This coming Monday we get one of the regional cards of the month with several notable and interesting bouts.
The most notable is the 10 round main event between the fast rising Ken Shiro (4-0, 3) and unbeaten Filipino Rolly Sumalpong (9-0-1, 4). The two men are trading blows in a bout for the WBC Youth Light Flyweight title and it's fair to say that the winner will go on to bigger fights in 2016, in fact Ken Shiro if he wins is likely to fight for the Japanese title in the first half of next year. It's a great match up on paper and features two young fighters putting unbeaten records on the line, what's not to like?
The co-feature is a very exciting looking 8 round contest featuring former JBC/OPBF Lightweight champion Yoshitaka Kato (29-5-1, 9) and the brave Filipino Ricky Sismundo (29-8-2, 13). This really has the potential to be a highly skilled, inside war between two tough guys who have under-rated power and know that a win could put them into contention for a world title fight in 2016.
Another interesting supporting bout will see former Japanese title holder Koji Umetsu (22-16-3, 10) battle emerging contender Shota Hayashi (25-5-1, 15). Coming in to this one Hayashi has gone 10-0-1 and appears to be in the form of his life, a win here and he may well find himself getting a title shot in 2016. As for Umetsu this bout is a must win one of if he's to remain relevant.
A fourth bout of interest will see former title challengers collide as Koshinmaru Saito (21-7-1, 11) takes on Takehiro Shimokawara (19-10-3, 6). This bout may not be a top bout with a title shot for the winner but the styles of the two men should make for a brilliantly fun to watch 8 round bout.
As well as the bouts mentioned the card will feature 3 others on what is one of the best Dangan cards of the year!
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
April 16th-Yamanaka defends against Santillan, Tatsuyoshi debuts, Nakazawa and Ikemizu face tests...and more!
Although the month has been packed so far things really begin to pick up over the next week or saw. Part of that is due to a pair of brilliant shows in Osaka. The first is today whilst another comes 6 days later.
The aforementioned Osaka show is the first really big Teiken show of 2015 and it really does have a bit of everything. The main event features one of the sports premier punchers whilst the undercard features highly touted prospects, and debutants, including the debut of a man likely to get more attention than more experienced fighters.
The show includes several debutants though the most notable is Juiki Tatsuyoshi (0-0) the second son of the great Joichiro Tatsuyoshi. Although he's only a debutant Juiki is expected to get a lot of attention and even TV time, despite the fact he's fighting the very poor Tadao Iwaya (1-2) in a bout that really lacks much interest. For Juiki being his father's son could be a double edged sword. He will get a lot of attention and it could help his career, but he'll also have people comparing him to his father and expecting him to be better than he probably is.
A more interesting debut from out stand point is that of Shuya Masaki (0-0) who went 54-8 in the amateur ranks and is hotly tipped as a man to watch. The 21 year old Masaki will be battling against Panthong Por Panya (0-0) in a 6 rounder. Although both men are debutants it's fair to say Masaki will start as the big favourite and some are tipping him as a world champion in the making.
Another highly touted prospect on this card is Sho Nakazawa (5-0, 4) who looks to continue his perfect start as he battles Mexican fighter Alexander Cazares (9-3, 3). Nakazawa is regarded very highly and his shut out win against Jhunriel Ramonal showed just how much talent he has, though we are hoping to see him tested here a little bit by the tough Cazares.
Another touted prospect on this card is Tatsuya Ikemizu (12-0, 5) who faces his toughest test so far as he takes on experienced and tough Filipino Marjohn Yap (19-12, 10). Ikemizu is highly regarded and won the 2013 Rookie of the Year at Bantamweight though this is a massive leap up in class against one of the better journeymen doing the roads in Asia.
In the main event we'll see WBC Bantamweight champion Shinsuke Yamanaka (22-0-2, 16) attempt to extend his reign as the Bantamweight kingpin as he battles against undefeated Argentinian challenger Diego Ricardo Santillan (23-0, 15). On paper this looks competitive with both men having similar records, however the quality that Yamanaka has beaten is so much better than anyone that Santillan has faced. Yamanaka is the best opponent Santillan has been in with whilst Santillan may just be in the top 10 of Yamanaka's best foes.
A second Japanese show takes place at the Korakuen Hall and takes place at a much lower level.
