Just 10 days after the first live Boxingraise show we get the second live card to be streamed on the service, and in fairness it looks like an intriguing one with two title bouts, several notable names on the under-card and an interesting debutant.
One of those title bouts will see unbeaten Japanese Light Welterweight champion Hiroki Okada (12-0, 10) defending his title for the third time this year, and the 5th time overall, as he takes on Japanese-Brazilian Cristiano Aoqui (11-4-2, 7) in what looks likely to be a really interesting match up. Okada is a wonderfully promising and heavy handed counter-puncher who has really impressed in recent bouts with his spiteful shots. Aoqui on the other hand is an aggressively minded fighter who comes to fight and will put Okada under pressure from the off. Don't be surprised if this exciting before a sudden finish.
The other title bout sees Australian fighter Jack Brubaker (10-1-1, 5) defending the OPBF Welterweight title against interim champion Suyon Takayama (24-1, 8). On paper this one is a really intriguing fight. Brubaker won the title last year and has defended it once, though his competition so far has been someone limited and there's little to suggest he's going to become a great fighter, however wins over Xing Xin Yang and Paddy Murphy have both come following numerous knock downs and he seems to be hitting harder than his record suggests. As for Takayama the long term Japanese national champion has been chasing the OPBF title for a while and will see this as his big chance at claim the belt and moving towards a potential world title fight.
In a Middleweight bout the heavy handed Shoma Fukumoto (8-1, 6) will be up against Naoki Wada (10-9-2, 2) in what looks like like a stay busy for Fukumoto, who was once being tipped as a potential Japanese Middleweight title contender. Fukumoto has notched up 6 straight wins since being shocked by Arnel Tinampay back in August 2013 but hasn't looked great in recent bouts. Wada should test Fukumoto but shouldn't push him too close.
One other fighter of note here is debutant Kazuki Saito (0-0), who takes on Kamol Jatuten (0-2). Saito begins his career in a 6 rounder as a B license fighter and there is some genuine excitement about the 23 year old from Tokyo. The Thai, also known as Lekker Bangkok 2007, was last seen in the ring in January when he was in Japan and stopped in the second round by Yuki Beppu.
Action returns to the Korakuen Hall again with the next “Dangan” card, and although it's not one of the best we'll see this year it does feature a really good 8 round bout and an “interim” OPBF title bout.
The title fight will see former Japanese Welterweight champion Suyon Takayama (23-1, 7) battle Filipino visitor Joel Dela Cruz (19-23-3, 7) in a bout for the “interim” OPBF Welterweight title. The bout looks like a major mismatch on paper, but it does seem that the winner have a more serious bout later in the year with a contest against the winner of a bout between Jack Brubaker and Paddy Murphy, who meet in around 3 weeks for the full OPBF title.
Whilst the main event isn't that attractive we do really like the supporting bout between the unbeaten Yuichiro Kasuya (8-0, 1) and Kazuma Sanpei (12-2, 4). The unbeaten 19 year old impressed in 2014 claiming the All Japan Rookie of the Year, at 130lbs, and notched up two wins last year to extend his winning record. Although lacking in power Kasuya has progressed a long way from his debut just over 2 years ago. Sanpei won the Rookie of the Year himself in 2013 though has since gone 3-2 with stoppage losses to Johnreil Maligro and Masaru Sueyoshi, and knows that he needs to build on his most recent win, a narrow decision win over Ribo Takahata. This won't be a war but will be a very competitive contest between two talented youngsters looking to begin 2016 with a notable win.
To close out the month Japanese fans get a bit of a treat with a couple of national title fights and a couple of good support bouts. The card isn't one of the strongest you'll see but it's certainly not a terrible card to end September.
The main event sees Japanese Super Bantamweight champion Yukinori Oguni (14-1-1, 4) defending his title for the second time, as he takes on the heavy handed Taiki Minamoto (10-4, 9). Oguni hasn't looked great in recent bouts, taking a razor think with over Yasutaka Ishimoto and a draw with Gakuya Furuhashi, but should be too skilled for Minamoto. For the challenger his best chance is to land a bomb, and he does have the power to do just that. This is one of thse Boxer Vs Puncher bouts and whilst we side the boxer here, he could well be caught at any point.
