Despite Christmas now only being a few days away the scheduled for boxing for boxing is certainly not slowing down and this coming Thursday we see a really notable Dangan card from the Korakuen Hall, feature a Japanese unification bout, a Japanese interim title bout and the return of a former Japanese champion.
The Japanese title unification bout will come at Light Middleweight, as "regular" champion Nobuyuki Shindo (20-4-1, 8) takes on "interim" champion Akinori Watanabe (37-7, 31), in what looks like a really interesting match up. Shindo won the title in May, when he took a razor thin decision over Ryosuke Maruki at the champion carnival. Despite winning that bout Shindo suffered a hand injury that forced him out of the ring. During Shindo's recovery period Watanabe blitzed Maruki for the interim title. The winner of this will go into the champion carnival next year, with a mandatory hanging over their head, whilst the loser will have to question their future in the sport. A full preview of this bout can be read here Shindo and Watanabe battle to unify Japanese title!
The interim Japanese title bout comes at Bantamweight, where Hayato Kimura (27-10, 18) will face Seizo Kono (19-10-1, 12) in what is a more confusing situation. The Japanese Bantamweight title has seemingly been cursed in 2018 with numerous bouts falling through, often at short notice. In September Yuta Saito eventually took the vacant title, stopping Eita Kikuchi in 2 rounds, but has since suffered an illness which has forced him out of the ring until the new year. That has caused this interim title fight, which should be an entertaining bout. Things get more confusing however when the winner of this bout then has to face Saito in early 2019, with the winner of that bout then face Yusuke Suzuki (9-3, 6) before July 2019 in a mandatory title defense. Our preview of this bout can be read here Kimura and Kono battle for interim Japanese title!
In regards to the fight between Kimura and Kono we expect the two to be well matched, and it should be a compelling 10 round contest, it's just a shame that the whole Japanese title picture has been such a nightmare in 2019 and we've ended up in such a convoluted situation. Both have picked up recent losses, though Kimura certainly appears the more proven fighter at title level, and we suspect he comes into this bout as the marginal favourite.
As for the former champion that is Yusaku Kuga (16-3-1, 11), who returns to the ring since losing the Japanese Super Bantamweight title to Shingo Wake back in July. The hard hitting fighter from the Watanabe man is expected to get an easy confidence building win a he takes on the out-of-form Filipino John Mark Apolinario (20-12-3, 5), who was recently stopped by the limited but hard hitting Kenya Yamashita. Apolinario should offer little competition for Kuga, who we expect will be too big, too strong and too powerful.
This coming Monday fight fans in Japan get the chance to see a really intriguing domestic level card combining competitive match ups, youth and and fighters looking to prove themselves.
The main event of the show should be something very special as the always fun to watch Kenya Yamashita (12-3, 9) takes on the experienced Hayato Kimura (26-10, 17). It's hard to think of a dull fight featuring Yamashita, who is an ultra-aggressive fighter always looking for the KO and in Kimura he should find someone able to take his power early on and have a war. Coming into this Yamashita is ranked #5 by the JBC at 115lbs whilst Kimura is ranked #6 and both men will know that a win here will move them close to a shot at the national title.
Talking about titles there will be a JBC Youth Lightweight title fight on the card, as Izuki Tomioka (5-0, 1) takes on Kaiki Yuba (3-0, 2). The talented Tomioka will be seeking his 2nd defense of the title, and although a genuine talent there is a feeling that he lacks the power needed, at the moment, to move on to the next level. If, or when, Tomioka adds that power then there is a huge ceiling for him to aim for. As for Yuba he looks like a man with that power already there and will be looking to prove that he really is the future in this bout. Aged 19 Yuba has the potential to go much further than his father, a 5-weight Japanese national champion, but this is certainly a step up for him.
