To begin October we turn our attention to the Korakuen Hall,where Ohashi gym put on a solid looking card.
The main event is a genuinely brilliant match up as 2012 Olympic bronze medal winner Satoshi Shimizu (3-0, 3) takes a massive step up, to challenge OPBF Featherweight champion Sa Myung Noh (11-3, 4, who will be looking to defend the title he won back in June when he upset Ryo Takenaka. To date Shimizu has fought just 9 rounds as a professional and has looked destructive, but flawed, with a lot of power and exciting style. As for Noh he's looking to build on a career defining win and will be hoping that another win in Japan could help him more towards a potential world title fight, and it is worth noting he enters this bout with a WBC world ranking which will improve if he retains his title here.
The main event is a great bout but it may actually be the second best fight on the card as former world title challenger Satoshi Hosono (33-3-1, 22) takes on talented youngster Reiya Abe (14-2, 7). On paper we suspect many will favour Hosono, given his experience and the fact that his set backs have come against world class opposition, however Abe is no joke and he has rocked up 6 straight wins,including notable victories against Ryo Hino, Hikaru Marugame, Shingo Kusano and Tsuyoshi Tameda. This really could be a very special bout between fighters at different points in their career.
On the under-card fight fans will see Tsuyoshi Tameda (14-3-2, 12), making his Ohashi debut, and Ryuji Hara (22-2,13) who both take on Thai foes in what should be showcases contests before bigger bouts later in the year, with Hara expected to get a second world title fight in the very near future.
In late March we see Ohashi putting on their first show of 2017, and although it's not a huge show, like the FES cards, it is a solid Phoenix Battle card with a host of notable names in action.
In the main event we see the highly talented Ryo Matsumoto (18-1, 16) take on domestic rival Hideo Sakamoto (17-3-3, 5) in a really good match up. Matsumoto, who under-went serious surgery last year to solve a long term medical issue, will be looking to make a huge mark in 2017 but will have to over-come Sakamoto first. If the youngster wins then all signs point towards Matsumoto getting a world title fight before the end of 2017. Sakamoto might not be a big name but he is a very under-rated fighter with notable wins over Kazuyoshi Niki, Hiroki Shiino and Ryotaro Kawabata, but has suffered recent losses to Seio Kono and Kentaro Masuda in recent years.
In a major supporting bout we'll see the unbeaten Koki Inoue (6-0, 5) battle against Japanese ranked Mitsuyoshi Fujita (10-2, 3) in what should be a good test for Inoue. The unbeaten 24 year old only debuted in December 2015 but is one of the fastest rising fighters on the Japanese domestic scene and made a statement last year when he scored 5 wins, including a very impressive stoppage against Futoshi Usami. Fujita has suffered 2 losses, but has won 8 in a row since those back to back losses in 2013-2014. Although not as proven as Inoue he is experienced and has earned a Japanese ranking with wins against the likes of Yusuke Yamanouchi and Genki Maeda.
Another notable Ohashi gym fighter in action here is former world title challenger Ryuji Hara (21-2, 12), who faces domestic opponent Akiyoshi Kanazawa (14-6-4, 7). Hara scored two wins last year and looks to be rebuilding his career step by step following stoppage losses in 2014, to Kosei Tanaka, and in 2015, to Katsunari Takayama. This is a decent match up for for Hara, given he is rebuilding, but it's fair to say he needs to step up a bit later this year. Kanazawa has gone 3-4-1 in his last 8 though has been matched hard, and almost scored an upset last year over Kenichi Horikawa. Although limited Kanazawa will serve as a good test here.
A really interesting bout sees the unbeaten Andy Hiraoka (8-0, 5) finally battle with Shogo Yamaguchi (10-2-1, 5). Originally this bout was supposed to take place in December 2014, as the Rookie of the Year Lightweight final, but Hiraoka suffered an illness forcing him out of the bout. Since then Yamaguchi has gone 4-2, though has been matched hard with losses to Akihiro Kondo and Genki Maeda, whilst Hiraoka spent notable time training in the US and signed with Ohashi late last year.
