As we head towards the end of the year we also head towards the All Japan Rookie of the Year. Before we get there we still have two other Rookie shows, the first of which takes place this coming Sunday from the Korakuen Hall and will be the East Japan Rookie of the Year final. In total there are 13 bouts scheduled for the show but we'll just look at a few of them here.
One of the best bouts here will be at Bantamweight, as hard hitting teenager Haruki Ishikawa (5-0, 5) takes on 30 year old Beverly Tsukada (3-1-2, 2). The unbeaten teenager debuted in May 2017 and has left his opponents broken, but done so whilst picking up rounds with only his debut failing to go at least a round. Footage of Ishikawa show a defensively responsible youngster with genuinely brutal power in his right hand. Tsukada has a messy record, but he has only lost once, and that was a razor thin loss in 2016. Amazingly Tsukada debuted back in November 2015 but he hasn't been able to remain busy through his career, and didn't fight at all in 2017. He is however 1-1 since his loss, back in June 2016.
Another unbeaten fighter is Featherweight hopeful Hikaru Mineta (4-0, 2), who will be up against the hard hitting Yoshiki Nakamura (4-1, 3). The unbeaten Mineta is a 22 year old who has scored two opening round stoppage round stoppages, but if he's not taken his foes out quickly he has gone the distance. On the other hand Nakamura has scored 3 wins in the first 2 rounds, with his only loss coming in September 2017 to Ren Sasaki, who would go on to win the 2017 Rookie of the Year.
At Middleweight we'll see Tomohiro Ishida (1-0-2) take on Nath Nwachukwu (2-0-1, 1) in what is actually a rematch between the two men who fought to a draw in Feb. Given their draw earlier this year we are expecting this to be a very competitive contest. Surprisingly this is the only all-unbeaten match up on this card.
The best single bout to feature an Asian fighter comes from Glasgow, where legendary Filipino Nonito Donaire (38-5, 24) takes on WBA Bantamweight “super” champion Ryan Burnett (19-0, 9) in the final WBSS Bantamweight quarter final. This has the potential to be Donaire's last bout, if he loses, given he turns 36 on November 16th, but a win secures him a semi-final bout against Zolani Tete. For the unbeaten Burnett the bout is a chance to score a big win over a huge name in the lower weights, as well as setting himself up for a bout with Tete. This is real must win for both men, but sadly has the potential to be a bit of a stinker with Burnett likely to be too quick, too smart and too elusive for the Filipino veteran. A full preview of this bout can be read here Burnett and Donaire face off for final semi-final place!
The most notable card for us this coming Saturday comes from the Korakuen Hall where we get a Japanese Middleweight title bout and bouts featuring several notable Japanese prospects.
The Japanese title bout will see Japanese Middleweight king Kazuto Takesako (9-0, 9) make his first defense, as he faces off with former champion Sanosuke Sasaki (12-6, 6). The unbeaten champion won the title earlier this year, decimating Hikaru Nishida in 92 seconds, and since then has fought only a stay busy bout against tough Thai visitor Chaiwat Mueanphong. Former champion Sasaki had a 4 month reign from last 2012 to early 2013 but is 1-5 coming into this bout and looks to be a very under-whelming challenger for the heavy handed champion. It's nice to see Takesako defend the title, but it's a shame that he's not in there with a man anyone is giving much of a chance to. A preview of this title fight can be read here Takesako's first defense sees him takes on former champion!
In a supporting bout Masaya Tamayama (11-1, 6) will battle against Daijiro Yuki (8-4-1, 4). Coming in to this the 25 year old Tamayama is riding a 7 fight winning streak, and has broken into the JBC rankings at Welterweight. Yuki, also 25, is unbeaten his last 2 bouts but is 3-4-1 in his last 8, and has been stopped twice. We can't see anything but a win for Tamayama, but we do expect him to have to earn it.
Another supporting bout will see Daiki Funayama (7-3-1, 2) take a part in his first 8 rounder, as he takes on once beaten puncher Kenta Yamada (5-1-1, 4). Funayama has won his last 4, though has had to go the distance in those wins, and seems to lack power, even at the low end of the domestic level. Yamada on the other hand will be fighting for the first time in over 2 years. Although no world beater Yamada does hold a notable win over Kazuki Sanpei and will be looking to get himself back on the domestic map here.
