The first post-Christmas show in Japan this year will held at the EDION Arena Osaka and will be a small card promoted by the Hiroki Ioka Boxing gym.
The main event sees rising hopeful Rikuto Adachi (11-1, 8), who is currently ranked by the OPBF, taking on Thai visitor Phongsathon Sompol (9-4, 5). The talented Adachi, who impressed last time out by stopping Jonel Dapidran in 3 rounds, will be strongly favoured here. The visitor is 0-2 when he fights outside of Thailand and we are expecting to see him suffer another stoppage loss on the road here, especially given how good Adachi is.
In a supporting bout we'll see Japanese based Korean Tae Il Atsumi (14-2, 7) take on Filipino Jerry Castroverde (10-4, 5), who will be fighting for the first time since joining the gym run by Nobuhiro Ishida. This will be Atsumi's second bout since losing a close decision to Shingo Kawamura, and he'll be looking to shine as he tries to end the year on a high. As for Castroverde the bout is his first of the year, and follows a 21 month break from the ring.
Originally Yuki Nonaka (32-10-3, 10) was planned for this card, he is however not going to compete here due to his recently announced bout against Shinobu Charlie Hosokawa (11-3, 10) on February 24th.
Agusan del Norte, Philippines
In the Philippines we'll get two smaller shows. One of those will be headlined by Jobert Alvarez (18-2-2, 7), as he takes on Michael Bravo (13-2, 6). This looks good on paper, with both having winning records, and both coming in to this bout in the hope of a win. Alvarez was once touted as a special fighter, but in recent times has failed to deliver on that early promise. Bravo on the other hand never got the same hype, and was stopped last time out by Giemel Magramo. We suspect Alvarez will win, but he is a live under-dog.
Metro Manila, Philippines
A second Filipino card will see former world title challenger Toto Landero (10-4-2, 2) take on Oliver Gregorio (10-8-3, 5). We think Landero is a very good fighter, with the potential to win a world title in the future, and should win here. However Landero has lost his last 3, and 4 of his last 6 and may be lacking confidence. Gregorio on the other hand has gone 1-5-2 in his last 8 bouts.
Another bout on this card will see Vergil Puton (17-11-1, 8) take on Landy Cris Leon (11-18-4, 5) in what should be a straight forward win for the under-rated Puton, who has proven himself as an excellent gate keeper. Leon should be the smaller man, the lesser skilled man and the clear under-dog.
The only action this coming Saturday comes from Cebu and although not being a massive card it does have several interesting match ups on it, including a very notable main event in one of the sports best division.
That main event will see unbeaten Light Flyweight prospect Christian Araneta (15-0, 13) take on former world title challenger Jerry Tomogdan (25-9-4, 13) in a bout for the WBC Asian Boxing Council Silver title. The very hard hitting and promising Araneta is one of many Filipino prospects at Light Flyweight, and has scored several notable wins including a 22015 victory over Jesse Espinas. Coming in to this Araneta has stopped his last 4 opponents in a combined 11 rounds and will be hoping that sort of destruction continues here. As for Tomogdan he is best known for coming up short in a world title fight against Wanheng Menayothin, though has faced other notable foes with losses to Jobert Alvarez, Yodmongkol Vor Saengthep, Richard Claveras and Pedro Guevara as well as a notable 2017 win against Riku Kano. We suspect that the power and size of Araneta will be too much, but Tomogdan's experience could keep him competitive here.
A second title bout will see unbeaten Frenchman Jaber Zayani (14-0, 8) battle against former Satoshi Shimizu foe Eduardo Mancito (16-8-2, 9) in a bout for the WBO Oriental Super Featherweight title. We're not sure how Zayani, qualifies for an Oriental title but his last two bouts have been in Thailand and he'll be hoping to continue his success in Asia here, and extend his unbeaten record. As for Mancito he has lost 3 of his last 4, but that losing run did come to an end last time out when he defeated limited veteran Danilo Pena. Sadly a win over Pena is unlikely to help Mancito here against Zayani, who should come out on top without too many problems.
