The action in Japan has been pretty none stop recently, and that continues this Sunday with a Kadoebi show at the Korakuen Hall.
In the main event of the card fans get a rematch as Japanese 140lb champion Hiroki Okada (11-0, 9) battles against the exciting Koichi Aso (20-6-1, 13). Okada narrowly beat Aso when the men first met, back in July 2014, though has since shown genuine improvement with back-to-back 3rd round TKO wins. Aso has bounced back from the loss to Okada with back-to-back stoppage wins of his own, but this is a bigger test than he has faced since the first Okada bout. Potentially this could be a thriller and we'd be genuinely shocked if the bout wasn't action packed.
In the chief support bout we have another intriguing match up as the world ranked Yukinori Oguni (16-1-1, 5) faces off against Thailand's Mike Tawatchai (38-8-1, 21). Both of these men have come up short against Shingo Wake however it's a great match up between two men who will both be viewing this as a chance to move towards a potential rematch with Wake, who could be the IBF champion by the time a rematch could be made. Oguni, a former JBC and OPBF champion, is a very talented boxer-move and should be too slippery for Tawatchai, however the Thai will refuse to to concede defeat and could be a very tricky assignment for Oguni.
In another bout of note former Japanese title challenger Gosuke Seki (16-2-2, 3) will be up against Keisuke Ota (9-9, 2) in a bout that Seki must win if he's to remain relevant on the Japanese domestic scene. Seki has lost 2 of his last 3 and although talented cannot afford an upset loss to Ota. As for Ota he's taking a big step up in class but will see this as his chance to move towards a Japanese ranking.
One final bout of note from this card will see the exciting Shuhei Tsuchiya (19-4, 16) in against against Thai visitor Ekarachan Mor Krungthep Thomburee (0-0) in what should be a straight forward win for the exciting, but flawed, Tsuchiya.
June 6th-Igarashi and Shimoda return to action in Japan whilst Yordan is in action in Indonesia and Sonsona in the US!
This Saturday is set to be a hectic day for boxing fans with a number of fights taking place around the globe. For Asian fans the attention really should be on Japan and Indonesia with both countries hosting some notable fights.
The most notable card of the day is in Tokyo where fans will get a little bit of everything ranging from former world champions to hopeful contenders, from solid but uninspiring domestic fighters to novices beginning their careers.
The main event of the show will see former Flyweight champion Toshiyuki Igarashi (20-2-1, 11 battle against once beaten Filipino visitor Renerio Arizala (12-1-1, 5). Arizala was a late replacement for Lionel Mark Duran (13-11-2, 5) and appears to have been a huge upgraded, however the fact he was given the bout at late notice may well come back to cost him in what a genuine intriguing match up.
The co-feature of the show features another former world champion as former WBA Super Bantamweight champion Akifumi Shimoda (28-4-2, 12) takes on former Japanese title challenger Gosuke Seki (16-1-2, 3). Shimoda is best know for suffering two KO-of-the-Year style defeats, to Rico Ramos and Marvin Sonsona, and will be hoping to get back to winning ways after more than a year out of the ring. For Seki this is a great opportunity to score a career defining win however he's certainly not a star in the making.
Another bout that caught our eye on this show is a Super Featherweight bout between hard hitting local Kenichi Ogawa (14-1, 12) and Filipino visitor Raymond Sermona (17-5-5, 8). For Ogawa this is a chance to score a 7th straight stoppage and to move towards a bigger and better fight. As for Sermona it's a potential chance to turn his career around after a run of 2-3-1 in the last 6 bouts. We suspect Ogawa will be far too good for the Filipino.
In Indonesia fans will get the chance to see several interesting bouts involving some of the countries most notable and interesting fighters.
The main event will see former world title challenger Daud Yordan (33-3-0-1, 24) take on Ghanaian southpaw Maxwell Awuku (40-2-1, 26) in a bout for the WBO Asia Pacific and WBO Africa Lightweight titles. For Yordan this will be his first bout since December, when he stopped Ronald Pontillas, and it's fair to say he's going to be wanting another excellent performance to remind fans how good he is.
In the chief support bout the heavy handed Defry Palulu (11-1, 10) will be up against Thai visitor Sukkasem Kietyongyuth (13-4, 8). This will be Palulu's second bout since being stopped, in 2 rounds, by AJ Banal and although he's less experienced than the Thai he will be favoured, especially considering the fact that Sukkasem has lost his last 2 bouts by stoppage.
The most notable bout involving an Asian fighter in the US will be a contest between former world champion Marvin Sonsona (19-1-1, 15) and the tough but limited Jonathan Arrellano (15-5-2, 3). Sonsona, who last fought a year ago, will be hoping to make an impact here following a dull affair last time out against Wilfredo Vazquez Jr. Incidentally Arrellano's last bout was also against Vazquez Jr, dropping a close decision, and he is now 1-3 in his last 4 bouts.
New York, USA
Chinese Heavyweight hopeful Zhang Zhilei (3-0, 2) continues his development as he takes on Glenn Thomas (1-3) in a scheduled 4 rounder. Zhilei, a former Olympic medalist is 32 and it seems like he's really needing a step up sooner rather than later and hopefully a 6 round bout will come before the end of the year.
In Virginia fans will see the second pro bout of Uzbek fighter Zarifbek Nishanbaev (1-0, 1). Nishanbaev made his debut earlier this year with a 27 second blow out of Mike Blocker and will be hoping for something similar here. Unfortunately the “opponent” wasn't named at the time of writing.
