Whilst March has been packed with interesting bouts through the month one of the best takes place this coming Wednesday when Dangan put on their next show at the Korakuen Hall. It isn't a huge card, but it does have a brilliant main event, a pretty notable support bout and one of the most exciting Japanese prospects.
That really good main event will see Hironori Mishiro (6-0-1, 2) defending the OPBF Super Featherweight title against OPBF "silver" champion Takuya Watanabe (35-8-1, 20), in what could be an excellent show case of boxing skills. Mishiro is one of the many rising hopefuls from the Watanabe gym and won the OPBF title in just his 6th fight, before fighting to a draw with Japanese national champion Masaru Sueyoshi in a unification bout. He's talented smooth in the ring, but lacks real fight changing power. Watanabe, from the Aoki gym, on the other hand is a true veteran, despite only being 30 years old, and is much, much better than his record suggests. This should be a brilliant match up and the winner will almost certainly be lined up for something big later this year. A full preview of this bout can be read here Mishiro and Watanabe to battle for OPBF crown!
The chief support bout sees Japanese ranked fighters clash, with Kyosuke Sawada (12-2-1, 6) and Keita Nakano (15-13-6, 5) facing off against each other. Obviously Sawada, who has won his last 8 and gone 12-0-1 after losing his first 2 bouts, is on the verge of a title fight and will know that a win here takes him one step closer to a shot at national gold. Nakano is better than his record suggests, but is 2-4-3 in his last 9 and has 1-3 in his last 4. Interestingly these two have fought before, fighting to a draw in 2016, but Sawada's career really has taken off since then, with his 8 straight wins.
Also on this card will be the very highly regarded Hayate Kaji (11-0, 9), who will be up against Filipino visitor Arnold Garde (10-6-3, 4). This looks like an interesting test for Kaji, but if he's on song he could make the bout look very easy, with Garde having been stopped several times already during his career, whilst fighting at a lower weight than Kaji's natural Super Flyweight.
The big action this coming Friday comes from Tokyo, with Boxingraise showing it live online. The card features a couple of title fights along with two very good looking supporting bouts.
The main event will see Akinori Watanabe (36-7, 30) battle against Ryosuke Maruki (15-5-1, 10) for the interim Japanese Light Middleweight title. For Watanabe this is a chance to claim another belt to his collection, adding to reigns as the Japanese, OPBF and PABA champion at Welterweight. Maruki on the other hand gets a third shot as national honours, having come up short against Yuki Nonaka and Nobuyuki Shindo. We're expecting this to be explosive, with both fighters having very heavy hands, and very exciting with the winner then being lined up to face Shindo, either at the end of this year or in early 2019.
The other title fight will see Japanese Mminimumweight champion Shin Ono (22-9-3, 5) making his first defense of the title, as he takes on youngster Riku Kano (13-3-1, 7). The Watanabe veteran won the title earlier this year when he defeated Ryoki Hirai and will be hoping to use the title to land another world title fight, after having come up short in bouts against Katsunari Takayama and Wanheng Menayothin. The 20 year old Kano has promised a lot, but losses to Takayama and Jerry Tomogdan have slowed his career and a poor performance here could see him written off, despite his youth.
One of the really good supporting bouts will see the in form Kyosuke Sawada (11-2-1, 6), who has won his last 7, taking on former Japanese title challenger Yosuke Fujihara (17-5, 4). Although Sawada struggled early in his career losing his first 2 bouts, he has has really turned things around and scored a career best win in May against Kinshiro Usui. As for Fujihara he's been out of the ring for almost a year but is a capable fighter and should be a good test for Sawada, albeit one that Sawada should pass as he continues his pursuit of a title fight.
Another supporting bout will see the hard hitting Kenshin Oshima (3-1-1, 3) take on the much lighter hitting Joe Tanooka (15-4-4, 1). Last time out Oshima was held to an unexpected draw by Nobuaki Kanazawa and he'll be looking to bounce back from that set back. As for Tanooka, who is one of the more pure boxers in Japan, he'll be looking to build on a good domestic win against Kenichi Watanabe. A really interesting match up against two polar opposites.
As well as the action in Japan there will also be a notable card in Shenzhen, China, where were several local fighters will be taking on interesting tests.
