The big show of the day this coming Friday is Osaka where Teiken put in a title triple header, featuring two world title bouts.
The main event of this card is the rematch between American Rob Brant (25-1, 17) and Japanese star Ryota Murata (14-2, 11), with Brant looking to make his second defense of the WBA Regular Middleweight title, a title he took from Murata last year. This is a really tough bout for Murata, who will know another loss to Brant likely ends his career, whilst a win could open up a huge opportunity for a bout in a Japanese dome at the end of the year. For Murata this is a must win, whilst for Brant it's a bout he is expected to win, especially given how easily he beat Murata the first time around. A full preview of this bout is available here Brant and Murata go again, but will the outcome be any different?
The other world title bout on the card will see WBC Light Flyweight champion Kenshiro (15-0, 8) defending his title against mandatory challenger Jonathan Taconing (28-33-1, 11). The unbeaten champion will be seeking his 6th defense and a chance to take a huge step towards a potential unification bout with Hiroto Kyoguchi at the end of the year, a bout both men have spoken about. Although Kenshiro is in great form we expect Taconing to ask questions of the champion we've never seen Kenshiro answer, and Taconing poses a real threat as a hard hitting and teak tough southpaw. Taconing can be out boxed, but he is a very dangerous threat to Kenshiro. Our preview of this show down is here Kenshiro takes on hard hitting Filipino challenger Taconing!
The third title bout on this card will see Filipino visitor Joe Noynay (17-2-1, 6) look to record his first defense of the WBO Asia Pacific Super Featherweight title, as he takes on 2012 Olympic bronze medal winner Satoshi Shimizu (8-0, 8). The bout sees Noynay return to Japan following his impressive title win over Kosuke Saka whilst Shimizu moves up in weight and tests the water at Super Featherweight. A full in depth preview of this bout can be read here Noynay takes on hard hitting Shimizu in regional title defense!
Also on this card is touted prospect Shokichi Iwata (2-0, 1) who looks to extend his perfect start as he battles 23 year old Filipino Paolo Sy (6-3-1, 3). Iwata was a fabulous amateur, scoring wins against the likes of Kosei Tanaka and Takuma Inoue among others, and has shown a lot of promise already, but this looks like his stiffest test so far. Sy is no world beater in the making but should ask some questions of Iwata.
As well as the show in Osaka there is also a good one in Tokyo as we get a female world title fight and an interesting cross roads fight.
The female world title fight sees the great Naoko Fujioka (18-2, 7) defending her WBA female Flyweight title against veteran Tenkai Tsunami (26-12, 15), who is looking to become a 3 weight champion her self. Fujioka is among the few true female legends of boxing, having won world titles from Minimumweight to Bantamweight, but she's now at an advanced age and we wonder how long she can keep putting on top performances. On the other hand Tsunami has had an incredibly hard career, and that will catch up with her sooner or later. Our preview of this female clash can be read here Fujioka and Tsunami meet in clash for WBA crown!
In a really good looking support bout we'll see veteran Akihiro Kondo (31-8-1, 18) take on youngster Andy Hiraoka (13-0, 9). The tough Kondo, a former world title challenger, was last seen being stopped by Downua Ruawaiking in an IBF world title eliminator and he will be desperate to put that loss behind him and pick up a win here. For Hiraoka this is a great opportunity to get himself a major win and move towards a major title fight, as he looks to add to the Japanese Youth title he won in 2017. Our preview for this bout can be read here Kondo looks to bounce back whilst Hiraoka looks for big win
Also on this card is Seiryu Toshikawa (10-5, 6), who is criminally under-rated. Despite not having a great record Toshikawa is a very talented 23 year old who is looking to bounce back from a split decision loss to Shawn Oda in late 2018. His opponent will be Filipino puncher Junny Salogaol (14-16-5, 13), a late replacement though a man who was training for a now cancelled fight in Japan in late June.
Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
From Japan to Saudi Arabia as we see boxing join the WWE in an the attempt of becoming part of the sporting propaganda of the Saudi government. Whilst this card isn't one we'll be focusing a lot on, especially given the action in Japan, it is still a show which will get a lot of attention, especially in the West.
The main event will see Amir Khan (33-5, 20) take on Billy Dib (45-5-0-2, 26) in a match that was put together on about 3 weeks notice. Originally Khan was going to Indian face Neeraj Goyat (11-3-2, 2) in a bout being sold on the Indian vs Pakistan rivalry, and was originally set to be for the WBC Pearl title. Goyat suffered an injury in a car accident weeks before the fight and Dib, a former Featherweight world champion, moved up the card to fill the position left by Goyat. Originally Dib was to face Indonesian fighter Carlos Lopez, so he has clearly landed a much better pay day here. Sadly the WBC Pearl title will no longer be on the line, and the bout will instead be for the WBC International Welterweight crown.
A more interesting bout on this card, at least terms of competitiveness, will see unbeaten and exciting Filipino Dave Penalosa (15-0, 11) take on South African foe Lerato Dlamini (12-1, 6) for the WBC Silver Featherweight title. This is a big step up for Penalosa who hasn't really scored a win of note. On the other hand the South African holds a really notable win over Simpiwe Vetyeka from 2017 and will feel that that bout will have prepared him for a bout like this against Penalosa.