Gauteng, South Africa
In South Africa fans get the chance to see unbeaten Kazakh prospect Roman Zhailauov (14-0, 8) facing off against the relatively fragile Luyanda Jako (9-9-2, 4), who has been stopped in all 9 losses and has won just 1 of his last 6 bouts.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
A new week sees action in Japan and a Filipino in action on the road in South Africa.
In Japan we get a genuinely interesting card with several very notable fighters on it and a number of bouts we suspect could be very good.
One of those bouts we suspect will be a mismatch will see the very promising Hikaru Marugame (2-0, 1) fighting against the much more experienced Ryoji Okahata (9-9-5, 1). We genuinely think Marugame is one of Japanese boxing's best hidden secrets and unfortunately, he's been more hidden this year than we'd hoped with no fights in 2014, and the only footage we have of him is from his debut last year against Makoto Kato. Okahata is a tough enough fighter to take Marugame rounds but we only see one winner here as Marugame looks to move towards a domestic ranking. It's notable that Okahata ran both Yu Kawaguchi and Jason Egera very close in recent bouts and has only been stopped once, by Shingo Wake more than 4 years ago. On paper this is a mismatch though in reality it's a great test for the touted youngster.
Marugame's unbeaten stablemate Naoto Uebayashi (6-0-1, 4) is arguably in the best bout on the show as he puts his unbeaten record on the line against former world title challenger Oscar Blanquet (32-8-1, 23), who will be fighting for the first time since signing up with Japanese promoter Ichiriki boxing. This should be Uebayashi's biggest test since his draw with Yusaku Kuga back in August 2013 however Uebayashi should be able to over-come his Mexican foe here given the fact he is the naturally bigger fighter. Ranked by the JBC and OPBF Uebayashi appears to be on the fast track to a title fight but this could be a really serious test of his credentials.
In the card's chief support bout fans will see recent Japanese title challenger Gosuke Seki (15-1-2, 3) fighting for the first time since suffering a stoppage loss to Japanese Featherweight champion Satoshi Hosono. Seki has been matched in a very interesting contest with veteran Yuta Nagai (28-10-4, 19) and both men will be looking to get their careers back on track with a win here.
The main event willfeature former Japanese Lightweight champion Akihiro Kondo (20-4-1, 9), who is fighting for the second time in less than a month. On November 17th Kondo made light work of Thailand's Kaewkla Chaiyonggym and will be hoping to do the same against domestic foe Tomoya Yamada (11-5, 3) in what looks to be another confidence building bout for the former champion.
East Cape, South Africa
In South Africa we'll see former OPBF Super Bantamweight champion Roli Gasca (22-5-1, 6) returning to action against the heavy handed Lusanda Komanisi (17-3, 16). Gasca is fighting in South Africa for the second time this year and will be attempting to put his recent loss to Thabo Sonjica behind him. Sadly against a big puncher like Komanisi this could be a really hard bout for the Filipino fighter.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
A new week kicks off instantly with notable fighters and a major domestic Japanese fight as the action continues to roll with big fights. Not only do we see great action to begin this week but actually the whole week is action packed with some fantastic shows and great fights.
The show to kick off the week sees a return to the ring for a number of Ohashi Gym stable as Ohashi put on their first show since since star student Naoya Inoue claimed the WBC Light Flyweight title back on April 6th. Although Naoya isn't on this show several men who were on that show, ring "Ring of Diamonds" do return this week on the "49th Phoenix Battle".
The most notable of those fighters is Satoshi Hosono (25-2-1, 19) who will defending his Japanese Featherweight title for the first time. Hosono, who won the title when he stopped Yuki Ogata on "Ring of Diamonds", will be facing his second successive unbeaten opponent as takes on Gosuke Seki (15-0-2, 3). Seki is stepping up massively for this fight but will have the confidence of an unbeaten fighter and will be hoping to join fellow Kadoebi Houseki Boxing Gym fighters Yoshitaka Kato, Hiroki Okada, Suyon Takayama and Kyotaro Fujimoto in becoming a Japanese national champion.
Hosono isn't the only reigning champion on the show and fellow Ohashi gym fighter Ryuji Hara (17-0, 10), the current OPBF Minimumweight champion, will be facing Indonesia's Faris Nenggo (8-4-3, 2) in a stay busy fight. We expect that Hara will be trying to move on to world title fights later this year and that this bout will be little more than a formality for the talented youngster.
Another unbeaten prospect from the Ohashi gym who will be in action is the very highly regarded Ryo Matsumoto (10-0, 8) who will be battling late replacement Zun Rindam (11-4-1, 5). Matsumoto was supposed to be fighting Benigno Nino (1-1-1) but Nino was replaced just over a week before the fight by his compatriot who looks a more testing opponent for the rising youngster. Despite being a better test for Matsumoto we still only see this going one way.
Also on this card is former Japanese Super Featherweight champion Seiichi Okada (17-4, 10) who will be facing domestic journeyman Shunsuke Sato (7-15-2, 4) in what should be little more than a mismatch. Okada, ranked #14 in Japan at Super Featherweight, has lost 3 of his last 4 by stoppage and is certainly on the slide but will be hoping to resurrect his career with a string of wins. It's unlikely he'll ever get to challenging the likes of Rikki Naito again but he will be hoping to get at least 1 more major fight before his career is over.
One other Ohashi fighter on this show will be Junpei Hara (13-5-2, 8) who will be putting his OPBF ranking on the line against Tomoya Yamada (11-4, 3) in the first of the 5 main contests. In terms of how good this bout is we'd suggest this was the most even of the bouts even if the fighters aren't the most well known.
As well as the 5 main bouts the show is expected to feature a further 2 bouts on the undercard on a show that really shows just how to put on an solid domestic level card.
(Image courtesy of Ohashi Gym)