The main card card for us this coming Saturday comes from Aichi, where we'll see a 2-weight world champion along with several prospects.
The former world champion is Kosei Tanaka (10-0, 6), who has won world titles at both Minimumweight and Light Flyweight. Tanaka's pursuit for a Flyweight title kicks off with a bout against unbeaten Filipino Ronnie Baldonado (10-0-1, 7), who had a huge 2017 with stoppages against Ma Yi Ming and Iwan Zoda. A win for Tanaka is likely to set up a world title fight at Flyweight later this year. Saying that however Baldonado will know a win here will give his career a massive boost in the arm and move him onto a world title fight of his own.
In a major supporting bout fans will see unbeaten prospect Kento Hatanaka (4-0, 4) take on former Japanese Minimumweight title challenger Kenta Matsui (8-7, 1). The hard hitting Hatanaka has looked fantastic so far, but this is a huge step up in class following fights against very limited opposition. Matsui may not have a great record but he's a massive step up in class for Hatanaka, and is an upset minded fighter, as seen with his wins against Rikito Hattori and Genki Hanai. This is a big step up, but a win for Hatanakawould have him instantly in the domestic title mix.
Also on this card will be 2-time Japanese Bantamweight title contender Yushi Tanaka (21-2-3, 14), who will be battling against Jinya Ito (6-3-1, 1). The 26 year old Tanaka has scored a couple of low key wins since losing a decision to Ryo Akaho just over a year ago. Ito has lost 3 of his last 5 and is very unlikely to pose much of a threat to Tanaka who will be looking to earn a third Japanese title fight in the near future.
As well as the the card in Aichi Japanese fans will also get a card in Shizuoka.
The main event of the card will see OPBF ranked Super Bantamweight Takashi Igarashi (12-3, 5) battle against Yutaka Motoyoshi (7-11, 5),in an 8 rounder. On paper this isn't that mouth watering, but Igarashi isn't as much of a foregone winner as his record suggests, and with two stoppages against his name he is certainly not the toughest man out there. Motoyoshi has been stopped in 3 of his last 4, but he has mixed at a decent level and could well have the power to give Igarashi problems if he can connect .
Another man at risk if gets caught is Omrri Bolivar (5-1, 3), who will be up against bit punching Filipino visitor Junny Salogaol (13-12-4, 12). Last time out Bolivar was stopped in 5 rounds by Jelbirt Gomera and will be looking to get his career back on track here. Salogaol looks like an easy win for the South American on paper, but Salogaol is tough and dangerous and will be looking to score one of the best wins of his career. This could be a very tough contest if Bolivar isn't careful.
One other bout of note on this card will see Asami Jinnari (5-2-1, 2) battle against Wakako Fujiwara (4-2-2, 2) for the Japanese female Featherweight title. These two fought to a draw in December last year and we're expecting another close and competitive match up here.
In Indonesian we'll see the unbeaten Tibo Monabesa (16-0-2, 8) continue his climb to a world title fight as he takes on former OPBF title challenger Lester Abutan (12-7-3, 6). The unbeaten Monabesa is one of the best hopes for the Indonesian scene but this is a step up and one of the first real tests for the 27 year old southpaw. Abutan was last seen being stopped by Ryota Yamauchi but despite that loss he is still a very capable fighter, and should bring the best out of Monabesa, especially given that a win for Abutan will give his career a boost and he'll be there to win. Interestingly this will be Monabesa's second defense of the World Boxing Council International Silver Light Flyweight title.
A second title fight on this card will see the huighly experienced Samuel Tehuayo (21-43-2, 6) battle against former Hinata Maruta foe Hamson Lamandau (8-2-1, 5), who has gone 0-2-1 in his last 3 bouts. The winner of this will become the new Universal Boxing Organization (UBO) International Flyweight champion.
For Asian fans in China there will also be a low key card in Jinan from Top Rank and SECA Ltd. This card is set to only feature novices, but should be a pretty interesting card with every fighter on the card looking to take a step towards bigger and better things.
Seoul, South Korea
It's not only Chinese fans who get a low key novice card but also Korean ones with Boxing M putting on a a small card in Seoul. These match up here, like with the Chinese card, are all low key contests, but the winners will take a step towards something big, as this is part of a big tournament show.
Outside of Asia there will also be some Asian fighters in action in Canada, where they have been building their respective careers so far.
One of those is the promising Batyrzhan Jukembayev (11-0-0-2, 9) of Kazakhstan. The 26 year old will be facing off with Mexican Noe Nunez (18-5-1, 13). The Kazakh looks like a real prospect, and although he does look like he's treading water with this fight, given his other recent fights, it is worth noting that he should look good. For those who recognise Nunez's name he has been stopped in 3 rounds by Britain's Jack Caterall and in 6 rounds by Tony Luis, showing he's not the toughest fighter out there.
The other Asian fight on this card is Ablaikhan Khussainov (7-0, 5), also a a Kazakh, who will battle against Gilberto Meza (8-3-1, 5). Last time out Khussainov had some questions to answer, as Jesus Silveria pushed him hard through a 6 rounder, but the Kazakh will be out to make a statement here. It's worth noting that Meza has never been stopped, and did score a career best win last time out, when he stopped Francisco Javier Hernandez.
