Japanese attention turns to Osaka this coming Friday where we get a domestic title fight and a couple of supporting bouts between Japanese and Korean fighters.
The Japanese title fight will see Japanese Light Flyweight champion Tetsuya Hisada (32-9-2, 19) make his 5th defense as he takes on 2016 Rookie of the Year winner Akihiro Toya (8-4, 1). This looks like a stay busy defense for the 34 year old champion, who is on the verge of a world title fight, but any sort of slip up here could end those dreams. At 23 years old Toya is still maturing, but a loss earlier this year to Takumi Sakae doesn't bode well for him against someone as talented as Hisada. A full preview of this bout can be found here Hisada defends Japanese crown against youngster Toya!
One of the supporting bouts will see Japan's Yuki Takahashi (8-3, 4) battle against Korean rankled visitor Hwan Young Jo (5-5, 1). Takahashi has been stopped in his last 2 bouts and hasn't shown too much promise coming into this, but he will be favoured given he is the home fighter and has the better looking record. Jo on the other hand challenged for the Korean Super Featherweight title back in July, and will be looking to bounce back from a loss in that bout.
Another Japan Vs Korea bout will see the limited but hard hitting 23 year old Shota Asami (6-5, 4) battle against Hyun Joo Lee (2-0). Asami began his career 4-2 (4) but hasn't scored a stoppage in his last 5 bouts, whilst going 2-3. Lee is ranked by the KBF but his record doesn't seem to be complete on boxrec, with the KBF listing him as being 5-1-1 (4). If the KBF record is complete then we could be in for a fun fight between punchers, though how good he actually is, is unclear.
There's also a show in Thailand this coming Friday
The big talking point is that WBC Minimumweight champion Wanheng Menayothin (51-0, 18) will be on the card in a stay busy bout, taking on Indonesian foe Tyson Lahagu (2-9-1, 2). The contest is supposed to be a tune up for the Thai ahead of a potential world title defense at the end of the year, and will see him stretching his record 52-0 as he looks to further increase his unbeaten record.
Although Wanheng and his unbeaten record will get much of the attention it also seems like we'll see OPBF silver Minimumweight champion Panya Pradabsri (24-1, 13) defending his title against talented Filipino Dexter Alimento (13-4, 9), in a very good looking bout. This has the potential to be very exciting and very fun, and we wouldn't be surprised to see Alimento push the local all the way.
We'll see US based Tajik prospect Anvar Yunusov (5-0, 2) look to continue his rise through the ranks as he takes on Joshua Davis (11-3, 5). The unbeaten man debuted last year, in a match up against the experienced Justin Savi, and has been matched well so far, but this should be regarded as his best test to date. Davis has lost his last 2 bouts but at 27 he will have ambition to get his career back on track and should make for a compelling opponent for the Yusunov, who was a 3-time Olympian.
Johore Bahru, Malaysia
As well as the show in Japan there will also be a card in Malaysia.
One of the bouts on this card will see unbeaten local Adli Hafidz (3-0, 2) take on experienced Thai foe Yuttana Wongda (13-21, 9). The local fighter, aged 29, has been matched softly so far, and this should be considered as a step up in class, but a very manageable one. Yuttana has gone 2-10 in his last 12 bouts and we suspect he will come up short again here.
On Monday our attention turns to Osaka where we get the next Japanese title fight, sadly however the rest of the card is weak with little to really talk about.
The main event from the card will see Japanese Light Flyweight champion Tetsuya Hisada (31-9-2, 19) defending his title against Koki Ono (12-4, 5). The world ranked Hisada won the title in April 2017 and has already ran up 3 defenses as he's not only distinguished himself as the leading domestic fighter but also a top contender for a world title fight, which could potentially be a shot at WBC champion Ken Shiro. Aged 33, and turning 34 in October, Hisada knows time is against him but he's staying active against decent Japanese challengers. As for Ono he comes into the bout, his first title bout, on the back of a razor thin loss to Koji Itagaki in a Japanese title eliminator. Prior to that loss Ono had been on a good run, with 5 straight wins including victories over the likes of Aiki Koto and Ryoya Ikema and at 27 years old he is right in his physical prime. For Ono this is a huge opportunity to break into the world rankings, but it would take a career best performance against a man who has gone unbeaten since March 2015.
