There isn't a lot of fights this coming Thursday however there is an interesting rematch for the Japanese Flyweight title.
The bout in question will see current champion Takuya Kogawa (24-4, 13) face off against former challenger Tetsuma Hayashi (25-3, 9). The two men have fought in a very competitive bout in the past with Kogawa taking the win so it's fair to say Hayashi is out for revenge and is hoping to claim the title at the third time of asking. For Kogawa however this is the first defense of his second reign.
The main bout should genuinely be something a bit amazing, sadly however the rest of the show is a bit lacking with no real excitement at all from the under-card. Thankfully given the styles of the fighters involved in the main bout the crowd certainly won't feel disappointed with the show at hand.
(Image courtesy of danganboxing.com)
The great Japanese action this month continues on a Wednesday which is highlighted by a potentially sensational Japanese Flyweight title fight. We won't pretend this card is a strong one but the main event looks great and one of the support bouts has the potential to be be very interesting whilst another support bout features a man eyeing up a domestic title fight later in the year..
The aforementioned Flyweight title bout will see defending champion Suguru Muranaka (21-2-1, 7) attempt to record the 3rd defence of the belt as he takes on former challenger Tetsuma Hayashi (25-2-2, 9) in a bout that we suspect will see a lot of leather being thrown. Muranaka, who is world ranked by all 4 bodies, has looked really good in recent bouts stopping both Masayuki Kuroda in a gruelling battle before knocking Yusuke Sakashita in spectacular fashion. Although Muranaka is in great form Hayashi should make for a very tough stylistic match up and exciting bout. We really wouldn't be surprised if this ended up being a Japanese FOTY contender.
An interesting support bout at Featherweight will see Yoshitomo Watanabe (6-1, 5), an OPBF ranked contender, battle against Kosuke Mizuno (7-4-2, 2) in what we suspect could be a very good test for for the once beaten Watanabe. Coming into this bout both men are unbeaten in 3 and both know a win moves them close to a title fight.
Another ranked fighter on this card is Cobra Suwa (14-11-2, 7), who is ranked by the JBC. Suwa, a Welterweight contender, will be battling against Thailand's limited Chatchai Sithsaithong (8-4, 6). We can't see anything but a Suwa win here, though it certainly wouldn't be enough for him to get a third title fight, so hopefully a quick win will be followed by a swift return to action later in the year.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
If we say November ended in style with a number of big and exciting bouts then we need to confess that November starts even better with a day so brilliant, packed and wonderful that we know a lot of great bouts will go over-looked just do to the depth of the day.
The headline bout of the day is in the US where WBO Bantamweight champion Tomoki Kameda (30-0, 19) battles against interim champion Alejandro Hernandez (28-10-2, 15). On paper this looks a mismatch given that Hernandez's record contains numerous losses however in reality the Mexican is a very good fighter and comes into this bout on a good run of results with wins over Marvin Mabait and Daniel Rosas. We'd still favour the more talented and slicker Kameda but this certainly isn't the mismatch the that numbers would suggest and Hernandez is a tough and difficult assignment for anyone at 118lbs.
Tomoki won't be the only Japanese fighter on this side as older brother Koki Kameda (32-1, 17) will also be in action. Koki, fighting for the first this year, will be battling against Mexican veteran Omar Salado (24-8-2, 15) in what we suspect will be a bout designed to help him shake off some ring rust ahead of a probably WBA Super Flyweight title fight next year against Kohei Kono. Notably for Koki this will be his debut and gives him a great chance to impress a new audience much like Tomoki did on his US debut when he stopped Pungluang Sor Singyu.
It's not just in the US that we get a world title fight but also in Japan with Fukuoka hosting a female world title fight between WBC Female Minimumweight champion Yuko Kuroki (11-4-1, 6) and former IBF champion Katia Gutierrez (19-4, 4). Kuroki will be defending her title for the first time since winning it earlier this year with a decision over Mari Ando and she has gone from the frying pan into the fire with Gutierrez being a very, very tough opponent. We favour Kuroki but this is a very tough contest between two truly world class fighters.
In the chief support bout we will see the unbeaten and promising Shohei Okuda (11-0, 4) battle against Ryusei Yoshida (24-6, 11) in a very tough and interesting bout. Okuda is a Japanese ranked fighter who will see his opportunity to jump up the rankings with a win here and although Yoshida is unranked this is a great step up for Okuda who has yet to have a coming of age fighter, despite being a 2012 Rookie of the Year winner.