Others on this card include Uzbek hopeful Shakhobidin Zoirov (2-0, 2), who has been very impressive in his professional career so far.
All the way over in Florida we'll get the chance to see a couple of unbeaten Kazakh fighters attempt to continue their run onwards and upwards.
The more notable of the two is Heavyweight hopeful Ivan Dychko (8-0, 8), who takes on Nate Heaven (9-2, 7). The talented, yet awful badly promoted Dychko, was originally pencilled in to fight Raphael Zumbano (39-16-1, 31) though Zumbano was later replaced by Heaven, who should pose of a test. Sadly for Dychko, a former amateur star, his competition has been awful and his activity has been less than great, and he's falling a long way behind some of his amateur contemporaries, such as Filip Hrgovic, Tony Yoka and Joe Joyce. If he stops Heaven, as expected, it's then a must for Dychko to step up in class.
The other Kazakh on this card is Mussa Tursyngaliyev (9-0, 6), who is pencilled in for a major step up in class as he takes on former world title challenger Ricardo Nunez (29-9, 23). On paper this looks a really tough match up for the unbeaten Tursyngaliyev however it should be noted that Nunez had his best wins down at Flyweight and Super Flyweight, and Tursyngaliyev is at Featherweight. Natural size difference will likely be the key between these two here.
This coming Saturday fight fans through Asia will have action to look towards. There are several shows in Asia, as well as Asian fighters fighting around the globe.
The most notable card of the day, in Asia at least, takes place in Osaka and features not only a regional title fight but a guy who looks set for a world title fight later in the year and two evem looking supporting bouts.
The main event will see Japanese-Filipino Joe Noynay (16-2-1, 5) battle former Japanese Featherweight champion Kosuke Saka (18-4, 15), in a bout for the vacant WBO Asia Pacific Super Featherweight title, which was vacated by Masao Nakamura. Noynay is a really talented boxer, and one of the most under-rated fighters in the Philippines. Although not well known he did give Reiya Abe one of his toughest tests to date. Saka on the other hand is a crude but very heavy handed fighter, who lost the title in bizarre circumstances to Takenori Ohashi in 2017, when he misheard the clack for the bell, and since then he has bounced back with a couple of early wins. This could be a very, very interesting match up. A full preview of this bout can be read here Saka and Noynay clash for regional crown
In the chief support bout we'll see world ranked Light Flyweight Tetsuya Hisada (33-9-2, 19) fight in a stay busy contest, as he takes on Indonesian journeyman Stevanus Nana Bau (9-10-2, 2) in what should be little more than a tick over fight for Hisada. Over the past few months Hisada has been linked to every Light Flyweigth world champion, but has been unable to secure a shot at one, which explains this tick over bout.
As for the supporting bouts we'll see Shota Asami (7-5, 4) take on Naoto Iwai (5-2, 3), in what should be a very compelling match up between two talented, and under-rated youngsters, and we'll also see Hirokazu Okajima (9-6-2, 5) take on Shota Yukawa (10-5-3, 4) in a battle of Japanese ranked fighters.
Goyang, South Korea
As well as the show in Japan there is also one in Goyang in Korea. This card is set to be a Korea Vs Japan card, though if we're being honest the card as a whole is poor, with very low quality match ups.
The main event will see the unbeaten Min Jang (7-0-2, 2) take on Hyeon Joon Lee (6-2-1, 4) in a bout for the BoxingM Korean Super Flyweight title. This is a pretty even looking bout, and could be a fairly compelling match up. The unbeaten Jang has won his last 4, since a draw with In Soo Jang back in 2018. Lee on the other hand is looking to claim his first title and score his second win since a loss in Japan to Shota Asami.
The most notable of the Korea Vs Japan bouts appears to be contests between Kyung Min Hwang (3-0, 2) and Teru Nobita (4-1-1, 2) and Ha Nok Shim (4-0, 2) battling against Tom Mizokoshi (3-1-1, 2). We're expecting Korea to win overall, and it's a shame that the card doesn't really have any notable names on it, like past Korea Vs Japan shows, with their being a couple of great shows last year, with several interesting match ups.
Bang Phun, Thailand
A third Asian show will take place in Bangphun, thanks to WorkPoint.
In one bout we'll see the WBC Youth Super Bantamweight title being fought for as the unbeaten pairing of Thattana Luangphon (3-0-1, 3) and Muhammad Ashiq (6-0-1, 5) battle. The title, which has been vacant since Tenta Kiyose gave it up, makes for an interesting reward for the winner of this one. The unbeaten Thai is 21 and is a staple of the WP Boxing shows, having fought all of his bouts in their studio. Ashiq on the other hand is a well travelled Singaporean, with bouts in Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines and Thailand. Neither man is a world beater, from what we've seen, but this should still be an interesting bout.
In another interesting, though very odd, bout we'll see former WBO Bantamweight champion Pungluang Sor Singyu (52-6, 35) take on former OPBF Super Featherweight champion Carlo Magali (23-11-3, 12) in a 6 round bout. Coming in both men have gone without a win in a while. Pungluang has lost his last 3, and is without a win since February 2016, whilst Magali has lost his last 2, and is 4-4 since Pungluang's last win. A real strange one.
