Daejeon, South Korea
In Korea this coming Sunday fans will get a show with 4 different titles bouts on it, in what should be a pretty interesting card, even if the fighters are the most established, talented or proven.
The main event from the card will see Eun Hye Lee (10-1, 4) take on Japan's Chie Higano (7-6, 2) in a bout for the WIBA Flyweight title, with Lee looking to make her second defense of the title. The Korean 34 year old was really unlucky in her sole defeat, a razor thin majority loss to Nana Yoshikawa in Japan in 2016, and since then she has scored two wins. The visitor, who's last bout was fought at Atomweight, will be moving up in weight significantly for this bout, her first outside of Japan, and will clearly be the under-dog. Interestingly Higano has previously fought for a major world title, though was stopped in 4 rounds by Momo Koseki in a bout for he WBA Atomweight title.
The main supporting bout will be a Korean Heavyweight title bout, and will pit In Sung Oh (2-0-1) against Kyung Hak Lee (3-4-1, 1) for the vacant title. Aged 20 Oh is the younger man, but he only has 14 career rounds and at 5'11” he is a very small Heavyweight. Lee on the other hand is 36 and 25 rounds under his belt, though hasn't fought since August 2014 and hasn't scored a win in almost 7 years!
A Korean Featherweight title bout will see the hard hitting Jae Woo Lee (5-2, 4) take on Hyun Je Shin (8-6, 2). Lee made his debut in 2012 but took a break of more than 4 years away from the ring, before returning last year and taking his first decision win. Aged 23 Shin is the more experienced man, and is a former Korean Featherweight champion, and a 2-time Korean Super Flyweight title challenger, but is the naturally smaller fighter.
The remaining title bout will be a Korea Light Middleweight title bout between 37 year old Doo Hyup Kim (9-6-1, 5) and 28 year old Boo Hyun Baek (4-6-1, 1). Kim debuted back in 2004, as a 23 year old, but has seen his career move incredibly slowly due to the politics of Korean boxing, only fighting 4 times between 2004 and 2014. In recent years Kim has been busier but has been stopped in his last two bouts. As for Baek he debuted in 2011, and has also had his career slowed by a lack of activity, as well as a string of 5 straight losses between 2012 and 2016, he has how ever avoided defeat in his last two bouts and should be favoured here.
This coming Saturday we get a world title in the West and we'll also see two very interesting and notable Japanese cards, both taking place in the Kanto region of Japan.
New York, USA
The world title bout is one of a trio of bouts at Madison Square Garden to feature Asian fighters, in what should be a great chance for a number of fighters to shine.
The world title bout will see Kyrgyzstan born Russian based Light Heavyweight Dmitry Bivol (12-0, 10) defending his title against once beaten Cuban Sullivan Barrera (21-1, 14). For both men the bout is a major step forward for their career with Bivol facing his most notable opponent to date and Barrera really fighting in a must win, against his second most significant opponent to date,only behind Andre Ward who beat him 2 years ago. The bout pits two top Light Heavyweights against each other, and could well be a very special bout.
This card will also feature a pair of Kazakh hopefuls. One of those is Meiirim Nursultanov (5-0, 4), who risks his unbeaten record against Alejandro Torres (9-3-2, 4). Nulrsultanov has looked really good since his debut in late 2016 and will be looking to launch himself up towards the world rankings by the end of 2018, with Torres being his first bout of the year. As for Torres the Mexican 24 year old has proven to be tough and should serve a good test for the Kazakh, who will be hunting his 5th straight stoppage.
The other Kazakh on this show will be Madiyar Ashkeyev (8-0, 4), who faces live under-dog Jose Antonio Abreu (13-3, 8). The Kazakh isn't as touted as his aforementioned countryman but is a skilled operator who will be looking to make up for lost time after having fought just once in 2017. Abreu, from the Dominican Republic, has lost 3 of his last 4, all in the US, and will likely come up short again here, though has been matched hard in those losses and is certainly no push over.
New York, USA
On a separate US card in New York, fans will see Kazakh hopeful Shyngyskhan Tazhibay (5-0, 2) risk his unbeaten record. At the time of writing his opponent hasn't been announced, but it's unlikely to be too much of a step up in class for the unbeaten man.
