The most notable from 4 Japanese cards takes place in Osaka where Green Tsuda put on a notable show with several “name” fighters.
The most notable of those fighters is former world champion Denkaosan Kaovichit (63-6-1, 26) who returns to a Japanese ring, for the first time since his stoppage loss to Ryo Matsumoto, to face Kazuki Tanaka (4-0, 3). This should be another step forward for the 23 year old who will be looking to get himself a title fight before the year is over.
The Kaovichit Vs Tanaka bout is one of 4 notable Japan Vs Thailand bouts. Another, at the top of the card, will see Takayuki Okumoto (16-6-2, 6) battle world ranked Thai Eaktawan Mor Krungthepthonburi (17-3, 12). Eaktawan is 0-3 outside of Thailand, having lost to Albert Pagara, Sho Ishida and Froilan Saludar, but has looked like a promising fighter in recent times, winning his last 10 bouts. Okumoto has won his last, following a loss in 2013 to Rusalee Samor, and will see this as an opportunity to climb into the fringes of the world rankings. A really good match up on paper and hopefully one that will deliver in the ring.
Another bout will see former OPBF Bantamweight champion Yu Kawaguchi (24-7, 11) battle a Thai, though we haven't been given the name of the Thai, just that he's a Mor Krungthepthonburi fighter. Likewise Masataka Taniguchi (0-0), will be making his debut in a 6 rounder against a Thai foe.
Another card in Japan comes from Chiba with this one featuring several bouts of note.
One of those bouts sees the once touted Kenta Onjo (5-2, 3) fight for his career as he battle Akihiko Katagiri (17-8-2, 8). Early in his career Onjo looked like one to watch but having lost 2 of his last 3, by stoppage, this is a real must win for him. Katagiri is a win-some-lose-some but has been in good form, with a 5-1-1 (4) record in his last 7 and will be expected to continue that run here.
Another of the notable bouts will see the Japanese ranked Yuta Saito (9-7-2, 7) battle against Corrales Kawashimo (7-6-1, 2). Saito's record isn't great but he's a dangerous fighter and is better than his record suggests. Incidentally Kawashimo was stopped last time out by Katagiri, who was in the previously mentioned bout.
A third bout of note, and in fact the main event of the card, will see Atsuki Hayashi (6-2-1, 2) battle against Naoya Nishimura (4-8-1, 3). Local man Hayashi will be fighting for the first time since he lost a competitive bout with Naoto Uebayashi back in May 2013 and there seems to be some genuine hope that his return will be a successful one.
There's low profile show in Fukuoka. The main event on the card will see Yoshihiko Matsuo (18-7-6, 3) battle against the limited Yuta Sasaki (7-7-1, 1). This Super Bantamweight bout, scheduled for 8 rounds, is unlikely to move the winner to a title fight but it could kick start their career after both men have faltered recently. Coming in to this one Sasaki is 1-4-1 in his last 6 whilst Matsuo is 1-2-1 in his last 4.
In a supporting bout Areji Kato (7-1, 2) will be facing a Thai opponent in a 6 rounder.
Another low profile show is set to take place in Okayama. The main event here will see the JBC ranked Light Flyweight Seigo Yuri Akui (6-0-1, 2) take on Hideaki Yamaji (5-10, 2). This looks like a mismatch though Akui, the 2015 Rookie of the Year at Light Flyweight, will be facing his most experienced man so far.
The best Asian card of the day comes from Japanese promotional giant Teiken who show case some of their notable fighters and also put on an interesting under-card of well matched bouts.
