At the Korakuen Hall this coming Wednesday fight fans get the second in the “Dangan Ladies” series of shows, featuring only female fighters. The card is likely to not get a huge amount of attention internationally however for those interested in watching the action it will be shown on boxingraise on Thursday.
The main event of the card is rematch as WBO female Minimumweight champion Kumiko Seeser Ikehara (8-1-2, 3) battles against veteran Kayoko Ebata (9-6, 5). These two battled back in May 2015 with Ikehara retaining her title with a split technical decision, to record her second defense. Since the first bout the champion has recorded a third defense of the title but there are doubts about her ability to really keep a hold of the title for too long. For Ebata this will be her 5th world title challenge, having gone 0-4 so far, and at 40 years old it will almost certainly be her last one.
In a notable supporting bout we'll see OPBF #1 ranked female Super Bantamweight contender Ayumi Goto (4-0, 3) face off against a Thai opponent. This bout seems likely to be little more than a squash bout for Goto who suggested she will begin to chase OPBF champion Tomomi Takano, though in all honesty we suspect Takano will vacate rather than face the heavy handed, though untested, Goto.
The card also features another notable supporting bout, the debut of Ayako Minowa (0-0), a former Japanese stand out amateur. Minowa has impressed in her preparation for this bout, holding her own in a spar with Naoko Fujioka. The debutant will be up against Thailand's Petchpaya Mor Krungthepthonburi (0-2) in what should be a straight forward win for Minowa, if she is even close to being the fighter she was in the unpaid ranks. The real challenge for Minowa is whether or not she can stop Petchpaya, who has gone the distance with both of the main event fighters.
Japanese fans get more title action on November 11th as they get a double female world title show.
The most notable of those titles fights comes at 115lbs where model-boxer Tomomi Takano (8-1, 5) goes up against Argentina's Daniela Romina Bermudez (17-3-2, 5). The bout sees Takano stepping up massively against the WBO female Super Flyweight champion who has proven her ability on the tough South American scene, where she has faced the likes of Yesica Yolanda Bopp and Mayerlin Rivas. Although it's a step up for the challenger she has been preparing with the best and has been sparring with Naoko Fujioka who she will hope to replicate in becoming a world champion.
The other title bout is an all Japanese affair as Kumiko Seeser Ikehara (7-1-2, 3) defends her WBO female Minimumweight title against Momoko Kanda (9-7-2, 3). On paper this looks like a massive mismatch with Kanda going in as the major under-dog however she is better than her record suggests and has rebuilt well after a 1-6-1 run in the middle of her career. For Ikehara this will be the third defence of the title she won in September 2014 and whilst she will be hoping to retain her title she will also be hoping to avoid headclashes, which have plagued her last two bouts.
As well as the two world title bouts there is another notable name on the card with former world title challenger Hisashi Amagasa (29-5-2, 19) battling against Filipino fighter Nathan Bolcio (12-9-2, 5). Amagasa is expected to win here and will then continue his chase towards another world title fight, with the fighter himself said to be eyeing up a shot at Lee Selby. Whilst there will be two men in the ring, Bolcio has lost 5 of his last 6 and has only scored 2 wins in his last 10 bouts.
Also on this card will be the promising Kenta Onjo (5-1, 3), who will be facing Tomoya Yamada (12-6, 3) whilst seeking his second win since being shocked by Jonathan Baat earlier this year, and Ryoichi Tamura (4-2-1, 1) who takes on Yuki Matsudo (10-2, 6) in a very good looking Super Bantamweight clash.
It's fair to say we, boxing fans, have been treat especially well to begin the start of May, at least in terms of great match ups. That run continues on May 6th as we get a genuinely brilliant Super Featherweight title fight headlining a title triple header in Japan
The Japanese show is a fiesta of sorts for Watanabe gym who have 2 of their 3 world champions in action whilst another of their fighters attempts to become a world champion and finish their long career with a world title.
The main event here is really mouth watering and will see WBA Super Featherweight “super” champion Takashi Uchiyama (22-0-1, 18) defending his belt for the 10th time. In the opposite corner will be unbeaten Thai Jomthong Chuwatana (9-0, 4), a Muay Thai exponent who has had a very interesting boxing career and shown that his skills can generate genuine success in western boxing. The bout isn't expected to be a “FOTY” style war but technically we may struggle to find a better bout between two heavy handed technicians who are both very capable fighters. This is really, as good as it gets.