A really interesting match up will see recent Japanese Bantamweight title challenger Yuta Saito (10-8-3, 7) take on Naoya Okamoto (12-6-1, 6). Saito came up short last time out, suffering a 9th round TKO loss to Ryo Akaho, but was competitive prior to the stoppage, and is certainly better than his record suggests. Okamoto is also better than his record suggests, and comes in to this bout on the back of wins against Gaku Aikawa and Daisuke Watanabe, two of his very best. This should be a very intriguing and exciting match, despite their records suggesting otherwise.
Another interesting bout on this show will see Kenichi Watanabe (7-3-1, 4) end an almost 2 year break from action as he takes on the light punching Joe Tanooka (14-4-4, 1). Watanabe was stopped in 2 of his last 3, with Akinori Hoshino and Hiroaki Teshigawara both stopping him, but with some time out of the ring there is a chance we will see him revitalised here. Tanooka was stopped inside a round last time out, by Yamashita, and will be looking to get his career back on track here in what should be a very competitive contest.
This coming Wednesday sees Japanese fight fans focus on a really notable oriental level show at the Korakuen Hall, with two OPBF title fights and a supporting card that features a former world title challenger taking on a former Japanese interim champion.
The main event of the show will see OPBF Super Bantamweight champion Hidenori Otake (28-2-3, 12) making his first defense of the title as he takes on 37 year old veteran Kinshiro Usui (27-5, 11). On paper this bout may not interest fans, given how unknown Usui is outside of Japan, but those who have seen him will have seen him push Hisashi Amagasa incredibly close and will know he's a genuine threat to Otake's reign. We accept Otake should be favoured, given his experience and the proven qualities of his toughness and energy, but this is certainly no foregone conclusion.
The other OPBF title fight is also one where the under-dog challenger is a live challenger and the bout is again no foregone conclusion. This bout will see OPBF Super Flyweight champion Rene Dacquel (19-6-1, 6) take on Japanese challenger Hayato Kimura (26-9, 17) in a good looking contest. The champion is 3-2-1 in Japan, but has won in his last two visits beating Go Onaga and Shota Kawaguchi and looks to be moving his career along nicely in recent times. As for the challenger he has twice come up short in a Japanese title fight, but should be a competitive challenger here.
In a notable non-title bout we'll see Shingo Wake (20-5-2, 12) return to the ring for the first time since his loss in July 2016 to Jonathan Guzman in an IBF title fight. Wake will be up against fellow Japanese fighter Mikihito Seto (34-13-3, 18), a former Japanese interim Bantamweight champion. At his best Seto was a really solid fighter but he's notched just a single win in the last 60 months, and has gone 0-3-1 in his last 4, with all 3 of those losses being by stoppage. It's a bout that should be a good return for Wake, but also a safe one for the popular and gutsy sharp shooting southpaw.
On the under-card we'll see Japanese ranked Welterweight Shusaku Fujinaka (15-7-2, 10) take on Tomoyuki Omura (8-8, 4) and Shinobu Charlie Hosokawa (6-3, 5) battle with Naoki Wada (10-10-2, 2), both of these bouts should be interesting, but both have a very clear favourite.
A new week kicks off with another Dangan card, and whilst it's not a hugely exciting one there are a number of notable names on the card, and a debut of a someone who is tipped as one to watch.
The main event will see former Japanese Super Featherweight champion Rikki Naito (15-2, 5) battle against Yusuke Nakagawa (10-6-1, 6). Last time out Naito suffered his second loss and he's certainly looking like a fighter who needs to score a confidence building win, which he may be expecting to score here. Nakagawa is beatable, and has lost his last 2, but will be looking at this bout as a chance to claim a notable win and get his career back on track. The bout is a real must win for both and should be a really good bout.
In the chief support bout we'll see recent Japanese Super Flyweight title contender Hayato Kimura (25-9, 16) take on an unknown Thai foe. For Kimura the bout will be his first contest since losing a highly entertaining decision against Kenta Nakagawa late last year, and he'll be looking to string together some wins and move towards another title bout in the near future.
Another supporting bout will see the exciting Hiroaki Teshigawara (12-2-2, 6) up against the heavy handed and tough Filipino Junny Salogaol (12-10-4, 11). Although Teshigawara may not have a great record he did impress last time out, when he was narrowly beaten by Ryo Akaho and this is a good bounce back for him, against an under-rated but dangerous foe.