A third bout of not will see the once touted Jobert Alvarez (17-2-2, 7) take on Gerpaul Valero (22-21-4, 16). Valero was once 1-13-3 and has turned his record around since then, but in the last few years he has he has began to struggle again, going 1-4-1 in his last 6 bouts. Alvarez on the other hand was expected to be a star following a very competitive loss to Juan Francisco Estrada. Since then he has failed to live up to expectation, but is still young enough to bounce back. Sadly for Alvarez he was very unlucky not to claim an OPBF title last October, when he was held to a draw by Keisuke Nakayama, but should come out on top here with very few problems.
The show of the the day, for us at least, is in Tokyo where we get a pair of OPBF title fights, both of which are well matched, and one of which could be the coming out party for one of the best natural talents in the sport today.
The headline bout sees the teak tough Hidenori Otake (29-2-3, 13) making his second defense of the OPBF Super Bantamweight title, as he takes on the hotly tipped youngster Hinata Maruta (5-0, 4). Otake, best known for going 12 rounds with Scott Quigg in the UK, will be viewing this bout as his next step towards a second world title fight and a chance to prove that he's still a top fighter despite being in his mid 30's. On the other hand Maruta is a young novice who has long been tipped as one of the Japanese stars of the future. The bout might be too much too soon for Maruta, or it could be the bout that sees him announce himself as being as good as advertised, and potentially a man who has the ability to go all the way to the top. It's going to be a special bout and something that deserves real attention.
The other title bout will see OPBF Flyweight champion Keisuke Nakayama (10-2-1, 4) making his first defense, as he battles once touted Filipino for Jobert Alvarez (17-2-1, 7). For Nakayama the bout is a really tough first defense, but a winnable one against Alvarez, who was stopped by Miguel Cartagena inside around a few fights back. Both of these can box, though we're expecting to see a bit of a battle, with the later rounds expected to be very exciting as both men put it on the line in an attempt to come away with the title.
San Juan, Argentina
Another title bout of note comes from Argentina, as Japan's Yunoka Furukawa (9-1-2, 6) challenges IBF female Flyweight champion Leonela Paola Yudica (12-0-3). The Japanese fighter, a current champion at Atomweight, will be moving up in weight for the bout and taking part in her first bout outside of Asia. The bout is a tough ask for the Japanese battler but she can't be ruled out, and certainly has the edge in power against the technically well schooled, but some what negative Yudica.
There's also set to be a very notable card in Australia featuring a number of Asian fighters, of various abilities.
One of the most interesting of the match ups on paper will see Joel Camilleri (14-4, 7) battle against China's Yao Yi Ma (15-2, 10). The local has had a mixed career, fighting against limited foe's and although he is riding a 5 fight winning streak a win here would be a career best. For Mathe bout is a chance to bounce back from last November's loss to Dennis Hogan, in what was Ma's last outing. On paper this looks competitive and we're expecting to see something really exciting here.
Another good looking contender on paper will see recent OPBF Lightweight title challenger Kaewfah Tor Buamas (25-2, 16) take on Australian hopeful George Kambosos Jnr (12-0, 6). Of the two men it's Kaewfah who is the more experienced, and more proven, having given Masayoshi Nakatani a decent test earlier this year and holding wins over the likes of Andrew Wallace and Jason Butar Butar. Despite a relative lack of experience Kambosos has looked really good and has wins of note over fighters like Brandon Ogilvie and Qamil Balla.
In a female bout we'll see Thai Petcharas Superchamp (7-5, 1) take on the excellent Susie Ramadan (26-2, 11). This will be a huge ask for Thai, who has lost 3 of her last 4, but she will be travelling knowing that this is a chance for her to put in a good performance on foreign soil. Aged 38 Ramadan has likely started on the downslope of her career but should still have too much for the visitor.