The other title bout comes at Welterweight where Japanese champion Suyon Takayama (22-1, 7) looks to extend his long, but uninspiring, reign as champion. Takayama will be putting his title on the line against the limited Ryoji Tanaka (8-4-1, 2), who has lost his last 2 bouts. Although Takayama has been less than great as a champion, at least in terms of how he has won his bouts, his reign has included 5 title defenses and he's certainly not a man who will let title easily slip from his grasp.
In a good supporting bout fans will see former Japanese Featherweight title challengers collide as Yuki Ogata (21-1-1, 3) takes on Noriyuki Ueno (17-13-5, 5). A few years ago this bout could have been a really good match up, sadly however Ueno has lost his last 2 bouts and looks to be on the slide, having suffered a rare stoppage loss last time out.
A well as the card in Japan there will also be a small show in the Philippines.
The main event here is a 10 round bout between teenagers as the unbeaten 18 year old Jerald Deniega (6-0, 4) takes on heavy handed 19 year old Geo Santisima (6-2, 5). Given the records of the two men this could be very explosive and may well be a “blink and you miss it” bout. Whilst the records are good we need to applaud both men for taking this bout at this embryonic stage in their career's and hopefully both will go on to move into bigger and better bouts down the line.
A well matched 8 rounder will see the unbeaten 20 year old Jess Rhey Waminal (6-0-1, 4) battles against 19 year old Carlo Demecillo (4-2, 1). This is another wonderful match up between two young fighters who know that a win really pushes them forward whilst they can bounce back from a loss.
A similarly matched 6 rounder will see 21 year old Junder Gregorio (4-0) take in Peter Apolinar (5-1, 3) in what again looks like a marvelous match up. Gregorio, a non-puncher, will know that Apolinar's only loss, suffered last time out, was a stoppage but will likely feel confident of extending his own perfect record
(Image courtesy of www.boxmob.jp)
March 7th-Amnat Vs Zou in a showdown, with notable action from Ik Yang, Rex Tso, Hiroki Okada, Suyon Takayama and more!
The start of the year has been tediously slow at times however March is certainly seeing in ring action liven up, in a big way. The first real date to mark down on your calendar is March 7th which sees action across Asia with several big names a host of notable fights ranging from a world title bout to world title eliminators to national title bouts.
The biggest of the days show's comes from Macau where fans are treat to another of Bob Arum's foray's into the gambling capital of Asia. In many ways this is the most important of all the Macau shows and is, potentially, the biggest banana skin on the road to making the experiment a major long term success.
The tricky part of this card is the main event which will see Chinese megastar Zou Shiming (6-0, 1) put his unbeaten record on the line as he takes on IBF Flyweight champion Amnat Ruenroeng (14-0, 5) in a brilliant match up. These two men are both unbeaten, both under-rated and were major amateur rivals. They are also men looking to claim a major scalp. For Shiming this a test that really could see him becoming a national hero or boxing's biggest villain, for Ruenroeng it's a chance to level the score with Shiming, who holds a 2-1 record over him from the amateur ranks. For Bob Arum this is a real test of his nerve. Shiming is talented and fast but this is a major step up for the double Olympic champion.
Shiming of course isn't the only Chinese born fighter on this show, nor is he the most exciting. One of the contenders for the tag of “most exciting” is the heavy handed Ik Yang (18-0-0-1, 13) who will be up against Thailand's experienced Patomsuk Pathompothong (30-2-1, 18) in an IBF Pan Pacific Light Welterweight title bout, which will also double as an IBF world title eliminator. Yang has been on a number of Top Rank shows and is known for his power and offensive style though his flawed defense may be a problem here against the talented Patomsuk, who gave world ranked Takayuki Hosokawa a very close bout back in late 2013. This could be very interesting.
Another rival to the tag of China's most exciting fighter is the very flawed but fun Rex Tso (15-0, 9) who battles Filipino Michael Enriquez (10-2-1, 6) in a bout for the WBA International Super Flyweight title. Tso will go into this bout as the favourite and is viewed as being likely to get a fight with WBA world champion Kohei Kono if he comes through here. For Enriquez this is a major opportunity though he has lost both of his previous title fights.
Going further down the card fans will get the chance to see the explosively heavy handed Aston Palicte (16-1, 14), of the Philippines, take on one of his toughest tests as he goes up against Ismael Garnica (13-5-1-1, 5). Garnica is best known for losing a decision British fighter Paul Butler last year, other than that however there is very little of note on his record. Palicte on the other hand is a dynamite puncher who comes into this bout on the back of 5 successive opening round blow outs, including a very notable one against Gerpaul Valero.
