This coming Friday fight fans in Japan get two shows, whilst Korean fans get one, and even Indian fans have something worthy of their attention!
The biggest single show takes place in Hyogo where we get two title fights, a notable debut and a former Japanese champion all in action.
The main event will be a world title fight, and will see talented WBO Minimumweight champion Ryuya Yamanaka (16-2, 5) battle against heavy handed challenger Vic Saludar (17-3, 10). The champion, who won the title last year, will be making his second defense and will be looking to shine again, just like he did in an eye opening domination of Moises Calleros back in March. Although seen as the less notable champion at 105lbs Yamanaka does look a very classy fighter. For Saludar this bout will be his second title shot, and he will be looking to prove that his performance against Kosei Tanaka wasn't a fluke performance, but a sign that he really should be competing at world level. This really is an excellent match up between a brilliant pure boxer, and a brutal puncher.
In the chief support bout fans will see former world title challenger Reiya Konishi (15-1, 5) take on Filipino foe Orlie Silvestre (11-3-1, 7) in a out for the WBO Asia Pacific Light Flyweight title. Earlier this year Konishi came up short against Carlos Canizales, though really looked like a great little fighter with insane bravery and an incredible desire to win. The Japanese fighter will be the favourite here, but Silvestre has nothing to lose and everything to win. The Filipino fighter comes into this on the back of 5 straight wins and will feel confident of scoring a career best victory here.
Former Japanese Lightweight champion Kazuhiro Nishitani (18-4-1, 10) looks to score his first win of 2018 and takes on limited Filipino foe Rey Ramos (8-8-2, 3). Nishitani really failed to build on his March 2017 upset win over Shuhei Tsuchiya, having scored only a single win since then over a limited Thai, but he has talent and shouldn't struggle to over-come Ramos here. The Filipino has lost 4 of his last 6, including 2 by stoppage, and it's hard to imagine him having anything to trouble Nishitani with.
One other bout of note will see Yuki Yamauchi (0-0) make his debut, as he takes on Jimboy Rosales (3-2-1, 2). The Japanese debutant was a sensational amateur, with notable results on the high school, national and world university level. Aged 23 big things are expected of Yamauchi and this looks like a pretty interesting opponent for his debut, with Rosales having gone unbeaten in his last 4, following back-to-back losses to begin his career. If Yamauchi is as good as anticipated then he really could make an instant impact here.
A second Japanese show will take place in Tokyo, and was originally set to feature two former world title contenders in action.
The planned main event was a bout set to have Akihiro Kondo (30-7-1, 17) take on domestic foe Quaye Peter (11-9-3, 6). Sadly for the teak tough Kondo, who is best known for his November 2017 loss to Sergey Lipinets, this bout has been cancelled due to Peter suffering an injury a a week or so before the show was set to take place.
A a result of Peter's injury the card will now be headlined by former 2-time world title challenger Ryo Akaho (31-2-2, 20), who returns to the ring following medical problems that forced him to vacate the Japanese Bantamweight title. It was expected that Akaho would be matched incredibly easily but instead he will be up against Filipino Robert Udtohan (24-3-3, 15). At his best Akaho is a tough, aggressive fighter, who has beaten the likes of Yushi Tanaka, Hiroaki Teshigawara, Masaaki Serie and Yohei Tobe. Sadly though it's unclear how much the health issues has taken from the Japanese fighter. As for the visitor he has got a pretty padded record, and has lost recent bouts to Qiu Xiao Jun and Ryoichi Tamura, but is a tougher opponent than expected for Akaho's ring return.
Seoul, South Korea
In Seoul there will be a small card courtesy of former world champion Myung Woo Yuh and his Buffalo Promotion.
The main event will be an interesting match up between 22 year old Ki Soo Lee (6-3) and 30 year old Hwan Young Jo (5-4, 1). The youngster has had mixed for, though showed he was a capable fighter last December when he ran the touted Katsuya Yasuda close in Yokohama and will look for his third win since that loss. On the other hand Jo hasn't really shined, but is certainly not going to be a push over here and should make for a good dance partner for Lee. Only real issue here is that neither man is much of a puncher.
