There isn't much action next Thursday with only one fight of note in action.
That fight comes in California where we'll be able to see American based Kazakh Ruslan Madiev (8-0, 3) attempt to extend his unbeaten record. The 24 year old Lightweight hopeful will be up against Ricardo Maldonado (7-6-1, 1) in what looks like a straight forward win for the unbeaten man.
The East Japan Rookie of the Year kicks off a new week with 13 bouts from 105lbs to 130lbs. The bouts, of course, only feature novices and it's hard to pick some specific bouts to talk about in details.
What we do know is that much of the focus will be on the Featherweight division, which will be featured in 5 of the bouts on the card. They include a bout between Yuki Takashima (3-5-1, 2), the most experienced man on the show, and debutant Kaisei Ota (0-0).
Another bout of some note is a Bantamweight bout between the unbeaten pairing of Mizuki Akima (2-0, 2) and Kentaro Koda (2-0), which should be an interesting match up.
This coming Sunday is set to be a very busy day in Japanese boxing circles
The most interesting card of the day comes from the EDION Arena Osaka where Green Tsuda put on what looks like a really interesting show.
The main event of the card will see Japanese and OPBF ranked Takayuki Okumoto (18-7-2, 8) battle against Filipino visitor Eranio Semillano (13-7-2, 4), with the Filipino himself holding a top 10 OPBF ranking. Both fighters will be entering this bout with the knowledge that a good performance could move them to an OPBF title fight, and both will also know that their opponent can be beaten, and can be stopped. Interestingly this is an southpaw bout with both men being 25 years old, but it's the visitor who will be the taller man.
In the chief support bout we'll see the hotly tipped Kazuki Tanaka (6-0, 5) take on world ranked Thai Sukkasem Kietyongyuth (16-6, 11). Although inexperienced Tanaka is tipped for the top and is a former stand out amateur who has long been viewed as a future world champion in the making. On paper this could be a step up, given that Sukkasem has a #15 ranking with the IBF, but the Thai has lost every time he's faced a notable fighter, and was stopped in 5 rounds last year by Japanese champion Yusaku Kuga, with that likely being the marker that Tanaka will be looking to beat.
Another Japan Vs Philippines bout will see exciting local Ryuto Kyoguchi (14-1-1, 10) takes on former world title challenger Silvester Lopez (27-12-2, 9). For Kyoguchi this is a real gut check with the youngster, the older brother of Hiroto Kyoguchi, having only had 1 round of in ring action in almost 2 years. At his best Kyoguchi is a real talent, but this is a genuinely tough test. Lopez, who fought for the WBC Super Flyweight title in Japan back in 2012, has picked up a lot of losses recently but is still a test at this level and did drop Sho Nakazawa back in 2015. Sylvester has power and could well be a banana skin if Kyoguchi over-looks him.
Also on this card will be former OPBF champion Yu Kawaguchi (25-8, 12) and rising female star Fuka Komura (2-0, 1), who will both be up against low key Thai foes.
Staying at the EDION Arena in Osaka there will also be a Dangan card. Originally it was set to be headlined by Ken Shiro defending the Japanese Light Flyweight title against Tetsuya Hisada but Ken Shiro chose to vacate the title, with a rumoured WBC title fight set to be announced, forcing that bout to be cancelled. Despite that the show will still go ahead and Hisada will get a shot at the Japanese title on April 21st.
As a result of Ken Shiro vacating the Japanese title we now see the main event as a bout between defending OPBF Super Flyweight champion Rene Dacquel (18-6-1, 6) and Japanese challenger Shota Kawaguchi (20-7-1, 8). The bout is a pretty good one on paper, but one where Dacquel will be favoured and one that feels like a disappointing main event given that Ken Shiro was supposed to be headlining.
In supporting bouts we'll see former world title challenger Atsushi Kakutani (18-5-1, 11) and unbeaten teenager Daiki Tomita (8-0, 2), both of whom will be battling against limited Thai visitors.
We also get a small card in Okinawa. The card really doesn't have much of note on it, but does feature one man who we suspect will be one to watch over the coming decade or so.
The fighter is Lightweight puncher, and 2016 Rookie of the Year, Shawn Oda (5-0, 5). The teenager really impressed last year, debuting in May and winning the Rookie of the Year in December, and will be looking to kick off 2017 with a bout against Thai visitor Tienchai Sor Kanitsorn (2-8, 1). Tienchai is a regular in Japan, fighting his 10th bout in the country, and although he's there to be beaten by Oda we suspect the local will still be looking to give the fans a show before stopping the Thai.