One of the notable prospects is Jin Minamide (1-0, 1), who will take a notable step up in class to face Filipino Conrado Tanamor (10-2, 4). On paper this looks like a great match up for the young prospects, though digging beneath the surface we do wonder what Tanamor really brings to the ring following back to back stoppage losses, and a 0-2 record in fights outside of the Philippines. Despite Tanamor not being a great opponent we are looking forward to seeing how Minamide goes about his business here
Another of the prospects on this show is the debuting Masahiro Suzuki (0-0), who is scheduled to take on Antonio Sismundo (6-1, 6). Suzuki is a touted fighter who is a notable Japanese amateur with a lot of expectation on his shoulders, and he's been matched aggressively here against a man who clearly has power. Sismundo has stopped 6 men inside the first 3 rounds, but was stopped himself in his sole defeat back in September 2017.
Staying in Asia we also get a title double header in the Philippines, though neither match looks particularly competitive.
One of them will see Eranio Semillano (16-9-3, 5) and Edison Berwela (16-39-8, 5) battle for the PBF Bantamweight title. It's hard to imagine Semillano losing here, but Berwela is a live under-dog and did shock the Asian scene earlier this year when he stopped Saenganan Sithsaithong way back in January. It should be noted that since that upset win Berwela has lost his last 2 bouts.
The other bout will be for the PBF Super Flyweight bout and will see Cris Alfante (14-7-1, 6) take on Zoren Pama (8-14-3, 5). Alfante has mixed with great competition, such as Knockout CP Freshmart, Andrew Moloney and Daigo Higa, and we suspect that he will have far too much for Pama, who lacks a win of any note, though did surprisingly go 7 rounds before losing a technical decision to Srisaket Sor Rungvisai in 2014.
There will also be a couple of bouts of note in Texas where two Kazakh prospects will be in action.
One of those prospects will be the very highly touted Janibek Alimkhanuly (3-0, 1), who faces off against Vaughn Alexander (12-1, 8) in what looks like an excellent test for the unbeaten man. The 25 year old Kazakh southpaw failed to really shine in his US debut, back in September, but he is a genuine talent and the expectation is that he will adapt to the professional ranks quickly. The once beaten Alexander is looking to bounce back from an August loss to Dennis Doughlin, and will not be coming in to this bout to lose. This should be an excellent test for Alimkhanuly.
The other prospect is less hyped Sagadat Rakhmankul (3-0, 1), who hunts his fourth win as he takes on the once beaten Nicklaus Flaz (5-1, 4). The unbeaten Rakhmankul has been impressive so far, following a debut this past February, and will be looking to close out the year with arguably his best win so far, as the 25 year old looks to move to the next level. Flaz is a 22 year old Puerto Rican who was beaten last time out by Hurshidbek Normatov and will be looking to get back to winning ways, though sadly hasn't fought since that Normatov bout back in December 2017.
To end the month of October fight fans at the Korakuen Hall get a small card, headlined by a female title fight, and features a couple of 6 round bouts to support the main contest.
The main event will see Chie Higano (7-7, 2) take on Yumi Narita (3-2-2, 1) for the Japanese female Atomweight title. The more experienced Higano is a former world title challenger, having come up short against Momo Koseki for an Atomweight world title, and has mixed at a good level. Higano should be favoured but Narita can't be written off and she has avoided a loss in her last 3 bouts, and looks to be developing. On paper this is a poor match up, but we expect a very good and competitive contest as both fighters look to claim a the national title.
In a supporting 6 rounder fans will see 22 year old Yoshiki Tatsukami (4-4-1) take on Mirai Naito (5-1, 2), the brother of OPBF Light Welterweight champion Rikki Naito. We suspect Naito will have more than enough to deal with Tatsukami but the once beaten member of the Naito family hasn't fought since November, when he was stopped in a 2017 Rookie of the Year bout.
Another supporting bout, and a pretty even looking one, will see Naoki Sakata (4-2-1, 3) battle Soreike Taichi (4-2, 3). Coming in to this Sakata has suffered back to back stoppage losses, following a 5 fight unbeaten run to begin his career, whilst Taichi will be fighting for just the second time since losing inside a round to Reiya Abe back in May 2014! Both guys can be hurt and this could turn into a shoot out!
Metro Manila, Philippines
One of the best Filipino cards of the month comes on the final Monday of the month, surprisingly, where we get a world title fight, a world title eliminator, a regional title bout and several interesting prospects in action.
