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.
To kick off a new week we'll see a small Japanese card, being shown by A-sign boxing. The card, promoted by Yokohama Hikari, isn't a huge one but does have some notable names featured on it.
The main event of the card will see OPBF and JBC ranked fighter Kinshiro Usui (26-4, 10) battle against 3-time Japanese title challenger Hiroyasu Matsuzaki (22-7-2, 11), who is returning to the ring following a long break from the ring. Usui will be favoured here, but he is 36 and will know that another loss here will be the end of his hopes to become a Japanese champion before the end of his career. Matsuzaki hasn't won in over 3 years and it'd be a surprise to see winning here given his long stretch of inactivity.
In a supporting bout former world title challenger Daiki Kaneko (24-5-3, 16) will be facing a limited Thai opponent, with Kaneko seeking a 4th straight win. The tough Kaneko is rebuilding towards a second world title fight but is a long way from such an opportunity and certainly needs to start stepping up his competition in the near future rather than fight in more stay busy type contests.
Another supporting bout will see Japanese ranked Lightweight Ryusei Nakajima (9-1, 3) battle against Keisuke Ota (9-10, 2). Coming in to this Nakajima is riding a 7 fight winning run and will be hoping to keep that run going as he edges towards a title fight. Ota has won just 2 of his last 8 bouts and won't be expected to win here, but could well be a better test than he looks on paper, and his record is certainly a misleading one.
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).