The only real under-card bout of note will see Yuki Takahashi (8-2, 4) take on Kazuaki Miyamoto (5-2, 4). Takahashi looked promising early in his career, winning his first 5 bouts. He has since had a couple of wobbles, but has shown power, and gone 3-2 (3) in his last 5 bouts. Miyamoto also started his career with some promise, starting off his career in 6 round bouts, and although he has suffered stoppage losses to Shuzo Inada and Seiichi Okada he is still a solid fighter at this level. Given what we know about the two fighters we're expecting a very good fight here with the potential for either man to be stopped.
The main show this coming Saturday comes from Osaka as Harada Promotions, along with reason Promotions, where we get a Japanese title double header.
One of those bouts will see Japanese Light Flyweight champion Tetsuya Hisada (30-9-2, 19) defending his title against mandatory challenger Koji Itagaki (18-11-3, 7). Coming in to this bout Hisada has made 2 defenses already and is working his way towards a world title fight, in fact at the time of writing Hisada is ranked in the top 10 by all 4 world title bodies and talking about getting a shot at a belt by the end of 2018. Itagaki got this shot on the back of a win over Koki Ono last October, but with 11 losses in 32 fights, and recent defeats to Kenichi Horikawa and Rey Loreto don't suggest he'll be a tough challenger for the in form Hisada.
The other title fight will be a rematch between Go Onaga (28-3-4, 19) and Hiroyuki Kudaka (25-17-2, 11), who fight for the vacant Japanese Super Flyweight title. These two fought to a technical draw last year, in what was a title eliminator, but both will be getting a shot following Ryuichi Funai vacating the belt. At 37, soon to be 38, it's hard to envisage Onaga having much left in the tank but this will almost certainly be his final shot at winning a title, following set backs in previous Japanese and OPBF title shots. For Kudaka, who is a 4-time world title challenger, this is a chance to add to his career honours, which includes a short reign as the World Boxing Council International Silver Flyweight champion back in 2010. Kudaka has lost 7 of his last 11, but has mixed at a very high level losing to the likes of Omar Andres Narvaez, Ryo Matsumoto, Mark John Yap and Takuma Inoue. It's hard to not think the 33 year old Kudaka will come out on top here.
As well as the title action in Japan there will also be a title action in Benguet, in the Philippines.
One of those bouts will see GAB Flyweight champion Ryan Rey Ponteras (21-12-1, 10) make his second defense as he takes on one the once beaten Genisis Libranza (14-1, 9). Although Ponteras' record isn't impressive on paper he's far from a push over and on his day can be a real night mare, as he showed against Rusalee Samor in 2012, and more recently against Renerio Arizala. The 24 year old Libranza looked like a very promising prospect before being thrown to the wolves last year and getting stopped in 4 rounds by the criminally under-rated Moruti Mthalane in South Africa. Since that loss he has picked up 3 confidence building wins but this is a step up from those victories.
Another fighter of note on this card is the unbeaten Jayson Vayson (5-0, 3), who not only had a great name but also an unbeaten record. The 19 year old Vayson will be fighting in his 3rd 6 rounder as he takes on Alvin Tayo (2-5-1, 2). On paper this is a mismatch but Tayo pushed Vayson all the way last September and is clear going to be up for this mismatch, whilst Vayson will be wanting to leave no doubt this time around.
In the US fans will have a chance to see Uzbek Heavyweight prospect Rustam Tulaganov (1-0) fight in his second professional bout, as he takes on the dangerous Martez McGregor (5-1, 4). The Uzbek, a bronze medal winner a the 2016 Rio Olympics, is a top talent and is one to watch going forward. Despite the Uzbek's amateur credentials this is a very tough test for a second professional outing and McGregor is very dangerous early on, with all 4 of his stoppages coming in the first 2 rounds. A win for Tulaganov is expect, but he could also be given a chin check here.
In India fight fans will see unbeaten local Vikas Singh (5-0-1, 4) battle against former OPBF Super Middleweight title challenger Kajornsak Sithsaithong (11-7, 10), in a bout for the WBC Asian Boxing Council Silver Cruiserweight title. The unbeaten Singh fought to a draw last time out, with the result ending a 4 fight stoppage run, but coming into this he's unbeaten and looks like he's taking a bit of a step up here, despite the fact the Thai is far from a natural Cruiserweight. The Thai is best known for his 2015 fight against Yuzo Kiyota, where he dropped the then OPBF champion before being stopped in the 10th round. At his best the Thai could be a nightmare for Singh, though he would need to be at his best to get the win in India, especially given that Kajornsak is 1-5 outside of Thailand. Despite his poor form away from home, Kajornsak did score an upset in his last fight, out pointing Yamato Fujinaka in Japan, and will be somewhat confident coming into this bout.