On paper the Japanese card with the best single bouts take place in Kanagawa on a Kawasaki Nitta promoted card where fans will get two Japanese title fights and another solid support bout.
The main event of the card is a Japanese Flyweight title bout between defending champion Masayuki Kuroda (28-7-3, 16) and mandatory challenger Katsunori Nagamine (14-1-1, 10), who meet in a Champion Carnival bout. The champion will be seeking his second defense of the title, and will be expecting a much tougher bout than his last defense, which saw him dominate the limited but entertaining Mako Matsuyama. Nagamine on the other hand will be getting his first title bout, and, on paper, his toughest bout since his sole loss to Ken Shiro.
The other title bout is likely to be even better and will see teak tough Japanese Middleweight champion Hikaru Nishida (17-8-1, 8) take on the explosive Kazuto Takesako (7-0, 7) in another of the 2018 Champion Carnival bouts. Nishida has held the title for almost 2 years, but has only managed a single defense, due to an out of the ring accident which forced him out of the ring for a while. Despite the lack of defenses he's a tough, aggressive and exciting champion with a solid mentality and style. Takesako is a talented slugger, and should take the fight to Nishida in a potential war. We are expecting this bout to be a potential Japanese fight of the year and something very special.
Also on this card will be the always fun to watch Gakuya Furuhashi (20-8-1, 9), who faces Masashi Kamon (7-2-1, 4) in an 8 rounder. Furuhashi has long been one of the fringe contenders on the domestic scene, and is far better than his record suggests, despite 3 losses in his last 6. Kamon on the other hand began his career 1-2 but has gone on a good run, going 6-0-1 in his last 7. Despite being on a good run Kamon is taking a notable step up in class here.
The other Japanese card will be televised on G+ and despite being higher profile in it's coverage it's arguably a lesser card, despite having a number of notable fighters on it.
The main event here will see WBO #1 ranked Super Featherweight contender Masayuki Ito (22-1-1, 11) take on under-rated Filipino Vergil Puton (17-9, 8), in a bout which appears to be a world title prelude for Ito. The talented Japanese fighter, a former OPBF and WBO Asia Pacific champion, will be expected to easily over-come Puton but the visitor is no push over, and has asked genuine questions to the likes of Paul Fleming, Ibraham Balla, Shuya Masaki and Ye Joon Kim. Ito should win, but this will be much tough than a public spar for the Japanese fighter.
In a really good chief support bout fans will see former Japanese Super Flyweight champion Yohei Tobe (12-2-1, 8) take on Hajime Nagai (15-9-2, 5), with both men risking JBC rankings. Coming into this Tobe is ranked #7 by the JBC and Nagai is ranked #10. Tobe is riding a 4 fight winning run since losing the Japanese title to Sho Ishida, in a very competitive bout back in 2014, and despite issues with activity he is still a top domestic talent. Nagai on the other hand has lost 2 of his last 3, bith technical decisions,but does have under-rated skills, as he's shown against the likes of Yuji Shimizu back in 2016. This should be Tobe's to lose, but is a very good test on paper for the Misako gym fighter.
Another support bout will see the often fun to watch Koki Eto (21-4-1, 16) take on Filipino journeyman Marzon Cabilla (16-15-1, 5). Eto is currently riding a 4 fight winning run, albeit against limited competition, since his 2015 loss to Carlos Cuadras. Despite his low level of competition the Japanese fighter is a fringe world class talent, and is well known for his thrilling bouts against the likes of Kompayak Porpramook, Yodmongol Vor Saengthep and Ardin Diale. Cabilla enters this bout in the form of his career, riding a 7 fight winning run, but is stepping back up in class here and is likely to see that run of success come to an end.
One other bout of note will see Japanese ranked Light Flyweight Kenji Ono (11-2-1, 6) take on former Japanese Minimumweight contender Masashi Tada (11-5-2, 7). Ono is best known for his up-and-down war with Jun Takigawa from 2016, and has gone 1-1-1 since that bout, suffering an opening round loss to Seigo Yuri Akui in late 2016. He needs a win if he's to move into a title bout. As for Tada he has gone 0-2-1 in his last 3, and over 4 years removed from his last win, however at the age of 28 he does still have time to rebuild his career and a win here would see him move into the JBC rankings.
In Tokyo this coming Friday fight fans will see the next Asign Bee show.
