This coming Saturday fight fans through Asia will have action to look towards. There are several shows in Asia, as well as Asian fighters fighting around the globe.
The most notable card of the day, in Asia at least, takes place in Osaka and features not only a regional title fight but a guy who looks set for a world title fight later in the year and two evem looking supporting bouts.
The main event will see Japanese-Filipino Joe Noynay (16-2-1, 5) battle former Japanese Featherweight champion Kosuke Saka (18-4, 15), in a bout for the vacant WBO Asia Pacific Super Featherweight title, which was vacated by Masao Nakamura. Noynay is a really talented boxer, and one of the most under-rated fighters in the Philippines. Although not well known he did give Reiya Abe one of his toughest tests to date. Saka on the other hand is a crude but very heavy handed fighter, who lost the title in bizarre circumstances to Takenori Ohashi in 2017, when he misheard the clack for the bell, and since then he has bounced back with a couple of early wins. This could be a very, very interesting match up. A full preview of this bout can be read here Saka and Noynay clash for regional crown
In the chief support bout we'll see world ranked Light Flyweight Tetsuya Hisada (33-9-2, 19) fight in a stay busy contest, as he takes on Indonesian journeyman Stevanus Nana Bau (9-10-2, 2) in what should be little more than a tick over fight for Hisada. Over the past few months Hisada has been linked to every Light Flyweigth world champion, but has been unable to secure a shot at one, which explains this tick over bout.
As for the supporting bouts we'll see Shota Asami (7-5, 4) take on Naoto Iwai (5-2, 3), in what should be a very compelling match up between two talented, and under-rated youngsters, and we'll also see Hirokazu Okajima (9-6-2, 5) take on Shota Yukawa (10-5-3, 4) in a battle of Japanese ranked fighters.
Goyang, South Korea
As well as the show in Japan there is also one in Goyang in Korea. This card is set to be a Korea Vs Japan card, though if we're being honest the card as a whole is poor, with very low quality match ups.
The main event will see the unbeaten Min Jang (7-0-2, 2) take on Hyeon Joon Lee (6-2-1, 4) in a bout for the BoxingM Korean Super Flyweight title. This is a pretty even looking bout, and could be a fairly compelling match up. The unbeaten Jang has won his last 4, since a draw with In Soo Jang back in 2018. Lee on the other hand is looking to claim his first title and score his second win since a loss in Japan to Shota Asami.
The most notable of the Korea Vs Japan bouts appears to be contests between Kyung Min Hwang (3-0, 2) and Teru Nobita (4-1-1, 2) and Ha Nok Shim (4-0, 2) battling against Tom Mizokoshi (3-1-1, 2). We're expecting Korea to win overall, and it's a shame that the card doesn't really have any notable names on it, like past Korea Vs Japan shows, with their being a couple of great shows last year, with several interesting match ups.
Bang Phun, Thailand
A third Asian show will take place in Bangphun, thanks to WorkPoint.
In one bout we'll see the WBC Youth Super Bantamweight title being fought for as the unbeaten pairing of Thattana Luangphon (3-0-1, 3) and Muhammad Ashiq (6-0-1, 5) battle. The title, which has been vacant since Tenta Kiyose gave it up, makes for an interesting reward for the winner of this one. The unbeaten Thai is 21 and is a staple of the WP Boxing shows, having fought all of his bouts in their studio. Ashiq on the other hand is a well travelled Singaporean, with bouts in Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines and Thailand. Neither man is a world beater, from what we've seen, but this should still be an interesting bout.
In another interesting, though very odd, bout we'll see former WBO Bantamweight champion Pungluang Sor Singyu (52-6, 35) take on former OPBF Super Featherweight champion Carlo Magali (23-11-3, 12) in a 6 round bout. Coming in both men have gone without a win in a while. Pungluang has lost his last 3, and is without a win since February 2016, whilst Magali has lost his last 2, and is 4-4 since Pungluang's last win. A real strange one.
Outside of Asia we have some intriguing match ups, the best of which takes place in Ukraine and sees Japanese tough guy Nihito Arakawa (32-6-2, 18) take on unbeaten Ukrainian Denys Berinchyk (10-0, 7) in a bout for a WBO minor title. This bout is likely to be wonderfully violent, though we do wonder what Arakawa has left in his body at this time, given he's now 37. A few years ago this would have FOTY candidate written all over it, though we now thing that wear and tear will be a major issue for Arakawa against someone as strong and powerful as Berinchyk. A full preview of this bout is available here Arakawa and Berinchyk seek major win in Kyiv!
New York, USA
Over in the US we're expecting to see Indian former amateur standout Vikas Krishan (1-0, 1) take on Noah Kidd (3-1-1, 2), in what should be an easy win for the "Indian Tank".
This coming Sunday isn't a big day in Asian boxing but there are a number of bouts of note, with two Japanese eliminators in Fukuoka and a pretty interesting card in South Korea with Koreans, and Korean based fighters, taking on Japanese visitors.
