This coming Sunday is a busy day for fight fans, specifically those in Osaka who get 3 shows.
The most notable of those shows comes from the EDION Arena where the Boxingraise cameras will in attendance to stream live content, featuring some of the brightest young prospects in Japan.
The most notable of those prospects is Japanese Light Flyweight champion Ken Shiro (7-0, 4), who faces the much more experienced Toshimasa Ouchi (20-8-3, 6) in a bout for both the Japanese and the vacant OPBF Light Flyweight titles. Ouch is a man looking to secure his biggest win to date and will go into the bout knowing that pressure is on Ken Shiro, however the veteran may not get another title fight if he loses here. For Ken Shiro this is a brilliant chance to put himself into the window for a world title fight in December.
Whilst the attention is on the main event it's not the only really good bout on this card with another exciting match up seeing the very promising Hiroto Kyoguchi (2-0, 2) going up against Kenichi Miyazaki (10-2-1, 3) in a mouth watering clash. Miyazaki does come in to this on the back of a loss but isn't a push over whilst Kyoguchi is leaping up in class. A really good match up and a really good test for the unbeaten 22 year old.
In another bout of note we'll see 22 year old Light Flyweight hopeful Masataka Taniguchi (3-0, 3) look to extend his great start as he takes on a Thai opponent. Taniguchi is fighting for the 4th time in a little over 4 months, though that's scarcely an issue given he has wiped out his first 3 opponents in a combined 4 rounds. We're unsure who the Thai will be for this bout, but there is little to suggest that he should be favoured over Taniguchi.
There will also be another show at the EDION Osaka and this one was originally set to features some notable bouts, though sadly has seen some adjustments.
Originally the main event was supposed to see Kazuki Tanaka (5-0, 4) battle, in what would have been a huge step up in class, against Hideo Sakamoto (16-2-3, 5) with the key supporting bout being set as a contest between Seizo Kono (16-8-1, 11) and Filipino Jhon Gemino (13-7-1, 5). Sadly however Tanaka has been forced out of the bout leading to a contest between Sakamoto and Kono. It's an alright bout, especially given the short notice, but the reality is that it's not the main event that had had us excited for several weeks.
As a result of the shake up at the top of the card the new main event will see Takayuki Okumoto (16-7-12, 6) face off against the once beaten Sonin Nihei (8-1-2, 1) in what is a really nice match up and a good step up for Nihei who's only loss came to Kenya Yamashita almost 2 years ago.
Another notable bout here will see young female fighter Fuka Komura (0-0) make her debut, as she takes on Kaori Nagai (0-1). Although a debutant, and one without a host of amateur titles, Komura has received a lot of press and there is serious talk about her being fast tracked to a title following a very impressive pro-test bout earlier this year.
A third show in Osaka comes form the L-Theatre.
The main event here sees OPBF and Japanese ranked Featherweight Ryota Kajiki (28-9, 19) take on Japanese ranked Super Bantamweight Taiki Minamoto (11-5, 10). Kajiki is looking to move towards a second title bout, following a 2012 loss to the then Japanese Super Featherweight champion Daiki Kaneko and is currently riding a 6 fight winning streak, dating back more than 2 years, with notable wins over Shota Yamaguchi and Kota Fukuoka. As for Minamoto he's looking for a second win following last year's loss to Yukinori Oguni, in a Japanese Super Bantamweight title bout.
In the chief support bout for this show fans will see former Japanese Light Flyweight champion Kenichi Horikawa (30-14-1, 7) end his retirement to take on Akiyoshi Kanazawa (13-5-4, 7). For Horikawa the bout will be his first since losing the Japanese title, back in December, to Ken Shiro. Interestingly Kanazawa is returning following a less this year to Toshimasa Ouchi, with Ken Shiro and Ouchi facing off across the city in the first show mentioned in this article!
The only other show in Japan, and the only one taking place outside of Osaka is a small one in Aichi, which is being used to as a Rookie of the Year qualifying show.