The main event will be a brilliant match up between talented and sharp punching Filipino Randy Petalcorin (29-2-1, 22) and destructive Nicaraguan Felix Alvarado (33-2, 29), who meet for the vacant IBF Light Flyweight title. On paper this is a really interesting contest between two very different but very talented fighters each looking to claim a world title for the first time. Although Petalcorin has the home advantage Alvarado comes into the bout in terrifying form, with 14 stoppage wins in his last 15 bouts! This could be a modern classic. A preview of this bout can be read here Petalcorin and Alvarado meet for IBF crown!
In a major supporting bout Filipino Kenny Demecillo (14-4-2, 8) will take on English southpaw Lee Haskins (35-4, 14) in an IBF Bantamweight world title eliminator. The unheralded Filipino is taking a massive step up in class to face the former world champion, but at 26 years old Demecillo is just coming into his prime whilst Haskins is an old 35. Whilst the Filipino is the youngster it's hard to see him defeating the tricky, slippery and ultra-awkward Haskins.
Another major supporting bout will see the once beaten Giemel Magramo (21-1, 17) defending his WBO Oriental Flyweight title against Mexican visitor Sebastian Sanchez (11-5, 8). The only loss on Magramo's record was a razor thin one to Muhammad Waseem in Korea and he's very highly regarded as a fighter who will, at the very least, challenge for a world title. The 26year old Sanchez has lost 4 of his past 5, but has been matched hard with bouts against the likes of Paul Butler, Cristofer Rosales and the aforementioned Alvarado.
Lower down the card we'll see Ronnie Baldonado (12-1-1, 9) look to score his third wins since losing to Kosei Tanaka, as he faces Enrique Magsalin (5-0-2, 1) in a decent domestic bout. The very touted Jade Bornea (12-0, 8) will face journeyman Macrea Gandionco (12-6-3, 7), who appears to have been a late replacement for former world champion Sonny Boy Jaro and teenage prospect Dave Apolinario (8-0, 5) will be hoping to notch his next win as he faces Joan Imperial (14-7-6, 9).
This coming Sunday we'll see two Japanese shows. Neither are particularly deep though both have significant main events.
On paper the slightly more significant card is in Yamaguchi, as we get a Japanese title eliminator and a noteworthy support bout.
The title eliminator is at Lightweight as 33 year old Accel Sumiyoshi (11-4-2, 3) takes on 28 year old Tatsuya Yanagi (15-5-1, 6) in a bout to decide who will go on to challenge for the Japanese title at the Champion Carnival next year. Of the two men Sumiyoshi is the more proven fighter, having challenged for the OPBF title in 2015 and scoring notable wins over the likes of Allan Tanada, Naotoshi Nakatani, Motoki Sasaki and Shogo Yamaguchi. In fact at the moment Sumiyoshi is riding an 8 fight unbeaten run following his loss in his OPBF title fight. Yanagi on the other hasn't fought for a title recognised by the JBC, but did come up short against Jhertiz Chavez in a bout for a minor regional title. Coming in to this Yanagi has won his last 3, but hasn't really shone in those wins. It's also worth noting that this will be the third meeting between these two men, with Sumioyoshi leading the series 1-0-1. A preview of this bout can be read here - Sumiyoshi and Yanagi finish off trilogy in Japanese eliminator!
The other bout of note on this card will see Change Hamashima (10-3-1, 4) take on the JBC ranked Masaharu Kaito (6-2, 2). The 22 year old Hamashima has lost 3 of his last 5, but 2 of those came to the very talented Kudura Kaneko and even in those losses he didn't embarrass himself against a very solid puncher. Interestingly Kaito is 2-2 in his last 4, with one of his losses coming to Kaneko as well, but his last outing was a huge win last October over Ryota Toyoshima. Sadly Kaito has been out of action for a little over a year, and that ring rust could be an issue here against Hamashima.
The other show will take place in Okayama and it's only the main event worthy of any attention at all.
That main event will see the fun to watch Japanese Flyweight Seigo Yuri Akui (12-1-1, 8) take on world ranked Filipino Jaysever Abcede (17-8, 11). We've been impressed with Akui, who won the Rookie of the Year crown in 2015 and has since gone 6-1 (6) with 5 opening round stoppages including big domestic wins over Kenji Ono and Masamichi Yabuki. Although beatable, as we saw when Junto Nakatani stopped him last year, Akui is very dangerous. The visitor from the Philippines has had a reputation for being limited, but scored a huge knockout win in Thailand over Stamp Kiatniwat in May and claimed a WBA ranking as a result. We're expecting something explosive here!