The card in Fukuoka really is lacking in terms of depth, with just 6 total bouts on the card, but the top two bouts are mouth watering Japanese title eliminators, featuring local fighters taking on opponents from Tokyo for the right to compete at the 2019 Champion Carnival.
One of those two eliminators takes place down at 105lbs and will see the once touted Takumi Sakae (19-2-1, 13) take on recent OPBF title challenger Norihito Tanaka (16-7, 9). The 25 year old Tanaka debuted in 2011 and looked on the route to success when he claimed the Rookie of the Year crown in 2013. Sadly since that early success he has faltered, losing in a Japanese title fight in 2016 to Tatsuya Fukuhara, drawing with Lito Dante and losing to Ryoki Hirai. Sakae has won his last 5, but those wins have come against some very limited foes. The 33 year old Tanaka ran up a 14-5 (7) record before walking away from the sport in 2011. He returned to the ring in 2017 and has had mixed success, with a loss last time out to OPBF champion Tsubasa Koura. Given the need for both men to win, and look good, this could be very entertaining. A preview of this bout is available here Sakae and Tanaka face off in Japanese eliminator!
The other title eliminator bout bout will see heavy handed Yuki Beppu (18-0-1, 18) clash with Teiken hopeful Yuki Nagano (14-2, 11) in a Welterweight eliminator. Beppu, like Sakae, is a Rookie of the Year winner but at 27 years old it certainly feels like time for his to step up his competition, following 4 wins over terrible foes. The one time he really stepped, since his Rookie triumph, saw him fight to a draw with Charles Bellamy, and he seemed to bide his time whilst waiting for an opportunity like this. At 29 years old Nagano is slight older but also more tested. He comes into this bout on a 12 fight winning run, including a Rookie of the Year triumph in 2015 and a recent win over Riku Nagahama. Notably this will be Nagano's first bout outside of the Korakuen Hall, and that may be a problem with the crowd behind Beppu, but he'll be confident of continuing his good form. This has the potential to be very explosive. Our preview of this bout can be read here - Heavy handed Beppu and Nagano clash in eliminator!
There will be a second Japanese card, albeit a significantly less significant one.
The main event here will see Ryosei Hamaguchi (6-3, 2) taking on Chiharu Takasuka (5-4-1, 3), in what is a pretty low key bout if we're being honest, especially given the action in Fukuoka.
Daejeon, South Korea
In South Korea fans get a very interesting card, featuring several good looking international bouts and two BoxingM title bouts.
One of those Korean title bouts will see Doo Hyup Kim (10-6-1, 5) take on Gun Woo Gang (4-2-2, 1) for the Korean Light Middleweight title. This will be Kim's first defense of the title, and despite having been stopped in 2 of his previous 3 he will be the man with the champions mentality. On the other hand the 21 year old Gang will be having his third title fight, having come up short in two previous Korean title bouts.
The second title fight will be at 140lbs and will see Jin Soo Kim (3-1, 1) face off with Min Ho Jung (7-1-1, 1) for the vacant title. At 22 years old Kim is the younger, less experienced man but is a promising southpaw, who made an impact on his 2015 debut by scoring a brilliant KO of Andrew Silva. Jung will enter the bout as the older man, but will be the naturally smaller fighter. This could be an entertaining match up, but this will be the first title bout for either man.
On paper the most evenly matched of the international bouts will see unbeaten fighters collide as local Min Jang (6-0-2, 2) takes on Japan's Fumiya Fuse (6-0, 1). The 18 year old Jang debuted last year and has already racked up 8 fights, but this is a big step up for him. At 20 years old Fuse is tipped as one to watch on the Japanese scene, and was the 2017 Rookie of the Year, but this will be his first bout outside of Japan. With neither man being a puncher we are expecting a distance bout, but a very interesting one.
A potentially more explosive match up will see 26 year old Korean Dong Kwan Lee (8-2-2, 4) take on heavy handed Japanese fighter Arashi Iimi (6-1, 6). Coming into this Lee's record doesn't look too interesting, but his short term for has seen him going 4-1 (4) and he hasn't seen the final bell in any of his last 5 bouts. Iimi, the runner up for the 2017 Japanese Rookie of the Year has never seen the final bell, and has scored two wins already this year. Given their recent shows we're expecting to see both men go for the KO and to go for it early!
One other bout of interest will see Korean based Mongolian Batzorig Batjargal (3-0, 2) take on Japan's Hironori Shigeta (5-1, 3). We've been impressed by Batjargal since his debut and he's looked really exciting so far, but this is a notable step up in class for him. Shigeta hasn't fought since December, but was crowned the Japanese Rookie of the Year last year at Welterweight, and he has a very good win over Rikuto Adachi. We can't help but think this could be the best bout on the card.