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!
The most significant card this coming Sunday will come from Rizal where we get a world title eliminator as well as a card featuring a host of notable Filipino fighters, who are sadly taking on a number of over-matched foes.
The main bout is an IBF Minimumweight final eliminator with unbeaten Filipino sensation Mark Anthony Barriga (8-0, 1) battling against Colombian Gabriel Mendoza (29-5-2, 23). The talented Filipino has been waiting for an eliminator for some time, having seen various foes drop out, and will now be looking to dazzle as he takes on the limited but hard hitting Mendoza. As for Mendoza this will be his second bout since losing to Jose Argumedo in an IBF title fight, and although he's not world class he can hit hard and could test Barriga chin, if he can land on the slippery Filipino. Interestingly the winner of this will likely face Hiroto Kyoguchi later in the year, if Kyoguchi can retain his title against Vince Paras later this year
One of the most notable names on this show is recent world title challenger Genesis Servania (30-1, 13), who fights for the second time since his loss to Oscar Valdez. The talented Servania will be up against Indonesian journeyman Jason Butar Butar (27-23-1, 18), in what should really bee little more than a show case for Servania. Although a mismatch the bout will see Servania fight in the Philippines for the first time since February 2015.
Another very notable name in action is the enigmatic Marvin Sonsona (20-1-1, 15), who looks once again to kick start his frustrating career. The former WBO Super Flyweight champion hasn't fought since May 2015, when he struggled past Jonathan Arrellano. Whilst Sonsona is a genuine talent there is real question marks surrounding the Filipino and his desire to make the most of his skills. He'll be up against Arief Blader (23-27-2, 8) in what should be a really easy ring return, though we really don't know what Sonsona will turn up.
Also on this card are AJ Banal (35-2-1, 23), James Enterina (10-0-1, 4), Lolito Sonsona (21-2-4, 9) and Dave Apolinario (6-0, 4) among others.
A second Filipino show will be held in Bulacan, and will be a much smaller show.
The most notable bout here will see Jose Roda Jr (3-1-1) take on Richard Morales (3-2, 2) in a bout scheduled for 6 rounds. Both men will come into this feeling confident of picking up the win and as a result this should make for an interesting contest, but we're not expecting anything in terms of high quality, at least compared to the other Filipino show which is much, much better than this card.
As well as the action in the Philippines there is also two shows in Japan, one of which is being held in Yamaguchi by Kanmon Japan.
The chief support bout on this card is a terrific match up as the unbeaten Kudura Kaneko (6-0, 4) takes on Change Hamashima (10-2-1, 4) in a rematch of their 2017 clash. In the first bout between these two Kaneko won a wide decision over 6 rounds but will be stepping up to the 8 round distance here. Interestingly this will be the first time either fighter has been scheduled in an 8 round bout, and should be a good test for the stamina of both men. Given how clearly Kaneko won the first bout however it's hard to see why these two are having rematch so soon after their first contest.
The main event of this card is fantastic on paper with Accel Sumiyoshi (10-4-2, 3) taking on Shogo Yamaguchi (11-3-2, 6). Since losing to Masayoshi Nakatani in an OPBF Lightweight title bout back on 2015 we've seen Sumiyoshi go 6-0-1 with notable wins over Tatsuya Yanagi, Allan Tanada, Naotoshoi Nakatani and Motoki Sasaki and really build himself a solid record at this level. As for the 24 year old Yamaguchi we've seen him begin to struggle. Yamaguchi went 9-0-1 (4) to begin his career but has since gone 2-3-2 and was stopped last year by Andy Hiraoka. Given the momentum in both men's careers it's hard to pick against Sumiyoshi, but it is a very good bout on paper.
The second Japanese show is from Ibaragi, where the fans will get the chance to see a number of unbeaten men in action.
One of the unbeaten fighters is Fumiya Fuse (5-0, 1), who is scheduled to face off with an Indonesian visitor. Last year we saw Fuse claim the Rookie of the Year crown at Bantamweight, when he stopped Hiroki Tokuyama in the final, and he'll be looking to build on that success here as he kicks off his 2018 and looks to secure a 6th straight win.