There isn't too much action this coming Friday, but there is some title action in Japan, and a potentially fun to watch under-card bout.
The title bout in question will see Japanese Light Flyweight champion Tetsuya Hisada (29-9-2, 18) make his second defence of the title, as he takes on youngster Takeru Kamikubo (13-2, 8). The talented, and exciting, Hisada won the title earlier this year, when he stopped Kenichi Horikawa and made his first defense against former world title challenger Atsushi Kakutani and will be looking to end the year as the champion with another win here. For Kamikubo the bout is a huge step up in class, especially given he has been stopped twice at lower level domestic class, but a win will see him make a serious name for himself.
In an under-card bout, which has the potential to be good, fans will see the hard hitting Shota Asami (4-4, 4) take on the experienced Takayuki Teraji (7-14-1, 4), in a 6 rounder. On paper this doesn't look anything great, but we do expect a very fan friendly contest here, even if it is at the lower end of the Japanese domestic level.
In Russia we'll see a card where Russian fighters take on a number of Korean fighters, with 5 bouts pitting fighters from the two countries.
One of the more interesting bouts sees the unbeaten Vladimir Antonyan (4-0, 2) take on Se Ho Joo (6-6, 2) in a bout at 168lbs. The Korean has got mixed form in recent bouts, losing 4 of his last 5, but should make for a entertaining opponent here, given that he's limited but decent enough to watch.
In another bout we'll see the unbeaten 20 year old Alexander Golubkov (2-0-1, 1) take on the visiting Hwan Young Jo (4-3, 1), who has won his last 3 and rebuilt will after a stoppage loss on debut back in 2014.
We're not expecting to see a Korean pick up a win here, but hopefully they will put in good performance here and make for some fan friendly bouts.
The most notable card of the day comes from Shanghai and is a really weak card, which has got all it's interest based on the main event alone, and if we're being honest we really hope this isn't the type of thing Chinese boxing will become when it develops more stars.
That main event will see WBO Flyweight champion Zou Shiming (9-1, 2) making his first defense of the title as he takes on Japanese challenger Sho Kimura (14-1-2, 7). We saw Shiming win the title last year, when he beat Kwanpichit OnesongChaigym in their second bout, and he will be favoured here against the relatively unknown Japanese challenger. However Shiming has been inactive since November, has seen a number of dates for a bout fall through this year and is now 36. Although Kimura is unknown outside of Asia he's a decent fighter on a 16 fight unbeaten run, which includes a notable regional title win over Masahiro Sakamoto, and he is 4-0 (3) outside of Japan, with a win in Hong Kong in his most recent outing.
A second Chinese show comes form Jinan and is a much less card, with little of real appeal.
On paper the best match up looks to be a 6 rounder between the unbeaten pairing of Aikeremujiang (4-0, 3) and Yongchao Sheng (2-0, 1). Aged 20 it appears that Aikeremujiang is a promising puncher but this could be a genuine test and the 24 year old Sheng won't be wanting to give up his unbeaten record.
The only other 6 rounder on this card will see highly experienced Filipino Richard Garcia (26-24-1, 7) take on the win-less Yangyang Wang (0-4-1) in a bout that could be competitive, but is unlikely to excite too many fans on paper.
As well as the action in China there will also be a show in Osaka, with a title bout headlining this card too.
That title bout will see Japanese Light Flyweight champion Tetsuya Hisada (28-9-2, 17) defending his title, for the first time, as he takes on veteran Atsushi Kakutani (19-5-1, 12), who gets his third shot as a national title. Coming in to the bout Hisada is on a sold run of 7-0 (6) including wins over Shun Kosaka, Hayato Yamaguchi and, most notably, Kenichi Horikawa. It's not a world class run, by any stretch, but it is a solid domestic run and one that has seen him really earn the title. Kakutani on the other hand looks like a man in last chance saloon, having been blown away by Ken Shiro 15 months ago. Aged 32 it's likely now or never for Kakutani, who is best known for dropping Adrian Hernandez in a WBC title fight almost 4 years ago. This should be a good fight and a really competitive one, but it's hard to see Hisada losing against this aged version of Kakutani.