The main event of the card is a mouth watering match up between Reiya Abe (16-2, 8) and Daisuke Watanabe (6-3, 3). Coming in to this Abe is ranked the JBC, OPBF and IBF and looks to be well on his way to a title fight thanks to wins over the likes of Ryo Hino, Hikaru Marugame, Tsuyoshi Tameda and Satosho Hosono. On paper Watanabe looks like an easy opponent for for the red hot Abe but the reality is that Watanabe is a very credible fighter who holds notable wins over the likes of Jun Blazo, Yosuke Fujihara and Gakuya Furuhashi. This is a really well matched bout and should be very contest in the ring.
In the led support bout recently title challenger Akihiro Kondo (29-7-1, 16) will be up against a Thai foe. Kondo gained some international respect last November when he gave the talented Sergey Lipinets a competitive 12 round bout for the IBF Light Welterweight title, this will be his first bout since loss
In another notable bout fans will see the under-rated Ryohei Takahashi (13-3-1, 5) battle Tetsuya Koyama (7-9, 2). The under-rated Takahashi has been matched hard, but looks like someone who will always be able to mix in and around the top of the domestic level. He shouldn't struggle with Koyama, but Koyama is the naturally bigger man and could ask some questions of his man.
Another bout worth noting from this card is a competitive contest between Ryuto Araya (11-6-1, 3) and Tatsuya Otsubo (10-8-1, 3). Both of these men have fought in title bouts, with Otsubo losing a decision to the then Japanese Featherweight champion Satoshi Hosono in 2015 and Araya losing to then then OPBF Featherweight champion Rtyo Takenaka early last year. It's also worth noting that these two fought last October in a nail biting fight,that Otsubo won with cards of 76-75 in his favour from all 3 judges. This could be the highlight of the card.
New South Wales, Australia
In Australia local fans will see hard hitting prospect Brock Jarvis (12-0, 11) take on once beaten Indonesian fighter Hamson Tiger Lamandau (8-1-1, 5). The hard hitting Jarvis has stopped his last 11 foes, including the notable but very shop worn Rasmanudin, and looks like one of the most exciting prospects down under. As for Lamandau he is best known for suffering a 6th round loss to Hinata Maruta last year, and has fought only once since then.
This coming Thursday sees attention turn to Tokyo as we get a world title double header, thanks to Teiken.
The headline bout from the card is a WBC Bantamweight title rematch, as controversial champion Luis Nery (25-0, 19) takes on former champion Shinsuke Yamanaka (27-1-2, 19). These two fought last year with Nery stopping Yamanaka, and ending the long reign of “God's Left's” which had began in 2011. Following his win it was revealed that Nery had failed a drugs test, though the WBC seemed to believe his excuse of eating a huge amount of tainted beef. This time around Nery has had his diet tracked by the WBC, and it seems like they have tried to punish him, without really punishing him. The Mexican's win over Yamanaka last year put him at the top of the Bantamweight division, though the failed drug test has left a huge cloud over his win and he will have to repeat the exercise here if he's going to get the respect that he will feel he deserves. For Yamanaka this rematch is a chance to avenge his sole loss, reclaim his title and prove that he is the better fighter, with the drugs that Nery tested for. Sadly for the Japanese southpaw he is now 35 and even before the first bout with Nery he was showing signs of being on the slide, having been down several times in his bouts leading up to the Nery contest and looking like a fighter who may well have been caught at the right time by Nery. This is a huge bout for both men, but win or lose we don't Yamanaka sticking around long after this one.
The second world title fight on this show will see IBF Super Bantamweight champion Ryosuke Iwasa (24-2, 26) make his first defense, as he takes on little known Filipino challenger Ernesto Saulong (21-2-1, 8). The hard hitting Japanese fighter impressed in his title winning effort last year, when he stopped Yukinori Oguni, and showed that he has got the skills to go with his early promise. There are still flaws, but against Oguni he looked like a fighter who had found his way, and nothing like the fighter who looked lost and confused against Lee Haskins. Whilst Iwasa has been on the title scene for a while, since his loss to Yamanaka for the Japanese Bantamweight title back in 2011, it's fair to say that much less is known about Saulong, who has spent much of his career on the Filipino domestic scene. His most notable bouts have been losses to Rey Megrino and Lwandile Sityatha, though he does hold some decent wins over Alie Laurel, twice, and Jestoni Autida, sadly those wins aside there is little to suggest that Saulong belongs at world level. The Filipino might be better than he's shown, but it's very hard to see him holding his own with someone as heavy handed and dangerous as Iwasa.