Another Filipino in action here will be Raymond Sermona (17-4-5, 8) who will be hoping to record his 3rd successive win as he battles former “world” title challenger Jose Felix Jr (28-1-1, 23). Felix Jr's only loss came last year when he stepped up to fight Bryan Vasquez and was well beaten, despite two horribly close scorecards, and he'll be favoured to make light work of Sermona.
To open the show we're expecting to see some local talent in action. One of those locals will be the unbeaten Zhou Yun Fei (4-0, 1) who battles against Paul Valenzuela (2-1-1, 2) whilst the other will be Macau's Kuok Kun Ng (6-0, 2), who will be facing Thailand's Chingchai Kiatpracha (7-2, 3).
As well as the action in Macau there is also a show, with title action, in Japan where fans will get a couple of domestic title fights courtesy of Kadoebi.
One of those title bouts will see once beaten Japanese Welterweight champion Suyon Takayama (21-1, 7) defending his belt against former foe Nobuyuki Shindo (16-2, 6) in what looks like to be a very competitive match up. Takayama has the title, the better looking record and a win over Shindo already on his record however he is a weak champion and a lot of bouts have been very close. Shindo has height and reach advantages though the question coming in is whether or not he will be able to make them count.
In the other title fight the unbeaten Hiroki Okada (9-0, 7) will be up against former title contender Hayato Hokazono (18-4-1, 11). We like Okada though are unsure how far he can really go, though it is obviously early days in his career. Hokazono is best known for his losses to the monstrously hard hitting Keita Obara, aside from those losses there is little else to note about his record other than a win over Kazuyoshi Kumano way back in December 2010.
On the under-card there is little of note though a bout between Hisao Narita (8-1, 4) and Yusuke Konno (8-2, 3) does look likely to be very competitive over the scheduled 8 rounds. Another undercard bout that we'll mention will see former Japanese Super Bantamweight title challenger Yukinori Hisanaga (16-5-2, 9) battle against Takuma Takahashi (6-4-1, 1).
In South Korea we get 3 bouts between Korean fighters and Japanese visitors as Watanabe send a trio of their stable over to Korea.
The most notable of the Japanese fighters is Sonin Nihei (5-1-1, 1) who came runner up in last years East Japan Rookie of the year. The talented 21 year old, who lost a split decision to Kenya Yamashita, will be taking on the debuting Tae Un Jung (0-0) who we know nothing about.
Another of the bouts will see unbeaten Korean Joo-Young Kwon (2-0) take on Keisuke Kanazawa (2-4, 1). On paper it's hard to go against the Korean though he has only faced debutants so far whilst Kanazawa holds a very surprising win over the much touted Koki Tyson Maebara from back in January 2013.
The remaining bout, and the most looking on paper, will see Shingo Yabu (4-4-2) battle against Chan-Hee Park (4-5-1). Yabu is 0-2-1 in his last 3, including a loss to Jumbo Oda Nobunaga Shoten Petagine in the 2013 All Japan Rookie of the Year final. Park on the other hand has lost his last 4 and hasn't notched a win since 2009, in fact he's not fought since October 2010. Interesting match up in some ways but neither guy is anything great.
(Image courtesy of http://www.sandscotaicentral.com)
Some times we get shows that have a bit of everything and that's what we're expecting this coming Monday, a day in which we get two separate cards in Asia.
The most important of the two Asian cards takes place in Tokyo as Kadoebi Jewel put on a very interesting show with several of their most notable fighters taking part on a 7 fight card.
The first of the notable fighters in action will be the hard hitting and thoroughly exciting Shuhei Tsuchiya (15-3, 13). Tsuchiya is a former Rookie of the Year though in recent times his career has started to fall apart and he has suffered notable losses to former domestic contender Shoji Kawase, the then unheralded Masayoshi Nakatani and most recently Leonardo Zappvigna, in what was a great fight. With 3 losses in his last 4 it's no wonder Tsuchiya is having an easy one and he'll be expected to make very light work of Thailand's Fonluang Sor Singyu (6-4, 4).