The best bout on this card is a 5 rounder between Jinya Ito (4-0-1) and the hard hitting Yuto Nakamura (4-2, 4). The card is a huge step down from the Osaka shows but should provide some thrills in well matched novice type bouts.
As well as all the action in Japan there will also be a show in China where Heavyweight puncher Zhang Junlong (13-0, 13) headlines. The Chinese puncher will be risking his perfect KO record against Brazilian puncher Julio Cesar Dos Santos (30-6, 27), who has been in with a who's who of the Cruiserweight division. It's hard to back against Junlong here, but the hope is that a big bout is only around the corner.
This Sunday is a busy day in Japan with a trio of shows, though all of them are relatively low key affairs with nothing too big, despite some well known names being in action.
One of those shows is a Suruga Danji show in Shizuoka, this card is headlined by one of those known names and is expected to be an exciting card, with bonuses available to the fights if they can score stoppages.
That “known” name is former world title challenger Ryuji Hara (19-2, 11), who faces Takashi Omae (13-5-5, 1) in an intriguing 8 rounder. The bout will be Hara's first since his stoppage loss, last year, to Katsunari Takayama last September. As for Omae he too will be looking to bounce back from a stoppage loss, following a 4th round TKO defeat to Ken Shiro. With both men fighting for a career reviving win and for a financial reward this really could be very exciting.
Another bout of note on this card will see Ryusei Nakajima (8-1, 3), the 2015 Lightweight Rookie of the Year, battle against Daiki Ichikawa (6-1, 4). Ichikawa last fought in November, when he was stopped in 3 rounds by Tomoaki Matsumura, who actually lost to Nakajima, in December, in the All Japan Rookie of the Year. Looking at it Nakajima should be favoured, but Ichikawa will know this is a chance to get his career back on track.
Arguably the most notable of the shows takes place as a charity event in Saitama, where we see a former and a current world champion.
That current world champion is Naoko Shibata (14-3-1, 4), the IBF female Light Flyweight champion, who will be up against Thai novice Tanuthong Sor Kunlawong (0-0). This is a stay busy for the champion who will be looking to defend her title later in the year.
The former champion in action is Ayaka Miyao (20-6-1, 4), the former WBA Atomweight champion. She will be up against the very limited Krikanok Islandmuaythai (4-5-1, 2). Krikanok is a former world title challenger, though was stopped in 5 rounds by Momo Koseki back in May 2011, and has fallen to 5 straight losses including that defeat to Koseki.
The third show comes from Osaka and features some notable bouts of it's own.
The main event here sees OPBF and JBC ranked Featherweight Ryota Kajiki (27-9, 18) battling against Thailand's Noppakao Saknarong (0-2) in what looks to be a stay busy fight for Kajiki. It's expected that Kajiki will get a title fight later in the year and this bout will be little more than a tune up for him.
Another ranked fighter in action here is Ken Osato (7-1-1, 3), who risks his JBC Super Featherweight title against domestic foe Shota Suito (10-5-1, 1). On paper it looks like an easy win for Osato, however Suito is better than his record suggests and could prove to be a good test for the ranked fighter.
A third notable fighter on this card is Kenbun Torres (10-2, 8), a Japanese based Mexican fighter. Torres hasn't fought since 2007 though he should have enough in the locker to over-come Thailand's Kaosaen Kaolamlekgym (0-0).
This coming Sunday will see two shows in Japan, though neither is particularly great.
The better of the two shows will be in Osaka, though the main event is a less than enticing contest.
The main event appears to be a pretty clear mismatch as the OPBF and JBC ranked Ryota Kajiki (25-9, 16) takes on the “win some/lose some” Toshiya Yokogawa (7-8-1, 6) in what should be a straight forward win for Kajiki. The 27 year old title hopeful may need to be prepared for the power of Yokogawa, though shouldn't struggle to get win #26. Whilst Kajiki has suffered 3 stoppage losses they are relatively excusable with one coming on debut and others to top domestic foes in the form of Daiki Kaneko and Masao Nakamura, both of who hit much harder than Yokogawa.