In a supporting bout the once beaten Yuki Takahashi (8-1, 4) will take on the limited but heavy handed Tatsuya Miyazaki (8-9-1, 8), in a bout that could see the 22 year old Takahashi being given a chin checking.
Eastern Cape, South Africa
Outside of Asia we get yet another title fight as Gideon Buthelezi (19-5, 4) defends his IBO Super Flyweight title against Filipino foe Ryan Rey Ponteras (20-11-1, 9) in what could be a much better bout than it looks on paper. On paper Buthelezi is the clear favourite, but the Filipino has placed the role of the up-setter in the past, and will be looking to do so again here, against the under-rated Buthelezi.
This coming Friday is an interesting day in Japan where we get several shows of note, with arguably the best of them taking place in Tokyo.
In the main event we'll see the unbeaten Daishi Nagata (8-0-1, 4) risking his 0 against the more experienced Vladimir Baez (21-3-2, 19), a Japanese based Dominican fighter. So far Nagata has impressed, and has been matched relatively tough, though this is a step up in class for him and he will almost certainly have to show more than he has so far into his career. As for Baez, also known as “Destino Japan”, the bout will see him seeking to return to winning ways following a stoppage loss to Teerachai Kratingdaenggym last July. A must win for Baez, and a potential career booster for Nagata.
In the chief support bout we'll see unbeaten youngster Izuki Tomioka (2-0) battle against Shun Shimazaki (8-8-1, 3) in a really good looking 8 rounder. Tomioka will be fighting over the 8 round distance for the first time and has impressed since his debut back in December, but this is a clear step up in class. Although no world beater Shimazaki is a solid fighter who was competitive with Takuya Watanabe just a few fights ago and should be a solid test here for the youngster.
Another notable supporting bout will see former OPBF title contender Dai Iwai (20-4-1, 7) battle against the upset minded Masaki Saito (13-11-6, 4). On paper this looks a mismatch but Saito, on his day, can be a banana skin and and holds a win over Seiichi Okads as well as draws with Yuichiro Kasuya and Tsuyoshi Tojo. Coming in to this Iwai has won his last 3 bouts, and will be favoured here, but it's not a given win for the Misako man.
As well as the show in Tokyo there will also be a notable card in Osaka, headlined by the biggest Japanese bout of the day.
That big bout will be the third meeting between Tetsuya Hisada (27-9-2, 17) and Kenichi Horikawa (32-14-1, 7), who battle for the vacant Japanese Light Flyweight. Hisada was supposed to face Ken Shiro earlier in the year, but that bout was cancelled on late notice when Ken Shiro was set to fight for a world title, and ended up having this bout made on short notice instead. Coming in to this bout Horikawa is 2-0 against Hisada, and a former Japanese title holder, but is he is now 37 and well beyond his physical prime.
In an under-card bout we'll see the once beaten Yuki Takahashi (7-1, 3) battle against Sam Puadi (7-7, 5) in what looks likely to be a one-sided contest, and in another under-card bout we'll see Takeru Kamikubo (12-2, 8) battle against Masashi Odaira (6-7-2, 2). These bouts aren't the most interesting on paper but should allow fight fans to see two promising prospects in action.
There will also be an Asian show in the Philippines.
In arguably the most interesting bout of the show we'll see the under-rated pairing of Ernesto Saulong (19-2-1, 8) and Jestoni Autida (9-6, 4) face off in what looks like a mismatch but should be an interesting fight. On paper Saulong will be strongly favoured, he has lost just twice in his career and has got some good wins including a 2015 victory over Alie Laurel. Although Saulong has the better record Autida is no push over and has scored upsets before, and been competitive in many of his losses. This is a really intriguing match up.
In another notable bout on this card we'll see Benezer Alolod (17-8-5, 5) face off with Renz Rosia (12-5, 6) in a really well matched bout. Both of these men are good domestic level fighters, who can impress away from home, and should make for a fantastic match up against each other.
One other card will take place in China, with the most interesting looking bout being a contest between the unbeaten pairing of Venson Delopere (5-0-3, 2) and Alimu Wushouer (9-0, 7). Filipino fighter Delopere will be fighting outside of his homeland for the first time, but is being matched hard here against the very talented Wushouer.
Another unbeaten on this card will be Yongqiang Yang (6-0, 5) who risks his unbeaten record against Indonesian visitor Geisler AP (9-9, 6), who won't be expected to take the power of the Chinese hopeful
This coming Saturday is a busy day though it's exciting an important day with a really notable domestic card in Japan and notable bots in Mexico and Canada.