Outside of Asia we have some intriguing match ups, the best of which takes place in Ukraine and sees Japanese tough guy Nihito Arakawa (32-6-2, 18) take on unbeaten Ukrainian Denys Berinchyk (10-0, 7) in a bout for a WBO minor title. This bout is likely to be wonderfully violent, though we do wonder what Arakawa has left in his body at this time, given he's now 37. A few years ago this would have FOTY candidate written all over it, though we now thing that wear and tear will be a major issue for Arakawa against someone as strong and powerful as Berinchyk. A full preview of this bout is available here Arakawa and Berinchyk seek major win in Kyiv!
New York, USA
Over in the US we're expecting to see Indian former amateur standout Vikas Krishan (1-0, 1) take on Noah Kidd (3-1-1, 2), in what should be an easy win for the "Indian Tank".
This coming Sunday is a hectic day with 4 Japanese shows, a Filipino show, a Korean show and a Vietnamese show. Not only is there lots of shows but those shows feature notable names and we get a host of title bouts, in what is a genuinely crazy day.
The biggest action for the day is from Osaka, where we get 8 bouts of note, spread over 2 shows at the EDION Arena Osaka. The first of those shows is a Green Tsuda triple title show.
The main event of this triple title show will see hard hitting Japanese Welterweight champion Ryota Yada (17-4, 14) defending his belt against the limited but exciting Shusaku Fujinaka (16-9-2, 11). For the champion this will be a second defense of the title, and he will be looking to really make a statement in the new year, with a number of interesting challengers now vying for a shot at his belt. For Fujinaka this one more chance to win a belt, but the reality is that he's a clear under-dog. Our preview of this bout can be read here Fujinaka challenges Japanese champion Yada!
A second Japanese title fight on this card will see domestic Super Flyweight champion Takayuki Okumoto (21-8-3, 10) making his first defense, taking on unbeaten contender Masayoshi Hashizume (16-0-1, 10). The champion won the belt earlier this year, over-coming Hiroyuki Kudaka, but looks likely to be little more than a transitional champion before a top domestic fighter takes it off him. Hashizume on the other hand was once a hotly tipped prospect, but poor match making from the Ioka gym has seen his development stall and stutter, and it's hard to know how prepared he is for a fight like this. Ore preview of this bout can be read here Okumoto defends Japanese title against unbeaten Hashizume
The third title bout on this show is a Japanese Super Flyweight Youth title bout, pitting the skilful Ryosuke Nasu (9-3-3, 2) against the heavy handed Yuto Nakamura (8-5, 7) to crown a new champion. We're expecting a really interesting contest here, with Nakamura trying to land his power and Nasu trying to out box the bigger punching Nakamura. It's a hard bout to call, and should be a very good one for the fans at the venue. Our in depth look at this bout is available to read hereNasu and Nakamura battle for Japanese Youth title!
Another potentially great bout on this card will see the once beaten Toshiki Shimomachi (9-1-1, 5) look to record his 8th straight win, as he takes a huge step up and faces off with Daisuke Watanabe (7-4, 4). Coming in to this momentum is clearly with Shimomachi, who won the Super Bantamweight Rookie of the Year last year, but this is certainly a tougher test than it looks on paper. Watanabe, although "only 7-4" has been in with the likes of Reiya Abe, Sho Nakazawa and Gakuya Furuhashi, and held his own in some tough domestic bouts. This is a serious match up and a really good fight for both men, who will know that a win massively boosts their career.
After the Green Tsuda card we then get an Ioka promoted show from the EDION arena. This card only features a single title bout, but does have a great supporting card to go along with the main event.
The title match up will see OPBF Lightweight champion Masayoshi Nakatani (17-0, 11) defending his belt against tough and hard hitting challenger Hurricane Futa (25-7-1, 15), who should put up a very interesting challenge. Nakatani will be strongly favoured, as he looks to secure his 11th defense of the title, but his career has failed to live up to early expectations and there is a real worry that he will go off the boil, if he hasn't already, and he looked less than his best last time out. Futa is a dangerous fighter, despite technical limitations he can really bang, and he's tough, with his record littered with upset wins, including KO wins over Vage Sarukhanyan and Will Tomlinson. An in depth look at this bout from regular contributor George Delis can be read here OPBF king Nakatani battles hard hitting Futa!
One of the supporting bouts will see former world title challenger Shohei Omori (19-2, 14) take on former OPBF Bantamweight champion Takahiro Yamamoto (21-5, 17). This looks almost certainly like a bout that will have explosive action. Omori is the more technically skilled of the two men, and has solid power to go with his technical skills, but Yamamoto can certainly bang and is a very dangerous fighter, even if he lacks that bit of class Omori has. Both fighters have been stopped and should feel they have the power to stop the other here. A preview of this bout can be read here Omori and Yamamoto clash in "survival" bout!
Another supporting bout will see former world title challengers battle, as former WBA Super Flyweigt title challenger Sho Ishida (26-1, 15) takes on former WBO title challenger Warlito Parrenas (26-8-1, 23). At 27 years old the 5'8" Ishida has the potential to go all the way, and 2-0 (2) since his loss to Kal Yafai, in what as a close but very forgettable contest. That loss seems to have made Ishida aware that he does need to improve and we have seen a more spiteful attitude from him in the ring. Parrenas on the other hand is 35 and has been stopped in 2 of his last 4, losing to Naoya Inoue and Ryuichi Funai and this seems like a bout he must win if he intends to keep his career alive. Our preview of this clash can be read here Ishida and Parrenas clash in must win bout!