Another interesting match up will see Quaye Peter (9-8-2, 5) take on recent Japanese title challenger Valentine Hosokawa (20-6-3, 9) in a very fan friendly match up. Both guys have lost their last two, and will be coming to impress here, but neither has performed badly in all honestly Hosokawa was very unlucky last time out against Hiroki Okada. Given the styles of both men and their need to score a win we suspect this will be a really exciting contest with both men knowing a win could net them a title shot later in the year.
Also on the card is former Japanese champion Seiichi Okada (19-6-1, 11), who battles against the limited but tough Kentaro Yamada (8-7-1, 6). Yamada has lost his last 6, but he has been in with a real who's who including Rikki Naito, Masayuki Ito and Yuki Ogata, and will certainly be looking at this bout as a chance to end that losing run.
Whilst big cards, with multiple noteworthy bouts, aren't rare in Japan it's rare to get a full card of notable and notable bouts. There is however one such card on December 30th when Ohashi put on a genuine super show with two world title bouts, two Olympic medal winners, several prospects and just one of those rare cards where everything looks to have significance...and that's despite the fact one of the key announced bouts for the show was actually cancelled due to an injury!
The main event of the card will see WBO Super Flyweight champion Naoya Inoue (11-0, 9) taking on former 2-time world champion Kohei Kono (32-9-1, 13). This will be Inoue's most notable bout in 2 years, since he beat Omar Andres Narvaez to claim the title, and will see him hunting his 4th defense and most notable so far. For Kono this is a chance to prove he's still a world class Super Flyweight and potentially a chance to become a 3-time world champion.
In the chief main event of the show we see IBF Light Flyweight champion Akira Yaegashi (24-5, 12) defending his title against Thailand's Samartlek Kokietgym (35-5, 12), who is best known for being stopped by the aforementioned Naoya Inoue in 2014. Yaegashi will be seeking his second defense of the title and will know that a win will lead him to about with interim champion Milan Melindo in 2017. A win for the challenger would be a shock and it would genuinely shake up the 108lbs division.
The chief support bout behind the double main event will see 2012 Olympic gold medal winner Ryota Murata (11-0, 8) fight against the once beaten Bruno Sandoval (19-1-1, 15). For Murata this bout is the next step forward as his team continue to pursue a 2017 fight with WBO champion Billy Joe Saunders, of the UK. Whilst Sandoval is a live opponent he hasn't really proven his worth and could well be an easy target for Murata, who has shown real improvement in recent bouts and with his heavy hands there is genuine potential.
Another major under-card bout will see the once beaten Ryo Matsumoto (17-1, 15) face off with his sole conqueror Victor Uriel Lopez (10-5-1, 4). This rematch was announced earlier in the year but cancelled as Matsumoto required surgery for a serious medical issue, the same issue that reared it's head in the first bout with Lopez. Now, supposedly healed, Matsumoto is looking for revenge whilst Lopez is looking to prove that Matsumoto's medical woes weren't the only reason for the result in the first bout.
In a relatively interesting bout we'll see former world title challenger Ryuji Hara (20-2, 12) battle with Hiroya Yamamoto (10-4, 4). Hara is looking to get his career back ion the right track after a 2-2 record in is last 4, and should be too good for Yamamoto however the under-dog is a 2-time Japanese title challenger, having come up short to Go Odaira and Takuya Fukuhara, and is certainly a live under-dog here.
Naoya isn't the only fighter from the Inoue clan on this card, as his cousin Koki Inoue (5-0, 4) takes on his biggest test to date, Futoshi Usami (14-2-1, 11). Inoue is touted as another world champion in the making but this is a credible test for the Kanagawa man, especially given that Usami fought for the OPBF Lightweight title in 2014, and went the 12 round distance with the world ranked Masayoshi Nakatani.