There will also be a low key card in Shizuoka.
In the main event of this card we get a really good match up as former Japanese title challenger Cristiano Aoqui (11-5-2, 7) takes on the under-rated Noriaki Sato (4-1-1) in a bout at Welterweight. Aoqui's best success has been at 140lbs, where he fought the then Japanese champion Hiroki Okada last year, but it looks like he's moving up to continue his career. Sato on the other hand was forced up in weight after failing to make weight for last year's Strongest Korakuen, when he was unable to make 140lbs to face Koichi Aso. The bout should be an exciting one and a real crowd pleaser.
In a supporting bout on this card the 21 year old Daiki Ichikawa (8-2, 6) will be risking his OPBF ranking against Takaki Sakurai (7-7-1, 3). Coming in Ichikawa is ranked in the top 15 by the OPBF at Lightweight and may well feel like he is just a few fights away from getting a title shot, something he is ill prepared for at the moment. As for Sakurai he's lost his last 5, but could still be a problem for the heavy handed Ishikawa, if the youngster is over-looking Sakurai.
Daejeon, South Korea
There is also set to be a very low profile card in South Korea. This card doesn't have anyone of any note on it , with the main event being a 6 rounder between Hyun Min Yang (4-1, 4) and Heuk San Lee (1-0-1).
This coming Saturday sees us turn our attention to G+ for the next live card to be aired on their channel
In the main event of the card we'll see former WBC Flyweight champion Toshiyuki Igarashi (23-2-2, 12) battle against upset minded American Miguel Cartagena (15-3, 6), with both men risking world rankings coming into this bout. Igarashi, who has had a stop-start career in recent times, will be looking to kick start his career which really has struggled to have momentum since losing the WBC title almost 4 years ago. Cartagena will be entering this bout 3-3 in his last 6, but does come into the bout on the back of a career best win over Joebert Alvarez, who he stopped inside a round last July.
The best of the supporting bouts will see the hotly tipped Shuya Masaki (6-0, 3) take on Shingo Eto (17-5-1, 9) in a delayed bout, that was originally scheduled for last year though had to be cancelled after Eto was forced to pull out of the bout. Masaki is tipped as one of the most promising fighters at the Teiken gym and is primed for big things, but this is a big step up for him and Eto, who has lost his last 2, will be looking to resurrect his career here. The bout is a key one for both men, and should be a thrilling one to watch.
Another supporting bout will see Yoshinobu Kakinaga (6-2, 2) take on 2016 Super Flyweight Rookie of the Year Ryoji Fukunaga (8-2, 8), one of two Super Rookie of the Year's on this card. The 30 year old Fukunaga will be fighting in his first 8 rounder and will be hoping that a win could move him, slowly, towards a Japanese title fight and we suspect that'll be where he and his team are looking for him to be in the next 24 months. As for Kakinaga the 23 year old will potentially see this bout as chance for him to move into the Japanese rankings and we're expecting a really exciting encounter here.
The other Super Flyweight Rookie of the Year on this card is 2015 winner Hayate Kaji (6-0, 5), who will be fighting in a relative stay busy fight against a Thai foe. We're hoping that Kaji will have a big 2017, but given he's a genuine youngster there is no need to rush him, and he's getting great gym time at the Teiken with the likes of Shinsuke Yamanaka. Sadly for Kaji fans it does feel like a second successive stay busy fight, a shame for someone with his natural talented and power.
American fans will see exciting Filipino Mercito Gesta (29-1-2, 16) return to the ring as he takes on the big punching Gilberto Gonzalez (26-3, 22) in a tough looking Lightweight bout. The once touted Gesta will be ending an 18 month break from the ring and his stop-start career has been a thoroughly frustrating one that promised so much, but has delivered so little. Gonzalez is beatable, and this is a must win for Gesta, but the Mexican has the power and size to cause Gesta real problems.
In the Netherlands we'll see Azeri Bakhtiyar Isgandarzada (11-10, 4) battle unbeaten Dutch hopeful Steve Suppan (6-0-1, 4). Suppan, the UBO Youth champion at 140lbs, should be far too good for the Azeri. Although a journeyman Isgandarzada has shared the ring with a number of respectable names, including Viorel Simion, and will look to make the most of that experience here.
To end the month of March Japanese fans get a low key show at the Korakuen Hall.