The bout scheduled as the final bout on the card is all unbeaten contest as Hideaki Onuki (3-0) takes on Akihiko Kurita (2-0) in a bout scheduled for 4 round. This looks almost certain to go the distance but should still prove to be a very interesting and well matched bout between two fighters with similar records and similar experience.
This coming Sunday is a relatively quiet day in Asian boxing circles, but there will be 3 different low key cards. The most interesting of which is from Yamaguchi.
The headline bout from this card sees former OPBF Lightweight title challenger Accel Sumiyoshi (9-4-2, 3) take on the returning veteran Motoki Sasaki (42-11-1, 26), who looks to end his latest retirement from the sport. Although the 32 year old Sumiyoshi does have a less than great record he has been matched incredibly hard and is in the form of his life, having gone 5-0-1 (2) in his last 6. The 42 year old retired earlier this year, following a loss to Genki Ishikawa, but has ended his retirement for this bout, and one final run.
In and under-card bout on this card fans will see Jump Ikeo (6-5-3, 4) take on the Japanese ranked Bantamweight contender Kyosuke Sawada (8-2-1, 5). Ikeo has had mixed results through his career, and whilst limited he can hit hard enough to hurt opponents and could be a decent test for Sawada. As for Sawada he has gone 8-0-1 after back-to-back defeats early in his career, and he is certainly showing signs of going places with his career.
Another under-card bout will see the once beaten Change Hamashima (9-1-1, 3) take on unbeaten puncher Kudura Kaneko (5-0, 4) in what could turn out to be the best bout of the card. Although fighting for the 12th time Hamashima will be looking to make a point here in a notable step up in class. As for Kaneko the bout sees him hunting a third straight stoppage win.
A second Japanese card takes place in Gifu and will be headlined by local hopeful Ruito Saeki (6-1, 1) battling against Thai visitor Rungniran Korat Sport School (5-13, 4). The local fighter is coming in to this one on the back of successive wins, including a stoppage against Kevin Mendoza, but this could be an interesting step up to 8 rounds for Saeki. The Thai might not have a flattering record but has won 5 of his last 6, following a strange 0-12 start to his professional career.
As well as the cards in Japan there will also be one in the Philippines.
On paper the main event is an 8 rounder between Rey Ramos (7-8-2, 3) and Cristian Abila (16-22-5, 5), who are well matched, but both limited. Coming in to this Ramos has won just 1 of his last 5, though it was an interesting win over Landy Cris Leon. As for Abila he has gone 1-3-1 in his last 5, though is better than his record suggests and did defeat Vergel Nebran back in July. This should be a decent contest, despite the records of the two men.
In a more interesting looking match on paper, fans will see Jason Dogelio (6-4, 2) take on the promising Kevin Aseniero (6-0, 3). The unbeaten man may be favoured on paper, but this is a genuine step up for the undefeated 23 year old prospect, who has gone the distance in his last 3 bouts. Dogelio isn't a proven quantity himself, but has never been stopped and could give Aseniero a decent test here.
Aseniero isn't the only unbeaten hopeful on this card as Joseph Ambo (5-0, 4), Prince Andrew Laurlo (6-0, 4) and Denmark Quibido (4-0, 3) look to continue their perfect starts as they take on limited domestic foes, and really should all pick up straight forward wins.
This coming Sunday won't create many headlines in Asian boxing circles, but there is some pretty interesting match ups going on in Japan.
The most notable of the fights will be in Osaka, where we get a former world title challenger headlining, and an exciting local in a supporting bout.
The main event will see recent WBO Featherweight world title challenger Hiroshige Osawa (30-4-4, 19) take on world ranked Ecuadorian puncher Julio Cortez (13-0, 11) in a real must win for Osawa. Of course we all saw the Japanese fighter in action last November, when he was stopped in 7 rounds by the brilliant Oscar Valdez and he'll know that he can't afford a loss here if he's going to ever get a second shot at a title. Cortez is hungry for a shot himself and will come in to this fight as an unbeaten man who won't want to give up his 0 and could be a handful for Osawa.
In a supporting bout the always fun to watch Ryuto Kyoguchi (14-2-1, 10) will be battling a limited Thai foe. This will be Kyoguchi's first bout since his loss to Silvester Lopez earlier this year, and he'll be looking to make a statement and rebuild his confidence with a straight forward win here.
