For us the best of the Japanese bouts comes from the Fukuoka show which is scheduled to feature a number of interesting bouts with one in particular standing out as being something a little bit special.
The main event on this card will see Aiki Koto (8-1-1, 4) battle against Yamato Uchinono (5-3-5, 3) in an interesting looking 8 rounder, but not the best on the show. Koto brings an 8 bout unbeaten run into the contest, including a streak of 6 successive wins, and will enter as the clear favourite. Uchinono however is a potential banana skin and this could be more interesting than records suggest.
For us the stand out bout isn't the main event but instead the main support bout which will see once beaten Japanese ranked Hideo Sakamoto (15-1-2, 5) battles against the highly capable Ryoichi Tamura (3-1-1, 1). Sakamoto comes into this bout on the back of a huge win last year over Hiroki Shiino and is on a 5 fight winning streak dating back to 2011. On paper Sakamoto is clearly going to be favoured given his experience. Tamura however is no push over and his competition for a novice has been insane, including his 8th round TKO win last time out against Kenji Kubo. This could end up being something very special.
On paper another competitive bout on this card will see Yuki Miyoshi (11-4-3, 9) battle against Koichi Ito (10-3-2, 9) in what looks likely to be an explosive encounter at Lightweight. Both of these guys can whack but neither has the best of chins and this could be over very early and in very exciting fashion.
One other 8 round on this card will see OPBF and Japanese ranked 154lb fighter Yosuke Kirima (19-4-2, 13) in action against tough journeyman Hideo Mikan (7-8-1, 2). Mikan has lost 3 of his last 4 but has only been stopped once in his 16 fight career. As for Kirima he'll be hoping to keep his current winning run alive and avoid a major upset, like the one he suffered against Arnel Tinampay, in another bout he was supposed to win.
The other Japanese card comes from Aichi and looks like the lesser of the two shows with only one bout that really looks even slightly interesting.
The standout bout here is again the chief support bout which will see light hitting Flyweight hopeful Yuji Shimizu (17-8-1, 1) battle against the less experienced Tomohiro Sawada (8-4-2, 4) in a good domestic clash that sees the two men meeting for the second time. In their first meeting way back in April 2011 Shimizu won a close decision and will be favoured to do the same again but this could be very competitive with Sawada looking to avenge one of his losses and Shimizu attempting to extend his current 3 fight winning run.
Although we like the chief support bout we do need to note the main event which will also be a rematch as the heavy handed Daisuke Hayakawa (8-3, 7) battles against tough Filipino journeyman Roque Lauro (12-16-4, 2) for a second time. In their first meeting, last December, Lauro sprung the upset with an 8 round decision and will be hoping to repeat the feat again here in a bout that could see Hayakawa's once promising career being left in tatters.
Another potentially interesting bout comes at Welterweight where Marcos Sogabe (6-9-1, 5) attempts to avenge a 2011 loss to Shinich Tsukahara (8-7-3, 3). We don't expect this bout to a domestic fight of the year contender but we do suspect that both men will give it their all in what could turn out to be a very competitive bout.
In Yemen we appear to have a brilliant and key match up that has been rescheduled several times. This bout will see world ranked puncher Ali Raymi (24-0, 24) battle against fellow unbeaten puncher Hani Ansi (18-0-1, 16) in a bout to decide who really the best in Yemen. Raymi will be risking his world rankings as he attempts to capture the UBO Super Flyweight title whilst Ansi will be looking to record the biggest win of his career, by far.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)