This coming Wednesday in Japan fight fans have an interesting Ohashi card to look forward to. We'll be honest and not pretend that it's full of 50-50 bouts, but it keeps the gym's fighters busy, whilst a number them begin to move towards bigger and better bouts.
The main event of the card is the best looking contest on paper and sees Takuma Inoue (8-0, 2) return to the ring following almost a year out, to take on 4-time world title challenger Hiroyuki Kudaka (25-16-1, 11) in a solid test for the youngster. Inoue was supposed to fight for a world title at the end of 2016, but an injury forced that bout to be cancelled and now he's in need of a warm up bout before looking at bigger and better things. For Kudaka, previously known as Hiroyuki Hisataka, the bout is a chance to score a career defining win after some recent struggles in the ring, including losing 7 of his last 11. Kudaka's record isn't great but he's a tough out for most and should ask questions of rInoue.
Another relatively attractive bout will see Koki Inoue (8-0, 7), Takuma's cousin, step up to take on former Japanese title challenger Cristiano Aoqui (11-6-2, 7) in what is essentially a Japanese title eliminator. Inoue enters the bout ranked #3 and Aoqui is #8, with the winner almost certainly looking to get a crack before the end of the year. For Inoue the bout is a slight step up, but it's a logical step as he continues to impress and leave a wake of battered and beaten fighters in his wake. For Aoqui the bout serves as a chance to get back in to the mix after 3 losses in his last 4.
When it comes to fighters who are looking at bigger and better things, it's fair to say that Ryo Matsumoto (20-1, 18) is on the verge of a world title fight. As a result he's having a stay busy contest on this show against Indonesian foe Jason Butar Butar (25-22-1, 16), in what should be another straight forward win for the likeable Matsumoto, who is looking to put health issues well and truly behind him.
Another fighter looking for bigger things is Go Onaga (27-3-3, 18),who also faces an Indonesian journeyman as he takes on John Bajawa (13-14, 7). Onaga is looking to get himself a Japanese title fight in the near future, and the veteran cannot afford another set back. This should be a straight forward win for the Ohashi man, but he is now 37 and 18 months removed from his last victory.
Rounding out the notable fights on this show are two Ohashi novices tipped for big things. One of those is Kazuki Nakajima (1-0, 1), who looks for his second professional win as he takes on Resnu Sundava (2-1, 2) whilst the other is debutant Katsuya Yasuda (0-0), who faces Reno Arizona (1-2). Neither Ohashi man should worry here about winning, but both will want to impress Mr Ohashi, who we suspect wants to fast track both men following their impressive amateur careers.
The only Japanese card this Saturday comes from Osaka
The main event of the card will see world ranked Light Middleweight Yutaka Oishi (14-5, 7) make his first defense of the OPBF title as he takes on Thai visitor Ratchasi Sithsaithong (7-3, 5). Although a real unknown in the eyes of many Oishi is ranked by the IBF and comes into this bout on the back of a career defining win over Takayuki Hosokawa last year, for the OPBF title which he'll be defending here. The visiting Thai will be looking to add the OPBF title to his collection, which also includes the WBC ABC title, which he won last December when he defeated Cobra Suwa. The bout won't do much for the OPBF title but should be a fun fight all the same.
In a supporting title bout we'll see the once beaten Terumi Nuki (8-1, 5) battle against Thai veteran Nongbua Lookpraiaree (10-13-1, 2) in a bout for the OPBF female Super Flyweight title. For Nuki this will be a second title fight, following a razor thin loss in a 2015 title bout against Tamao Ozawa. Although relatively unknown the Thai is 0-3 in Japan, and suffered a loss herself in an OPBF title fight recently, losing to Tomomi Takano in 2015.
On the under-card of this show we will see the always fun to watch Hiroyuki Hisataka (24-16-1, 10), who will be facing a low key Thai opponent. The multi-time world title challenger has lost his last 3 bouts and it's clear that he's being matched easier here to try and get him a win, following losses to Mark John Yap and Suguru Muranaka in recent bouts, though another loss will probably end his long, fun and memorable career.