In the main event former world champion Akifumi Shimoda (29-4-2, 12) takes on an interesting in the form of Filipino foe Jerry Nardo (21-7, 11). On paper it's clear that Shimoda should be favoured however Nardo is much better than his record suggests and it wouldn't be a huge surprise to see the supposedly chinny Shimoda in some worrying moments
In the co-feature Welterweight puncher Yoshihiro Kamegai (25-3-1, 22) takes on Filipino fighter Nelson Gulpe (8-5, 3). We can't see this being anything more than an easy win for Kamegai, who should be too strong, too powerful and too tough for the limited Gulpe. The Filipino, who has been in poor form here, may feel he's getting a diminished Kamegai but the Japanese fighter is unbeaten in Japan and is likely to swat aside almost everyone at Oriental level, never mind Gulpe who is some way away from Oriental class.
Arguably the best of 3 well matched under-card bouts will see Japanese ranked Musashi Suzuki (11-3, 4) battle against 2014 Rookie of the Year Kenya Yamashita (7-1, 4). This is Yamanashita's first bout since he was beaten by Jo Tanooka and we expect to see him try and make a statement against Suzuki, however the more experienced man cannot be written off here.
Another of the under-card bouts that caught our eye will see once beaten Teiken fighter Masaru Sueyoshi (9-1, 6) take on the “better than his record suggests” Roman Canto (10-7-2, 5). On paper it's easy to write off Canto though this should genuinely be a very good measure of how good Masaru is and we may well see him kick on if he can look impressive here.
The remaining under-card bout that caught our eye will see Junki Sasaki (13-3, 5) battle against Yuki Ozawa (10-4, 2). This is an excellently matched bout and although Ozawa has lost his last 4 he should ask very god questions of Sasaki. Notably Sasaki did run Ryo Takenaka very close last time out and seems like he has got a lot of promise, though hasn't yet
In Thailand fans will get the chance to see highly regarded Paipharob Kokietgym (30-0, 23) defending his WBO Oriental Light Flyweight title against Filipino journeyman Jopher Marayan (7-7-2, 3). This is one of the worst bouts we've seen headline a Thai card, especially given that Marayan has lost 5 of his last 6 bouts coming in to this one.
New South Wales, Australia
In Australia fans will get the chance to see a number of Thais in action.
Many of the bouts here are low profile but three actually did, genuinely, catch our eye. In one of them former world champion Denkaosan Kaovichit (63-5-1, 26) battles the unbeaten TJ Doheny (12-0, 8) in a bout for the PABA Super Bantamweight “super” title. This will be Denkaosan's first bout since he was stopped last year by Ryo Matsumoto. The Thai will be the under-dog here but has got the experienced to perhaps make life difficult for the champion, then again at 39 Denkaosan might be too shot to put up any kind of a fight at all.
Another bout of note sees Mongkolchai Lookmuangkanch (12-4, 7) take on former world champion Vic Darchinyan (40-8-1, 29). This should be a horrible mismatch against the Thai but, at 39, Darchinyan is a bit long in the tooth and could find himself being a bout that turns out to be much more competitive than expected.
The third bout of note will see the experienced, but limited Denkamon Pakdee Gym (22-6, 13) take on the unbeaten, and much touted, Cameron Hammond (13-0, 7). This is a very tough ask for the Thai who has lost his last 2 and is unlikely to pose any threat at all to Hammond, who some are tipping as a potential Australian world champion.
In the US fans get a mouth watering b-tier match up as popular Filipino Mercito Gesta (28-1-2, 16) takes on former world title challenger Martin Honorio (32-9-1, 16). On paper Gesta will be the clear favourite but Mexican veteran Honorio is certainly no push over, despite losing his last 3. At his best Honorio was a real handful, giving Juan Carlos Salgado a close loss back in 2014, pushing Argenis Mendez razor close in 2010 and scoring upsets over the likes of John Molina and Steve Luevano. Despite Honorio's ability to play the upsetter it's difficult to see him winning this one.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
September 5th-Akira Yaegashi Vs Roman Gonzalez and Naoya Inoue Vs Samartlek Kokietgym highlight amazing day!
It's not often that the Asian fight scene has every knowledgeable boxing fan actually being excited but this Friday is an exception as we get several top prospects in action, a top pound-for-pound fighter, two world champions and two of the sports most exciting fighters all in action on the same day!