Also on this card will be the heavy handed Tetsuya Watanabe (0-0), who will make his professional debut. Watanabe went 30-4 (20) in the amateur ranks and will be looking to make a statement here in a debut against Shogo Sakai (6-5-2, 4), himself a heavy handed fighter.
Macao S.A.R, Macao
For a second day running fans in Macao will get a notable card at the Cotai Arena.
The main event on this card will be a female world title fight and will see Japan's Etsuko Tada (16-2-2, 5) defending her IBF female Minimumweight title against once beaten Chinese fighter Cai Zong Ju (8-1, 1). The bout will be Tada's first defense of the title she won in December 2015 whilst the Chinese challenger will be fighting in her first world title fight. On paper it's hard to see Tada losing, but she has never won outside of Japan and Ju will have the fans behind her.
In supporting bouts we'll see the unbeaten Wen Feng Ge (4-0, 2) face off with the once beaten Melmark Dignos (6-1), teenage hopeful Fei Hu Wang (3-0, 1) battle with the debuting Aleksei Podkolzin (0-0) and the very exciting Xiang Xiang Sun (9-0,7) battling with Kun Wang (6-2, 1).
As well as the Macao show there will also be a notable show in Tokyo.
In the main event of the card fans will see former Japanese Super Flyweight title challenger Hayato Kimura (25-9, 16) battle against the under-rated Ryohei Takahashi (10-2-1, 2), who will be looking to record a career boosting win. Kimura has lost 2 of his last 4 fights, but they have come in title bouts against Sho Ishida and Kenta Nakagawa and he will be feeling confident of earning another title fight in the coming year or two. For Takahashi, a Rookie of the Year winner, the bout is a potential chance to score a statement win, however this would be the biggest win of his career and would certainly over-shadow his Rookie crown win from 2014.
As well as the action at the Korakuen Hall there will also be a low profile Filipino show from Cavite. The card is a small one but does have a few fighters of some interest on it.
In a 10 rounder we'll see Recky Dulay (8-2, 5) face off with the highly experienced Philip Parcon (26-22-3, 8). Dulay lost last time out, and has gone 3-2-1 in his last 6, but will be favoured strongly here. Parcon hasn't won in over 2 years, but has faced some stiff competition and had a sizeable break from the ring, which could revitalise him here.
In a supporting bout we'll see the unbeaten Joseph Ambo (2-0, 2) take on Alberto Pentecostes (1-10-1). Ambo has looked destructive so far, albeit against very limited opponents, and we expected to see more of the same here, especially given that Pentecostes has been stopped in 4 of his 10 losses.
Arguably the biggest name on this card is former world title challenger Jessebelle Pagaduan (8-1-1, 4), who takes on the win-less Beverly Casero (0-1) in a 6 rounder. Pagaduan will be fighting for just just the second time since a February 2015 draw with Kumiko Seeser Ikehara, in a bout for the WBO Female Minimumweight title. Despite the inactivity Pagaduan should be more than good enough to beat Casero here.
Action continues in Tokyo this week with a 4th show in as many days. This time we have title action on a show that is, is on the whole, a top heavy one. Though one which will be view-able on delay thanks to boxingraise.
In the main event, and the only bout of any real interest, we'll see the exciting Kenta Nakagawa (12-2-1, 9) battle veteran Hayato Kimura (25-8, 16) for the vacant Japanese Super Flyweight title. For Nakagawa the bout serves as his first title bout and sees him looking to build on recent wins over Shuji Hamada and Jo Tanooka, aged 31 this could be Nakagawa's one and only title shot. For Kimura the bout is a second Japanese title fight, though he has previously fought for other titles and was even the Korean Super Flyweight champion.
Whilst the under-card is certainly lacking, in both names and match up quality,the main event will be worth paying attention to the card for, and with boxingraise showing it on delay there's little to be disappointed by, especially given the action through the early part of the week.