Another unbeaten prospect on this card is 20 year old hopeful Andy Hiraoka (7-0, 4), who fights for the second time as an Ohashi fighter. The talented youngster will be up against Indonesian journeyman Naty Yongraksa (0-0), in what should be a straight forward win for the local star. The visitor is 1-5-1 in his last 7 and it's hard to see what he has to really Hiraoka.
The second Olympian on the show is 2012 Olympic bronze medal winner Satoshi Shimizu (1-0, 1), who takes a huge step up in class to take on Filipino Carlo Demecillo (6-3, 1). Whilst this is a big step up for Shimzu from his debut it should be noted that Demecillo struggled to win a round recently when he took in Hisashi Amagasa, back in October. Demecillo should give Shimizu some resistance, but the bout should be a win for the Japanese local
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 looks to be the perfect closing day to a month that hasn't been the most exciting for boxing fans.
One of the cards of the month comes from the newly named EDION Arena Osaka where Ioka put on what may go down as one of the cards of the year. It feature 4 title fights, 2 notable prospects and more action than you shake a stick at.
The headline bout sees Japanese Kazuto Ioka (17-1, 10) defending the WBA Flyweight title against Argentinian foe Roberto Domingo Sosa (26-2-1, 14). This is Ioka's first defense of the title that he narrowly won earlier this year, when he over-came Juan Carlos Reveco, and it could be another tough night for Osakan star. Whilst this bout could be a very tough one for Ioka it needs noting that the winner will have a tough one next time out, as they are mandated to face with Reveco by the end of the year.
Another world title bout on this show will see IBF Minimumweight champion Katsunari Takayama (29-7-0-1, 11) defending his belt against Ryuji Hara (19-1, 11) in what looks like a potential FOTY contender. Takayama, who struggled last time out with Fahlan Sakkreerin Jr, is now 32 and has had a very hard career however Hara will be going into his first world title fight and was stopped in his most notable bout to date, by current WBO champion Kosei Tanaka.
In a Japanese title fight fans will see Super Flyweight champion Sho Ishida (19-0, 10) defending his title, for the 3rd time as he takes on Hayato Kimura (23-7, 15). The unbeaten champion has looked impressive in 18 of his bouts however he was run very close last time out by Taiki Eto and it that bout left question marks regarding Ishida's stamina. If he impresses here he may find himself heading to a world title bout in 2016. However Kimura cannot be ruled here and the experienced challenger has waited for his shot at Japanese title.
The fourth title bout on this show will see the unbeaten Kei Takenaka (9-0, 3) defending her OPBF Light Flyweight title against Thailand's Krikanok Islandmuaythai (4-4-1, 2). This looks like a mismatch though Takenaka may well be just one or two fights from a world title shot and will be hoping to get some much needed ring time here before a potential fight at world level.
As for the prospects one of those is 17 year old Riku Kano (6-1-1, 4) who faces Kenta Matsui (6-4, 1) in what will be the teenager's second bout in Japan. The hope is that a win here will be followed in 2016 with a move towards a domestic title bout then a potential world title bout as he chases the record to be Japanese youngest world champion. Matsui is a safe option but also the type of fight who is physically tough enough to get Kano some competitive rounds.
A less competitive bout will see Super Flyweight hopeful Masayoshi Hashizume (8-0, 5) face Thailand's Petchnamnung Sor Thiebkhun (0-10) in what looks like like a horrible mismatch. Petchnamnung has been stopped in 8 of his 10 bouts and we expect stoppage loss #9 to come here in what is, supposedly, his international debut. Of course The Thai probably has an incomplete record but what the data we have suggests that this is a horrible match up and that the talented Hashizume should win without ny problems.
