This coming Friday isn't a particularly busy day, but there are some bouts of real interest and intrigue.
New South Wales, Australia
The most significant bout will be in Australia, as OPBF Light Heavyweight champion Aaron Lai (10-4, 9) defends his belt against Japan's Shintaro Matsumoto (14-6, 10). Australian puncher Lai won the title in February 2017 and has made just a single defense of the title, against the horribly limited Panya Chomphoophuang. On paper this is a step up for the champion, but it should be noted that Matsumoto has been stopped in 4 of his 6 losses including a 4th round TKO loss earlier this year. Matsumoto is a former OPBF Super Middleweight champion, though his reign was short and we don't suspect he'll become a 2-weight champion, given the power of Lai.
Jastrzebie Zdroj, Poland
In Poland we get interesting match up as unbeaten local Damian Jonak (40-0-1, 21) takes on Russian based Uzbek fighter Sherzod Khusanov (21-0-1, 9). With a combined 61-0-2 (30) record the bout really does seem like an odd one. Both men are risking their unbeaten records, against each other, despite neither really needing to. Khusanov, aged 38, has fought just twice in 4 and a half years whilst Jonak is 35 and has only fought once in 3 years. This is a bit of a crazy match up to think about, between two men who aren't just unbeaten but both seemed retired not that long ago. It probably won't be a sensational fight, but it'scertainly worth making a note of.
This coming Saturday looks to be a rather quiet one, but one with a number of notable fighters in action.
New South Wales, Australia
In Australia fans will be able to see former OPBF Super Middleweight champion Shintaro Matsumoto (14-5, 10) take on once beaten local Reagan Dessaix (12-1, 8). Although Matsumoto did win the OPBF title his reign felt very much like a “right place, right time” type of win as he over-came Yuzo Kiyota in 2016 for the belt, having twice lost to Kiyota prior to that bout. Desssaix has been stopped in his sole defeat, but will be strongly favoured here against Matsumoto, and the Australian will know that a win here will be a career best victory.
In Queensland fans will see 27 year old local hopeful Ben Kite (10-4-1, 4) take on Korean visitor Dong Young Kang (3-3-2). Coming into this bout Kite has won his last 5 bouts and looks to be having some career moment, though has been fighting at a very low level for those 5 wins. Kang is now based in Australia and will be fighting for the first time since relocating. Sadly for Kang he enters this bout without a win in the last 3 years, and will hasn't even fought since the summer of 2016. Kite should be favoured, but this could be a tougher bout than it looks on paper.
In Estonia, of all places, we'll see rising Uzbek prospect Ulugbek Khakberdiev (4-0, 2) in action. He was originally set to face fellow prospect Aidos Yerbossynuly (7-0, 6) but the Kazakh man has seemingly pulled out and we're unsure who Khakberdeiv will be facing here. Despite having a record of a novice the Uzbek is a very talented fighter and could well be on the fast track to the top.
In Florida the light hitting Azeri hopeful Ramal Amanov (11-0, 1) will be taking on Nicarguan Carlos Winston Velasquez (24-32-2, 14). The 33 year old Amanov will be making his US debut here,and will be favoured to come out on top, though his lack of power is going to be an issue going forward with his career. Aged 37 Velasquez is certainly a veteran, and made his debut way back in 2005. Sadly for the Nicaraguan he enters this bout without a win in his last 10, though has gone the distance with some pretty solid hopefuls and could give Amanov some genuine questions to answer.
The only card in Asia this coming Saturday is actually in Indonesia, and it's not a very exciting one.
On paper the main event is a bout pitting Jack Timor Langoadi (2-16-2) against Jack Madison (2-17). As their records show neither is particularly talented and the reality is that this isn't going to be a high quality bout. However both will see this as a rare chance to pick up a win and this should be competitive.
Arguably the only bout of real interest on this show will be the next step up in class for Carlos Obisuru (2-0, 1),who takes on Ahmad Lahizab (3-4-1, 1). The unbeaten man turned professional last December and is already fighting in 8 rounders, so could be a worth while fighter to follow, with Indonesia having a number of prospects coming through the ranks, and he could be the next.
A new week kicks off with a card that promise a lot for fans at the Korakuen Hall.
In the main event of the bout fight fans will see OPBF Super Middleweight champion Shintaro Matsumoto (13-4, 9) battle against once beaten Australian Jayde Mitchell (9-1, 4) in what will be Matsumoto's first defense. The champion won the title earlier this year, when he upset Yuzo Kiyota for the title in one of the biggest shocks of the year on the OPBF scene, but will do well to retain his title against Mitchell, who looks like a very tidy boxer who is improving with every fight.
Although the main event is a title fight we dare saw the chief support bout is the best fight on the card and will see the exciting, and teak tough, Tsuyoshi Tameda (13-2-2, 11) face Reiya Abe (12-2, 6) in a really mouth watering match up. Tameda has long been one of our favourite's on the Japanese domestic scene with his aggressive style and heavy hands, and last time out he proved he was tough as he took a shellacking from Simpiwe Vetyeka. Although not as high profile Abe has also impressed, winning the 2014 Rookie of the year, avenging his second defeat and defeating both Ryo Hino and Hikaru Marugame in his last 4 bouts. This has the potential to be something really special.
On April 12th we see some interesting fighters in action in Tokyo, where we see a former world title challenger and a world class fighter both in action.
That former world title challenger is Yuzo Kiyota (29-4-1, 27), who will be defending his OPBF Super Middleweight against countryman Shintaro Matsumoto (12-4, 9). This will be the third meeting between the two men, showing the lack of willing challengers for Kiyota's title, and should be another straight forward win for the champion who is struggling to really legitimise himself due to the poor quality of challengers. Saying that however Kiyota hasn't looked great in recent bouts and Matsumoto may well see this as his chance to avenge 2 of his 4 losses.
In the co-feature we'll see former Japanese Flyweight champion Suguru Muranaka (22-2, 7) return to the ring for the first time in over a year. The talented Muranaka, a really exciting fighter, has been in issue with making weight and was given two suspensions due to an inability to make weight last year. Here he'll be fighting above the Super Flyweight limit as he takes on the limited Shun Ishibashi (10-18-1, 4). A win for Muranaka is expected, but given the inactivity and weight issues the key for him will be to shake some rust rather than to really shine.
A third bout of note on this show will see Takenori Ohashi (11-4-2, 7) battle against Yoshitomo Watanabe (8-1, 6). This bout could be very explosive given that both men can punch, and although Ohashi was stopped in a round by Tsuyoshi Tameda last year he'll likely feel that Watanabe isn't as threatening as Tameda was. This really could be a very exciting match up