Another support bout on this show will see Aiki Koto (7-1-1, 4), a Japanese ranked Light Flyweight, will be battling against Koki Ono (7-2, 4). This is one of those very even bouts that we love seeing on the Japanese domestic scene. Both of these guys has suffered an early blow out defeat but both have the talent and desire to come again and could become a force on the fringes of the domestic scene, especially if they compete in bouts like this one.
We get another title bout in Tokyo, albeit at a lower level as Japanese Light Flyweight champion Yu Kimura (14-2-1, 2) battles against Atsushi Aburada (9-6, 5). For Kimura this will be his second defense following an excellent win over Yuki Chinen earlier this year whilst for the challenger this will be his first title opportunity and it looks to be a big ask for Aburada to over-come the world ranked Kimura.
It's not just the main event here that looks interesting, far from in fact, and the under-card is packed with some very good fights and fighters.
One of those fighters is former Japanese Flyweight title challenger Tetsuma Hayashi (24-2-2, 8) who fights in what looks like a mismatch against Ryutaro Taira (8-4-2, 3). Hayashi is a fun fighter and he really did push Takuya Kogawa close in their bout in 2012, since then he is unbeaten in 7 though did look less than sensational last time out fighting to a draw with Hideyuki Watanabe. Whilst Hayashi wasn't great last time out Taira has only won 1 of his last 5 and can't be favoured here to even push Hayashi close.
A good bout on this card will see the heavy handed Yuichi Yokoyama (14-2, 13) battle against Filipino visitor Jonel Alibio (17-18-5, 9) in what looks to be a very good bout, despite the very different records of the two men. Alibio hasn't been in form recently though is a former OPBF champion and may have the experience to trouble Yokoyama.
Another heavy handed fighter in action is Hiroyuki Otsuka (7-2, 6) who will be up against the more experienced Takumi Suda (10-10-2, 2). Otsuka looked really promising at one point though has lost 2 of his last 3 and is needing to rebuild his career, however this isn't a gimme and Suda could prove to be a banana skin.
For us the best of the under-card bouts will be a contest between Jun Hamana (9-2, 3) and Shota Suito (9-3-1, 1). This is another 50-50 bout and despite it almost certainly being a distance bout it should be really good. Hamana's bout with Kazuma Sanpei impressed us whilst Suito is better than his record indicates and this should be a very interesting, high paced and exciting bout with neither having real fear of the other man.
Another Japanese card takes place in Hyogo. Whilst this one doesn't have a title fight on it it does look like a brilliant show and the type of thing that makes the Japanese domestic so exciting right now.
The main event here will see Japan's very own Hikaru Matsuoka (7-1-3, 1) battle against one of boxing's most under-rated fighters, Richard Pumicpic (15-6-2, 4). Pumicpic is the type of fighter nobody looks good against, he's hard working, tough, aggressive and a bit like a terrier in many ways. Matsuoka will have home advantage but Pumicpic proved he was good in Japan when he pushed OPBF Bantamweight champion Ryosuke Iwasa all the way earlier this year. Very tough assignment for the Japanese fighter.
Another solid fight on this card is the co-feature which will see the very experienced Junichi Ebisuoka (23-17-6, 10) battling against Giovanni Escaner (11-3, 7). Neither of these guys are world beaters but both are better than first meets the eye. Ebisuoka has a bad looking record though is just below the Japanese title picture whilst Escaner has lost 3 of his last 4 but has been competing against a solid level, such as Oleydong Sithsamerchai. This has the potential to be a truly sensational contest between two men who both want a win badly and we would suggest that this one will be worth catching if you're in Hyogo.
A third bout on this card that has caught out eye is between the destructive Yuji Itani (4-0, 4) and Filipino Jonel Gadapan (8-7-1, 4). We suspect that this will be a somewhat straight forward win for Itani but it's still worth keeping an eye on him, afterall he may be fast tracked given that he's already in his 30's.
Distrito Federal, Mexico
In Mexico we have two bouts of note in a card that looks like it will be worth tuning in to.
The main even will see Mexican based Japanese fighter Shoki Sakai (17-4, 11) battling against the always interesting Nery Saguilan (30-4-1, 11). Going in to this bout the Mexican will be hunting a second successive victory over a Japanese fighter, having beaten Seiichi Okada last time out. Sadly we suspect that Okada was a bit of a shot fighter however Sakai certainly isn't and this could be a very interesting bout.