The two world title bouts from this card will be aired on TBS, though it's unclear at the moment if they will be “live” or on tape delay. Looking at the scheduled of the card however the odds are that Takayama Vs Hara will be aired on tape delay whilst Ioka Vs Sosa will likely be live, and will also be shown live on Argentinian TV.
Staying in Osaka there is also a Rookie of the West card, in fact it's the Rookie of the West final. Sadly though it will be massively over-looked give the other card.
Rather than going through all 12 bouts we've picked a few that interested us the most.
At Super Flyweight unbeaten teenagers collide as 18 year old Shion Tamada (2-0) takes on 19 year old Kensei Hirano (4-0, 2). Tamada is a prospect of the Ioka gym and will have sparred with some top quality partners though given his age he's certainly a baby and could will find himself being pushed all the way by Hirano, who is more experienced and has shown more power.
Another all unbeaten contender will come at Light Flyweight where Kaminoko Okamura Kentokid (5-0-3, 2) takes on Seigo Yuri Akui (3-0-1, 1). Although both men are unbeaten both have been relatively fortunate with draws and it's fair to say that neither is expected to be raced through the ranks if they do end up being crowned the Rookie of the Year.
One other all unbeaten bout that has us excited is at Featherweight where teenager puncher Ryuya Yanagida (2-0, 2) takes on Yuto Nagano (4-0, 2). It's fair to say that Yanagida is completely unproven but he has shown solid power so far and may well need that power to get beyond the 21 year old Nagano, who had to gut out his most recent win, against Yu Konomura.
As well as all he action in Japan Thai fans will also get their share of televised action with Mono 29 airing a Kiatkreein show, form 3PM local time.
In the main event of this show fans will see Thailand's experienced Mike Tawatchai (35-8-1, 21) take on Filipino foe Junny Salogaol (9-7-4-1, 9) in a bout for the IBF Pan Pacific Super Bantamweight title. This is Tawatchai's first bout since being dominated by Shingo Wake in an IBF world title eliminator back in June and although that loss was a wide one he shouldn't struggle at all with Salogaol. Despite Salogaol's record being less than great he is coming into this bout in form, with 5 straight T/KO wins.
Tawatchai isn't the only notable name on this show. Another is 2-time Olympic medal winner Manus Boonjumnong (1-0) who faces Indonesian Marco Tuhumury (10-11-2, 3). Although Manos is 35, and looked out of shape last time out against Jamed Jalarante, he has got a lot of skill and shouldn't struggle, at all, with Tuhumury. In fact if anything we're expecting the Thai to stop his foe here.
Another fighter on this card is recent world title challenger Fahlan Sakkreerin Jr (27-4-1, 15) who will face Indonesian fighter Oscar Raknafa (12-10, 5) in a stay busy fight. This is Fahlan's first bout since his controversial loss to Katsunari Takayama back in April. A win here could see Fahlan's team moving him towards another title fight at some point in 2016.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
The Japan fans get a treat this coming Thursday with a good looking Ohashi Gym card headlined by a national title fight though also featuring other notable names.
The main event will see former 3-time world title challenger Satoshi Hosono (27-2-1, 20) defending his Japanese Featherweight title against under-rated challenger Tatsuya Otsubo (8-6-1, 3). On paper this is a horrible mismatch but the realist is that Otsubo is better than the numbers suggest and he's fantastic form, form that really does shows his potential. Hosono will be the favourite but we don't expect this to be as one-sided as the record suggest.
In a solid support bout fans will see former OPBF Super Flyweight champion Ryo Matsumoto (14-0, 12) battle against world ranked foe Luis May (17-8-1, 7). On paper this is the most significant bout of the card and if Matsumoto wins there is talk of him getting a potential title fight by the end of the year. That'd be a big ask for the unbeaten youngster but he was very impressive in 2014 and he does deserve a chance more than some other recent title challengers.