Japanese fans get a real treat this week with a solid looking card at the Korakuen Hall.
In the main event fight fans will see IBF #1 ranked Super Bantamweight contender Shingo Wake (19-4-2, 11) battle against Indonesian visitor Waldo Sabu (7-2, 2) in what is regarded as a tune up bout for Wake, ahead of a world title fight later in the year. The IBF have ordered the winner of the upcoming Scott Quigg Vs Carl Frampton fight to face Wake in a mandatory title fight and this bout is just to keep the juices flowing for Wake ahead of such a bout later in the year. Sabu does have a huge opportunity to make a name for himself but the reality is that he'll be lucky to see out the distance against the under-rated Wake.
Whilst the main event is a mismatch the under-card does have some interesting supporting bouts. One of those will see Wake's stablemate Kenya Yamashita (8-1, 5) battle the returning Katsunori Nagamine (10-1, 6), who is fighting for the first time since a loss last year to Ken Shiro. On paper this is a great bout, and one where an argument could be made for either man, but the reality is that Yamashita should be the favourite given that Nagamine has recently under-gone serious eye surgery following a detached retina, suffered in the Ken Shiro bout.
Another brilliant supporting bout will see former Japanese Super Flyweight title challengers collide as Toyoto Shiraishi (25-8-3, 12) takes on Hayato Kimura (24-8, 16). This is a really well matched contest and the two men will be fighting with the hope of securing another title fight down the line, however both will know that current champion Sho Ishida is out of their league and they will likely have to wait until he vacates before going for the belt
In the US fan will see Kazakh hopeful Dauren Yeleussinov (4-0, 3) continue his development in a 6 rounder. Sadly at the time of writing his opponent hasn't been named.
The first show on a busy day is a Hatanaka promoted card, which will have it's headline bout broadcast on TBS.
That main bout will see WBO Minimumweight champion Kosei Tanaka (5-0, 2) defend his crown, for the first time, against Filipino puncher Vic Saludar (11-1, 9). On paper this looks a good test for the 20 year old Tanaka, who has sadly been inactive since winning the belt back in May. Saludar is genuinely dangerous and could well upset Tanaka if the Japanese champion has taken his eye off the ball, as compatriot Shohei Omori did recently.
On the under-card we see several interesting bouts. One of those features the unbeaten Yushi Tanaka (15-0-3, 9), who is tipped as a future champion. The unbeaten 24 year old will be up against Indonesian visitor Zun Rindam (11-8-1, 5), who is hoping to score his first win in Japan having twice been blown out in the country, losing in the opening round against both Yasutaka Ishimoto and Ryo Matsumoto.
Another bout of note sees world ranked Filipino fighter Genesis Servania (26-0, 11) makes his Japanese debut as he takes on Hendrik Barongsay (29-23-3, 18) in what should be little more than a showcase for the excellent Servania. The year has been a frustrating one for the Filipino and we suspect that frustration will come out here against an opponent who will have very little too offer in terms of competition.
On paper the show of the day is the Ioka promoted card from Osaka, which is also set to be televised by TBS.
The main event, and one of two world title fights, will see Kazuto Ioka (18-1, 10) defending the WBA Flyweight crown against former champion Juan Carlos Reveco (36-2, 19). Ioka beat Reveco for the belt back in April, claiming a majority decision, and will be hoping for a more conclusive result this time against the Argentinian visitor. For Reveco it's a chance to avenge his second professional loss whilst Ioka gets the chance to further strengthen his claim as a top Flyweight, and possibly move towards a potential unification bout with conqueror Amnat Ruenroeng.