That Japanese card is a small one, but a very significant one as it's the Strongest Korakuen show and will establish 4 fighters who will fight for Japanese titles in the first half of 2017.
The highest weight to see action is the 140lb Light Welterweight division where we will see the exciting Koichi Aso (20-7-1, 13), who has come up short in previous Japanese title bouts, face off with talented novice foe Noriaki Sato (4-1-1). Aso has the advantages in power and experience but Sato is certainly no push over and he comes in the back of wins over Valentine Hosokawa and Kazuya Ito. This really could be an an excellent match up with very contrasting styles.
At Super Featherweight we'll see recent title challenger Satoru Sugita (11-3-1, 7) face off with the experienced Tsuyoshi Tojo (13-13-5, 2). Sugita was beaten last time out, when he he came up short against Japanese champion Kenichi Ogawa, though will clearly be looking to move into a second title fight. On paper this looks like an easy win for Sugita but Tojo is a much better fighter than his record suggests and he is a real potential banana skin for someone like Sugita.
The best of the bouts takes place at 122lbs where the highly experienced Japanese based Filipino Jonathan Baat (32-7-5, 14) takes on 25 year old puncher Yusaku Kuga (12-2-1, 8). Baat is tested at a high level and is a potential banana skin for every one below world class, and he's had solid showings against the likes of Liborio Solis and Rey Megrino recently. Kuga on the other hand came up narrowly short in his most notable bout, against Japanese champion Yasutaka Ishimoto, and will be looking for a rematch with Ishimoto if he wins here. This is a really mouth watering contest and potentially thriller between two men who are at different stages of their career and should put on something a bit special.
The lowest weight covered here is Light Flyweight where Tetsuya Hisada (26-9-2, 16) will face Hayato Yamaguchi (14-6-1, 2) in a really interesting fight. Aged 31 Hisada cannot afford a loss but is 8-5-2 in his last 15 bouts and has been inconsistent against his more notable opponents, he is skilled, and has developed some real sting on his shots, but is fundamentally flawed. Yamaguchi has come up short against his most notable opponents but has got the ability to give Hisada fits, unfortunately he too is inconsistent. This could be a great bout, or it could be a case that the fighter who turns up wins without needing to impress.
Also on this card is a stay busy bout for Ryuichi Funai (25-7, 17), as he faces Jomyuth Looktabthai (1-0) in what should prepare him for a bout with Kenta Nakagawa in 2017 when he competes in the Champion Carnival.
In Quebec we get 3 bouts of interest.
The most interest of those 3 bouts sees experienced Filipino Ricky Sismundo (30-9-3, 13) take on the once touted Canadian based Ghislain Maduma (18-2, 11). It was only a few years ago that Maduma was looking like a future world title challenger in the making but 2 losses in his last 4 have left him fighting for his career and he can't afford another loss. Although Sismundo has a less than stellar record he has been a surprising fighter with upsets against the likes of Shuhei Tsuchiya, Akihiro Kondo and Yoshitaka Kato and deserved wins recently over Jose Felix Jr and Dierry Jean. This looks like a mismatch on paper but certainly won't be when the men get in the ring.
In an interesting step up we'll see Canadian based Kazakh puncher Batyrzhan Jukembayev (5-0-0-2, 5) face the much more experienced Ivan Pereyra (20-7, 14). Jukembayev is a really promising prospect with serious power and looks to be one of the truly exciting punchers making their marks. In Pereyra we have an experienced Mexican but one who has been stopped in 3 of his last 6 bouts, and will likely struggle to see the final bell here, if Jukembayev is as good as he has looked so far.
Another Canadian based Kazakh hopeful on this card is Ablaikhan Khussainov (2-0, 2), who takes a notable step up in class to face Attila Csereklye (6-2, 4). So far Khussainov has been matched incredibly easily and although this is, technically, a step up Csereklye isn't expected to pose much of a threat, with Hungarians being notoriously bad when facing fighters who punch back.
In China we get a show from Yinchuan, for the second day running.
In the main event we'll see the experienced Xing Xin Yang (11-4-3, 8) battling against the once beaten Tong Hui Li (6-1, 4). Coming in to this Yang is 1-1-1 in his last 3, having been stopped by Jack Brubaker last year in that loss, but should be favoured over his countryman. Li is looking for his second win since a loss to Alimu Tuersun back in March but this is a step up in class for him.