The third notable bout on this card features former 2-weight world champion Akira Yaegashi (21-5, 11). Yaegashi will be facing Said M Said (2-2, 1), who was the 4th man scheduled to face Yaegashi. This looks like a mismatch, and should be one, though it seems that Yaegashi's team are still trying to see what he has left in the tank before putting him in another tough match up, especially considering that 2014 saw him suffer back-to-back stoppage losses.
Also in action on this card will be former Japanese and OPBF Minimumweight champion Ryuji Hara (19-1, 11) who is to take part in an exhibition bout with Kenichi Miyazaki (9-1-1, 2). Hara was supposed to fight Said though it seems he has signed a deal to fight Katsunari Takayama in September and as a result will only feature in an exhibition here. Although the Takayama bout hasn't yet been announced the rumour is that it will be announced in the ring following this exhibition.
For fans interested, a portion of this card will be aired on Fuji TV this coming weekend.
(Image courtesy of Ohashi Gym)
The month ends with a small card in Shizuoka. The card isn't too amazing but it does have some interesting action on it and the fighters are able to collect bonus's if they manage to stop their foes, with the bonuses being tiered based on how quickly they score the stoppages.
Whilst we won't go into the bonus system, we will state that we like the idea and would like to see more promoters doing things to try and add to the excitement of shows.
In the main event of this card we see the fantastic Ryuji Hara (18-1, 10) fight for the first time since being stopped, in 10 rounds, by Kosei Tanaka. Hara is dropping down massively in terms of opponents, going from the sensational Tanaka, in what was a contender for Japan's 2014 FOTY, to the limited Petchnamchai Sor Sakulwong (1-2, 1). This should be an easy win for the world ranked Hara who will be hoping to rebuild his confidence before restarting his search for a world title.
In another apparent mismatch we'll see Japanese based Filipino Ricky Sismundo (28-8-1, 12) battle against the heavy handed Kazuya Nakano (8-4, 7). Sismundo is on a 2 fight winning streak, notching wins against Shuhei Tsuchiya and Akihiro Kondo, following a wide decision loss to Masayoshi Nakatani last May. Nakano isn't a terrible fighter but has lost 2 of his last 3 and we suspect that run will continue here.
A bout that does look very even, and incredibly well matched, will see Quaye Peter (7-5-2, 3) face off with Cristiano Aoqui (9-3-2, 5). Peter was beaten by Aoqui last July though has scored back-to-back wins since then including a very good victory over Kazuya Maruki. Aoqui on the other hand has fought just once, stopping Koichi Ogawa. This could well be the stand out bout of the show.
Another well matched bout on this card will see Kyohei Tsunashima (4-5, 3) take on Noriyoshi Taki (4-5-1, 1) in a 6 round bout. The fighters are very similar in terms of their win-loss record though Tsunashima is the heavier handed fighter who also seems to lack durability.
In Korea the KPBF will be hosting a small card. The main event here will be a KPBF Light Middleweight title bout. Unfortunately, though as with most KPBF shows, the details on this show are all but impossible to find and the show isn't expected to be included on boxrec.com.
Some fights are special, exciting and get the blood pumping before even a punch is thrown. One such bout is the standout bout this coming Thursday as OPBF Minimumweight champion Ryuji Hara (18-0, 10) puts his title and world rankings on the line against the sensationally gifted Kosei Tanaka (3-0, 1). Tanaka is a man who we've been excited about since his debut was announced last year and since then he has exceeded all expectation, a win here against Hara will be further proof of his sensational talent and move him on to the verges of a world title bout. If Hara can defend however then the unbeaten Ohashi Gym fighter will likely be the one moving onto a world title fight next year.
As well as the sensational main even there is also two interesting undercard bouts. One of those will see Toru Suzuki (23-4, 7) battling against Yuta Matsuda (9-10-2, 4). On paper this is a mismatch however Suzuki has been stopped in 3 of his last 4 and has scored only 1 win in the last 3 years, meaning that this is a real crossroads fight for Suzuki who no longer looks like a man who was competing at title level just a few fights back. Matsuda isn't in great form but with Suzuki fighting like he is this is a lot more even than the records of the men suggest.
