This coming Friday is a pretty big day in Asian boxing, with a female world title bout in Japan and the US debut of a notable Japanese hopeful.
The female world title fight will take place at the Korakuen Hall on a small but interesting card.
That title fight will see Japanese female star Naoko Fujioka (17-2, 7) defending her WBA Female Flyweight title against interim champion Irma Sanchez (30-7-1, 8) of Mexico. The talented Fujioka, the first ever 5 weight world champion from Japan, is a veteran at 43 years old but is the golden girl of Japanese boxing and is widely regarded as one of the top pound for pound female fighters. Aged 30 the Mexican challenger won the interim title last time out, narrowly defeating Brenda Ramos, and is an accomplished world class fighter who has faced a number of top foes, including Jessica Chavez, Carina Moreno and Mariana Juarez in her 12 year career. We suspect Fujioka will come out on top, but this is a genuinely tough match up and should be a really good test of what Fujioka has left.
The best of the supporting bouts on this card is a mouth watering domestic clash, as veteran Takafumi Nakajima (29-10-1, 13) takes on under-rated youngster Yuki Iriguchi (9-2-1, 4). Last time out Nakajima pushed Mark John Yap all the way in an OPBF Bantamweight title fight and us a proven quantity around title level, with notable contests against the likes of Shingo Wakes, Kinshiro Usui, Kosuke Saka, Hidenori Otake and Jonathan Baat. Although a proven fighter Nakajima is now 34 and it's unclear much longer he can go on.
Another under-card bout of some inter-rest will bee between Yutaka Motoyoshi (7-12, 5) and Ryuto Araya (11-7-1, 3). The 30 year old Motoyoshi has lost 4 of his last 5, including his last 3, and will know that he cannot afford another loss if he's to move his career to the next level. Also aged 30 Araya was once regarded as a promising fighter, but has himself struggled recently, losing in an OPBF title fight last year and suffering back to back loss to Tatsuya Otsubo. Whilst neither of these men will be competing at world level before they retire, both will come into this fight with belief they can win and that should give us a good contest.
In California we see two Asian fighters in action.
The more notable of the two is Japanese Light Welterweight hopeful Hiroki Okada (18-0, 13), who is a former Japanese and WBO Asia Pacific champion and is currently the owner of several world rankings. The Japanese fighter, who recently signed a promotional deal with Top Rank, will be making his US debut as he takes on Argentinian fighter Cristian Rafael Coria (27-6-2, 11). Amazingly this bout will Okada's first outside of the Korakuen Hall but it does appear that he's been matched safely so he can get a win on the road and then begin going through the final stages before a world title fight. The 35 year old Coria is a 12 year veteran who has never been stopped, but has lost to a number of recognisable names, such as Paulus Moses, Daud Yordan and Custio Clayton. Okada should win, but it's less about the result and more about whether he can impress Top Rank enough to push him straight into a world title bout, or whether he will have wait to get his shot at a world title.
On the same card fans will be able to see touted American Jamel Herring (17-2, 10) take on Filipino prospect John Vincent Moralde (20-1, 10). Herring was a 2012 US Olympian who had been touted as a potential professional star, but he has lost 2 of his last 4, suffering a 10th round TKO to Denis Shafikov and a 10 round unanimous decision Ladarius Miller. Moralde has promised a lot, and he finally lived up to that promise last time out, when he defeated Ismail Muwendo over 8 rounds. If Moralde can put it together again here he'll give his career a huge boost, and claim the USBA Super Featherweight title.
A second card with some interest comes from Pennsylvania as unbeaten Kazakh Shyngyskhan Tazhibay (6-0, 2) battles against Yasmani Pedroso (2-4, 1), in what looks like a straight forward win for the unbeaten 26 year old. Tazhibay has had some fanfare, but inactivity in 2017 and 2018 has really hampered his development, much like mismatches like this. We hope to see him face better competition shortly, but at this rate it looks like it could take a long time before he faces someone of any note.
It's not just Japanese and Filipino fight with something to get excited about as Chinese fans in Zhengzhou also get a notable card with a couple of title fights and a couple of interesting looking support bouts.