The other Japanese card takes place in Yamaguchi and will feature a few interesting fights of it's own.
The main event is genuinely mouth watering as Naotoshi Nakatani (10-0, 6) risks his unbeaten record against former OPBF title challenger Accel Sumiyoshi (8-4-2, 2). Nakatani has genuinely impressed through his career so far, and famously won the All Japan Rookie of the Year in 2015, but this is a huge step up in class and should be his hardest test so far. Although Sumiyoshi's record is less than flattering he has been in tough through his 14 fight career and is a lot better than the numbers suggest. This could be a really, really good bout with fighters should be a lot more well matched than the numbers suggest.
Another bout of note on this card will see Fever Maki (8-5-1, 2) battle Yuki Ozawa (11-5, 2) in what looks like a distance bout, but one that could be fun and competitive. Neither guy is a puncher but together they should have some exciting exchanges.
One other bout of intrigue here will see the talented but light punching Change Hamashima (8-1-1, 2) take on the limited but heavy handed Takuya Matsusaka (6-5, 6). On paper Hamashima will be favoured, he is the better boxer, but Matsusaka does have fight changing power at this level and could change the fight if he lands clean.
In Australia we'll see veteran Les Sherrington (35-10, 19) take on Indonesian Marco Tuhumury (11-17-2, 4) in what should be another loss for Tuhumury, who has failed to shine when he's faced anyone of any note. Sherrington is nothing special, but he should be far too good for his man here.
This coming Sunday is a hectic day in Japanese boxing with a number of cards.
The biggest card comes from Osaka, and will be featured on Boxingraise on a delayed basis.
The main event of the card sees the WBO Asia Pacific titles continue to rise in Japan as Ryota Yada (12-3, 10) takes on unbeaten Filipino Jayar Inson (12-0, 8) for the Welterweight crown. The bout isn't a huge one by any stretch, but it is a very attractive one with two talented, hungry fighters each looking for a major international title and a potential WBO world ranking. Although interesting on paper Inson is moving up from Lightweight and is likely to look very small compared to Yada.
In a supporting bout Takayuki Okumoto (17-7-2, 7) will be defending his Japanese Super Flyweight ranking as he faces off against the limited Takanori Hayashida (7-10-3). Ranked #3 by the JBC Okumoto will be looking for a title fight in 2017 and will know that any sort of a set back will ruin those dreams. On paper this looks like a mismatch, and will likely be very one sided, but Hayashida has won his last 2 bouts following an 8 fight win-less streak and will be eager to keep his current winning form going.
One of the most attractive match ups on the card will see Takahiro Murai (14-6-2, 5) face the talented but fragile Takeru Kamikubo (11-2, 8) in a really interesting match up. Murai is Japanese ranked at Flyweight and is clearly looking to get a title fight in the near future, with his recent competition being solid on the domestic level. Kamikubo did show real promise at one point but back to back stoppage losses in 2015 derailed his career and he is very much needing to rebuild here.
Also on the card are several notable prospects. One of those Naotoshi Nakatani (9-0, 6), who risks his unbeaten record against Masashi Wakita (6-4-2, 2), another is Kazuki Tanaka (5-0, 4), who has yet to have his opponent for the show to be named, and also school girl boxer Fuka Komura (1-0), who faces Mizuki Matsuoka (0-1)
A second show comes from Aichi.
The main event of this card will see former OPBF title challenger Eita Kikuchi (19-4-4, 8) take on Kazuki Fukakura (9-11-2, 3) in what appears to be a total mismatch. Kikuchi is best known for his 2013 loss to Shingo Wake, and whilst he did lose his following bout he has gone on a 5 fight winning run and looks to have rebuilt some confidence whilst moving into a top 10 JBC ranking at Bantamweight. Fukakura has gone 2-5 in his last 7, dating back more than 2 years, and is unlikely to win here, but does have the ability to be competitive at this type of level.
In the most interesting of the supporting bouts we'll see Takashi Igarashi (8-3, 3) battle the Yoshiki Kawamura (5-6-2, 3). The bout isn't a competitive bout, and it'd be a genuine shock to see Igarashi lose, but it should be better than it looks on paper and the 20 year old Igarashi should be tested a bit here.
A third show is in Yamaguchi.
