The first post-Christmas show in Japan this year will held at the EDION Arena Osaka and will be a small card promoted by the Hiroki Ioka Boxing gym.
The main event sees rising hopeful Rikuto Adachi (11-1, 8), who is currently ranked by the OPBF, taking on Thai visitor Phongsathon Sompol (9-4, 5). The talented Adachi, who impressed last time out by stopping Jonel Dapidran in 3 rounds, will be strongly favoured here. The visitor is 0-2 when he fights outside of Thailand and we are expecting to see him suffer another stoppage loss on the road here, especially given how good Adachi is.
In a supporting bout we'll see Japanese based Korean Tae Il Atsumi (14-2, 7) take on Filipino Jerry Castroverde (10-4, 5), who will be fighting for the first time since joining the gym run by Nobuhiro Ishida. This will be Atsumi's second bout since losing a close decision to Shingo Kawamura, and he'll be looking to shine as he tries to end the year on a high. As for Castroverde the bout is his first of the year, and follows a 21 month break from the ring.
Originally Yuki Nonaka (32-10-3, 10) was planned for this card, he is however not going to compete here due to his recently announced bout against Shinobu Charlie Hosokawa (11-3, 10) on February 24th.
Agusan del Norte, Philippines
In the Philippines we'll get two smaller shows. One of those will be headlined by Jobert Alvarez (18-2-2, 7), as he takes on Michael Bravo (13-2, 6). This looks good on paper, with both having winning records, and both coming in to this bout in the hope of a win. Alvarez was once touted as a special fighter, but in recent times has failed to deliver on that early promise. Bravo on the other hand never got the same hype, and was stopped last time out by Giemel Magramo. We suspect Alvarez will win, but he is a live under-dog.
Metro Manila, Philippines
A second Filipino card will see former world title challenger Toto Landero (10-4-2, 2) take on Oliver Gregorio (10-8-3, 5). We think Landero is a very good fighter, with the potential to win a world title in the future, and should win here. However Landero has lost his last 3, and 4 of his last 6 and may be lacking confidence. Gregorio on the other hand has gone 1-5-2 in his last 8 bouts.
Another bout on this card will see Vergil Puton (17-11-1, 8) take on Landy Cris Leon (11-18-4, 5) in what should be a straight forward win for the under-rated Puton, who has proven himself as an excellent gate keeper. Leon should be the smaller man, the lesser skilled man and the clear under-dog.
Our attention turns to Tokyo this coming Friday as Ohashi gym put on a notable card at the Korakuen Hall, in what is being sold as a double main event card.
One of the main event bouts will see Satoshi Shimizu (6-0, 6) defending the OPBF Featherweight title against Shingo Kawamura (16-3-1, 8). The heavy handed champion will be making his third defense of the title that he won last October, when he stopped Sa Myung Noh. The Olympic bronze medal winner has looked destructive but clumsy so far though is unlikely to be made to pay for his clumsiness here. The 28 year old challenger will be having his second title shot, following a loss to Mike Tawatchai in an IBF Pan Pacific Super Bantamweight title fight. Kawamura comes into this on the back of a 6 fight winning streak, including a win over Tae Il Atsumi, but this is certainly a big step up from that level of competition.
The co-main event will see former 3 weight world champion Akira Yaegashi (26-6, 14) take on former world title challenger Hirofumi Mukai (16-5-3, 6) in an interesting must win bout for both men. Yaegashi is hunting a Super Flyweight world title and although that is a huge task for the popular warrior he does seem to believe in himself and will know that a win over Mukai will open doors. As for Mukai the bout will see him looking to continue a 3 fight stoppage run, but this is his first step up in class since a 2017 loss to Rex Tso. The loser of this will have to seriously consider their future, whilst the winner will move towards one more notable bout.
The best of the under-card bouts will see the hard hitting Tsuyoshi Tameda (17-3-2, 15) take on Japanese based Korean Tae Il Atsumi (14-2, 7) in what should be a genuinely fantastic match up. The destructive Tameda, has stopped his last 4 opponents, and is unbeaten since a 2016 loss to Reiya Abe. He'll be looking to continue that form and move towards a potential Japanese or OPBF title fight in the future. As for Atsumi this bout will see him looking to rebuild from his aforementioned loss to Kawamura, who beat him just 2 fights ago. At his best Atsumi is a talented and hard hitting fighter, who holds notable wins over Sho Nakazawa, Dennis Tubieron, Burning Ishii and Neil John Tabanao. This should be a very exciting bout for the fans in the venue, even if it's unlikely to be televised.
Interestingly former Atsumi victim Sho Nakazawa (10-2, 4) is also on this card, as he fights in a straight forward match up against Ahmad Lahizab (3-5-1, 1) of Indonesia. It's hard to see anything but a win for Nakazawa, though he hasn't actually scored a win since April 2017 and has fallen a long way short of the promise he had shown as an amateur.
On the subject of people who showed promise as an amateur the fans will also see former amateur stand out Kazuki Nakajima (4-0, 3) take on the tough but light hitting Takuya Fujioka (8-8-1, 1). The talented Nakajima is tipped for big things thought he will need to get past the under-rated Fujioka here if he's to reach the heights expected of him. It's worth noting that Fujioka is a real potential banana skin and scored a big upset win in February when he defeated Futa Akizuki.
There's more Japanese action in the US as popular tough brawler Yoshihiro Kamegai (27-4-2, 24) takes on American foe Greg Vendetti (19-2-1, 12) in California. For Kamegai this will be his first bout in almost a year, with the iron chinned warrior not having fought since his August 2017 loss to Miguel Cotto in a world title fight. Part of the long break for Kamegai was due to a shoulder injury earlier this year, but with that now healed he's looking to get back to winning ways. As for Vendetti he's looking for his 4th win of 2018, but this is a big step up for "The Villain's who has won his last 15 bouts against limited opposition.