In another bout of note on this card fans will see unbeaten fighters collide with Do Jin Lee (5-0-2) taking on Jong Sun Gang (4-0, 1). Lin is a 17 year old who made his debut at the age of 16 and despite only fighting in 4 rounders so far is worth following as he moves into his first 6 rounder. As for Gang he has been a professional since November last year and has been busy, but will also be taking part in his first 6 rounder.
London, United Kingdom
As for Indian fans they will turn their attention to London, England, as national hero Vijender Singh (10-0, 7) takes on Lee Markham (17-4-1, 7) for the Commonwealth Super Middleweight title. The Indian star is now 32 years old and his team won't keep holding him back for long. A win here could well open big doors for him and takes him much closer to a potential world title shot. On paper Markham looks limited but he is a former English Middleweight champion who has score several notable results on the British scene, including a draw with Frank Buglioni. Singh should be favoured, but Markham is a very live under-dog coming in to this one.
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.
This coming Sunday isn't a big day, but for fight fans in Kumamoto there is a huge bout with a local star making his first defense of a world title.
That local champion is WBO Minimumweight champion Tatsuya Fukuhara (19-4-6, 7), who will be defending his title against fellow Japanese fighter Ryuya Yamanaka (14-2, 4), in what looks like a very competitive bout on paper. The under-rated Fukuhara claimed the interim title earlier this year, when he took a split decision over Moises Calleros, and was later upgraded to the full champion. Although the champion doesn't have a great record on paper he has really built his career since being 12-4-3, and having suffered a loss to the then debuting Takuma Inoue. As for Yamanaka he has gone on a 7 fight winning run coming into this fight, since a loss to Roque Lauro 3 years ago, and has claimed the OPBF title on his rise to this shot, beating Merlito Sabillo for the the Oriental crown in November.
In a supporting bout we'll see OPBF and JBC ranked fighter Naoya Haruguchi (13-7, 6) take on the heavy handed, but limited Shota Asami (4-3, 4). Coming into this Haruguchi has won his last 5, with 4 stoppages, and appears to be getting his career going after an 8-7 start. As for Asami he's been inconsistent, but is heavy handed and is genuinely dangerous, but shouldn't come out on top here. If Haruguchi wins here he's expected to face Riku Kano in November in a really interesting match up.
Action returns to Kobe this coming Sunday as Shinsei Gym put on their next show.
The main event of the card sees the once beaten Shohei Kawashima (14-1-2, 3) return to the ring for the first time since he suffered a very close loss to Cristian Mijares in Mexico. The loss to Mijares may have been a loss for Kawashima but it certainly showed that Kawashima had the skills to go a long way in the sport. It seems Shinsei are happy to give him an easy win here as he takes on domestic foe Junnosuke Nagayasu (13-11-3, 3). The experienced Nagayasu has got experience on his side but has only scored two wins in the last 6 years and lacks the skills to really compete with Kawashima.
In a supporting bout fight fans will see former OPBF champion Ryuya Yamanaka (13-2, 3) take on Thai visitor Khanongmek Sithkrukong (0-1), in what will likely act as a world title prelude for Yamanaka. The 21 year old Shinsei prospect won the Oriental title last year but vacated it earlier this year to begin focussing on a world title bout, and it seems likely that a blow out here will help him secure that shot at world honours. Interestingly Khanongmek was stopped inside a round in his only previously bout, being blown out in 67 seconds by Reiya Konishi last August.
Another notable supporting bout will see Ryo Kosaka (13-3-1, 7) take on Morihisa Iju (10-1, 8) in what should be the best bout on the show. Kosaka started his career 3-2-1 but has since gone 10-1 and scored notable wins over Satoshi Niwa and Dado Cabintoy. Although not a world beater Kosaka is 23 and showing signs of genuine promise. Aged 27 Iju has a good looking record but hasn't scored a win of note since a 2014 blow out against Masaru Urata and has a lot of questions to answer, with the potential to answer a lot of them here.
Cotabato del Sur, Philippines
As well as the card in Japan there will also be a show in the Philippines, featuring two title bouts.
