The most notable of the cards we have is in Tokyo at the gigantic Kokugikan. This show, promoted by promotional power house Teiken promotions and shown on WOWOW is headlined by a WBC Bantamweight world title bout though features 3 former world champions as well as a sole world champion.
That world champion, as you may have guessed, is Shinsuke Yamanaka (19-0-2, 14) who will be trying to defend his Bantamweight title for the fifth time. The hard hitting Yamanaka will be facing former world title challenger Alberto Guevara (18-1, 6) a man who saw out the 12 round distance with Mexican-American Leo Santa Cruz. Although some are expecting Yamanaka to stop Guevara early we'll admit we'd be very impressed if the Mexican is stopped.
As well as the major world title bout on the show the same card will also feature 3 former world champions. In one of those contests Jorge Linares (34-3, 22) will take on Francisco Contreras (21-3, 16). Originally Linares was scheduled to take part in a second world title fight on the show, facing WBA Lightweight champion Richar Abril but unfortunately Abril was injured leaving us with this lesser bout.
In the two remaining major bouts on the card Roman Gonzalez (36-0, 30) will fight recent world title challenger Oscar Blanquet (32-6-1, 21) and Takahiro Ao (24-3-1, 11) will fight Edgar Alejandro Lomeli (14-3-2, 8). Of these two bouts it's the Gonzalez/Blanquet bout which is the most interesting considering the fact Blanquet recently fought Akira Yaegashi in a WBC world title fight.
As well as the 4 major contests on the Teiken card the show also contains 4 other bouts, including the opening contest which will see Daisuke Sudo (0-1) fighting fellow win-less fight Takashi Shinmyozu (0-2).
The remaining 3 contests, all regarded as "floating" contests, are scheduled for 4 rounds. These will see Hisashi Owada (3-8) fighting Yutaka Motoyoshi (3-6, 3) in a Super Bantamweight contest, Masaki Mori (0-1-1) fighting Kazuhiro Baba (0-0-1) and an all debutant contest between Hiroki Imamura (0-0) and Yamato Sasaki (0-0).
Whilst the Yamanaka fight is the most notable on the world stage there is actually a second notable Japanese card courtesy of Hatakana. Soul Fighting #47, an 8 fight card at the International Conference Hall in Nagoya.
This card begins with Taichi Sugimori (1-1) fighting the debuting Tomoya Yamaguchi (debut), a man not to be confused with a fighter who poses an identical name but a 4-1 (4) record. This will be followed by another bout featuring a debutant as Abe Seimei (0-0) faces Naoki Masukawa (1-0, 1) and then an all debutant contest between Kamiyasu Hideaki (0-0) and Yosuke Kato (0-0).
In the final of the 4 round contests Shintaro Tsutsumi (1-1, 1) is in action against who we believe is going to be Masatoshi Tomita (5-6-1).
The first, of two, 6 round contests looks a solid under-card contest as Yusuke Nakagawa (4-3-1, 3) fights Hajime Kawase (4-6-2) in a competitive looking contest. This will be immediately followed by an 8 round contest as the well regarded Shota Hayashi (20-5-1, 12) fights Ryosei Arai (12-3-1, 3) in what is a very well matched contest.
Although Hayashi/Arai is a great contest on paper it's fair to say that the entire show is based around the debut of Kosei Tanaka (0-0) who begins his career by facing WBO #6 ranked Minimumweight Oscar Raknafa (12-3, 5) of Indonesia. This is genuinely a major test and whilst Raknafa isn't a well known name he's a very strong and tough looking fighter who could give Tanaka some genuine questions in a tough introduction to professional boxing for the talented former amateur standout.
Following the debut of Kosei Tanaka is the main even which will see Yushi Tanaka (10-0-3, 6) fighting Norasing Patanakan Gym (1-1, 1). This will be a defence of the WBC Youth World Bantamweight title by Tanaka and whilst it would be a huge shock for Norasing to win, it's worth noting that his sole loss has come to Nobuo Nashiro, a genuine world level fighter.
Amazingly a third Japanese card will also take place on Sunday, though admittedly at a much, much lower level. This third card, promoted by Fujita, features just 6 contests and begins with a rematch as Jump Ikeo (0-1-1) meets Hiromichi Kurokawa (2-1-1) for a second time. The two first met in March with the result being a majority draw so both will be looking to make a statement thi time out.
Following the opening contest on the Fujita show we expect Fever Maki (2-1, 2) to face Ryo Hirai (1-1-1) in a second 4 rounder. This will be the second of three bouts scheduled for 4 rounds with the final of those being the debut of Fain Arai (0-0) who takes on a Thai opponent that we've failed to identify.
In a bout we believe is scheduled for 8 rounds Koichi Ito (8-1-2, 7) will fight Katsuhiko Kanno (8-6-7, 3). We have to favour Ito, thogh Kanno can make life very difficult for fighters when he's on form and if he can take Ito's power this could be very, very interesting.
The co-feature here will see Burning Ishii (4-1, 1) fighting the unbeaten Genki Horiuchi (5-0-1, 3). This is a solid contest for both men, and whilst Ishii does come in to the bout following a loss to Shohei Okuda he could very well feel like an unbeaten man due to the closeness of that contest which very easily could have gone the other way.
In the main event unbeaten Filipino Nelson Gulpe (8-0, 3) will face Accel Sumiyoshi (3-2, 1) over 8 rounds. We favour Gulpe here though an upset wouldn't be as drastic as the records would suggest.
Outside of Japan the key action is in Yemen where Ali Raymi (19-0, 19) looks to set a world record. If Raymi can stop Akram Jafwi (5-0, 1) inside a round the 39 year old Raymi will be the first man in history to stop his first 20 opponents in the first round and as a result will mark his place in the Guinness book of world records.
Raymi isn't the only man attempting to continue a KO streak as Cruiserweight Faisal Fittini (4-0, 4) also looks to continue his run. Fittini will battle the unbeaten Abdu Achille (2-0) in what looks like a interesting enough under-card bout for the show.
The two remaining contests on the show will see Prince Maz (4-0, 3) taking on Moxamad Abdu (4-4, 2) and Othman Qasim (5-1, 2) fighting Alwan Hawshabi (3-6, 1). Both of these are interesting enough, though it'd be a shoch if Maz or Qasim lost.