The main event will see the unbeaten Yelieqiati Nihemaituola (13-0-1, 5) take on Filipino visitor Eranio Semillano (16-8-3, 5) in a bout for the WBA Asian Boxing Council Bantamweight title. The unbeaten local will be looking to make his first defense of the title, which he won in April by stopping Conrado Tanamor, but is facing one of the most notable opponents of his career. The 26 year old Semillano is no world beater but is a solid opponent on his day, as shown with wins over the likes of Wilbert Berondo. Sadly for Semillano he doesn't seem to have the consistency needed to score good wins on a regular basis, and it's hard to imagine him putting it together against Nihemaituola.
Another title bout will see Youli Dong (12-0-1, 8) battle Adam Diu Abdulhamid (12-6, 5), in what will be Dong's first defense of the WBO Asia Pacific Youth Welterweight title. The unbeaten Chinese drew in his debut but has built fantastically afterwards claiming a couple of WBO regional titles along the way. Although Dong failed to score a stoppage in his first 4 bouts he has stopped 8 of his last 9 and looks to be building the tools he needs for a bright future. On the other hand Abdulhamid was touted as an amateur but has failed to come good, losing 3 of his last 4, and it's unlikely a bout on the road against a hard hitting Welterweight prospect will be good for his career.
Talking about fighters who were once touted it's good to see that Chinese Light Heavyweight Peng Qu (12-2-1, 8) will be returning to the ring 10 months after a surprise loss in China to Gasan Gasanov. The Chinese local has been inactive since losing to Gasanov last November but will be looking to bounce back with a win here, as he takes on Tanzanian visitor Benson Mwakyembe (11-4-1, 6), who should be an easy comeback opponent. Mwakyembe has been stopped in 3 of his last 5 and is naturally smaller than the Chinese fighter, who will likely be looking for a quick blowout.
An interesting support bout here will see Mongolian debutant Tsendbaatar Tsendbaatar (0-0) face off with Joseph Omana (12-5-1, 6) in a 6 round bout. We're unsure about Tsendbaatar's background, though we always love to see Mongolian fighters in action so we hope his bout against his Chinese based Filipino foe will be available online. Coming in to this one Omana has lost his last 4, and is without a win in a little over a decade! Despite that he is still only 28.
There will also be Japanese action in Germany, as former WBC Light Flyweight title challenger Atsushi Kakutani (19-6-1, 12) takes on promising German prospect Mirco Martin (12-0, 6) in a Flyweight bout. Kakutani was once a promising fighter but losses in his 3 most significant bouts doesn't bode well for him here, especially given he's now 33 and has been inactive for over a year. Martin comes into this bout on a good run of results, including a bit win last time out against former world title contender Jose Antonio Jimenez.
Ichiriki put on their next show this coming Wednesday at the Korakuen Hall, with a pretty interesting looking card headlined by an OPBF title fight, with several pretty good bouts coming under it.
The main event of the card will see Japanese based Filipino Mark John Yap (28-12, 14) make his next defense of the OPBF Bantamweight title, as he takes on veteran Takafumi Nakajima (29-9-1, 13), in what could be Nakajima's final bout. The talented Yap has had a real surge in the last few years, winning his last 9 bouts, claiming the OPBF title and making 2 notable defenses and is moving towards a world title fight, despite his less than perfect looking record. Nakajima on the other hand has struggled at times in recent years, , despite being 7-3 in his last 10. Those losses are nothing to be ashamed by, losing to Hidenori Otake, Jonathan Baat and Kosuke Saka, but at the age of 33 it's unclear what he really has left.
In a real must win we'll see Masashi Noguchi (12-9-1, 6) battle Tatsuya Yanagi (14-5-1, 5) for the second time. Noguchi fought for the Japanese Lightweight title back in December 2016, when he was stopped in 3 rounds by Shuhei Tsuchiya, and since then he has gone 0-3, with his career clearly on the rocks. Aged 28 Noguchi isn't an old fighter, but with with 4 straight losses, 3 of those by stoppage, there is clearly a feeling that his career might be heading to the end. Yanagi saved his career last year, going 3-0 for the year following a 0-3-1 run prior to his winning run. Among those 3 wins for Yanagi was a decision over Noguchi and another here really could end Noguchi and put Yanagi in the title mix.