The biggest show of the day, in fact one of the biggest shows of the year, takes place today at the Yoyogi #2 Gymnasium in Tokyo. The show is one of those we've been looking forward to since it was announce and featured 4 bouts we're really excited about and 1 other bout of note.
We'll start with that bout of note which will see rising teenager Takuma Inoue (2-0) taking on Thai debutant Chanachai Sor Siamchai (0-0). From our point of view this is a big step back for Takuma who looked great in his recent win over Fahlan Sakkreerin Jr though it seems like he's just getting some experience under his wings before moving up to title level, something we expect to see him doing in the next 12 months.
Although Takuma is taking a step backwards we're glad to see the unbeaten Ryo Matsumoto (11-0, 9) take a huge step up to fight former world champion Denkaosan Kaovichit (63-4-1, 26). Matsumoto did seem to struggle slightly in his last notable bout, against Hiroyuki Hisataka, though he has been groomed for stardom from his debut and will have had serious work on his stamina between that fight and this one. As for Denkaosan this could be his last fight if he loses, ending a long career. Last time out the Thai over-came Gaspar Ampolo though that was a gimme after an 8th round KO at the hands of Kohei Kono earlier this year. We're not going to suggest that this will be one sided but Matsumoto is bigger, faster and younger and needs to be favoured.
Another man taking a step up, albeit it a small one, is Ryota Murata (4-0, 4) who will be battling Mexico's Adrian Luna Flores (17-2-1, 11). We're unsure if this is really a step up from Murata's previous bout with Jesus Angel Nerio but we're expecting a similar result with Murata stopping Flores in the middle of the fight. Flores does come into this bout as the Mexican champion though he's clearly not the top Middleweight in Mexico, in fact he's a million miles away from the likes of Marco Antonio Rubio who really is world class.
Following those 4 bouts we then move on to the two world title bouts. The first of those will see WBC Light Flyweight world champion Naoya Inoue (6-0, 5) fighting for the first time as a world champion. Inoue, a former Japanese and OPBF champion, will be defending his WBC world title against Thailand's little known Samartlek Kokietgym (17-4, 5). Sadly like his brother it appears that Naoya is taking a huge step backwards here, especially considering the way he disposed of the then champion Adrian Hernandez last time out. Samartlek is a PABA champion and does hold wins over Muhammad Rachman and Fahlan Sakkreerin Jr though this is clearly a huge step up in class for him and easily his toughest bout to date. For Inoue however it's likely to be little more than an easy day at the office.
The main event is "The Fight" we've been looking forward to all year as WBC Flyweight champion Akira Yaegashi (20-3, 10) defends his title for the 4th time. In the opposite corner to Yaegashi is the exceptional Roman Gonzalez (39-0, 33) who should prove to be the most talented foe that Yaegashi has faced to date. This is one of those real lower weight super clashes between two men who are both viewed very highly and although they are different types of fighters, with Yaegashi being a speedy boxer and Gonzalez being a destructive pressure fighter, we expect the styles to gel marvellously. Do not be shocked if they turns out to be one of the true fight of the year candidates and helps enhance the winner into the mythical "pound for pound top 10". Amazing bout on paper and hopefully it will live up to expectation.
As well as the big card in Tokyo we also have an historic card in Dubai as Filipino promotional powerhouse ALA Promotions take their show on the road and go to the World Trade Center in Dubai for "Pinoy Pride 27".
This show features a trio of notable Filipino fighters in action in 3 very interesting bouts. The "least significant" of the three major bouts will see the popular Rey Bautista (35-3, 25), a former world title challenger, take on Mexico's aggressive Juan Jose Martinez (19-1, 15). Although the bout is "less significant" it promises to be a thriller with both men being aggressive and both men often hunting the stoppage victory. This could really be all action for as long as it lasts.
