The Japanese action kicks off in Osaka where fans get a 6 bout card. The card is set to feature two bouts of note and be the first part of a two-card event at at the Sangyo Shinko center.
The first of those bouts will see the once world ranked Filipino Ronelle Ferreras (14-7-3, 6) battle against Japanese teenager Ryuya Yamanaka (8-2, 2). Ferreras will be best known by Japanese fans for being the second opponent of fast rising star Kosei Tanaka, with two two meeting last year when Tanaka took a wide decision win over Ferreras who entered the bout world ranked by the WBA. Since that bout the Filipino is unbeaten with a 1-0-1 record. Interestingly Yamanaka's last loss came to a Filipino visitor, Roque Lauro, in a split decision last year. We suspect this will be a really competitive match up between two flawed but capable fighters.
In the main event of this show will be former world title challenger Atsushi Kakutani (15-4-1, 8) who will be fighting in a Flyweight bout against Indonesian journeyman Hengky Baransano (11-5, 4). Although we are several years removed from Kakutani's memorable loss to Adrian Hernandez he does seem to be chasing titles and it's hoped that a quick win here will be followed by some type of title bout later in the year.
Following on from the other Osaka show is the second part of the event, held in the same venue by the same promoter.
The main event here really is something special as former female amateur stand out Nana Yoshikawa (4-0, 2) battles against current WBA female Minimumweight champion Anabel Ortiz (16-3, 3) in what will be Yoshikawa's first world title bout. The unbeaten Japanese fighter has been fast tracked due to her advanced age, currently 36, though she was a very experienced amateur and will be hoping to use that experience to over-come Ortiz. As for the Mexican she's a brilliant little fighter who is 2-1 in Japan so far and has only been beaten by exceptionally talented fighters like Naoko Fujioka. This is a very tough match up for Yoshikawa but she really has nothing to lose going into the bout, and a lot to win.
In the chief support bout we'll see another really notable match up as Shota Kawaguchi (18-5-1, 8) takes on former Flyweight champion Sonny Boy Jaro (39-13-5, 28). Jaro, ranked #5 by the WBC at Super Flyweight, will be risking his ranking in a country where he sports a 0-3 record, including the loss of his world title to Toshiyuki Igarashi. Saying that however Kawaguchi has never shown the type of ability needed to score a “big” win and this is his most notable foe to date in what is a genuinely intriguing chief support bout.
A second support bout on this show will see Takeshi Sone (5-3-2, 1) battle against Il Che (7-8-4, 1) in what looks like an interesting but unspectacular 6 round bout.
In Kagoshima fans will get the chance to see a low level 8 bout card. All but one of the bouts here have been scheduled for 4 rounds with the one exception being the main event which will see Naoya Haraguchi (6-5, 2) battle against Takayuki Teraji (5-7-1, 3) in an evenly matched 6 rounder which will appeal to local fans but very few others.
As well as the action in Japan there is also a notable show in the Philippines which is packed with prospects, many of which are involved in well matched bouts.
One of the stand out contests sees Featherweight prospect Neil John Tabanao (10-0, 7) fighting Rey Perez (19-6, 4) in what looks to be a notable step up in class for the unbeaten 21 year old, who has been tipped to go very far. Tabanao should best tested here however Perez's confidence is expected to be low given he has lost his last 2 bouts and gone 2-4 in his last 6, with a stoppage loss last time out. It is however worth noting several of those losses have come at a very high level, including a razor thin decision loss to Hugo Fidel Cazares.
In an all unbeaten match up Jerry Castroverde (5-0, 3) will be facing off against Rimar Metuda (6-0, 3). This is the second successive bout against an unbeaten foe for the 18 year old Castroverde, who defeated the then 9-0 Jun Jessie Ibgos last time out, whilst the 21 year old Metuda will be facing just his second opponent with a winning record. On paper this is the stand out bout of the card and one that should leave fans really intrigued.
Arguably the most hotly tipped prospect on the card is “Golden Boy” Jack Tepora (13-0, 9), who faces Roman Canto (10-5-2, 5). The 22 year old Tepora was a very highly regarded amateur before turning professional in 2012 and has so far been impressive. On paper this looks like an interesting match up until you see that Tepora has gone 2-5-2 in his last 9 after an 8-0 start.
Another highly tipped prospect on here is Super Featherweight puncher Ardie Boyose (14-0-1, 10) who puts his unbeaten record on the line against former world title challenger Balweg Bangoyan (19-9, 8). Bangoyan, best known for his WBC Super Bantamweight title fight with Toshiaki Nishioka back in 2010, has gone 4-8 since losing to Nishioka and it seems unlikely that he'll notch a win here.
One final prospect to note is Allan Alberca (4-0, 3) who puts his unbeaten record on the line against Pablito Canada (4-5-2, 1). On paper this looks like an easy win for Alberca but he's yet to face an opponent with more than a single win and so this is actually a huge step up for the unbeaten man. That's not to say he shouldn't favoured, but his record is certainly less convincing that the raw numbers suggest.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)