On paper the best of the bouts will see unbeaten Chinese prospect Wenfeng Ge (10-0, 6) look to build on his 2017 win over Amnat Ruenroeng as he takes on once beaten Filipino Ivan Soriano (18-1-1, 9) in a bout for the WBO International Flyweight title. Whilst Ge is unbeaten, and coming in to this on the back of a huge win, it's worth noting that Soriano hasn't lost in over 8 years and will feel confident of picking up a win here. Coming in to this both men are and both will know that a win here will shoot them up the rankings towards a potential world title shot, and a potential show down with either Sho Kimura or Kosei Tanaka.
A second title fight will see the once beaten Ahatelike Muerzhabieke (7-1-1, 4) battle against Thailand's Chaloemporn Sawatsuk (18-5, 14) for the WBO China National Super Middleweight title. The Thai once promises a lot, and began his career with 17 straight wins but has proven to be a huge disappointment since then, losing 5 of his last 6 by stoppage. Aged 19 this is a big step up in class for Muerzhabieke but he's won his last 5 and appears to be on a good run to build his confidence coming in to this bout.
In a battle of novices fans will see Bo Wang (1-0, 1) take on Aleksei Podkolzin (1-0). Wang needed just a round to win his debut in June 2016, but hasn't fought in an officially sanctioned professional bout since that contest, more than 2 years ago. Interestingly Podkolzin made his debut in January 2017, in a 10 rounder, but apparently hasn't fought since. This is an interesting match up, about as interesting as you can get between two men with 1-0 records.
This coming Friday fight fans in Tokyo get the chance to see the next show in the Asign Bee series of shows, and it looks like a genuinely great show on paper, littered with notable domestic fighters and a number of good match ups.
The main event is the pick of the bouts and will see the hard hitting Keita Kurihara (10-5, 9) take on the unbeaten Tetsuya Watanabe (3-0, 2). The 25 year old Kurihara lost 4 of his first 7 but has since gone 7-1 (6) with his only loss during that run coming against the very talented Hiroaki Teshigawara. Since that loss to Teshigawara we've only seen Kurihara once, but that was an impressive stoppage win over Ryan Lumacad. Watanabe debuted last year and despite winning his first 3 bouts in a combined 9 rounds this is a huge step up in class for him, with his opposition so far doing little to really show how good he actually is. A win for Watanabe would put him in the title mix, but this is a huge ask for the unbeaten man.
In the co-feature we'll see 38 year old veteran Kinshiro Usui (28-6, 12) battle against Kyosuke Sawada (10-2-1, 5) in another really good looking match up. The veteran has lost 2 of his last 3, both to former world title challengers in Hisashi Amagasa and Hidenori Otake, but showed that he was still a very good fighter over 8 rounds in both of those bouts. Usui isn't a world beater, by any stretch, but is a very good domestic level fighter who will be a nightmare to Japanese level fighters at 122lbs. Sawada turned professional with some promise, but back to back losses to Yusuke Suzuki and Hiroaki Teshigawara saw him quickly fall to 0-2. Since then however he has rebuilt brilliantly, defeating the likes of Gaku Aikawa, Kenta Okumura and Yuta Horiike. The bout is pretty much a 50-50 and a win for either man will be significant, with both risking their JBC rankings here.
A less well matched domestic bout will see Naoki Mochizuki (13-3, 8) face off with Hideyuki Watanabe (8-10-3, 6). On paper this is a bit of a mismatch, though with Mochizuki losing 3 of his 2, including his last bout, we can't really complain about him having an easier bout, especially as this will be a rematch of a razor thins 2015 bout. In their first bout Mochizuki took a raor thin win, and has since gone 5-2 (1), losing to Keisuke Nakayama and Eaktwan BTU Ruaviking in competitive bouts. Sadly for Watanabe he has gone 0-2 since losing to Mochizuki and will be looking to avoid a 5th straight loss here.
Another promising fighter looking to bounce back from a recent loss is the hard hitting Kai Chiba (7-1, 6), who was stopped last time out by Brian Lobetania. The once beaten Chiba will be up against Keisuke Tabuchi (9-4-2, 7) in what could be a potential banana skin. The 25 year old Chiba looked really promising in 2017, going 4-0 (3) for the year with notable wins over Ikuro Sadatsune and Ryo Matsubara putting nim on the map, but his loss to Lobetania has slowed his ascent and shown defensive and mental flaws. As for Tabuchi he has lost 3 of his last 4, but has been mixing at a high level with losses to Ryohei Takahashi, Hiroyuki Kudaka and Yu Kawaguchi. Interestingly Tabuchi has had a lengthy break from the ring and will likely be looking to return as a rejuvenated man here in what could be a very exciting domestic bout.