The other bout that has caught our eye is between Filipino fighter Silvester Lopez (22-8-2, 16) and the heavy handed Mexican fighter Rey Vargas (21-0, 18). This will be the second meeting between the two after Vargas scored a stoppage victory over an injured Lopez earlier this year. Interestingly in their first meeting Lopez dropped Vargas prior to being injured in the 7th round.
(Image courtesy of http://www.warriorsboxing.com)
After a few poor days in terms of fights recently we get back to the swing of things here with fights taking places all over the place.
The biggest bout, at least in terms of attention that a bout will receive, is in the USA where Chinese Heavyweight Zhang Zhilei (0-0) will make his professional debut against Curtis Lee Tate (7-4, 6). Zhilei, stood at 6'6", is the second recent Chinese Heavyweight to debut in the US following Taishan Dong, who stopped Alex Rozman. Although significantly older than Dong we actually think Zhilei has the more potential, especially when you consider his amateur credentials which have included an Olympic Silver medal in 2008 and a World Amateur Bronze medal in 2009
As is often the case the most notable action inside of Asia is at the Korakuen Hall where we get the rather misleading "The Greatest Boxing Vol 19" show.
The headline bout for this show is a clash between the very talented Tetsuma Hayashi (24-2-1, 8) and the heavy handed but limited Hideyuki Watanabe (7-6-2, 5). Of the two men it's clear that Hayashi has to be the favourite and he has fought at a much higher level than Watanabe, in fact Hayashi pushed Takuya Kogawa close in a Japanese Flyweight title fight back in 2012. Watanabe however will no there is no pressure on his shoulders and that a win could catapult him in to the national rankings.
Whilst the main event looks a little bit one sided the co-feature looks very interesting as former multi-time title challenger Yoshihisa Tonimura (17-9-4, 5) takes on fellow Japanese ranked Light Middleweight Toshio Arikawa (8-4, 7). Arikawa is heavy handed though Tonimura has gone 18 rounds with Tadashi Yuba and many felt Tonimura deserved wins over Yuba in both fights they've had together.
A third notable bout on this card looks like another mismatch as the highly ranked former multi-time title challenger Koji Umetsu (21-14-3, 9) battles against Thai novice Chamuakpetch Por Panya (0-2). Chamaukpetch has been stopped in both of his previous contests, both in Japan, and we'd expect him to be stopped again here by Umetsu, despite the fact Umetsu is 37 an has never been much of a puncher.
Whilst the Japanese show is technically the best, due to having 3 bouts of note, the most significant bouts of the day are probably in Laos where the unbeaten Norasing Kokietgym (10-0-1, 7) attempts to extend his winning record and claim the WBC Asian Boxing Council Silver Super Flyweight title. In the opposite corner to Norasing will be Filipino journeyman Geboi Mansalayao (9-16-4, 3). Going into this bout the Filipino has lost 7 of his last 8, including a stoppage to Amnat Ruenroeng, and we'd expect to see another loss added to his record here.
In another title bout on this show Nampetch Kwanjaisrikod (1-1, 1) will be fighting the debuting Kanda Por Muangpetch (0-0) for the WBC Asian Boxing Council Continental female Light Flyweight title. We're not sure what either fighter has done to qualify for a title fight but the WBC, in their infinite wisdom, have managed to pick up a sanctioning fee for the bout all the same.
A second show with Thai backing takes places in Thailand and is headlines by a genuinely exciting looking all Thai bout as veteran Kwanthai Sithmorseng (46-2-1, 24) battles against rising young star Stamp Kiatniwat (8-0, 4). Stamp is viewed as one of the future faces of boxing in Thailand and this will be an insane test for the youngster who knows that if he wins he will shoot into the fringes of the world rankings. If you've not seen Stamp before we do have videos of his bout with John Bima and his bout with Johna Wahyudi.
New South Wales, Australia
In Australia we see another title bout as Indonesia's Stevi Ongen Ferdinandus (15-6-1, 8) attempts to claim the currently vacant WBC Eurasia Pacific Boxing Council Light Welterweight title. Unfortunately for Ferdinandus he's going to need a considerable upset to see off Australia's very own Chad Bennett (33-4-3, 24) in what appears to be another mismatch. Going in Bennet has won his last 9 with 8 stoppages, we'd expect him to increase both of those numbers.
Staying in Australia there will be another bout with an Asian as win-less Thai Pramool Boonpok (0-7) competes in his 8th bout of the year and takes on the light hitting Charlie King (18-5, 1). King, originally form the UK, has won just 1 of his 3 bouts since relocating to Australia though it appears almost certain that he will over-come the Thai here.
(Image courtesy of Kadoebi.com)