A pretty interesting 8 rounder will see Ryuji Ikeda (12-4-2, 8) face off with Kentaro Endo (7-7-1, 6). Ikeda was beaten last time out by Darragh Foley, and he's now 1-2-1 in his last 4, with his only win coming over a very limit Thai in Bangkok last year. As for Endo his record is similarly patchy, though he has been competitive with Daishi Nagata and Kazuki Matsuyama and did look destructive last time out when he stopped Tatsuya Miyazaki. This could be a lot more competitive than the records suggest.
Another very exciting match up will see Tasuku Nakagawa (7-2-1, 3) battle against Filipino banger Jon Jon Estrada (10-4-1, 9). The 24 year old Nakagawa comes into this on the back of a big opening round win against Akihiko Katagiri and will be full of confidence coming into this one. Estrada on the other hand is a real danger man who was stopped last time out by Jeson Umbal but does hold notable stoppages against Brian Lobetania and the teak tough Pablito Canada. The Filipino will not have travelled to pick up a loss here.
This coming Friday is a crazy day in the world of Asian boxing with a trio of Chinese cards, as well as a notable Japanese show. The bouts aren't likely to have much global attention, but they range from a really high profile debut, to a potentially thrilling war on the verges of world class.
For us the biggest show of the day is from Beijing, where we see a number of prospects in action, in bouts of varying quality.
One of the really good looking bouts will see Filipino Ronnie Baldonado (9-0-1, 6) defending his WBO “interim” Oriental Flyweight title against touted Indonesian puncher Iwan Zoda (14-2-1, 13). For the champion the bout will be his first defense of the title he won back in April, when he stopped Yiming Ma inside a round whilst Zoda will be looking to rebuild after a year that has seen hi suffer a stoppage to Robert Onggocan and a surprising draw with Ical Tobida. It's fair to say Zoda can ill afford a set back but Baldonado is on a role with a trio of first round blow outs.
Another really interesting contest will see Filipino prospect Mark Anthony Barriga (6-0, 1) take a huge step up to face former 2-time world title challenger Samartlek Kokietgym (33-6, 12) in a contest for the WBO International Minimumweight title. The 24 year old Barriga was a top Filipino prospect and it's clear his team view him as a special talent but this is a massive step up in class, and should tell us a lot about just how far Barriga could go. Samartlek, who is best known for losing in world title bouts to Naoya Inoue and Akira Yaegashi, does have a padded record, but is a very decent fight and will certainly not be afraid of Barriga's amateur background.
Another title bout featuring an unbeaten fighter on this show will see Jin Xiang Pan (7-0, 4) take on James MacDonald (8-1-1, 4) for the WBO Youth Super Featherweight title. On paper this bout doesn't have the appeal of the ones above, but it's a step up for both fighters and it should be very interesting to see where both men are going in their career.
Arguably the most notable title bout on the card, yet potentially the most one-sided, will see former Chinese amateur stand out Lu Bin (0-0) take on Thai foe Chatchai Or Benjamas (8-9, 6) for the vacant WBC Asian Boxing Council Light Flyweight Title. Making his professional debut in a 10 rounder is clearly Bin and his team looking to make a statement and given his background in amateur boxing and the APB there is real star potential here. It should be noted that Chatchai isn't great, and was an early opponent for the likes of Yohei Tobe and KJ Cataraja, but Bin's willingness to fight for a title early is still a statement from his team.
One other bout of note from this show will see big punching Filipino Jayar Inson (13-1, 9) take on China's Yangcheng Jin (5-1-2, 1). This is likely to be a straight forward win for the visitor, but he is coming in to the bout on the back of a loss on the road in South Africa, and may be wearing the mental scars of that defeat.
Xi An, China
We get more title action in Xi An as novices Yiran Li (3-0, 3) and Super Top Singnamchai (2-0, 1) battle for the WBC Youth Featherweight title. Li made his professional debut back in April and has needed just 7 rounds to despatch his first 3 foes whilst the Thai visitor apparently debuted in 2012, and hasn't had a boxing contest in more than 5 years, making this a very perplexing contest on paper.
