So Christmas is this coming Monday, Turkey, alcohol, presents, fun and family. On Sunday however we have fights in Japan as the sport delivers once more before the big day.
The more notable of two shows comes from Kadoma City in Osaka and will feature a number of notable fighters.
One of those notable fighters is second generation hopeful Juiki Tatsuyoshi (6-0, 4), who will be facing off with a Thai visitor in the main event of the card. The bout with Tatsuyoshi is his first to be scheduled over the 8 round distance, and will actually be aired on G+, who appear happy to push him as a star in the making, thanks to his still hugely popular father Joichiro Tatsuyoshi. This will be Tatsuyoshi's first bout of the year, though comes after a number of injuries and the birth of his first child, so expect a lot of substories being told by the TV crew, but the key is for the unbeaten Osakan to win, and move into 2018 with his unbeaten record intact.
In the co-feature we'll see former world title challenger Hiroshige Osawa (32-4-4, 19) look to take a huge step towards a second world title fight, as he takes on world ranked Nicaraguan Alexander Mejia (8-0, 4). Internationally Osawa is best known for his 1-sided loss to Oscar Valdez but has bounced back since then with two wins, including a wide decision win over the then unbeaten Julio Cortez. Coming into this Meija has never fought outside of Nicaragua and comes into the bout with split decision wins over Lesther Lara and Ramiro Blanco as well as his unbeaten record.
One other bout of note on this card will see Shohei Kawashima (15-1-2, 3) face off with Gaku Aikawa (8-5-1, 2) in what looks likely to be a pretty interesting match up. The once beaten Kawashima has only fought once since his narrow defeat to Cristian Mijares in October 2016 and is a very talented fighter, who may well suffer from inactivity here, after 9 months out of the ring. Although his record doesn't show it Aikawa is a very decent lower tier domestic fighter and could well take advantage of Kawashima's inactivity here.
The other show comes from Osaka city, and features some notable fighters, but far less than the other card.
The main event here sees the unbeaten Takuya Uehara (13-0, 8) take on Takuya Yamamoto (8-7, 4) in what looks like a mismatch on paper. The unbeaten 22 year old Southpaw has shown traits of being one to watch, but has been matched lightly, with his best win being a decision over Filipino Markquil Salvana. Uehara is young, and for that we can let him off for the poor competition, but it's starting to feel like he's ready for a step up. Yamamoto is a limited fighter but is much better than his record indicates, and he has given Shingo Kawamura and Yuta Uetani tough bouts in recent times, though was dominated by Satoshi Shimizu back in May, who stopped him inside 2 minutes.
In the chief support bout fans will see the touted Kazuaki Miyamoto (4-1, 3) take on a Thai foe, in what should be a straight forward win for Miyamoto. Miyamoto was stopped earlier this year, by Shuzo Inada, but should be able to record his second win since that loss.
The first big Japanese show of the month takes place this coming Sunday in Kanagawa and looks set to be a significant one for a number of fighters as well as fans who can tune in on Fuji TV.
The main event of the show sees WBO Super Flyweight champion Naoya Inoue (10-0, 8) defending his title, for the third time, against Thai Petchbarngborn Kokikietgym (38-7-1, 18). For the challenger this will be his most notable fighter to date, and sees him return to Japan for his 6th bout in the country, it will however be his most difficult, and probably most painful. For Inoue the bout is a chance to get back to his most destructive against an opponent who really isn't in his league.
Naoya's little brother Takuma Inoue (7-0, 2) is taking on another serious test as he faces fringe level Filipino fighter Froilan Saludar (23-1-1, 14). Saludar was, once, tipped to be one of the big stars of Filipino boxing but appears to have fallen well short of that mark. A win here for the Filipino would however reignite his career and put him back in the title mix. Inoue is the favourite and will be viewing this bout as a test before a potential world title fight, with the Japanese youngster said to be targeting a Bantamweight title later in the year.
A third Inoue on this card is cousin Koki Inoue (4-0, 3) who looks to continue his impressive start as he takes on Indonesian veteran Heri Andriyanto (22-22-2,10). Inoue will be stepping into his first 8 round bout but we don't expect to see Andriyanto lasting the distance against the aggressive and heavy handed Japanese fighter.
Whilst much of the attention will be on the Inoue family there is however a lot of buzz around the debuting Satoshi Shimizu (0-0), who will be facing off against Korean visitor In Kyoo Lee (3-2, 1). Shimizu won a bronze medal at the 2012 London Olympics. Aged 30 Shimizu's time to progress is relatively short but he's likely to be fast tracked and we could see him facing notable names as early as his next fight
A second Japanese card will be taking place in Osaka, with boxingraise.com showing this one on a 1 day tape delay.
In the main event fans will see the promising Takuya Uehara (9-0, 6) face off against the much more experienced Katsuhiko Kanno (9-9-7, 4). This Kanno has won just 1 of his last 9 bouts, but he has faced stiff competition and held several fighters to a draw, in fact with 7 draws from his 25 fights we can call him a draw expected. Aged 20 Uehara is a really promising fighter but this is a step up in class.
