The month of September was,lets be honest, a fun one for the most part. That fun is expected to continue through a rather exciting looking October.
Yasutaka Ishimoto (28-8, 7) vs Gakuya Furuhashi (18-7-1, 8) II
The month kicks off with a really exciting Japanese Super Bantamweight title bout between defending champion Yasutaka Ishimoto and former challenger Gakuya Furuhashi. The bout is a rematch from a thoroughly engaging bout the two men had last year and should prove to be a very friendly bout again here. For Ishimoto the bout serves as his second defense of the title whilst Furuhashi is looking to gain both the title and avenge his defeat when the men first met.
For fans interested in watching the bout will be aired live on G+
Jessica Chavez (27-4-3, 4) vs Naoko Fujioka (15-1, 6)
Female boxing doesn't get the attention it, sometimes, deserves. October has several notable female bouts, with possibly the best of them seeing WBC female Flyweight champion Jessica Chavez battle against 3-weight world champion Naoko Fujioka in a bout that really is mouth watering. Both of these are top, established talents and both know that a win here would see them strengthening their already impressive legacies. It's a great bout and both will come into this in fantastic condition. It may sound like hyperbole but this is possibly the best bout of the month.
Satoshi Hosono (32-2-1, 21) vs Jonathan Victor Barros (40-4-1, 22)
The early part of the month is rather packed and on the third we get an intriguing IBF Featherweight world title eliminator as Japanese veteran Satoshi Hosono, a 3-time world title challenger, faces Argentinian veteran Jonathan Victor Barros, himself a former world champion. The winner of this will be expecting a bout with Lee Selby in 2017 and both know that a loss here could be the of their career at the top level. Given the styles of the men and what's on the line this really does have the hall marks of something really exciting.
Kenta Nakagawa (12-2-1, 9) vs Hayato Kimura (25-8, 16)
The second Japanese title fight of the month comes on October 6th as the heavy handed Kenta Nakagawa faces former Korean Super Flyweight champion Hayato Kimura for the currently vacant Japanese title. The two men have had very different careers but should match up well in the ring with Nakagawa being the bigger puncher and Kimura being the more experienced and arguably more skilled fighter. The winner of this will pick up the title vacated earlier this year by Sho Ishida, who vacated in search of a world title fight.
Fans interested in watching this one can do so on delay courtesy of boxingraise.com
Rex Tso (19-0, 12) vs Ryuto Maekawa (11-0-1, 7)
Staying at Super Flyweight, which may well have been the most interesting division over the last few weeks, October 8th sees unbeaten fighters Rex Tso and Ryuto Maekawa colliding for the WBO International and WBC Asian Boxing Council Super Flyweight titles. Of the two men Tso is the more well known, and the favourite by our guess, but can be dragged into a war by lesser fighters and this could potentially be a lot of fun as a result.
Nana Yoshikawa (6-1, 4) vs Eun Hye Lee (8-0, 3)
Just over a week from the Chavez Vs Fujioka bout we get another intriguing female world title fight, this time between once beaten Japanese fighter Nana Yoshikawa and unbeaten Korean Eun Hye Lee for the WBO female Flyweight title. Coming in to this one Yoshikawa seems to be suggesting it's now or never and at 38 years old she may well be right. The 33 year old Lee is a former WBO female Light Flyweight champion champion and is looking to become a 2-weight champion here.
Je Ni Ma (9-1-3, 8) Vs Hironobu Matsunaga (10-1, 5)
The WBO Asia Pacific titles appear to be here to stay and Japanese fighters appear to have gone “in for a penny, in for a pound”. This is seen again on October 9th when once beaten Japanese fighter Hironobu Matsunaga travels to Daejon to face big punching Korean Je Ni Ma for the Light Middleweight title. The bout is a great test for both men who will likely be looking to use a win here to launch their careers towards bigger and better fights. Given the power of Ma, and his 12 fight unbeaten run, he should be favoured here, but Matsunaga has impressed recently and stopped a former Japanese Middleweight champion last time out.
The final 13 days of September are hectic to say the least with several notable bouts taking place involving Asian fighters.
Donnie Nietes v Edgar Sosa
The most significant bout to feature an Asian this coming weekend sees former WBO Minimumweight and Light Flyweight champion Donnie Nietes (38-1-4, 22) look to make a mark at Flyweight. The talented veteran takes on former world champion Edgar Sosa (52-9, 30) in a bout for secondary tier WBO title. Although Sosa is a fighter who has seen better years, and at 37 is clearly winding down his career, this could be a baptism of fire for Nietes who will be fighting as a fully fledged Flyweight for the first time.
Arthur Villanueva v Juan Jimenez
On the same card as Nietes Vs Sosa we get a rematch between Arthur Villanueva (29-1, 15) and Juan Jimenez (22-10, 15), with the two men trading blows for the WBO Asia Pacific Bantamweight title. These two fought back in May, with both men hitting the canvas, before Jimenez was finished off with an accidental headbutt. Jimenez will be looking for revenge whilst Villanueva will be looking to prove he would have won the first bout without the headbutt finish.
Mark Magsayo Vs Ramiro Robles
Staying with that same card we will also see Filipino prospect Mark Magsayo (14-0, 11) defend his WBO International Featherweight title as he takes on Ramiro Robles (13-5-1, 8). For Magsayo this will be his first defense of the title he won earlier this year, when he won a soot out with Chris Avalos, and we'll be hoping to a more controlled performance here.