The main event here will see OPBF and JBC ranked Lightweight Accel Sumiyoshi (7-4-2, 2) battle against Japanese ranked Super Featherweight Yusuke Nakagawa (10-5-1, 6) in what should be a really intriguing match up. Despite neither guy having a great record on paper the two should be well matched and are both much better than the raw numbers suggest. Sumiyoshi is the naturally bigger guy, and should be favoured, but it is a very competitive match up.
Another really interesting match from this show will see the under-rated Burning Ishii (7-3-1, 2) battled Japanese based Korean Teiru Atsumi (11-1, 5). Ishii is the promoter's fighter and has mixed with good company, but was stopped last time out by Kosuke Saka and has now been stopped twice whilst also showing little real power. Atsumi is arguably the most promising Korean fighter in the sport and has scored 3 stoppages since relocating to Japan, including a huge win over Sho Nakazawa and a notable stoppage against Dennis Tubieron. Hard not to favour Atsumi here, but it's another intriguing match up.
Cotabato del Sur, Philippines
Outside of Japan there will also be action in the Philippines.
In the main event here we see former WBA “interim” Light Flyweight champion Randy Petalcorin (24-2-1, 18) take on Arnold Garde (7-3-2, 3) in a bout for the IBF Pan Pacific Light Flyweight title. This will be Petalcorin's second bout since his controversial loss to Omari Kimweri and should be a straight forward win against Garde, who has been stopped 3 times at domestic level, including an opening round stoppage to the then debuting Zoren Collado,
In a notable supporting bout we'll see Eden Sonsona (34-6-2, 12) return to the ring for the first time since his huge May 2015 upset win over Adrian Estrella. Sadly for Sonsona he was unable to build on the win over Estrella and now, 19 months later will be taking on Eusebio Baluarte (19-17, 12) in what looks like a massive step backwards. Although a step backwards it's nice to see Sonsona back in the ring.
One of a number of interesting prospects in action here is the unbeaten John Vincent Moralde (17-0, 8), who looks to extend his winning run as he takes on the limited Joas Apericio (12-17-1, 9). We do like Moralde, and he does have a lot of talent, but Apericio really won't do anything to test the youngster and there's a reason that he's gone 0-7-1 in his last 8. A horrible mismatch in favour of the very talented unbeaten Moralde.
Another Filipino that we like is Ben Mananquil (11-1-2, 3), who came close to stopping Kwanpichit OnesongChaigym back in 2013. The once beaten Filipino has been away from the ring for 15 months but should return with a win this weekend as he takes on the limited Romulo Ramayan Jr (7-8-3, 3) in an 8 rounder.
There will also be action in Thailand where we'll see a national Super Flyweight title fight as Chatchai Or Benjamas (6-8, 5) faces Yodpichai Sithsaithong (12-15, 6) for the vacant title. The bout doesn't pit two major names but does look like it could be a competitive and even match up, even if it is at a very low level.
This coming Sunday isn't a busy day in boxing, but there is still an interesting card in Yamaguchi.
The main event of the card will see recent OPBF title challenger Accel Sumiyoshi (6-4-2, 2) battle against former OPBF champion Allan Tanada (14-4-3, 6) in what looks like a “meh” bout on paper but should genuinely be a good match up. Sumiyoshi has been thrown to the wolves through his career, and yet has regularly acquitted himself very well, and in fact with more cautious management he could easily be unbeaten and highly ranked by the JBC and OPBF. As for Tanada he is known in Japan for upsetting Rikiya Fukuhara and dropping Masao Nakamura, before being stopped by Nakamura. They styles he should make for a fun and well matched contest.
Another interesting match up will see the hard hitting Kosuke Saka (12-3, 9) take on the gutsy Burning Ishii (7-2-1, 2). Saka is the puncher, and the younger man, but will know another loss here could ruin any chance he has of getting a title fight. For Ishii this is a chance to build on a great win over Johnreil Maligro, from back in December. Both men will be after a win and both will bring it for this one.