One other bout that looks good on paper will see the once beaten Tiger Tor Buamas (19-1, 14) take on the always exciting Joel Brunker (31-2, 18). Tiger is a limited fighter, but at 31 there is some live there and he does know his way around the ring, however he has spent much of his career fighting at a very low level. As for Brunker he was once eyed as possible world title challenger, but with 2 losses in his last 6 those hopes do look a long way from reality and at 31 years old his style is potentially set to catch up on him.
Metro Manila, Philippines
The final Filipino show of the month is a card put on by United and although it's not the best card it does feature a number of notable names, both established fighters and rising novices.
The most established fighter on the card is former world title challenger Ardin Diale (32-11-4, 15), who looks to make the most of his experience as he faces southpaw foe Wiljan Ugbaniel (13-4-1, 4). It's hard to see Diale losing here, but he has had a long and hard career and recent bouts against the likes of Daigo Higa, Ryan Lumacad and Andrew Selby will have taken their toll on his body.
Another notable name on this show is once touted Joebert Alvarez (16-2-1, 7), who looked like a champion in the making against Juan Francisco Estrada. Alvarez will be up against domestic veteran Roque Lauro (13-21-5, 3), in what should be a mismatch in favour of the 27 year old Alvarez.
A third domestic show down will see Ivan Soriano (15-1-1, 7) take on Bimbo Nacionales (14-13-1, 3), in what will likely be a quick show case for Soriano. In his 28 fight career Nacionales has been stopped 12 times, and it's likely another stoppage loss will follow here.
As for newer faces we'll see Japanese 23 year old Masataka Taniguchi (6-1, 4) take on Benjie Bartolome (2-9-2) in what should should be a very straight forward win for the Watanabe gym fighter. Taniguchi was beaten last time out, narrowly losing to Reiya Konishi in a Japanese title fight, and will likely be in the Philippines with a statement to make. Taniguchi's stable mate Hironori Mishiro (1-0, 1) will also be on this card, with the 22 year old taking on Pablito Canada (6-11-3, 1) in what should be a straight forward win for the really exciting Mishiro, who looked great on debut back in March.
This coming Friday sees Filipino fans getting the bulk of Asian action in quite a stacked card, with a number of bouts of real note, as well as some bouts which could be better than they look on paper.
Davao del Sur, Philippines
That Filipino shows comes from Davao del Sur and features a single title fight, as the twice beaten Jake Bornea (11-2, 5) faces Renerio Arizala (13-6-1, 5) for the WBF Intercontinental Super Flyweight title. On paper this bout might not look anything special, particularly given that Arizala has gone 1-5 in his last 6, but the reality is that both men will be hunting a win and both will put it all out there in an attempt to claim some silverware.
Jake isn't the only member of the Bornea family in action as younger brother Jade Bornea (7-0, 4) risks his unbeaten record against the massively experienced Jetly Purisima (21-22-4, 6). This should see the unbeaten Bornea move to 8-0 but we're expecting to see the talented youngster rack up some much needed rounds as he continues his development. Although Bornea did go 10 rounds last time out he has only got 29 rounds under his belt and a tough survivor like Purisima should really help with his development.
Another unbeaten man on this card looking to keep his “0” in place is the under-rated Ryan Lumacad (12-0-3, 7), who takes on Renoel Pael (21-5-1, 11) in the best bout of the show on paper. The unbeaten Lumacad has drawn 2 of his last 3, though was unlucky last time out not to take a win over Go Onaga in Okinawa and looks like a really talented prospect with a good engine and under-rated power. Interestingly Pael has lost to the two fighters Lumacad has fought to recent draws with, but a solid fighter and looks likely to bring the best out of the unbeaten youngster.
On paper a match up between Adones Cabalquinto (23-3, 15) and Rodel Wenceslao (11-14-1, 4) doesn't look hugely appealing, especially given that Cabalquinto beat his compatriot last year. The reality however is that Wenceslao is much better than the numbers suggest and this could be a really tough ask for Cabalquinto following 3 losses in his last 5.
