Action's back in the Korakuen Hall this coming Thursday for an interesting card featuring a former national champion and two touted Japanese prospects.
One of those prospects isJapanese based Afghan born fighter Kudura Kaneko (8-0, 5), who takes a massive step up in class to face off with former Japanese Welterweight champion Toshio Arikawa (15-5, 13). For the 20 year old Kaneko this is a massive step up in class, though he has already impressed by winning the Japanese Youth title earlier this year, and looks to be one of the few really promising Japanese Welterweights. His back story is a fantastic one of hope and determination, have left Afghanistan with his parents for a better life and he's made it known that if he can have real success he wants to fund a school back in Afghanistan. Arikawa on the other hand is a bit a glass cannon, who really can bang, and at the age of 33 can ill afford another set back. Arikawa won the Japanese title in 2016, when he stopped Nobuyuki Shindo at the Champion Carnival, and defended it twice, avenging two losses in the process, but was dethroned earlier this year by Ryota Yada. With 4 of his 5 losses coming by stoppage Arikawa can clearly be hurt, but with 13 wins by stoppage, he can also bang, hard.
The other prospect is touted 24 year old Ryusei Kawaura (4-0, 3), who looks to follow up a good win over Filipino Marjun Pantilgan earlier this year. The talented Kawaura will be up against his first domestic opponent, as he takes on Yuki Yoshimura (8-3-4, 2), who hasn't fought in over a year. We are excited to see what Kawaura can do in his career, but so far he's lacked activity and it feels like he's perhaps not chasing glory in the way he should be, though hopefully that's something that we will see from him in 2019. Yoshimura should prove to be a should prove to be a solid enough test, but has been another fighter who's inactivity has cost him any real chance of making a name for himself, with only 2 fights in the last 8 years. It's worth noting that Yoshimura's only stoppage came to Hiroki Shiino so a win in the distance would be notable for Kawaura.
This coming Monday fight fans at the Korakuen Hall will get the newest Kawashima show, headlined by their Japanese champion defending his title and supported by one of their top prospects looking to move his career forward.
The champion headlining the card is Welterweight king Toshio Arikawa (15-4, 13), who seeks his third defense as he takes on mandatory challenger Ryota Yada (15-4, 12). On paper this has the potential to be a really exciting encounter, as two punchers face off in a really interesting match up. Between the two men they have been stopped 4 times, with Arikawa actually being stopped in the first round in 3 difference fights, but the champion has been on a roll in recent times. Coming in to this Arikawa is riding a 7 fight winning run, with 6 stoppages, and looks to be in the form of his life. Yada has bounced back well from a 2016 stoppage loss to Jayar Inson, with 3 straight wins, but that bout showed he could be hurt, and with Arikawa's power there is a good chance Yada will suffer his second stoppage loss.
In the main support bout the promising Ryusei Kawaura (3-0, 3) will be taking a huge step up in class to take on Filipino foe Marjun Pantilgan (18-5, 14). The talented and exciting Kawaura has looked brilliant so far, but has been matched ultra soft, against 3 limited Thai foes. Despite the level of competition he's faced so far Kawaura has passed the eye test in very impressive fashion. The 23 year old Pantilgan has lost to his most notable foes, including Sonny Boy Jaro and Robert Onggocan, but has a solid record, a lot to fight for here and is 13-2 in his last 15 bouts. This should be a very legitimate test for Kawaura, who is expected to go on to have a glittering career.
This coming Tuesday sees a low key card at the Korakuen Hall with a really notable rematch as the main event.
That main event sees the Japanese Welterweight title being unified as the big punching champion Toshio Arikawa (14-4, 12) returns from injury to battle interim champion Daisuke Sakamoto (14-8-3, 8). These two were supposed to fight earlier this year, as part of the Champion Carnival, but the bout was cancelled on short notice due to Arikawa suffering a training injury. The injury to Arikawa lead to Sakamoto fighting Makoto Kawasaki for the interim title, and taking a decision win. It should be noted that these two have history, and Sakamoto stopped Arikawa back in 2014, inside a round, and will be looking to do the same here. Although neither man has a great record both are in good form, with Sakamoto going 7-0-2 (5), including the win over Arikawa, and Arikawa going 6-0 (5), since the loss to Sakamoto.
In a noteworthy under-card bout we'll be able to see the exciting Ryusei Kawaura (2-0, 2) take on Nadtakorn Sithjacknoi (0-2). Aged 23 there is a lot of promise in Kawaura, though there has been a relative lack of activity and this will be his second fight this year, following a 92 second blow out win over another Thai novice. Hopefully this will be Kawaura's final bout against a limited Thai foe before moving onto domestic bouts, which would likely serve as a much better test than Thai's like Nadtakorn.
Sometimes shows don't quite work as everyone had hopes. A clear example of that is this coming Monday's show, which was originally announced as having a Japanese Welterweight title fight as the main event, between Toshio Arikawa (14-4, 12) and Daisuke Sakamoto (13-8-3, 8). Sadly whilst that bout was an intriguing one, it was forced to be cancelled when Arikawa suffered a broken jaw during training.
As a result of Arikawa's injury the card was shifted around a bit and now the main event will be Ryusei Nakajima (10-1, 3) facing off with Tatsuya Yanagi (11-5-1, 4). The bout is, on paper, a decent contest but the reality is that it's not the level of match up that we had been hoping for. Coming in to this Yanagi has has gone 1-5-1 in his last 7 bouts, following a 10-0 start to his career. As for Nakajima he comes into this bout on an excellent 8-0 run and should be strongly favoured here. It's a good bout on paper but isn't likely to be as good as it looks, especially given the conflicting form of the two fighters.
In an under-card bout we'll see exciting prospect Ryusei Kawaura (1-0, 1) battle against Thai visitor Anucha Pleengam (0-2). The unbeaten youngster is a genuine talent and has got a lot of promise, though unfortunately this doesn't look like the most testing of assignments for the 23 year old Japanese fighter.
This coming Monday isn't the busiest day in Asian boxing this month, but still features two title bouts and a notable debut.
The most interesting of the action comes from the ever popular Korakuen Hall where we get the interesting debut and a Japanese Welterweight title fight.
That title fight will see the big punching Toshio Arikawa (13-4, 11) battle against veteran Yasuhiro Okawa (14-12-3, 5). On paper this looks like a mismatch but for Arikawa, who has really come into his own in recent bouts, the contest serves as both his first defense and a chance to avenge a prior loss to Okawa. On paper Okawa will be the clear under-dog but with a win over Arikawa he'll be confident of doing the same here, and he will also be hoping it's second time lucky after losing a really competitive decision to Nobuyuki Shindo for the vacant title earlier this year. This really could be a very fun bout and one that will be a treat for the fans in attendance.
The debut of interest on the card will be that of Ryusei Kawaura (0-0), who begins his career in a 6 rounder against Thailand's Thepyothin Sithdabnid (0-3).This should be an easy introductory win for Kawaura, a new member of the Kawashima gym.
The other title bout comes form the Philippines and will see Jayson Rotoni (14-16-1, 8) battle Geboi Mansalayao (10-23-5, 4) for the interim Philippines Boxing Federation (PBF) Flyweight title. We'll admit this isn't a great match up, and both men have gone 1-5 in their last, but at least it looks winnable for both men and as a result we could end up with a fun contest here, and the belt might drive both on to give that little bit more.