Another really interesting match up will see the touted Yuki Konami (2-0, 2) battle against Fine Arai (5-2-1, 1). Konami turned professional with plenty in the know tipping him to be a star but this is his first real test in the professional ranks and we should learn a lot more about him here than we have in the 3 rounds he has already fought with the headgear. Arai has been matched hard and is, by far, the more battle hardened fighter here but will be the smaller man and will be seen as the under-dog give how good Konami was as an amateur
The boxing year has been slow to get going, not just in Asia but worldwide. Thankfully that has started to change and on March 11th we see the 2016 Champion Carnival kick off with what appears to be a genuinely notable Japanese domestic card.
The champions Carnival bout, which is the main event of the show, will see Japanese and OPBF Middleweight champion Akio Shibata (27-8-1, 13) face off against the criminally under-rated Hikaru Nishida (14-7-1, 6), with both of Shibata's titles on the line. The veteran champion is well known as the debut opponent of Ryota Murata, where he was stopped in 2 rounds by the 2012 Olympic champion, but since then he has been reeling off wins at the top of the Japanese domestic scene. The only man in recent times to really push Shibata close was Nishida, when the two men met in 2014, and we expect another very competitive bout here. Of the two men Shibata is the better boxer, in fact he's a very technically capable boxer-mover, however Nishida is a strong, tough pressure fighter who will be in Shibata's face and try to break down the champion. This really could be an excellent way to kick off the Champion Carnival.
As well as the main event we also get a trio of notable supporting bouts. One of those features former world title challenger Daiki Kaneko (21-5-3, 14) who makes a move to Lightweight to face Kazuya Soma (7-8-2, 6). The 27 year old Kaneko impressed us in 2013, when he gave Takashi Uchiyama a very tough bout, however two losses last year, including a defeat to Masao Nakamura in a FOTY contender, has left him in need of a win. Soma is limited but is a naturally bigger fighter than Kaneko and could try to use that to his advantage against the former Japanese Super Featherweight champion.
Talking of former Japanese champions, former Middleweight champion Tomohiro Ebisu (14-4, 14) returns to the ring to face Toshihiro Kai (5-7-2, 1). This looks to be a mismatch however Ebisu is a “stop of be stopped” fighter and even the light punching Kai has a chance, if he can see out the first few rounds of Ebisu's assault. The former champion has never been the distance and he will be hoping to record his 15th stoppage win here, but he has shown fragility in the past.
The third bout of note sees recently OPBF Lightweight title challenger Accel Sumiyoshi (5-4-2, 1) battle Tatsuya Yanagi (11-3-1, 4) in, a rematch between the two men who fought to a draw last year. Coming in to this one the records suggest Yanagi should be favoured however Sumiyoshi is much better than his record indicates and he has been matched ridiculously hard since his debut in 2012, in fact he has fought the reigning Japanese and OPBF Lightweight champions and other title contenders. Whilst Sumiyoshi is better than the numbers suggest Yanagi is in a bit of a rut with a 1-3-1 record in his last 5. This is a bout neither man can really afford to lose.
We have also been made aware that there will be a show in Laos.
The main event of this card will see Thai veteran Terdsak Kokietgym (59-5-1, 39) [เทอดศักดิ์ สีซุปเปอร์เทคยิม] in a regional title bout whilst another bout on this card will see Laos teenager Nampetch Kwanjaisrikod (8-1, 3) [น้ำเพชร ก่อเกียรติยิม] continue her career. Sad we're unsure who Nampetch and Terdsak will be up against.
This coming Sunday is a busy in Asian boxing with bouts in Japan and Korea.
One of the two Japanese shows comes from Hyogo where Senrima Kobe put on a show.
In the main event we see former world title challenger Teiru Kinoshita (22-1-1, 5) battle against Thai visitor Rungniran Korat Sport School (0-9) in what looks to me a huge mismatch. Although this is little more than a tune up for the Japanese fighter it does need to be noted that he got a gift last time out, when he "beat" Cyborg Nawatedani by split decision, in one of the worst decisions we've seen in Japan this year. A Kinoshita/Nawatedani rematch would have been the right thing to do here, but we understand why Kinoshita didn't take that option.
A couple of the supporting bouts feature Japanese ranked fighters. One of those is the experienced Kento Matsushita (33-9-7, 13) who is up against Tom Yankun Tsukamoto (6-5-1, 2). The 34 year old Matsushita has fought numerous times for a Japanese title but has failed to win the big one, he'll now know that a loss will completely end his dreams of ever winning a national title. Tsukamoto shouldn't pose a threat to Matsushita, but may give him a good solid work out for 8 rounds.
