji Hara, will see the light hitting Go Odaira (8-3-3, 1) fighting against the much harder hitting Masashi Tada (11-3-1, 7). We've got to admit that whilst both men are highly ranked it's not a bout that is setting our pulses racing.
Of the two men it's Odaira, pictured above, that has been more impressive so far. Although he's not blown the world away with great performances he has been scoring the occasional note worthy victory, including a 6 round decision 2 fights back against former world title challenger Takashi Kunishige. What's notable about the victory over Kunishige is that he himself gave Hara a real scare just a few weeks back.
As well as the victory over Kunishige it's worth noting that Odaira is on a 7 fight unbeaten run going back to his own narrow loss to Ryuji Hara. Other than the Kunishige win there is little of note on his record but the light hitting southpaw at least has that one notable victory.
Tada, pictured opposite, has yet to score a really notable victory, in fact it's hard to even come up with a semi-notable victory on his record. Despite that he has been fighting above the 105lb Minimumweight limit as he's searched for suitable opponents.
Unfortunately despite the move to 108lbs and even 112lbs it's hard to say much about Tada's opponents. In all honesty the most noteworthy thing about them is that Tada was beaten by Junior Salvador, a very limited but tough Filipino. Albeit that bout was controversial and in the Philippines.
Worryingly neither of these two men have been scheduled to go 10 rounds before. That may not sound like an issue but we believe it could well be with both likely to go into uncharted water. This may well favour Odaira, the boxer, who would be more likely to be to control his stamina for 10 rounds. Of course it's not out of the question however that he could be stopped by Tada.
On paper it's not a bout that looks great but it is one that looks competitive. Not much more you could want in a bout. We do favour Tada, but only just. His power is likely to leave the more telling effect at least in the early rounds which we believe will see him building up a small but notable lead before Odaira comes back in to it.
These other bouts include seeing Takaomi Abe (15-2-2, 1), pictured opposite, fighting the big hitting Kazuya Nakano (6-2, 6) in a very good looking contest, Hiroaki Teshigawara (8-1-1, 4) battling Yuta Nakagawa (11-4-1, 7) and a potentially brilliant clash between Kohei Kubo (16-4-1, 11) and Hayato Kimura (20-5, 15).
We really wouldn't be shocked if the Kubo/Kimura bout ended up being the show stealer as it looks really good on paper.
This show will be held at the Korakuen Hall on January 14th. At the moment we're unsure who the promoter is though as mentioned above it will be the first Japanese title fight of the year. This is also the first of the "Champions Carnival" bouts and will hopefully kick off a great of Japanese domestic action.