October 27th is set to be a busy day, especially in the Philippines where there will be 3 different shows!
The most notable card being held in Asia this coming Saturday will come from Ifugao and will see one of the top teenage prospects in world boxing look to continue his rise.
That teenager is Filipino “Wonder Boy” Carl Jammes Martin (10-0, 9), who looks to make his first defense of the WBA Asia Bantamweight title as he faces off with Korean visitor Moon Chul Suh (5-6-3, 4). The heavy handed Martin won the title back in June, when he stopped George Lumoly in 3 rounds, and is currently riding a 6 fight T/KO run. The Korean has a much less impressive record, but has stopped his last 3 and looks to be a dangerous fighter, even if he's not the most impressive, and he will be looking for the chin of the Filipino youngster.
Another prospect on this card will be 16 year old Roy Nagulman (5-0-1, 3), though his opponent hasn't been named at the time of writing. The teenage hopeful debuted at the age of 15, with a draw, but has won his last 6 and will be hoping to continue his winning run here.
A second Filipino card will be held in Cavite.
The most attractive bout on this card will see the very talented Alphoe Dagayloan (10-2-5-1, 4) take on Rongguo Wu (6-1-2, 2) in a mouth watering clash. The 26 year old Dagayloan proved last time out that he was a fighter developing his man strength, as he stopped Kazakh fighter Madiyar Zhanuzak, and showed he hit hard than his record suggests. Chinese fighter Wu on the other hand is a has goen 8 fights unbeaten, following a KO defeat on debut almost 3 years ago. We see Wu putting up a strong effort but coming up short here
In another notable bout fans will see the unbeaten Denmark Quibido (8-0, 5) seek his 4th win of the year. At the time of writing however his opponent has yet to be announced. The unbeaten 22 year old southpaw is a genuinely promising prospect and should be stepped up in the near future, sadly though late notice opponents won't help his development here.
One other bout on this card, that looks like a very clear mismatch, will see Roberto Gonzales (27-4, 17) take on Edsil Jungco (3-11-6). Coming in to this Gonzales has lost his last two bouts, both by stoppage, but Jungco shouldn't provide any real threat here. It's worth noting that Edsil has avoided defeat in his last 3 bouts, but with 9 stoppage losses against his name it's clear he can't handle the heat, and we expect Gonzales to take an early win here.
Another show from Cavite will be headlined by a fantastic match up between Neil John Tabanao (16-4, 11) and Eduardo Mancito (16-9-2, 9). This 10 round main event should genuinely be a real thriller and both men are better than the records suggest, and both can genuinely hit solidly at domestic level. The tough Tabanao was the last fighter to last the distance with Isaac Dogboe. On the other hand Mancito has competed against the likes of Tomjas Rojas and Satoshi Shimizu, the only two men who have stopped him.
The only other bout of note on this card will see Daniel Lim (6-0, 2) battle against Menard Abila (5-6-4, 1) in a 4 rounder.
New York, USA
Outside of Asia fans will be able to see Uzbek Heavyweight prospect Bakhodir Jalolov (2-0, 2) fight in a step up, as he takes on Tyrell Wright (9-2-2, 6). The unbeaten Jalolov is a former amateur standout, having won a bronze medal at the 2015 World Amateur Championships and a gold at the 2017 Asian Championships. He'll be strongly favoured here but Wright is much tougher than Jalolov's first 2 professional opponents. The 31 year old American has never been stopped and has taken unbeaten prospects Jermaine Franklin and George Arias the distance his two losses. Despite being tough it is worth noting that Wright is more than 2 years removed from his last win.
Also in the US will be Kazakh prospect Shyngyskhan Tazhibay (7-0, 2), who looks to record his third win of the year as he faces off with Juan Rodriguez (8-11-1, 6). The unbeaten Kazakh has shown some promise but isn't really being developed with much ambition and his match making, after 3 years in the professional ranks, is disappointing to say the least. Rodriguez has lost 9 of his last 11 and it would be a huge surprise to see him pick up a win here. Rodriguez is tough, but very limit and is likely to lose a clear decision here.
