This coming Sunday attention turns to Hyogo where we get a world title double header, supported by two notable fighters taking on limited Thai foes in mismatches.
The main event of the card is one of the two titles bouts, and will see WBO Minmumweight champion Ryuya Yamanaka (15-2, 4) making his first defense of the title, as he takes on under-rated Mexican Moises Calleros (28-7-1, 16). The 22 year old Yamanaka won the title last year, when he over-came Tatsuya Fukuhara in a thrilling war, and took the title from Fukuhara, who had himself beaten Calleros for the title last year. Given that both men had thrilling bouts with Fukuhara we're expecting something a bit special here. Neither of these two is a big puncher, but both are grinders with high work rate and that should make for a really entertaining bout with a lot of 2-way back and forth action.
The other world title fight sees hard hitting Venezuelan Carlos Canizales (19-0-1, 16) battle against Reiya Konishi (15-0, 5) in a contest for the vacant WBA Light Flyweight title, or rather the “regular” version of the title. On paper this looks like a real barn burner. Canizales is best known for giving Ryoichi Taguchi absolute hell in 2016, fighting to a draw with the Watanabe gym fighter, and will know that a win here takes him very close to a rematch with Taguchi. For Konishi the bout sees him abandoning the Minimumweight division and getting his first shot at a world title, with his body likely out growing the 105lb limit. Konishi will also know that he can earn a shot at Taguchi with a win here, and that would be a very notable all-Japanese contest, between fighters from Kanto and Kansai, likely leading to huge TV numbers. As for the two men involved in this bout both are aggressive fighters who throw a lot of leather and as a result this has the potential to be an all out war.
The main bouts will be supported by the ring return of Masao Nakamura (22-3, 21), who will be fighting for the first time in almost 2 years. The heavy handed Nakamura announced his retirement in 2016, just as he was being linked to a fight with Jezreel Corrales, stating that his body wasn't physically up to being a boxer any more. A long break has however reignited the fire within Nakamura, who kicks off his comeback with a contest against Thai novice Phaendin Saithonggym (0-1). It's unlikely we'll see Nakamura struggle here, with the bout made to shake some ring rust, and it does sound like Nakamura has now got his eyes on working his way towards winning titles.
The other notable fighter in a non-title fight on this card is 38 year old Kenichi Horikawa (34-15-1, 8), who fights in his 51st professional bout. The former Japanese Light Flyweight champion announced his retirement in following his loss to Ken Shiro in late 2015, but has bounced back and fought 4 times last year as he continues to be a busy fighter, and could well end up fighting a similar number of times this year, whilst trying to reclaim a national title. His opponent is a yet to be named Thai, and is unlikely to provide any sort of a test for the veteran.