Staying in China just a little longer fans will get card in Jinan where the headline bout will see Indonesian veteran Hero Tito (23-12-2, 8) battle with local Aizi Aili (5-2-1, 2), in what could be a pretty solid match up between well matched fighters at different stages of their career.
As well as all the action in China there will also be a notable card at the Korakuen Hall, which will be available on the A-sign service.
The main event of the card is a potential war as former world title challenger Hisashi Amagasa (33-6-2, 21) takes on Richard Pumicpic (19-8-2, 6) in a bout for the WBO Asia Pacific Featherweight title, essentially securing the winner a top 15 WBO ranking. Of the two men Amagasa is the more well known, given his bouts with Guillermo Rigondeaux and Josh Warrington, and will be favoured, however Pumicpic is no pushover and he has has pushed fighters like Ryosuke Iwasa, Cesar Juarez and Yohei Tobe all really close in thrilling fights. We're expecting this fight to be the bout of the day.
In another good looking contest we'll see veteran Takafumi Nakajima (28-9-1, 12) take on Jin Miura (9-2, 1). Coming in to this Nakajima has a little bit of momentum, with 3 straight wins to put back to back losses behind him, whilst Miura comes in on the back of a narrow loss in Russia. This could be a highly skilled battle with both men looking to really boost their hopes of a potential domestic title bout.
One other fighter of note on this card is Naoki Mochizuki (11-2, 6), who will be facing off with a Thai visitor.
To begin a new week we get the next in the Asign Bee series of shows, and like many of the others it's a really good card, and will be available over the Asign service on demand.
The main event will see former Bantamweight world champion Tomoki Kameda (33-2, 20) continue to re-establish himself in Japan as he takes on former world title challenger Ivan Morales (31-2, 19) in a really good looking match up on paper. Although an attractive looking bout it's likely to be one sided, with Kameda almost certainly being too good for Morales, the younger brother of the legendary Erik Morales. Despite thinking Kameda will be too good we still expect this to be a fan friendly contest with a lot of action.
In the chief support bout we'll see veteran Takafumi Nakajima (27-9-1, 12) take on Filipino foe John Ray Logatiman (6-5-2, 2). The 33 year old Nakajima has been in their with a who's who during his long and hard career, and it's likely he's now winding down on a career that began back in 2003. He may have enough to score a win here, but Logatiman is 10 years his junior and will be looking to pick up his first win in Japan, following a loss to Sho Nakazawa earlier this year.
In a really good supporting bout we'll see the upset minded Toshiro Tarumi (6-3-3, 3) take on the under-rated Noriaki Sato (5-1-1). On paper this bout won't grab fans but the reality is that should be a real thriller. In recent bouts Tarumi has upset Kazuki Hayashi Jr, Quaye Peter and Takashi Inagaki, and went out swinging against Yuki Nagano. Sato on the other-hand is a real talent and will be looking to move towards a title fight in the near future, and will know he needs a win here.
Talking about title fighters it's interesting to note that we see the first ever Japanese female title eliminator as Jun Yabuki (7-0, 3) and Yumiko Shimooka (3-3, 1) face off. The winner of this bout will take a huge step towards becoming a Japanese female champion, and whilst that's not earth shattering news it is a big story for female boxing, and boxing in Japan.
One other bout of note sees Yuta Nakagawa (20-4-1, 11) take on a Thai foe in an 8 rounder. The bout isn't anything more than a stay busy bout for Nakagawa, though he is in line for a potential Japanese Super Bantamweight title fight down the line, and cannot afford any slip ups, or cuts, here if he's wanting to advance to a title bout, or eliminator of his own.
Asign boxing get their second stand out show of the month this coming Monday as we get Asign Bee Vol 2, and just like the first show on March 10th, the show is really good one.