In another bout we'll see see multi-time title challenger Koshinmaru Saito (23-9-2, 13) take on a Thai foe as he attempts to earn one more shot before his career comes to an end.
This coming Sunday we a small show in Japan.
The Japanese show will take place at the Marina Hop in Hiroshima, with the two main bouts both being pretty competitive, at least on paper.
The main event will see Hironori Miyake (8-5-1, 1) take on Japanese ranked Bantamweight Kyosuke Sawada (9-2-1, 5). The 29 year old Miyake struggled early in his career, losing 3 of his first 4, but has managed to go 7-2-1 since then and has got some momentum coming into this bout. Sawada has also got momentum coming in to this bout, going 9-0-1 following two losses to begin his career, to the talented pairing of Yusuke Suzuki and Hiroaki Teshigawara no less! His 10 bout unbeaten run includes notable domestic wins over Gaku Aikawa,Kenta Okumura and Yuta Horiike. This should be a really good match up.
Another interesting match, albeit at a much lower level, will see Takayuki Teraji (8-14-1, 4) take on Kenta Yokoe (6-13-2, 2), with both men looking at this bout as a chance to claim a rare win. Teraji scored a rare win last time out, ending a 3 fight losing run, but has now scored just 4 wins in 5 years. Saying that however he's not been matched easily and has come up against Sho Kimura, Ryuya Yamanaka, Reiya Konishi and Kenichi Horikawa in recent years. Yokoe has been slightly moe success over the last few years, but not significantly and has gone 1-4-1 in his last 6, with his most recent bout being a 3rd round stoppage to Takumi Sakae.
This coming Sunday is a relatively quiet day in Asian boxing circles, but there will be 3 different low key cards. The most interesting of which is from Yamaguchi.
The headline bout from this card sees former OPBF Lightweight title challenger Accel Sumiyoshi (9-4-2, 3) take on the returning veteran Motoki Sasaki (42-11-1, 26), who looks to end his latest retirement from the sport. Although the 32 year old Sumiyoshi does have a less than great record he has been matched incredibly hard and is in the form of his life, having gone 5-0-1 (2) in his last 6. The 42 year old retired earlier this year, following a loss to Genki Ishikawa, but has ended his retirement for this bout, and one final run.
In and under-card bout on this card fans will see Jump Ikeo (6-5-3, 4) take on the Japanese ranked Bantamweight contender Kyosuke Sawada (8-2-1, 5). Ikeo has had mixed results through his career, and whilst limited he can hit hard enough to hurt opponents and could be a decent test for Sawada. As for Sawada he has gone 8-0-1 after back-to-back defeats early in his career, and he is certainly showing signs of going places with his career.
Another under-card bout will see the once beaten Change Hamashima (9-1-1, 3) take on unbeaten puncher Kudura Kaneko (5-0, 4) in what could turn out to be the best bout of the card. Although fighting for the 12th time Hamashima will be looking to make a point here in a notable step up in class. As for Kaneko the bout sees him hunting a third straight stoppage win.
A second Japanese card takes place in Gifu and will be headlined by local hopeful Ruito Saeki (6-1, 1) battling against Thai visitor Rungniran Korat Sport School (5-13, 4). The local fighter is coming in to this one on the back of successive wins, including a stoppage against Kevin Mendoza, but this could be an interesting step up to 8 rounds for Saeki. The Thai might not have a flattering record but has won 5 of his last 6, following a strange 0-12 start to his professional career.
As well as the cards in Japan there will also be one in the Philippines.
On paper the main event is an 8 rounder between Rey Ramos (7-8-2, 3) and Cristian Abila (16-22-5, 5), who are well matched, but both limited. Coming in to this Ramos has won just 1 of his last 5, though it was an interesting win over Landy Cris Leon. As for Abila he has gone 1-3-1 in his last 5, though is better than his record suggests and did defeat Vergel Nebran back in July. This should be a decent contest, despite the records of the two men.
In a more interesting looking match on paper, fans will see Jason Dogelio (6-4, 2) take on the promising Kevin Aseniero (6-0, 3). The unbeaten man may be favoured on paper, but this is a genuine step up for the undefeated 23 year old prospect, who has gone the distance in his last 3 bouts. Dogelio isn't a proven quantity himself, but has never been stopped and could give Aseniero a decent test here.
Aseniero isn't the only unbeaten hopeful on this card as Joseph Ambo (5-0, 4), Prince Andrew Laurlo (6-0, 4) and Denmark Quibido (4-0, 3) look to continue their perfect starts as they take on limited domestic foes, and really should all pick up straight forward wins.