Following the Bautista fight we then get two world ranked Filipino's in seperate bouts. One of those is the very hotly tipped Genesis Servania (24-0, 10) who puts his unbeaten record and world ranking on the line against former world title challenger Jose Cabrera (22-4-2, 10). Servania will start as a clear favourite here though we're hoping to see him tested, unfortunately Cabrera was stopped last time out and hasn't looked impressive since fighting to a draw with the then unbeaten Daniel Rosas almost 3 years ago.
The other unbeaten and world ranked Filipino is Arthur Villanueva (25-0, 14) who puts his ranking and record on the line against Nicaraguan puncher Henry Maldonado (19-3-0-1, 14). Villanueva looked very poor last time out as he was given a rough time by Fernando Aguilar who was stopped in 6 rounds by Maldonado just a few weeks back and it's fair to say that the Nicaraguan fighter won't be coming to play with the Filipino fighter. This one has the potential to be a fire cracker if Maldonado has his way though Villanueva is better than he looked last time out.
We also have a televised show in Thailand with titles on the line and some of the most exciting young fighters in Thailand courtesy of Channel 7.
The main event here will be the latest PABA Welterweight title defence by Teerachai Kratingdaenggym (26-0, 20). Teerachai, a world ranked 22 year old power house from Burriram, will be battling fellow 22 year old Nelson Gulpe (8-2, 3) from the Philippines. Interestingly Gulpe is 0-2 outside of the Philippines and has lost his last 2 bouts, including a Lightweight contest to Japanese novice Accel Sumiyoshi. Needless to say Teerachai will be strongly favoured here.
On the under-card we will get the chance to see Inthanon Sithchamuang (22-7, 13), best known for his loss in Macau to Jerwin Ancajas, battling against Heri Amol (34-18-4, 14) of Indonesia. For what it's worth this is Amol's first bout since being beaten by Japanese debutant Ken Shiro at the start of August and we suspect he'll be no match for the Thai here.
The card will also feature one of our favourite Thai prospects Eaktawan Mor Krungthepthonburi (4-0, 3) who will be putting his unbeaten record on the line against professional loser Safwan Lombok (1-25-1) of Indonesia. Although Lombok will pose no threat at all to the talented Thai the question is whether or not Eaktawan will be able to stop Lombok who has proven to be a relatively sturdy opponent with only 7 stoppages losses in 25 total losses.
Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso
Out side of the Asian shows we have some smaller profile fight cards as well. One of those is in Burkina Faso as Filipino slugger Silvester Lopez (22-7-2, 16) battles against the once beaten Alexis Boureima Kabore (22-1, 6) in an attempt to claim the WBC International Super Bantamweight. This bout was meant to take place several weeks ago though Lopez had travel issues and the bout had to be rescheduled at late notice. We're suspect that Lopez will need a KO to get the win though Kabore has certainly not shown world level ability and Lopez should be seen as a "live under-dog".
Another lesser bout takes place in Italy as the Japanese born Swiss based Aniya Seki (24-3-2, 2) takes on journey-woman Claudia Ferenci (8-35-5, 3). The bout appears to be a clear mismatch though the 35 year old Seki was shocked last time out when Judith Rodriguez blasted her out in 2 rounds in another bout that looked like a mismatch on paper.
(Image courtesy of Ohashi Gym)
This weekend is a somewhat quiet one in boxing though Friday does feature a number of prospects in action and it's probably those fighters that deserve our attention for the day
Phichit province, Thailand
The most notable bout of the week in Asia is in Thailand where PABA Welterweight champion Teerachai Kratingdaenggym (25-0, 19) defends his title against Kazakhstan's limited Kanat Kartenbayev (10-7-2, 4). Teerachai is one of the most interesting prospects in Thailand though unfortunately a lack of suitable opponents has seen him stuck fighting opponents like this rather than really progressing his career as we'd have hoped. Interestingly we believe this was a bout that was originally scheduled to take place just prior to the military coup.