The other interesting undercard bout will see Junpei Hara (14-5-2, 9) fighting against Spice Matsushita (12-8, 2). What makes this bout very interesting is that it will act as a rubber match between the two men who are tied at 1-1 in their series of fights. Both bouts so far have been very competitive and shown that the records are indicative of their relative talent and we never complain about a competitive contest, the more of them the better.
One other fighter confirmed for this show is heavy handed southpaw Yoshimichi Matsumoto (6-1, 5) who will be seeking a third victory following his set back last November to Kazuma Sanpei.
In the US Urmat Ryskeldiev (9-3-1, 5), from Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, will be looking for his 4th straight win as he takes on Carlos Lozana (7-4, 4) in a low level bout. Aged 24 we are looking forward to seeing how Ryskeldiev develops and he has certainly began to carve out a career after a less than impressive start to his career.
(Image courtesy of Ohashi Gym)
A new week kicks off instantly with notable fighters and a major domestic Japanese fight as the action continues to roll with big fights. Not only do we see great action to begin this week but actually the whole week is action packed with some fantastic shows and great fights.
The show to kick off the week sees a return to the ring for a number of Ohashi Gym stable as Ohashi put on their first show since since star student Naoya Inoue claimed the WBC Light Flyweight title back on April 6th. Although Naoya isn't on this show several men who were on that show, ring "Ring of Diamonds" do return this week on the "49th Phoenix Battle".
The most notable of those fighters is Satoshi Hosono (25-2-1, 19) who will defending his Japanese Featherweight title for the first time. Hosono, who won the title when he stopped Yuki Ogata on "Ring of Diamonds", will be facing his second successive unbeaten opponent as takes on Gosuke Seki (15-0-2, 3). Seki is stepping up massively for this fight but will have the confidence of an unbeaten fighter and will be hoping to join fellow Kadoebi Houseki Boxing Gym fighters Yoshitaka Kato, Hiroki Okada, Suyon Takayama and Kyotaro Fujimoto in becoming a Japanese national champion.
Hosono isn't the only reigning champion on the show and fellow Ohashi gym fighter Ryuji Hara (17-0, 10), the current OPBF Minimumweight champion, will be facing Indonesia's Faris Nenggo (8-4-3, 2) in a stay busy fight. We expect that Hara will be trying to move on to world title fights later this year and that this bout will be little more than a formality for the talented youngster.
Another unbeaten prospect from the Ohashi gym who will be in action is the very highly regarded Ryo Matsumoto (10-0, 8) who will be battling late replacement Zun Rindam (11-4-1, 5). Matsumoto was supposed to be fighting Benigno Nino (1-1-1) but Nino was replaced just over a week before the fight by his compatriot who looks a more testing opponent for the rising youngster. Despite being a better test for Matsumoto we still only see this going one way.
Also on this card is former Japanese Super Featherweight champion Seiichi Okada (17-4, 10) who will be facing domestic journeyman Shunsuke Sato (7-15-2, 4) in what should be little more than a mismatch. Okada, ranked #14 in Japan at Super Featherweight, has lost 3 of his last 4 by stoppage and is certainly on the slide but will be hoping to resurrect his career with a string of wins. It's unlikely he'll ever get to challenging the likes of Rikki Naito again but he will be hoping to get at least 1 more major fight before his career is over.
One other Ohashi fighter on this show will be Junpei Hara (13-5-2, 8) who will be putting his OPBF ranking on the line against Tomoya Yamada (11-4, 3) in the first of the 5 main contests. In terms of how good this bout is we'd suggest this was the most even of the bouts even if the fighters aren't the most well known.
As well as the 5 main bouts the show is expected to feature a further 2 bouts on the undercard on a show that really shows just how to put on an solid domestic level card.