The other Japanese ranked fighter is Yusuke Nakagawa (8-4-1, 4) who risks his ranking against Yasuyuki Otagaki (5-4-3, 1). Coming into this one Otagaki has lost his last 3, but they included a razor thin loss to Shota Hayashi, and he has never been stopped. Nakagawa has lost 2 of his last 6, and has been stopped 4 times, so Otagaki may have a chance at scoring the most notable victory of his career.
A second Japanese show comes from Yamaguchi and sees a number of intriguing match ups, in fact on paper it's a much better show than the other one.
The main event of the card will see JBC and OPBF ranked Lightweight Accel Sumiyoshi (5-4-1, 1) battle against Tatsuya Yanagi (11-3, 4). On paper it looks like Yanagi should be favoured however Sumiyoshi's record is a mess due to the high level that he's been fighting at, losing bouts to the likes of Masayoshi Nakatani, Kota Toklunaga and Yuhei Suzuki. As for Yanagi his wins have generally come against a lower level of opposition, though he did win the 2012 Rookie of the year. Interestingly Yanagi has lost 3 of his last 4 bouts and isn't a natural Lightweight, giving Sumiyoshi perhaps the edge in “form” and in natural size.
Another very good looking Lightweight bout will see Burning Ishii (6-2-1, 2) face off against Japanese based Filipino Johnriel Maligro (12-1, 9). Ishii, again with the less than stellar record, has mixed with good company and did score a notable win last time out over the experienced Edgar Gabejan, though has been out of the ring for almost a year. Maligro on the other hand lost last time out, suffering a shock stoppage to Ribo Takahata, though had beaten two then unbeaten Japanese prospects in previous bouts, including the aforementioned Yanagi. This one really could be very good.
Daegu, South Korea
In a KBA bout fans will get the chance to see WBA female Super Featherweight champion Hyun Mi Choi (10-0-1, 3) fight in a stay busy fight against Kaenpetch Superchamps (6-9-1). The bout is a rematch following Choi's 8th round win over Kaenpetch in May 2014, is a stay busy contest for the champion who has been inactive since dominating Chika Mizutani back in May.
On the same card we;re expecting to see another rematch as Iranian fighter Mohamadreza Hamze (7-6-1, 2) faces off against Ki Hong Min (5-0, 2) for the second time. Earlier this year Min won a very competitive bout with Hamze, who will be looking for revenge this time out.
For those interested in watching this one the action will be on KBS N Sports + from 18:00 local time
Daegu, South Korea
In another KBA show fans will get the chance to see former world title challenger Dan Bi Kim (11-3-1, 4)* battle against Thai visitor Nonggift Onesongchaigym (7-4-2, 1) in a bout for the WBF Inter-Continental female Light Flyweight title. The rough and tumble Kim is a handful for most and we suspect that will help her claim a win against the Thai, who we don't think will be able to handle the aggression of the Korean.
This show will be televised on MBC Sports + from 14:00 local time.
*Record misses multiple fighs
This coming Sunday will be an emotional but busy day in Japan with 3 shows in the land of the rising sun as well as a single show in the Philippines.
Possibly the most notable, and easily the most emotional, of the Japanese cards comes from Hyogo where we see several fighters of note in action on a Taisei promoted card that is being held in memory of Kaito Hattori, who sadly passed away earlier this year.
The main event of the show will be the Japanese debut of youngster Riku Kano (5-1-1, 3), who battles against late replacement Marihot Hutajulu (1-2). Kano, who has fought in Thailand and the Philippines so far, is tipped to go a long way however he will have a lot of pressure on his shoulders coming in to this bout. The talented youngster has been matched easily here but knows that this is just the beginning of a journey expected to take him a very long way.
In the chief support bout we'll see Rikito Hattori (2-0, 1), the older brother of Kaito, take on an Indonesian foe. This won't be a major bout but it will be a hugely emotional one for Hattori.
In an interestingly matched 8 round bout fans will see Hikaru Matsuoka (8-2-3, 1) battle against Seizo Kono (14-7-1, 9). This will be Matsuoka's first bout since he was stopped by Yuki Strong Kobayashi in April and he'll know that back-to-back losses will push him a long way from a major bout. As for Kono he's can't afford a loss after back-to-back defeats.
