The Asian action for the month of May kicks off in Tokyo with a Fuji TV card from the Ota City gymnasium.
The main event here will see Japanese Middleweight star Ryota Murata (6-0, 4) battle against world ranked Brazilian foe Douglas Damiao Ataide (13-1-1, 6). This is a significant step up in class for Murata though he is still expected to take a win and continue to move towards a world title fight later in the year. From what we've seen of Ataide he does seem to have a style which could trouble Murata and this could well be a lot more competitive than many are suspecting.
Although the main event features Murata there is actually a world title fight on the card as WBC Super Featherweight champion Takashi Miura (28-2-2, 21) looks to record his 4th defense. In the opposite corner to Miura will be former IBF Featherweight champion Billy Dib (32-3, 29) who has sounded confident in the build up to the fight though appears to be a major under-dog against a very impressive and aggressive champion.
Another notable name in action on this card is former 2-weight world champion Akira Yaegashi (20-5, 10) who makes his Super Flyweight debut in a bout against Songsaenglek Phosuwangym (1-11). This should be an easy win for Yaegashi though he has lost his last two bouts, suffering stoppages to Roman Gonzalez, in a Flyweight title bout, and Pedro Guevara, at Light Flyweight. Songsaenglek has previous experience of fighting in Japan, with 2 bouts in the country, though was stopped in both of those bouts.
On the under-card fans will also have the chance to see 2014 Bantamweight Rookie of the Year Ryohei Takahashi (5-1-1) in action as he faces the limited Hokuto Sakata (5-4-1, 3). This will be Takahashi's first bout since claiming the Rookie crown in December and he should be favoured here there he has shown a lack of power and has got question marks in regards to his chin.
Several hours after the action in Japan fans will get the chance to see Takahiro Ao (27-3-1, 12) attempt to add his name to an exclusive list of Japanese fighters who have claimed world titles in 3 weight classes. The Teiken fighter will be battling against Tough Mexican Raymundo Beltran (29-7-1, 17) in a bout for the vacant WBO Lightweight title with Beltran looking to claim a world title in his third attempt whilst Ao looks to become the third Japanese fighter to be a 3-weight champion. On paper this is a brilliantly matched bout between a technically capable but flawed boxer and an exciting and busy pressure fighter.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)