In one other bout of note we'll see Tatsuya Ikemizu (19-2, 8) hunt a 7th straight win, since being stopped by Jonas Sultan in 2016, as he takes on Sonin Nihei (8-2-3, 1). Both of these men were once tipped for success, though both have fallen very short of expectations so far. Given that both are young, both are 25, there is a chance that they could come good. It's worth noting that Nihei hasn't fought since being stopped by Keita Kurihara in December 2016, in what was a second straight stoppage loss for Nihei.
On a lesser level to the Osaka cards is a show from Okinawa, where 2017 Light Welterweight Rookie of the Year Marcus Smith (6-1-1, 6) takes on Filipino Nelson Tinampay (13-7-1, 6). This will be Smith's first bout since losing a Japanese title eliminator to Koki Inoue and should be a solid test for the Japanese-American puncher. Tinampay has been stopped in 4 of his last 6, but has mixed with good talent across the region and will give us something to compare Smith's result against.
In a supporting bout we'll see the talented Tatsuro Nakashima (7-1-1, 5), who came runner up in the East Japan Rookie of the Year last year, looking to bounce back from a recent loss to Kai Ishizawa. The 24 year old Japanese fighter will be up against Thai foe Sanchai Yotboon (4-1, 4), who was last seen in the ring in September, being demolished by the debuting Ginjiro Shigeoka. We don't expect anything but a win for Nakashima, but we're interested in this bout to learn more about how good Shigeoka's performance was.
This card will also feature Former OPBF female Bantamweight champion Yuko Henzan (6-7-4, 2), who is scheduled to face off against a Thai opponent.
The least notable of the Japanese cards comes from Hyogo, where the Japanese ranked Giraffe Kirin Kanda (13-2, 7) takes on the hard hitting Takuya Matsuzaka (8-7, 7) in what should be a good test before Kanda begins a march towards titles in 2019. Kanda is riding a 7 fight winning streak into this bout whilst Matsusaka has managed to win just 3 of his last 7. Although heavy handed Matsusaka has been stopped in 6 of his 7 losses, and we'd not be surprised to see him being taken out again here.
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
As well as the Japanese action there will also be a card in Vietnam, in association with a Japanese promoter, with a Japanese fighter headlining the card.
That Japanese fighter in the main event is the exciting Gakuya Furuhashi (23-8-1, 12), who faces off with limited Thai Yutthichai Wannawong (9-7, 7) in a bout for the vacant OPBF Silver Super Bantamweight title. The bout is supposed to be a special attraction as the OPBF look to build up boxing in Vietnam, and it seems clear the OPBF do have big plans for the coming years in these non-boxing countries, so fingers crossed this main event interests the fans.
A second OPBF affiliated title will be on the line as Nguyen Anh Tuan Dao (1-1, 1) faces an opponent, sadly we don't have their name, for the newly created OPBF Vietnamese National Light Welterweight title. The idea seems to be to spread these national titles across a number of countries, in what could be a very interesting experiment from the OPBF, who seem to realise that their market needs to grow outside of their strong hold markets.
Metro Manila, Philippines
In Metro Manila we'll see 3 bouts of note, even if they aren't hugely interesting match ups.
The most promising of those fighters is Joe Noynay (15-2-1, 5), who looks to secure a 4th straight win as he takes on Nathan Bolcio (14-15-3, 4), who has lost his last 3. The talented 23 year old Noynay is unbeaten since losing in February 2017 to Reiya Abe, and looks to be a genuine prospect. Bolcio on the other hand looks like a fighter who has given up trying to win and is 4-13-2 in his last 19 bouts, with 8 of those 13 losses coming by stoppage.
Another fighter who appears to be in easy is Ryan Sermona (20-9-1, 13), who takes on Junar Adante (7-10-1, 4). Sermona has mixed with good fighters, including a 2014 loss to Masayuki Ito and a 2017 loss to Masayoshi Nakatani, and is a decent fighter on the domestic Filipino scene. Adante on the other hand has been stopped in his last 4 bouts, and 8 of his last 9, suggesting Sermona shouldn't have any problems at all here.
The other bout of note on this card will see 23 year old Glenn Medura (9-4-1, 5) battle against Dado Cabintoy (15-8-2, 8), in a bout that looks competitive on paper, but isn't a hugely interesting bout. Medua is 1-3 in his last 4, with only a single win in the last 2 years, whilst Cabintoy is 0-4 coming into this bout and is more than 40 months removed from his last win!
Seoul, South Korea
The main event here is really the only bout worth talking about, and will be an 8 round Super Featherweight clash, as Dong Kwan Lee (8-2-2, 4) takes on Hwan Young Jo (5-6, 1). It's hard to see past a win for Lee, but he was stopped last time out, being taken out in 3 rounds by Jun Zhao back in September. Jo on the other hand has gone 1-3 in his last 4, and at 30 years old really looks like a fighter who won't be getting any better.
Metro Manila, Philippines
This coming Thursday attention turns to the Philippines for a rather notable card in Metro Manila, featuring a couple of title bouts as well as several notable names in the supporting bouts.