The main event here will see the heavy handed Akinori Watanabe (31-4, 27) battle against upset minded Filipino fighter Arnel Tinampay (22-16-1, 8). Watanabe is a former OPBF, Japanese and PABA Welterweight champion who comes into this bout on a run of 12-0 (10) and although he will, clearly, be the favourite Tinampay has made a habit out of beating Japanese fighters and holds relatively recent wins over Koshimaru Saito, Shoma Fukumoto and Yosuke Kirima.
One of the chief support bouts is an interesting match up as former Japanese Featherweight champion Koji Umetsu (22-15-3, 10) battles former title challenger Kazunori Takayama (20-8-4, 4). Both of these fighters are in their 30's and both are clearly on the back-side of their career. The loser here may well be looking at the end whilst the winner is possible set to get a title shot.
The other supporting bout will see promising Welterweight hopeful Takeshi Inoue (2-0-1, 1) in action against Thai visitor Kriburee Sithniwat (0-2-1). Inoue has been one of the men on our radar since his debut, a draw with fellow prospect Daishi Nagata, and it seems likely that he will continue his development with a win here before moving onto a more notable opponent later in the year.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
This Friday has sever interesting Asian bouts with shows across the continent.
The biggest of the Asian bouts this Friday come from Japan where Watnabe put on an interesting domestic card with several fights which are genuinely worth making a note of, even if the fighters aren't on the domestic title scene as of yet.
We'll start with the main event which will see two ranked Japanese contenders colliding in what looks likely to be the standout bout of the show. This bout will see Jo Tanooka (9-1-3) battle against Hiroki Sato (8-4, 5). On paper we suspect Tanooka will be favoured, in reality however he enters as the #14 ranked Japanese Flyweight whilst Sato is ranked #6 and of the two it's certainly Sato who who has been matched harder, having suffered losses to having fought Suguru Muranaka and Tetsuma Hayashi. This is a great contest and one that should help move the winner towards a national title fight.
The chief support bout will see another Japanese ranked contender in action as the #3 ranked Super Featherweight Koji Umetsu (22-14-3, 10) battles against novice Yusuke Nakagawa (6-3-1, 4). Umetsu, a former Japanese Featherweight champion has been in tough during his career with very competitive performances against Hiroyuki Enoki, Takahiro Ao and Seiichi Okada and at 38 is on the slide. Nakagawa will know this is a huge chance for him whilst Umetsu knows he will need a win to stay relevant.
Another very interesting contest will see Masaki Saito (11-10-3, 3) battle against Tsuyoshi Tojo (12-13-3, 2) in what looks like a very even match up. This may not be a clash between top contenders but it should still be a fantastic bout between two guys putting it all on the line to try and make a name for themselves. This is the sort of bout that makes the Japanese scene so interesting with neither of the men here really being journeymen per se, just lesser level domestic foes.
From what we under-stand there will also be debutant, Daisuke Watanabe (0-0), in 6 round action against Toru Kudo (4-3-2, 1). Although boxrec.com have Watanabe listed as a 3-4 (2) fighter we believe it's a case of being different fighters with the same name.
Seoul, South Korea
From South Korea we're expecting an interesting looking card with a very international feel to it.
The main event is being advertised as an IBF Asia Pacific contender bout between Bong-Joon Suk (7-1-2, 1) and Filipino fighter Vergel Nebran (12-8-1, 8). This bout, on paper, looks interesting but it also seems off that it's not being listed by anyone but the KBF who appear to be making a point of advertising this card.
The reason the KBF may be advertising the card could be the fact their Lightweight title is being fought for on the show with Sa-Ya Lee (5-2, 3) defending his belt against former OPBF title challenger Sung Tae Kim (5-9-1, 2). This will be Lee's first defense and Kim's first bout in over 3 years making this a very strange bout.
A third bout advertised for this show will be between a local fighter and Thailand's Fahsang Singmanasak (0-1) in what looks like a clear bottom level match up, despite the fact we're unsure on the record of the Korean, who has been named as Hyun Woo Yoo.
We have also been informed of a Thai show which is set to feature two Japanese fighters. Sadly all we know about this card is that will feature Takuya Watanabe (21-5-1, 9), fighting his third one the road this year, and and Thai based Japanese fighter Masaaki Kurishima (1-0, 1). For Watanabe this fight will come just shy of 8 months following his blood bath with Jaesung Lee and if you've not seen that one you've missed out on the bloodiest bout of the year.
Sadly we've not got the names of either of the Thai's that the Japanese fighters will be up against, nor do we have details on the television coverage or the specific venue.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)