One of those bouts will be a WBF Asia Pacific Light Flyweight title fight as 23 year old old Ronie Tanallon (10-3-1, 2) battles Arnold Garde (7-4-2, 3). Coming in to this Tanallon has impressed, but has lost 2 of his last 4 to unbeaten foes and will know he can't afford another loss here. As for Garde he has suffered 3 stoppage losses, though surprisingly went 10 rounds with Randy Petalcorin back in December.
The other title fight on this card sees Markquil Salvana (11-3, 5) look to bounce back from successive losses as he takes on domestic journeyman JP Macadumpis (11-8-1, 5), who has been stopped in 4 of his last 6. Salvana has mixed with good fighters, but has lost to the Moloney twins and Takuya Uehara, It's worth noting that Macadumpis has also mixed with good fighters, including Yukinori Oguni, but has also lost to some limited opponents like Rex Granada and it's hard to see him winning here.
This card will also feature the ring return of Jake Bornea (11-2, 5), who will be fighting for the girst time since he was stopped by Andre Selby. The 21 year old Borena will be up against Romulo Ramayan Jr (7-10-3, 3) in what should be a straight forward win for Bornea
This coming Friday is a hectic day with 5 title bouts taking place in Japan.
In Kobe we get an OPBF quadruple header, with the card looking, at least on paper, like one of the most notable Oriental cards of the month. The bouts might not be 4 brilliant match up, but they will help establish the OPBF scene as we enter 2017, and at least 2 of the bouts look like they could be very interesting match ups.
The “main event”, well the final of the 4 main events, will see OPBF Super Bantamweight champion Shun Kubo (10-0, 7) defending his title, and unbeaten record, against Korean visitor Jin Wook Lim (8-4-5, 2). This was the first bout on the card to be known about and although it looks like a mismatch it could, potentially, be a good test for Kubo who will be looking for stiff competition next year. Lim, although having a sketchy record, is a former Korean champion and holds a draw with touted Korean prospect Ye Joon Kim, giving him some legitimacy as a challenger here.
In a bout at Lightweight we'll see Masayoshi Nakatani (12-0, 7) defending his title against former OPBF Super Featherweight champion Allan Tanada (14-5-3, 6). The bout will be Nakatani's 6th defense and will see him looking to build on wins against the likes of Ricky Sismundo, Accel Sumiyoshi and Tosho Makoto Aoki. For Tanada , who has actually lost 3 of his last 4, the bout sees him attempting to score his biggest win since his 2010 shock upset over Rikiya Fukuhara. Sadly for Tanada he's gone 4-5-3 since his win over Fukuhara almost 6 years ago and it's hard to imagine this being a win for the Filipino.
Arguably the most interesting bout on the card sees OPBF Bantamweight champion Takahiro Yamamoto (18-4, 15) defending his title against Japanese based Filipino Mark John Yap (24-12, 10). On paper this might not look like a great bout but the reality is that the contest is brilliantly well matched and puts an exciting and hard hitting champion up against a talented and tough young veteran. For Yamamoto the bout will be his third defense, but is a huge step up from his previous 2, whilst Yap will be looking to extend a 5 fight winning run which has included a notable upset over Tatsuya Ikemizu.
Another intriguing bout will see former world champion Merlito Sabillo (25-3-1, 12) battle with rising prospect Ryuya Yamanaka (12-2, 3) in a bout for the OPBF Minimumweight title. For Sabillo the bout sees him returning to Japan for the first time since his May loss to Riku Kano, which was for the OPBF interim title, and it's fair to say that the Filipino cannot afford another set back after going 2-3-1 in his last 6 bouts. Aged 21 Yamanaka knows that a win will open doors for potential world title bouts, but this bout is by far the toughest of his career and it's clear that he will need a career best performance to defeat the Filipino veteran.
The 4 title bouts in Kobe won't be the only title action in Japan, in fact we also have a world title bout in the country, featuring the longest reigning active world champion, and the one with the most defenses of their current title.