Another rematch will see Takahiro Ao (27-3-1-1, 12) take on Gamaliel Diaz (40-18-3, 19) in a battle of veterans. These two first fought way back in October 2012,when Diaz defeated Ao for the WBC Super Featherweight title, though since then neither had had much success. Diaz has gone 2-9-1, and was stopped in his first defense by Takashi Miura, whilst Ao has gone 4-0-0-1, with his most recent bout being a painful No Contest against Raymundo Beltran. Ao will be favoured here, but it's hard to imagine either man will have much of a career after this bout.
This coming Wednesday Japanese fight fans at the Korakuen Hall get a stacked card from Ohashi, with a world title fight headlining the card and a number of notable fighters on the under-card as the Ohashi gym put on a really solid show.
The main event will see the highly touted Ryo Matsumoto (21-1, 19) challenge WBA Super Bantamweight champion Daniel Roman (23-2-1, 9) in a bout that looks amazing on paper. The Japanese 24 year old has long been tipped as a future world champion and one of the future faces of Japanese boxing thanks to his strong amateur background, skills, speed and power. He has however been troubled by medical issues, which lead to his shock 2016 loss to Victor Uriel Lopez. Roman on the other hand broke Japanese hearts last year, when he battered Shun Kubo into a 9th round TKO. The American will be looking to repeat the feat here and move towards bigger bouts. Going into the bout with Kubo few would have thought Roman was a puncher, but the way he broke down and stopped the Shinsei man did impress and show that there was more on his shots than his record suggests.
Another youngster on this card is the very talented Andy Hiraoka (11-0, 8), who risks his unbeaten record against Fumisuke Kimura (6-2, 4). At just 21 years old Hiraoka is seen as the future of the Ohashi gym and although he has some questions to answer he does look a class fighter. The youngster will be in there with a tough and heavy handed foe who can be out boxed, but is a very solid test and should provide a stern test for Hiraoka.
A third youngster from the Ohashi gym in action here will be Tsuyoshi Tameda (15-3-2, 13), who faces off with a Thai foe in what is likely to be a bit if a straight forward win for the heavy handed 24 year old. This will be Tameda's second bout under the Ohashi banner and it's clear they view him as a key fighter for the future, and will be looking to guide him towards title fights by the end of the year.
It's not all about youngster on this show, and in a battle between more established fighters fans will see 29 year old Quaye Peter (10-9-2, 6) take on the heavy handed Yuichi Ideta (13-10-1, 7). Coming into this the inconsistent Peter is 4-4 in his last 8, though is better than the numbers suggest. As for Ideta recent results are rather damning, with a 0-7-1 record in his last 8, though he was a promising fighter earlier on in his career and will be looking at this bout as a chance to re-establish himself as someone who matters. It's worth noting that Ideta has been out of the ring for 4 years, and it's now 7 years since his last win, which came against Suyon Takayama.
An interesting clash of young and old will see 24 year old puncher Kazuaki Miyamoto (5-1, 4) take on 35 year old former Japanese champion Seiichi Okada (20-6-1, 11). The youngster will be stepping up massively for this bout and will know he's the under-dog, despite being the younger man, and his own loss to Shuzo Inada last year does leave a lot of questions regarding his durability. Okada, another of the fighters from the Ohashi gym, has struggled since losing the domestic title to Daiki Kaneko back in 2012, though has won his last two bouts and will be hoping to move towards another title fight before his career is over.
This coming Monday fight fans in Japan get the chance to see a really intriguing domestic level card combining competitive match ups, youth and and fighters looking to prove themselves.
The main event of the show should be something very special as the always fun to watch Kenya Yamashita (12-3, 9) takes on the experienced Hayato Kimura (26-10, 17). It's hard to think of a dull fight featuring Yamashita, who is an ultra-aggressive fighter always looking for the KO and in Kimura he should find someone able to take his power early on and have a war. Coming into this Yamashita is ranked #5 by the JBC at 115lbs whilst Kimura is ranked #6 and both men will know that a win here will move them close to a shot at the national title.