In a supporting bout former Japanese title challenger Masato Morisaki (11-4-1, 6) will be up against Takahiro Murai (13-6-2, 4) in what looks like a relatively even match up between two men each in need of a big win to build towards 2017 on.
Another notable match up here sees 23 year old prospect Kazuaki Miyamoto (1-0, 1) facing off against an Indonesian foe. Not much is known about the “opponent” but Miyamoto is tipped to be a special fighter and a win here will likely result in him moving into 8 round bouts and then building towards a title opportunity in 2017
Whilst there is action through out Asia this coming Saturday the most interesting names in action are in the US.
The most notable name in action is fast rising Filipino hopeful Albert Pagara (26-0, 18) who faces the tough and brave Cesar Juarez (17-5, 13), who gave Nonito Donaire hell last year in a WBO Super Bantamweight world title bout. In many ways this is a gut check for Pagara and if he wins the odds are he will get a world title fight either at the end of this year or very early in 2017. For Juarez it's a chance to beat a big name Filipino fight following the Donaire bout.
The other Filipino in a starring role on this card is Albert's older brother Jason Pagara (38-2, 23) who faces off against the limited Abraham Alvarez (21-9-1, 10), who has been stopped in all 9 of his loses. On paper this doesn't look an awful match up but Alvarez is 4-8 in his last 12 and shouldn't be any sort of a challenge for Pagara.
Another “big” name is in action in Japan with that being “Tatsuyoshi”, unfortunately it's not the great Joichiro Tatsuyoshi but his less talented, and less charismatic, son Juiki Tatsuyoshi (4-0, 2) who will be up against Rio Nainggolan (2-2, 2) in what will be Juiki's first 6 rounder. Despite it being a step up in rounds for Tatsuyoshi it's hard to really view this bout as a step up in class.
Another notable fighter on this card is touted prospect Kazuaki Miyamoto (0-0), who will be making his debut against a Thai opponent. Miyamoto is starting his career in a 6 round bout and it expected to make a mark at either 135lbs or 130lbs. At 22 years old he has time on his side, but we suspect he may be fast tracked through the domestic scene.
In the Philippines we get title action as the unbeaten Jenel Lausa (6-0, 4) takes on Jon Jon Estrada (8-2-1, 7) for the interim PBF Super Bantamweight title. This looks like a mismatch on paper but it will be Lausa's first fight against an opponent with a winning record. We won't say Estrada is a proven fighter but he is a step up from what Lausa has been facing far.
On the under-card we have two intriguing bouts between unbeaten fighters. One of those will see Edward Heno (7-0-4, 2) battle against Jayr Raquinel (5-0, 3) whilst the other will see Carlo Caesar Penalosa (4-0, 1) face off against Ryan Pinola (2-0). These are two excellent match ups on paper and although a win won't prove a lot for any of the fighters it should see them tested.
We also get two shows in China with one of those taking place in Beijing.
This card will feature the promising Qu Peng (10-1-1, 6) in a stay busy assignment against Evy Johannes Akoundou (0-1) in what should little more than a straight forward win for the Chinese Light Heavyweight hopeful.
At Super Featherweight the unbeaten Jin Xiang Pan (6-0, 4) will be up against Yong Cai Liu (5-3-2, 4) in an 8 rounder. The 18 year old Pan beat Liu last year, by split decision, and has rolled off 4 straight stoppages since whilst Liu will be coming into this one looking looking for revenge.
The card also features some interesting debuts with Kazakh Makhsat Shman (0-0) kicking off his career with a 6 round bout against China's Tong Hui Li (5-1, 3) whilst Chinese Heavyweight hopeful Leilang Wang (0-0) begins his career with a bout against Manolov Aleksandrov (0-0), a fellow debut. We have been told that Wang is one that potentially could set the Chinese Heavyweight scene on fire so we'll be very interested to see how he goes here.
The other Chinese card will be in Chengdu with the major bout of note being between Filipino Sonny Katiandagho (9-1, 5) and unbeaten Armenian Rafik Harutjunjan (9-0, 5), who will be facing off for the WBC Eurasia Pacific Boxing Council Welterweight title. Although relatively unknown outside of his homeland Katiandagho has scored back to back wins of note over Allan Tanada and Hyun Woo Yuh and will be confident here against the very promising Dutch based Armenian.
Another bout of note here will see Melissa St Vil (7-2-3) face Katy Wilson Castillo (18-1, 11) in a female bout. St Vil will be up against it here against a former world champion, however Castillo hasn't fought in 3 years and could well be very rusty coming in to this one.
Nuevo León, Mexico
In Mexico local veteran Miguel Roman (55-11, 42) will be facing off again Filipino Jerope Mercado (27-7-3, 9). On paper this looks well matched but Roman has fought at the highest level and is on a 17 fight winning streak, including an upset win over Juli Giner in Spain last time out. Mercado on the other hand is 2-4 in his last 6 and is unlikely to upset the Mexican veteran.
New York, USA
In the US fight fans will be able to see Myanmar born fighter Neyeine Muang (2-2-2) take on the unbeaten Will Madera (8-0, 3) in what looks like a really tough ask for the Utica based Asian fighter.