We'll also get an interesting bout in Russia as Pavel Malikov (13-1, 5) looks to bounce back from a recent loss to Daud Yordan, and battles Filipino Ernie Sanchez (19-12-1, 10) for the vacant Eurasian Boxing Parliament Lightweight title. The once beaten Russian has been in some brilliant fights during his 16 bout career, including his loss Yordan and his 2017 win over Daiki Kaneko, and will be favoured here. Sanchez however is no walk in the park and he gave Evgeny Chuprakov a real test earlier this year and holds a 2017 upset win over Hurricane Futa. Malikov is the bigger man, and should be favoured, but we suspect he will be given a stiffer test than he may expect.
In Bangkok fight fans will get a small but notable card.
One of the notable bouts will see 49 year old Christian Daghio (10-0, 10) take on Don Parueang (6-4, 6) in a bout that was originally scheduled to take place on August 3rd. For some reason the original date for the bout fell through and now, more than 2 months later, the fighters will face off. It's worth noting that Daghio did fight in September, scoring his 10th win, whilst Parueang will be fighting 7 years after his debut.
The headline bout will be a much more intriguing match up as touted Thai prospect Satanmuanglek CP Freshmart (9-0, 4) faces Filipino Marco John Rementizo (8-2, 5). The unbeaten Thai fighter will be making his third defense of the WBC Asian Boxing Council Minimumweight title, that he won in January. The Thai has already fought 6 times this year, and although he's yet to really shine there are people in Thailand tipping him for big things. The 21 year old Rementizo has been stopped in the opening round in both of his losses and we wouldn't be shocked to see him being stopped again here, in what will be his international debut.
On Wednesday in the Bohol fight fans will be able to see a small card with a few notable names involved.
The most notable is the well travelled, and criminally under-rated, Ricky Sismundo (34-11-3, 16). The talented Sismundo is set to go over old ground with a second bout against Jason Redondo (11-6-2, 7), who he stopped last year in 5 rounds. Sismundo can't really be questioned in terms of his competition, given he has faced a real who's who at Lightweight and Light Welterweight, but this is disappointing. Redondo really doesn't have much a chance of getting revenge for his prior loss to Sismundo.
The other notable name is Marco Demecillo (22-7-1, 17), who will be fighting for the first time since losing to Jason Moloney in February 2017. Demecillo looks set to be eased back into professional boxing with a match up against the limited Romnick Magos (12-6, 7), who hasn't fought in over 2 years and is 3 years removed from his last win. Demecillo will likely have some ring rust, but Magos is expected to have more and be the naturally smaller man.
Action returns to the Korakuen Hall this coming Monday as fight fans get a small but interesting card from the Misako Gym.
The main event off the card will see Japanese ranked fighters facing off, with Naoki Mochizuki (14-3, 8) taking on Seiya Fujikita (12-3, 5) in a bout that will push the winner close to a national title fight. The 24 year old Mochizuki has lost 2 of his last 5, but those losses came to notable fighters in the form of Keisuke Nakayama and Eaktwan BTU Ruaviking, and he is certainly very capable at this level. Fujikita comes into this bout on the back of 4 stoppage wins, and all 3 of his defeats were razor close, including losses to Yuta Matsuo and Hayato Yamaguchi. We really like the look of this match up.
Another excellent domestic clash will see Ikuro Sadatsune (8-2-3, 2) take on Isao Aoyama (11-6-1, 2). We're fans of Sadatsune, who has been matched hard in recent bouts against the likes of Kai Chiba, Ryo Suwa and Tatsuya Takahashi and see him as a future title challenger, at least domestically. Whilst we're fans of Sadatsune we know the youngster can't over-look Aoyama who has a scratchy record but has been very competitive in 5 of his 6 losses and also held Sho Kimura to a draw. This is a very tough match up to call and should be a very tactical one.
One of the other notable bouts on this card looks to be a mismatch as the popular and experienced Gakuya Furuhashi (22-8-1, 11) faces off with the little known Taichi Ueno (6-2, 3). Furuhashi went through a bad run of results in 2015 and 2016 but is now riding a 4 fight unbeaten run. Sadly that winning run has come against fighters similar to Ueno and it would be nice to see him step up again sooner rather than later.
This coming Sunday isn't a big day in Asian boxing but there are a number of bouts of note, with two Japanese eliminators in Fukuoka and a pretty interesting card in South Korea with Koreans, and Korean based fighters, taking on Japanese visitors.
The card in Fukuoka really is lacking in terms of depth, with just 6 total bouts on the card, but the top two bouts are mouth watering Japanese title eliminators, featuring local fighters taking on opponents from Tokyo for the right to compete at the 2019 Champion Carnival.