Talking about titles there will be a JBC Youth Lightweight title fight on the card, as Izuki Tomioka (5-0, 1) takes on Kaiki Yuba (3-0, 2). The talented Tomioka will be seeking his 2nd defense of the title, and although a genuine talent there is a feeling that he lacks the power needed, at the moment, to move on to the next level. If, or when, Tomioka adds that power then there is a huge ceiling for him to aim for. As for Yuba he looks like a man with that power already there and will be looking to prove that he really is the future in this bout. Aged 19 Yuba has the potential to go much further than his father, a 5-weight Japanese national champion, but this is certainly a step up for him.
A really interesting match up will see recent Japanese Bantamweight title challenger Yuta Saito (10-8-3, 7) take on Naoya Okamoto (12-6-1, 6). Saito came up short last time out, suffering a 9th round TKO loss to Ryo Akaho, but was competitive prior to the stoppage, and is certainly better than his record suggests. Okamoto is also better than his record suggests, and comes in to this bout on the back of wins against Gaku Aikawa and Daisuke Watanabe, two of his very best. This should be a very intriguing and exciting match, despite their records suggesting otherwise.
Another interesting bout on this show will see Kenichi Watanabe (7-3-1, 4) end an almost 2 year break from action as he takes on the light punching Joe Tanooka (14-4-4, 1). Watanabe was stopped in 2 of his last 3, with Akinori Hoshino and Hiroaki Teshigawara both stopping him, but with some time out of the ring there is a chance we will see him revitalised here. Tanooka was stopped inside a round last time out, by Yamashita, and will be looking to get his career back on track here in what should be a very competitive contest.
Metro Manila, Philippines
The main show this coming Saturday is the Elorde promoted card from Metro Manila.
The main event of the show will see once beaten Filipino Juan Miguel Elorde (24-1, 13) defending the WBO Asia Pacific Super Bantamweight title against Thai Yodsingdaeng Jor Chaijinda (16-4, 10). The local will be strongly favoured here, but the Thai should ask some questions of Elorde, and the bout should be more competitive than it looks on paper.
Sadly the rest of this show looks like a card mostly stacked with mismatches, however one bout does back that rule and looks like a compelling contest on paper. That bout is an 8 rounder that pits the unbeaten pairing of Arvin Magramo (7-0-1, 4) and Michael Mendoza (5-0-2, 1) against each other. This could end up being the bout of the day.
Lanao del Norte, Philippines
A second Filipino card will take place in Lanao del Norte.
This card will see once beaten prospect Cris Ganoza (14-1, 8) take on highly experienced veteran Donny Mabao (22-34-3, 4). The bout will be Mabao's 60th as a professional whilst Ganoza will be seeking his third straight win, following a stoppage loss to Edward Heno, almost a year ago.
Another bout of some note on this card is one between former WBC Flyweight champion Sonny Boy Jaro (43-14-5, 30) and Dondon Narvaez (12-25-7, 3). Jaro is a long way removed from the fighter who stopped PongsaklekWonjongkam back in 2012, though should still have far too much for Narvaez, who has been stopped in his last 4, and is more than 3 years removed from his last win.
Dongducheon, South Korea
In South Korea fans will be getting a card with a lot of Rookies on it, in fact the card has a frankly jaw dropping 24 Rookie bouts on it. As well as those Rookie bouts there will also be a 6 round line bout featuring the Korean based Cameroonian born refugee Heuk San Lee (5-0-1, 3), who looks to continue his remarkable story.
For those unaware Abdoulaye Assan, aka Heuk San Lee, is a man who has sought refuge in Korea and has become a minor boxing celebrity in the country. His opponent for this show is unknown but it's hard not to support him in his fight to have a quality life in Korea.
Pathum Thani, Thailand
There will also be a small card in Thailand.
The main event here will see Fahpetch Singmanassak (5-2, 2) take on 36 year old Petchthongchai Singmanasak (6-13). Of the two men it's Petchthongchai who is perhaps the more well known, though he was stopped by the then returning Amnat Ruenroeng last year, and there is little else of note on his record. As for Fahpetch there is next to nothing on his record of any note, though he has won his last 3 bouts.
The card will also feature Soh Ohba (2-0-1, 2), who is the nephew of former Japanese world champion Masao Oba. At the time of writing nothing is known in regards who he will be fighting.