In the co-feature Uchiyama's young stablemate Ryoichi Taguchi (21-2-1, 8) looks to make the first defence of his WBA Light Flyweight title. This is another Japan Vs Thailand bout and will see Taguchi battle against Thai veteran Kwanthai Sithmorseng (49-3-1, 26) in a bout that looks really good on paper though is likely to be relatively one sided with Kwanthai not looking like a “world class” fighter in recent years. For a first defense this is acceptable though hopefully Taguchi's next bout comes against a more interesting opponent, such as Ryo Miyazaki or Randy Petalcorin, both of which would be mouth watering bouts.
A third world title bout here will see Kayoko Ebata (8-5, 4) attempt to claim the WBO female Minimumweight title as she battles defending champion Kumiko Seeser Ikehara (6-1-2, 3). The 39 year old Ebata will be in her 4th world title bout and it comes 7 years after her first, a very close and controversial loss to Samson Tor Buamas. As for Ikehara this will be her second defense of the title, though her first was a less than memorable opening round technical draw with Jessebelle Pagaduan back in February.
As well as the 3 bouts which have been mentioned there will be a further 2 on this card, one of which will feature Japanese ranked Light Flyweight Takumi Suda (11-10-2, 3) who will be risking his ranking against Yoshinori Wakahara (7-4, 4).
As well as the Japanese card there will also be a show in Thailand where we get the chance to see some recognisable faces in action.
The main event here will see former WBO Bantamweight champion Pungluang Sor Singyu (49-3, 33) defending his WBO Asia Pacific title against former world title challenger Nouldy Manakane (29-16-1, 18). Pungluang, best known for being stopped by Tomoki Kameda, will be seeking his 4th straight win and shouldn't really struggle here against a man who is 0-6 in Thailand and a long way removed from his WBA Bantamweight title fight with Koki Kameda, back in 2012. Incidentally it's thought that if Pungluang gets through this he may get a chance to recapture his old title with a bout against Ryo Akaho looking very possible for later in the year.
In the co-feature fans will see 2-time world title challenger Chonlatarn Piriyapinyo (53-2, 34) in action against Indonesian visitor Yakobus Heluka (8-10, 1) in what should be little more than a tune up bout for the talented Chonlatarn. Although the Thai was made to look absolutely terrible by Vasyl Lomachenko last year he is a capable fighter and this really does have “ugly mismatch” written all over it.
(Image courtesy of http://www.watanabegym.com)
As February has gotten going we have, slowly, seen the boxing world awaken and it now seems that March is going to continue the trend. Before we get to March however we need to see out February which looks set to go out with a bang...
The action in Japan to end the month isn't the best but it is notable with a couple of world title bouts as well as a former 2-weight world champion. Unfortunately those “world” class fighters are all female fighters and lack the attention that their male counterparts would get.
The former 2-weight world champion is Mari Ando (11-7, 5) who battles against experienced Filipino fighter Jujeath Nagaowa (12-13-1, 8) in what looks to be an easy fight but really could be surprisingly difficult. Ando isn't a brilliant fight and although she is a multi-weight world champion her reigns have both been short. Nagaowa hasn't been a world champion but has been in with a who's who such as Momo Koseki, Samson Tor Buamas and Shindo Go whilst also being narrowly beaten in a number of other losses. This could, potentially, be a very competitive contest.
One of the world champions in action is WBO female Minimumweight champion Kumiko Seeser Ikehara (6-1-1, 3) who will be hoping to record the first defence of her title as she battles against Filipino challenger Jessebelle Pagaduan (7-1, 4) in what looks like a greatest contest on paper. Sadly the paper is unlikely to give a full reflection of this bout and Pagaduan was beaten less than a year ago by Ikehara's friend Naoa Ikeyama in a bout for the WBO Atomweight title in a bout that really wasn't competitive. We suspect Ikehara looks just as dominated against Pagaduan as Ikeyama did.
Talking about Nao Ikeyama (15-3-1, 4) the WBO Atomweight champion will also be in action as she defends her belt, for the second time, and takes on Norj Guro (7-3-1, 4). The Japanese veteran, aged 45, will likely retire if she loses here however she will be favoured coming into the bout against the distinctly less than impressive Guro who has won just twice in her last 6 bouts.
Metro Manila, Philippines
In the Philippines fans get a low level domestic show which is likely to give a number of prospects a chance to stay busy.
In one of the feature bouts fans will see the world ranked Rene Patilano (12-1-2, 6) battle against “domestic loser” Aroel Romasasa (11-8, 5) who is in desperate need for a win after losing 8 straight following an 11-0 start to his career.
Another of the feature bouts will see the unbeaten Jay Loto (9-0) fight against the limited JC Francisco (6-9-3, 2) in what looks like a mismatch on paper for the unbeaten but light punching Loto, who is known as “The Mindoro Assasin” despite his lack of power.
