We again see action in Osaka, and once again it's a relatively small card getting out attention, though it is a small card with 4 ranked fighters on it and a pretty even looking main event.
The main event will see former OPBF Bantamweight title challenger Yuki Strong Kobayashi (10-7, 5) facing off with former Japanese title challenger Satoshi Ozawa (13-7-1, 2), in a bout that both men really must win to remain even semi-relevant on the domestic scene. Kobayashi has lost 4 of his last 6, including an opening round blow out loss last time out to Rey Megrino in Hong Kong, but was once regarded as a promising fighter. On the other hand Ozawa has been stopped in 3 of his last 7, and has struggled with close decision wins in many of his recent victories. Interestingly this will be the second meeting between the two men, who fought back in September 2013, with Ozawa claiming a split decision, and both will have a serious point to prove.
The chief support bout will see OPBF ranked Light Flyweight Rikito Hattori (8-1, 3) battle against unbeaten Japanese ranked Minimumweight Daiki Tomita (9-0, 3) in a bout being fought at a contracted weight above the Light Flyweight limit. Hattori has won his last 3, following a setback last year to Kenta Matsui, but has been facing relatively limited opponents in those bouts.
In a really well matched contest we'll see OPBF and JBC ranked Super Featherweight Shachihoko Dragons Keita (7-5-2, 1) take on Yu Konomura (7-5-2, 1), in a second meeting between the two men who fought last year. On paper this doesn't look amazing, but given their first bout this should be really good and really well contested.
The remaining ranked fighter is OPBF ranked Super Flyweight Futa Akizuki (9-0, 7), who takes on his biggest test to date as he faces Shun Ishibashi (10-21-1, 4). The 19 year old Akizuki debuted in Japan less than a year ago and has already racked up 3 wins in his homeland including an impressively one-sided win over Vincent Bautista. The 29 year old Ishibashi looks like a journeyman on paper but he's a solid stepping stone at domestic level and should serve as a really good test for Akizuki here, but a test that the youngster should be able to pass.
This coming Sunday will be an emotional but busy day in Japan with 3 shows in the land of the rising sun as well as a single show in the Philippines.
Possibly the most notable, and easily the most emotional, of the Japanese cards comes from Hyogo where we see several fighters of note in action on a Taisei promoted card that is being held in memory of Kaito Hattori, who sadly passed away earlier this year.
The main event of the show will be the Japanese debut of youngster Riku Kano (5-1-1, 3), who battles against late replacement Marihot Hutajulu (1-2). Kano, who has fought in Thailand and the Philippines so far, is tipped to go a long way however he will have a lot of pressure on his shoulders coming in to this bout. The talented youngster has been matched easily here but knows that this is just the beginning of a journey expected to take him a very long way.
In the chief support bout we'll see Rikito Hattori (2-0, 1), the older brother of Kaito, take on an Indonesian foe. This won't be a major bout but it will be a hugely emotional one for Hattori.
In an interestingly matched 8 round bout fans will see Hikaru Matsuoka (8-2-3, 1) battle against Seizo Kono (14-7-1, 9). This will be Matsuoka's first bout since he was stopped by Yuki Strong Kobayashi in April and he'll know that back-to-back losses will push him a long way from a major bout. As for Kono he's can't afford a loss after back-to-back defeats.
A very peculiar looking bout will see Japanese based Filipino Mark John Yap (20-12, 10) take on former WBA interim Minimumweight champion Juan Jose Landaeta (26-7-1, 20). The 36 year old Landaeta is well known on Japan for his bouts with Yutaka Niida and Koki Kameda though he is likely to be giving away a lot of natural size here against Yap.
We have a lesser show in Kanagawa that has an interesting main event but, over-all, looks to be a much less interesting card that some of the others.
The main event will see Middleweight hopeful Shoma Fukumoto (6-1, 5) attempt to claim his 5th straight win as he faces the more experienced Kazuaki Irisawa (8-6, 5). On paper this is a big step up for Fukumoto though one that he should come out on top of given that Irisawa has already been stopped 5 times, including last time out.
In a support bout Keita Nakano (13-9-3, 4) will be taking on Yuta Saito (7-6-2, 6). Coming in to this bout Nakano is ranked by the JBC and would likely lose that ranking if he was to be beaten here. Notably however Saito has gone 0-3-1 in his last 4 bouts and is win-less since the end of 2012.
A second support bout will see Emika Himuro (4-1-1, 1) battle against Kai Johnson (5-7-3, 2). These two fought in November 2013, fighting to a 6 round majority draw, and will be hoping to settle the score here.
Another Japanese card is being promoted by Kanmon Japan.
The main event here will see recent OPBF title challenger Accel Sumiyoshi (4-4-1, 1) take on Leonardo Doronio (14-9-3, 9) in a 10 round bout. This is a rematch from a contest the two men had last year, which resulted in a split decision draw. Since their first bout Sumiyoshi has challenged for the OPBF Lightweight title, losing a wide decision to Masayoshi Nakatani, whilst Doronio has been inactive, perhaps giving the Japanese fighter the slight edge.
Sadly the rest of this show is relatively weak.
Cotabato del Sur, Philippines
In the Philippines fans get an interesting show with a number unbeaten fighters or notable fringe contenders.
The main event will see the once beaten Daryl Basadre (14-1-1, 10) take on the once touted Kenny Demecillo (8-3-1, 5) in a bout for the WBA Oceania Bantamweight title. This s a great opportunity for both with the winner possibly able to claim a fringe WBA ranking. On paper Basadre is the favourite though Demecillo will not be coming in to this bout to roll over.
Of the many prospects in action on this show we tend to think the best is Jack Tepora (13-0, 9), who has been dubbed “The Golden Boy”. Tepora will be up against tough veteran Eric Barcelona (53-23-5, 19). This should be a good test for Tepora but a test that he should pass comfortably whilst getting some good rounds under his belt.
On paper the bout of the show looks to be a contest between Rimar Metuda (6-0, 3) and Jerry Castroverde (5-0, 3). We believe this bout was expected earlier in the year though has been rescheduled. This could be a very good test for both men, or could see one man “exposed”.
The biggest name in action is former IBF Light Flyweight world title challenger Jether Oliva (22-3-2, 10). Oliva, who was stopped last time out by Luis Nery, will be up against Jonathan Ricablanca (7-47-2, 1) in what looks to be an easy comeback fight for Oliva.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)