One of the two title bouts will see the touted Joe Noynay (14-2-1, 4) take on Chinese visitor Qixiu Zhang (9-4-1, 3) in a bout for the WBO Asia Pacific Youth Super Featherweight title, which Noynay will be defending for the second time. The talented Noynay may not have a perfect record but his two losses have come to excellent fighters in the form of Richard Pumicpic and Reiya Abe, and he didn't embarrass himself in either of those defeats. Zhang on the other hand is a bit of an unknown, though is riding a 3 fight winning run including a big victory in South Korea over Nak Yul Park from back in May. Noynay is the clear favourite, but Zhang is certainly not going to be there to make up the numbers.
The other title bout will see 20 year old Al Toyogon (8-2-1, 5) face off with the experienced Nathan Bolcio (14-14-3, 4) for the vacant WBC Asian Boxing Council Silver Super Featherweight title. Coming in to this Toyogon is riding a very impressive 3 fight run of opening round wins, including a notable victory over Naotoshi Nakatani from back in February. As for Bolcio his form is poor, with just a single win in his last 6. Bolcio has fought a relative who's who of the Asian scene, such as Hisashi Amagasa, Tomoki Kameda and Pungluang Sor Singyu, all of whom have have taken victories over Bolcio. We expect to see Toyogan taken a few rounds, but can't see him coming up short.
The under-card really is a mixed bag, with one of the best of the under-card bouts being between the unbeaten Denmark Quibido (7-0, 5) and Jayar Diama (7-15-7, 3), who is much better than his record suggests. We expect Quibido to come out on top, but we wouldn't be surprised to see him forced to work for his win. Diama has gone 0-10-2 in his last 12 bouts, but is no push over and this is a step up for Quibido.
Another interesting supporting bout will see Ricardo Sueno (8-2-3, 3) face off with Robert Onggocan (9-4, 5). The 24 year old Sueno has won his last 6 wins, after going 2-2-3 to begin his career, but this is a genuine step up in class for him. Onggocan, 22, is out of form with 3 straight losses coming in to this, but he has mixed with good company through his career, losing to Pedro Taduan, Mirco Martin, Jeronil Borres and Jonathan Taconing, and will feel like that level of competition will help him over-come Sueno. We wouldn't be surprised if this turned out to be the bout of the night.
Kadoebi will be putting on a pretty stacked card at the Korakuen Hall, headlined by a Japanese title fight and littered with notable names from the Kadoebi stable.
The main event of the card will see Japanese Featherweight champion Takenori Ohashi (15-4-2, 10) make his first defense of the title, as he battles fellow puncher Taiki Minamoto (14-5, 11) in a Champion Carnival bout. Ohashi won the title last year in bizarre fashion as he stopped Kosuke Saka as Saka misheard the end of round clacker, and this will be his first defense since that win. Prior to the stoppage Ohashi had looked a monster against Saka, but with 3 stoppages against his name it's clear he's not the toughest. Minamoto is himself a bit of a glass cannon, with 2 stoppages against his name, but he did show good skills last October when he defeated Dai Iwai to earn this shot. This could well be a shoot out, and could be something very exciting.
The chief support bout is a mouth watering ,match up between Akinori Watanabe (35-7, 30) and Ratchasi Sithsaithong (10-4, 7). Watanabe has lost 3 of his last 5, including an 8th round TKO loss last time out to Magomed Kurbanov, but is still a really dangerous puncher and will know that a win here will see him back in the OPBF title mix. For Ratchasi this will be his first bout in Japan since losing the OPBF Light Middleweight title to Takeshi Inoue last October, and prior to that he had been on a role with wins against Cobra Suwa, Yutaka Oishi and Jumbo Oda Nobunaga Shoten Petagine. We're expecting this to be two men each fighting to remain relevant, and could be very special.
Fast rising Kadoebi prospect Kazuki Saito (4-0, 4) will be continuing his development as he faces off with Marbon Bodiongan (14-6-2, 11). Despite only having 4 bouts to his name Saito is already ranked by the JBC and OPBF and looks to be racing towards a title fight thanks to good wins over Jimmy Borbon and Alvin Lagumbay. This is, on paper, a slight step up in class for Saito as he takes on his most experienced opponent. Bodiongan is 0-3 on his travels, but has has mixed with the likes of Nihito Arakawa and Masaru Sueyoshi, and should give Saito a chance to compare himself to those two men. They both stopped Bodiongan though if Saito can stop him in 4 rounds he would have bettered both men's win over the Filipino visitor.
Last November we saw Shoma Fukumoto (11-2, 9) being stopped in a 90 second war with Kazuto Takesako, who has since gone on to win the Japanese Middleweight title. Fukumoto makes his return on this show as he goes up against Indonesian foe Maxi Nahak (7-14-3, 3), who has been stopped in his 3 previous visits to Japan.
Another man looking to get some momentum into his career is Cristiano Aoqui (11-7-2, 7), who has lost his last 3 bouts, and 4 of his last 5. The Japanese-Brazilian will be expected to pick up an easy win here as he takes on a poor Thai visitor.