A very peculiar looking bout will see Japanese based Filipino Mark John Yap (20-12, 10) take on former WBA interim Minimumweight champion Juan Jose Landaeta (26-7-1, 20). The 36 year old Landaeta is well known on Japan for his bouts with Yutaka Niida and Koki Kameda though he is likely to be giving away a lot of natural size here against Yap.
We have a lesser show in Kanagawa that has an interesting main event but, over-all, looks to be a much less interesting card that some of the others.
The main event will see Middleweight hopeful Shoma Fukumoto (6-1, 5) attempt to claim his 5th straight win as he faces the more experienced Kazuaki Irisawa (8-6, 5). On paper this is a big step up for Fukumoto though one that he should come out on top of given that Irisawa has already been stopped 5 times, including last time out.
In a support bout Keita Nakano (13-9-3, 4) will be taking on Yuta Saito (7-6-2, 6). Coming in to this bout Nakano is ranked by the JBC and would likely lose that ranking if he was to be beaten here. Notably however Saito has gone 0-3-1 in his last 4 bouts and is win-less since the end of 2012.
A second support bout will see Emika Himuro (4-1-1, 1) battle against Kai Johnson (5-7-3, 2). These two fought in November 2013, fighting to a 6 round majority draw, and will be hoping to settle the score here.
Another Japanese card is being promoted by Kanmon Japan.
The main event here will see recent OPBF title challenger Accel Sumiyoshi (4-4-1, 1) take on Leonardo Doronio (14-9-3, 9) in a 10 round bout. This is a rematch from a contest the two men had last year, which resulted in a split decision draw. Since their first bout Sumiyoshi has challenged for the OPBF Lightweight title, losing a wide decision to Masayoshi Nakatani, whilst Doronio has been inactive, perhaps giving the Japanese fighter the slight edge.
Sadly the rest of this show is relatively weak.
Cotabato del Sur, Philippines
In the Philippines fans get an interesting show with a number unbeaten fighters or notable fringe contenders.
The main event will see the once beaten Daryl Basadre (14-1-1, 10) take on the once touted Kenny Demecillo (8-3-1, 5) in a bout for the WBA Oceania Bantamweight title. This s a great opportunity for both with the winner possibly able to claim a fringe WBA ranking. On paper Basadre is the favourite though Demecillo will not be coming in to this bout to roll over.
Of the many prospects in action on this show we tend to think the best is Jack Tepora (13-0, 9), who has been dubbed “The Golden Boy”. Tepora will be up against tough veteran Eric Barcelona (53-23-5, 19). This should be a good test for Tepora but a test that he should pass comfortably whilst getting some good rounds under his belt.
On paper the bout of the show looks to be a contest between Rimar Metuda (6-0, 3) and Jerry Castroverde (5-0, 3). We believe this bout was expected earlier in the year though has been rescheduled. This could be a very good test for both men, or could see one man “exposed”.
The biggest name in action is former IBF Light Flyweight world title challenger Jether Oliva (22-3-2, 10). Oliva, who was stopped last time out by Luis Nery, will be up against Jonathan Ricablanca (7-47-2, 1) in what looks to be an easy comeback fight for Oliva.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Although the month has started in exciting fashion with the shows the past few days, things really move up another gear on Sunday with a lot of interesting match ups, a number of notable names and a lot of action.
The best of the action comes from Osaka, in fact 2 of the 3 Japanese shows come from the Bodymaker Colosseum in Osaka, whilst another is from the Sumiyoshi Ward Center in Osaka.
One of those two cards is promoted by Shinsei is seen as a bit of stepping stone card in many ways.
The main event on this card will see OPBF Lightweight champion Masayoshi Nakatani (9-0, 5) defending title against the horribly over-matched Accel Sumiyoshi (4-3-1, 1) in what appears to be a horrible mismatch. We like Nakatani, a lot, but can't really see the point in this bout for the champion who has already defended the title against better opponents than Sumiyoshi. For the challenger it's an opportunity to claim a title, but it's one we can't see him winning.