That world champion is WBA Atomweight champion Momo Koseki (22-2-1, 8) who looks to record her 17th defense of the title. In the opposite corner to Koseki will be the little known Chie Higano (6-4, 2), who will be making her first title challenger. On paper this looks like a mismatch and it's, unfortunately, hard to see anything but a win for Koseki, possibly by stoppage in the early rounds.
In an interesting supporting bout we'll see the unbeaten Takeshi Inoue (7-0-1, 3) take on Korean puncher Chan Ho Lee (5-1, 4). Inoue already has his next bout booked, a contest in January with Akinori Watanabe, has impressed and is being tipped as a potential Japanese title contender, but this is a bout against a live under-dog. Lee is unknown outside of Korea but has impressed on the domestic scene and scored a good win over Young Sub Han this past June. Although Inoue will be favoured this could be a good test for the Japanese fighter before the Watanabe bout.
In another Japan Vs Korean bout we'll see the brilliantly exciting and fast rising Kazuto Takesako (4-0, 4) battling against Kyung-Joon Ahn (6-3-1, 5). Takesako has taken out his first 4 opponents in just 7 combined rounds and will be looking to extend that run here. Ahn on the other hand is looking to bounce back from a stoppage loss to Shoma Fukumoto, from almost 3 years ago. On paper this looks like a decent test for Takesako but in reality it should be a bit of a mismatch and an early blow out for the Japanese prospect.
There is also a Japanese card in Osaka, in what is a busy day for Japanese fans. This is however this is a much smaller and less interesting card than the other two.
In the main event we'll see Middleweights clash as Ryuji Kanza (7-2, 5) takes on Japanese based American Brandon Lockhart Shane (7-5, 6) in what should be a really intriguing contest. Both guys are limited but both can bang and we'd not be shocked to see this one be a bit of a wild slugfest that lacks quality but is fun to watch.
In a supporting bout we'll see Yuki Takahashi (6-1, 2) take on Indonesian visitor Adam Alap Alap (0-1), who we've been informed is a top 15 ranked Indonesian Lightweight suggesting his record is incomplete
There's also action in China where we get the next League of Fists show.
The main event here is a brilliant match up between unbeaten men, as Zhi Quan Xie (4-0-3, 1) battles against Yelieqiati Nihemaituola (7-0-1, 1). The bout is a really intriguing one and should tell us a lot about both men, and their potential to go further in the sport.
In the US fans will be able to see hotly touted Filipino hopeful Harmonito Dela Torre (18-0, 12) fight for the second time on US soil. At the moment his opponent is an unknown but it's unlikely to be too much of a test for Dela Torre.
New South Wales, Australia
In Australia fans will see two Asian fighters fighting in New South Wales.
One of those is China's Yong Zhang (5-5-1, 1), who faces a yet to be named opponent, whilst the other will be Korean Jeong Jin Park (1-5), who faces the unbeaten Michael Hall (3-0, 3) in what looks like a mismatch against the Korean.
This coming Monday sees a notable card taking place in Hyogo as several promising Japanese fighters look to continue their development.
In the main event of the card we'll see the promising Shun Kubo (9-0, 7) make the first defense of the OPBF Super Bantamweight title as he takes on Filipino challenger Benjie Suganob (10-4-1, 5). The bout sees Kubo fight for the first time this year, though strangely he fought his first bout of last year around the same time last year and for 3 bouts in. On paper this is a step up for the Shinsei man though the reality is that Suganob isn't likely to really prove much of a challenger for the unbeaten champion.
One of the promising fighters on the under-card is Ryuya Yamanaka (11-2, 2), who faces Thailand's Thoedkiad Singhamanasak (0-4). The 21 year old Yamanaka has already proven he can go 10 rounds and is likely to be hunting a Japanese title fight later in the year, with this bout acting as a tune up bout rather than a real test.
The unbeaten Retsu Kosaka (6-0, 1) will also be on this card.
This coming Friday is a really busy day in Asian boxing with shows in Japan and China as well as notable bouts outside of Asia.
The most notable the Asian shows is a Shinsei promoted card from Hyogo which features a former 2-weight world champion, a female world title bout and several notable prospects.