The most notable of the bouts on this card will see the unbeaten Japanese ranked Super Featherweight Yuichiro Kasuya (9-0-1, 1) risking his unbeaten record against Japanese ranked Lightweight Spice Matsushita (16-9-1, 2), in a bout that will see Matsushita move down to 130lbs. The 20 year old Kasuya first made a name for himself in 2014, when he claimed the Rookie of the Year crown, and notched a really good win last year over Kazuma Sanpei. Last time out however he was held to a really unexpected draw against Masaki Saito. Although Matsushita has picked up losses through his career, including on last time out to Can Xu, he is still a solid fighter and could be a real banana skin for the unbeaten youngster.
The main event of the card will see former Japanese Bantamweight title challenger Tatsuya Takahashi (25-6-5, 18) take on Thai visitor Rungpetch Saithonggym (0-2). Although he drew earlier this year with Yuta Saito it's fair to say that Takahashi is best known for his 2014 loss to Kentaro Masuda. Since then he has gone 7-0-2 (5) and tried to work his way into another title fight. A win here won't get him a shot out right, but will keep him in the mix and see him continue his unbeaten run. As for the Thai he suffered 2 losses in Japan last year, and we suspect he'll suffer a third successive loss in the country here.
Western Cape, South Africa
In South Africa we'll see local unbeaten fighter Mzuvukile Magwaca (17-0-2, 10) battle with tough Filipino Jason Canoy (26-6-2, 19) in a bout for the WBF Bantamweight title. The unbeaten Magwaca has won his last 4 bouts, following a 2013 draw with Makazole Tete, including a stoppage over Filipino Michael Enriquez. This is a step for the local fighter and Canoy is certainly no push over, as shown in his wins over Drian Francisco and Jestoni Autida, but he is perhaps best known for his 2015 loss to a then debuting Hinata Maruta. Although he lost to Maruta he did prove he was ridiculously tough and we know he has nasty power of his own. This could be a very good match up
We get more Korakuen Hall action on Tuesday with an SGS/Dangan card.
In the main event we'll see the exciting Koki Eto (19-4-1, 14) take on a Thai foe. At the moment the Thai is an unknown quantity, but it's fair to say that Eto will be favoured here. Although favoured Eto hasn't looked great in his last two bouts, struggling past both Michael Escobia and Jun Blazo, who actually dropped Eto, and it's fair to say that he's not the fighter he once was. Eto's style never seemed to be made for a long career and it could be that he's only got a few more fights left in him.
In the chief support bout we'll see Japanese ranked Takahiro Araki (9-6, 4) will take on the once beaten Ryota Ishida (7-1, 5) in what should be a competitive and exciting Super Featherweight bout. Neither of these will likely move beyond domestic level, but bouts at this level, against well matched opponents could be really fun, as we expect this one will be.
Anbother Japanese ranked fighter in action on this card will be Japanese ranked Middleweight Riku Nagahama (6-0-1, 2), who takes on the experienced Hideo Mikan (7-11-1, 2). Coming in to this bout Nagahama is only a few wins from a potential Japanese Middleweight title bout, and although not a puncher he has stopped his last two foes, and looks to be improving with every fight, as he develops his confidence. Mikan, a good servant for Japanese boxing, has lost his last 4, but has mixed with good company and his better than his record suggests, having run both Hikaru Nishida and Yosuke Kirima close in recent losses.
Arguably the best bout on paper will see the heavy handed Hokuto Kawana (6-2, 5) face off with the very hard matched Burning Ishii (7-4-1, 2). Kawana is a glass cannon, who has been stopped in both of his losses. Although he has won his last two bouts there is always a chance he'll unravel as he did twice in 2015. With Ishii we have a solid fighter who is seemingly always in with good opponents, and was stopped twice last year, by Kosuke Saka and Teiru Atsumi. This is a bout which will go over-looked but will be very competitive as long as it lasts.
In late March we see Ohashi putting on their first show of 2017, and although it's not a huge show, like the FES cards, it is a solid Phoenix Battle card with a host of notable names in action.
In the main event we see the highly talented Ryo Matsumoto (18-1, 16) take on domestic rival Hideo Sakamoto (17-3-3, 5) in a really good match up. Matsumoto, who under-went serious surgery last year to solve a long term medical issue, will be looking to make a huge mark in 2017 but will have to over-come Sakamoto first. If the youngster wins then all signs point towards Matsumoto getting a world title fight before the end of 2017. Sakamoto might not be a big name but he is a very under-rated fighter with notable wins over Kazuyoshi Niki, Hiroki Shiino and Ryotaro Kawabata, but has suffered recent losses to Seio Kono and Kentaro Masuda in recent years.