Following Tsuchiya's bout with Fonluang we're then expecting to see former OPBF Super Bantamweight champion Yukinori Oguni (12-1, 3) who will be up against Anuntachai Sor Por Lor Krungthep (6-7. 4). Oguni will be fighting for the third time since losing his OPBF belt and will hunting a second successive stoppage. World ranked by the WBC Oguni has a reputation for being highly skilled and despite being dominated by Shingo Wake there is real promise with this young Japanese fight who has the potential to challenge for world honours in the next year or two, as long as he keeps winning bouts.
The first of two title fights on the show will see Japanese Light Welterweight champion Hiroki Okada (8-0, 7) making the first defence of his belt as he takes on the exciting Shamgar Koichi (18-5-1, 11). Okada, who won the title earlier this year with a hard fought decision over Masayoshi Kotake, will know that this is likely to be the toughest bout of his career and although Koichi was blasted out in a round by Shinya Iwabuchi back in 2011 he has strung together 5 wins in his last 6 bouts, including a thrilling war with Tomohiko Sakai. Of the 7 bouts on this card this one looks like the most exciting by a long way.
In the shows second title bout we get a rematch as long reigning Japanese Welterweight champion Suyon Takayama (20-1, 7) defends his belt against the man he beat for the belt back in December 2012, Koshinmaru Saito (20-5-1, 11). The men fought a very competitive bout back in '12 but since then Takayama has improved whilst Saito has turned 35 and been relatively inactive. We're favouring Takayama though we do tend to feel that the winner of this bout should begin targeting a bout with Yoshihiro Kamegai as that really is the only bout of interest in the division in Japan right now.
We get more title action in the Philippines as Benezer Alolod (14-5-5, 4) attempts to record the first defence of his GAB Light Flyweight title. Alolod will be taking on Jomar Fajardo (14-4-1, 7) in what looks like an even bout on paper though we do need to favour the champion who has mixed with the better opposition by far, including Rey Loreto, Nkosinathi Joyi and Vergilio Silvano.
In the co-feature on this card there is another relatively well matched bout as Desson Cag-ong (14-11, 8) takes on Jonel Alibio (16-18-5, 8) in a 10 round affair at Super Featherweight. This is a hard one to call and should be very competitive with both men giving their all in an attempt to claim a win.
A third bout of note will see the unbeaten Justo Bornilla (4-0-2) battle against the experienced Ronald Postrano (7-19-2, 3). The 18 year old Bornilla will be having his toughest test to date though if he can come through this 8 rounder he maybe be given some more experience building contests.
We also get title action in Thailand as PABA interim Super Bantamweight champion Nop Kratingdaenggym (8-0, 1) defends his title against limited Indonesian Hendrik Barongsay (16-17-3, 15). From what we understand Barongsay has lost every time he has fought outside of Indonesia though he should be tough enough to get Nop some good rounds under his belt.
(Image courtesy of Kadoebi.com)
Although we didn't have much action last week it seems that we are kicking off this week with some solid and notable Japanese action as we get a very interesting title fight and several ranked fighters.
The show, at the Korakuen Hall, features just 6 bouts in total but will be well worth watching if your in the area.
The most interesting is of course the title fight. The bout, for the Japanese Welterweight title, will see the world ranked Suyon Takayama (19-1, 7) attempt to make the third defense of his national title. Takayama, ranked #14 by the WBA, will be trying to defend his belt against former OPBF and Japanese Middleweight champion Tetsuya Suzuki (29-11, 17).
Although Takayama is the clear favourite we're expecting this to be a genuinely competitive bout and a thrilling main event.
As well as the excellent title bout the show will also feature the OPBF and Japanese ranked Light Middleweight Yoshihisa Tonimura (16-9-4, 4). Unfortunately however Tonimura is in a bit of a mismatch as he battles Thai debutant Wangthorn Sithsaithong (0-0).
Another ranked fighter in action on this card is the unbeaten Gosuke Seki (14-0-2, 3) who has been matched in an interesting, though clearly winnable, bout with Kazunari Fujisawa (9-11-4, 2). And a final ranked fighter in action is Super Bantamweight Koji Aoki (15-7-2, 5) who fights Yoshihisa Hirayama (10-9-1, 4) in another bout that looks, unfortunately like a mismatch.
Despite the number of uneven bouts the card is interesting enough, especially in the main event, for fans to give it the once over. The Suzuki/Takayama bout should prove to be much better than it looks on paper and hopefully some of the other under-dogs can over-perform to give the ranked fighters some interesting bouts. It's unlikely but we can hope.
(Poster courtesy of Boxmob.com)