This coming Tuesday we see a return to action for the first post-Christmas show in Asia, with the attention switching to Hyogo where Shinsei promotions put on an interesting gift of a card, with a Japanese title bout and a very good looking chief support bout, with some genuine significance.
The main event is a Japanese Minimumweight title bout, as unbeaten champion Reiya Konishi (14-0, 5) makes his second defense of the title, taking on #1 ranked domestic challenger Kenta Matsui (8-6, 1). The champion, who won his title earlier this year against Masataka Taniguchi, looked less than stellar in his first defense, against Shin Ono, and it's fair to say that he needs to shine here if he's to really make the title his own, and move towards a world title fight in early 2018. On paper Matsui looks an under-qualified challenger but he has scored two notable wins in his last 3 bouts and could prove to be a banana skin here for the unbeaten but unspectacular champion.
The leading support bout will see Japanese ranked Lightweight Masashi Wakita (8-5-2, 3) take on Japanese ranked Super Featherweight Naotoshi Nakatani (10-1, 6) in a rematch of a bout from a year ago. In their first bout Nakatani won a competitive decision but since then Wakita has scored back to back wins, and looks to be getting some momentum going. On the other hand Nakatani was upset last time out, suffering a 6th round TKO loss to Accel Sumiyoshi, and hasn't won a bout since his win over Wakita 12 months ago.
In another supporting bout fans will see the talented Ryo Kosaka (15-3-1, 7) take on a Thai foe. Coming in to this Kosaka is riding an 8 fight winning run and should be fighting for the Japanese Super Bantamweight title next year, if he comes through this one without suffering any sort of serious injury.
As well as the action in Japan fans may also be interested to know that Swiss based Japanese fighter Aniya Seki (32-3-2, 5) will be in action, as she battles Hungarian foe Judit Hachbold (4-2). Although Seki is a flawed fighter it's hard to imagine her losing here to the visitor.
In Japan we see a show in Hyogo which features the first of the upcoming Japanese title eliminator bouts.
That title eliminator will see world ranked Minimumweight Ryoki Hirai (9-4-1, 4) taking on Kenta Matsui (8-6, 1), with the winner to get a guaranteed Japanese title fight next year. Coming into this Matsui is riding an inconsistent run where he has gone 3-4 in his last 7, with losses to Seita Ogido, Riku Kano and Tetsuya Hisada among others, though he has scored wins over Rikito Hattori and Genki Hanai and has shown he has the ability to score upsets. As for Hirai he has won his last 4, with a notable upset against Takumi Sakae, and we've become fans of his during this short run, with the expectation that he will come out on top here, but it'll be a really tough fight between two hungry fighters.
The main supporting bout will see Giraffe Kirin Kanda (9-2, 5) take on Tsunehiko Aitoku (4-5-1), in a less than great supporting contest. Kanda has won his last three bouts, including an upset victory over Ukyo Yoshigai last time out. As for Aitoku he has won just one of his last 3 bouts, and been stopped in those two losses. It's hard to imagine anything but a win for Kanda here, in what looks like a mismatch.
In the Philippines we have another show where mismatches are expected, but in at least one of those it's a mismatch that we can't really complain about given the competition one fighter has been in recently.
That “defensible” mismatch sees Ricky Sismundo (31-10-3, 13) take on Boyce Sultan (9-8-1, 5). This will be Sismundo's first bout in the Philippines in over 3 years, during which time he has faced Masayoshi Nakatani, Shuhei Tsuchiya, Akihiro Kondo, Yoshitaka Kato, Jose Felix Jr, Dierry Jean, Ghislain Maduma and Yves Ulysse Jr. This should be a really straight forward win for a fighter as talented Sismundo, and a nice chance for the Filipino fans to see a road warrior return home.
On the under-card we'll see promising teenager Danrick Sumabong (2-0, 2) take on Jong Sabellina (5-16-1, 1) in what should be a straight forward win for the 18 year old puncher. Sumabong made his debut back in March, fighting in a 6 rounder, and will now be stepping up to 8 rounds for the first time. Coming into this Sabellina has failed to win in his last 11 bouts, and has been stopped in 6 of those, with this likely to be another stoppage against him.
A third show will come from Indonesia, where we'll see a couple of national title fights.
One of those will see the unbeaten Hebi Marapu (9-0, 6) battle with Master Suro (12-9-1, 2) for the Indonesian Lightweight title. Earlier this year Suro went the distance with heavy handed Filipino Jeo Santisima and will look to do the same here, however that will likely be the best he can hopefore against the fast rising Marapu, who does look to be one of the more notable prospects in Indonesia.
The other title bout on this show will feature John Basan (2-0, 1) taking on Jack Madison (2-15) for the Indonesian Super Bantamweight title. Basan made his debut in May, fighting in 8 rounders for his first two bouts, and will moving up to 12 rounders here against Madison. As for Madison he has lost his last 13 bouts, 7 of those by stoppage, and it's hard to imagine him being a real test for Basan here.