The year has well and truly kicked off and this coming Saturday we'll see the first Japanese televised show of the year, as G+ televises the next Dynamic Glove show.
The first OPBF title bout of the near year takes place on January 14th and sees action all the way up at Heavyweight as Japan's Kyotaro Fujimoto (15-1, 8) takes on big punching Australian Willie Nasio (10-1, 9) for the currently vacant title. For local fans this will be the second time they get the chance to see Kyotaro fight for an international title, having come up short in a bout against Solomon Haumono for this very same title. Against Haumono we saw a then 5-0 Fujimoto stopped in 5 rounds with the big punching “Solo” walking his man down, since then however Kyotaro has gone 10-0 (5) and staked his place in history as the first Japanese Heavyweight champion in more than 50 years. Nasio, himself the Australian champion, comes into this bout on a run of 5 T/KO wins and is unbeaten since an opening round loss to Tai Tuivasa in a "Last Man Standing" tournament bout back in 2014. The winner of this could, potentially, find themselves in the mix for a major bout by the end of the year and this fight really does mean a lot to both men coming into the fight.
A really good looking supporting bout will see experienced puncher Akinori Watanabe (33-5, 28) take on the unbeaten, and fast rising, Takeshi Inoue (8-0-1, 4). Watanabe is a former OPBF, PABA and JBC champion but is now 31 and hasn't fought since November 2015, when he was stopped in a Strongest Korakuen bout by Toshio Arikawa. Although a proven quality Watanabe has always been a glass cannon and can be stopped. Inoue, no relation to the Ohashi promoted clan, is talented and is looking to move into the title mix in 2017, this is however a huge step up in class and a genuine test for the 27 year old Tokyo fighter.
Another supporting bout sees Japanese ranked Middleweights face off as the heavy handed Shoma Fukumoto (9-1, 7) takes on Kazuyuki Fukuyama (10-7, 3) for the second time. These two fought in January 2015, when Fukumoto took a razor thin majority decision over Fukuyama, and will be looking to make things much more decisive here. Fukuyama has gone 1-1 since that loss, whilst Fukumoto has gone 3-0, but he will be well matched and will be fired up in the search of revenge.
Da Lian, China
For a second day running we get Chinese action from Da Lian.
The headline bout here isn't a hugely attractive one as Tao Ji (11-6-2, 2) faces off with Wulan Tuolehazi (2-3). Ji has won just one of his last 4 bouts, but that one win saw him claim the WBA China National Bantamweight title, a title that we suspect he may be defending here. Although Tuolehazi was beaten last time he will see this as a huge chance to build his career, and he won't be there to make up the numbers.
In a supporting bout we'll see Thai fighter Jomyuthlek Sor Narongchai (17-8, 9) battle with once beaten Puerto Rican Waldemar Pagan (7-1, 6), in what looks like a very tough ask for the Thai. Interestingly Pagan has been in Asia for a while, having been a sparring partner back in December for Kosei Tanaka, ahead of Tanaka's recent bout with Moises Fuentes.