The under-card also has a really interesting match up on it as the 21 year old Tsuyoshi Sato (5-1-1, 2). who was the 2017 Light Flyweight Rookie of the Year, takes on the unbeaten Yuma Wada (4-0-1, 1), also 21. Sato had a big year in 2017 going 4-0-1 with an opening round win over Yusei Nagai in the All Japan Rookie of the Year final, to put himself in the JBC rankings. He will be risking that rankings here against Wada, who looks a very capable young fighter himself.
As well as the action in Tokyo there will also be a pretty notable Asian show in Cebu.
The main event of this card will see Joe Noynay (13-2-1, 4) defending his WBO Asia Pacific Youth Super Featherweight title against Mexican Hector Garcia (12-6-2-1, 7).We're really unsure how Garcia qualifies for this title, given that he's not from the Asia Pacific region, but he is battle tested and will be a very tough test for Noynay. The Mexican has never been stopped and gave decent tests to Devin Haney and Juan Carlos Burgos last year. Noynay is a genuine talent, and gave Reiya Abe real problems last year, so should be able to come out on top here, but he should get well tested by the Mexican visitor.
One of the main bouts will see Cris Alfante (13-6-1, 5) hunt a third straight win as he takes on Renoel Pael (21-8-1, 11) in a 10 rounder. Coming in to this one Alfante has got a big of momentum with back to back wins, though he has suffered 2 losses in his last 5 bouts, including a 4th round KO defeat to Daigo Higa. Pael once looked like he could be a diamond in the rough, but with 4 straigth losses his career is floundering now and there is a risk that he has resigned himself to being little more than a regional gatekeeper, which would be a shame given his competitive bouts with Ardin Diale and Suguru Muranaka.
Other undercard bouts on this card will see Cris Paulino (16-3, 6) take on Jason Tinampay (8-8-1, 7), in what could be much better than it looks, and Ronel Sumalpong (4-0, 4) risk his unbeaten record against fellow unbeaten Justin Darap (2-0, 2).
In Canada fans will be able to see former world title challenger Michael Farenas (42-5-4, 34) take on Guadalupe Rosales (34-14, 18). Filipino banger Farenas has had a pretty stop-start career in recent times, with a couple of low key bouts in 2015, none in 2016 and one last year. Aged 33 there is still life in Farenas' career, but he will need a big and busy 2018, with this bout being a perfect chance to shake some ring rust. Rosales on the other hand is a relatively low risk opponent for someone like Farenas and despite being tough, shouldn't have the legs to avoid Farenas.
To end February Dangan give us a nice looking card with a title double header and several fighters of note on the under-card.
One of the title bouts will see Yuta Matsuo (12-2-1, 6) and Masayuki Kuroda (25-7-3, 15) battle for the “interim” Japanese Flyweight title. The two men, who are facing off whilst Flyweight champion Takuiya Kogawa recovers from an ear injury, will be guaranteed a shot at the full title later in the year if they win here. Of the two men Kuroda is the more well known, he's a former Japanese Light Flyweight champion and has fought for a WBA Flyweight world title in the past, he is however a fighter who has struggled recently, with a 4-4-3 record in his last 11 dating back 5 years. Matsuo on the other hand is getting his first title fight, though has beaten solid fighters like Yota Hori and Ryuto Oho so far in his career, and fought to a very narrow loss against Ardin Diale. This should be a very competitive and fun to watch contest.
The other title bout sees Watanabe's fast rising Hiroto Kyoguchi (5-0, 5) take on Filipino veteran Armando dela Cruz (25-14-3, 11) in a bout for the OPBF Minimumweight title, recently vacated by Ryuya Yamanaka. The bout seems to suggest that Watanabe are going to be pushing hard for Kyoguchi to get a world title fight this year, and although this fight was put together on about a month's notice it's hard to see the unbeaten youngster coming up short against the veteran.
The main under-card bout looks like a genuine treat as the under-rated Reiya Abe (13-2, 7) takes on the once beaten Joe Noynay (12-1-1, 4). Although relatively unknown outside of Japan Abe has been impressing fans in Tokyo recently with notable wins over Ryo Hino, Hikaru Marugame, Shingo Kusano and Tsuyoshi Tameda, showing poise, skills and power. Noynay, also known as Joe Misako, will be looking to score his first win outside of the Philippines and although he has got a good looking record this is a big step up for him here.
Another of the under-card bouts will feature the debuting Kaiki Yuba (0-0) making his debut, as he takes on Thai visitor Petchmahalert Eminent Air (0-4). Yuba is the son of the popular Tadashi Yuba, a 5-weight Japanese national champion and is expected to have a strong career going forward. His interest hasn't recieved massive attention but it is clear that those in Japan are hoping that he can have a similar level of popularity to his father.
The most significant card for us this Saturday comes from Tokyo and will be aired on G+ in Japan.
In the main event of the show card we'll see Japanese Super Bantamweight champion Yasutaka Ishimoto (28-8, 7) battle against Gakuya Furuhashi (18-7-1, 8) in a really exciting rematch between two well matched fighters. These two fought last year, with Ishimoto winning a very competitive decision, and we favour him again here though it's a bout that should be genuinely compelling from the opening round to the final bell, and the two men will almost certainly gel well again here, as they did in their first bout.
