Daejeon, South Korea
Earlier this month we were expecting to see a Korea Vs China card, that card however was forced to massively altered due to visa's issues and only a handful of bouts actually took place on the original day. All of those we did get were all-Korean bouts.
The bout weren't cancelled however and instead they will take place on July 29th, 2 weeks after the originally planned date.
Sadly whilst the Korea Vs China bouts were rescheduled they were never the most interesting on paper, with the most notable being a contest between unbeaten Korean prospect Min Jang (8-0-2, 2) and limited Chinese fighter Xing Xie (1-5, 1) being the most notable on paper. The 19 year old Jang claimed the Korean Super Flyweight title back in April and has previously notched wins against 2 other Chinese visitors. Xie on the other hand has lost his last 3 and will be making his international debut here.
Whilst Xie will be making his international debut there are two Chinese fighters making their debut on this card. One of those is Ting Zhang (0-0), who battles unbeaten Korean Soo Rin Kim (4-0-1, 1) in a 6 round female bout. At 21 years old Kim has shown enough promise early on to show there is something to work with, but it's really unclear how far she can go. Unfortunately it's hard to know what she'll be able to prove here against a debuting Chinese foe.
As well as the Korean action there will also be a show in Tokyo, as part of the Rookie of Year tournament.
Unfortunately for a Rookie of the Year card this isn't great and doesn't have many fighters who are unbeaten on it. The one unbeaten fighter is 22 year old Shunpei Kubo (3-0, 2), who takes on teenage Rui Ikari (4-1-2). It's great that both men are young and promising. The bout sees Ikari coming back a for a second Rookie of the Year, after losing in the East Japan final last year to Shinobu Wakagi, whilst Kubo will be looking for his fourth win of 2019.
One other bout of real note on this show will see Kyonosuke Kameda (3-1-1,2), the cousin of the Kameda brothers, take on Natsuki Kojima (3-2, 3). Kameda isn't half the fighter of his three cousins, but has gone unbeaten in 4 since losing on debut, including a draw with Ryugo Ushijim last time out to earn this match up. Kojima on the other hand has been stopped in his last 2, but has power and will be looking to make the most of his heavy hands here.
The action for April kicks off with a show from the Korakuen Hall in Tokyo, which features some Rookie action and some interesting hopefuls.
The main event of this card will see Takayuki Sakai (8-1-2, 6) take on Tomoki Takada (6-4-2, 3) over 8 rounds. For Sakai, the bout will see him hunting a 6th straight win and building on a very good victory over Pharanpetch Tor Buamas, aka Amphol Suriyo. Since losing in August 2016 Sakai has gone 6-0-1 and a solid, if unspectacular run coming into this bout. Takada ont he other hand has won his last 2, but has suffered 3 stoppage losses and doesn't appear to be the most durable fighter out there.
In the main supporting bout Ryuki Ishii (9-3, 5) will look to continue his good form, as he takes on Filipino puncher Reymond Yanong (9-4-1, 8). Last time out Ishii beat Zirolian Riku, and has won 3 in a row since losing to Kazuma Sanpei back in October 2017. Yanong has been stopped in 2 of his last 3, but certainly has the power to trouble Ishii here.
The 2018 Rookie of the Year runner up Haruki Ishikawa (6-1, 5) will be looking to kick off his 2019 as he takes on Alvin Medura (8-3, 7), in what will be his first bout since losing to Yusei Fujikawa in December last year. This has the ingredients of being a very, very explosive and fun encounter!
In a Rookie of the Year bout Kyonosuke Kameda (2-1, 1) will take on Takuya Inamori (1-3). Kameda, part of the clan that has already given us 3 world champions, will be seeking a third straight win since being stopped on debut at the start of 2018, Inamori on the other hand will be looking to bounce back from his third career defeat, earlier this year.
On Monday we kick off a new year and for fans in the Japanese capital it will seem like nothing has chances as Kyoei put on a show at the Differ Ariake.
The show isn't as big as the two shows that ended 2017 but is still a notable one with a splattering of notable fighters.
Arguably the most distinguished of those fighters is Jun Yabuki (9-0, 4), who recently won the Japanese female Minimumweight title with a win over Fuka Komura. The 26 year old won't be defending her title, but will be in an 8 round bout, against a visiting Thai foe.
Yabuki is right in the middle of the card, despite her status as national champion. That's partly because she will be in action before the latest of the Kameda family to turn professional. That's Koki, Daiki and Tomoki's cousin Kyosuke Kameda (0-0) who kicks of his professional career with a bout against Shinnosuke Kimoto (2-1), who has won two bouts since a close loss on debut at the start of 2017.
The other bout on top of Yabuki's is the show's main event, which will see Joe Vlog (0-0) make his professional boxing debut against John Yano (2-3). The debutant is known in Japan for his youtube exploits, and saw his profile balloon in 2017 thanks to an exhibition contest against Koki Kameda on Abema TV, with Koki later taking the role of his trainer. A win for him here would be huge news and kick off a new joint deal with Kyoei and Abema. Yano, a Filipino based in Japan, appears to have been selected as a safe opponent for Vlog to shine against and this should be an easy win if the debutant wants any creditability going forward.
*Note - Joe Vlog is a name taken from the fighter's youtube, he may be fighting under an alternative name going forward