Another bout on this card sees the welcome return to Japan of former OPBF title challenger Hurricane Futa (18-4-1, 10), as he battle Ippo Nishiwaki (8-3-1, 4). We say this is Futa's return to Japan as it will be his first fight in the country for more than 4 years, though he should be favourited here over his less less established foe.
Another bout of note on this card will see teenage hopeful Takuma Hayashi (5-0, 3) battle against Sho Yamamoto (5-5-1, 2) in what looks to be a minor step up for the teenager. Hayashi doesn't look to be a star in the making but he is showing signs of being one to watch and if he continues to improve as he has been doing we wouldn't be shocked to see him become a contender on the domestic scene over the coming years.
As well as the Osaka show Japanese fans will also get a low level card in Oita. This card really is a poor one. On paper the stand out bout is a 4 round Minimumweight contest between Toshiki Yanari (3-1, 2) and Yoichi Kojima (4-1-1, 2), though even that stand out bout is a poor one.
This Saturday is an incredibly busy day in the world of boxing with bouts coming thick and fast on a day thats sees notable fighters in action and some wonderful match ups.
In Tokyo we get the first Japanese title fight of the month alongside a couple of other noteworthy bouts.
The title bout in question will see Japanese Light Flyweight champion, and current world ranked fighter, Yu Kimura (15-2-1, 2) defending his national crown against Hayato Yamaguchi (12-5-1, 2), who is making his second Japanese title challenger. For Kimura this is a must win bout if he hopes to get a world title fight later in the year however he won't have been able to prepare for Yamaguchi as he would have liked as the challenger only signed for the fight a few weeks ago after Shin Ono suffered an injury that forced him out of the bout. Of course saying that Yamaguchi will not have had a full training camp himself for this bout.
On the same card we will see the return to the ring of Yasutaka Ishimoto (24-8, 7) who will be fighting for the first time since his narrow loss to Yukinori Oguni last December in a Japanese Super Bantamweight title fight. The popular Ishimoto should be able to end a 2-fight skid as he takes on the limited Yoshihiro Utsumi (12-5-3, 7) in what looks to be a confidence building bout for the 33 year old Ishimoto.
In another bout of note fans will get the chance to see the once beaten Masanobu Nakazawa (16-1-1, 6) battle against the hard hitting Kazuya Soma (7-6-2, 6). Coming into this bout Nakazawa is on a 13 fight winning streak and we suspect that'll continue here, though Soma can hit hard enough to trouble fighters at this level.
A third noteworthy bout on this show will feature 2014 All Japan Flyweight Rookie of the Year Kenji Ono (7-1, 3) who battles against Taichi Yokote (6-2, 3), who has been inactive since a close decision loss in November 2013. This looks like a really good match up on paper and the sort of 50-50 fight that we love seeing, even if Yokote has been out of the ring for more than a year.
In Osaka there are two shows in the same venue, the “L Osaka”.
The first of those shows will be the Taiho promoted card which features only a single notable fighter, in a mismatch no less. Though it does have two relatively interesting looking support bouts.
The main event will see the Japanese and OPBF ranked Ryota Kajiki (24-9, 15) battle the horribly over-matched Tokiya Nishioka (9-4-2, 5). Whilst Kajiki has gone 4-3 in his last 7 they did include a loss to Daiki Kaneko in a Japanese title bout and he is much better than fighters like Nishioka who was stopped in 2 rounds last time out. A horrible mismatch.
A much better looking bout sees Ippo Nishiwaki (7-3-1, 4) fight against Hirokazu Okajima (8-4-2, 4) in an even looking an match up between two flawed but capable fighters who will each be hoping that a win will move them towards bigger and better things. It's not a headline style bout but it's a very solid match up in it's own right.