Teerachai might be part of the new wave of Thai's emerging on the scene but there are still plenty of the old guard still active in Thai boxing, including former world champion Denkaosan Kaovichit (62-4-1, 26) who will be facing the poor Gaspar Ampolo (2-22-2, 1) from Indonesia. This will be Kaovichit's first bout since losing, by stoppage, to Kohei Kono back in March.
A third bout on this Thai show will feature Stamp Kiatniwat (7-0, 3) fighting against the limited Johan Wahyudi (9-28, 5). Stamp is viewed as a very promising fighter but so far his opposition has awful, including the wonderfully named Auto Golf Snooker, we kid you not. It's seems hard to believe that Stamp is under any kind of threat from Wahyudi who holds a 0-17 record in Thailand.
For those wanting to watch this action the card will be televised on Thai Channel 7.
Cotabato del Sur, Philippines
As well as the Thai show there is also some real interest in a Filipino show that is headlined by the very highly regarded John Vincent Moralde (9-0, 5) who battles against Renz Llagas (6-6-1, 4) in a contest for the PBF Super Bantamweight title. Moralde is rightfully regarded as a promising prospect and should be far too good for Llagas
Although Moraldo is unbeaten and in a title fight he's not actually the biggest name or most well known unbeaten fight on the show, instead that is Harmonito Dela Torre (13-0, 8) who faces the limited Junny Salogaol (4-7-4, 4) in an 8 rounder on the same card. From what we understand this is a case of keeping Dela Torre busy following a previously scheduled bout, in Australia, falling through.
Another prospect on this card that we're excited about is Daryl Basadre (11-1-1, 8) who will be fighting against the somewhat poor Saddam Barambangan (3-5-1, 2). Basadre has bounced well following his loss, last year, to Suriyan Sor Rungvisai and will be hoping to record a third straight.
As well as the bouts actually in Asia we also get to see some Asian's fighting in Australia. One of these bouts will be between two Asian's as Australian based Filipino Jack Asis (30-18-5, 15) takes on Indonesian journeyman Rivo Rengkung (32-19-5, 12) in what appears to be a competitive bout on paper between two lesser skilled fighters. Although neither Asis or Rengkung are great fighters we've got to admit that this does appear to be a compelling contest.
In the other bout involving an Asian fans will get to see Eddy Comaro (27-20-5, 11), best known for his loss earlier this year to Michael Katsidis, taking on the British born Darren Askew (10-6-1, 2). Askew, who we believe now lives in Australia, should have far more than enough to beat Comaro who is exciting but very limited.
(Image, of Harmonito Dela Torre, courtesy of boxrec.com)
Often when we get mid-week boxing things are really quite disappointing. This Wednesday however is an exception to that rule as Japanese promotional outfit Watanabe promotions put on what looks to be a solid show including a fantastic main event and several other notable fighters.
The highlight of the boxing day is the fight for the vacant WBA Super Flyweight title between the #1 ranked Thai Denkaosan Kaovichit (62-3-1, 26) and Japan's former champion Kohei Kono (29-8, 12), who enters as the #2 ranked fight. The bout is one that is that has seen opinion on forums and is a genuinely huge bout for both men.
A loss for the 37 year old Denkaosan would likely spell the end of his incredibly long career whilst a loss for Kono would see his dream of a fight with Koki Kameda come to an end and with that in mind we expect to see both men putting everything on the line in what could turn out to be one of the best fights of the year.
As well as the great main event the card also features both Konosuke Tomiyama (23-6-1, 8) and Tatsuya Takahashi (15-5-3, 10), albeit in mismatches.
For those who recognise Tomiyama's name they may well recall his amazing 2013 battle with Filipino Genesis Servania. Although Tomiyama lost that bout he certainly made some new fans here and we're wishing him the best with his very charismatic and unique appeal. As for Takahashi the Japanese ranked fighter will be wanting to build towards a national title fight either this year or next year.
(Photo courtesy of http://www.watanabegym.com)