Interestingly Yuki Nonaka (31-8-3, 10) was also scheduled for this card when it was announced, but he's since been removed from the show, with many rumours linking him to a notable fight in the west.
There will also be a low key card in China.
In the main event of this card we'll see Wulan Tuolehazi (3-3) battle against the once beaten YinHuan Su (5-1-2, 1). This 10 rounder is unlikely to be a great bout but should be a competitive and one that will see both men fighting to win. On paper it's easy to favour Su but Tuolehazi is no push over and should make for a real test here.
On an under-card bout we'll see Hai Ma (1-1) face off with Zhen Yang Cai (4-2-1, 2) in what could be a hotly contested 6 rounder.
There isn't much action this coming Monday but there is a card from Flash Akabane.
The headline bout here sees former Japanese Flyweight champion Suguru Muranaka (24-2-1, 8) face off with former 4-time world title challenger Hiroyuki Hisataka (24-15-1, 10) in what is almost certain to be a great bout to watch. At his best Muranaka is an offensively minded punching machine with great stamina, fantastic work rate and under-rated power. Although an elite level fighter Muranaka could give many top Super Flyweights real nightmares. Hisataka on the other other hand has the look of a faded fighter, despite both men being the same age, and has lost 5 of his last 8. Although fighting against very good competition Hisataka has been beatable through his career and will likely come up short again here, though will put up a great effort as he always does.
Whilst we are excited about the main event the supporting bouts are a bit weak with possibly the best being a shoot out between Joji Tsuchiya (4-4-2, 4) and Hiroki Okubo (6-5, 4), who are both limited but heavy handed and should put on an entertaining scrap together.
So there we go, Christmas has been and whilst we wish you all had a great one boxing does continue and continues in style with December 27th being the first really notable day post Christmas.
Attention turns back to Kyoto for one of a multitude of Japanese sjhows.
The main match up here is possibly the fight of the day and sees a youngster look to establish himself a genuine star in the making. That youngster is Ken Shiro (5-0, 2) who will be taking a huge step up in class to face Japanese Light Flyweight champion Kenichi Horikawa (30-13-1, 7). The bout is Ken Shiro's first bout against the best in Japan but he has looked brilliant so far into his career whilst Horikawa will be defending his title for the first time since his emphatic win over Shin Ono back in September. This really could be something very special.
The only supporting bout worth noting here will see Atsushi Aburada (10-8, 6) battle against Takahiro Murai (11-6-2, 4) in what looks like a really good match up. Aburada has gone 3-3 in his last 6, but those losses have included a defeat in a Japanese title fight and a loss to the solid Tetsuya Hisada. Murai has never been stepped and will see this as a great opportunity to claim a Japanese ranking, though will know that Aburada is a tough test. A really good bit of match making has gone in to this one.
The first of two Osaka shows is the more notable with a title fight and a bout featuring a former world title challenger.
In the main event of this one fans will get the chance to see Japanese Light Middleweight champion Yuki Nonaka (27-8-3, 9) defending his title against multi-time challenger Koshinmaru Saito (22-7-1, 12). On paper this is genuinely a great bout, though one that Nonaka should win given his more intelligent boxing. Given that both fighters are well in to their 30's this is a must win to keep their careers alive and we expect a very good bout, even if it's not likely to lead either man to a bigger and better fight down the line.
The only supporting bout worth mentioning here will see former 4-time world title challenger Hiroyuki Hisataka (24-13-1, 10) battle against Japanese based Filipino Mark John Yap (22-12, 10). Whilst both men have got double figure losses both are talented fighters and both tend to be in entertaining bouts suggesting that this really could be the bout of the day. Both have lost to their best opponents but they are about the same level and could potentially put on a barn burner
The second of the Osaka shows comes after the first, in the same venue and it put on by Hiroki Ioka Promotions
The main event here will see world ranked Featherweight contender Hiroshige Osawa (28-3-4, 17) in a 10 round bout. Osawa, a former OPBF champion, will be hoping to record his 7th straight stoppage win and continue an unbeaten run that began back in 2009. Talented but yet frustrating Osawa seems to be a man who has wasted the last few years, with suspension and mismatches, but hopefully we'll see him kick on in 2016.