Nihito Arakawa v Yusuke Tsukada
In Tokyo we get one of two Japanese title fights as Lightweight champion Nihito Arakawa (27-6-1, 16) looks to defend the title for the first time since claiming it back in April. The tough and exciting Arakawa will be up against under-dog Yusuke Tsukada (8-5, 3) in what looks like a mismatch in favour of the champion. Giving the draining career that Arakawa has had no one will begrudge him an easy one, but this might be a bit too easy.
Shota Hayashi v Noriyuki Ueno
On the same day in Japan we get a second domestic title bout, this time in Aichi as Shota Hayashi (27-5-1, 17) faces Noriyuki Ueno (18-13-5, 5) in a bout for the vacant Japanese Featherweight title. The title was vacated earlier this year by Satoshi Hosono, who's looking to earn a 4th world title fight, and has given us this bout. On paper it looks like a mismatch however Ueno knows that this will be his only chance, with his 35th birthday coming earlier next year.
Nop Kratingdaenggym Vs Nehomar Cermeno
The final Asian bout of note this month sees unbeaten Thai Nop Kratingdaenggym (17-0, 5) battle against Nehomar Cermeno (24-5-1, 14), in a bout for Cermeno's WBA Super Bantamweight. For the champion this sees him return to China, where he won the title earlier this year, whilst Nop will be stepping up in class massively for his first bout outside of Thailand.
We're now part way through September and it 's the perfect time for part 2 of our look at what's to come over the rest of the month.
Akihiro Kondo vs Jeffrey Arienza
Japanese audiences get their first taste of WBO Asia Pacific title action this coming week with 3 such title bouts in the space of 2 days. The first of those sees Akihiro Kondo (25-6-1, 12) battle against Jeffrey Arienza (15-4-1, 9) in what looks like a really fun to watch bout for the Light Welterweight title fight. Kondo isn't the fighter he once was but that should help make this bout a lot more competitive than it would have been if Kondo was at his best.
Takuya Watanabe vs Amin Sor Wangmoo
The second of the WBO Asia Pacific title bouts comes at Super Featherweight as the teak tough Takuya Watanabe (29-6-1, 15) battles against heavy handed Thai Amin Sor Wangmoo (14-1-2, 11). The bout is likely to be another very fun bout, as Watanabe seems to be making his thing in recent years, but Wangmoo will certainly not have travelled to Japan to lose and this could be a surprise treat for Japanese fans...and for those who just enjoy a tear up!
Hikaru Nishida vs Makoto Fuchigami III
The third, and final, of the WBO Asia Pacific title fights this week in Japan sees a third meeting between Hikaru Nishida (15-8-1, 7) and Makoto Fuchigami (23-11, 14), with both the WBO Asia Pacific and Japanese Middleweight titles on the line. Nishida, one of the more under-rated Japanese domestic fighters, has a less than stellar record, and was easily outboxed by Dwight Ritchie last time, but has twice beat Fuchigami, a former world title challenger, and we suspect this will be a third win for Nishida.
Shinsuke Yamanaka v Anselmo Moreno II
Another rematch this month sees WBC Bantamweight champion Shinsuke Yamanaka (25-0-2, 17) defending his belt against Anselmo Moreno (36-4-1, 12), around a year after their first, controversial, bout. Yamanaka will be seeking his 11th defense of the title, though he has began to look like a fighter coming to the end of his career, whilst Moreno will be buoyed on by the success of countrymen Jezreel Corrales and Luis Concepcion, both of whom have won world tiles in Japan this year.
Hugo Ruiz v Hozumi Hasegawa
On the same card fans will see the legendary Hozumi Hasegawa (35-5, 15) attempt to become a 3-weight world champion. The faded Hasegawa will be in a tough one against Mexican power puncher Hugo Ruiz (36-3, 32), who looks to make his first defence of the WBC Super Bantamweight title. We're expecting this to be a painful bout for Hasegawa but he's looked very determined to over-come his rival and knows this will be his final chance to claim a third world title.
Tatsuya Fukuhara vs Shin Ono
Japanese Minimumweight champion Tatsuya Fukuhara (17-4-5, 6) looks to record his second defense of the title as he takes on former world title challenger Shin Ono (19-7-2, 3) in what looks like a really well matched bout. Neither man here is a well known international level fighter but they are at very different stages in their career with Ono needing a win to remain relevant whilst Fukuhara will see a win as opening a door to a potential world title fight in 2017.
Kumiko Seeser Ikehara v Kayoko Ebata II
Another rematch to take place this month will see WBO female Minimumweight champion Kumiko Seeser Ikehara (8-1-2, 3) defending her belt against Kayoko Ebata (9-6, 5). These two fought in May 2015, with Ikehara claiming a razor thin split technical decision and coming in to this one it's clear that Ebata cannot afford another setback. At the age of 40 a loss will almost certainly be the end for the challenger. For the champion this will be her 4th defense and could open the door to a unification bout in 2017.
Thinking Out East
With this site being pretty successful so far we've decided to open up about our own views and start what could be considered effectively an editorial style opinion column dubbed "Thinking Out East" (T.O.E).