A second notable support bout will see Akiyoshi Kanazawa (11-3-4, 5) attempt to score his first in 3 fights as he fights Junya Nishikawa (7-5-2, 2), Kanazawa isn't as good as his record suggests, despite a notable win over Atsushi Aburada, though he should be good enough to see off Nishikawa.
The other Osaka show is promoted by Osaka Teiken and unfortunately looks just as bad in regards to it's main event, though the two support bouts are both solid and meaningful domestic bouts.
The main event will see OPBF and Japanese ranked Flyweight Myung Ho Lee (17-4-1, 5) battle against Thai visitor Dawut Manopkanchang (0-2), who has been stopped in two previous visits to Japan. Aged 20 Dawut is still a young fighter but there is no need to have him in the ring with someone like Lee, even though he may see out there bell here given Lee's relative lack of power.
A solid looking support bout will see Japanese ranked Featherweight Ryuto Kyoguchi (13-0-1, 9) battle against Kosuke Saka (9-3, 6). We expect Kyoguchi to come out on top however this no walk in the park and Saka has been in with good competition losing to the likes of Masayuki Ito and Hiroshige Osawa. For Kyoguchi it's a tough assignment but one he'll need to pass if he's to be taken seriously as a Japanese contender, for Saka it's a chance to move himself towards a possible title fight.
The other notable support bout will see former All-Japanese Rookie of the Year Bunta Mitaka (6-2-2) take on Shingo Kawamura (9-2, 4) in a real must win for both. Mitaka has lost his last 2 bouts, including a 3rd round TKO loss to the excellent Shohei Omori, and has seen his 2013 Rookie of the Year crown becoming little more than history. On the other hand Kawamura was stopped last time out by the excellent Kongthara KKP and will know that he needs a win to remain relevant. A brilliant match up.
We see Korean outfit AK Promotions continuing their activity in Thailand as they take Jaesung Lee (18-4-2, 9) over to Chonburi to battle against Joaquim Mahe (10-2, 6) in a contest for the vacant WBC Asian Boxing Council silver Featherweight title. Lee was run close last time by Angelito Merin, who fought under the name Rivera AK Gym, and may well find himself being run close again here by his French opponent, who gave Tepparith Kokietgym a very competitive contest earlier this year.
In Mexico fans are going to be treat to a potentially explosive clash between hard hitting Filipino Jonathan Taconing (20-2-1, 17) and Mexico's very own Raul Garcia (36-3-1, 22). Taconing, the OPBF Light Flyweight champion, is a thunderous puncher who has stopped his last 7 opponents since being controversially beaten by the then WBC Light Flyweight champion Kompayak Porpramook back in 2012. As for Garcia he's a former IBF champion who has a number of notable wins on his record, including his world title win over Florante Condes. This is potentially the fight of the weekend and has the potential to be a FOTY contender.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
This Sunday isn't the biggest day but it's one of the most active between now and the end of the year with 4 Japanese cards all on the same day. Unfortunately however those bouts aren't particularly big with very little really standing out.
For us the most interesting for the 4 Japanese shows is the Green Tsuda promoted card from the IMP Hall in Osaka. The card isn't one that will have fans weak at the knees but there is a number of things that genuinely interest us about the show.
The main event will feature the highly ranked Yu Kawaguchi (21-6, 9), a man looking for his second win following a technical decision loss to Kentaro Masuda in April for the Japanese Bantamweight title. Kawaguchi should manage to get the win relatively easily as he battles against Yuta Sasaki (6-5, 1) though it seems the idea here is for the talented Kawaguchi to rebuild his confidence ahead of another title fight sometime next year.
The chief support contest looks like another relative mismatch as the Japanese ranked Takayuki Okumoto (12-6, 5) battles against Yusaku Suzuki (8-12-2, 5). The 23 year old Okumoto was stopped just a few fights ago by Rusalee Samor and will, like Kawaguchi, be trying to rebuild his confidence however Suzuki isn't as limited as his record indicates and we suspect he will give Okumoto a genuinely good fight, even if he does come up short.