The co-feature bout will see former world title challenger Pablo Carrillo (17-4-1, 10) take on Thai visitor Jaipetch Chaiyonggym (5-4, 1). Carrillo, who fought Kazuto Ioka in 2014, is now based in Japan and will be making his debut as a Japanese based fighter with the hope of moving towards a world title shot in the future. This however is just stay busy for the Colombia, who has fought just once this year.
A final bout from this card worth noting sees the Japanese ranked Kosuke Saka (11-3, 8) in action. This bout was put together on late notice after Saka had a bout with Andres Gutierrez fall through earlier in the year.
Another Japanese card comes from Hyogo where Taisei hope to show case some of their most notable fighters.
The most notable of those Taisei gym fighters is Riku Kano (7-1-1, 4) who takes on former world title challenger Pigmy Kokietgym (58-8-2, 23). Pigmy is currently world ranked and it's cleat that Kano's team are looking at this bout as a chance to get their man into the world rankings as quickly as possible, with their task being to get him a world title fight before the year is out. The match up is however a risky one and Pigmy cannot be written off, despite a recent defeat to Jaysever Abcede.
Another notable bout featuring a Taisei fighter will see Hiroki Taniguchi (6-7-1, 2) battle against the Japanese ranked Toshimasa Ouchi (18-8-3, 5) . This is a really harsh match up for Taniguchi, who has won just 1 of his last 6, but it's the sort of match up that sums up the Taisei gym, where they don't protect their fighters just for the sake of it. Ouchi will be the big favourite here, but has lost 2 of his last 4 and will likely be seeing this as a confidence builder.
Tokyo also gets some action with a small show courtesy of Hanagata.
The main event of this card sees Japanese ranked Bantamweight Yuta Saito (8-7-2, 6) battle against Yoshiyuki Takabayashi (8-6, 3) in a strangely well matched bout. Although ranked by the JBC Saito has gone 1-4-1 in his last 6, though did beat Keita Nakana in that win and has generally been competitive despite piling up the losses. Takabayashi however is 3-3 in his last 6, though has been fighting at a higher weight and could well bee too physical for Saito. This isn't a top tier bout, but it is an intriguing one.
A second bout of note here is a female bout that sees former world title challenger Saemi Hanagata (10-6-2, 4) battle against Chie Higano (4-3, 1). In all honesty this looks like a stay busy fight for Hanagata who will likely be hoping to have another world title fight in 2016. Higano should prove no threat for Hanagata but could go the distance.
Seoul, South Korea
The day also features a KBF show in the Korean capital
The main event here sees former WBO world champion Su Yun Hong (12-1-1, 6) battle against Chinese visitor Jian Li Liu (6-0-1, 3)*. The bout is a WIBF Light Flyweight title defense for Hong, who claimed the title last year and will be hoping to record the third defense of the belt. Although talented Hong's run of recent opposition has been poor and we hope in 2016 she will step it up, significantly.
The most interesting of the match ups sees former OPBF Super Bantamweight challenger Jimmy Paypa (16-3-1, 6) battle against Jason Egera (21-15, 10). For Paypa this is his first bout since he was stopped, way back in February, by Shingo Wake. He'll be looking for a win though does appear set to move up in weight to Featherweight for this match up. Whilst Paypa was beaten last time out it does need to be said that Egera has lost his last 7 with 4 of those coming by stoppage.
The other 10 rounder will see 19 year old hopeful Elmo Traya (9-1, 7) battle against the out of form Gabriel Royo (10-13-2, 8). Traya comes in to this on an 8 fight winning run whilst Royo is 1-6 in his last 7 bouts, dating back just over 2 years.