(Image courtesy of Ohashi Gym)
This coming Sunday sees the end of the busiest week in Asian boxing this year and amazing it's the busiest day of the year so far with 5, yes count them 5, different cards, 3 title fights and around 40 fights. It really is a bumper Sunday for fans of the sport across Asia.
We're lead to believe the first show to start will be at the Aioi Hall in Aichi. This show is expected to start at mid-day local time and will be headlined by Japanese #10 ranked Featherweight Shinji Takayama (20-3, 11) who will be fighting against the light hitting Kohei Maruoka (7-5-1, 1) in what really should be little more than a light work out for the talented Takayama.
In total this card is expected to feature 11 bouts but other than the main event very little is worth noting on a Matsuda show that is packed though not hugely interesting.
Although the first card of the day is the Aichi one we think the most notable is at the FujisanMesse in Fuji, Shizuoka. The reason this card is more notable than the others is that the main event is a genuinely promising looking fight as the unbeaten Ryuji Hara (16-0, 10) battles Filipino veteran Donny Mabao (21-20-1, 4) for the vacant OPBF Minimumweight title. Although this looks like a complete mismatch on paper we do imagine it will turn out to be a very tough battle for Hara who has looked less than great in his recent contests.
As well as the OPBF title bout this card will include a further 10 contests, including an interesting bout between James Murashige (7-3-1, 4) and Brazilian Cristiano Aoqui (7-3-1, 4). Both men here have almost identical records, the only difference is that Aoqui has 2 stoppage losses whilst Murashige doesn't have any. It's those stoppage losses that may find Murashige favoured slightly but it is an excellent match up.
At the same time as the Shizuoka show we see the start of a show at the Matsushita IMP Hall, a show that is effectively split in to two separate parts.
The first part of this show, will feature 7 bouts in total with the headliner being an OPBF female Super Flyweight title bout between reigning champion Tomoko Kawanishi (8-1, 4) and Thai challenger Jubjang Lookmakarmwan (3-6). For this bout we're really favouring the champion, especially when you consider the bad run the challenger has been on recently with 6 straight losses.
As well as the female title fight the show will also feature the unbeaten, and very promising, Ryuto Kyoguchi (10-0-1, 7) who will be fighting against Yasunori Kishigami (8-1-1, 5) in what will be an excellent match up between two pretty good domestic fighters. We do favour Kyoguchi but the upset certainly cannot be ruled out.
In total their is 8 bouts on the first part of this show before a small break.
On the second part of the show things really heat up with some brilliant match ups including an absolutely fantastic Flyweight bout between former 2-time world title challenger Hirofumi Mukai (9-3-1, 1) and former OPBF title challenger Myung Ho Lee (16-4, 5). This bout really is a great bout even though neither man is likely to become a world champion and it's this sort of bout that makes for a great main event.
Another bout on the second part of this card will see the unbeaten and very highly touted Shohei Omori (10-0, 6) fighting against southpaw Yubon Kim (10-3, 3). We're going with Omori to win this but we expect to see him struggling a little, at least compared to his last 3 contests which lasted just a combined 4 rounders. We have very high hopes for Omori though we do expect Kim to give him a good work out here.
Hae Nam City, South Korea
Outside of Japan we also get a show in South Korea with yet another title on the line. This time it's the turn of the lightly regarded IFBA Minimumweight title as the reigning champion Ji-Hyun Park (19-2, 5) fights Mexican Anahi Torres (12-11, 2). On paper this looks like a total gimme for Park but Torres is one of those fighters with a misleading record and after starting her career 5-10 she has won 7 of her last 8, including notable wins over Nancy Franco and Jasseth Noriega.
We expect Park to defend her title though wouldn't be surprised if she is given a seriously difficult test by her criminally over-looked Mexican opponent.
(Poster courtesy of Boxmob.jp and is for the second part of the Osaka Teiken show)