One of those two eliminators takes place down at 105lbs and will see the once touted Takumi Sakae (19-2-1, 13) take on recent OPBF title challenger Norihito Tanaka (16-7, 9). The 25 year old Tanaka debuted in 2011 and looked on the route to success when he claimed the Rookie of the Year crown in 2013. Sadly since that early success he has faltered, losing in a Japanese title fight in 2016 to Tatsuya Fukuhara, drawing with Lito Dante and losing to Ryoki Hirai. Sakae has won his last 5, but those wins have come against some very limited foes. The 33 year old Tanaka ran up a 14-5 (7) record before walking away from the sport in 2011. He returned to the ring in 2017 and has had mixed success, with a loss last time out to OPBF champion Tsubasa Koura. Given the need for both men to win, and look good, this could be very entertaining. A preview of this bout is available here Sakae and Tanaka face off in Japanese eliminator!
The other title eliminator bout bout will see heavy handed Yuki Beppu (18-0-1, 18) clash with Teiken hopeful Yuki Nagano (14-2, 11) in a Welterweight eliminator. Beppu, like Sakae, is a Rookie of the Year winner but at 27 years old it certainly feels like time for his to step up his competition, following 4 wins over terrible foes. The one time he really stepped, since his Rookie triumph, saw him fight to a draw with Charles Bellamy, and he seemed to bide his time whilst waiting for an opportunity like this. At 29 years old Nagano is slight older but also more tested. He comes into this bout on a 12 fight winning run, including a Rookie of the Year triumph in 2015 and a recent win over Riku Nagahama. Notably this will be Nagano's first bout outside of the Korakuen Hall, and that may be a problem with the crowd behind Beppu, but he'll be confident of continuing his good form. This has the potential to be very explosive. Our preview of this bout can be read here - Heavy handed Beppu and Nagano clash in eliminator!
There will be a second Japanese card, albeit a significantly less significant one.
The main event here will see Ryosei Hamaguchi (6-3, 2) taking on Chiharu Takasuka (5-4-1, 3), in what is a pretty low key bout if we're being honest, especially given the action in Fukuoka.
Daejeon, South Korea
In South Korea fans get a very interesting card, featuring several good looking international bouts and two BoxingM title bouts.
One of those Korean title bouts will see Doo Hyup Kim (10-6-1, 5) take on Gun Woo Gang (4-2-2, 1) for the Korean Light Middleweight title. This will be Kim's first defense of the title, and despite having been stopped in 2 of his previous 3 he will be the man with the champions mentality. On the other hand the 21 year old Gang will be having his third title fight, having come up short in two previous Korean title bouts.
The second title fight will be at 140lbs and will see Jin Soo Kim (3-1, 1) face off with Min Ho Jung (7-1-1, 1) for the vacant title. At 22 years old Kim is the younger, less experienced man but is a promising southpaw, who made an impact on his 2015 debut by scoring a brilliant KO of Andrew Silva. Jung will enter the bout as the older man, but will be the naturally smaller fighter. This could be an entertaining match up, but this will be the first title bout for either man.
On paper the most evenly matched of the international bouts will see unbeaten fighters collide as local Min Jang (6-0-2, 2) takes on Japan's Fumiya Fuse (6-0, 1). The 18 year old Jang debuted last year and has already racked up 8 fights, but this is a big step up for him. At 20 years old Fuse is tipped as one to watch on the Japanese scene, and was the 2017 Rookie of the Year, but this will be his first bout outside of Japan. With neither man being a puncher we are expecting a distance bout, but a very interesting one.
A potentially more explosive match up will see 26 year old Korean Dong Kwan Lee (8-2-2, 4) take on heavy handed Japanese fighter Arashi Iimi (6-1, 6). Coming into this Lee's record doesn't look too interesting, but his short term for has seen him going 4-1 (4) and he hasn't seen the final bell in any of his last 5 bouts. Iimi, the runner up for the 2017 Japanese Rookie of the Year has never seen the final bell, and has scored two wins already this year. Given their recent shows we're expecting to see both men go for the KO and to go for it early!
One other bout of interest will see Korean based Mongolian Batzorig Batjargal (3-0, 2) take on Japan's Hironori Shigeta (5-1, 3). We've been impressed by Batjargal since his debut and he's looked really exciting so far, but this is a notable step up in class for him. Shigeta hasn't fought since December, but was crowned the Japanese Rookie of the Year last year at Welterweight, and he has a very good win over Rikuto Adachi. We can't help but think this could be the best bout on the card.