The most notable card card this weekend really is a big one, despite it's focus being on the lower weights. The card in question is the highly anticipated, little men super show “Superfly 2”.
The main event of the card is one of the most mouth watering bouts the little men can throw at us, with WBC Super Flyweight champion Srisaket Sor Rungvisai (44-4-1, 40) defending his title against mandatory challenger Juan Francisco Estrada (36-2, 25). The champion announced himself to the Western boxing fan base last year, when he twice beat Roman Gonzalez to claim and defend the WBC title. Estrada has been known about by the hard core fans for a long time, and will be looking to become a 2-weight champion, following a reign as a unified WBA and WBO Flyweight champion. The bout will likely be a case of Srisaket's power, size and strength against Estrada's brain, movement and technique and we're in for an absolute treat.
Another interesting match up pits two veterans against each other in what should be a cerebral match up. The bout will see IBF Flyweight champion Donnie Nietes (40-1-4, 22) take on mandatory challenger Juan Carlos Reveco (39-3, 19), himself a former multi-weight world champion. Nietes has won titles at Minimumweight, Light Flyweight and Flyweight, with this being his first defense of the Flyweight title. The champion is one the sports smartest fighters, and with over a decade at the top he is one of the all time great Filipino's. Reveco was an outstanding fighter in his prime, with wins against the likes of Nethra Sasiprapa, Karim Guerfi, Masayuki Kuroda, Ricardo Nunez, Felix Alvarado and Yodmongkol Vor Saengthep. Despite those good wins Reveco has lost 2 of his last 6, and looked like a shot fighter in the most recent of those losses, a stoppage loss to Kazuto Ioka more than 2 years ago.
A third world title bout on this show will see Filipino-American Brian Viloria (38-5-0-2, 23) face off with unbeaten Ukrainian Artem Dalakian (15-0, 11) for the vacant WBA Flyweight title, which was vacated last year by Kazuto Ioka. For the 37 year old Viloria this is likely to be one final chance to climb back up to the top, after having had 3 previous world title reigns, however this will not be a gimme and Dalakian is a very credible foe. The Ukrainian, originally from Azerbaijan, Dalakian mae his debut in 2011 and althouigh he's he's only got one win of real note, an 8th round TKO win over stubborn veteran Silvio Olteanu, he is a very legitimate fighter and will not be a push over.
Out side of the big US show there's also a notable card in Osaka, as the Ioka gym put on a card with several notable fighters involved, including a current OPBF title defense.
That OPBF title fight will see Lightweight champion Masayoshi Nakatani (15-0, 9) defending his title, for the 9th time, against Thai puncher Pharanpetch Tor Buamas (22-2, 18). The unbeaten champion is a real talent, but a frustrating fighter who has looked ready to step up for several years and already holds wins of note against fighters like Shuhei Tsuchiya, Yositaka Kato, Ricky Sismundo and Kaewfah Tor Buamas. tall, lanky and skilled Natani has the potential to claim a world title, but does need to start facing better opponents than he has been. On the other hand the Thai is a dangerous fighter and can't be over-looked. Pharanpetch is riding a 4 fight winning run since a loss to Brandon Ogilvie and although he is no world beater he does have the power to give a fighter like Nakatani a genuine chin check. If Nakatani uses his skills he should come out of this without too many problems, but if he switches he could be in some trouble.
The chief support bout for this show will see former world title challenger Sho Ishida (24-1, 13) return to the ring for the first time since he was beat by WBA Super Flyweight champion Kal Yafai. The talented Osakan will be up against the heavy handed Lucky Tor Buamas (12-1, 12), with the Thai looking to scored a 6th straight win. Ishida failed to make the most of shit chance against Yafai, though seems like to improve following that loss and will almost certainly come again. Despite the potential of the Japanese fighter he will have to be careful here against the heavy handed visitor. Lucky was stopped in his only bout of note, losing in 9 rounds to Rene Dacquel, but is a dangerman and will clearly be looking to prove his power against Ishida here.