In another bout on this card we'll see the once beaten Hu Li Fu (3-1, 2) battle Kazakh hopeful Viktor Kotochigov (2-0, 1). On paper this doesn't look the most interesting but Kotochigov scored a notable win over A Fu Bai last time out and a win here could solidify him as one to watch going forward. Interestingly the Kazakh will be fighting in China for the third time.
Baja California, Mexico
One of the more interesting bouts comes from Mexico as the unbeaten Luis Nery (20-0,14) takes on Filipino former world title challenger Richie Mepranum (31-5-1, 8). On paper this one looks like a step up for Nery but given the weight Nery has to be favoured and Mepranum has been stopped in his last two international bouts, with this likely to be another loss for the “Magnum” and a chance for Nery to further prove himself as a rising contender.
We get a Filipino show in Benguet which is headlined by a title fight, and features an interesting test for an unbeaten fighter on the under-card.
The title bout will see the once beaten Bener Santig (4-1-1, 1) face off against the unbeaten Dexter Eraya (2-0, 1) for the LuzProBA Super Bantamweight title in what looks like an intriguing match up between two men on the rise. Santig is looking to record a third win since his sole defeat, which came last November, whilst former Muay Thai fighter Eraya looks to record his best win as a boxer.
In another interesting bout Danny Tampipi (5-6-2, 3) will be looking to test the unbeaten Ralph Jhon Lulu (12-0-2, 5) in an 8 rounder. Lulu, if he wins here, should be stepped up in 2017 with the “Bomber” in need of a win over a notable foe.
Negros Occidental, Philippines
A second Filipino show is set to be held in Negros Occidental.
The most notable bout here will see the once beaten Raul Yu (8-1-2, 7) face off against Paul Varona (2-6-1), in what looks like a mismatch in favour of the promising and heavy handed Yu.
On the under-card of this show fans will be able to see the unbeaten Kenneth Paul Gentallan (4-0, 2) fight against the once beaten Ricardo Sueno (2-1-3, 1), in what could be a good test for the 20 year old Gallan.
In Australia fight fans will get the chance to see two limited Thai's in action.
One of those bouts will see Jamie Hilt (4-1-1) take on Aphichat Koedchatturat (1-8) in what looks like a recording padding bout for local fighter Hilt, who lost last time out whilst the other will see the win-less pairing of Mel Baker (0-1) and Monthida Rattanachai (0-1) face off in a female bout.
Pathum Thani, Thailand
We return to Thailand on Friday to see a potential world title challenger in action on a relative low quality card.
The main event looks like a clear stay busy bout for Nawaphon Por Chokchai (34-0, 27), who will be facing Roque Lauro (13-18-5, 3) in a bout that keeps Nawaphon busy as his team works on securing a world title fight. The unbeaten Thai is expected to be facing Juan Hernandez later in the year for the WBC Flyweight title, of the interim belt, and will be looking to just keep the ring rust off with this bout against the experienced but light punching Filipino journeyman.
On the undercard fans will see Namphol Sithsaithong (11-10, 8) battle Boy Tanto (9-20, 1) in what looks to be a competitive bout between limited fighters
We also get action back in Osaka, where Wednesday's bit show was held.
In the main event the Japanese Tetsuya Hisada (25-9-2, 15) will be fighting in a stay busy bout against Kenta Matsui (7-5, 1). Hisada is currently the #1 ranked Japanese Flyweight contender and will be looking to get a title fight either towards the end of this year or early next year. The problem for Hisada here will be over-looking the limited and light punching Matsui who is clearly there to be a tune up opponent, and nothing more.
In an excellent matched bout fans will see ounce touted Ioka fighter Takeru Kamikubo (10-2, 7) take on Shogo Hayashi (7-3-1, 4). Kamikubo had reeled off 8 straight wins to begin his career and was building some genuine momentum before suffering back-to-back stoppage defeats last year. He has scored a couple of wins since but knows he cannot afford another loss at the moment. As for Hayashi he has shown limitations of his own and is 2-3 in his last 5, though has yet to be stopped and is likely to know that Kamimubo has got serious question marks about his durability.
