The most notable action to begin the month comes from Osaka where we see a bit of everything in a brilliant domestic show that features everything a show at this level really should have.
The show begins with a couple of 4 rounders before moving onto an 8 round contest featuring a name fighter in need of a win against a once beaten fighter who will know that a win could really kick start his career. The name fighter in question is multi-time world title challenger Hiroyuki Hisataka (22-13-1, 10) who has lost his last 3 bouts, including a world title bout against Omar Andres Narvaez and a Japanese FOTY contender against Takuya Kogawa, and knows he needs a win. Hisataka will be expecting to get that win when he goes in against Keisuke Nakayama (6-1-1, 3), though Nakayama may well be fired up knowing that this is an amazing opportunity for him to make a name for himself against a man who is certainly coming to the end of his career.
A second 8 rounder will feature touted teenager prospect Takeru Kamikubo (8-0, 5) who begins his 2015 with a bout against former Japanese Light Flyweight title challenger Atsushi Aburada (9-7, 5). Last year we saw Kamikubo fighting 8 times in a little over 10 months though those bouts did come against low level opposition, this however is a big step up and a win over Aburada would see Kamikubo climb into the Japanese rankings. The 24 year old Aburada has lost 3 of his last 5 though has mixed with solid opposition, such as Yu Kimura and Yuma Iwahashi, and holds a very notable win over Toshimasa Ouchi. This is the sort of match up that will tell us a lot about both men.
The only 10 round bout on the card will see former OPBF Featherweight champion Hiroshige Osawa (26-3-4, 15) battle against Indonesian visitor Arief Blader (20-16-1, 7). Osawa comes into this bout ranked #14 in the world by the WBA and on a run of 4 stoppage wins, including a politically controversial 9th round KO against Jason Butar Butar in the Philippines, he'll be expecting to continue that run against Blader. The 29 year old visitor has lost 6 of his last 8, including his last 3, and tends to get stopped when he faces international level opposition, though notable he did go the 8 round distance with the world ranked Mike Tawatchai in 2013.
Surprisingly the main event here is a female fight which will see the unbeaten Terumi Nuki (6-0, 3) battle against Tamao Ozawa (7-2, 2) for the vacant OPBF female Flyweight title. Nuki, like stablemate Kamikubo, caught out attention last year when she over-came Kai Johnson in a very good win. As for Ozawa she has also shared the ring with Johnson, going 1-1 with the under-rated fighter, though has notably been blown away twice, once by Johnson and once by the elongated Tomoko Kawanishi. This could be a very good bout, or it could see Ozawa blown away early doors for the third time.
Also on the same day fans will get the chance to see the second day of qualifying bouts for the 2015 East Japan Rookie of the Year. This show will feature 12 bouts between Light Flyweight and Welterweight. Originally there was 13 bouts announced for the show but a Super Bantamweight bout was cancelled.
(Image courtesy of http://nakazatoboxing.com)