One man expected to pick up a confidence booster is Rosekie Cristobal (12-2, 9), who has lost his last 2. The once touted Cristobal will be up against the tough but limited Alvin Makiling (10-13-4, 3). Another fighter looking for a confidence boosting win is Joebert Alvarez (15-2-1, 7), who should be strongly favoured to defeat Rodel Tejares (21-42-7, 6) in their 6 rounder.
Hampshire, United Kingdom
As well as the action in the Philippines there will be two Kazakh fighters in action in the UK, as they attempt to both claim titles.
In a really interesting bout at 154lbs Yernar Yeshenov (5-0, 4) will face fellow unbeaten Michael McGurk (8-0, 2), with the winner to become the new WBC Youth Silver Intercontinental champion. The 22 year old Yeshenov has fought in Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Thailand, and has previously claimed a Youth regional title at Middleweight, though never filled out to being a fully fledged Middleweight. Scottish fighter McGurk has never been in a bout scheduled for 6 before this contest, and will be needing a career best performance to hold his own with the powerful Kazakh hopeful.
The other bout will see the hard hitting Alexandr Zhuravskiy (13-2, 11) battle against the unbeaten Stephen Danyo (11-0-3, 6) in a bout for the WBO European Welterweight title. Zhuravskiy, like his compatriot, is well travelled and has scored wins in Kazakhstan, Russia and Thailand, with both of his losses being competitive. Danyo is a British based Dutch fighter who has fought all over the place himself and could make for a very interesting match up here.
The month of December may have taken a few days to get going but when it begins to kick off, it really begins to kick off and today we have a genuinely exciting card with several very good looking bouts.
The first action of the day is in Tokyo where we get one of the best domestic cards of the year. In fact it's almost like an early Christmas present with 3 really interesting match ups.
The main event of the trio is a 10 round non-title bout between the teak tough Nihito Arakawa (25-4-1, 16) and Japanese Lightweight champion Yoshitaka Kato (28-5-1, 9). This is the third meeting between the two and will act as a rubber with each man holding a narrow win over the other. The bout has been made slightly above the Lightweight limit though that shouldn't take the shine off what is likely to be a violent, exciting and thrilling tear up between two very well matched fighters. We're really excited about this one and wouldn't be shocked if it ended up being a FOTY contender, it really could be that good.
As well as the non-title bout fans will also have two title bouts to look forward to. The most notable of those is also a rematch as the unified Japanese and OPBF Middleweight champion Akio Shibata (23-8-1, 9) looks to defend his unified for the second time. Shibata will be battling against former world title challenger Makoto Fuchigami (21-9, 12), a man best known for being stopped by Gennady Golovkin, and it's fair to say there is more to this bout than just the titles. This will be the second meeting between the two and in the first Shibata took a clear technical decision over Fuchigami who knows that his career will need a win here given that his recent form has been forgettable to say the least with just 2 wins in his last 5 bouts. This bout has titles, bragging rights and possibly even careers on the line, the stakes really couldn't be any higher.
The third bout is the remaining title bout as former OPBF Super Bantamweight champion Yukinori Oguni (13-1, 4) battles against Yasutaka Ishimoto (24-7, 7) in a bout for the vacant Japanese Super Bantamweight title. The belt was given up by Hidenori Otake ahead of Otake's world title bout with Scott Quigg and has left us with a potentially brilliant bout between two light hitting but technically proficient fighters. Neither of these guys is likely to ever become a genuine world champion though we suspect the winner could end up progressing to OPBF title fights and may get a world title shot somewhere down the line.
As well as the main trio the card will feature 4 under card contests, with the most interesting of those being a bout between the Japanese and OPBF ranked Kazuya Maruki (17-2, 11) and Quaye Peter (5-5-2, 3). This is a stay busy fight for Maruki who is on a 6 fight winning streak following his 8th round TKO loss to the monstrously hard hitting Keita Obara back in 2012. If Maruki can continue stringing together wins the odds are he will find himself getting a title fight of some sort at some point in 2015 or 2016.