The other world title bout will see IBF Minimumweight champion Katsunari Takayama (30-7-0-1, 12) defending his title against Mexican foe Jose Argumedo (15-3-1, 9). For Takayama this will be the 3rd defense of the title that he won a year ago, when he stopped Go Odaira, and he will be hoping to build on his last win, back in September against Ryuji Hara. The all action Takayama will be hoping to retain the title here to set up a unification bout in 2016. For Argumedo this is a huge opportunity but one that he does enter as a clear under-dog and isn't expected to really present much of a challenger
As well as the two world title bouts this card also features an OPBF title fight and a Japanese title fight. The OPBF title bout comes at Bantamweight where heavy handed champion Takahiro Yamamoto (16-4, 13) defends his title against Yuki Strong Kobayashi (9-4, 5). This will be Yamamoto's first defense of the title that he won earlier this year, when he stopped Yu Kawaguchi in a 7 round thriller. It's fair to say the champion is more proven, heavier handed and will go in to this one as a clear favourite. For Kobayashi, who was battered around by Hinata Maruta's in Maruta's pro-test, this is a huge opportunity bur one he's not expected to win, especially given that he is 3-3 in his last 6.
As for the Japanese title fight, that will see Super Flyweight champion Sho Ishida (20-0, 10) defending his title against Ryuta Otsuka (15-8-2, 5). Ishida, another member of the prestigious Ioka gym, will be hunting his 4th defense of the title and continue what has been a good year for the Osaka based gym. For Otsuka this is a second shot at the title, having previously lost to Teiru Kinoshita in November 2011. Despite being given a second shot at a title it's fair to say Otsuka will; be regarded as a major under-dog following recent losses to Malcolm Tunacao and Ryuichi Funai.
On the under-card fans get the chance to see former world champion Ryo Miyazaki (23-1-3, 14) take on Thai visitor Thongchai Chaiyonggym (0-1) in what is a stay busy fight for the highly ranked Osakan warrior. A win here is expected for Miyazaki who will be hoping to fight for a world title, at 108lbs, in 2016, he was however famously upset on the same date 2 years ago by Fahlan Sakkreerin Jr and will know that he cannot afford another set back like that.
Another under-card bout will see the very exciting Masayoshi Hashizume (9-0, 6) battle against a Thai novice, thought to be “Ken Meanyothin”. We have been impressed by Hashizume and are hoping to see him step up in class in 2016, with a potential title fight coming towards the end of the year.
As well as the action on TBS there is also a TV Tokyo card thanks to Watanabe.
The main event of this show sees WBA Super Featherweight “super” champion Takashi Uchiyama (23-0-1, 19) defending his belt against Nicaraguan challenger Oliver Flores (27-1-2, 17). This botu is widely regarded as a huge mismatch and it's hard to see Flores upsetting the long term champion, who looks for his 11th defense. If Uchiyama wins there is serious talk from his team about taking him to the US for 2016, with a bout against Nicholas Walters looking very likely.
Uchiyama's world title defense is one of two on the card with stable mate Ryoichi Taguchi (22-2-1, 9) defending his WBA Light Flyweight title against Colombian challenger Luis de la Rosa (24-5-1, 14). On paper this too is an awful mismatch with nobody giving de la Rosa any chance, and in fairness it's hard to see what he has to compete with the talented Taguchi, who could be looking at unification bouts in 2016 if he comes through this one.
Sadly this under-card is lacking with the most notable name on it being former Japanese title challenger Hayato Kimura (23-8, 15), who is in an awful mismatch against Thai visitor Petchnamnung Sor Thiebkhun (0-11), who is likely to suffer his 10th “recorded” stoppage loss.
As a bonus we also get a small bit of Indonesian action with the very promising Iwan Zoda (7-1, 6) battle in a 10 rounder against Thai visitor Phupha Por Nobnom (11-9-1, 10). The visitor's record isn't great but he has shared the ring with Tepparith Kokietgym, Richie Mepranum and Albert Pagara, so he has mixed at a good level, albeit he has been stopped by those 3 men. For Zoda this is his first bout since he stopped Petchchorhae Kokietgym in September, in what was an incredible win for the 19 year old Indonesian.
On the under-card of this show is an Indonesian title bout between Agus Kustiawan (13-4, 5) and Boido Simanjuntak (18-33-1, 7), who will be recognised by people who follow the Thai fight scene.
This coming Sunday looks to be the perfect closing day to a month that hasn't been the most exciting for boxing fans.