The former world champion in action is the legendary Hozumi Hasegawa (34-5, 15) who will be dipping his toes at Super Featherweight as he faces the world ranked Mexican fight Carlos Andres Ruiz Machuca (14-1, 5). For Hasegawa this is a step up in weight but potentially could see him make a move towards a world title fight at 130lbs in 2016. For Ruiz it's a monstrous step up in class as he faces his most notable opponent so far.
The co-feature of this show is a female world title bout that sees former WBA female Minimumweight champion Etsuko Tada (14-2-2, 4) face of against Mexican Kareli Lopez (8-5-3, 2) in a bout for the vacant IBF female Minimumweight title. Tada was originally scheduled to be facing Victoria Argueta but Argueta is out and has been replaced by Lopez, who really shouldn't test a fighter as talented as Tada.
The most notable of the fighters on the under-card is the unbeaten Reiya Konishi (9-0, 4). The unbeaten 22 year old will be up against Shogo Hayashi (7-2, 4) in a really good looking 8 rounder. Konishi came to our attention last year, when he won the Rookie of the Year, and has already won a couple of 8 rounders this year. For the youngster this is a step up but a step up that he will be expected to make without too many problems.
Another notable Minimumweight youngster in against here is Ryuya Yamanaka (10-2, 2), a 20 year old title hopeful. Yamanaka will be up against the light punching Ryo Narizuka (7-6) in what looks like a stay busy fight for Yamanaka before a potential title fight in 2016. Although Yamanaka isn't a prospect with much fanfare he will know that a win would do and he will also know that a loss will cost him his rankings, with the JBC, OPBF and WBO.
A third notable under-card bout will see OPBF fighters face off as Japan's Seizo Kono (15-7-1 10) battles Benjie Suganob (9-4-1, 5). The winner of this one will be in the running for an OPBF title fight in 2016. On paper Kono is the more established fighter however Suganob is the fighter who has been competing at a higher weight and may be able to use that to his advantage in what is a very intriguing match up.
As well as the show in Hyogo Japanese fans also have a card from the Korakuen Hall in Tokyo. The card, from Flash Akabane, is a less interesting one, though does feature an OPBF title fight and a bout involving one of Teiken's most promising young prospects.
The title bout on this card sees OPBF Super Middleweight champion Yuzo Kiyota (28-4-1, 26) defending his title against limited Indonesian challenger Michael Speed Sigarlaki (16-15-2, 14). On paper this looks like it could be an explosive one, however Sigarlaki will need to be regarded as a major under-dog coming in to this one and we're not expecting the challenger to have much success.
The prospect in action is the really exciting Lightweight hopeful Shuya Masaki (2-0, 1) who takes on Fumio Ujihara (4-2, 3). On paper this is a step up for the unbeaten 21 year old Lightweight prospect however it's step up that he should make if he's anywhere near being as good as touted.
As well as the Japanese action Asian fans will also get a small show from Yunnan, courtesy of Zovi promotions. The card isn't a big one, and it features no notable names, however fans will likely get some enjoyable action from the show.
San Juan, Puerto Rico
Whilst the headline action for us are the Japanese cards they aren't the only ones to feature notable names. Another notable name is in Puerto Rico as he looks to continue moving towards a major title bout.
That notable fighter is former multi-weight world champion Nonito Donaire (35-3, 23). The “Filipino Flash” looks to scored his third win since being stopped by Nicholas Walters as he takes on Mexican fighter Cesar Juarez (17-3, 13), in a bout for the WBO International Super Bantamweight title. Coming in to this one Juarez has been on a good run and enters following back to back wins over Cesar Seda and Juan Carlos Sanchez Jr, Donaire however is regarded as being better than anyone Juarez has fought. Whilst Donaire is still regarded highly there are question marks about how much he has left and this fight could well see those question marks answered one way or another.
On the same card fans also get the chance to see Mongolian fighter Bayan Jargal (17-7-3, 11) take on the unbeaten William Silva (22-0, 13). This looks to be a very tough ask for Jargal, who has gone 2-7-1-1 in his last 9, though Silva does have a typical “padded Brazilian” record and is very much an unknown quantity.