The main event of the card sees the sensationally talented Naoko Fujioka (15-2, 6) hunt a 4th divisional title as she takes on Mexican Isabel Millan (18-2-1, 8) in a bout for the WBA female Flyweight title. Originally Fujioka had been down for facing Louisa Hawton for the WBO female Light Flyweight title, but that bout was scrapped about 5 weeks before the contest and as a result the promoter got Millan to travel to Japan for this equally as interesting Flyweight bout. A win for Fujioka would see her becoming the first Japanese fighter to become a 4-weight world champion, whilst a win for Millan would massively boost her career.
In a major supporting bout we'll see the world ranked Akihiro Kondo (27-6-1, 14) take on Thai visitor Patomsuk Pathompothong (33-6-1-1, 20) in a rematch of a contest the two men had back in 2015. On paper this should be a repeat win for Kondo, who looks to be having a solid run at the moment, but Patomsuk did look good last time out, losing a controversial decision to Kuok Kun Ng.
A second notable female bout here sees the unbeaten Jun Yabuki (6-0, 3) take on the in form Shione Ogata (7-5, 2). Although the bout looks like a mismatch on paper Ogata has won her last 6 in a row and has certainly turned her career around since a 1-5 start and she will be hungry to keep that run going here.
In another supporting bout we'll see Takafumi Nakajima (26-9-1, 11) take on Jump Ikeo (6-4-2, 4) in what looks like a straight forward win for experienced man. Nakajima will be looking to secure his second straight win since being blown out in 88 seconds last September, by a rampant Kosuke Saka and although a bit of a faded fighter now a days Nakajima is still solid. Ikeo has lost 3 of his last 5 and shouldn't prove much of a test here.
Another notable name on this card is the struggling Hikaru Marugame (6-2-1, 4). Marugame turned professional with high expectations and a strong amateur background but has gone 1-2-1 in his last 4 and cannot afford another slip up here. In the opposite corner to the Japanese fighter will be Filipino visitor John Ray Logatiman (5-4-2, 1), who looks to build on a career best win over Brian Lobetania here. This could be a real gut check for Marugame, who's career may be written off with another loss.
To kick off a new week we get the next Ichiriki show from the Korakuen Hall. The card features a number of notable Japanese fighters but sadly not much to be excited about in terms of competitive match ups.
The main event will see the world ranked Akihiro Kondo (26-6-1, 13) risking his IBF and WBO rankings against a poor imported Thai. Kondo, who is the current WBO Asia Pacific champion at 140lbs, won't be risking his title in this 8 rounder. Sadly we're unsure who the Thai is, and the same applied for the chief support bout, where an unknown Thai will be facing Japanese veteran Takafumi Nakajima (25-9-1, 10), with Nakajima looking to rebuild following an opening round loss to Kosuke Saka in September.
On the under-card we have a number of interesting fighters, including the now struggling Hikaru Marugame (5-2-1, 3). Once touted as a potential star Marugame has gone 0-2-1 in his last 3 and needs a win. His team know he needs a win and that appears to be the reason behind him facing Thai visitor Pepsi Sithluangporphun (1-0, 1), who last fought in July 2015 according to Boxrec. Another loss here for Marugame would likely be the end of his dreams.
Another hopeful on this card is Bantamweight Sonin Nihei (8-2-2, 1) who looks to bounce back from an August loss to Takayuki Okumoto. The once touted 23 year old is being thrown in against the heavy handed, but limited, Keita Kurihara (7-4, 6) in what looks likely to be a better bout than it initially seems. Although Kurihara doesn'ty have a great record he has won his last 4 and stopped his last 3 so will be full of confidence here.
One other bout worthy of noting is one between Japanese ranked Featherweight Junki Sasaki (16-3, 6) and the upset minded Yudai Tamagawa (9-7-1, 3), up is just a year removed from his career best win over Mark Gil Melligen. On paper this is Sasaki's to lose but it should be one where he needs to concentrate as he could be just a few fights from a potential title fight.
The action in Japan really has picked up in September and on September 13th we see the first officially sanctioned WBO Asia Pacific title fight on Japanese soil.