One of the cards of the month comes from the newly named EDION Arena Osaka where Ioka put on what may go down as one of the cards of the year. It feature 4 title fights, 2 notable prospects and more action than you shake a stick at.
The headline bout sees Japanese Kazuto Ioka (17-1, 10) defending the WBA Flyweight title against Argentinian foe Roberto Domingo Sosa (26-2-1, 14). This is Ioka's first defense of the title that he narrowly won earlier this year, when he over-came Juan Carlos Reveco, and it could be another tough night for Osakan star. Whilst this bout could be a very tough one for Ioka it needs noting that the winner will have a tough one next time out, as they are mandated to face with Reveco by the end of the year.
Another world title bout on this show will see IBF Minimumweight champion Katsunari Takayama (29-7-0-1, 11) defending his belt against Ryuji Hara (19-1, 11) in what looks like a potential FOTY contender. Takayama, who struggled last time out with Fahlan Sakkreerin Jr, is now 32 and has had a very hard career however Hara will be going into his first world title fight and was stopped in his most notable bout to date, by current WBO champion Kosei Tanaka.
In a Japanese title fight fans will see Super Flyweight champion Sho Ishida (19-0, 10) defending his title, for the 3rd time as he takes on Hayato Kimura (23-7, 15). The unbeaten champion has looked impressive in 18 of his bouts however he was run very close last time out by Taiki Eto and it that bout left question marks regarding Ishida's stamina. If he impresses here he may find himself heading to a world title bout in 2016. However Kimura cannot be ruled here and the experienced challenger has waited for his shot at Japanese title.
The fourth title bout on this show will see the unbeaten Kei Takenaka (9-0, 3) defending her OPBF Light Flyweight title against Thailand's Krikanok Islandmuaythai (4-4-1, 2). This looks like a mismatch though Takenaka may well be just one or two fights from a world title shot and will be hoping to get some much needed ring time here before a potential fight at world level.
As for the prospects one of those is 17 year old Riku Kano (6-1-1, 4) who faces Kenta Matsui (6-4, 1) in what will be the teenager's second bout in Japan. The hope is that a win here will be followed in 2016 with a move towards a domestic title bout then a potential world title bout as he chases the record to be Japanese youngest world champion. Matsui is a safe option but also the type of fight who is physically tough enough to get Kano some competitive rounds.
A less competitive bout will see Super Flyweight hopeful Masayoshi Hashizume (8-0, 5) face Thailand's Petchnamnung Sor Thiebkhun (0-10) in what looks like like a horrible mismatch. Petchnamnung has been stopped in 8 of his 10 bouts and we expect stoppage loss #9 to come here in what is, supposedly, his international debut. Of course The Thai probably has an incomplete record but what the data we have suggests that this is a horrible match up and that the talented Hashizume should win without ny problems.
The two world title bouts from this card will be aired on TBS, though it's unclear at the moment if they will be “live” or on tape delay. Looking at the scheduled of the card however the odds are that Takayama Vs Hara will be aired on tape delay whilst Ioka Vs Sosa will likely be live, and will also be shown live on Argentinian TV.
Staying in Osaka there is also a Rookie of the West card, in fact it's the Rookie of the West final. Sadly though it will be massively over-looked give the other card.
Rather than going through all 12 bouts we've picked a few that interested us the most.
At Super Flyweight unbeaten teenagers collide as 18 year old Shion Tamada (2-0) takes on 19 year old Kensei Hirano (4-0, 2). Tamada is a prospect of the Ioka gym and will have sparred with some top quality partners though given his age he's certainly a baby and could will find himself being pushed all the way by Hirano, who is more experienced and has shown more power.
Another all unbeaten contender will come at Light Flyweight where Kaminoko Okamura Kentokid (5-0-3, 2) takes on Seigo Yuri Akui (3-0-1, 1). Although both men are unbeaten both have been relatively fortunate with draws and it's fair to say that neither is expected to be raced through the ranks if they do end up being crowned the Rookie of the Year.