Another well regarded unbeaten fighter on this card will be Randy Braga (14-0-1, 3) who battles the experienced Cristian Aliba (12-15-3, 4) in what looks like being one of the most competitive bouts on the shame, even though Braga should extend his unbeaten record.
As well as the 3 bouts mentioned the card is expected to feature a further 8 contests.
Eastern Cape, South Africa
Another Filipino in action will be the heavy handed and criminally under-rated Rey Loreto (19-13, 11) who will be hoping that lightning strikes twice as he defends his IBO Light Flyweight for the first time. Last year we saw Loreto make a name for himself as he stopped former world champion Nkosinathi Joyi (24-3-0-1, 17) in eye catching fashion and he'll be hoping to do the same again when he travels to Joyi's homeland in a much anticipated rematch.
German fans will get the chance to see a potentially explosive encounter as “unbeaten” Kazakhstan Isa Akberbayev (14-0-0-1, 10) battles against Argentinian KO artist Ruben Angel Mino (25-1, 25). Mino has one of the most impressive looking records on paper however it is incredibly padded and it's hard to see how he'll fare here. Akberbayev was a touted prospect a few years ago though he was “exposed” when he was iced by Anthony Ferrante in January 2013 and it's hard to see him ever reaching his perceived ceiling, saying that he should win here against the limited but heavy handed Mino.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Some days are busy with great fights, other with mismatches. Today however we get a day of title fights with 3 world titles and various other regional titles on the line
Baja California, Mexico
The most notable bout of the day is in Mexico where Thai veteran Terdsak Kokietgym (53-4-1, 33) battles Mexican veteran Orlando Salido (41-12-2-1, 28) in a really interesting bout for the interim WBO Featherweight title. The bout might only be for an "interim" belt but the two two men will know that a win here will really boost their profile and their chances of fighting for the proper WBO title next year. It's sadly a bout that Terdsak will not be expected to win, though in the past he has shown his ability to be competitive in high profile bouts, most notably his world title bout with Takahiro Ao. This is a tough ask but looks to be a great bout.
It's not just in Mexico that we get a world title bout and in fact we get a brace of them in Osaka, albeit female world title bouts.
The first of those will see veteran Nao Ikeyama (14-3-1, 4) defending her WBO Atomweight title against former foe Masae Akitaya (9-4-3, 2) in what looks to be a competitive contest between two fighters who have already fought in a competitive bout. For Ikeyama this will be a chance to defend her belt and at 44 years old she'll be all too aware that a loss could send her into retirement. For Akitaya this bout isn't just about the title and realising a dream of being a world champion but also about revenge for the fact she lost the first meeting between the two women back in 2010.
The second world title bout on this show will see Kumiko Seeser Ikehara (5-1-1, 3) battle Filipino visitor Gretchen Abaniel (15-5, 6) for the vacant WBO female Minimumweight title that was given up a few weeks ago by Mako Yamada who decided to retire from boxing to focus on other things. We'll be honest, we think Yamada would dominate both of these fighters, likely on the same night, though against each other they should make for interesting contest. Neither is great though neither is awful and at 105lbs we expect to see a more impressive Abaniel than we saw against Ayaka Miyao last November. This could be a really decent fight.
A third contest on this show will be another female contest as Kai Johnson (5-5-3, 2), fresh off the back of her win over Tomomi Takano, takes on Tamao Ozawa (6-2, 2) in a second meeting between the two women who fought this past March. In the first meeting between the two Johnson scored a 2nd round KO over Ozawa and we'd not be hugely shocked to see Johnson score her third successive stoppage victory here.
In Uzbekistan we expect to see yet another title fight as Sherali Mamadjanov (10-1, 5) climbs in to the ring to take on domestic rival Hokim Karimov (3-1, 2) in a bout for the Uzbekistan Middleweight title. The bout is an inaugural title fight and although it's a low profile one it is the main event on a small domestic card in the Uzbek capital city. Knowing that Uzbekistan has a strong amateur line up we hope that shows like this can lure some of the amateurs over to the professional game. Sadly it's not looking likely to happen too much, though we can hope.
In the US we get the chance to see the promising Russian prospect And Konstantin Ponomarev (24-0, 12) battle against Mexican veteran Cosme Rivera (37-18-3-1, 25). This looks to be a good step forward for Ponomarev who will develop a lot from just fighting in the US in bouts like this. Although Rivera isn't the fighter he once was he should still have enough to test the unbeaten Russian.
(Image courtesy of Notifight)