That title bout will see world ranked Akihiro Kondo (25-6-1, 12) battle against Filipino visitor Jeffrey Arienza (15-4-1, 9) in a bout for the WBO Asia Pacific Light Welterweight title. Although a flawed fighter Kondo is a busy and tough guy in the ring and we suspect he'll out work and break down the visitor however Arienza won't have travelled to just fold so we're expecting a fun bout here between two men who will let their hand go,
In an interesting supporting bout fans will see veteran Takafumi Nakajima (25-8-1, 10) battle against the heavy handed Kosuke Saka (13-3, 10). Aged 32 Nakajima is a veteran but one who still seems to have boundless energy and his win over Xian Qian Wei earlier this year showed he still has a lot to give, as did his very good effort against Jonathan Baat last time out. For Saka this bout is great opportunity to make a name for himself. The 24 year old puncher has won his last 5 inside the distance, including both Ryuto Kyoguchi, in what was a fun bout, and Burning Ishii, and he'll be looking to keep that momentum going here.
Notably this show will be aired in full on A-sign.
The month of June has been relatively busy with low key action so far. That action continues this coming Monday in what looks set to be a brilliant card at the Korakuen Hall.
The main event of the card is one of two world title fights, and sees WBO female Bantamweight queen Naoko Fujioka (14-1,6) defending her title against compatriot Shindo Go (16-3, 11), in what is expected to be Go's final fight before she transitions to becoming a man later in the year. The bout should be a really good one and should be one of the most well matched bouts at the top level of female boxing.
The other world title bout will see WBO Atomweight champion Nao Ikeyama (17-3-1, 4) defending her title against the under-rated Saemi Hanagata (12-6-2, 6), in what should be a thrilling contest. At 46 Ikeyama knows a loss could be the end of her career, whilst Hanagata will see this as her best chance to win a world title. The bout isn't on the same level as the main event but is a great match up and could be, stylistically at least, a thriller.
In a supporting bout Takafumi Nakajima (25-7-1, 10) will be facing Jonathan Baat (30-7-5, 14), in what looks like an absolute corker between two genuine veterans. Baat is the more proven fighter however at 35 years old he may be coming to the end, and is win-less in his last 3 bouts, whilst Nakajima has won his last 3 and is looking like a genuinely hungry 31 year old.
Another good looking supporting bout sees the once touted Naoto Uebayashi (9-1-1, 5) battle against Mikihito Seto (34-12-3. 19). Uebayashi was tipped for big then when he turned professional a few years ago, following a very successful career in the amateurs, but problems with durability has seen him struggle to make a good run in the professional ranks. Seto, a genuine veteran at 36, has won just twice in his last 6 bouts but should prove to be a good test for Uebayashi, who really cannot afford another slip up.
One final bout of note will see the exciting Akihiro Kondo (24-6-1, 11) battle against Tanva Malihom (0-1) in a stay busy bout.
This coming Friday is relatively packed with action, with two notable shows in Asia.
Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand
The most notable show of the day comes from Thailand where OnesongChai put on an interesting looking card on Channel 7.
The main event of the card sees Pungluang Sor Singyu (51-3, 35) defending the WBO Bantamweight title against Filipino challenger Jetro Pabustan (26-2-6, 7). The champion will be the clear favourite here, and will be looking for the first defense of the title that he won last year, when he stopped Ryo Akaho. Although the under-dog Pabustan will be confident and will know that this a huge opportunity to make a name for himself.
As well as the main event the under-card does feature some interesting match ups, the most notable which will see experienced Thai Kwanpichit OnesongchaiGym (35-1-2, 20) battling against unbeaten Filipino Giemel Magramo (15-0, 12) in what could be the proverbial “coming out party” for Magramo. The Filipino fighter is stepping up in class but is regarded as genuine prospect and may well see this as a chance to make a name for himself.
Another bout will feature the promising Rakniran Muadransarakam (9-0, 6) who will be facing a Thai foe.
Lu Zhou, Chinese card
The Thai card isn't the only notable one to be televised this Friday was another card coming from China where Zovi boxing put on their second card for Chinese new year.