Also on this card will be two world class female fighters in the form Shindo Go (14-3, 9) and Etsuko Tada (13-2-2, 3). These two will both be fighting over-matched Thai foes in what look stay busy bouts before they try to get themselves back to world level fights.
The other Body maker Colosseum card is promoted by Green Tsuda and will also feature an OPBF title fight figh, as well as several other interesting bouts.
The main event here will see the heavy handed Takahiro Yamamoto (15-3, 12) trading blows with Yu Kawaguchi (22-6, 10) in an OPBF Bantamweight title bout. On paper this looks really interesting and whilst we don't view either as being genuine “OPBF champion quality” they should make for a sensational fight and the winner will certainly be involved in at least one other big bout, especially when you consider how exciting the division is in Asia.
Talking about how exciting the Bantamweight division is we need to note that a very special Bantamweight prospect will be on this card. That will be Kazuki Tanaka (1-0, 1) who battles the much more experienced Kaname Tabei (10-8-2, 7) in a 6 round bout. Tanaka is said to be one of the best prospects in Japan and although he's not one that many are raving about we have been told that this kid is a very special fighter.
As well as the Bantamweight action this card will also feature two domestically ranked fighters. One of those is Satoshi Niwa (16-18-3, 2) who looks to remain relevant as he battles Ryo Kosaka (8-3-1, 4) in a really interesting match up. Despite his record Niwa is a very capable fighter who has upset a number of good fighters in his career, as for Kosaka he'll know that a win here will get him a ranking.
The other ranked fighter is Super Flyweight Takayuki Okumoto (13-6-2, 6) who battle Yuta Saito (7-5-2, 6) in what looks to be a relatively safe match up, though Saito can punch.
The remaining Japanese card in Osaka is another really interesting one, though it doesn't feature any title action.
The main event here sees Middleweight hopeful Koki Tyson Maebara (7-1-1, 7) battle former Japanese Middleweight champion Sanosuke Sasaki (11-3, 5) in a big step up bout for the emerging Maebara. The once beaten youngster has looked like an imposing figure in the ring and should manage to beat Sasaki, though Sasaki has only been stopped once in his career, and that took monster puncher Tomohiro Ebisu 6 rounds to do.
In the chief support bout fans will see heavy handed Lightweight contender Masao Nakamura (18-3, 18) battle against Thailand's Patomsak Sithsaithong (2-0) in what looks to be a “light touch” fight for Nakamura. The Japanese fighter has been beaten in his last 2 bouts and needs a win so we won't complain too much about this “gimme”, though if he does get upset that's probably going to be the end for the former OPBF Super Featherweight champion.
A third notable bout will see Cyborg Nawatedani (8-2-2, 3) take on Hiroki Taniguchi (6-5-1, 2) with Nawatedani risking his Japanese Flyweight ranking. This should be an easy win for the ranked fighter, who has won his last 5, but we don't really know how good he's going to end up being.
One more fight worth noting comes at Bantamweight where Hikaru Matsuoka (8-1-3, 1) risks his OPBF ranking against Yuki Strong Kobayashi (8-4, 4). If Matsuoka gets through this with out any problems the plan is to have him headline a show in June, though if he's over looking Kobayashi it may end up biting him here.
Another notable part of this show is that the promoters will begin a ring card girl competition at the event.
The sole Japanese card from outside of Osaka is a small one in Fukuoka that really only has one bout of note on it.
That bout is a rematch between Japanese and OPBF ranked Bantamweight Yoshihiko Matsuo (17-5-6, 3) and Tatsuya Miyamoto (11-12-1, 7) who fought to a draw last July. Their first bout was a very competitive 6 rounder that seemed to show that Matsuo's record was padded. This time around the two men will be trading blows over the 8 round distance and we're expecting those two additional rounds will help us find a winner.
Davao del Norte, Philippines
It's not just in Japan where fans will get action as Filipino fans also get a small but notable card.
The main event here see the unbeaten Jayar Inson (7-0, 4) in a decent looking match up against Elmer Legaria (13-8, 4). We won't say this is a sensational bout but it is a step up in class for the unbeaten “Hitman”. Unfortunate Legaria has becoming a bit of a body donor recent bouts and has lost his last 6 contests, including 5 successive stoppage losses. We could see Inson having questions asked of him or we could see Legaria looking like a horribly shot fighter.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)