Eastern Cape, South Africa
Outside of Asia fans will see Filipino Raymond Tabugon (18-4-1, 8) take on the tough task of Makazole Tete (15-1-1, 10) in a bout for the IBF Continental Africa title. On paper Tete has to be favoured however he was beaten last November and should really have a couple of losses on his record, with the fighter lucky to get a win over Renz Rosia in April 2015. Tabugon has fought in South Africa before, beating Luzuko Siyo, however he was beaten last time he was on the road with Juan Hernandez stopping him in 5 rounds last November.
New South Wales, Australia
Also outside of Asia, though back in the Pacific region, fans will be able to see Korean Hyun Tae Bae (4-1-1, 2) take on the inexperienced Philip Robertson (1-1, 1) in what looks on paper like a relatively even bout.
It's been busy in Asia recently and that's the case again on April 22nd when we get cards across Asia, and we get fighters on the road.
In Japan fans get two shows, with the most notable being held at the Korakuen Hall, and although it lacks a “big fight” it does look like a very intriguing card with three bouts of note.
The main event of the card sees the promising Takeshi Inoue (5-0-1, 2) battle against Elfelos Vega (6-2, 4) in a contest that could well decide the next Japanese title challenger at 154lbs. Of the two men Inoue is the one who has impressed more, though this will be his toughest test to date and comes against a man who does have the power to be a real threat to Inoue's unbeaten record.
Interestingly Vega's last loss came to a man on the under-card of this show, Kazuto Takesako (2-0, 2). The very promising Takesako will be up against a Thai foe who isn't expected to pose any threat to the unbeaten novice, though hopefully we will see Takesako let off the leash later in the year as he has the potential to go very far in the sport, though did look somewhat wild against Vega.
The third bout of note from this card will see Kazuaki Moriya (13-7, 2) battle against Ryuto Oho (8-2-1, 2), in what is essentially the co-feature bout. The records may not be great, and given the power of both men we do suspect this will go the scheduled 8 rounds, but we'd be amazed if it wasn't an action packed and exciting Flyweight encounter.
The other Japanese show comes from Osaka and sadly is lacking in terms of bouts, with the only notable contest being a bout between Tetsuya Hisada (24-9-2, 14) and poor Indonesian import Ardi Tefa (6-6-1, 4), who is unlikely to pose any threat to the JBC ranked Light Flyweight contender. This should be an easy contest for Hisada before a potential Japanese title fight later in the year.
Tefa isn't to be the only Indonesian in action this weekend and in fact Indonesian fans get a show all of their own, and in fact they get two title fights.
On paper the more significant of those two title fights comes in an international bout as former world title challenger Roy Mukhlis (28-5-3, 21), who once faced Takashi Uchiyama for the WBA Super Featherweight title, faces former OPBF Super Featherweight champion Allan Tanada (13-4-3, 5) for the lightly regarded World Boxing Foundation Asia Pacific Lightweight title. Coming in to this one Mukhlis has gone 2-2-1, in his last 5, including a 1-1-1 series with Hero Tito. Interestingly Tanada is also 2-2-1 in his last 5, though has lost his last 2 bouts.
The other title bout will see veteran Rasmanudin (19-14-3, 10) battle against Hanif Yogya (3-2-1, 2) for the IBC Super Bantamweight title. If we're being honest Rasmanudin has looked horrible show in recent fights, and has gone 3-11-1 in his last 15. On paper Yogya shouldn't pose much of a threat however he has won his last 3 and may simply have more left than his rival.
Metro Manila, Philippines
We get yet more title action in the Philippines with a bout between Warren Mambuanag (9-5-2, 3) and the hard hitting Arnel Baconaje (5-0, 5), who will be trading blows for the Interim GAB Super Featherweight title. The winner of this will be set to face veteran Edgar Gabejan for the full title later in the year, though Gabejan hasn't actually defended the belt in over a year.
Sadly aside from the main event there is little to really note about this show, though there is an interesting 6 rounder between Carlo Caesar Penalosa (3-0, 1) and fellow novice Alvin Defeo (1-0).
Another card in the Philippines, which is actually worse than the one above, is set to take place in Tarlac.
On paper the most notable bout is a 6 round mismatch as former OPBF champion Romeo Jakosalem (16-12-1, 8) faces the horribly over-matched Edsil Jungco (1-9-5). Jakosalem has lost his last 3, and 8 of his last 12, but should be far too good for Jungco here in what we suspect will be an easy win for “Jako”.
Eastern Cape, South Africa
Fans get two really interesting bouts in South Africa as Japanese fighters get their passports out to face a pair of locals.