One other all unbeaten bout that has us excited is at Featherweight where teenager puncher Ryuya Yanagida (2-0, 2) takes on Yuto Nagano (4-0, 2). It's fair to say that Yanagida is completely unproven but he has shown solid power so far and may well need that power to get beyond the 21 year old Nagano, who had to gut out his most recent win, against Yu Konomura.
As well as all he action in Japan Thai fans will also get their share of televised action with Mono 29 airing a Kiatkreein show, form 3PM local time.
In the main event of this show fans will see Thailand's experienced Mike Tawatchai (35-8-1, 21) take on Filipino foe Junny Salogaol (9-7-4-1, 9) in a bout for the IBF Pan Pacific Super Bantamweight title. This is Tawatchai's first bout since being dominated by Shingo Wake in an IBF world title eliminator back in June and although that loss was a wide one he shouldn't struggle at all with Salogaol. Despite Salogaol's record being less than great he is coming into this bout in form, with 5 straight T/KO wins.
Tawatchai isn't the only notable name on this show. Another is 2-time Olympic medal winner Manus Boonjumnong (1-0) who faces Indonesian Marco Tuhumury (10-11-2, 3). Although Manos is 35, and looked out of shape last time out against Jamed Jalarante, he has got a lot of skill and shouldn't struggle, at all, with Tuhumury. In fact if anything we're expecting the Thai to stop his foe here.
Another fighter on this card is recent world title challenger Fahlan Sakkreerin Jr (27-4-1, 15) who will face Indonesian fighter Oscar Raknafa (12-10, 5) in a stay busy fight. This is Fahlan's first bout since his controversial loss to Katsunari Takayama back in April. A win here could see Fahlan's team moving him towards another title fight at some point in 2016.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
If there's been a date marked down in every boxing fan's calendar this year it's been May 2nd. Whilst we may not have had “The Fight” signed until several months into the year it always seemed like a date set to have a big fight. Thankfully for everyone in boxing it's “The Fight” and not just “A fight”.
Of course the bout in question needs no real introduction just 2-words “Mayweather” and “Pacquiao”. That's right, they finally get on and at a long last we get to see the mega-popular Filipino Manny Pacquiao (57-5-2, 38) battle against unbeaten American Floyd Mayweather Jr (47-0, 26) in a bout that many are regarding as the “Fight of the Century”. The contest will be the richest fight in history, it will see the WBA/WBC and WBO Welterweight titles all being unified and it will almost certainly see the sporting world come to a halt. There is nothing that needs saying about this one other than “it's really happening”.
We'll admit it should have happened years ago, but better late than never, right?
Prior to the big one fans in Tokyo get some interesting,action of heir own at the Korakuen Hall.
The first of the interesting bouts here will see the fast rising Japanese based Filipino Johnreil Maligro (12-0, 9) battle against Ribo Takahata (10-5-1, 2). On paper this looks like a mismatch but Takahata has mixed with some solid opposition, such as Rikki Naito and Shingo Eto , and he certainly has the ability to test good prospects. Whilst Takahata could be a good test we have to say we were very impressed with Maligro last year who scored a trio of good wins, including an 88 second blow out win over Kazuma Sanpei.
The chief support bout will see Hayato Kimura (22-7, 15) face off against Filipino slugger Jomar Fajardo (14-6-2, 7). Originally Kimura was set to fight Takuya Kogawa though it appears that Kogawa has pulled out ahead of a proposed Japanese Flyweight title fight. Despite the change of opponent this should still be a really good bout with Fajardo proving his ability with his two bouts against Francisco Rodriguez Jr, the first of which saw him scoring a draw with the talented Mexican. This could well end in an upset.
In the main event fans will see the exciting Shinya Iwabuchi (24-5, 20) take on the well matched Ryusei Yoshida (26-6, 13) in a potential war. We like Iwabuchi a lot, despite his faults, and we expect him to be able to draw Yoshida into his fight, if he manages that then this will almost certainly catch fire and become a very fun bout for the fans in attendance. We do however need to admit that Iwabuchi didn't look great last time out.