In a major supporting bout we'll see the unbeaten Koki Inoue (6-0, 5) battle against Japanese ranked Mitsuyoshi Fujita (10-2, 3) in what should be a good test for Inoue. The unbeaten 24 year old only debuted in December 2015 but is one of the fastest rising fighters on the Japanese domestic scene and made a statement last year when he scored 5 wins, including a very impressive stoppage against Futoshi Usami. Fujita has suffered 2 losses, but has won 8 in a row since those back to back losses in 2013-2014. Although not as proven as Inoue he is experienced and has earned a Japanese ranking with wins against the likes of Yusuke Yamanouchi and Genki Maeda.
Another notable Ohashi gym fighter in action here is former world title challenger Ryuji Hara (21-2, 12), who faces domestic opponent Akiyoshi Kanazawa (14-6-4, 7). Hara scored two wins last year and looks to be rebuilding his career step by step following stoppage losses in 2014, to Kosei Tanaka, and in 2015, to Katsunari Takayama. This is a decent match up for for Hara, given he is rebuilding, but it's fair to say he needs to step up a bit later this year. Kanazawa has gone 3-4-1 in his last 8 though has been matched hard, and almost scored an upset last year over Kenichi Horikawa. Although limited Kanazawa will serve as a good test here.
A really interesting bout sees the unbeaten Andy Hiraoka (8-0, 5) finally battle with Shogo Yamaguchi (10-2-1, 5). Originally this bout was supposed to take place in December 2014, as the Rookie of the Year Lightweight final, but Hiraoka suffered an illness forcing him out of the bout. Since then Yamaguchi has gone 4-2, though has been matched hard with losses to Akihiro Kondo and Genki Maeda, whilst Hiraoka spent notable time training in the US and signed with Ohashi late last year.
Another interesting match up will see Quaye Peter (9-8-2, 5) take on recent Japanese title challenger Valentine Hosokawa (20-6-3, 9) in a very fan friendly match up. Both guys have lost their last two, and will be coming to impress here, but neither has performed badly in all honestly Hosokawa was very unlucky last time out against Hiroki Okada. Given the styles of both men and their need to score a win we suspect this will be a really exciting contest with both men knowing a win could net them a title shot later in the year.
Also on the card is former Japanese champion Seiichi Okada (19-6-1, 11), who battles against the limited but tough Kentaro Yamada (8-7-1, 6). Yamada has lost his last 6, but he has been in with a real who's who including Rikki Naito, Masayuki Ito and Yuki Ogata, and will certainly be looking at this bout as a chance to end that losing run.
In Osaka we get the next Morioka gym card.
In the main event we'll see the sensationally gifted Hinata Maruta (4-0, 3) defending his WBC Youth Bantamweight title against Indonesian champion Hamson Tiger Lamandau (8-0, 5). The talented Maruta will be looking to record his second defense of the title and has openly stated that he has his eyes on more significant titles later in the year. Whilst Lamandau is relatively unknown it's clear that this will be a huge opportunity for him and a win would put him on the boxing map. The bout is an interesting one and another one for Maruta, who has really impressed throughout his career so far.
Another highly touted prospect on this card is unbeaten teenager Naoto Iwai (3-0, 1), who looks to score his first win against a domestic foe, as he takes on Ryosuke Nasu (6-2-2, 1). Although Iwai hasn't yet faced a domestic foe he has looked good against Filipino fighters, including Donny Mabao, and some are tipping him as a star of the future. In Nasu we have a fighter who is looking to bounce back from an opening round blow out to Masamichi Yabuki. Coming in Iwai will be the clear favourite but this should prove to be a good test.
Another notable fighter on this card is Middleweight Brandon Lockhart Shane (7-5-1, 6), who will be in against a Thai foe.
In Aichi we'll see the first round of the Central Japanese Rookie of the Year shows. The card doesn't have much in terms of name value but will feature some well matched, as the Rookie shows always do.
The best of the bouts will see once beaten Southpaw Masaki Sasaki (3-1, 1) battle the unbeaten Shuto Takase (3-0, 1) in one of two Featherweight bouts. Sasaki started his career with 3 straight wins but was beaten last time out, when Yudai Imada stopped him in 4 rounds. Takase, who is just 20, will be looking to continue his nice start, but did struggle last time out when he just squeaked past Japanese based Filipino Miguel Ocampo.
The other bout we'd like to make a note of is an all-debutant match up between Tatsuki Toyoshima (0-0) and Sadayuki Kai (0-0). Both fighters will be looking to get their careers off to a good start and this Super Bantamweight bout could be very entertaining.