The most notable of the bouts on offer sees Japan's very promising Tsuyoshi Tameda (13-1-2, 11) take on former world champion Simpiwe Vetyeka (28-3,17). Although relatively unknown outside of Asia Tameda is a genuinely promising fighter who has notable stoppage wins over Takenori Ohashi and Mark Bernaldez, with the Bernaldez win being his best to date. As for Vetyeka he's a man known to Japanese fans for his bout with Hozumi Hasegawa, almost 9 years ago, whilst international fan will recognise his win over Chris John and his loss to Nonito Donaire. On paper it's easy to favour Vetyeka, a former WBA champion, however he is now 35 and has fought just 4 rounds in the last 16 months.
The other bout sees former Japanese Super Flyweight champion Yohei Tobe (9-2-1, 5) face off against Luzuko Siyo (15-3, 12) in a bout for the WBA Inter-Continental Super Flyweight title. Again the local is the favourite but Tobe is better than his record indicates and does seem to be the naturally bigger man here, with Siyo having fought as low as Minimumweight. This could be a really good bout, even if it does end up being over-shadowed by the other contest on the card.
Staying with Japanese fighters on the road, fans in Australia will be able to see Japanese veteran Yosuke Kirima (22-5-2, 15) take on Australia's very own Michael Zerafa (18-2, 10) for the IBF Pan Pacific Middleweight crown. Although experienced Kirima has been known as a fighter who loses in his most notable contests, losing in two Japanese title fights, and hasn't yet managed to score a “big win”, even domestically. As for Zerafa he too has lost his biggest bouts, though one of those was a bout with former world champion Peter Quuillin, whilst the other was against fast rising Russian Arif Magomedov, both of whom are much better than Kirima if we're being honest.
In Russia we get a low profile match up as Muhammadkhuja Yaqubov (1-0, 1), originally from Tajikistan, faces Kazakh Amir Saltayev (1-0) in a bout between unbeaten novices.
For the third time this week Japanese fans get female world title action at the Korakuen Hall.
This time around it's the turn of IBF female Light Flyweight champion Naoko Shibata (14-3, 4) who looks to defend her title against former WBC “youth” champion Maria Salinas (11-4-2, 4). The champion, who claimed her title 2 years ago, will be hoping to record her 4th defence and move towards bigger and better fights in the near future whilst the challenger will be looking to claim her biggest scalp to date. Given what we know about the two fighters this one promises a lot of action though we do need to favour the home fighter who is the more proven of the two women.
Whilst the main event is a really good bout we've also got to admit that the one of the support bouts is also brilliant as the very promising Takeshi Inoue (4-0-1, 2) battles the “better than his record suggests” Hideo Mikan (7-9-1, 2). On paper it's a mismatch but in reality this should serve as a great test for the unbeaten 25 year old title hopeful.
In Osaka there is an Harada promoted card that has only one notable bout.
That bout will see Japanese ranked Light Flyweight Tetsuya Hisada (29-3-2, 13) battle against Il Che (7-9-5, 1) in what looks to be a tune up bout for Hisada before a potential title clash in 2016. Hisada comes into this bout with a 3-2-2 record in his last 7 bouts but has stopped his last two opponents and and another stoppage here is certainly not out of the question.
As well as the Japanese action there is also two bouts of note in Bangkok, both being aired on Channel 7.
The more intriguing of the two bouts will see highly regarded Thai Welterweight Teerachai Kratingdaenggym (31-0, 24) defending his PABA title against the criminally under-rated Arnel Tinampay (22-19-1, 8). On paper this is a mismatch of the highest order however Tinampay has been a banana skin for various other fighters and he's not only better than his record suggests but also hits harder than the numbers state and can really take a shot, in fact he's never been stopped. Not only is this a tough assignment for Teerachai but it's also a high pressure one with the Thai risking a potential WBA interim title fight with this contest.
The other bout is a contest for the interim WBA Asia Lightweight title and will see Thai based Nigerian Taiwo Ali (18-3-1, 13) battles against Filipino foe Leonardo Doronio (14-11-3, 9). Althogh not a great fighter Doronio is better than his record suggests and recent wins over Al Rivera, Burning Ishii, Jose Ocampo and Jeffrey Arienza do show that, however Ali is an under-rated fighter himself and this could be a really competitive match up despite the records not looking very even on paper.