*Record reported by the KBF
This coming Sunday sees two shows form Japan.
One of those shows comes from Osaka.
The main event here sees former world title challenger Hiroyuki Hisataka (23-13-1, 10), who has come up short in 4 world title challenges, battle against domestic rival Keisuke Tabuchi (9-2, 7). On paper this looks like a good match up however it should be a straight forward win for Hisataka, given the level he has competed at, and that's despite the fact that he's lost 4 of his last 6. The key here is the fact that Tabuchi has only competed at a very low level, and Hisataka is a massive step up in class, despite his record.
The only other notable bout on this card will see the Japanese ranked Yutaka Oishi (11-4, 6) take part in a 6 round bout with Toshihiro Kai (4-7-2, 1). Oishi is ranked at Light Middleweight, but given how weak the division is that ranking doesn't mean a lot. Saying that however Oishi has only been beaten once in the last 3 years, and that was by the talented Zac Dunn. Kai is fighting for the first time since losing in the All Japanese Rookie of the Year final, back in December,and is stepping up considerably for this bout.
This show will feature 6 other bouts.
The other show is in Fukuoka and and is headlined by a current world champion, albeit competing in a non-title bout.
In the main event fans will see current WBC female Minimumweight champion Yuko Kuroki (13-4-1, 6) take part in a stay busy fight against Thai visitor Kanittha Saknarong (0-3). This is a really poor match up on paper though appears to be a case of getting Kuroki in the ring after several months of inactivity. Whilst the bout is a let down it does come after a very tough series for the 24 year old who perhaps does deserve an “easy” bout, though not one that's this easy. To show how poor Saknarong is, she has twice lost to Riyako Goshi
The other notable bout on this card will see Japanese ranked Minimumweight Tatsuya Fukuhara (14-4-5, 5) battle against Thai visitor Thongchai Chaiyonggym (0-0). This should be a straight forward win for Fukuhara, who was the man Takuma Inoue faced on debut back in December 2013. Whilst Fukuhara has gone 2-2-2 in his last 6 it's really hard to see anything but a win for him here.
As well as the two bouts we've mentioned this card will feature 5 other contests.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
April 2015 will be a huge month for Japanese boxing fans with a host of major bouts across every level of the sport. It all begins however today with the first Japanese shows of the month and it's a day that kicks things off in the perfect way. It features everything from a former world title challenger to a top class prospect, from a world ranked fringe-contender to a female title fight, oh and we have Rookie of the Year qualifying bouts! It really is the beginning of a potentially brilliant month for boxing fans.
The most notable action to begin the month comes from Osaka where we see a bit of everything in a brilliant domestic show that features everything a show at this level really should have.
The show begins with a couple of 4 rounders before moving onto an 8 round contest featuring a name fighter in need of a win against a once beaten fighter who will know that a win could really kick start his career. The name fighter in question is multi-time world title challenger Hiroyuki Hisataka (22-13-1, 10) who has lost his last 3 bouts, including a world title bout against Omar Andres Narvaez and a Japanese FOTY contender against Takuya Kogawa, and knows he needs a win. Hisataka will be expecting to get that win when he goes in against Keisuke Nakayama (6-1-1, 3), though Nakayama may well be fired up knowing that this is an amazing opportunity for him to make a name for himself against a man who is certainly coming to the end of his career.
A second 8 rounder will feature touted teenager prospect Takeru Kamikubo (8-0, 5) who begins his 2015 with a bout against former Japanese Light Flyweight title challenger Atsushi Aburada (9-7, 5). Last year we saw Kamikubo fighting 8 times in a little over 10 months though those bouts did come against low level opposition, this however is a big step up and a win over Aburada would see Kamikubo climb into the Japanese rankings. The 24 year old Aburada has lost 3 of his last 5 though has mixed with solid opposition, such as Yu Kimura and Yuma Iwahashi, and holds a very notable win over Toshimasa Ouchi. This is the sort of match up that will tell us a lot about both men.