In the chief supporting bout we'll see former world champion Akifumi Shimoda (30-5-2, 13) battle against Filipino journeyman Gadwin Tubigon (14-11-2, 9). Shimoda was last seen in December, losing in a very close Japanese Featherweight title fight against Satoshi Hosono, however he has remained in the domestic title mix and will be expecting a title fight next time out, if he over-comes Tubigon. Interestingly Tubigon has won his last 4, by stoppage, and will be riding a streak of confidence coming in to this even if he is the huge under-dog.
Another fighter looking to bounce back from a defeat is the once touted Sho Nakazawa (8-1, 4), who will be fighting for the first time since being stopped by Teiru Atsumi. That loss was a genuine upset and a real set back for Nakazawa who will be looking to bounce back as he takes on Filipino fighter Cris Leon (10-13-4, 4). Leon is a journeyman and despite scoring a couple of wins recently he shouldn't be able to last with Nakazawa, especially given that Leon has 10 stoppage losses against him already.
A big name on the under-card is Juiki Tatsuyoshi (5-0, 3), the son of Joichiro Tatsuyoshi, who will be up against Monkey Shuhei (5-8-1, 2). This will be Tatsuyoshi's second 6 rounder and should be a far better test than his first one, which saw him defeat a really poor Thai foe. Shuhei comes into this on the back of 5 losses, and just a single win in his last 8, but should be game against the 20 year old Osakan.
Arguably the most intriguing of the under-card bouts sees Teiken prospect Kenshin Oshima (1-0, 1), who has only 68 seconds of professional experience, taking on teenager Yuki Iriguchi (5-1-1, 3). Oshima made an impressive debut back in June and will be looking to build on that however Iriguchi impressed last year, going 4-0 (3) for the year. Despite a good 2015 Iriguchi has gone 0-1-1 this year and will be hoping to end that skid.
Another under-card bout will see the once beaten Masaya Tamayama (7-1, 4) take on the experienced Shohei Kanemoto (10-11-1, 3). It's hard to see anything but a win for Tamayama however he will be fighting in his first 8 rounder and could be moving on to big things in the near future.
Although the Japanese card is a really interesting show the bout of the day actually looks likely to be in Mexico as WBC Female Flyweight champion Jessica Chavez (27-4-3, 4) battles 3-weight world champion Naoko Fujioka (15-1, 6). The bouts sees Fujioka attempt to become the first Japanese fighter to become a 4-weight world champion but to claim that honour she will have to defeat a fellow female fighting great. This really is a mouth watering bout, and although we know plenty don't care about female boxing they should make an exception for this bout.
Metro Manila, Philippines
Back in Asia there will also be a notable show in Metro Manila with two title bouts.
One of hose title bouts will see Cris Alfante (11-6-1, 4) battle against Roilo Golez (16-15-1, 7) in a bout for the currently vacant WBC Asian Boxing Council Continental Super Flyweight title. On paper this looks like a mismatch in favour of Alfante however the bout should be better than it looks. Despite having a moderately decent record on paper Alfante has gone 1-4-1 in his last 6 and is seriously struggling. Interestingly Golez is 2-4 in his last 6 and should put up a solid bout here, despite the disparity in records.
The other title bout here will see Danilo Gabisay (6-6, 4) take on Joe Noynay (10-1-1, 3) for the vacant WBC Asian Boxing Council Silver Featherweight title. Noynay began his career 10-0 but has suffered successive set backs this year and knows that he'll need a win here to put things back on track. On paper Gabisay should be an easy mark for Noynay and with 1 win in his last 5 it does likely that he is the “patsy” for Noynay to get back to winning ways.
A genuinely intriguing bout on this card will see Roldan Aldea (9-3-1, 3) battle former OPBF title challenger Benjie Suganob (10-5-1, 5) in a really even looking contest. Aldea has lost his last 2 bouts, though both were on the road, and will be hoping to avoid a third successive loss whilst Suganob has gone 2-3 in his last 5 but has certainly not shamed himself and could see this as a great chance to get notable win and move himself towards another top fight.
A second Filipino show will be held in Ifugao. This card lacks any sort of quality and the main event will see unbeaten 17 year old Carl Jammes Martin (2-0, 2) face the limited Manny Mamacquiao (1-8-1) in what should be a straight forward win for Martin.
In Russian fight fans will see Kyrgyzstan born Akzhol Sulaymanbek uulu (1-0, 1) take on a yet to be named foe
Metro Manila, Philippines
The action in May is pretty hectic after a slow start. The action doesn't actually kick off until May 4th when Filipino fans get a title double double.
In one of the two title bouts fans will see the once beaten Jeffrey Francisco (13-1-1, 1) battle against Yusuke Suzuki (6-2, 4) for the EPBC Bantamweight title. On paper this might not look like anything special however it's a really good match up with Francisco's only loss coming to the very decent Jestoni Autida whilst Suzuki's only losses are to Ryoichi Tamura and Yusaku Kuga, two more very good fighters. The bout is likely to be a boxer vs puncher affair but a very good one to watch.
The other title bout on this card will see the unbeaten Joe Noynay (10-0-1, 3) battle former OPBF title challenger Richard Pumicpic (17-7-2, 6) in what looks like a very tough assignment for the WBC International Super Bantamweight title. Noynay comes into this on the back of a draw against the under-rated, and under-sized, Alie Laurel in what was a coming of age fight for Noynay. For Pumicpic this is a chance to claim a notable title.