New South Wales, Australia
There will also be a card in Australia where the unbeaten Haithem Laamouz (8-0, 3) battles against Indonesian veteran Roy Tua Manihuruk (19-16-2, 15). The unbeaten Laamouz will be faxing, arguably, his best opponent to date, but should have no issues at all in getting past the limited fighter from Bengkulu.
Action returns to Singapore this coming Saturday with a number of interesting prospects back in action.
In the main event we'll see unbeaten Uzbek hopeful Qudratillo Abduqaxorov (10-0, 7) take a huge step up in class as he takes on Zimbabwean fighter Charles Manyuchi (20-2-1, 12) for the WBC “silver” Welterweight title. For Abduqaxorov the bout is a massive step up but a win would secure him a place in the WBC rankings and move him towards a world title shot, as well as see him build on wins against the likes of Larry Siwu, Adones Cabalquinto and Romeo Jakosalem. For Manyuchi the bout sees him making his Asian debut, though he has scored notable wins in Burkina Fase, Italy and Russia. If Manyuchi retains his title it seems him building on last year's huge upset win over Dmitry Mikhaylenko and likely secures him a WBC title shot in the near future.
In a supporting bout Azizbek Abdugofurov (5-0, 4) will put his unbeaten record on the line against Martin Fidel Rios (21-10-4, 11). The unbeaten Abdugofurov was forced to go 12 rounds earlier this year against Sirimongkol Singwancha and proved his stamina in the process but still has a number of questions to answer in regard to his long term potential. For Rios the bout comes after an upset win over Ezequiel Osvaldo Maderna and a very controversially and foul filled fight with Jamie Cox in the UK. A really interesting match up even though it may not look it on paper.
In an support bout we'll see in form Filipino Jeson Umbal (13-5, 9) battle against Fadhili Majiha (20-7-4, 9). Umbal really has been stringing together a nice run over the last 12 months, with 5 wins in the last year, and will be looking to notch another here as he looks to move onto the fringes of a world title fight. As for Majiha he returns to Asia for the first time since 2014, when he suffered 3 successive losses to world class fighters, losing to Marlon Tapales, Pungluang Sor Singyu and Jerwin Ancajas. A win for Umbal would see him joining that notable list of fighters.
Another notable bout on this card will see Indonesian fighter Daud Yordan (36-3-0-1, 24) take on Thai youngster Campee Phayom (11-2, 7). The talented, and fun to watch, Yordan is currently riding a 6 fight winning run and will be looking to extend that run as he looks to move towards another world title fight. He'll know that he is on the verge of a potential title shot, but can't let it slip from his grasp with a loss here. For Campee the bout sees him looking for a third successive win, and looking to build on a big upset win last year against Yoshimichi Matsumoto. Against Matsumoto we saw Campee prove that he can fight on the road and a win here would get him some serious attention.
Metro Manila, Philippines
Fight fans in Metro Manila are also set for a card with some notable action.
In a bout for the WBC International Minimumweight title we'll see the unbeaten Jay Loto (13-0-1) take on the tough Lito Dante (12-7-4, 7). On paper this looks like a clear win for the unbeaten man but the reality is that he's stepping up to face a much more battle hardened fighter, who will be looking to score an upset. This is much better than it looks on paper.
Also on this card will be Jonathan Taconing (23-3-1, 19) and Glenn Suminguit (19-2, 10), though neither of their opponents have been announced at the time of writing.
In Russia we'll see the unbeaten Akzhol Sulaymanbek uulu (5-0, 4), a Russian based Kyrgyzstan born fighter, taking on Denis Lashin (6-2, 2) for the WBC Asian Boxing Council Continental Super Featherweight title. The bout is a notable step up for Sulaymanbek uulu, who has never been in a bout scheduled for more than 6 rounds, and it should be a good test, though it's hard to know just how good Lashin is himself.
In Uganda we'll see Azeri Shahin Adygezalov (8-0, 7) battle against Fabian Lyimo (18-6-2, 11) in a bout for the UBO Welterweight title. Strangely this will be Adygezalov's 4th successive bout in Uganda, and his 5th bout in Africa as looks to make a name for himself away from “home”.
New Jersey, USA
There isn't a lot of action this coming Thursday but fans will be able to see unbeaten Kazakh Aidos Yerbossynuly (4-0, 4) make his US debut as he takes on Riarus Dudley (5-1-1, 2). The unbeaten Yerbossynuly has looked like a promising prospect so far, fighting in Ukraine and Kazakhstan, but this match up will be a significant step up and should see a lot of questions being asked about his real potential. Interestingly Dudley's only loss so far was to a Kazakh, Shyngyskhan Tazhibay, and he will be looking to avoid a second defeat to a Kazakh fighter here.