Pathum Thani, Thailand
In Thailand there's another bout worth looking forward to as the unbeaten Kongthara KKP (5-0, 5) steps up in class and attempts to defend his WBC Asian Boxing Council Super Bantamweight title against experienced Indonesian Nouldy Manakane (27-15-1, 17). Kongthara blasted on to our radar back in May when he stopped Shingo Kawamura on his debut and now looks to add the scalp of a former world title challenger to his ledger. It should be a mismatch in favour of Kongthara but this is a good test for the promising Thai.
Nuevo León, Mexico
In Mexico fans in for a treat as WBC female Flyweight champion Shindo Go (14-2, 9) takes on highly regarded Mexican fighter Arely Mucino (20-2-2, 10) in a bout with a lot of promise. The contest has been a drawn out one outside of the ring with several issues getting in the way and we just hope those issues won't destroy what should be one of the best female bouts of the year.
Staying in Mexico fans will also get the chance to see the unbeaten Joebert Alvarez (14-0-1, 6) in the toughest bout of his career as he goes up against unified Flyweight champion Juan Francisco Estrada (30-2, 22). Estrada appears to be testing the water at 115lbs here and some have speculated that Estrada is set to vacate his Flyweight titles. We'll admit we'd love to see Estrada fight Roman Gonzalez in a much anticipated rematch however a bout between Estrada and Naoya Inoue would be equally as interesting and could be a bout made between two of the sports really young outstanding youngsters.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
April 4th-Kohei Oba meets Randy Caballero, Rookie of the Year qualifiers and Joebert Alvarez in action!
Not many Friday's are genuinely significant days in boxing but this week Friday is a really major day as we get several fights involving men on the fringes of a world title shot, both in terms of Asians and non-Asians.
The most significant show of the day is in Hyogo and is the "Real Spirits 36" card.
This card features 8 bouts in total with the main event being an IBF Bantamweight world title eliminator between Japanese champion Kohei Oba (25-2-1, 14) and unbeaten American Randy Caballero (20-0, 12). The winner of this bout should move directly into an IBF world title fight, though their is some discussion that they may need to wait a little longer with a strong rumour that champion Stuart Hall, of Britain, will try to fit in another title defense before his mandatory date.
As well as the world title eliminator the show also featured a female OPBF title bout as Kei Takenaka (6-0, 2) battles Thailand's win-less Yokkhao Loei Citygym (0-4) in a fight for the OPBF female Light Flyweight title. We do usually preview female OPBF title bouts but feel their is little need here. Yokkhao was beaten easily by Tomomi Takano in Takano's second fight last year with that in mind it's almost impossible to even imagine the upset here.
A third notable bout on this card sees Shun Kubo (3-0, 2) taking on Nongbeer Sor Bangkru (0-1). Kubo, ranked #8 by the OPBF at 118lbs is one of those fast rising Japanese prospects and comes in to this bout on the back of an outstanding victory over Monico Laurente last time out.
A second Japanese show is going to be held at the Korakuen Hall as the C Class Tournament and Rookie of the Year qualifiers continue. In total the show, Dangan 98, will have 12 bouts with our "one to watch" being 17 year old prospect Andy Hiraoka (2-0, 1) who fights in the final bout of the show against Susumu Nakata (1-4-2, 1).
In Thailand we get a televised show on Channel 7. The main event here is listed as being a bout between Chatpetch Sithmorseng (6-3, 2) and Dicky Amtiran (3-7) despite the records of both men being distinctly unimpressive we are lead to believe that the interim PABA Super Flyweight title.
Distrito Federal, Mexico
In Mexico the highly touted, and world ranked, Joebert Alvarez (13-0-1, 6) will be fighting against Mexican journeyman Julian Rivera (13-8-1, 2). Alvarez, who has been strongly linked to Juan Francisco Estrada, will be hoping to score his first victory outside of his native Phillipines though will know that this is no gimme despite Rivera's less than perfect record.
(First poster courtesy of Boxmob.jp)