As for the under-card on this card it features a host of notable fighters. Including the unbeaten Dave Penalosa (10-0, 7), former world title challenger Silvester Lopez (25-11-2, 18), the once touted Renan Trongco (17-6, 10) and the exciting Allan Vallespin (5-0, 5)
The most notable action to involve Asian fighters this Thursday takes place in the US where two fantastic prospects will be in action.
The most promising of the prospects is the fantastic Dmitry Bivol (5-0, 5) who looks to continue his meteoric rise through the Light Heavyweight ranks as he faces Brazilian Cleiton Conceicao (22-8-2, 18). Bivol, from Kyrgyzstan, is possibly the most exciting prospect on the planet and looks to be a man set to fight in world level bouts in the next 12-18. This is likely to just be the next step on his road to the top.
The other prospect is unbeaten Kazakh Bekman Soylybayev (7-0, 3) who moves in to title bouts as he takes on the experienced Moises Delgadillo (15-13-2, 8) for the WBA-NABA USA Super Featherweight title. This should be a straight forward win for Soylybayev, who was a former stand out amateur and WSB champion, though it's actually the manner of his performance that will be important here.
Metro Manila, Philippines
As well as the notable action in the US fight fans also get an Asian interest in the Philippines where fans get several title bouts in what looks likely to be a very intriguing card in Metro Manila.
The main event of the card will see the unbeaten Joe Noynay (10-0, 3), also known as Joe Misako, battle against the criminally under-rated Alie Laurel (14-4, 9) in a bout for the WBC International Super Bantamweight title. The unbeaten 20 year old will be the favourite given his unbeaten record but this will be a dangerous bout for him. Noynay is the naturally bigger fighter but Laurel is a very dangerous fighter, as seen in wins over Tiger Tor Buamas and Nobuhisa Coronita Doi.
Another unbeaten fighter looking to claim a title on this show is Kyota Otsuka (5-0-1, 3) who faces Eranio Semillano (11-7-1, 3) for the WBC EPBC Super Flyweight title. On paper this looks like a logical step up for Otsuka but the 21 year old is stepping up massively for his first 12 rounder and this is a potential upset. Semillano is 1-2-1 in his last 4 but shouldn't be over-looked as he has been mixing at a much higher level than Otsuka, and actually fought current WBO Bantamweight champion Pungluang Sor Singyu in 2014.
The remaining title bout is probably the best match up on the card and sees the unbeaten Toto Landero (7-0-2, 2) battle against the once beaten Rolly Sumalpong (9-1-1, 4) for the WBC EPBC title at Minimumweight. This is the first defense by Sumalpong, who won the title last June, and will be his first bout since losing to fast rising Japanese star Ken Shiro last October. For Landero this is a step up to 10 round action and a great chance for him to score a big win. This really is a fantastic match up and very mouth watering.
This coming Saturday is a very busy day in Asian boxing, despite not having a real top tier fight.
Metro Manila, Philippines
Much of the action for the day is in the Philippines where fans get two shows. One of those is set to take place in Metro Manila and show case a former world title challenger who is really struggling for form.
The former challenger is the heavy handed Silvester Lopez (24-11-2, 18) who takes part in a confidence building bout against Eranio Semillano (10-7, 3). The bout is technically a contest for the WBC Eurasia Pacific Boxing Council Bantamweight title, but the reality is that no one really cares about the belt and instead the key is to get Lopez a much needed win.
The key under-card bout, for us at least, will see the unbeaten Joe Noynay (9-0, 2) risk his unbeaten record against Marvin Abila (4-10-1). This should be a straight forward win for Noynay however we haven't yet seen him step up and hopefully that will happen in the near future.
Cotabato del Sur, Philippines
The other Filipino card is from General Santos City and features several bouts of note.
The main event will see recent OPBF title contender Mark Anthony Geraldo (31-6-3, 14) attempt to end a 2-fight losing streak as he takes on Ryan Rey Ponteras (13-11-1, 6). On paper this is a huge mismatch but, Ponteras has been over-looked in the past and has proven to be a banana skin, so could possible test Geraldo's resolve here.
As for the key under-card bout, that will be a contest featuring the promising, but once-beaten, Jhaleel Payao (11-1, 6) who hopes to bounce back from a loss to Michael Dasmarinas, as he takes on Jeson Umbal (8-3, 6). This really is a great supporting bout and could well be the show stealer.
Staying with Filipino's fans in the US will get the chance to see the much touted Dodie Boy Penalosa Jr (14-0, 12) take part in his second bout in the space of 5 weeks. Penalosa Jr has been matched very easily here and will be up against “no hoper” Greg Coverson Jr (3-13-3, 2) in what should be a simple win for the 24 year old Filipino.
Also in the US fans will get the chance to see Kyrgyzstan's Urmat Ryskeldiev (11-3, 7) take on promising puncher Nathaniel Gallimore (9-0, 8) in what could be a very explosive match up in Burbank, California.
In China there will be a rookie show, consisting of 10 bouts, all scheduled for 4 rounders. This is the next set of bouts in the recent Top Rank/SECA co-promoted deal from the Mercedes-Benz Arena and is hoping to, eventually, develop the next crop of Chinese talent.