Another notable member of the Ioka gym in action will be Masayoshi Hashizume (14-0-1, 10). The unbeaten Hashizume, who was the 2014 Super Flyweight Rookie of the Year, suffered a draw last time out, as he had to pick himself off the canvas to score a draw against Kota Fujimoto. He'll be hoping to have an easier out here as he takes on the limited, but experienced, Takahiro Murai (15-7-2, 5). Hashizume is a genuine talent but there are questions to be asked about his toughness and what he's like when he's in there with decent competition, and Murai is certainly a credible foe given that he beat Fujimoto last year. Hashizume should be favoured, but this is a genuine test for the youngster.
Another supporting bout on this card will see Futa Akizuki (10-1, 8) take on Takuya Fujioka (7-8-1, 1). The talented Akizuki will be looking to bounce back from his November loss to Kenji Kihisa, and despite that loss the 19 year old does have a lot of upside. The bout will be a test to see how Akizuki is mentally after a stoppage loss but shouldn't be much more of a confidence booster. Fujioka lacks power and really shouldn't be any sort of a test for the talented teen.
We also get title action in Australia, with OPBF Super Flyweight champion Rene Dacquel (20-6-1, 6) taking on the unbeaten Andrew Moloney (15-0, 10). The bout will serve not only as an OPBF title defense from Dacquel but also as a defense of the WBA Oceania title by Moloney, meaning both fighters are risking something. Dacquel is on a nice run of recent results, following his 2015 loss to Takuma Inoue, and has scored decent wins over Go Onaga, Shota Kawaguchi and Hayato Kimura in his last 3 bouts, all on the road. Moloney is in good form himself but in many ways it's him stepping up in class here and this is his toughest match on paper. The Australian has been very impressive so far, but this is likely to be a real test for the 27 year old.
New South Wales, Australia
Also in Australia fans will be able to see the debuting Daniel Keating (0-0) take on Thai “loser” Aphichat Koedchatturat (2-20-2). The Thai is win-less in 13, with 11 losses and 2 draws during that run, and although better than his record suggests it's hard to imagine he'll really try to upset the debutant.
Attention turns to Singapore this coming Friday in what is set to be a relatively small card, but one that could help test a couple of unbeaten novices.
One of those novices is local fighter Hamzah Farouk (3-0, 2), who steps up from 4 rounders to take on Master Suro (12-12-1, 2) in an 8 round contest. So far Farouk hasn't looked terrible, but has been in against some dire opposition and this is a very big step up in class. Although Suro might not be a world beater he is tough, will come to win and may well feel like this is his chance to score his first win outside of Indonesia.
Another unbeaten is 22 year old Muhammad Ashiq (1-0, 1). The unbeaten Ashiq will be up against Selsius Rumlus (5-11, 3),who has gone 2-10 in his last 12 bouts. Not much is known about Ashiq, other than that he's a local who debuted last September with a stoppage over Ramly Pasaribu. As for Rumlus he has been fighting on the Indonesian domestic scene for much of his career, though has gone 0-3 in his bouts away from home, losing all of them in Thailand. Despite his limited skill Rumlus is tough and has only been stopped once in his 11 losses.
This coming Tuesday we'll see a small card at the Korakuen Hall, and the reality is that the card lacks in names but does have some interesting contests on it.
One of the interesting bouts will be a 6 rounder between Katsuhiro Hoshi (7-2-1, 5) and Yoshiki Abe (5-6-4, 1). Aged 20 Hoshi has shown some real promise, and has gone 6-0-1 in his last 7 bouts, including a win against Takeshi Kaneko last time out. Despite that promise this will be a tough contest as Abe is no push over at this level.
Another match up of interest on this card will see Shinnosuke Hasegawa (4-2-1, 3) taking on Takuya Yamaguchi (3-9-2, 2). Although Yamaguchi is limited we've become very big fans of him due to his charisma, heart and style and he's certainly someone who makes us smile when he fights. Sadly it's hard to imagine him providing much of a test for Hasegawa, who has stopped his last 3 foes and will likely pick up another stoppage here.
The main event of the card will be the most evenly matched contest, and will see former Japanese Middleweight champion Sanosuke Sasaki (11-6, 5) take on Hisao Narita (12-5, 6). Sasaki won the Japanese title in October 2012, when he stopped Tadashi Yuba, but would lose it in his first defense, as he was stopped by Tomohiro Ebisu. Sadly for Sasaki he has now lost his last 5 and looks to be a shot fighter. Narita on the other hand is 3-3 in his last 6, having now won 3 in a row, and will know that a win here will put him in the mix for a potential title fight down the line.