The thing that excites us about this card however the young debutant Kazuki Tanaka (0-0) who we have been told is another of Japan's insanely talented youngsters set to make a real mark on the sport. Unlike many of these touted youngsters from Japan Tanaka is a slightly bigger guy and will be fighting at Super Bantamweight, a division that could see him in notable bouts in Europe, Mexico or the US. If what we hear about this kid is true then he could well be on the fast track to the top. Sadly we're unsure who Tanaka will be fighting though we have been informed that it will be a Thai visitor.
As well as the 3 bouts mentioned this card will feature a further 6 contests.
Prior to the Green Tsuda card there will actually be another show in the IMP Hall with Taiho promotions putting this one on.
The main event on this card is much better than the main event on the other IMP Hall card as the OPBF and Japanese ranked Ryota Kajiki (23-9, 15) takes on the heavy handed Kota Fukuoka (15-5-2, 12). Coming in to this bout Fukuoka has lost his last 2 bouts but does tend to hurt opponents when he connects on them and Kajiki certainly isn't the most elusive fighter out there. Whilst Fukuoka isn't in great form neither is Kajiki who has gone 3-3 in his last 6, including a stoppage loss to Daiki Kaneko in a Japanese title fight just over 2 years ago. This is a really good domestic level bout.
In the chief support bout Ippo Nishiwaki (6-3-1, 4) will be battling against Yasuyuki Otagaki (5-2-3, 1) in an interesting 8 rounder between two men just looking to move their career one. The chief bout however is over-shadowed by the next bout down the card which will see the promising and unbeaten Takuma Hayashi (4-0, 3) battle against Akira Takasuka (4-6). The 18 year hold Hayashi is stepping up to the 6 round distance for the first time and questions are expected to be asked for him, hopefully he'll be able to answer those questions and continue to build on his promising career.
As well as the 3 bouts mentioned this card will feature a further 5 bouts.
A third Japanese card will be headlined by a pair of Japan Vs Philippines bouts.
The main event will see Accel Sumiyoshi (4-3, 1) continue to take on tough opponent as he battled the OPBF ranked Filipino visitor Leonardo Doronio (14-9-2, 9). Sumiyoshi is much better than his record indicates though has been matched insanely hard since his debut in May 2012 and we do wonder why his team doesn't let him have a “gimme”. This is possibly the second easiest bout of his career so far and that's because he has been thrown to the wolves unfortunately. The reward for a win by Sumiyoshi would likely be an OPBF ranking though Doronio has won 4 of his last 5 and is no push over.
The co-feature will see Burning Ishii (5-2-1, 2), incidentally a victim of Leonardo Donorio, battle against Filipino veteran Edgar Gabejan (26-30-6, 8). Gabejan has a horrible record on paper though he's actually a brilliant test with many of his losses being close decisions or defeats at the hands of very good fighters like Adones Aguelo and Michael Farenas. This could be a bout where Ishii is trying to bite off more than he can chew unfortunately.
As well as the two bouts mentioned this show is set to feature a further 6 bouts to give the fans plenty of action.
The longest card is a 10 fight show from Aichi. Sadly despite being the longest it's also the one with the fewest bouts of interest.
The most notable bout will see the heavy handed Daisuke Hayakawa (8-2, 7) facing off against Filipino visitor Roque Lauro (11-16-4, 2) in what looks to be a good test for Hayakawa, especially give the fact Lauro is generally a tough fighter capable of going rounds with guys like Hayakawa.
The co-feature will see Japanese ranked Super Flyweight Yuji Shimizu (16-8-1, 1) fighting against the limited and light hitting Tatsuya Kaneko (7-10-1, 1) in a bout expected to go the scheduled 8 rounds. Another Japanese ranked fighter on this card is Middleweight Marcos Sogabe (5-9-1, 4) who will be up against the limited, light hitting and very stoppable Tetsuya Muraki (8-11, 1) in what looks to be a very weak bout given it's status on the card.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)