The only 10 round bout on the card will see former OPBF Featherweight champion Hiroshige Osawa (26-3-4, 15) battle against Indonesian visitor Arief Blader (20-16-1, 7). Osawa comes into this bout ranked #14 in the world by the WBA and on a run of 4 stoppage wins, including a politically controversial 9th round KO against Jason Butar Butar in the Philippines, he'll be expecting to continue that run against Blader. The 29 year old visitor has lost 6 of his last 8, including his last 3, and tends to get stopped when he faces international level opposition, though notable he did go the 8 round distance with the world ranked Mike Tawatchai in 2013.
Surprisingly the main event here is a female fight which will see the unbeaten Terumi Nuki (6-0, 3) battle against Tamao Ozawa (7-2, 2) for the vacant OPBF female Flyweight title. Nuki, like stablemate Kamikubo, caught out attention last year when she over-came Kai Johnson in a very good win. As for Ozawa she has also shared the ring with Johnson, going 1-1 with the under-rated fighter, though has notably been blown away twice, once by Johnson and once by the elongated Tomoko Kawanishi. This could be a very good bout, or it could see Ozawa blown away early doors for the third time.
Also on the same day fans will get the chance to see the second day of qualifying bouts for the 2015 East Japan Rookie of the Year. This show will feature 12 bouts between Light Flyweight and Welterweight. Originally there was 13 bouts announced for the show but a Super Bantamweight bout was cancelled.
(Image courtesy of http://nakazatoboxing.com)
It's not been the busiest week in Asian boxing this week but it does end on a solid note with a very interesting main even on one of the wonderful "Dangan" shows
The Dangan series of shows are some of the most varied and most exciting in Japanese boxing. Some of them are relatively weak, full of limited fighters looking for their chance to perform to win a small C class tournament competition. Other shows however are fantastic and it's one of those that we have this week as former world title challengers collide in one of the best non-title main events to have been on a Dangan show in a very long time.
The bout in question will see Takuya Kogawa (22-4, 13), the man who by rights should by the WBA interim Flyweight champion, battling against perennial world title challenger Hiroyuki Hisataka (22-12-1, 10). Kogawa first appeared on the world stage when he lost a clear one to Thai great Pongsaklek Wonjongkam though he would rebuild and earlier this year he was unfairly denied the WBA interim title when he took it to Yodmongkol Vor Saengthep in a bout that looked like it had a clear, but not the guy who won the decision. As for Hisataka he has been in with a genuine who's who and lost in 4 world title fights, most recently to Omar Andres Narvaez. Whilst both men are on the fringes of world level it's actually an interesting bout due to the styles of the two men who are both busy fights and with that in mind this could be very exciting to watch.
In the co-feature fans will get the chance to see Yuki Iwasaki (11-5, 6) battle against Wataru Miyasaka (8-2-1, 2). Although Iwasaki's record gives the impression he's not good he has mixed very good fighters such as Yusaku Kuga and Yukinori Oguni. As for Miyasaka he does have a better record but he isn't as tested as his foe. This could be good though we do think the battle hardened Iwasaki should be favoured.
A third 8 round bout will see Mikiya Ishikawa (8-6, 1) battle against Masafumi Otake (14-12-3, 7) in what looks like a competitive support bout though not one that will get the attention of international fans, and in fact even Japanese domestic fans may not care too much about the contest.
Prior to the 8 rounders we will have had 5 bouts in total, included in those 5 contests are 2 "C Class Tournament" finals with each of those fights featuring unbeaten men clashing in a 4 round contest. Unfortunately we don't yet have the names of those taking part in those bouts.
From what we understand Thailand will play host to a WBC Asia Flyweight title fight. We're sadly unsure who will be involved though from what we understand the current champion is the unbeaten Nawaphon Por Chokchai (23-0, 16) who fought just a few weeks ago up at 120lbs.
The only thing we know, for certain, about this show is it will be televised on Thai channel 7.
(Image courtesy of Dangan Boxing)