The main event of this one will see Chinese Super Bantamweight hopeful Qiu Xiao Jun (19-2, 9) battle against Ghana's Raymond Commey (13-2, 7) for the WBA International Super Bantamweight title. Originally this bout was announced as a WBA “regular” world title bout but the WBA, who are now aiming to having just a single champion in every division, changed that and have only allowed the bout to be for the “International” crown. The winner of this however will find themselves on the verge of fighting for a world title later in the year. Interestingly both men are bringing 11 bout winning runs into this one.
In total this card has 5 title bouts. Another of those sees Can Xu (7-2) fighting against the experienced, and heavy handed, Isaias Santos Sampaio (26-11, 24). The Chinese local, a 21 year old, had a great 2015 with 4 wins, including notable victories over Hurricane Futa and Kris George, will be defending his WBA Oceania Super Featherweight title here. The visitor, a Brazilian, brings power to the ring but has been stopped 10 times and may well become Xu's first stoppage victim.
In an all-Asian bout Xian Qian Wei (9-5-1) will face Japanese veteran Takafumi Nakajima (24-7-1, 10) in a bout for the WBC Asian Boxing Council Featherweight title. Interestingly this will be the 5th defense of the title by Wei, who began his career 2-4-1 before going 7-1 with wins of note against Thewa Onesongchaigym, twice, Hero Tito, and most recently Rex Wao. This is a tough bout for the 21 year old local but a really good chance to make a name for himself against a 2-time Japanese title challenger.
In a female title bout Zong Ju Cai (6-1, 1) face off with Venezuelan Debora Rengifo (6-1-1, 3) in a bout for the WBC International Female Minimumweight title, with Cai defending the title for the 3rd time. On paper this looks really well matched but the Visitor has faced some awful opposition and this will be her first bout away from home. Although Cai hasn't been through murderer's row she has been notching up solid wins, including decision wins last year against Gretchen Abaniel, Angor Onesongchaigym and Mari Ando.
The remaining title bout on this show comes at the Youth level as the unbeaten Bai Shan Bo (6-0-1, 3) takes on the stop or be stopped Tackie Annan (6-2, 6) for the WBC Youth Light Welterweight title. Bo has faced some notable opponents regional opponents, including Heri Andriyanto, but this should be his first chin check. Annan lost his first 2 bouts but has since strung together 6 straight stoppage wins, albeit against very poor opposition.
Metro Manila, Philippines
There's also action in the Philippines with a show in Metro Manila.
The most notable bout here will see the under-rated Eden Sonsona (34-6-2, 12) battle against fellow under-rated fighter Vergel Nebran (14-11-1, 9). On paper it's hard to see Sonsona struggling but Nebran has a deceptive record and can, at times, be a banana skin when he's the under-dog.
Sadly much of the card does appear to be mismatches and other than the Sonsona/Nebran bout there is little to really get excited about.
The only Asian show today comes from the Korakuen Hall where Ichiriki put on the next of their “Fighting Bee” shows.
The main event here looks to be a mismatch as the popular, and currently world ranked, Akihiro Kondo (22-6-1, 11) takes on Thai visitor Vachara Soonkilabangmod (0-2) in an 8 round bout at just under 138lbs. It's hard to see Kondo losing here but his recent form as been win one-lose one and if that form continues we will see a huge upset here. Saying that however Vachara was stopped last time out in 2 rounds by Takuya Uehara and it's hard to imagine him going the rounds with Kondo.
In the chief support bout we actually get an intriguing bout at 123lbs between former Japanese title challenger Takafumi Nakajima (23-7-1, 10) and Filipino fighter Dennis Tubieron (19-5-2, 8), who returns to Asia after back-to-back losses in the UK. Whilst Tubieron is known for his losses in Europe they did take place at a higher weight than this bout which is a really competitive and well matched one, rather than one that sees a Super Bantamweight being dragged up to Super Featherweight.
Both the main bouts will be 8 rounders, as will another supporting bout that will see Masashi Noguchi (8-5-1, 4) battle against Kazuya Soma (7-8-2, 6). This is interestingly a goof match up with Soma being limited but heavy handed whilst Noguchi has been stopped in 4 of his 5 losses. It could well be an upset if Soma lands clean.